In a circa-1950 photograph, Cabot Yerxa sits on a bench just outside one of his adobe’s many doors. Looking at the desert tortoise in his hands, he appears contemplative. We can’t know what he is thinking at the captured moment in time. But the sign posted on the wall by the door reveals his overall mindset. It reads as follows:
THERE IS NO PLACE
JUST LIKE THIS PLACE
ANYWHERE NEAR THIS PLACE
SO THIS must be THE PLACE
Cole Eyraud, who purchased the pueblo in 1969, four years after Cabot’s death, clearly agreed. He spent much time and energy toward securing historical recognition. A letter dated just over two weeks after escrow closed evidences that he had already sought interest from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Thirty-four years ago this month, Desert Hot Springs’ city council designated Cabot’s pueblo museum “an official historical landmark of the city.” Below are the whereases and now therefore of Resolution No. 77-10.
Whereas, Cabot Yerxa was a pioneer in the development of the Coachella Valley and became an integral part of the living history of the City of Desert Hot Springs by his discovery of the City’s natural hot water on Miracle Hill, which led to the continuing economic stability of the community; and
Whereas, the City was fortunate to have Cabot Yerxa settle in the community, to bring forth his love and faith for our desert area by being one of the first founders and first president of the Desert Hot Springs Improvement Association; and
Whereas, Cabot Yerxa felt the overpowering, driving need to preserve for posterity, for all to see and appreciate, he labored for 24 years preserving early-day Indian relics and hand constructed, with a labor of love and dedication, a replica of an adobe Indian pueblo; and
Whereas, Cabot’s Old Indian Pueblo is both in architecture and artifact an extremely remarkable feat; and
Whereas, Cabot left this adobe monument for the City of Desert Hot Springs, it is deemed fitting and proper that this area be designated an historical landmark of the City;
Now, therefore, the City Council of the City of Desert Hot Springs does hereby resolve as follows:
Section 1. The Desert Hot Springs City Council does hereby declare and designate Cabot’s Indian Pueblo an official landmark of the City.
Section 2. The City Clerk shall certify to the passage of this Resolution and cause copies thereof to be forwarded to the Riverside County Historical Commission, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, and the Desert Hot Springs Improvement Association.
Four years later, on April 26, 1981, Eyraud hosted a dedication program for County of Riverside Historical Marker No. 054. Unfortunately, neither Cabot nor Eyraud lived to see the day, in 2012, when Cabot’s Pueblo Museum was named to the Registry of National Historic Places. As noteworthy as national designation is, we can’t help but be partial to the City of Desert Hot Springs’ recognition of Cabot’s impact on the city’s future and his passion for cultural posterity.
Visitors to Cabot’s Pueblo Museum can see the City of Desert Hot Springs’ historical landmark honor on a plaque near the grounds’ entrance.