Cultural History

Desert Homesteading History


Twentynine Palms Historical SocietyThe Twentynine Palms Historical Society was founded in 1982 and incorporated as a non-profit public benefit corporation. In 1992, the society moved the city’s original 1927 one-room schoolhouse to a parcel of land on National Park Drive near the Oasis of Mara and remodeled the building to become the Old Schoolhouse Museum. Today, the historical society continues to preserve and interpret the historical heritage of the Twentynine Palms area through a variety of museum displays, special collections, an extensive library, historical gatherings, educational lectures, and a quarterly newsletter.

The museum also has a gift shop and is the site of two famous annual events: the Old Timers Gathering during Pioneer Days in October and the Weed Show in November.

This lecture series is co-sponsored by the Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park and the Twentynine Palms Historical Society on the second Friday of each month from September to June. (See Calendar of Events for monthly lectures.) Lectures start at 7 p.m. and are $5 admission at the door. Subscribe to the entire Old Schoolhouse lecture series for $40 and save $10 on 10 lectures! Subscribers also receive reserved seating at the events. To subscribe to the series, call (760) 367-5535; mail a check to: Desert Institute, 74485 National Park Dr., Twentynine Palms, CA 92277 (make check payable to Joshua Tree National Park Association and indicate Old Schoolhouse Lecture Series); or sign up online.

Natural History


In-Depth Exploration by The Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park

The Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park is an adult education program offering an in-depth exploration of the park’s natural wonders. Learn from highly qualified instructors who are passionate about sharing their expertise and committed to providing a personal and fun learning experience. The Desert Institute is sponsored by the Joshua Tree National Park Association and operates with the full endorsement of the National Park Service.

Join us this season for an educational adventure. Classes range from desert survival, natural history, and geologic exploration, to artistic endeavors like experiencing poetry, art, and photography in the park. Besides field classes, the Desert Institute offers custom programs and step-on guides for bus tours, community lectures, and Joshua Tree Master Naturalist Certification. Click here to sign up for the Desert Institute newsletter and receive a catalog of upcoming classes and workshops.



Art Galleries & Studios

Art abounds across town with local art exhibits ranging from personal studios to rotating galleries.

Community Theatre

Witness local talent at a community theater hosting comedy, musical, and dramatic productions each season.

Rooms with a view, desert ambiance, privacy, quietness, and tranquility at this historic desert motel. Swimming pool and spa set…