The Coachella Valley was the home of the Cahuilla Indians as a new wave of settlers arrived in the late 1800’s along with the Southern Pacific Railroad. Being the halfway point between Yuma and Los Angeles, Southern Pacific decided the location of what is today Indio, was an ideal train stop. From these humble beginnings sprung an entire valley of cities, all of which have their own distant personality and history. The Coachella Valley History Museum seeks to share the unique history of the desert and the Cahuilla Indians and pioneers who forged through the difficult environment to create the community it is today.
The Coachella Valley History Museum campus contains the Smiley-Tyler House, a 1926 adobe home, which houses the main exhibits; the fully restored, historic 1909 Indio Schoolhouse; and the only Date Museum world-wide. The spacious grounds contain a Memorial Date Garden, a Japanese Garden, and the oldest Cork Oak tree in the Coachella Valley. Other highlights consist of our Submarine house, a Blacksmith shop, and an archive.
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