Explore Palm Springs: Palm Trees Line Palm Canyon Drive

Formal dedication in fall includes intro of future starlet Mamie Van Doren



In the summer of 1949, Palm Canyon Drive became tree-lined with palm trees.

Courtesy of the Palm Springs Historical Society

In the summer of 1949, the installation of more than 300 palm trees along Palm Canyon Drive was part of a $950,000 civic improvement plan began in downtown Palm Springs.

Approximately 150 each of Washingtonia filifera and Washingtonia robusta were planted 35 to 40 feet apart. The palms, lining either side of the street, were equipped with water lines that watered every tree simultaneously.

The trees planted ranged in size from 12 to 25 feet tall. Each was adorned with a fixture that provided lighting for the sidewalks and streets below.

A formal dedication of the newly planted palms took place the evening of Oct. 1, 1949. A barbecue and dance was held in celebration of the occasion with a special guest, a young aspiring starlet named Joan Olander.

Olander, named Miss Palm Springs in 1949, is better known by the subsequently acquired stage name of Mamie Van Doren.

As Palm Springs celebrates its 75th anniversary, there are a multitude of ways to learn more about this desert treasure. One of the more intriguing methods is by exploring the city’s history.

Weekly, the Palm Springs Historical Society will share a story whose time and place corresponds with today.

The Palm Springs Historical is located at 221 S. Palm Canyon Drive. For more information, visit www.pshistoricalsociety.org

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Explore Palm Springs: Desert Circus Parade

The Desert Circus Parade became one of the most popular in Palm Springs featuring gigantic, strange laugh-provoking creatures.

Explore Palm Springs: The Dunes Club

In February 1936, property was purchased one-half mile from the Dunes Club in Cathedral City and extended all of the way to Ramon Road on the north.

Explore Palm Springs: Mounted Police Rodeo

One of the highlights of the annual Palm Springs Mounted Police Rodeo was a performance by Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer Montie Montana.

Explore Palm Springs: Desert Riders

The Desert Riders first formed in 1931 as a social group in Palm Springs, but later added creating trails that are still in use today.

Explore Palm Springs: Things to Do in January 1940

In January 1940, Palm Springs didn't have a film festival but a high calber tennis tournament featuring Miss Marble.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

Palm Springs Life's Women in Business

Palm Springs Life's Women in Business

Winner profiles will be highlighted in a special section in Palm Springs Life’s May 2016 issue. Nominate Your Top Women in Business!
Fashionista Friends

Fashionista Friends

Experience the glitz and glamour of Fashion Week El Paseo 2016.
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Food + Wine Festival Grand Experience

Food + Wine Festival Grand Experience

Enter for a Chance to Win a Food + Wine Festival Palm Desert 2016 Grand Experience
Edit ModuleShow Tags