Explore Palm Springs: Shirley Temple Bungalow

Child actress earns a special place at The Desert Inn



Shirley Temple holds a milk bottle ready to christen a bungalow at The Desert Inn in her name while owner Nellie Coffman looks on.

Courtesy of the Palm Springs Historical Society

 

In December of 1937, while Shirley Temple and her family were vacationing in Palm Springs, Fox Movietone News, producers of cinema and sound reels from 1928 to 1963, came to the desert to photograph the child star enjoying the hotel gardens at the Desert Inn.

Temple and her family were frequent visitors to The Desert Inn and favored one of the roomier bungalows on the grounds.

Nellie Coffman, owner of The Desert Inn and the “first lady of Palm Springs,” decided that it would be the perfect time to dedicate the bungalow to Shirley Temple.

The christening took place in front of friends, hotel visitors and the press all gathered together as 9-year-old Shirley held a milk bottle high in the air and christened the bungalow the “Shirley Temple Bungalow.”

The Fox newsreels highlighted the event on movie screens across the United States and the world.

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

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

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