Explore Palm Springs: Date Groves

Palm Canyon Drive was lined with date shops in the 1930s

One of the earliest and certainly most picturesque Date stands was the Black Tent, 1652 S. Palm Canyon Drive.

Courtesy of the Palm Springs Historical Society


In the early days of Palm Springs, it was discovered that the California desert oasis was the perfect place to grow dates.

Thus, many date groves were planted and dates quickly became one of Palm Springs’ most popular commodities.

In the following decades, dates remained well-liked amongst tourists and locals alike who would send packages of the petite brown fruits to friends and family all over the globe.

Palm Canyon Drive was lined with date shops and, when Jack Benny broadcast his radio show from the Plaza Theatre, he made many jocular references to Palm Springs’ abundance of dates during his program (in one such case referring to the police station as Palm Springs Police Station and Date Shop.)

One of the earliest and certainly most picturesque Date stands was the Black Tent, 1652 S. Palm Canyon Drive. Though it was little more than a cloth tent propped up to protect the fruit stand’s goods, it was a popular destination for those living and vacationing in Palm Springs during the 1930s.

Located at the site today is Lyon’s English Grille, and the address has been changed to 233 E. Palm Canyon Drive.

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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