Approximately 32 trailer parks were located throughout the Coachella Valley during the height of trailer park popularity in the 1950s and ‘60s. These parks welcomed visitors who flocked to the desert to enjoy the sun and warm weather during the winter months. The same parks stood eerily empty during the summer months. Many seasonal renters returned to the same trailer park in the desert every winter, year after year, after migrating to the beach or the mountains during the summer months.
The trend toward living in homes that were mobile began in the 1950s with compact, comfortable shelters being sold at a low cost, enabling “trailerites” to travel about the country in their small-wheeled homes. Palm Springs was said to be the “jeweled showcase of mobile living” because it had captured the simplified luxury and informal elegance of this latest American phenomenon.
Trailer parks provided a wide degree of luxury with rental space as low as $25 to well over $100 a month. Each trailer park was a community unto itself including their own stores, cafes, barber and beauty shops as well as a full program of entertainment and activities. After their wanderlust was satisfied ,many seasonal residents made these parks their year-round homes.
These bustling communities brought in professional and amateur players to participate in inter-park shuffleboard tournaments. Beautiful heated pools added to the outdoor lifestyle and square dancing and potluck dinners provided the “indoor sport.”
There is a multitude of ways to Explore Palm Springs, which marks 80 years in 2018. One of the more intriguing methods is by exploring Palm Springs history.
The Palm Springs Historical Society will share a story whose time and place corresponds with today.
The Palm Springs Historical Society is located at 221 S. Palm Canyon Drive.
Visit pshistoricalsociety.org for more information.