Palm Springs Village Green Museums

Patrick and I just returned home from a week in Palm Springs, like we do every March, as Patrick has an annual work conference there. During this year’s visit I spent a lot time at museums, and finally visited several small museums that are all clustered together.

Located in the heart of Palm Springs is the Village Green, a small park that is home to not one, not two, not even three, but four small museums; the Cornelia White House, the McCallum Adobe, Ruddy’s General Store, and the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum.

I’ll start with my favorite, the Cornelia White House. The building itself was originally built by Dr. and Mrs. Welwood Murray in 1893, and was built using railroad ties from a failed narrow-gauge line connecting the Southern Pacific depot with Palmdale. And was part of the couple’s Palm Springs Hotel. It was later purchased by Cornelia Butler White, and this woman was quite the character!

Cornelia White was born in 1874 in upstate New York, and one of eleven children. She loved to travel, and even traveled the Nile River in Egypt. She was also a professor, and from 1905 to 1912 taught domestic science at the University of North Dakota. Following her teaching stint, she moved to Mexico. One of Cornelia’s sisters, Florilla White, a doctor by trade, joined her, along with Carl Lykken, a mining engineer. However as revolutionary war broke out in Mexico, the trio had to flee. They escaped by operating a railroad handcar and traveled over 80 miles to the coast. Before joining her sister in Mexico, Florilla had spent time in Palm Springs at the hotel operated by Dr. Murray, and after escaping Mexico, Florilla suggested a move to Palm Springs. After arriving in Palm Springs in 1913, they bought the hotel Murray owned, and by 1915, another White sister, Isabel White, joined them. Isabel eventually married an author by the name of J. Smeaton Chase, while neither of the sisters, nor their friend Lykken, ever married.

Cornelia enjoyed riding, hiking, and even participating in cattle driving! And she always wore a leather jacket, riding breeches and boots. She is quoted as saying “But I do have dresses and petticoats, I want you to know. I keep them to wear to funerals. I’m afraid it just wouldn’t do to go in riding breeches and my fringed leather jacket – would it?”

By 1944, after Florilla’s death, Cornelia’s home was at risk of being demolished. It was saved though, and moved to another location. Cornelia lived there until 1959, and passed away in 1961. In 1979 the house was moved by flatbed truck to its current location at the Village Green. It is the second oldest standing building Palm Springs, and resides, fittingly, next to the McCallum Adobe, which is the oldest standing building in Palm Springs.

Needless to say it sounds like Cornelia is a woman after my own heart! Her home is a very unique treasure within Palm Springs. Some of the items inside the home belonged to Cornelia, while other pieces of the period were donated.

The Cornelia White House is open Wednesday through Saturday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and Sundays noon to 3:00 pm. It is free to the public, but a $1.00 donation is suggested.

Next to the Cornelia White House is the McCallum Adobe, which as I mentioned above, is the oldest standing building in Palm Springs, and was built in 1885 by John and Emily McCallum, the area’s first white settlers, with the help of local Native Americans. It was originally built on the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Way, where it was later part of the Oasis Hotel. It was moved to its current site in 1950.

Today the McCallum Adobe is a museum dedicated to the history of Palm Springs, from Native Americans to it becoming the sun-soaked playground of the stars. The McCallum Adobe Museum does not allow for photography, so sadly I cannot share any of its amazing artifacts with you. The McCallum Adobe keeps the same hours as the Cornelia White House. It is also free to visit, but a $1.00 donation is also suggested.

To the right of the McCallum Adobe is Ruddy’s General Store, which is really something, in that it is a complete fictional general store. It is made up entirely of one man’s collection of new-old stock merchandise from shops, and has items from the turn-of-the-century through the 1960s, but with its main focus on the 1930s and 40s.

Ruddy’s General Store costs 95 cents to take a turn about. It’s open during the months of September through May, Thursday through Sunday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

To the right of Ruddy’s General Store is the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum.

Like the McCullum Adobe, the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum does not allow for photography. The museum offers insight into the Native Americans who first called the Palm Springs and Coachella Valley area home, and during my visit housed an incredible display on basketry.

The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum is free to visit, although you can make a donation if you wish. They also have a wonderful selection books about Native Americans, as well turquoise jewelry for purchase.

That wraps up the first of three Palm Springs posts! I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!

Goodbye Gill’s

Last Sunday was a sad day in the Los Angeles history books, Gill’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream at Los Angeles’ Original Farmers Market closed up shop after 80 years scooping ice cream. I cannot lay claim to many fond memories spent at Gill’s, as I had only been there once, but I can still mourn the loss of a true “home spun and family run” (as Charles Phoenix likes to say) business. For generations, the Gill family has dished out cone after cone, and legend has it they created the flavor rocky road. So, when we heard that this LA landmark was vacating, we had to go over to bid farewell.

I was very inspired by the look of Gill’s when I picking out what to wear, selecting a pink and white stripe shirtwaist that reflected the pink and white stripes of the stand itself, and taking from the green awning, I opted for a green bolero. As I selected my outfit, I lamented about a lack of an ice cream or Coca-Cola brooch, when true inspiration struck me! As I was getting dressed, I looked at my dresser, atop which sits a vintage Knott’s Berry Farm ashtray, full of my Knott’s jewelry, and I remembered discussions at Knott’s of making brooches out of some of their fun magnets. I then remembered we had a Coca-Cola magnet reminiscent of the signage that Gill’s had! So I used a plain magnet on the inside of my dress to secure the Coca-Cola one. I also chose to wear my vintage, Los Angeles themed charm bracelet, which features a Farmers Market charm on it!

It was delightful to see the outpouring of love that people had for Gill’s, as the line curved its way through the aisles of Farmers Market, and people shared their stories of their visits to Gill’s over the decades. I even had the delight of talking to the great-grand daughter of the founder, which was a really wonderful moment, as she shared her memories with me.

Farmers Market has announced another family-owned ice cream shop will take up residence in the same stall in the near future.

Outfit
Bolero: Gift from Patrick, but I know he got it at Hollywood Babylon, Portland, Oregon
Dress: Red Light, Portland, Oregon
Belt: Nordstorm
Shoes: Re-Mix
Purse: Lux de Ville
Scarf: I don’t remember
LA Charm Bracelet: Found by my dad I think…

Clifton’s Pacific Seas Bar

After much anticipation, Clifton’s (which I have blogged about on several previous occasions, including its grand re-opening, Thanksgiving, and the first Fur & Feathers in LA) finally opened the doors to the newest addition to its cabinet of curiosities, Pacific Seas, a tiki bar inspired by the first ever Clifton’s, under the same name.

The Pacific Seas was the first of Clifford Clinton’s chain of cafeterias, and featured a gorgeous pacific island theme with lots of bamboo, gorgeous faux rock features, both inside and out, and even neon palm trees. It was gaudy, outrageous, and utterly amazing. Honestly, what I wouldn’t give to go back in time and experiences it. Seriously, take a look…

Pacific Seas opened in 1939 and closed its doors in 1960s, when it was demolished and became a parking lot, which it has remained since. But now Clifton’s guests can either re-live, or experience for the first time, a small taste of what the Pacific Seas was like with its all new tiki bar. On Friday Patrick and I had the pleasure of going the night before its grand opening thanks to a friend. My eyes couldn’t stop darting around at all of the amazing details, and these photos simply don’t do it justice. One of my favorite details was the original plaque to the outside of the Pacific Seas location that discussed the exterior and gave thanks to the artists behind the creation. Sadly, I failed to get any real outfit photos with the exception of a quick snap at the end of the night.

I can imagine we shall be visiting Pacific Seas as often as possible, as it is nothing short of spectacular, and I highly encourage both locals and visitors to LA alike to visit!

Outfit
Dress: LA Vintage Expo
Shoes: Re-Mix
Coconut Bangle: ???

Bob Baker Marionette Theater

Just a few hours after arriving home from San Diego Comic Con, Patrick and I were off to LA to attend Charles Phoenix‘s show at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, a rare, if not slightly bizarre, gem in Los Angeles. I had heard about this theatre from Charles on a few occasions, but the show he hosted was my first visit to it, and what a treat it was! But more on it in a bit! First let’s take a peek at what I wore…

I wore this cowgirl brooch because her dangly style reminded me a bit of a marionette. She has a boyfriend as well, however, his color scheme didn’t match my outfit as well as she did. So he was left in the jewelry box for the evening.

First off, it should be mentioned that the Bob Baker Marionette Theater runs regularly, Charles Phoenix’s event was a special one (UPDATE: Charles is hosting another event in September at the theater! Learn more here), in which he selected his favorite numbers to showcase, and it was amazing. Seriously, being a puppeteer is an art from, I was blown away by how these performers were able to give life to the marionettes by pulling just a few strings. Plus the marionettes themselves were stunning works of art.

The theater was founded 1963 by Bob Baker, who both made puppets as well as performed with them. Over the decades the Theater was the home of thousands of birthday parties for the children in the Los Angeles area, and a few adults I came to learn. One attendee mentioned he had both his sixth and 40th birthday at the theater. In 2009 the Bob Baker Marionette Theater was designated at Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Landmark. And while Bob Baker passed away in 2014 at the age of 90, his theater and legacy continue to live on. If you’re in the LA area, I highly suggest a visit! They have a Halloween show coming up this fall, which I am looking forward to attending.

Outfit
Patio Dress: Junk 4 Joy, Burbank, California
Pressed Leather Shoes: Olvera Street, Los Angeles, California
Purse & Cowgirl Brooch: Found by my dad
Bangles: Various

Spirit of ’76

When someone says “Knott’s Berry Farm” a lot comes to mind… Boysenberries of course, fried chicken, the infamous Ghost Town created because of the massive lines for said famous chicken, and perhaps Peanuts characters. What may not immediately spring to mind though is the Liberty Bell or Independence Hall, even though an exact replica of both the bell and the hall exist on the property of Knott’s Berry Farm! With Independence Day tomorrow I thought it was a rather fitting time to visit the perfect recreation Walter Knott built.

Keep reading to learn more about Knott’s Independence Hall and take a peek inside.

Continue reading

The Wigwam Motel

During the week Patrick decided to surprise me with a mini, one night getaway at the Wigwam Motel in Rialto on Route 66!

An icon of the Mother Road, the Wigwam Motel is a handful of concrete tipi structures that are quaint, and of course, small. There honestly wasn’t much to do in the small town of Rialto, and its neighbor, San Bernardino, but we found some light entertainment in the odd McDonald’s Museum, located where the very first McDonald’s was. We also stumbled upon the restaurant that Mad Men used for its Burger Chef scene in the episode “The Strategy” (S7 Ep6), Chris’s Burgers, which was in fact a Burger Chef originally. And, yes, we sat in the same booth as the cast in the scene.

While I can now cross this off my list of unique places I want to stay at, I still would love to visit the other surviving Wigwam Motel, located in Halbook, Arizona. How about you? Do you ever want to stay at unique lodgings just for the heck of it?

Outfit
Dress: Retro Rejuvenation, Coburg, Oregon
Belt: Nordstorm
Shoes: Re-Mix
Purse: Buffalo Exchange
Turquoise Rings: Here and there
Western Themed Charm Bracelet: Put together by me, from charms from various places