Settlement Around Two Bunch Palms Watering Hole
100 Years at Desert Hot Springs
In 2013 the city of Desert Hot Springs celebrated the centennial of homesteader Cabot Yerxa’s arrival to the desert and his discovery of the natural hot mineral water now famous worldwide for health and therapeutic benefits. However Cabot was not the first to live here.
Cabot wrote that Hilda helped him find the survey markers for his homestead claim, markers that had weathered 60 years in the desert.
Although Cabot is the most celebrated homesteader, Cabot himself acknowledged in his newspaper columns that Miss Hilda M Gray was living here before him.
Over the years pioneer homesteads were integrated into what became the city, including the homesteads of Cabot and Gray.
Coming a long way from her native England she did not aim to create a city. Yet she accomplished what few men were able to do by staking her desert claim and sticking it out for five years. About half the people that staked a claim never finished up.
Since nearly 30,000 people, including the celebrated Cabot, followed Gray to what is now the incorporated city of Desert Hot Springs. Gray was a desert homestead pioneer and this is her adventure.
In 1913 transportation was challenging, rattlesnakes plentiful, and water difficult to come by in a harsh desert environment lacking modern amenities.
Hilda M Gray lived a modest life with land the grand reward. Hilda would invest five years of her life making those 160 acres hers. Challenges were made to be overcome.
.Over the years the city forgot Miss Hilda M Gray
and her life became a mystery – until now.
Available now as a 40 minute
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Let’s take a peek at Cambridge England where Hilda was born.