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COUNCIL DISTRICT OF THE MONTH: DISTRICT 3
Ice cream, wigs, schools and an intricate downtown history comprise District 3.
Sandwiched between the northern half of Morongo and Adobe Roads is City Council District 3. With a hard to follow shape, this District blends portions of Downtown Twentynine Palms with residential areas consisting of apartments and homes, and includes the neighborhood of Adobe Circle and the eastern end of Chocolate Drop. Situated on the northern side of Highway 62, the upper border of this council district encompasses Raymond, Bullion, David Way, and stretches east until it hits Adobe Road. This council district is currently represented by Daniel Mintz, and the seat will be open for election in November 2022. Those interested in running can pick up paperwork from the City Clerk in July and submit it August. This article will cover local hotspots, murals, and businesses one can find in District 3.
Twentynine Palms City Hall (6136 Adobe Road)
Did you know that City Hall was once a water tower? The cornerstone for what would eventually become City Hall wasn’t laid until 1959 and the building was originally constructed as a County seat. Once County offices moved to the building on 62 and Whitefeather in Joshua Tree, 29 Palms could finally christen the building “City Hall”.
Here you can stay engaged and informed of local legislation, ordinances, and decisions made by our five-member City Council. Council Meetings take place on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers. These rotate with Planning Commission meetings which take place at 5pm on the first and third Tuesdays. Both meetings are open to the public. If you wish to address the Council or Planning Commission either on an agenda item or during open public comment, you will be allotted three minutes. You may also contact City Hall for permits, licenses, fees, and other municipal needs.
The Historic Plaza (5671 The Plaza)
29 Palms Historic Plaza is adorned with a mural and a statue of two of the city’s earliest homesteaders — Frank and Helen Bagley. The Bagleys moved here in 1927, and opened the first general store in Twentynine Palms in 1928. Located on the corner of Adobe and Homestead Drive, the Twentynine Palms Historic Plaza is dedicated to the Bagley family and their contributions to the community. On the southern wall of the historic plaza, is a mural by Dan and Janis Sawatzky depicting the couple in front of their store. The entire historic plaza and surrounding area was owned by the Bagleys and was known as the “the social center of the community,” according to the 29 Palms Historical Society. The original general store building is still standing and currently occupied by the Plaza Liquor Market.
Fosters Freeze (73629 2 Mile Road)
Fosters Freeze is located just off the corner of Adobe and 2 Mile Road. This casual fast-food spot is known for having one of the best burgers in 29 Palms and is a required pit stop on the way into Joshua Tree National Park. Boasting a whopping 4.5 out of 5 stars on Trip Advisor, one reviewer writes, “People come here from all over the Morongo Basin to enjoy the food and more importantly the ice cream.” The franchise was founded in La Brea in 1946, and their 29 Palms location came to town in 1959. Walking in the door feels like a blast from the past as the building has maintained most of its history, from the bolted-down swivel chairs in the dining room to the checkerboard floor tile. If you’re looking for a classic American style burger, then you have come to the right place. Their notorious soft serve ice cream also makes for the perfect treat on a sweltering hot day.
Twentynine Palms High School (72750 Wildcat Way) and Oasis Elementary School (73175 El Paseo Dr.)
The first schoolhouse was a one room building constructed for nine students in 1927 and was located across from Luckie Park in District 5. There are now five public schools in 29 Palms, two of which are located in District 3: Twentynine Palms High School and Oasis Elementary.
Originally located at the site of Twentynine Palms Junior High in District 4, Twentynine Palms High School moved to its current Distrct 3 location in 1963. In fact, the High School still uses the football and soccer facilities located at the Junior High. Twentynine Palms High has over 700 students and is one of two high schools in the Morongo Basin. The school runs an Advanced Placement program as well as an extensive athletics programs, offering sports ranging from football, basketball, tennis to cheerleading and is home to the Wildcats.
Serving over 500 students in 29 Palms, Oasis Elementary is one of three elementary schools in 29 Palms and one of nine elementary schools in the entire Morongo Basin. Oasis Elementary opened in 1957, populated in part with students formally attending Twentynine Palms Elementary.
Jeanine Beauty Supply (6470 Adobe Road)
Owned by 29 Palms sisters Carrie Williams and Karen Harper, Jeanine Beauty Supply is one of two shops in the Morongo Basin that sells beauty supplies and wigs. After seeing a need in the community, Carrie and her sister Karen decided to open the shop in Twentynine Palms eight years ago in 2014, making it the longest running beauty supply shop in the Morongo Basin. Here you can find both synthetic and human hair, lace front wigs, crochet hair, colored wigs and pieces, beads, lashes, and various hair products from gels to pomades to oils. This mom and pop style shop is also a hub for community events that Williams helps organize, including the Juneteenth celebration that takes place in 29 Palms annually.
The Desert Trail (6396 Adobe Road)
Vol. 1 No. 1 of The Desert Trail was published on April 1, 1935 and was dedicated to “The mining and resort industry.”
The paper was founded by William J. Underhill, and sold to J. Buren and Laura Briggs in 1951, who sold it to its current owners, Brehm Communications (formally McGiffin Newspaper Company) in 1972. Brehm Communications specializes in community newspapers and is the parent company of Hi Desert Publishing, responsible for both The Desert Trail and Hi-Desert Star (established 1957). The newspaper offices have relocated several times since the first Desert Trail building was constructed at 5770 Adobe Road in 1938. Underhill and his wife Prudie are honored with a mural on current building.
Editor Kurt Schaffner and his staff cover local news in Morongo Basin focusing on 29 Palms, Wonder Valley and Desert Heights. The newspaper publishes on line and in print every Wednesday. Subscriptions are $30 and selected articles are available in the online edition.
Twentynine Palms Library (6078 Adobe Road)
The building housing the Twentynine Palms public library was constructed in 1959, at the same time as City Hall. It’s one of 32 branches of the San Bernardino County Library system. Here members of the public can check out books, access internet, print documents, and purchase books, both used and new. Library cards are free to any county resident at this location. Overall, the San Bernardino County Library System runs off an annual operating budget of $21 million dollars and employs approximately 308 employees throughout both incorporated and unincorporated portions of the county. For information about the 29 Palms location and library events, you can check out the Friends of the 29 Palms Library website here.