Girl Report | History Comes Alive

Abigail C.

Girl Reporter

For the past 8 years, the Coachella Valley History Museum has been teaching the young and the old about the history of the place they reside in. If you traveled to the former house of a Dr. Smiley, you would find just as many wonders as you did if you traveled to the schoolhouse to experience life in the early 1900’s. Dr. Smiley was a doctor that lived in the house until a dentist named Dr. Tyler moved in.  At the Date Museum, you can learn about how dates are grown and about the Date Festival. In all these places you can also learn about prominent people in the Coachella Valley. So, if you’ve never heard of Zaddie Bunker or you want to make your own Polly Pocket this is the place for you.

When entering the Smiley house, the first thing you see is a gift shop. At the day of living history, however the gift shop is filled with extraordinary things. The author of the book, Birth of the Inland Sea, was signing books. If you traveled farther into the museum, you would learn more about the Cahuilla and about the abundance of agriculture in the Coachella Valley. The Cahuilla are the Native Americans that lived in the Coachella Valley. You can also see their traveling exhibit: Women behaving badly, for good! Here you can learn about some of the women that changed the world. You can also meet weavers from the valley. These women dedicate their time to show people how to weave and knit. One of the weavers, Robin says that the reason she loves doing it is because it is her background. She also says that it is creative and fun. One of the other women, Sandi, said that she loved it because it was a little bit of everything.

Inside the former town library, you can learn quite a bit about dates. This may sound strange, but I’m talking about the Date Museum. It was founded in the 1980’s. If you look inside, you will find kids dressed up as historical figures. You have the opportunity to learn more about Bob Hope and Jackie Cochran. One of the historical recreations, is Betty Ford. Her creator, Victoria, enjoys being the historical figure and says it makes her more confident in herself.

When traveling into the 1909 schoolhouse, you will find many wonders for all ages. The first room is a schoolroom filled with desks and chalkboards, so you are ready to learn in the 1900’s. In the next room, you can make your own clothespin doll out of yarn, a clothespin and some fabric. You can also make your own butter or make a perfectly cut apple with a machine. You can also play checkers and learn about earlier kinds of irons. Outside you can clean clothes they way they did all those years ago, play jump rope, hula hoops, hopscotch and croquet.

So, if you want to have a fun day with your family, this is the place to go. You can travel back in time to learn about the 31 presidents of the United States(at the time there were only 31 presidents) and the 46 states of America. You can also learn about the people that shaped the valley, play games, and learn how to weave. Just remember, history comes to life at the Living History Festival at the Coachella Valley History Museum.


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