“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Twentynine Palms in San Bernardino County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

The Desert Trail

Bill and Prudie Underhill

The Desert Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, June 18, 2014
1. The Desert Trail Marker
Inscription.  After barnstorming across the United States from his native Wisconsin in 1914 and serving his country in World War I, the urge to homestead brought Bill Underhill to 29 Palms in 1928. He helped build roads and the first swimming pool, and was active in the area's first civic organization, American Legion Post 729.

Seven years after arriving in the area, Bill's desire to help the community led him to establish a weekly newspaper, which he named The Desert Trail. The four-page inaugural issue published on April 18, 1935.

"Watch Twentynine Palms Grow!" proclaimed a front-page announcement that included Bill's vow that the newspaper would "do all within its power to foster and perpetuate harmony and be of mutual assistance as behooves any enterprise, especially in a practically new community such as this."

In 1941, Bill married Prudence Mason of Pasadena and the two set out to provide their friends and neighbors with wholesome fun and entertainment through the newspaper, their indoor movie theater, drive-in theater and roller rink. Bill Underhill was an originator of Pioneer Days, and the first Old Timers Reunion was held at
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the couple's home here in 1960.

Proud parents of Ann and William James, the Underhills were active in community affairs as a couple until Bill's death on Jan. 22, 1984. As this mural was dedicated, Prudie continued to be an integral part of life in Twentynine Palms, maintaining her membership in a number of civic groups and attending community events on a regular basis.
Erected 1997 by Action 29 Palms. (Marker Number 11.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: CommunicationsEnvironmentIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical date for this entry is April 18, 1935.
Location. 34° 8.269′ N, 116° 3.277′ W. Marker is in Twentynine Palms, California, in San Bernardino County. Marker is on Adobe Road just north of Joshua Drive, on the left when traveling north. Mural and marker cover the east side of the building at this address. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6396 Adobe Road, Twentynine Palms CA 92277, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Keys' Desert Queen Ranch (within shouting distance of this marker); Jack Cones (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Cattle Days in Hidden Valley (about 500 feet away); Good Times at Smith's Ranch (about 500 feet
The Desert Trail Mural image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, June 18, 2014
2. The Desert Trail Mural
away); Flash Flood (approx. 0.2 miles away); Oasis of Mara (approx. 0.2 miles away); Minerva Hamilton Hoyt (approx. 1.2 miles away); Champion of the Desert (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Twentynine Palms.
More about this marker. Mural artist: Susan Smith Evans of Palm Desert, CA
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Oasis of Murals • 29 Palms
Also see . . .
1. The Desert Trail (Facebook). Published every Wednesday by Hi-Desert Publishing Company. (Submitted on January 28, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Old Timers Gathering. This event got its start on the 19th of October 1968, when Prudie and Bill Underhill hosted a gathering in their home. The event was obviously a great success as the following week's Desert Trail reported “William J. Underhill celebrated his 40th year in Twentynine Palms by greeting some 100 guests who attended the open house on Saturday afternoon, many of them friends since his homestead days which started in 1928.” Many of the
The Desert Trail Newspaper • Established 1935 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, June 18, 2014
3. The Desert Trail Newspaper • Established 1935
(mural and marker visible on right)
guests wore “old-fashioned” attire and the menu included such desert delights as 1928 homebrew, diluted oasis spring water, coyote eyeballs, and rattlesnake meat and pellets. (Submitted on January 28, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 29, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 28, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 216 times since then and 79 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 28, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Dec. 2, 2023