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

Smiley Place

 
 
Smiley Place Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, January 13, 2011
1. Smiley Place Marker
Inscription. In 1926 Smiley Place was built by Dr. Harry W. Smiley. It served as the first medical office in Indio, as well as a residence for he and his wife, Frances. The Smiley's made significant contributions to the social and medical development of the Indio community.
 
Erected 1994 by Coachella Valley Historical Society, Inc. in cooperation with the Billy Holcomb Chapter No. 1069, E Clampus Vitus and the Riverside County Historical Commission. (Marker Number 65.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus marker series.
 
Location. 33° 43.279′ N, 116° 13.394′ W. Marker is in Indio, California, in Riverside County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Miles Avenue and Daglet Noor Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is located just inside the gated entrance to the Coachella Valley Museum and Cultural Center. Marker is at or near this postal address: 82616 Miles Avenue, Indio CA 92201, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. 1909 Indio Schoolhouse (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line but has been reported missing); Dr. June Robertson McCarroll
Coachella Valley Museum and Cultural Center image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, January 13, 2011
2. Coachella Valley Museum and Cultural Center
(approx. 0.3 miles away); Jimmy Swaggart's "Date" (approx. 0.6 miles away); Indian Wells (approx. 6.6 miles away); Dwight David Eisenhower (approx. 6.6 miles away).
 
Regarding Smiley Place. The adobe wall around the Smiley Place property is one of the few such examples in the area. The house has behind it perhaps the last remaining building of its type in the Coachella Valley. It is called a "submarine." The building is covered with burlap, the same material as used in so-called "gunny sacks." The water tower next to the submarined house would be filled and pipes and tubes arranged so as to drip water all around the roof of the house. Evaporation of the water would cool the house often by 30 degrees. SOURCE: Billy Holcomb Chapter 1069 35th Anniversary Plaque Book by Phillip Holdaway
 
Categories. Notable BuildingsScience & Medicine
 
Water Tower image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, January 13, 2011
3. Water Tower
Submarine image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, January 13, 2011
4. Submarine
Desert submarines were first built in the Coachella Valley in the early 1920s. The first subs were designed as sleeping rooms measuring only about 8 X 10 feet. Others were built as cooling rooms for produce and milk. A much later model served as a four-bed ward in one of Indios first hospitals.

In the late 1950s a hundred or more were still in use in the Southern Pacific Railroad yards as sleeping rooms for train crews. The submarine has all but disappeared today.

The cooling process used was a very simple one. Water from the center pipe trickled down over the burlap-covered metal walls, and through the natural process of evaporation, the interior was cooled. Years later this process led to the development of the evaporative cooler still popular today.

Donated by: Henry Withrow
Plaqced by: Paul Curtwright
July 1987
Submarine image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, January 13, 2011
5. Submarine
Water Tower image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, January 13, 2011
6. Water Tower
This water tower was erected originally in 1921 on the M.H. Whittier Ranch at the corner of Avenue 48 and Jackson Street in the Coachella Valley.

It is 60 feet tall. It was placed over the water well and the water was pumped to the tank of 8000 gallons. The combined weight of the water and the height provided adequate water pressure for the homes and packing sheds on the sight.

It was moved here as a memorial to Hubert Richert, Date Grower, by his children.

1993
Water Tower image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, January 13, 2011
7. Water Tower
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 19, 2011, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. This page has been viewed 743 times since then and 49 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on December 19, 2011, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California.   2. submitted on December 26, 2011, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California.   3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on December 25, 2011, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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