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Cathedral City

in the 1950s, 60s & 70s

Frank Sinatra

Honorary Mayor

Frank Sinatra became the first honorary mayor of Cathedral City in 1967.

Frank and his buddies had a huge song-fest to raise money to build the St. Louis Catholic Church, where his mother Dollie attended church along with several other celebrities.


The church is very distinctive with a large gold cross and sits between C and D streets in the Cathedral City Cove.

Honorary Mayor Frank Sinatra with a Cathedral City official

Frank Sinatra and a Cathedral City official

Pat McMahon, Postmaster. Rescued by John F Kennedy during WWII.

Pat McMahon, rescued by JFK

during WWII

Pat McMahon

Rescued by JFK

Cathedral City Postmaster Pat McMahon was appointed by President John F. Kennedy.


Lieut. (j.g.) John F. Kennedy  rescued  his wounded-crewmate Pat during World War II in the Solomon Islands, while serving on U.S. Navy PT-109 (patrol-torpedo craft).  Pat was a machinist's mate first class.

(Information gleaned from The New York Times.)

Date Festival Queen & her Court 1960s

The Queen & her Court, Indio Date Festival 1960s

Queen Scheherazade

Indio Date Festival, 1960s

Vicky Palmer (in white) as Queen Scheherazade at the Indio Date Festival, Riverside County Fair in the 1960s.


Vicky is the daughter of Pearl and John Palmer, who lived on Moonlight Drive in Cathedral City.

Postcard... Place Stamp Here

"When the eastern states are shivering in sub-zero temperatures, these desert winter guests are enjoying the warm waters of the Delux Trailer Park pool, and

real desert living under

a warm desert sun."

Hwy 111 with market, businesses and vintage cars 1950s postcard

Hwy 111, Looking West

towards Mt. San Jacinto

With the snow-capped peaks of Mt. San Jacinto in the distance, Cathedral City hums along in sunshine and warmth under a deep-blue sky.

Hwy 111 with visitors and vintage cars - postcard

Highway 111, Looking West

Hwy 111, through Cathedral City in the 1950s.  Notice the four-lane highway.

Postcard with Cathedral Canyon Cove and Hwy 111

Double Image:

Cathedral Canyon Cove &

Hwy 111

"One of the fastest growing cities on the California desert with modern stores and shops for the tourist's every need.  Located only a few miles east of Palm Springs and nestled against the copper-hued mountains which form the southern rim of Coachella Valley."

1950s Hwy 111 with Merle Norman and vintage cars, Cathedral City, CA

Downtown Cathedral City

1950s-era photo taken along Hwy 111, the main artery through the area.  The city even had a Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio.  Note the 50s-era automobiles.

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