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Before the City

Cathedral Canyon from the top - 1926.jpg

Cathedral Canyon

Taken in April 1926, this photo overlooks the Canyon.  You see only pristine desert land sweeping down through the canyon, across the cove and on to the desert flatland.

The idea of purchasing land and subdividing it for sale originated the previous year, in 1925.  A well was dug and a storage tank with delivery lines added.  Individual lots were offered for sale on January 1, 1927.

It all started with a free barbecue and transportation from Palm Springs for potential bidders on the lots.

Cathedral Canyon from the Top, Looking North - 1926

Early Aerial View - Cathedral City Area

The ribbon of highway running along the mountains and coves is Highway 111.  When Cathedral City got its start, the developers named it Broadway.

Aerial View before Cathedral City existed - 1920s

Aerial View before the City was Built

Bradshaw Trail

The Bradshaw Trail

In 1862, William Bradshaw established The Bradshaw Trial.


He created it as an overland stage route from San Bernardino, California through Agua Caliente (now the Palm Springs area) on through what is now Cathedral City and on to La Paz, Arizona (now Ehrenberg).


Gold had been discovered in La Paz, and as a former Forty-Niner, he realized the need for a direct route to the newly discovered gold-fields.

Gold miners, other passengers and supplies traversed this heavily-used route, particularly between 1862 - 1877.

Many folks came to Palm Springs via horse-drawn conveyances to visit and settle down.  This was prior to the completion of the railroad.

There was a stagecoach stop in Cathedral City, behind where Target is now located.

The Bradshaw Trail still exists today.  The Bureau of Land Management maintains it.  They recommend four-wheel-drive vehicles, however.

Photo courtesy of the Palm Springs Historical Society

Stagecoach on The Bradshaw Trail

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