The Forgotten Oasis: “The Black Palm Springs”

0 Posted by - July 3, 2018 - Black History, History, LATEST POSTS

Val Verde, California was considered the Black Palm Springs. During the 1930s through the 1960s blacks had their own recreation haven where they could gather for family outings, or just have a weekday outing with family and friends.

The area had been called Eureka Villa before the development in 1928, then it became an independent township and residents changed the name to Val Verde. By the 1930s, the area was wildly popular, mainly because “it was one of only a few places blacks could go for recreation. Many African Americans also jumped at the opportunity to own a part of “Black Palm Springs.” Many of them bought land and built vacation homes in Val Verde.

In 1939 Mr Harry Waterman a white real estate investor took an interest in the community and donated 53 acres for a park which would be named Val Verde Park located at 30300 W. Arlington Road, Val Verde, Ca. County officials enlisted federal WPA workers to construct a bathhouse and pool, more than 3,500 people attended the 1939 dedication, reported the California Eagle.

By the 1970’s Val Verde Park had started to experience a trickling of African Americans on Summer holidays compared to previous decades.

 

sources:

http://laist.com/2008/05/03/laistory_val_ve.php#photo-1

http://articles.latimes.com/1994-03-02/news/mn-28975_1_val-verde

2 Comments

  • mackare jones July 3, 2018 - 12:42 pm Reply

    There were not many White men like Mr Waterman who would spend money to benefit African people in America then and now.

  • Adrianne M Brown November 12, 2018 - 2:16 pm Reply

    Our family the Reagans the jenkins the Saddlers, Williams Gaston’s and Maclarens moved there after visiting in the summer my father moved our home to 30030San Martinez Rd which still stands today! The rest of the family aquired property and we had our little haven there up and down San Martinez Rd. Our family settled there until the late 1900’s!

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