The Unofficial History Of Deepwell

Chapter Three

In 1912, after George Hamilton Fitch was defeated by the 10 year drought, he sold to a man named Walker who replanted apricots, olive and pepper trees.
In 1916, Oliver McKinney leased and later acquired Fitches land and planted apricots, alfalfa and castor bean trees. Unfortunately, water control was diverted to the north end of town so everything died except the hardy castor beans.
A decade later, Henry Pearson, a scientist, purchased the property. He drilled a well and hit water at 100 feet. With scientific curiosity, he drilled even deeper passing several water stratum and quit at 630 feet. Thus the name Deepwell was coined. A ranch house with guest house was built by Alva Hicks.
In 1928 Chrlie Doyle bought and converted the structures into the Deepwell Guest Ranch with accommodations for 22 guests. It was really more like a resort than a dude ranch.
The following year Doyle sold to Major Everetts and Carrol Smith. They created hacienda-type buildings around patios. Two years later, the Bennetts and the Boyds first operated, then purchased the ranch.

Frank and Melba Bennett ran the ranch for the next 18 years. Phil and Dorothy Boyd lived in the village (Phil became the first mayor of Palm Springs in 1938). He built the first few homes next to the ranch and named the streets after horses – Pinto and Palomino.
In 1949, the ranch and twenty surrounding acres were leased to Yoland Markson of Boston. The acreage was then subdivided. Bill Grant, a locally popular developer of Thunderbird Ranch was purchaser and developer. Later streets were named after desert flora – Cactus, Manzanita, Ocotillo, Mesquite, Palm Tree, Driftwood and Sagebrush.
La Paz Dude Ranch was turned into a hotel in 1950. Eventually it became La Paz Condominiums. L’Horizon, adjacent property later became Suntan Lane. In the sixties, a theater-in-the-round featuring world famous performers was located behind Biltmore Place.
Bill Bone, a major valley developer built Deepwell Condominiums on the original Boyd-Bennett ranch site in 1970. Cougars and boa constrictors in Deepwell! We will cover that curiosity and their celebrity keepers in the next newsletter.


   
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