Cabot Yerxa followed his heart and created an iconic place
Cabot’s Pueblo in Desert Hot Springs is marvel of engineering and design. The home was built beginning in 1941 and was always intended to be a museum in addition to the residence for adventurer Cabot and his teacher-wife, Portia Yerxa.
The Hopi-inspired building is handmade and created from reclaimed and found materials from throughout the Coachella Valley. Cabot used recovered lumber from his original homestead built in 1925 on the other end of Miracle Hill. Additionally, he purchased abandoned cabins and dismantled them to use the materials for the Pueblo, going so far as to straighten out used nails.
Much of the Pueblo is made from adobe-style and sun-dried bricks Cabot made himself in the courtyard. Filled with Native American art and artifacts, souvenirs of Cabot’s travels around the world, displays on Native American Rights, and Cabot’s own works of art, the Pueblo Museum officially opened to the public in 1949. The Pueblo has four stories, is 5,000 square feet and includes 35 rooms, 150 windows, 30 rooflines and 65 doors.
While walking around the grounds you will see the “Waokiye” an amazing carved statue. Waokiye (Y-oh-kee-ay) means “Traditional Helper” in the Lakota language. Carved by artist Peter “Wolf” Toth, Waokiye was completed in May 1978. Waokiye’s face is 22 feet tall and was carved from a single 45-ton Sequoia redwood log that was donated to the museum. The feather is 15 feet tall and was created from an incense cedar from Idyllwild.
During your adventure you will visit the Pueblo and experience the story of Cabot Yerxa and discover how he built his incredible home. Each tour is approximately 55 minutes long and is limited to 12 people. Tickets are purchased on a first-come, first-served basis.
October through May
Tuesday-Sunday (closed Monday), 9am-4pm
9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am, 1:30pm, 2:30pm
June through September
Wednesday-Saturday (closed Sunday-Tuesday), 9am-1pm
9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am
During the warmer months, guests are advised to be prepared with water and sunscreen.
$13 per person, $11 for seniors, active military and children ages 6-12
Tickets are sold on first-come, first-served basis.
For more information visit CabotsMuseum.org or call (760) 329-7610. Cabot’s Pueblo Museum is located at 67616 E. Desert View Ave. in Desert Hot Springs.
Lynne Tucker is a travel writer and photojournalist based in Palm Desert.