History & Historical Photos

The Cahuilla Indians were the original inhabitants of Cathedral City. Living throughout the Coachella Valley for more than two thousand years, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians established its reservation in 1876, encompassing approximately 28% of Cathedral City.


In 1850, Col. Henry Washington of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers discovered that the area's canyons resembled the interior of a grand cathedral. Recording history, Col. Washington named this canyon of majestic architecture Cathedral Canyon.


In 1925 four early developers--Allen, Grove, Plumley and Van Fleet developed the area's first subdivision and post office, naming it Cathedral City, California.


These historical steps have resulted in the prosperous, expanding and vibrant city existing today.


Cathedral City incorporated in 1981, and, the 18th city in Riverside County‚ Cathedral City is dedicated to providing a quality lifestyle and business climate for residents now and in the future. The Coachella Valley, with a population of 343,377, is the very essence of Southern California lifestyle - a destination of friendly neighborhoods, lush country clubs, diverse shopping and unlimited business potential.

Strategically located, with borders on both side of Interstate 10, Cathedral City is a haven for expanding and relocating businesses. Cathedral City ranks in the top three cities in the Coachella Valley in population, retail sales and total taxable sales.

Business views the region as a triangle of opportunity between Los Angeles and San Diego with Coachella Valley inland equidistant from each. This triangle of commercial businesses, light industry, and professional services is attractive to developers, investors and working families.

 photos are courtesy of The Cathedral City Historical Society