The Township of Garnet was begun around 1876
when the Southern Pacific Railroad was built
across the Coachella Valley. Gravel from the
adjacent Garnet Hill was used in the construction
across the sand dunes, and Tamarisk trees planted.
The Whitewater River alluvial fan spead eastward
across the desert to the south and the Desert Hot
Springs alluvial fans spread southward across the
desert to the north.
Indian Avenue brought access to Palm Springs to
the south and to Desert Hot Springs to the north
by the turn of the century. Eventually, Interstate
10 brought huge volumes of traffic across the Valley
and the rapid progress and development we now see.
Early housing was built just west of the depot and
siding at Garnet, and some still remains. A new
depot replaced the long lost 19th century one.
A western style plan characterizes the business
developments in Garnet, although no typical western
town ever appeared. Gravel Mining, Welding, Furniture
and Fuel have been the mainstays, but Garnet now
includes a new BLM office in the southwest area, and
a new commercial district in the nothwest side of
town includes Harley Davidson Motorcycles. The
offramp now has a large truckstop.
In recent years, wind power development has further
developed this township and it now is a major
energy producer. Several generations of windmill
technology have upgraded this area to world class
wind power status, and a bright energy future is
assured. Large transmission lines connect the mills
to California's power grid.
But Garnet still has a natural open desert look
and feel, and is now ready for a new plan and era
as a Western Environmental Center which combines
its western heritage with the new age environmental
features, products, systems and designs now available.
It has an excellent infrastructure of roads, water,
power, central location and wonderful views, including
broad vistas of the Santa Rosa Mountains National
Monument, Mt. San Gorgonio, Mt. San Jacinto, Palm
Springs Tram, Angel View Ridge, Palm Springs, Desert
Hot Springs and Joshua Tree National Park.