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Historical society names David Smith as 2022 Old Timer of the Year

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The Twentynine Palms Historical Society is proud to present its 2022 Old Timer of the Year honoree, David Smith.

Along with Pioneer Days Grand Marshal Oscar Bailey, Smith will be recognized during the society’s Old Timers Gathering scheduled for 1 to 4 pm Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Old Schoolhouse Museum, 6760 National Park Drive.

David Smith is the child of William Smith, who homesteaded in 29 Palms in 1926. William married Thelma Mead in 1930, and a year later gave birth to Raymond, the first registered native birth in Twentynine Palms. Five more children arrived later, including Dave. This pioneer family worked together as a unit to keep the “ranch” running smoothly. Ranch work includes water delivery, dairy, movie projection, ice cream parlor, snack bar, ice house, trailer park, and drive-in theater.

Smith’s Ranch became a community gathering place. It was an oasis in the desert for early pioneers to socialize and be entertained. One of the buildings on the ranch served as a temporary school. A large building on the property served the community as a gym, square dance hall, skating ring, and dramatic productions.

Dave and Pat Smith, along with their family, have invested time and money to keep the ranch running and preserve its existence. The large hall was used in the mid-1990s for numerous community events, to include the installation of officers of the Chamber of Commerce and the Global Convention of Murals sponsored by Action Council 29. It is used today for community events, social gatherings, and private events. This building, a part of our heritage and history, exists because of Dave’s perseverance and hard work. The facility has brought the community together and contributed to its improvement.

The Smith family has served this community for almost 100 years and five generations. It is with great pleasure that the 29 Palms Historical Society names Dave Smith as our 2022 Old Timer of the year Honoree.

About “Old Timer of the Year”

The Old Timer of the Year program was created by the historical society in 2014 to honor early or long-time residents who have contributed significantly to the development or improvement of the community. It recognizes “everyday heroes” whose contributions and efforts over the years have largely gone unsung.

2022 honoree David Smith joins a distinguished group:

Thurman Carson (2021)
Jerry Hagman (2020)
Pat Rimmington (2019)
Don Bolster (2018)
Ann Congdon and Cheryl Erickson (2017)
Dave Brownell and Walt and Velma Holland (2016)
Bob and Edie Carter (2015)
Marilyn Fernald and Nolan Lockwood (2014).

For more information and to learn how to nominate someone for the 2023 award, go online to www.29palmshistorical.com/OldTimer_Year.php

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