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About

Rancho Mirage

Nestled in the heart of the Coachella Valley, Rancho Mirage stands as a historically rich city with a captivating past. Originally inhabited by the Cahuilla Native American tribe, this region bore witness to the passage of Spanish explorers in the 18th century. Turning a page in history, it was during the mid-20th century that Rancho Mirage truly flourished, becoming a coveted destination for the Hollywood elite seeking respite and luxury. Renowned for its lavish resorts, golf courses, and breathtaking vistas, Rancho Mirage has evolved into a vibrant desert oasis, where the echoes of its storied past harmoniously blend with the modern allure of its present-day attractions. To learn more about the evolution of the vibrant city we call Rancho Mirage, click the button below and view our extensive timeline!

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1973

1979

Your City

The Early Years

It’s known as the “Playground of Presidents” — a 25-square-mile stretch of palm-dotted land in the heart of Southern California’s Coachella Valley. Dwight D. Eisenhower lent his name to the city’s renowned medical center. Gerald Ford lived here through the final days of his life. Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all visited Sunnylands, the famous, pink-walled estate of the late publishing magnate and ambassador Walter and Leonore Annenberg.

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Pre-Incorporation

Rancho Mirage

The postwar consumer boom increased tourism southeast of Palm Springs, and the lifestyle focused outdoor recreation encouraged many visitors to put down roots in the area that would soon become Rancho Mirage. In the late 1940s, several agricultural ranches were converted into guest ranches. The creation and success of a city is usually based on geography or economy or a combination of both. San Francisco flourished due to its proximity to the gold rush; Los Angeles had a major international port as well as the movie industry. Fort Worth grew from the stockyards, New York from the stock exchange. Rancho Mirage owes its growth to the rapid success of two country clubs created in the early 1950s: Thunderbird and Tamarisk.

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1951

1946

History Timeline

Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians

In 1876, President Ulysses S. Grant set aside land in an executive order allotting a checkerboard of even-numbered sections as the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation

Thunderbird Country Club

Thunderbird Country Club opens with the desert’s first 18-hole golf course. Tire company exec Leonard Firestone is among the first buyers

Eisenhower Medical Center

Eisenhower Medical Center opens

Incorporation

Voters approve incorporation and elect the first City Council in July. Rancho Mirage incorporated as a city on August 3, and City Council elects William Rawitzer mayor

City Hall

Construction of an 18,000-square-foot City Hall completed; it would be remodeled and expanded in 1996

Sunnylands

Sunnylands Center & Gardens opens to the public

50th Anniversary

August 3rd, 2023 the City of Rancho Mirage turned 50, its golden birthday.
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