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Deepwell Ranch Estates Bike Tour

A tree-lined street in Deepwell Ranch Estates

Central Palm Springs Bike Tour

Deepwell Ranch Neighborhood History

George Fitch, Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, purchased the land in 1895 and had planted an orchard of apricot trees. A 10-year drought followed and in 1911, Oliver McKinney and his wife Rose arrived in Palm Springs looking for a home site and took the lease on the Fitch property.

The McKinney’s planted castor bean trees to supply the U.S. armed forces with castor oil. However, the men who controlled the water supply (Whitewater ditch), were interested in developing the northern part of town and closed the water supply. The McKinney’s were forced into abandoning their hopes and the property.

Henry Parsons, eminent scientist and writer, came to the property in 1926 and the first thing he did was drill a well. Although he found water at 100 feet, he drilled further until he hit 613 feet where he stopped because 13 was his lucky number. Having the deepest water well in the Coachella Valley, he called the place Deep Well, and the name stuck.

Parsons sold it in 1928 to Charles Doyle who converted it to Deep Well Guest Ranch. It changed hands a few times, but remained a ranch. In 1951 it was purchased by local developer, William Grant, and subdivided it into a custom home development. The long, low, one-story houses were and still are a mixture of Spanish Colonial Revival, Ranch, and midcentury modern.

Deepwell Ranch Estates

Begin Palm Springs Bike Tour

A good place to begin your Palm Springs Bike Tour is the corner of Indian Trail and East Palm Canyon Drive. Indian Trail will angle right onto Camino Real. At the split you will see Villa Royale. Villa Royal is an amazing Spanish style boutique hotel. It was used for the TV series Mad Men (season 2).

Deepwell Ranch Estates

Follow Camino Real to Calle Palo Fierro turning right. Continue to Mesquite Avenue and turn right.

Ginny Simms – 1139 Mesquite Ave. – Big Band singer and MGM contract actress. Seen here at the 1957 Palm Springs Police Show.

ginny simms
Credit: Palm Springs Historical Society.

Loretta Young – 1075 S Manzanita Av. (corner of Mesquite). Actress and Oscar winner for The Farmers Daughter (1947) and Emmy for The Loretta Young Show (1953).

loretta young 1943
Studio Image, 1943

Turn right on Calle Rolph.

Carmen Maranda Home – 1044 Calle Rolph

Marjorie Main Home – 1290 Calle Rolph – Vaudeville, Broadway and film actress. Known best as Ma Kettle in the Ma and Pa Kettle movies.

marjorie main

Robert Livingston – 1321 S Calle Rolph –  Sci-fi and cowboy Actor.

Oscar Mayer – 1353 Calle Rolph – Grandson of the original Oscar Mayer of Chicago who made it famous as a leader in hot dogs and sandwich meats.

Deepwell Ranch Estates house

Continue your Palm Springs Bike Tour South to Sonora Road and turn right. Go one block and turn right again at Sagebrush Road.

Jerry Lewis Home – 1349 Sagebrush Road

Deepwell Ranch Estates house

Turn Left at Ocotillo Ave. and again at Driftwood Drive.

William Holden Home – 1323 Driftwood Drive

william holden house palm springs

Turn right at Deepwell Road and continue west.  It will run into South Deepwell road which will bring you back to East Palm Canyon Drive where you began. There are many more streets to explore in this neighborhood with architectural examples that has helped define the iconic Palm Springs midcentury style. While this tour just introduces you to the neighborhood, now that you know your way around, do some exploring!

By Randy Garner

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