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Cabot's Old Indian Pueblo Museum

Highlighted New Listing – March 9, 2012

Riverside County, CA


In 1941, 60-year old Cabot Abram Yerxa, born in the Dakota Territory on the Lakota Sioux Reservation and one-time interpreter for the Inupiak Native Americans in Nome, Alaska, began his greatest achievement, building Cabot’s Old Indian Museum. An artist and Native American advocate, he built his rambling four-story structure, patterned after those built by the Hopi Indians of the Southwest. Designed and built without the use of any formal architectural documents, the finalized museum and the guest house (“Nellie’s House”) borrowed much from the multi-tier, baked-clay dwellings of the historic Pueblos.


Completed and opened to the public as a Trading Post, Museum/Art gallery and personal residence in 1944, it was a noted feature of the town of Desert Hot Springs, California. In 1945 Cabot married Portia Graham (1884-1969), a lecturer and teacher of metaphysics and Theosophy at a school she founded in Morongo Valley, and for the next 20 years artists, tourists and people interested in metaphysical philosophy came through Cabot’s Old Indian Museum. Cabot himself would lecture on Native American culture. After his death in 1965, Cabot’s Old Indian Pueblo Museum was left vacant for four years until it was purchased by Cole Eyraud, a member of the Desert Hot Springs Council. After Eyraud’s death, the family deeded the property to the city, who are now the current owners of the museum and shop.


National Register of Historic Places


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Taken on March 23, 2012