“What’s in a name? When it comes to the Downtown Park adjacent to Palm Springs Art Museum, the question is: What’s not in one? Given that it occupies the land where the famed Desert Inn once stood, many locals wonder why it doesn’t bear the moniker of the dowdy, bespectacled woman who arrived at the dusty Seven Palms train station in 1909 and proceeded to change the town’s destiny. That woman not only built the hotel, but it was her vision and sway that led to America’s love affair with desert vacations and made the village, as the city was then called, a magnet for the rich and famous. Nellie Coffman Park does have a satisfying ring to it.

Despite the nurturing love she bestowed on the town, earning her the sobriquet “Mother Coffman,” there is nary a plaque, a street, or a park commemorating her. It’s not as if doing so would be precedent setting. The swollen ranks of city streets and parks named for celebrities and public servants include Gene Autry, Dinah Shore, Charles Farrell, Frank Bogert, Ruth Hardy, Frances Stevens, and Adolph DeMuth. Even game show host Monty Hall had a street named for him in Cathedral City. While there has been hope that the Downtown Park would be named for Nellie, as of this writing it’s not on the Palm Springs City Council’s radar, let alone its agenda…”

[Read the full article at palmspringslife.com]