Via Photos and words by Mike Satterfield

Along Interstate 10 past Palm Springs you might see a sign for Desert Center, the town was founded in 1921 to serve as pit-stop on the long drive between Phoenix and Los Angeles. Originally just a hand dug well and small shack to repair cars. The town was the vision of Stephen A. Ragsdale who forced the city into existence and built the Cafe and Gas Station. In 1942 when the Army needed a place to train tank troops to fight in North Africa, and the sparse desert surrounding Desert Center were perfect. After the Army left Desert Center quickly shrunk and today is home to about 200 people. The cafe is still open for lunch...sometimes, but it has seen better days. 

The Desert Center Cafe and Chevron Gas Station in he early 50's