In 1933 William J. "Bill" Lage, one of the ailing WW1 veterans who came to Twentynine Palms in hopes of improving their health, foresaw a very practical, personal need, as well as a community need for a cemetery in Twentynine Palms. So, he initiated discussions with some of his American Legion "buddies," including Tom Martin, Bill Underhill, and Constable Jack Cones. As a result of those initial talks, District Attorney Stanley Mussell, his Chief Deputy, James. L. King, and Coroner Williams met with the local Chamber of Commerce officials and other citizens at the Legion Cafe on Tuesday evening, 28 November 1933, in an informal discussion of plans for providing a cemetery to this community. Those attending the meeting agreed that of the several locations that had been offered for a cemetery, the tract offered by Bill Lage was the most suitable. It was also agreed that Mr. King would draw up the necessary papers, and a petition requesting that the County Board of Supervisors authorize the creation of the Twentynine Palms Cemetery Distrist would begin circulation within the next few days.
The petition was circulated and 52 signatures were obtained and, on 22 January 1934 it was filed with the county. The cemetery became a Public Cemetery District by resolution of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on 19 February 1934.
On 1 March 1934, the American Legion Corporation of Twentynine Palms deeded the 20 acres of land previously donated by Bill Lage to the Cemetery District.
The District originally included the entire Twentynine Palms Judicial Township. However, on 16 March 1936 the County Board of Supervisors authorized the release of the west ten townships from the District.
Twentynine Palms Cemetery District is a self-governed special district of San Bernardino County. A five-member board of trustees, appointed by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, on recommendation of the local board, governs the Cemetery District and thus, establishes policy for the cemetery. Members of the Cemetery District Board of Trustees serve four-year terms.
The cemetery is supported by tax money received from property within the established cemetery district boundaries. As a Public Cemetery District it provides burial for all qualifying district residents and their families.
The cemetery facilities now cover 30 acres, 20 of which are currently developed, and handles approximately 50 burials each year.