HOTELS: Neflie's Boarding House

The little old lady in the crisp white Mother Hubbard and blue gingham sunbonnet looked out of place in Palm Springs, California's gold-plated winter playground for Hollywood stars and Eastern industrialists. So did her horse-drawn buckboard with its "Nellie's Boarding House" sign. Nevertheless, as she rode along Palm Canyon Drive with her two middle-aged sons by her side, the towns people lined the street to wave. They were well aware that without Nellie Coffman the town might not have been what it is today.

As Palm Springs's biggest winter season began last week,...

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