Serving the High Desert Since 1952

Toll Free 800-393-4894
Desert Knolls Convalescent Hospital

Phone: 760-245-0107
Toll-Free: 800-393-4894
Alt: 760-245-6477

Welcome to Knolls West  & Desert Knolls

The History of Knolls West and Desert Knolls...

Beginning in 1951, Kenneth and Marie Bechtold moved to the High Desert in search of a community where they could rear their four sons and establish their dream of caring for the elderly. After a couple of years were spent on enlarging their home, they opened up their doors to supply convalescent care. With just three residents to care for, and a house full of boys, Kenneth and Marie began their dream!

For Kenneth, an alumnus of Kansas State University, preparing meals, cleaning house, and washing residents laundry was now the norm; while Marie's training as a registered nurse enabled her to provide medical, as well as personal care to their residents.

Approximately four years later, in 1957, Ken and Marie finished building their first facility, The "Apple Valley Nursing Home", which could accommodate as many as sixteen residents. Marie became the Director of Nursing, while Ken assumed the Administrative duties.

Marie and Kenneth joined together with their four sons, Dennis, Gary, Larry and Fred, in 1963, to begin "laying the block" on what would later be named "Desert Knolls Convalescent Hospital." This thirty-six-bed facility was completed in 1964.

Ken & Marie

By 1966, Desert Knolls had grown to accommodate fifty-six residents. This was the first of many expansion endeavors taken on by the Bechtold family. In 1968, Desert Knolls expanded once again to 75-beds, in 1970, 98-beds, and in 1975, a skilled-nursing unit was added to the facility, which brought the final total to 126 accommodations.

In that same year, Ken and Marie's sons were coming up with an agreement to step in and take over the family business so as to allow their mother and father to retire.

Knolls West main entranceDesert Knolls entrance

Later on, our sister facility was born. "Knolls West Residential Care" was built in 1980 with the consideration of the elderly requiring less care than that of the traditional convalescent home. Six years later, in 1986, "Knolls West Convalescent Hospital" was constructed adjacent to Knolls West Residential Care and opened originally as a 62-bed facility. Our latest expansion development occurring in 2003 is the addition to Knolls West Convalescent. This is being expanded to now accommodate 98 residents.

You will find that the history of Desert Knolls/Knolls West is quite extensive. Before the initial construction ever began, there was a dream; a dream that both my grandmother and grandfather set out to accomplish. This couple collectively built a legacy that has lasted well past their departure from this earth and will last for generations to come. It is still our strongest aspiration to continue to provide the finest level of care and attention to the resident's we serve.

Freddie Bechtold, Jr.

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