Death Valley NP, California - Part 6
Furnace Creek Ranch Resort and Campground

Sept 28 - Oct 1; 5,010 miles and 75 days into the trip.

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The last trip we made in Death Valley was 37 miles north on a little traveled road. It is on the north eastern boundary of the national park. Scottys Castle was donated to California and eventually purchased from the state by the National Park. Its original owner, Albert Johnson graduated from Cornell with a mining engineering degree. But in 1892, just after graduation he was heading west on a train with his father they were in a train accident. His father died and he broke his back. His mining engineering career was over before it started. He ended up making millions in the insurance business in Chicago. He met Scotty and was talked into investing in a gold mine which did not exist. He went out to see the gold mine and fell in love with Death Valley. He bought as much property as he could and started building the castle. Lost most of his money in the stock market crash of ’29.

Even though Scotty took him for a lot of money, they were still friends. Mr. Johnson did not like publicity and allowed Scotty to manage the property and claim it as his, even though it was not. Because of Scotty’s past, he had many stories to tell, most of them not completely true. But the Johnsons important visitors really enjoyed them.

Mr. Johnson’s engineering education proved very helpful during the building of the castle. The natural springs on the property, which produce over 2 million gallons a day, were used to generate electricity. He had electric lights and appliances before anyone else in the valley.


At Scottys Castle, waiting for the tour to start.

On tour in the living room.

He also had running water before anyone else in the valley.
They used a lot of hand made tiles through out the house.


The main guest house was connected to the main house by a bridge on the second floor. The bridge went over the courtyard below.

The main guest house is on the right.
The tower in the background is over his power house. The power house, when first built, only used water powered electric generators. In the 1940’s they added diesel powered generators. In the late 50’s electrical power was brought in from Hoover Dam.


One of the many springs on the property.

They have coyotes which roam the property during the day looking for handouts from the tourists.

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