Thursday, March 12, 2009

Death Valley Ranch or Scotty’s Castle

Our first full day here in Death Valley was warm.  We started at 9 am on our ventures.  First was Scotty’s Castle.  We did two tours here, the first at 10, the Castle, which was an hour long.  The second tour was of the tunnels under the Castle, lots and lots of tunnels.  DSC_0165

Scotty’s Castle is a two story Spanish Villa in Grapevine Canyon, in Death Valley.   The villa was constructed as a desert vacation home for Chicago insurance executive Albert Johnson, his wife Bessie and their friend Walter Scott. 

Scott was a prospector who was known as “Death Valley Scotty”.  Scotty was a gold prospector, who claimed to have found gold.  Johnson invested in Scotty’s gold mine, never got a return on his money but became life long friends.

Construction of the Castle began in 1925 and continued until 1931 when the effects of the Depression stopped any further building.

A few more building were to be constructed and a swimming pool.  The tile for the pool area had been purchased and to this day is still stored in the tunnels under the Castle.  DSC_0167 

This was the pool, it was dug but never completed.


The pool tile was stacked along the walls in the tunnels.


The tiles for the pool were from California.


The tiles for the kitchen sink were imported from Spain. P1010857






Picture of the main living area was taken from the second floor balcony.   All the furniture in the house is original. 


The dining room started out as the library.  The dishes on the left side of picture were all imported from Spain. 

We must have taken 100 pictures, but here are just a few. 

After the tours we moved to the Stovepipe Wells Campground, more centrally located in the park.  It’s not really a campground just a large parking lot for 100 MNs.  They charge $12.00 a night, but much better then driving 50 miles to see the sights.

On our way back toP1010905  the MH this little fellow wanted to meet us.  I guess he is a regular in the park and wants you to stop and feed him.  Not me we just kept on driving. 



We have no internet connection here in the park so not sure when the blog will get updated.  I will just keep writing and saving them. 

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