Death Valley Ranch

October 08, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Also known as Scotty's Castle.  You'll find it in the northern reaches of Death Valley National Park in California.

Far away from where a lot of the tourists flock, trying to fry their eggs on the sidewalk.  (hint: use an old school blackened cast iron skillet)

(There's a wealth of knowledge out there on the genesis of the ranch, which you'd normally find at the National Park Service website.  But since they are shut down, that info is evidently being withheld.  I'll update this when the U.S. government gets their recto cranial inversion treated.)

Fortunately, there is wikipedia to scavenge information from:

Construction began on Scotty's Castle in 1922, and cost between $1.5 and $2.5 million. Prospector, performer, and con man Walter Scott born in Cynthiana, Kentucky, also known as “Death Valley Scotty”, convinced Chicago millionaire Albert Mussey Johnson to invest in his gold mine in the Death Valley area. Though initially angered when the mine turned out to be fraudulent, Johnson was fascinated with the colorful Scott and the two men struck up an unlikely friendship. By 1937, Johnson had acquired more than 1,500 acres (610 ha) in Grapevine Canyon, where the ranch is located.

After Johnson and his wife made several trips to the region, and his health improved, construction began. It was Mrs. Johnson's idea to build something comfortable for their vacations in the area, and the villa eventually became a winter home.  

I visited  a year or so ago and took the tour, inside and out.  These are a couple fixtures found in the main house.  They are early 1920's art made from steel, wood, leather, and who knows what else.

Shot with the Nikon D3 and the venerable 28-70 ƒ2.8 at 50mm and ISO 560.  Looking back through some of these images, I'd really like to visit again.  But that will have to wait for another day. And our broken government.

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Siochán leat, S.E.G.

I miss you, Pop.


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