GSM 2013 March Death Valley - Day 6 - Scotty's Castle
Apr 22, 2013Public
Photo: Scotty's Castle is a two-story Mission Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival style villa located in the Grapevine Mountains of northern Death Valley. It is also known as Death Valley Ranch.
Photo: Scotty's Castle is not a real castle, and it did not belong to the "Scotty" (Walter Scott) from whom it got its name. Scotty died in 1954 and was buried on the hill overlooking Scotty's Castle next to his beloved dog. You can see his grave marker on the hilltop at the far right.
Photo: 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, KY, also known as “Death Valley Scotty”, convinced Chicago millionaire Albert Mussey Johnson to invest in his gold mine in the Death Valley area.
Photo: By 1937, Johnson had acquired more than 1,500 acres in Grapevine Canyon, where the ranch is located.
Photo: 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.
Photo: The Johnsons hired Martin de Dubovay as the architect, Mat Roy Thompson as the engineer and head of construction, and Charles Alexander MacNeilledge as the designer.
Photo: The U.S. National Park Service gives guided tours of Scotty's Castle. Park rangers dress in 1930s style clothes to help take the visitor back in time.
Photo: Unknown to the Johnsons, the initial survey was incorrect, and the land they built Death Valley Ranch on was actually government land; their land was further up Grapevine Canyon. Construction halted as they resolved this mistake, but before it could resume, the stock market crashed in 1929, making it difficult for Johnson to finish construction.
Photo: Having lost a considerable amount of money, the Johnsons used the Death Valley Ranch to produce income by letting rooms out. The Johnsons died without heirs and had hoped that the National Park Service would purchase the property, and in 1970, the National Park Service purchased the villa for $850,000 from the Gospel Foundation, to which the Johnsons had left the property.
Photo: Scotty's Castle is also known as Death Valley Ranch.
Photo: The Johnsons' original furnishings and clothing can still be seen today.
Photo: Scotty convinced everyone that he had built the castle with money from his rich secret mines in the area. Albert Mussey Johnson actually built the house as a vacation getaway for himself and his wife Bessie.
Photo: Scotty was the mystery, the cowboy, and the entertainer, but he was also a friend. Albert was the brains and the money. Two men as different as night and day, from different worlds and with different visions - who shared a dream.
Photo: The Johnsons' original furnishings can still be seen today.
Photo: Headboard in "Scotty's Room", although Scotty himself rarely stayed in the castle proper, staying mainly at his cabin in Lower Vine Ranch, and putting in appearances at the castle to entertain dinner guests with his stories.
Photo: Dining room table
Photo: A ceramic plate that Scotty said he left half in the sun and half in the shade.  He claimed that Death Valley in the summer was so hot that the part in the sun curled.
Photo: Kitchen with original furnishings