Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Scotty’s Castle

For those that have never heard of Scotty’s castle, it is named after a guy that was called Death Valley Scotty. He had been a cowboy out in Wyoming back in the late 1800’s and was in Buffalo Bills Wild West Show for 10 to 12 years as a Cowboy, he traveled all over the US and into Europe in the show until he was late getting to the opening of the show
One year and was fired.
 He traveled out to Death Valley and was supposed to be a miner, but what he actually was, was a con man, but a very likeable con man. He got many people to invest in his “Gold Mine” in Death Valley but never paid any returns and people invested lots of money with him.
One of these people was a millionaire called Albert Johnson. He was very educated mining engineer and made lots of money. After a train crash that broke his back in several places he had to change careers and became a very successful insurance man and owned his own insurance company.
 After meeting Walter “Death Valley” Scotty he decided to invest money in the gold mine that Scotty claimed he had. After several years of no returns and all kinds of excuses by Scotty, he decided to travel to Death Valley himself and look at the mine.
He eventually liked the area so much that he built the mansion that was to become Scotty’s Castle. Him and Scotty became very good friends, even tho Scotty had conned him out of lots of money and he actually took care of Scotty and his estranged wife and son and Scotty actually had his own bedroom at the Castle and when people visited he told them that he owned the castle and built it with all the money from his gold mine.

He was such a great story teller that Mr Johnson kept Scotty around just for the entertainment. Mr and Mrs Johnson eventually ran low on money due to several reasons
And started conducting tours and also letting people stay at the mansion for a fee.

Mrs Johnson”Bessie” died in an auto accident in 1943 and her husband died 4 years later. Scotty lived another 8 years and is buried on the property above the castle.

As you can see from the photos this place is a real nice “Castle” they started building it in 1922 and never really finished it as they ran low on money. The major part of the castle
Was completed by 1929 to 1930. All of the furnishing are the original furnishings from when the Johnsons had the home. A lot of the furnishing were imported from overseas, the tiles were made in Spain and Mexico, the wood was Redwood from the north coast of California.

The swimming pools were never finished but the hole in the ground for the pool was huge if they had every gotten it done the pool would have been a least 200 ft long and probably 50 ft wide at the narrow part and 100 at the wide part. The castle was energy sell sufficient, they had a solar system for hot water and their own electric generator plant that was generated by water being forced thru pipes to turn the water turbine to generate the electricity. Then it was stored in banks of batteries. There is a spring that runs thru the property that runs at 200 gallons a minute.
Here are the pictures of the house and grounds. it is quite a story and if you get a chance you could look up some more info on the internet to give you a more in depth look at the history. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotty's_Castle

an interesting timepiece and it was accurate.

This chest dated from 1500 and was imported from Spain, it depicted a story of Queen Isabella sending Christopher Columbus on them mission that ending with him discovering America.

Ornate bathroom that had imported tiles from Spain, Mexico and italy. Tile setters were brought up from Southern California to do the tile work.

very nice Organ in the music room.

Player Theatre Pipe organ that 1121 pipes that were hidden behind a wall but boards moved to let the music into the room thru a decorative screen. It still works too.

Scotty on the left and Albert Johnson on the right.

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