|Death Valley Ranch, also known as Scotty's Castle, was built in stages from 1922 until well into the 1930s.|
|Like many popular sites, it's often difficult to get photos without tourists in them. :-)|
|Several Joshua Trees are found on the property, but they were probably |
imported as they don't appear to be native to Death Valley.
|We visited in March, and the Joshua Trees were ready to bloom.|
|The main gate shows the attention to detail and craftsmanship involved.|
|The dinner bell was used to alert guests to meal times.|
|Much of the iron work was actually fabricated in Los Angeles and shipped in by rail.|
|The docent on our House Tour (center, right) was narrating from the point of view|
of a newspaper reporter sharing what he learned while writing an article about Scotty's Castle.
|Originally developed as a vacation home, Death Valley Ranch became a destination resort|
after the Great Depression left the developers, Albert and Bessie Johnson, in financial difficulty.
|Depression or not, the Johnsons still managed to "get by". Several collectible vehicles were used on the property.|
|The interior blended "rustic" with elegant, and incorporated some innovative design elements.|
The stone wall in the lower left of this picture was turned into a water feature during warm
weather, and acted like a built-in evaporative cooler.
|The Battery Room got my attention on the Underground Tour. These Nickel-Iron batteries (there|
is another rack below) were charged by a water-driven generator and used to supply even power throughout
the house, much like the systems in modern RVs.
|Albert Johnson liked to fiddle with new technologies, so the generator room has several examples. The original water-powered generator is in the lower left of this picture, and still works.|
|Although long decayed in the harsh environment, this was a solar hot water heating and storage |
system that was somewhat ahead of its time.