Scotty's Castle

 

Walter Scott (1872-1954) sold a percentage of the profits from his Death Valley "gold mine"--many times over--to gullible investors back east.  One of those investors was Albert Johnson, a Chicago insurance magnate.  After sending thousands of dollars to Scotty over a number of years, Johnson became skeptical of Scotty's excuses for why there were no profits and he came to Death Valley to see the mine for himself.  Scotty assumed that a few days riding around in 130+ degree heat would be too much for Johnson and he would go home.  Instead, Johnson's health improved dramatically in the hot, arid desert and he stayed for a month and returned year after year.  The two men became fast friends, and Johnson decided to build a vacation home in the valley--Death Valley Ranch.  From 1922 when construction began until the Johnsons died in the 1940s, they spent more than two million dollars building their Provincial Spanish "castle" in the desert.

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