Death Valley: Scotty’s Castle

Located in the Northeastern hills of Death Valley National Park, Scotty’s Castle is one of the most unique and fascinating places you will visit anywhere, much less in such an incongruous location as Death Valley.

Although it’s named after Walter Scott (aka Death Valley Scotty), the Castle was built and owned by millionaire Albert Johnson. This is their story: Walter Scott, a charming and flamboyant con man, scammed his wealth by convincing investors to bankroll his non-existent gold mine in Death Valley. He was convinced that nobody would ever visit such a remote and inhospitable place until Albert Johnson became suspicious and decided to pay a personal visit to check on his investment. In an attempt to dissuade Johnson, Scott staged a bandit raid that went wrong when Scotty’s brother was accidentally shot. Scott might have been a con man, but he was no murderer and came clean. Despite the swindle, Albert Johnson forgave Scotty for the simple reason that he fell in love with Death Valley and would never have discovered the place otherwise. Johnson befriended Scott and built this palatial vacation home now known as Scotty’s Castle, preserved as part of the National Parks system.

Except for special tours that can be arranged in advance on a limited basis, Scotty’s Castle is closed due to extensive damage incurred during a flash flood in 2015. (FYI, All of Frank’s photographs were taken before the flash flood occurred).
The palatial and elegant castle is largely, but not completely finished… and preserved as it was left in the 1930s.
An architectural masterpiece that boasts state-of-the-art utilities as well.
Electrical generators, driven by both internal combustion engine and water turbine.
The palatial living room, which hosted many honored guests and helped to keep Scotty’s story alive.
That is a toaster on the top left shelf!
Privileged and intimate access to so many historical and personal artifacts, largely left as they were in the 1930s
One-of-a-kind glockenspiel, organ, and player piano system that still plays!
Pipe organ in the music room.
Mrs. Johnson’s closet as it was in the 1930s
Scotty’s bed. The rumor was that the mine entrance was hidden underneath!
Scotty’s hats and ties
Looking up the hill towards Scotty’s grave. He died in 1954 at the age of 81
Scotty’s grave overlooking the desolate and beautiful valley that he loved so much.


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