..............................................NORM AND HEATHER ROLLINGSON..............................................
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Treasure in Death Valley
Norm: Located in an oasis in the north end of Death Valley lies " Scotty's Castle."
But Scotty did not own the castle. It was built by, and owned by an insurance tycoon named Albert Johnson. Albert was lured to Death Valley by Scotty, a con man who claimed to have a gold mine that needed investers.
Scotty was soon exposed as a fraud but Albert and wife Bessie discovered other riches during their years in Death Valley. Starting construction in 1922, Albert built this technology advanced dream home that provided him and his wife with luxury, beauty, tranquility as well as a desert climate that brough him relief of health ailments.
After nine years of construction, a survey discovered he built his home on land that he did not own. He had been scamed once again and he faced a government stop work order. By then the money was running out anyway.
A life long friendship developed with the charasmatic con-man and story teller, Death Valley Scotty.
" We have been partners for a long time. Scotty has a great appetite for money, and I like to feed it.
He has always repaid me - in laughs." A. Johnson
The castle was furnished in antique furniture from Spain. Any who have been in our home will recognize this chair as nearly identical to the antique funiture that I purchased in Malaga Spain some fourty years ago. Our funiture was claimed to be well over 100 years old at that time.
Our tour guide described this chest to be over 400 years old. Looks almost identical in style to our hutches although this example is somewhat less elaborate.
Scotty's Castle is owned, maintained and protected by the National Park Service. A must see should you find yourself in these parts, but should you run into the ghost of Scotty, hang on to your wallet, to this day he is still looking for investers in his non-existant gold mine.