Long Beach, CA
Death Valley Ranch
Scotty's Castle is a two-story Mission Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival style villa located in the Grapevine Mountains of northern Death Valley in Death Valley National Park, California, U.S.. It is also known as Death Valley Ranch. Scotty's Castle is not a real castle, and it did not belong to the "Scotty" from whom it got its name.
Construction began on Scotty's Castle in 1922, and cost between $1.5 and $2.5 million. Prospector, performer, and con man Walter Scott born in Cynthiana, Kentucky, also known as Death Valley Scotty, convinced Chicago millionaire Albert Mussey Johnson to invest in his gold mine in the Death Valley area. By 1937, Johnson had acquired more than 1,500 acres (610 ha) in Grapevine Canyon, where the ranch is located.
After Johnson and his wife made several trips to the region, and his health improved, construction began. It was Mrs. Johnson's idea to build something comfortable for their vacations in the area, and the villa eventually became a winter home.
The Johnsons hired Martin de Dubovay as the architect, Mat Roy Thompson as the engineer and head of construction, and Charles Alexander MacNeilledge as the designer.
Unknown to the Johnsons, the initial survey was incorrect, and the land they built Death Valley Ranch on was actually government land; their land was further up Grapevine Canyon. Construction halted as they resolved this mistake, but before it could resume, the stock market crashed in 1929, making it difficult for Johnson to finish construction. Having lost a considerable amount of money, the Johnsons used the Death Valley Ranch to produce income by letting rooms out. The Johnsons died without heirs and had hoped that the National Park Service would purchase the property, and in 1970, the National Park Service purchased the villa for $850,000 from the Gospel Foundation, to which the Johnsons had left the property. Walter Scott, who was taken care of by the Gospel Foundation after Johnson's passing, died in 1954 and was buried on the hill overlooking Scotty's Castle next to a beloved dog.
Source - Wikipedia
April 9th, 2013
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