Finding our castle in the desert

The legend of Walter “Scotty” Scott might not be fodder for conversation today, but it churned in the Death Valley rumor mill during the Roaring 20s. 

After all, Scotty is responsible for luring Albert Mussey Johnson and his wife Bessie to Death Valley in hopes of striking it even richer through their investment in his faux gold mine. While the “mining operation” may have been a bust, the resulting Spanish-Mediterranean spread in the middle of the desert was a godsend.

 

The enchanting estate tucked in Grapevine Canyon became known as Scotty’s Castle. After all, the namesake pretended it was his home while its owners were back in Chicago.  Despite the farce, Scotty who had a penchant for tall tales and the straight-laced Albert developed an unlikely friendship that flourished over the years.  

National Park rangers dressed in period costumes lead groups through this charismatic castle and weave fun tales throughout the tour.  It’s a not-to-miss park feature that proves the desert’s lure has had its pull on a cast of characters for decades.

Step back in time and get caught up in the legend. Somewhere deep within its walls, the truth lies open for interpretation.

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