Death Valley Automobile Trip, 1926
Processed by James Ryan.
The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Death Valley Automobile Trip, 1926
BANC PIC 1978.027--ALB
The Bancroft Library
University of California
Finding aid and digital representations of archival materials funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the
- Processed and encoded by:
- California Heritage Digital Image Access Project staff in The Bancroft Library and The Library's Electronic Text Unit
- Digital images processed by:
- The Library Photographic Service
- Finding aid completed:
- April 1996
© 1996 The Regents of the University of California
Collection Title: Death Valley Automobile Trip,
Date (inclusive): 1926
Collection Number: BANC PIC 1978.027--ALB
1 album (76 photographic prints); 14 x 23 cm.
76 digital objects
The Bancroft Library. University of California, Berkeley.
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
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Collection stored off-site. Advance notice required for use.
Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish photographs must be submitted
in writing to the Curator of Pictorial Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library
as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must
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[Identification of item]
Death Valley automobile trip, 1926, BANC PIC 1978.027--ALB, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Digital Representations Available
The Death Valley Automobile Trip photo album was purchased in 1978.
Scope and Content
The Death Valley Automobile Trip photograph album containing 76 prints appears to be the record of a sightseeing trip made
from Los Angeles to Death Valley in 1926. A written record--in the form of diary entries--is also included and consists of
a series of detailed captions describing the landscape, landmarks, and individuals encountered in Death Valley. Neither the
diarist nor the photographer is identified. The album displays no one emphasis: it consists of a broad range of photographs,
from the automobiles and sighteseers to the landscape, abandoned mines, schoolhouses, hotels and homesteads of Death Valley.
Our first picture, a dry lake Jan. 9, 1926.
Start for the red hot pit Death Valley.
We dine on Sweet Bread, Jan. 9, 1926.
Our first water after leaving, Atolia was named Granite Springs; Granite Springs.
One of the mounds of Granite from which the Springs derived its name.
What the sign said: Owl Springs--Death Valley--Saratoga Springs 45 m, Silver Lake 42, Shoshone 5, Automobile Club, So. Cal.;
Meet Mrs.Perrelet and Miss Muth.
We arrive at Owl Springs, here an abandoned water wagon was found the front wheels sunk in sand, the rear ones almost all
cut away by desert wanderers for fire wood; Owl Springs -- one of the water holes of the twenty mule team borax days.
We select a camp site.
We arrive at Confidence Mills a very aged mining venture the driver of the grub wagon upon spying the cog wheel decided it
would be just the thing for his ranch but when he came to pick it up decided for his flivers sake to leave it; Left Black
Hawk mine at 8:30 a.m., Jan. 9 arrived at Confidence Mills at 5:00 p.m. -- 88 miles; Confidence Mills -- below sea level
We leave Confidence Mills Sunday Jan. 10, 1926 10:15 a.m.; The scenery at Confidence Mills.
A camp site on the desert.
Mrs. Perrelet -- the fliver. Miss Muth.
A sample of desert road.
We pass Ashford mills -- A deserted hope -- Thousands of dollars of equipment left here. This mill was of the roller type
and the building has a 75 horsepower engine in it in the foreground out of sight of the cameras eye is a big truck the rubber
slowly rotting away. Mr Billyon and A. E. Dimock sitting on top; Ashford Mills.
Dust so deep here that the fliverer almost sank out of sight.
A little help needed.
The grave of James Dayton; A driver of a twenty mule team Borax wagon.
The lowest spot in U.S.A.
The one time site of the Eagle Borax Works.
We have now reached the Devils Golf Course; Mr Billyon -- Mr. Puck -- Miss Muth -- Mrs. Perrelet -- Mr. Abbott and his bouquet.
The Devils Golf Course. A mixture of many minerals in which salt leads.The evaporation of the water in the Summer fills the
solid matter in pinnacles which were so hard that a sledge hammer was needed to break off specimens; the Devils Golf Course
a close up view.
Crossing the Devils Golf Course.
The road at the entrance of the Devils Golf Course.
The rock on the next page is composed of lava of unusual hardness as it has not disintegrated like the surroundings. We passed
through miles of country composed of nothing but lava black and glistening in the sun; The Mushroom rock or the Devil's Throne.
We have now reached the mouth of Superstitious Canyon where we stopped to make camp at 5:15 p.m. -- milage 57; Our camp, Jan.
The mouth of Superstitious Canyon.
We explore Superstitious Canyon. The peak in the background is of soft white mineral into which a person sinks above the shoe
Here Superstitious Canyon rivals Red Rock Canyon in its many colors and different forms; Superstitious Canyon.
We left camp at 11 a.m. and arrived at Furnace Creek Ranch where we had lunch and fixed Minn's fliver; Part of Furnace Creek
Ranch the home of the 20 mile jennie[?].
One of the wagons used to half Borax in the days of the 20 mule teams. This wagon weighed 7 tons and was loaded with 20 tons
of Borax. The tires on the wheels were 10 inches.
Furnace Creek -- used to irrigate Furnace Creek Ranch; Furnace Creek.
The Swimming Pool Furnace Creek Ranch.
Phoenix Canarensis Palms at Furnace Creek Ranch.
The Shoshone Indian Squaws playing a game by the Wickiup.
The Indian Children at Furnace Creek Ranch.
The weather gauge at Furnace Creek Ranch.
Meet Mr. Billyan and Mr. Abbott and Mr. Billyan's stove (one cylinder).
We try to locate Stovepipe Wells but after wandering around some terrible roads the likes of which may be seen in the background
we make camp here at 5 p.m. Jan. 11, 32 miles, falling down fast on that milage. Billyan's one cylinder stove is hitting on
all the cylinder as may be seen on the left of the picture.
First day 142 miles
Second day 88 miles
Third day 57 miles
Fourth day 32 miles; The Horrible Road, a gullie every three feet.
In the sand swept desert.
Mesquite Tree in the Sand.
We leave the camp near the horrible road at 10:20 a.m. Jan. 12 and are bound for Rhyolite Nevada the Goat city. The road?
Was found to be all up, no down in fact 15 miles was Ford low[?] and a hundred degrees. A stop every mile to let the clutch
pedal cool off. 200 feet below sea level to 4000 feet above and roads like the picture on the next page; On the way to Rhyolite.
We lunch on the way to Rhyolite.
We reach Rhyolite at 3:25 p.m. the first house we saw was the Bottle House a picture of which appears on the opposite page
but we drove thru the town until we reached the railroad depot, here we left our machines and made a tour of the town. 25
miles this date; The Bottle House.
On the opposite page is a picture of the railway depot, Rhyolite, Nev. This building was constructed of stone but time is
slowly doing its work as may be noticed on the sign facing the machines; The Railway Depot, Rhyolite Nevada.
On our hike thru the town we came across many shacks like this one. Rhyolite is surrounded by land that is full of gold but
the main vein is yet to be found, the hills show many try-outs one may be seen on the hill back of this shack; The ravages
The Church of Rhyolite, the only building that had all of its windows intact; The Church of Rhyolite.
The insides of these buildings were littered with glass evidently there were lots of brick throwers came thru Rhyolite after
it was deserted; The National Bank Building.
The Hotel had fine stairways in it all rotting away for lack of care. These face the main street; The Hotel Building.
The School House with its tile roof; The Schoolhouse.
After seeing the town house we went back to the depot got in our machines and drove back to the Bottle House where we spent
the night; the front porch of the Bottle House.
The back porch of the Bottle House. Bottles were free and many of them. Other building materials were scarce. There were about
30 or more Saloons in Rhyolite; the back porch of the Bottle House.
Here is another Bottle House. The weather here is so dry that lots of the bottles still had the labels on them. Note the workings
in the hills; a Bottle House which has taken a tumble.
Building material was so scarce in Rhyolite that most anything went, here an enterprising citizen made himself a house of
the cans; A Tin Can House.
Stamp Mill at Rhyolite.
Jan 13 at 10:30 a.m. we leave Rhyolite and on the way out we stop at the Montgomery Shoshone mine the largest of its day.
Here they had a blow hole, shaft with elevator and cyanide tanks; the Montgomery -- Shoshone mine.
Beatty Nevada six miles from Rhyolite. Rhyolite's water was all pumped from Beatty; Beatty Nevada.
We reached Death Valley Junction just at dusk and then we decide to drive a little ways further and camp; Death Valley Junction
Building 600 feet long.
We camp by the Amagrossa river at 6:20 p.m. -- 59 miles. The Amagrossa is an alkaline stream which goes down into Death Valley
and flows underground until it stops under the Devil's Golf Course. The next morning it was so cold that it took us 3 hours
to start the flivers, the oil had frozen into chunks; the Amagrossa river.
Jan. 14 at 9:45 a.m. we departed from the Amagrossa river camp. Down to Shoshone Cal. For gas, water etc and departed for
Cave Springs, we pass one more the old cog wheel at Confidence Mill; the Railroad Depot Shoshone, Calif.
We stop for "tea" at Bennett Wells.
We reached Cave Springs at 6:20 p.m. -- 75 miles. This was one of the stopping places of the twenty mule team Borax days,
the place where the machines are in was a corral with walls of stone to keep the stock in. An abundance of water is found
in the caves in the banks. On the way we stopped at Saratoga Springs a big bubbling pool of hot water in which little black
fish lived; Cave Springs.
Jan. 15 left Cave Springs at 9:40 headed for Yermo, from which place went to the old town site of Calico the home of the famous
Silver King mine from which 75 million dollars of silver was taken 30 years ago. Here through the courtesy of the one resident
and old miner who provided us with carbide lamps we inspected the mine after which we drove in the Canyon below the town and
made camp. Calico burned down three times so they made their buildings out of earth; Main St. Calico.
Entrance to the Silver King mine.
Our camp in the canyon below Calico.
A sample of breakfast.
We leave Calico, above on the bluff may be seen the ruins of the adobe houses. Sat., Jan. 16 left at 9:40 a.m.; the road in
the canyon below Calico.
And arrived at the place in the picture on the opposite page at 5pm -- 114 miles. Sunday Jan. 17 left at 11a.m. and arrived
at 3rd and Central Los Angeles 2:20 p.m. -- 55 miles; Glenavon.
Calico. Mr. and Mrs. John Lane the sole survivors of a population of over 3000. Mr. Lane came in 1884 here he met the lady
who became Mrs. Lane. They married and have been here ever since.
Death Valley. Introducing the much talked of "Death Valley Scotty" whose correct name is Walter Scott. Scotty has surrounded
himself with mystery. At one time he was a rider with a wild west circus. In 1906 he appeared amongst the mines of Nevada
and seems to have become rich since then. His home is in Grapevine canyon at the north end of Death Valley.
Death Valley. In 1876 Government Surveyors found this old wagon in the valley north of "Emigrant Wash". Since then this place
has been marked on the maps as "Last Wagon". It was found 52 years ago but to this day nothing definite has been found as
to how it came to be in Death Valley.