Death Valley and the Amargosa: A Land of Illusion

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University of California Press, Jan 11, 1988 - History - 622 pages
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This is the history of Death Valley, where that bitter stream the Amargosa dies. It embraces the whole basin of the Amargosa from the Panamints to the Spring Mountains, from the Palmettos to the Avawatz. And it spans a century from the earliest recollections and the oldest records to that day in 1933 when much of the valley was finally set aside as a National Monument. This is the story of an illusory land, of the people it attracted and of the dreams and delusions they pursued-the story of the metals in its mountains and the salts in its sinks, of its desiccating heat and its revitalizing springs, and of all the riches of its scenery and lore-the story of Indians and horse thieves, lost argonauts and lost mine hunters, prospectors and promoters, miners and millionaires, stockholders and stock sharps, homesteaders and hermits, writers and tourists. But mostly this is the story of the illusions-the illusions of a shortcut to the gold diggings that lured the forty-niners, of inescapable deadliness that hung in the name they left behind, of lost bonanzas that grew out of the few nuggets they found, of immeasurable riches spread by hopeful prospectors and calculating con men, and of impenetrable mysteries concocted by the likes of Scotty. These and many lesser illusions are the heart of its history.
 

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Contents

Borax Bonanza
173
GOLD AND GAS
187
The Montgomery Brothers
189
Bullfrog
203
Mysterious Scott
242
Heart of Gold
275
A Copper Frenzy
310
Resurrection
338

Into the Jaws of Hell
39
A Hard Lesson
52
Gunsight Silver and the Wonderful Bailey Ore
59
Alvord and Breyfogle
69
Camels Frauds and Lost Guides
80
THE POCKET MINERS
99
Tom Shaws Country
101
Panamint The Wonder of the World
113
The Education of Jonas Osborne
135
On the New York Exchange
143
Starving to Death on a Government Claim
162
Facts Fantasies and Flivvers
360
SALT AND SCENERY
377
The Salt of the Earth
379
Mostly Mud and Rock
397
The Hangerson
412
The Last Hurrah
421
A Nice Place to Visit
441
Notes
471
Bibliography
581
Index
639
Copyright

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About the author (1988)

Richard E. Lingenfelter is a research physicist at the University of California, San Diego. He has written over a dozen books on Western American history and lore.

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