No Destination: Death Valley Scotty

Death Valley Scotty historic marker, Cynthiana, Ky.
Walter Scott, aka Death Valley Scotty, was an adventurer in the greatest sense of the word. He was a part of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, held the record for rail travel from 1905 to 1934 (44h:54m; LA to Chicago), and was a fantastic schemer. His fictitious Death Valley gold mine brought in many investors, including the president of National Life Insurance Company of America (Albert M. Johnson).

Death Valley Scotty's CastleJohnson followed Scott to Death Valley and Johnson's wife convinced him the weather was good for his health. Though Scotty claims it was built for him (and is so named), Johnson erected Scotty's Castle (left, photo by K. Repanshek). The castle was constructed at a cost of $1.4 million is now owned by the federal government.

Scott, for all his frauding and scheming, never spent much time in jail. He is buried on a hill overlooking Scotty's Castle.