Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Death Valley's Borax Museum: chock full of minerals!









Death Valley is an eccentric roadside attraction unto itself. People look at you funny when you say you're looking forward to visiting there, but it's a stunningly beautiful place and home to a really swell offbeat museum. The Borax Museum sits in the oldest structure in Death Valley, a house constructed in 1883 by F.M. "Borax" Smith, founder of the Pacific Coast Borax Co. If I ever decide to have a nickname, I think "Borax" would be a pretty cool one. Borax, or sodium borate, is a non-toxic laundry product that could also clean and deodorize virtually anything in the house. In the late 1800s, a large deposit of it was found in Death Valley by a small-time miner, who made a fortune when he sold it to a San Francisco businessman. The location was so remote and ungodly hot that 20-mule teams were needed to haul the borax to a more hospitable processing location. People of a certain age are familiar with this scenario from the popular radio and TV series "Death Valley Days," at one time hosted by Borateem-pitchman and future president Ronald Reagan. The museum is in the Furnace Creek development of Death Valley and features lots of photos and artifacts and a friendly gal that will tell you all about them. A lot of sweat and toil was put into this product that's mostly forgotten today, but Borax may make a comeback as a green alternative to regular detergents. So stop in and see The Borax Museum... mule be glad you did. Here's some more info: http://www.hotel-online.com/News/PR2008_2nd/May08_FurnaceCreek.html

2 comments:

Viewliner Ltd. said...

Love this place. And its just down the street. Very cool.

Gunnar and Sherry said...

Just down the street, eh? Maybe because I'm from the northeast, but I'm fascinated with that part of the country. Nice neighborhood!