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 (and that's not an empty pumice).
This blog is devoted to old fashioned American roadside attractions... the wonderfully big, bizarre, crazy, wacky, quirky, weird, funny, unique and mundane sites you see travelling cross-country by car in the USA, where getting there really is all the fun!