Meadowmom

Meadowmom

Posted on 09/07/2013


Photo taken on October 21, 2009


See also...

Death Valley National Park Death Valley National Park



Keywords

Death Valley
C.C. Julian
Leadfield


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Rise & Fall of Leadfield

Rise & Fall of Leadfield
The short, illustrious history of Leadfield, California.

Leadfield was the baby of C C Julian, one of the great Death Valley hornswogglers, only one tier below Scotty himself.

In the 1920's Julian came across some abandoned silver-lead prospects with short shafts and colorful tailings. He promoted them into huge stock sales, cleverly manipulating the market and persuading gullible followers to develop a little spread-out town around the "mines". He built an awesome tooth-clenching road (still used today), laid pipelines, arranged for telephone and telegraph service from Nevada.

When everything looked good, he brought a trainload of prospective investors and many curious locals over the mountains in a long dusty parade of touring cars (called "chugmobiles" by the desert folks). The result was spectacular. His hot stock surged from 10 cents to 7 dollars. But then the California Commissioner of Corporations began investigating, and it all came tumbling down.

Leadfield lasted one year. The US Government didn't get its postal paper work done and its Leadfield post office opened until after the whole scheme crashed, and then it took 6 months for them to realize everybody was gone, and close it.

Tim Hanko has particularly liked this photo


10 comments - The latest ones
Tom Oates
Tom Oates
What a great taleVery interesting but cautionary!
5 years ago.
W9JIM - Jim Doss
W9JIM - Jim Doss
I remember reading somewhere that Julian also "Photoshopped" a steamer navigating up the "nearby" Amargosa River.

Is that you in the photo, Laurie? It adds a nice touch to the shot.
5 years ago.
Meadowmom has replied to W9JIM - Jim Doss
My daughter, JIm. She can still stand up straight most of the time :-)
5 years ago.
tiabunna
tiabunna
I'm not sure which I enjoyed most, the photo or the story. :)
5 years ago.
SkagitLily / Rita & John
SkagitLily / Rita &…
Very entertaining... but watch your back!
5 years ago.
Evergreengirl
Evergreengirl
We've driven the Titus Canyon road a couple of times and poked around the ruins of Leadfield. Thanks for filling me in on more of its history. DV is one of my favorite Nat'l. Parks, not only for its spectacular scenery but also for its fascinating human history.
5 years ago.
Chrissy S
Chrissy S
Fascinating story and a lovely image to go with it.
5 years ago.
Mark Holloway
Mark Holloway
Here is Beatty, Nevada during the Leadfield "Boom" of 1926:
Beatty in 1926
5 years ago.
Mark Holloway
Mark Holloway
Leadfield:
Leadfield, California
5 years ago.
Philippe Girault
Philippe Girault
Est-ce John Wayne en chemise blanche ?
Belle Ambiance de la ruée vers l'or !
5 years ago.