Monday, February 21, 2011

West Side Road - Death Valley

Here are the significant things to see along the West Side Road in Death Valley.

Bennett's Long Camp Monument

This is what the monument says:

Near this spot the Bennett-Arcane contingent of the Death Valley 49'ers, emmigrants breaking away from the Mojave-San-Joaquin (Mojave Sand Walking) wagon party, became stranded seeking a shortcut to the gold fields of California. They remained here for well over a month nearly perishing from starvation. Two young companions, William Lewis Manley and John Rogers, undertook an heroic journey on foot to San Fernando, returning with supplies, and then led the party to the safety of San Francisquito Ranch near Newhall.

Here lies Shorty Harris, a single blanket jackass prospector - 1856-1934

Shorty Harris Gravesite

Shorty Harris with his Jackass

Graveside Plaque

Nefarious character and beloved gold hunter Shorty Harris, before dying at age 78, asked that he be buried next to his friend Jim Dayton in Death Valley. He requested that the following epitaph be placed on his headstone;

Here lies Shorty Harris, a single blanket jackass prospector - 1856 - 1934

Also on the marker is written -
To these trailmakers, whose courage matched the dangers of the land, this bit of Earth is dedicated forever.

Jim Dayton had died in 1898 of exposure enroute to buy supplies. He was buried where he was found.

Original Dayton Grave Marker (at base of grave)

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