Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of California, Riverside; Riverside, CA
Newspaper Page Text
REWARDS TWO SOCIETY WOMEN WHO BRAVE ITS TERRORS IN SEARCH OF GOLD rORSAKING society anfl comfort able, even luxurious, homes for the lure of gold, two women have braved the horrors of Death val ley, that graveyard of argonauts, and have won out. Mrs. Beatrice Hubbell Plummer, sis ter of Mrs. Cynthia "Westover Alden, president general of the International punshlne society, and Mrs. Florence H. Baker, an attractive young woman formerly of Fort Wayne, Ind., and now of Los Angeles, were the grst women — and are the only ones ygt — to brave the desert dangers of Death valley In the attempt to •wrest Its golden treasures from its bone strewn sands. The;- are now planning and will soon etart on a trip to Europe on their own money, made in dhgglng gold from the ground. It. will not be thelr'flrst trip .abroad, but it will be their first with their own money. Gold mining came to them as an inspiration. "About two years asro, after Usteninp: one evening to their husbands' discussion of various mining ventures they were Interested In the two women asked almost^ simul taneously: "Why can't : we get some •of this gold?" The husbands '.laughed. They have eald since that their wives never though of anything but receptions, clubs, clothes and similar things of festive Importance to feminine minds. "We'll do It,", declared the women. "Where's a good place to get gold?" Messrs. Plummer and Baker said jok ingly that ' Death valley, was loaded with gold. And the women- announced their Intention to seek gold in Death valley. They were both somewhat weary of society and the humdrum so cial life, and longed for a change. They found what they wanted In the vast breathing spaces of the mountains. The story of the experiences of .these Intrepid women Is filled with interest- Ing adventures. . . "The wonder of it all is," -said -Mrs. Plummer, a day or t-wo ago, "thatlwi ever stood It Nearly all the "time the thermometer registered more than 119 degrees, and in front of our little camp It rose and; stayed at 130 degrees for •weeks. The humidity was low,; or we surely' would -have succumbed, as it was, there "were days when both Mrs. Baker and I wished heartily we were back In our comfortable homes." Both these California society women, before their Journey wihto "Death valley, were ; as "green", as any.- salesgirl in- a westerntshop. ,Tet now 'they feel quite full fledged, miners and the word "ten derfoot" falls with an unconscious ac cent of' derision from their pretty lips quite frequently. • ' • • "Until we found the beautiful spark ling spring- which flows at, the spot v/here we have staked our.clalms," says Mrs - B/iker. "we were, more' than once very thirsty.,-. "We'learned a lesson all 'tenderfeet' should profit by. : 'Never go Into - the desert; without a good supply of .water.' A. tenderfoot has no .busi ness In .the desert/.iny way, unless- he Is accon^panled by an experienced' guide who knows . the mysticT region: thor oughly.. | v •';\u25a0 . ..'; - i ;'; '\u25a0 -i m *- •_ \u25a0\u25a0'•\u25a0\u25a0. "Scattered amid the rocks^ and ,', sands of-Death valley are vast treasures for the fortunate prospector.^ "VV'e. were lucky, for many, many lives have been sacrificed In : the effort to cause the desert to give up her, riches!"^ "/ ; Mrs. Plummer and ' Mrs. Baker both Intend to go back Into -the/ desert soon and look for more gold. \u25a0'* / ]-. ' ." . "Personally I iove the.desert," said th 9 former In an Interview 'recently. "It Is glorious. It has r an Irresistible, indefinable something that delicts and charms my soul of souls. 'That; mag niflcent vastness, together with th« beauty of thedawris^andithe splendor of the sunsets,' the s unlocking of i the rocks and. the panning of^free. shim mering .gold. ;.WelI;. to -my mind-, there is nothing % in 'the world like' it' !lt :in SanSFranciscq- Sunday CaQ : toxlcates . me. iJ !do , not Vwonder that so * many, men -have; gone to their deaths In , this search for the' king of metals." :;:\u25a0 Throughout the two -years' that Mrs. -' Plummer .arid Mrs. .Baker were pros "pectlng they'worked as hard as any man ip the party. -.Up, with "the lark and 'armed \Wlth 'hammer < and--' magnifying •\u25a0 glass," they searched the ledges for "pay _ : rock." •\u25a0'" - . • ; ; " **.\ 2 ' * Mrs. Plummer; ha 3 - berfn called the r. masc6t : of the camp.'- ; **U^haxnjner broke - oft the 'first Apiece; of rock that showed -gold." she said. , "Every mud pie made .from the. pounded^stoner'assayed $16 to .tfie ton." - / : " /C >-." ' * M ": .PI. PIu mmer and ?Mrs>-. Baker ' wore .\u25a0throughout: the trip theifiill accoutre y. tnent '\u25a0 of western T cow girls! : , ' *. s^ lrt s ',of'.Vb«ckski^^reached.' to -Just ) below thelr^knees. Strong-leather boots (encased their /legs and 'they rode ~ : astride; - ' /"v '\u25a0,'• armed : .witli;a revolver of Uhe r late3t,_pattern.-and* improvement, •and under the. tutelagc'br the old guide *"*: h .°.; accompanied the .party they rap v^.^-'^a'me, Expert" shot 3 arid ' horse \Women... ... • / ' .. B .°- th V o '. these /.women'could ride a .horse long before the 'trip'; that'. has Just ; ended wa 3 ever ihousht. oC, but neither vejer_hadnhe;temerity^to-rl(le astride. . Now ithcy]aire as ,'a/comVllshed In this 1 .'direction as" women of v tKe plains, :^"4 th . e .^ ;* > .? t . , oi ':\u25a0 education that 2Crs. > p J u ™Si^r plciced np'that just now Is the -.talkipf the soclalicirciy In her home :to.wn :1s the ability ito'.wiela a razor. Tn . is : eh^ rmln = y° Gl >g . w^raan was the ;, c^Pj ba rber..True;she'.haridled a sifsty razor. ahdVcauld not damage. the cheeks . of^er. customers, eyes^'thcash sh* be ' came-ever'sVmalictous.'^ \ iN^®^^ 1 ® of nifein';the* desert . has \u25a0? n . ade rhoth; these . women dissatisfied routine 'ah<l sameness of city : " r J?i::" T h^ >?^v trip which they are \u25a0 Plann In g. ,wl : 11 .'mean ' a'plunke-' s til 1 fa r vl^ De ath vaHey^seekin^. to un is^r f)^ r<-so-dr <-so-d and^iew adventure. - acquired. -: it Vig -declared l\ b-y "expert .. mln 'lii|f 'mVn,bld3. : fair, to 'rival' the wealthy (deposits of Nevada.*", " "T;''