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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, October 30, 1910, Image 16

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1910-10-30/ed-1/seq-16/

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DEATH VALLEY
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;''

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