Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Death Valley National Park in Inyo County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Old Stovepipe Wells

 
 
Old Stovepipe Wells Marker image. Click for full size.
By Alvis Hendley, February 19, 2007
1. Old Stovepipe Wells Marker
Inscription. This waterhole, only one in the sand dune area of Death Valley, was at the junction of two Indian trails. During the bonanza days of Rhyolite and Skidoo it was the only known water source on the cross-valley road. When sand obscured the spot, a length of stovepipe was inserted as a marker, hence its unique name.
 
Erected 1968 by California Department of Parks and Recreation and the National Park Service and the Death Valley 49ers Inc. (Marker Number 826.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the California Historical Landmarks marker series.
 
Location. 36° 39.544′ N, 117° 4.749′ W. Marker is in Death Valley National Park, California, in Inyo County. Marker is on Stovepipe Wells Road 0.8 miles south of Scotty's Castle Road, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. The marker is on an unpaved road. There are only a few paved roads in Death Valley. The major ones are State Route 190 and Scotty's Castle Road which intersect. To reach this marker from the intersection of State Route 190 and Scotty's Castle Road, take Scotty's Castle Road north for about three miles then turn left on unpaved Stovepipe Wells Road and travel about 4,000 feet to a small parking area. Marker is in this post office area: Death Valley CA 92328, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Old Stovepipe Wells Marker image. Click for full size.
By Alvis Hendley, February 19, 2007
2. Old Stovepipe Wells Marker
At least 6 other markers are within 17 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Wagon Wheel History (approx. mile away); Burned Wagons Point (approx. 5.2 miles away); Eichbaum Toll Road (approx. 5.3 miles away); Keane Wonder Mine (approx. 9.5 miles away); Borax (approx. 16.8 miles away); White Gold (approx. 16.8 miles away).
 
More about this marker. This marker appears to have an unusual typographical error - carved in stone, so to speak.

According to the book, California Historical Landmarks, published by the California Office of Historic Preservation in 1966, Old Stovepipe Wells is California Historic Landmark 826, not 726.

Landmark 726 is the Sebastian Store in San Luis Obispo County.
 
Regarding Old Stovepipe Wells. Stovepipe Wells was a life-saving source of water in the arid desert land of northern Death Valley.

These two shallow pits dug into the sandy floor were undoubtedly originally utilized by the Indian inhabitants of the valley prior to the memorable trek of the '49ers that opened the country to white penetration.

Originally unmarked, and its whereabouts often obscured by layers of blown sand, the well's location was probably first known only through word of mouth, making its detection by thirsty prospectors wandering up and down
Old Stovepipe image. Click for full size.
By Alvis Hendley, February 19, 2007
3. Old Stovepipe
the valley an. often desperate and time-consuming task.

Eventually it occurred to some enterprising individual, who had access to the necessary materials, to stick a length of stovepipe a few feet into the water source and thus insure easy discovery of the site from all directions.

Source: National Park Service
 
Categories. ExplorationNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers
 
Old Stovepipe image. Click for full size.
By Alvis Hendley, March 12, 2014
4. Old Stovepipe
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Alvis Hendley of San Francisco, California. This page has been viewed 120 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Alvis Hendley of San Francisco, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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