Sunday, July 5, 2015

History of Death Valley

Some of the earliest archeological sites date to 7000-5000 BC, a time when waters of Lake Manly covered a portion of the valley floor. Early inhabitant camped along the lake shore, but also stayed near springs and other courses of water.

For many years Death Valley was little known except to the Panamint Indians to live in the area before the Europeans came.

Few people visited the area until the 1870s. At that time, gold was discovered in the surrounding mountains.

The first non-Native American to see Death Valley was probably John C. Fremont, noted frontier explorer, who was guided by Kit Carson. He camped at Sand Spring in 1844 upon his return from California, but he didn’t enter the valley.

In 1849 the pioneers trying to find a short cut to the California goldfields - by the Jayhawkers on December 23, followed by W. L Manly on Christmas Day and by members of the Bennett Arcane party and other pioneers who entered the valley by Furnace Creek Canyon.

Death Valley National Monument, which was created by presidential proclamation in February 1933, is now Death Valley National Park as a result of the California Desert Protection Act of 1994.
History of Death Valley

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History | Smithsonian