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A DeathValley.com Exclusive!

     Here is the background information on the fabulous and miraculous 1853 gold coin that William Robinson purportedly left on the western flank of Pinto Peak—in today's Death Valley National Park—in January 1850 (no, there is no typo here).

Read more: Debunking the Trunk: The Gold Coin

The following is an account of a 600-mile trip taken in 1932 from Los Angeles to Death Valley.  It was written on Furnace Creek Inn stationery by my grandmother, Grace Bartlet Kissam Duryee.  Sadly, I never knew my grandparents, but Grace and her husband, Harvey Duryee, personified the self-sufficient ideals of the turn of the last century.  They moved from New York to Redlands, California in 1898.  Soon after, they moved to Los Angeles and got into the real estate boom in turn-of-the-century Southern California.

Read more: A Trip to Death Valley, 1932

Submitted by Birdman


* Editors' Follow-up, 8/6/01: Recently our good friend and esteemed author LeRoy Johnson agreed that the time had come to lift the veil of anonymity from the entertaining, albeit now fictional, prose on the origin of the mysterious trunk. Below are LeRoy's words of explaination, but first our thanks to LeRoy for choosing DeathValley.com as his medium for mischief:

"I must confess, I did it. In my futile effort to find the hoaxter who planted the trunk, many trail buffs and would-be historians gave me their explanation on how the trunk got in the cave where Jerry Freeman found it (Jerry died of prostate cancer in March). Some even went so far as to suggest space aliens are the culprits. I wove their comments into the spoof story. These "believers" are suffering from the Roswell, New Mexico syndrome, as are those who believe William Robinson left the trunk there in 1850.

There will be people who will not believe I wrote the spoof. For those doubters, look at the first capital letter letter in paragraphs 1,2,3,4 and 5 of the story—LEROY. I had hoped this spoof would flush the hoaxter out of the cholla cactus grove, no luck. I had fun writing it and I hope you had fun reading it.

LeRoy Johnson, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read more: The Truth Behind the Robinson Chest