American Ghost Towns – Death Valley Junction


On the California-Nevada border lies Death Valley Junction. Once a mill town for the Borax company, for nearly 50 years it’s been home to living legend Marta Becket.

Over the years thousands of visitors have marveled at her dancing and artwork in the historic Amargosa Hotel and Opera House. She has truly brought life to this American Ghost Town.

Behind me is the Amargosa Opera House, and it’s located here at historic Death Valley Junction. Now the junction is located at the intersection of highway 127 and 373 and if one time this place was the hub of activity for a great mining operation in Death Valley, Death Valley, Junction was owned by Pacific Coast borax in 1906, 1940s in the mountains, miners dug Borax, a mineral with many uses, trains brought it here to the junction to be processed, but in 1925 a larger borax deposit was found elsewhere, and the mining in the mountains stopped old.

Living quarters were turned into a hotel called the Amargosa and though it’s had several owners over the years. None have made an impact like Marta Beckett. Today, visitors to Death Valley, Junction can discover a tribute to the life and career of this unique artist. Originally a ballerina from New York, she made Death Valley, Junction, her home.

In 1967. She began transforming the old borax buildings, one room at a time using her other talent, her art, her work was three-dimensional, creating environments and characters from her imagination and painting them on the walls, but nothing compared to the vision she had for the old community room called Corkle Hall, it was 1967 when she stumbled upon it, while her husband was getting a flat tire fixed in Death Valley Junction.

I look around this amazing place before it’s time we close for 20 years and it abandoned two day. Marta’s dream lives on as the world-famous Amargosa Opera House continues to showcase live performances, a vision realized in death valley, junction, a true American ghost town join us next time for another episode of American ghost towns. You

Jason Smith

Former Marine, IT Guy & Builder of Websites.  I have 5 US states left to visit. I enjoy hot springs, adventures, hiking, photography, sci-fi, wine, coffee & whiskey.  I am fluent in sarcasm, name that tune, & speak in movie quotes.  I spend most of my time building websites, fixing computers, metal detecting, magnet fishing and gaming occasionally.

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