• Above Golden Canyon

    Death Valley

    National Park CA,NV

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    Expect high temperatures of 100 to 120 degrees F on your summer visit to Death Valley. Heat related illness is a real possibility. Drink plenty of water and carry extra. Avoid activity in the heat. Travel prepared to survive. Watch for signs of trouble. More »

  • Zabriskie Point to close for repairs

    Starting October 1, 2014 through March 31, 2015, all access to Zabriskie Point and surrounding area will be closed for major rehabilitation work to repair unstable support walls and improve conditions. CA Hwy 190 will remain open to through traffic.

Bessie Penniman Johnson

Bessie Penniman Johnson

Bessie Johnson

Bessie Johnson (1872 - 1943)

Bessie Morris Penniman was born in what is now Walnut Creek, California, and raised on her father's fruit and nut ranch, Shadelands. She was one of the 150 freshmen that made up the first entering class of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California in 1892. After two years of study she transferred to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where she met and eventually married Albert Mussey Johnson.

In 1915 Bessie underwent a religious conversion at a revival meeting conducted by evangelist Paul Rader. Bessie later introduced her husband to Rader, which in turn led to Albert's full-fledged support for the minister. Bessie's religious fervor was given full vent at the ranch, where she conducted services and gave sermons every Sunday she was there for the white workmen.

In Chicago, Bessie was deeply involved in the Chicago Business Women's Alliance. The alliance provided social services for single working women, to which Paul Rader was a frequent guest. In 1943, Bessie was killed in an automobile accident at Townes Pass, some forty miles south of the Castle.

Did You Know?

Badwater Basin

Badwater Basin, in Death Valley National Park, is the lowest place in North America and one of the lowest places in the world at 282 feet below sea level. The Dead Sea, between Israel and Jordan, is the lowest at 1371 feet below sea level.