Christian B. Zabriskie

Christian B. Zabriskie

Christian Brevoort Zabriskie (1864–1936) was born at Fort Bridger, Wyoming Territory, where his father, E.B. Zabriskie was stationed. “Chris” attended various schools while growing up and at a very early age went to work as a telegrapher for the Virginia & Truckee Railroad at Carson City, Nevada. He was too restless and ambitious to stay in one place for very long and soon moved to Candelaria, Nevada and worked for the Esmerelda County Bank. Being an active young man, one job was not enough to keep him occupied and he soon branched out into other ventures, one of which was a partnership with a local cabinet maker to establish a mortuary. Neither of the two knew how to embalm, but it wasn’t considered necessary in a mining town—prompt burial was!

Zabriskie’s life took on new meaning in 1885 when F.M. Smith hired him to supervise several hundred Chinese workers at the Columbus Marsh area of the Pacific Coast Borax Company near Candelaria. This was the beginning of a life-long career in the field of Borax. He ultimately became vice president and general manager of the company and served in that capacity for thirty-six years until his retirement in 1933. During this time, the Pacific Coast Borax Company had phased out most of its borax operations in the Caldelaria vicinity but had moved on the greater production in the Death Valley area.

All this occurred long before 1933, when the area became Death Valley National Monument, but Zabriskie Point remains to honor a man who devoted many years of service to the Pacific Coast Borax Company.

Zabriskie Point view
The view from Zabriskie Point is one of the most famous in Death Valley National Park.

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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