What were they thinking… OF DEATH!
In the early 1880s, a San Francisco businessman named William Tell Coleman came to Death Valley with dollar-signs in his eyes. He said “I’ll mine the borax from this 130-degree valley, refine it right here in the valley itself, then use teams of twenty mules to cart it to the nearest railway station, which is 150 miles away across scorching salt pans and mountain passes! What could possibly go wrong?”
He lasted a whole five years before he went bankrupt.