Stella's - Mengel Cabin, Death Valley
Carl Mengel (1868-1944) an early prospector in the Butte Valley area of Death Valley settled in the area he named Greater View Spring located about one-half mile south of Anvil Spring and commands a grand view over Butte Valley toward the Amargosa Range. He named it “Greater View" Spring because it had a better view than his friend and fellow prospector Pete Auereberry's self named view point. Mengel was good friends with both Aguereberry and Shorty Harris, another famous Death Valley prospector.
Born in 1868 in San Bernardino, Ca and given up on farming and fishing, Carl bought the Pro Fino claim in Goler Wash in 1912. By October of 1924, Mengel had filed several more claims in the Anvil Spring/Butte mining district. He is said to have lost a leg in a mining accident but continued mining and living in the area for the rest of his days. Mengel died in 1944 and his ashes and prosthetic leg are buried in a stone cairn on top of Mengel Pass.
Who originally built the stone cabin has been debated and conflicted in the literature. Moron settlers are known to have mined and worked the Butte Valley area around 1858 and have been credited with the construction of the cabin by Stella Anderson subsequent owner as well as Asa Russell who lived very close by. Mengel did build a second cabin on site to accommodate the occasional guest. With a spring on the property, Mengel fenced and terraced a location with a watering system and was said to have grown fruit trees and roses.
After Carl’s death, his claims and property exchanged ownership and names many times and finally amended to become the Greater View Springs, Greater View Springs No.1 mines and mill site. In 1962 Stella and Clinton Anderson Lived at the homestead, having been granted the properties from Asa Russell. They mined for gold, silver, lead, and mercury till Clinton’s death in 1973. Stella continued to live in the cabin and mine even with no electricity, plumbing or phone, finally years later she moved to Trona.
Today the stone and corrugated steel roof living quarters, a framed workshop, and the garden area are still fairly well intact but far from habitable especially with the threat of Hantavirus. The Mengel-Stella cabin and property is a glimpse into the hard and difficult past life of living off the grid in desolate Death Valley.