Russell Camp, Death Valley
Russell Camp is located about one-quarter mile south of Mengel / Stella cabin at an altitude of 4,500 feet. Asa Merton Russell "Panamint Russ" a prospector in the Butte Valley area for several years first established the camp in the early 1930s. Russell retired from the Los Angeles Water and Power Company in May 1960 and took up permanent residence in the fall. The cabin is located on the Ten Spot Mill site, originally called the Last Chance Claim when it was filed in 1930. One of the first claims Russell filed on was the Lucky Strike Quartz Mining Claim in March 1931.
Asa Russell also registered several other claims in the area from 1933-1947. All were small-scale attempts with no real record of production though he continued sporadic mining activity in the area till around 1974. Russell’s Lucky Strike claim seemed to get the most attention over the years. The last records of any mining date to 1978 by a Steven Penner. In 1962 Russell also had granted the Carl Mengel cabin and claims to Clinton and Stella Anderson.
The spring supplying the cabin and trees was developed in 1929 by Russell, and the 500-gallon water tank connected with the extensive water system from the spring to the cabins and elsewhere around camp was added in either the late 1950s or early 1960s. The living complex with cabin, sheds, and barn continue their survival against the harsh elements of the Death Valley region.