The local history books from Arcadia Publishing are coming in a steady stream, and I think this may be one of the most popular! The Twenty Mule Team of Death Valley will appeal to mule lovers, mining historians, geology buffs, Inyo County enthusiasts, and of course any one who appreciates the harsh beauty of Death Valley. Thumbing through it is fascinating, and I can’t wait to read a copy! If you have seen Tanners’ mule team at Mule Days, you will be amazed at the idea of handling this many animals, let alone the logistics of the heavy loads in dry, hot and dusty Death Valley. The twenty mule team became a familiar icon of the Pacific Coast Borax company, and all the clean laundry and hands across the country had the humble mule to thank for getting the product to market.
The author is Ted Faye, a documentary filmmaker whose company, Gold Creek Films, specializes in stories of the West. Ted was also a historian for US Borax. Many images in the book come from the Borax collection at Death Valley National Park, but there are also many from Central Nevada Historical Society, Bancroft Library, private collections, and other sources.