Death Valley National Park is home to “The Borax Museum” which is a favorite among tourists and visitors to the area. The museum is housed inside the oldest standing structure in Death Valley, inside a house built in 1883 by F.M. “Borax” Smith, who founded the Pacific Coast Borax Co. Borax is a mineral also known as sodium borate, and is commonly used as a laundry detergent due to its cleaning properties as well as being non-toxic.
The discovery of borax in Death Valley by an early prospector was met with an investment from a businessman from San Francisco. The mined borax was hauled to the processing plants by “20 mule teams” due to the harshness of the climate.
The Borax Museum itself is located in the Furnace Creek area of Death Valley, and is filled with photos and artifacts that will provide a colorful history and education for the curious.