Borax Heritage Fund

To Preserve the Heritage and Secure the Legacy...

(Endowment & Capital Fund)

Donations to this Fund to date: $44,301

Supporting the stewardship, preservation and interpretation of sites and artifacts relating to the operations and history of the "Pacific Coast Borax Company" (and its successor organizations) associated with the Death Valley region.  

The company was founded in 1890 by F.M. "Borax" Smith after acquiring former Borax King, W.T. Coleman's borax properties, including Death Valley's now famous landmarks the "Harmony Borax Works" and "Zabriskie Point."  Smith's borax interests went back much further to 1872 and his operations at Teel's Marsh in Nevada.

Later, in 1896, seeking to expand the European markets he merged with the British company, "Redwood's Chemical Works, Ltd." in partnership with James Gerstley, and Richard Baker in London.

Albright & Mather - Photo Courtesy of the NPS

Horace M. Albright, Stephen T. Mather & the "NPS 1" Flivver, Photo Courtesy of the NPS

DEATH VALLEY, BORAX & THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE:  While the grandeur of parks like Yosemite inspired activists like John Muir to urge Washington for their protection,  Death Valley holds a very unique place in the history of conservation.  It was former Borax executive and creator of the famous 20-Mule Team Borax trademark, Stephen T. Mather, and local Bishop, CA native, Horace M. Albright, who actually created the National Park Service in 1916 and served as its first and second directors, respectively!

Mather, dismayed by the conditions he saw in the parks, wrote a protesting letter to Secretary of the Interior, Lane, who invited him to Washington to correct the problems. When he arrived, Mather was assigned the young lawyer, Albright, to assist him and the two worked tirelessly to conceptualize and create the National Park Service. Mather often used his own personal funds to support and advance the cause! After he left the service in 1933, Albright went on to work for U.S. Borax.

The Borax Heritage Fund currently has received start-up donations of approx. $44,301 and we are pleased to have enjoyed the unanimous support of all of the living former CEO's of U.S. Borax and the three founding families - Smith, Baker and Gerstley!

How to Donate

Return to the "DVC" web.

Go to the Borax Retiree & Alumni Network Web

Under Construction!  Watch for updates soon.

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