He had Just completed his popular book, Death Valley and its Country. The Putnams liked Death Valley so well they later purchased interest in Stove Pipe Wells resort. When he became ill while he was there he was rushed to the Hospital in Trona. The picture on the left is from the SVHS Library.
Joe Whitelaw’s aunt, Mary Margaret “Peggy” Gauslin, lived in Trona when she was ten. She joined the Ninety-Nines, an association for women pilots, soon after she soloed in February 1930. She was a member until 1936, and was active in air shows. Amelia Earhart was a charter member of the Ninety-Nines which was founded in 1929.. Peggy probably never knew Amelia but it is an interesting coincidence. Peggy was born in 1905 and lived in Trona from about 1914 to 1918 while her father was building and then managed the California Trona Company plant. There are several pictures of her and her family in Trona on this web site.
According to a Curtiss-Wright newsletter dated April 6, 1930, Peggy and two others that week became part of the 200 (female) licensed pilots on record at that date. “Of the 200, 17 were transport pilots, 22 were limited commercial pilots and 161 were private pilots.”
Later in Peggy’s life she worked for the Los Angeles Times as a clerk. She died in Orange County in 1990.