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In Beverly Hills there is a castle called Greystone Looming above Sunset Boulevard like a medieval fortress this Roaring Twenties mansion and its oil-soaked grounds stand as a monument to one of the great rags-to-riches-to-disgrace stories in America the Teapot Dome Scandal Ironically at the bottom of Greystones 12 acre hill slope raw crude oil seeps from the ground To contain this pollution a special drainage system has been constructed Appropriately one could say that Greystone emerged from a pool of oil a pool discovered by one Edward Doheny in 1892 Edward Laurence Doheny arrived in Los Angeles in 1892 at the age of 36 The son of an Irish immigrant Ed had spent 20 years wandering through the Southwest and Mexico He tried his hand at several careers that befit a drifter mule driver gold miner fruit packer singing waiter pimp and even gunslinger His turf was the post-Civil War Wild West It was a rough time and place and this first generation Irish-American was well matched to his era Official records show that in 1878 Doheny appeared in Loredo a Mexican border town which had seen its share of tough hombres In this hard Texas town the local sheriff described Doheny as a rough character But this drifters real career and his ruthlessness was not to manifest in some Western saloon shootout Instead it was revealed in special Senate investigations after he reportedly became the wealthiest man in America Dohenys story begins in 1859 when Billy Smith a Pennsylvania blacksmith discovered oil in Titusville and tapped Americas first oil well John D Rockfeller entered that scene the great oil boom was on and the rest is a well-known tale California was smitten with gold fever about the same time following the famous discovery at Sutters mine ten years earlier With all eyes looking for their fortune in the gold and silver mines outside San Francisco the bubbling ooze lying
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