recorded at the posts east of the coast chain of mountains, at altitudes
Op. cit., p. 484.
236 TOPOGRAPHY, ETC., OF THE PACIFIC SLOPE.
of 4,680 and 4,958 feet above the level of the sea, there were 3, or one in
140, for consumption.
Commencing at the south, the chain of mountains formed by the
union of the sea-coast range and the Sierra Nevada completely shuts off
the ocean climate, and instead of the moderately humid air of the western
slope to the Pacific, there is on the eastern slope and basins of this region
a climate of unusual dryness and of almost fiery severity, reducing the
soil to a desert. Even the mountains which retain the snow till a late
period in the season have a high temperature in the middle of the day,
and the presence of snow on their summit in June is due rather to the
great mass which has accumulated on them in winter than to the lowness
of temperature even at such altitudes at this season.
The great altitude of the mountains near the Pacific coast is one of
the most distinctible features of surface character exercising influence
over the climate. Those near the coast are much broken; that is to say,
they consist of overlapping groups, from forty to seventy miles wide, at
an altitude nowhere exceeding 4,000 feet, from twenty to seventy miles
from the coast. But at their crests, twenty to fifty miles further from
the coast, some of the peaks reach an altitude of 10,000 feet. And the
Sierra Nevada Mountains, of which the irregular coast chains and groups
are off-shoots, from one hundred and ten to one hundred and fifty miles
from the coast, attain a considerably greater average altitude, the
highest peaks being 12,000 to 15,000 above the level of the Pacific. But
these also are sufficiently near the coast to exercise considerable influence
over the climate.
In San Francisco, and in most of the towns on the coast north of that
port, the summer temperature is frequently too cool for comfort. In
the nine degrees of latitude, between the mouth of the Columbia Eiver
and Monterey, the mean temperature of the year varies only three or four
degrees, but the summers are hotter and the winters cooler in the
northern part than in the southern.
Between the coast and the interior valleys, there is a large district
under the joint influence of the ocean atmosphere and the forests, ap-
proximating the condition of Florida, with the additional influence of
mountain peaks hard by, and consequently enjoying one of the most
delightful climates in the world. This region is composed chiefly of the
valleys surrounding the Bay of San Francisco, and expanding into the
interior in every direction. The sea-breeze, with its clouds and abun-
dant moisture, prevents these valleys from being parched with drought,
tempers the fierceness of the heat, and moderates the cold of winter.
Except in the northern counties, there is nothing which can properly
be called winter in this region, the year being divided into the rainy and
dry seasons. Through the rainy season in San Francisco and on the coast
generally (as may be seen by turning to the charts and records of
Tol'ouKAI'IIY, ire, OF THE PAl LFIO SLOPE. 287
humidity), do more rain falls than in the Atlantic States daring the
In southern California: 1
"The winter maybe said to commence about November. During
this season the days are usually warm, and i In- eights cold, t he difference
in temperature being very great. In the lowlands ice sometimes forms.
The atmosphere is exceedingly dry, and very Little rain falls during the
winter. When the coast rams prevail in California, sometimes a few
drops fall here. The climate is rendered somewhat disagreeable by
occasional violent sand-storms, usually from the northwest. They can
be seen approaching for some hours, gradually obscuring the sun;
finally they burst with su Iden fury, tilling the air and everything
around with fine dust. These sand-storms sometimes last three days;
in the intervals between them no more delightful climate could be
desired. Fires are necessary during these months, November to March,
and heavy underclothing is required to protect the body from the sudden
change of temperature which takes place after sundown.
"Spring commences about the last of February, and is without rain.
The cotton -woods and willows put forth new leaves, but, owing to the
continued cold nights, the leaves do not mature before the middle of
April. Fires are still required in the evenings and early mornings.
" The heat rapidly increases from the latter part of May, and in June,
July, August, and September may be said to be intense. In the months
of July and August (the rainy season in Sonora), clouds are seen passing
to the northeast accompanied with rain, thunder, and lightning; occa-
sionally they reach the vicinity of Yuma, and are most refreshing. Dur-
ing the months of April, May, and June, no rain falls; then, with the
thermometer at 105Â°, the perspiration is scarcely seen upon the skin,
and it becomes dry and harsh, and the hair crispy. Furniture put
together at the north and brought here falls to pieces; travelling chests
gape at their seams, and a sole-leather trunk contracts so that with diffi-
culty the tray can be lifted. Furniture, to hold together, must be made
of the very dryest timber. The extreme dryness of the atmosphere is
observed in the ink that dries so rapidly upon the pen that it requires
washing off every few minutes. A No. 2 'Faber' leaves no more trace
on paper than a piece of anthracite, and it is necessary to keep one im-
mersed in water while using one that has been standing in water for
some time. Newspapers require to be unfolded with care; if rudely
handled they break. I was called to inspect some commissary stores a
short time ago, and the loss they had sustained was remarkable.
1 Report from Fort Yuma, on the Colorado River, 180 miles from its mouth;
latitude 32 c 23' 3" north; longitude 37 3 33' 9" west; altitude 267 feet above tide
water. Assistant Surgeons J. V. Lauderdale and George S. Rose. Op. cit., p.
238 TOPOGRAPHY, ETC., OF THE PACIFIC SLOPE.
Twelve-pound boxes of soap weighed ten pounds. Hams had lost twelve
per cent and rice two per cent of their original weight. Eggs that have
been on hand for a few weeks lose their watery contents by evaporation;
the remainder is thick and tough; this has probably led to the story that
our hens lay hard-boiled eggs.
"The mercury gained the highest point last summer (1873) on the
second day of July, when, for two hours, it stood at 132Â° in the shade.
All metallic bodies were hot to the touch; my watch felt like a hot-boiled
egg in my pocket; the cords on my grass hammock were like heated
wires. At such times, if the wind is from the south, the air is like that
from the mouth of a furnace, hot and ovenish.
"The effort to cool one's self with an ordinary fan would be vain,
because the surrounding atmosphere is of a higher temperature than the
body. The earth under foot is dry and powdery, and hot as flour just
ground, while the rocks are so hot that the hands cannot be borne upon
them. The parade is always hot at mid-day, and the story told of a dog
that ran on three legs across it, barking with pain at every step, may be
correct, though I have never seen it tried.
" This post, though not the most southerly, is the hottest military
post in the United States; the highest temperature recorded in our
books since 1850, when the post was established, is 119Â°, observed at
2.25 p.m., June 6th, 1859. A temperature of 100Â° may exist at Fort
Yuma for weeks in succession, and there will be no additional case of
sickness in consequence.
" The dress must be of the lightest, suitable to the temperature.
The lightest woollen fabrics that are made should be worn next to the
skin, or, if woollen is not borne well, cotton. The dress of the natives
is very simple. The heavily-fringed kilt, made of the bark of the Cot-
tonwood, or woollen yarn in two divisions, which hardly come together
at the hips, and worn about the loins, is the fashion which obtains
among the Yuma women, while the men of this tribe encumber them-
selves with about two yards of muslin, and a belt or strap.
" Ice is never seen, not even on the coldest day in winter. I do not
think it would be desirable to have the article in summer if it could be
furnished. The water we drink is relatively cool at 60Â° to 75 c , and is
" We have none of the malarial diseases incident to the cities of the
Gulf of Mexico, or along the eastern seaboard. The heat depresses the
already debilitated, and we miss the tonic effect of the cold weather; but
those who come here in good health, and observe the ordinary rules for
preserving it, will have nothing to fear from the high temperature.
" The influence of the great ' Colorado Desert ' on the climate is
more or less felt in all the counties comprising the southern half of the
State. The desert is an immense oven where a hot and rarefied air is
generated, which rages in hot blasts from time to time over these coun-
TO] i:\imiv, BTO.j OF THE PACIFIC SLOPE. 239
tic-. The rain which waters the northern portion of Mexico docs not
travel across the desert, the moisture being taken up by the not, dry air.
These dry and desiccating cnrrents exhaust also the moisture which
comes down from the north in winter, so that then; is ;i large rainless
area <Â»n the southern border of the State which is year after year robbed
of its moisture by the proximity of the desert. Geologists affirm that,
at one time the greater part of this desert was covered by the waters of
the Gulf of California, and the theory is maintained that if the greater
part were again submerged, hot winds would cease to rage over t
southern counties, and as much rain would fall there as upon the north-
ern part of the State. The climate would then be cooler and more equa-
ble. Much of the land comprising the desert has been found to be
below the level of the low tides of the Gulf, and practical engineers
maintain that at comparatively small expense this great desert furnace
can he cooled by covering it with water. The theory is that, were the
desert a sea, it would send up a column of atmosphere charged with
moisture, which, meeting the colder currents from the ocean, would
precipitate frequent showers, and thus change large tracts of the coun-
try from barrenness to fertility."
Dr. A. B. Stuart, a former resident of Winona, Minnesota, in a paper
on "Santa Barbara as a Health Resort/' states that, from personal ob-
" Almost any desirable peculiarity, either in climate or geographic
location, from sea level to 3,500 feet of altitude, for invalids can be ob-
tained in Santa Barbara and vicinity. If the coast is found too cool and
damp, as it is at times during the months of March, April, and May, by
going back from two to six miles from the ocean, numberless sheltered
nooks can be found, among the foot-hills, in the canons or on the moun-
tain side, where the air is both warmer and dryer.
"The middle of the ' warm belt' is said to be somewhere between
200 and 600 feet above sea level, in which the old Mission of Santa Bar-
bara is situated, it being 300 feet above the ocean and two and one-half
miles distant therefrom; yet it does not receive the full benefit that the
altitude should give it, in consequence of a peculiar geographical north-
west wind which occasionally visits certain exposed localities. But, by
going from one to three miles farther from the coast, that wind is
" At the summit station in the San Marcus Pass, on the stage road
over the Santa Ynez Mountain, at an elevation of about 2,500 feet, the
air is so dry during the summer season that invalids can camp out and
sleep upon the ground. Dr. E. X. AVood, a gentleman of culture and
experience, whose life in a hopeless decline, pulmonary phthisis, was
prolonged several years by a residence in this valley, spent a portion of
the last year of his life camping out in that picturesque locality, with
great satisfaction to himself. He frequently preferred taking his
240 TOPOGRAPHY, ETC., OF THE PACIFIC SLOPE.
blankets and sleeping in the open air just outside the door of his
" If a hot and very dry climate is sought, the Ojai Valley will fur-
nish the desideratum. It is a basin inclosed with a rim of mountains.
Nordhoff is the only village in the valley, and contains two hotels and
several boarding-houses. Is fifteen miles from the ocean and forty- five
from this city by the present road, but will soon be brought within thirty
miles by a road shortly to be opened. Altitude of Nordhoff, 900 feet.
Prof. Bennett, of the University of Edinburgh, writing of phthisis pul-
monalis, says: ' Much has been written of climate, but the one which
appears to be best is that which will enable the patient to pass a few
hours every day in the open air. without exposure to cold or vicissitudes
of temperature on the one hand, or the extreme heat on the other,' or
words to that effect.
1 ' I know of no geographical boundary of the same number of miles
that so fully complies with the above requirement as Santa Barbara,
with her sheltered nooks and the Ojai Valley. As proof of what I have
said, so far as it pertains to this city, I give the following summary of a
daily record kept for one year, by L. Bradley, Esq., of Aurora, 111., who
came here for a temporary residence on account of advanced phthisis, he
having had severe and frequent hemorrhages. ' During the year there
were 310 pleasant days, in which an invalid could be out-of-doors five or
six hours each day with safety and comfort; 29 cloudy days, upon 20 of
which an invalid could be out-of-doors for a short time; 12 showery
days, upon 7 of which an invalid could be out an hour at a time several
times each day; 10 windy and 5 rainy days, confining an invalid to the
house the entire day.' The time of observation extended from February
1st, 1876, to February 1st, 1877. Since all Mr. Bradley's pecuniary
interests are in the Eastern States, the charge of 'interested in it,' made
by the writer referred to, cannot apply to his statements. Through the
kindness of L. N. Dimmick, M.D., formerly of Ottawa, 111. â€” a phthisi-
cal invalid unable even here to pursue the active duties of his profession,
but who has been for five years a most diligent and trustful observer and
recorder of events that pertain to this place as a sanitarium â€” I am per-
mitted to draw liberally upon the material furnished by his records and
note-book. He says: 'The average temperature for three years has
been, at 7 a.m., 58Â°, at 2 p.m. 69Â°, and at 9 p.m. 57Â°, showing that mid-
day was 11Â° warmer than morning, 12 : warmer than evening. The fol-
lowing are the days in each year mentioned during which the tempera-
ture fell below 43Â° above zero and rose above 83Â°.
1873 below 43Â° on 7 days, above 83Â° on 1 day.
1874 " " "9 " " " " 6 days.
1875 " " "4 " " " "22 "
1876 " " "17 " " " " 4 '
Average below 43Â°, 9Â£ days; average above 83Â°, 8Â£ days.
TOPOGRAPHY, in., 01 im PAOIFIO SLOPE. 241
â€¢â– The meat i relative humidity Cor the year ending April 1 Â«t , ISTT, was
69.41," which oompares favorably with that ot San Diego as given by
the above-mentioned correspondent at 72.4. Carrying the comparison
of tin' relative humidity beyond the Rocky Mountains, the showing is
still more favorable for Santa Barbara:
Mean Relative Humidity for Santa Barbara, G9.41 per cent.
" " " " Philadelphia, 80 per cent.
" New Orleans, 83.50 per cent.
And taking a still wider range for the difference in the mean tem-
perature of the mouths of January and July, the comparison is no less
"Mean temperature of January and July:
Jan. July. Difference.
Santa Barbara, Cal 53.25 68.20 14.95
San Diego, Cal 53.55 70.32 .... 16.77
St. Augustine, Fla 56.79 80.91 24.12
Jacksonville, Fla 55.51 81.73 26.22
Akin, Geo 47.05 79.91 32.85
Galveston, Texas 51.55 84.42 32.87
Denver, Col ' 26 57 72.68 46.11
Algiers 52 75 23.
Mentone 40 73 33.
"Blodget's Climatology has furnished part of my data, and the bal-
ance is from sources no less trustworthy. By census of Santa Barbara
County, taken from the records in the Court-house, in 1870, the popu-
lation was 7,984, in which the number of deaths from consumption,
phthisis pulmonalis, was only five, or one death by consumption in
1,596 of a population. The number of deaths from all causes was sixty-
three, so that a little less than one-thirteenth of the mortality was from
phthisis. The total mortality was one in 12G of the inhabitants of the
county. This was before the tide of invalid immigration had fully set
in, and gives a fairer showing as to the climatic effect upon phthisical
patients than at a later day, when so many come in the far-advanced
stages of the disease, beyond the remedial agency of climate or anything
else. But if there is hope, it is to be found in Santa Barbara or in
the valley of the Ojai, on the plains of Anaheim, the historic valley of
San Gabriel, so graphically described by the above-mentioned correspon-
dent, as I can bear testimony from personal observation.
" Santa Barbara is free from that extreme heat that so frequently in-
creases the colliquative diarrhoea or disease of the bowels so often accom-
panying phthisis; and fever and ague, or other indigenous malarious
diseases are unknown. During what months of the year a sojourn here
on the coast will be most beneficial to the invalid, phthisis, or whatever
it mav be, he must determine for himself â€” first upon the advice of those
24:2 TOPOGRAPHY, ETC., OF THE PACIFIC SLOPE.
who have made the subject 1 a study, and secondly, his own personal ex-
perience; for what is beneficial to one may not be to another, although
apparently in the same condition. But as a rule, the spring months,
March, April, and May, are most variable, and have more unpleasant
days than other portions of the year. At this season, many invalids seek
the Ojai Valley, which furnishes a most pleasant and beneficial retreat
for those afflicted with a sensitive condition of the mucous membrane of
the air passages. A few remain in the valley during the summer, while
others prefer to spend the year in Santa Barbara, enjoying the usually
good hotel accommodations of this city. All seasons of the same months
are not alike; but the past January and February (1877), as I found
them in the city and vicinity of Santa Barbara, were most delightful,
combining all the climatic advantages that any place could offer the
nervously-depressed invalid, either from phthisis or any other cause." 1
Of mineral springs on the Pacific Slope, beginning with Sitka, there
are said to he warm sulphur springs or geysers, 96Â° to 104 D Fahr.,
about twenty miles from the City of Sitka, which were much f recpiented
by the Russians for the cure of syphilitic and rheumatic affections before
this territory was ceded to the United States, but no analysis of the
water has been published, by which the properties of the water may be
Wilhoifs Soda Springs, Calcamas County, Oregon, is an unusually
valuable alkaline water.
One pint contains (J. H. Teach, M.D.) :
Carbonate of soda, ...... 10.940
Carbonate of magnesia, ..... 10.665
Carbonate of protoxide of iron, ..... 0.750
Carbonate of lime, ...... 4.028
Chloride of sodium, ...... 25.125
Sulphate of soda, . . . . . . 0.425
Sulphate of magnesia, ...... 0.810
Iodine, ........ trace
Total, . 52.749
Carbonic acid gas, 42 cubic inches.
The amount of carbonic acid they contain renders them very exhila-
rating. They are mildly laxative and diuretic.
The springs are salubriously situated, thirty miles northeast from
Lower Soda Spring is situated in the Cascade Mountains, Linn
County. They are said to resemble the Wilhoit, but no analysis has
â€¢The Sanitarian, vol. v., pp. 349-52.
To i i:\rnv, ktc, of Tin; PACIFIC BLOPB. 2Â±3
Hot Springs, 184 Fahr., in Lane County, about one hundred miles
from Springfield, on the Oregon and California Railroad, the near
railroad station; and Warm Springs, in Cook County, on an Indian
reservation of the same name, have been reported, but no analysis has
Oes Cehutes Hot Springs, in Wasco County. One pint contains (143"
and 145 Fahr. , L. M. Dornbach and E. N. Horsford):
Carbonate of soda, ...... 4.312
Chloride of potassium,
Chloride of sodium,
Chloride of magnesium,
Sulphate of soda, .
Sulphate of lime,
Silicate of soda,
Carbonic acid, 2.82 cubic inches
California excels in the number of her mineral springs, of almost
every variety, and some of them are of great value; yet comparatively
few of the waters have been analyzed.
California Seltzir Springs, in Mendocino County, twelve miles by
stage from Lanel, on California and Northern Pacific Railroad, is an ex-
cellent alkaline water, closely resembling the imported water after which
it is named. One pint contains (61Â° F., H. G-. Hanks):
Carbonate of soda, ...... 7.598
Carbonate of magnesia, ..... 11.118
Carbonate of lime, ...... 1.938
Carbonate of iron, ...... 0.567
Chloride of sodium, ...... 1.478
Alumina, ....... 0.075
Silica ........ 0.729
Total, ........ 22.503
Carbonic acid, 45 cubic inches.
Vichy Springs, Xew Almaden, Santa Clara County, about sixty miles
south from San Francisco, are also named with reference to the re-
semblance of the water to the imported Vichy. One pint contains
(Second Biennial Report of State Board of Health):
Carbonate of soda, ...... 17.440
Carbonate of lime, . . . . . . 2.878
Chloride of sodium, ...... 4. 200
244 TOPOGRAPHY, ETC., OF THE PACIFIC SLOPE.
Sulphate of magnesia, ..... 1.500
Sulphate of lime, ... ... 5.250
Oxide of iron, ....... 0.600
Silica, ........ trace
Total, ........ 31.868
Carbonic acid, 29.85 cubic inches.
Adams Springs, in Lake County, from Callistoga or Lower Lake.
One pint contains:
Cai'bonate of soda, ...... 7.129
Carbonate of magnesia, ..... 12.378
Carbonate of iron, ...... 0.064
Carbonate of lime, ...... 3.589
Chloride of sodium, . . . . . .0.514
Potassa salts, ....... traces
Nitric acid, ....... traces
Organic matter, . . . . . . .0.851
Total, . 24.927
Carbonic acid, 38.00 cubic inches.
Congress Spring, Santa Clara County, on the San Jose branch of the
Central Pacific Railroad, about forty miles south from San Francisco, is
a muriated-alkaline water. One pint contains (50Â° Fahr.):
Carbonate of soda, . . . . . .15.418
Carbonate of iron, ...... 1.753
Carbonate of lime, ...... 2.161
Chloride of sodium, . . . . . . 14 894
Sulphate of soda, ....... 1.517
Silica, alumina, and trace of magnesia, . . . 6.235
This water is extensively on the market in California, charged artifi-
cially with carbonic acid, and very agreeable.
Fry's Soda Spring, Liskiyon County, near Oregon Railroad, is a
chalybeate water, highly impregnated with carbonic acid, sparkling like
soda water. No analysis.
Napa Soda Springs, in Napa County, by steamer from San Fran-
cisco to Vallejo, thence by Valley Railroad to Napa City, and stage to
the springs; alkaline chalybeate. One point contains (Langweert):
TOPOGRAPHY, BTO.j OF Tin: l'A< ifi<: si.oi'K.
Carbonate of soda,
( 'arhnnatc <>f magnesia,
t larbonate of iron,
Carbonate of Lime,
Chloride <>f sodium,
Sulphate of soda,
Silicic at ill.
Highland Sprint/*. Lake County, from San Francisco via Cloverdale
or Calistigo. Situated at an altitude of 1,7-40 above the level of the sea,
and protected by the mountains from sea-coast winds.
One pint contains.
Carbonate of soda.
Carbonate of potassa ....
Carbonate of magnesia. .
Carbonate of iron .
Carbonate of manganese
Carbonate of lime
Chloride of sodium
Free carbonic acid
W. B. Rising.
W. B. Rising.