Charles Frederick Holder.

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provements. The first steam rice- and good will."



O peasant delving in the stubborn soil,
What solace has this mother Earth for thee ?
Gaining thy bread through years of bitter toil,
Contented, like the cattle, just " to be! "
The patience of the yoked ox is thine —
What child-like pathos in thy wandering eyes!
Oh, do they ever note the daisy's shine.
Or turn they ever to the vaulted skies ?

If thou couldst stand upon some lofty height —
A great, fair city lying just below —
And view our progress with its steam-god's might,
Thou couldst not joy, because thou wouldst not know ;
But, sore bewildered by the pageant's glare,
Wouldst turn with yearning to thy stubble field
And the familiar toil which waits thee there —
While Earth still keeps the secrets she would yield.

O knotted hand, canst thou not feel these tears ?
That thou art pitiable, thou dost not know.
Kind Mother Nature, guide the closing years
Of this unlettered child, and help him grow.

♦The Painting by Jean Francois Millet.




HE Observatory founded
by Mr. James Lick dif-
fers from every other
institution in the world,
and that in many ways.
Considered merely as an
astronomical establishment it is of the
highest class, and it has a battery of
instruments and a corps of astrono-
mers to use them, which would make
it noteworthy, no matter where it was

It was part of Mr. Lick's plan to
provide not only the most powerful of
existing telescopes, but to place it in
the most favorable site ; and the
experience of several years has shown
us that his choice of Mt. Hamilton in
Santa Clara County was a wise one.
His Observatory is perched on the
summit of a mountain, 4,200 feet high,
and surrounded by a wilderness of
caiions (some 1,500 feet deep) and by
other peaks of about its own elevation.
The stage drive of twenty-six miles
from San Jos6 takes the visitor into
the very heart of the hills and to their
very summits. The road is different
from most mountain drives in that it
does not choose the easiest and lowest
grade, but, on the contrary, seeks to
gain its elevation as quickly and as
directly as possible.

When the summit is reached, the
traveler finds a vast astronomical
establishment, provided with every
modern device, situated in the midst
of a small village in which our colony
of thirty to forty people lives. Every
want which can be known in a city is
felt here, beside many very special
wants which arise from our very spe-
cial occupation.

Many of these wants cannot be
supplied nearer than the East or
Europe, and we are frequently forced
to provide for them by temporary

expedients which develop a feeling of
independence of all the world. Give
us a little brass and iron and we can
usually make the apparatus we require,
long before it can be ordered and ob-
tained from instrument makers. While
our wants are like those of everyone
else in California, our experiences are
decidedly different.

During our second winter at Mount
Hamilton (1889-90) more than twelve
feet of snow fell, and we were cut off
from all communication with the out-
side for days at a time ; and during
the summer of 1892, we had excit-
ing experiences with forest fires which
seemed to complete the cycle. Inun-
dations we do not fear, and there
seems to be nothing left to expect, un-
less perhaps, an earthquake like the
Lone Pine shock of 1872.

The Observatory is situated at the
very summit of Mount Hamilton. It
is surrounded on all sides with deep
caiions, and beyond these by high
peaks which are a mile or two miles
away. Towards the west are the
slopes of the mountain, up which our
stage road painfully climbs, and there
are very few trees. To the north is a
deep canon — Canon Negro — and be-
yond it a fine peak — Galileo. Beyond
this again are wooded slopes reaching
down to Isabel Creek, which stream
runs in a semi-circle around the north-
ern side of our reservation.

The summit of Galileo is connected
with that of Copernicus (4,380 feet
high) by a saddle, and north of this,
saddle wooded slopes extend towards
the Isabel Creek. At northeast and
east of Copernicus is a wilderness of
canons and hills, all thickly covered
with chapparal or scrub oak; and still
further to the east and southeast lies
the Isabel valley, which is used for a
cattle ranch. Mount Santa Isabel




(some 4,200 feet high) lies southeast
of us, two miles away, and separated
from Mount Hamilton by the deep
eafion of Sulphur Creek. A fire in
such a region is a very different mat-
ter from the prairie fires of the plains.

The illustration shows the Sulphur
Creek canon in the foreground with
the fire burning fiercely on the lower
slopes of Mount Isabel, about a half]
mile from the Observatory. The long
slope in the right foreground runs di-
rectly down from the Observatory, and
the trees on the crest are thirty to
forty feet high.

In the middle plane of the picture, to
the right, is a wilderness of hills and
valleys and beyond them, in the back-
ground, is the Gilroy valley, the
southern end of the Santa Cruz moun-
tains and the mountains beyond Mon-
terey. The Observatory itself and the
telescopes were at no time in great
danger, but the outlying buildings,
etc., were seriously menaced. I shall
say nothing of the wonderful beauty
of the spectacle (which was like noth-
ing I have seen except, perhaps, the
volcanoes in the Sandwich Islands),
because the capital photograph ex-
presses it better than any words.

The characteristic of the whole re-
gion is the chapparal, forming a
tangled thicket from ten to fifteen feet
high, which becomes as dry as tinder
in our long and hot summer. Here
and there grows a bay tree — the Cali-
fornia laurel — which burns with a pe-
culiar fierceness; and now and again
we find a digger pine whose large
cones once ignited can scarcely be ex-
tinguished. The larger trees in the
foreground are Douglas oaks.

On Monday evening (July 20th,
1892), two Portuguese stopped at the
Smith Creek Hotel at the foot of the
mountain and then proceeded after
nightfall towards theSan Isabel valley.

These men passed Wandell's ranch,
about a mile northeast of us, sometime
about midnight of Monday; and it is
believed that they made a camp fire
that night, from the embers of which
our forest fires were started. How-
Vol. IV— 23

ever this may be, it is certain that a
brisk fire was burning about seven
o'clock of Tuesday morning, near Mr.
Wandell's place.

Finding that it was becoming seri-
ous he sent to the Observatory for
help, and as it grew worse and worse
the astronomers and men all turned
out to assist.

From Tuesday noon until Thurs-
day evening, it was impossible to ob-
tain help from the outside and our lit-
tle force of astronomers and workmen
fought the fire round nearly half a
circle, beating it back in one place to
have it reappear in another, but grad-
ually pushing it further and further
away and always keeping it beyond
the crests of the hills nearest to us.
Our exertions were directed to a single
end, namely, to see that the fire new r
passed crests, or indeed never
quite reached them. If it had effected
a lodgment there, some of the pine
cones at the summit would have been
ignited and would have rolled down
the hither slope, lighting grass and
dry leaves on their way. Thus the
caiion nearest us to the north would in-
evitably have been set on fire, and in-
evitably the fire would have swept
from the bottom to the top of the
caiion, burning everything in its way.
Now the cottages of the astronomers
and workmen, the barns, our supplies
of fuel and forage were precisely in its
path. And it was essential to save
these as well as our waterworks,
pumping engine, etc. The fate of
them all really depended on keeping
a single burning pine cone from roll-
ing down the hither slopes, and this
meant that the fire must be met and
conquered on the farther ones. This
was successfully accomplished, but at
the cost of great exertions, and only
after miles and miles of country had
been burned over. One of our astron-
omers, for example, had no sleep for
three days and two nights, having
been almost constantly in the field for
all this time.

Long trails were cut and ploughed
(when possible) and the fire was met



and conquered along these lines of
vantage. Whenever it was practic-
able, fires were purposely set beyond
these trails so that the main confla-
gration might meet a burned space.
But it was often necessary to face and
subdue the flames along a narrow path
only a few feet wide. No water was
available. The Observatory supply is
barely sufficient for daily use, and it
had to be carefully husbanded in case
of danger to the Observatory itself.
Instead of water, dirt was used, and
this was shoveled on the lines of fire
at close quarters. At one time the as-
tronomers were obliged to defend a
crest something like half a mile long
to prevent the flames from cross-
ing it, while the fire was burning
fiercely along the whole line. The
flames rose thirty, forty or even fifty
feet in the air, making a terrific heat,
and the noise could be heard for two
or three miles'around.

Two things impressed upon me the
intensity of this conflagration in two
different ways, and I do not know that
I can do better than to mention them.
A steep hillside lay opposite to us,
some distance beyond where we were
working, and a few pine cones rolled
down the slope and ignited the brush
at the bottom of the hill. In a few
seconds a line of fire extended all
along the lower portions, and it was
evident that the whole hillside must
burn. There were at least six acres in
the area. Some one took out a watch
and said " Let us see how long it will
take to burn it all." In twelve min-
utes there was not a gre?n leaf left ! A
man on a fast horse could hardly have
kept out of danger.

Statistics of this kind give a sort of
arithmetical account of the force of
the flames, but I can better express,
I think, their terrifying aspect. My
young son had an intelligent and af-
fectionate shepherd dog who accom-
panied him to the scene of the fire (for
even the children on the reservation
were constant^ employed in carrying
water and provisions to the men who
could not leave their posts.)

The animal looked at the fearful
mass of flames and began to show
signs of terror. My boy called him
and made him go through some of his
tricks so as to divert his attention.
He was perfectly docile and obedient
until the full force of the fire showed
itself. Then he simply yielded to
terror or to the fascination of
the spectacle and running wildly up
the hill towards the flames, disap
peared. Nothing has been seen of
him since, and I have no doubt that
he rushed into the flames as a moth
into a candle. When one reflects
what it must take to affect an intelli-
gent and obedient animal accustomed
to depending upon his master, one ob-
tains, I think, something of a gauge
of the awfulness of the spectacle.

The illustration which accompanies
this account may serve to show the
same thing if the reader can fix in his
mind the scale of the picture. The
middle of the picture is more thru a
mile away from the Observatory. The
slopes are covered with quite large
trees, and their height may serve as a
rough measure of the scale. The
flames themselves often extended more
than a hundred feet into the air.

In a report on this subject which I
have made to the Regents of the Uni-
versity I have called attention to the
fact that experiences of this sort do
not fall to the share of the other mem-
bers of the University faculties. It is
possible to live a long life at Berkeley
without being called upon to undergo
an imprisonment of months under
twelve feet of snow, or to fight a for-
est fire for a week at a time. I do not
think any of the astronomers here
would have been willing to forego
either of the experiences, but I am
very sure that no one of us wishes to
submit to them again. They were
met in a way to be proud of, and our
corps of skilled astronomers mastered
the theory of forest fires in the moun-
tains precisely as if it had been a ques-
tion of abstract science, and put it into
practice with the vigor (and the suc-
cess) of a city fire-brigade.

IT is conceded by many that Amer-
ican women are the most beautiful
in the world. This appears to be a
reasonable hypothesis, owing, per-
haps, to the fact that women in this
country are free to a great extent from
those restrictions to which women of
other countries are subject, and enjoy
greater opportunities to cope with the
serious questions of life ; a deeper
character and a broader intelligence is
thereby developed, which finds ex-
pression in their outward appearance.
A wide diversity of type is thus cre-
ated, and there is nothing more pleas-
ing to an admirer of beauty than the
absence of that insipidity and repeti-
tion of cast of countenance and form,
that heretofore almost invariably
characterized, and even now, in many
classes, characterizes feminine beauty.
A celebrated tourist says concerning
our country women, M I have wan-
dered in many lands and have seen the
women of every country and nation,
but nowhere have I found types to
compare with our women of America.
They comprise in themselves all that is
noblest, brightest, sweetest and best in
the feminine character."

The beauty of the Southern women
has been particularly commented up-
on, and three generations ago they
reigned in the world's society as rivals

of the crowned and coroneted beau-
ties of foreign courts, and were noted
for their cleverness and grace. Many
foreign gentlemen of rank, wealth
and title have sought wives amongst
our women ever since our country
was founded. Betsy Patterson of
Baltimore captivated the brother of
Napoleon and became his wife, and the
three McFanish sisters married Eng-
lish noblemen and became well known
throughout Kurope for their many

It is said of the Kentucky girls,
Who are acknowledged by many to be
the fairest daughters of the republic,
that they cannot be bought by money
nor titles. It is probable that they
realize their own worth as women and
decline to have material prices set
upon them.

One of the most brilliant and beauti-
ful young women that graces Kentucky
society is Klise Castleman, the eldest
daughter of General John B. and Alice
Barbee Castleman. Two years ago
she was chosen from amongst the fair-
est women of all the Southern and
Western States to be queen of the
Rocky Mountain carnival. The fes-
tival is given by the carnival courts
on the Pacific Slope, and this regency
is considered one of the highest hon-
ors that can be bestowed upon any
American woman. She was a debu-
tante at the time, and on account of
the notoriety accruing from such a
position, General and Mrs. Castleman
thought best not to allow her to ac-
cept. Last year she was chosen from




among Kentucky's most beautiful
women to be Queen of the Satellites.
This was one of the most brilliant
social events in the history of the Car-
nival Court, and the young girl played
her role with all the requisite wom-
anly grace and dignity.

Miss Castleman is rather tall, well
built and graceful. She is neither
blonde nor brunette, but possesses
that soft beauty that escapes the usual
insipidity of the blonde, and the heavy

He is now chairman of the Demo-
cratic Central Committee and is spo
ken of as the "next Governor of
Kentucky." Mrs. Castleman is a
tall, queenly and magnetic woman
who seems born to be a social leader.
She is identified with many philan-
thropic movements, and works with
unselfish devotion to promote the wel-
fare of her fellow beings.

Virginia Singleton Brown, daugh-
ter of Gov. John Young Brown of


intensity of the pronounced brunette.
Her eyes are brown, limpid and ex-
pressive. She is an excellent musi-
cian and a superb horsewoman, and
she inherits her traits of distinction
and fascinating personality from both
of her parents. General Castleman
is remarkable for his dignified appear-
ance and soldierly bearing. He is
one of Kentucky's most influential
citizens, and has been at the head of
the State Militia for several years.

Kentucky, is the eldest of three sis-
ters. All of them are beautiful girls.
Virginia is particularly admired in
the social world. She is a decided
blonde, tall and graceful, and has a
refined and eloquent face. Sarah
Bernhardt, who has seen the hand-
some women of almost every country
under the sun, while occupying a box
at a theater opposite the private box
of the Governor's family wherein sat
his three daughters, inquired who





they were, remarking at the same
time that Evelyn, the second daugh-
ter, was the most beautiful girl
she had ever seen. John Young
Brown, now Governor of Ken-
tucky, was elected to Congress
before he was eligible to occupy
the seat, and was re-elected sev-
eral times. His eloquence and
fine oratory have made him very
popular. His wife is a daughter
of Hon. Archibald Dixon, who
was Lieutenant Governor of Ken-
tucky, and was afterwards elect-
ed Senator to fill the unexpired
term of Henry Clay, and he per-
formed his duties so well in this
capacity, that he was elected to
the Senate the following term.

Margaret Thornton, of Lex-
ington, Kentucky, comes from
a long line of handsome women
and noted men, and she is a
fair reproduction of her distin-
guished ancestors. Her face is
full of expression, which varies
with every passing thought and
feeling. Her brown eyes are

veiled by long lashes that
produce a peculiarly beauti-
ful effect. Miss Thornton's
grandfather, Gen. William
Preston, married Miss Wick-
liffe of Kentucky, and they
reared a family of sons and
daughters of which Mrs.
Robert Thornton is one.
Gen. Preston was Minister to
Spain, a noted lawyer and a
brave soldier. His widow
still resides in their old an-
cestral home, from which
Miss Thornton's mother was
married. Her husband, Rob-
ert A. Thornton, belonged to
an old Virginia family, but
ever since his marriage he
has lived in Lexington,
where he has provided his
family an elegant home.

One of the season's debu-
tants is Mary Bruce of Louis-
ville, a tall, sweet girl with
golden brown hair, a fair

ckar complexion and hazel eyes.

She is exceedingly bright and witty,




and is greatly admired by her friends
and acquaintances. She is the young-
est daughter of Judge and Mrs. Liz-
zie Helm Bruce, whose other two
daughters are pursuing their studies
in Paris and Berlin. Miss Bruce
comes from a distinguished family.
Her grandfather and great grand-
father were both Governors of Ken-
tucky. Gov. Ben. Harding, her

rounded by a large garden containing
grand old forest trees. His library is
very extensive, containing books of
every variety and description. He
is considered one of Kentucky's
brightest men and finest lawyers,

Elenora Graves, a tall slender girl
of the dark Spanish type of beauty,
made her debut in society over a year
ago. She is tall, willowy and grace-


great grandfather, was a brilliant
lawyer, and many of his witty and
pungent speeches have been handed
down amongst politicians and states-
men. His daughter married Gov.
Helm. Their eldest son was killed
while fighting the lost cause of the
South. Miss Bruce has a brother and
also an uncle practicing law in the
city. Judge Bruce' s home is in the
suburbs, or used to be, but the city is
growing so rapidly in its direction
that it w r ill soon be included within
the city limits. It is built in the old-
fashioned massive style, and is sur-

ful, with the promise of magnificent
womanhood. She is the only daugh-
ter of Mr. and Mrs. Graves. Her
father is a wealthy banker in Lexing-
ton, Kentucky; Mrs. Graves is also a
Kentuckian, and was raised and
reared near her present home. She is
an artist, and her home is a rare cabi-
net of beautiful and artistic objects,
for she has decorated it profusely with
the work of her own hands. She is in-
tellectual, active and progressive, and
finds time, with all her home duties
and social engagements, to take an ac-
tive part in charitable organizations.



Nettie Belle Smith, the daughter
of the railroad president, Milton H.
Smith, is also a type of Kentucky
beauty. She is a very handsome girl
and is exceedingly bright and witty.
While traveling abroad with her
teacher, she stored her mind with all
sorts of useful knowledge, and is con-
versant upon a variety of interesting

May Field is also a Kentucky girl,
and is considered by many the most
beautiful woman in Louisville.

Another Louisville belle is Lily
Lindenberger, whose rare beauty and
charming personality are sources of
delight to those who are so fortunate
as to be numbered among her friends.

Among those of Kentucky's fair
daughters who are studying abroad is

Mary Currie Duke, daughter of Gen.
Basil Duke of Louisville. Her per-
formance on the violin at twelve years
of age led many to consider her a
prodigy, and her parents finally sent
her abroad, where she has been study-
ing music for four years. In a letter
describing the enthusiasm with which
her teacher greeted her performance,
Miss Barbour Bruce .says, ' ' To return
to Burch; his first violin concert was
considered a perfect gem, and was
made particularly interesting to us the
other evening, from the fact that Miss
Currie Duke played, accompanied by
the composer himself. When she had
finished, old Burch wild with en-
thusiasm, jumped up from the piano,
embraced her and said she was ' an
artist, a real artist, a great artist ! '






She is one of Joachim's idols, and he
promises her a great future. All
Americans are proud of her. She
wins both musical and social distinc-
tions wherever she goes. She is
wrapped up in her music and has
turned her back on the world almost
completely, for fear of spending that
precious strength dedicated to her
violin. "

Truly admirable is that woman who,
able to win great social distinction,
gives up all the pleasure and honor
accruing therefrom, for the sake of
devoting her life to some cherished
profession or art. Such a course not
only fails to detract from her womanly
qualities, but invests her personality
with a new interest, and is an addi-
tional charm and crown to her life.




RANGE groves call to
mind bright, warm
summers and spring-
like winters, as the
genial seasons of those
.climes in which the
tree finds its happiest

The orange was first planted in
Southern California by the San Fran-
ciscan fathers, soon after they estab-
lished their first mission in the State
at San Diego, in 1769. Under their
care it thrived. As they established
their chain of missions up the coast to
the north they carried the orange tree
with them beyond Point Conception,
where the warm coast climate south
of that point suddenly ends owing to
geographical configuration, to the
cool, summer climate found on the
sea-board northward, until they
reached what is now Santa Clara
County. Here they planted it spar-
ingly with fair success. To-day, on
its foothills or thermal belt, Santa
Clara Valley has regular crops of as

* See also article on "The Orange in California,
in this magazine for April, 1892.

fine oranges as are grown any-

Into the unknown interior of Cali-
fornia at that early date no missionary
father had penetrated, carrying thither
the symbol of salvation and intro-
ducing pastoral and agricultural in-
dustry among the savage, native
tribes ; consequently, no orange groves
were planted there until more recent
days. As time advanced the sphere
of mission influence and enterprise
expanded, and when the United States
took possession of the province,
Southern California had become a
vast grazing ground, over which
roamed thousands of horses and myr-
iads of cattle and sheep. The pastur-

Online LibraryCharles Frederick HolderThe Californian (Volume 4) → online text (page 46 of 120)