far as Port Costa, we follow the same route
over which we came. Crossing the straits of
Carquinez at that point on the mammoth steam
ferry-boat " Solano," the largest craft of its
kind in the world, the whole train being taken
on board at once, the route extends through
Benicia and across the fertile plains beyond.
Sacramento is a handsome and attractive city of
over 25,000 inhabitants, and the capital of the
State. The capitol is a stately edifice, with a
fine dome 220 feet in height. The cost of the
building was $2,500,000. Crossing the great
plains of Nevada, the State is traversed by the
railroad for 456 miles. Reno, Wadsworth,
Winnemucca, Battle Mountain, Carlin, Elko
and Wells are the chief places upon the way.
Humboldt, where breakfast will be served, is
a veritable oasis in the desert, the proprietors
of the Humboldt House having brought water
down from the neighboring Humboldt Moun-
tains for irrigating purposes. Winnemucca
was named in honor of a celebrated Piute
chief who died about a year since. Elko is a
flourishing mining center. Although the
TOUR OF THE ST. ELMO'S,
route is over the unproductive alkali plains,
the scenery is never uninteresting, as there is
an ever-changing prospect of mountains."
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH.
" The Mormon capital presents many strange
sights. Salt Lake City, or Zion, as it is called
by the Latter Day Saints, is very beautifully
situated in the great Salt Lake valley. The
wonderful inland sea is situated only a few
miles away, and in the opposite direction rises
the great wall of the Wahsatch Range. The
city covers a wide expanse, and the streets are
laid out regularly, bordered with trees and
watered by tiny canals of pure water. The
number of people who own the houses in
which they live is said to be greater in
proportion to the population than in any
other city of the Union. There are copi-
ous sulphur springs within the city, and rich
silver mines within a distance of a score
of miles. The number of inhabitants is about
SALT LAKE CITY.
20,000, the majority being Mormons. The
Tabernacle, the chief place of worship of the
Mormons, is a great egg-shaped building, 250
feet long and 150 feet wide, with a roof 80
feet from the floor. There are seats for 8000
persons and 20 doors for exit. The unfinished
Temple and the Assembly House are in the
same enclosure with the Tabernacle, and the
Endowment House is in a separate enclosure
near the latter building. Among the other
places of interest are the Tithing offices, Brig-
ham Young's former residence ; the Amelia
Palace (built for one of President Young's
favorite wives and now occupied by President
Taylor) ; the gigantic mart of ' Zion's Co-
operative Mercantile Institution,' known in
short as the ' Co-op, store,' and the Deseret
Museum, which contains a small but interest-
ing collection of curiosities. Camp Douglas
is finely situated near the city."
TOUR OF THE ST. ELMO'S
FRIDAY, Aug. 24.
At 3.30 P. M. we bid adieu to the hearty
good cheer of San Francisco. A large number
of friends cross the ferry with us, among others
two Sir Knights of St. Elmo, Sir Theo. Byxbee
and Sir James Belden, who preceded us and
concerning whom a capital story is going the
rounds. It seems the reporter of one of the
San Francisco papers announced them as Major
General Byxbee and Governor Belden of Con-
necticut. Sir Knight, James has answered to his
title ever since. The Japanese minister came
on board and went through our cars at the
ferry. Mr. and Mrs. William P. Morgan with
a few other friends accompained us to the next
station, then final adieus were exchanged and
we were off for a ride of 872 miles to Salt Lake.
On this route is the largest ferry-boat in the
world, affording room for forty-eight freight cars
A CONTINENT TO CROSS.
on deck at once. There are four tracks on
which are taken as many trains. For many
miles we pass along the shore of the best har-
bor on the continent. Leaving the broad
waters at last we realize that we have turned
our faces homeward. There is only a conti-
nent to cross !
Sacramento, a city of nearly 30,000 inhabitants,
is passed just after dark. At midnight most of
the party are on the platforms and at the 'win-
dows to witness by moonlight the passage
"around the horn." The railroad at this place
is cut into the face of a fearful precipice. The
strongest nerves somehow call for a firm grasp
here and all hands hold on tightly till we are
safely by. We are told that Mother Hubbard
was there enjoying the scenery, and do know
for a certainty that Father Hubbard was out.
During the latter part of the night we pass
through thirty-eight miles of snow sheds. One
sleepy Sir Knight inquired this morning if we
saw that "long bridge." He said he looked
TOUR OF THE ST. ELMO'S.
till he " got tired" and fell asleep. The high-
est elevation is at Soda Springs, 6,750 feet.
We are passing over an alkali plain between
treeless mountain ranges all day. There is little
dust, but what there is, makes the skin smart
and inflames the eyes, lips and nostrils. The
Sinks of the Humboldt river are passed. Three
rivers in this desert empty into as many sinks
which have no outlet. We ride for miles beside
one of these. Sir Knight W. K. Mendenhall
and lady, whose sleeping car is placed in another
section of the train and who are thus without
quarters, are given a place with us and form a
pleasant addition to our party. Humboldt is a
pretty oasis in the monotonous desert. A fine
fountain, a little lake with swan, and fine lawns
with trees enhance the contrast ; then the
dreary waste again. There are ranches occa-
sionally, and sometimes great fields of grain,
but only at points where precious water can be
obtained. No rain falls here. Rarely during
the winter nights slight snows whiten the alkali
surface a little, and these invariably disappear
in the early part of the day. Just at dusk \\v
follow the curving river, by a series of circling
turns among the parti-colored mountains.
There are yellows, reds, grays, browns, all
streaked with lines of many tints. The setting
sun gilds some with flame-colored lights, leav-
ing the rest with sombre shades. The effect
At Palisade is a touch of civilization. The
Palisades are unlike anything \ve have seen and
very beautiful ; a novel canon indeed. A
bright sulphur-colored lichen enhances the
singularity of the scene. Here is the junction
of the Palisade and Eureka railroad, a narrow-
gauge to the mines. The valley widens into
fertile fields, with distant mountain ranges, and
then the desert with its poisonous dust. The
day's ride is attended with more discomfort
than the southern route gave us. The heat is
not as intense, but one feels it more.
One member of the party offers two bits for
TOUR OF THE ST. ELMO'S.
a regulation papoose basket, with the papoose
strapped in. The smiling squaw throws it
gracefully over her shoulder, places the broad
strap across her forehead and proudly walks
away. We are running at high speed all day,
and as night "pins her mantle with a star" we
draw our curtains, shutting out the alkali plains,
and at the peep of dawn look out upon "the
same continued." Along the eastern horizon,
however, sparkles a dark blue line, for we are
approaching the Great Salt Lake. At Ogden
we find an engine ready to draw us down a few
miles to Salt Lake City, which we reach early
in the day. We ride about its streets ; visit the
grave of Brigham Young ; return to our cars
for lunch and then attend the great Sunday
service at the Mormon Tabernacle. Pictures
have familiarized everybody with its roof like an
enormous turtle's back, but its interior with a
seating capacity variously estimated at from
twelve to fifteen thousand, is quite a sight.
To-day, August 20, the galleries are not filled,
but thousands are seated in the body of the
house. Six " Apostles" with heads like
billiard balls are breaking bread back of a long-
table, and filling the fancy cake-baskets (sug-
gestive of Meriden factories). Back of these,
and a step higher, six more are seated, and
a Bishop stands with uplifted hands in prayer.
Back of this row, at the conclusion of the
prayer, one rises and reads a hymn ; then
further back a precentor raises his baton ;
behind him an orchestra, and an immense or-
gan, and on either side great choirs of singers.
The enormous roof echoes pulsating throbs
of music ; then Bishop George' Bywater, who is
a mechanic, delivers a long extempore harangue
which, when condensed, is as follows : Mor-
monism rests on Scripture ; is a continuation of
revelation corresponding thereto, and we are
happy in its reception. During the sermon,
cake-baskets with broken bread are passed
around and water in silver cups, and every one
present, old and young, partake about as un-
TOUR OF THE ST. ELMO'S.
concernedly as children chew gum. There are
in this world schemers and dupes ; they can be
found in this place. There are congregations
of happy-faced, intelligent people, but one will
look in vain for them here. A visit to the
Tabernacle will set one thinking, and if that is
impossible, a ride about the city will do. The
streets are very broad but there is everywhere
the utmost slovenliness ; a general dilapidated,
Here and there a pretty place, perhaps a
gentile, perhaps an apostate, possibly a mag-
nate of the church. One sees high adobe
walls suggestive of a prison, with a rickety,
ramshackle picket affair for a gate ; rough
roads lined with high weeds ; tumble-down
cobble-stone walls ; and crooked, broken
fences. We find the grave of Brigham with-
out any inscription in a corner of a green lawn,
enclosed on two sides by stone walls, the third
side barbed-wire fence and the fourth nothing,
being a bank wall of cobble.
Here are splendid business blocks (also
church tithes). This is a fertile valley, yet
after reading the glowing " Garden of Eden "
accounts the visit is a disappointment. The
power here is an absolute despotism vested in
the church and carried on under the forms of
a democracy. Yesterday was a bloody day.
A colored man shot the chief of police who
was attempting to arrest him. The chief was
a Mormon bishop and revenge came instantly.
The colored man was beaten, shot, kicked and
pounded until his face was a piece of flesh ;
was hung to a beam, then cut down and the
mangled, bleeding body drawn by a howling
mob through the dust of the street. It was
proposed to drag him through all the principal
streets, and hang up what was left in a public
place, but the Mayor knowing what a shock
such a proceeding would produce among civil-
ized communities, put a stop to it.
On our return from the great tabernacle we
took carriages for the lake, and a bath in its
TOUR OF THE ST. ELMO'S.
waters. What a bath ! Ocean water is said
to be seven per cent, salt this is twenty-two !
Any person can sit, stand or lie down without
sinking. We floated around like corks. We
could not swim, because the feet could not be
kept under water. The Dead Sea is the only
body of water on the earth as salt as this.
The bath in these waters is as delightful as it is
We return home ; take dinner, and by ap-
pointment receive a friend who is a gentleman
of culture, a resident here for many years.
All the evening and late into the night we
listen to his expositions of Mormonism, at
times with breathless interest. It is an even-
ing never to be forgotten. Would to heaven
the good people of this country could see and
hear for themselves.
"Shortly after leaving Ogden, and thirteen
miles from that place, the train enters the por-
tals of the " Devil's Gate," beyond which lie
OVER THE MOUNTAINS.
Weber and Echo Canons, both of which are
filled with strange rock formations. The
"thousand-mile tree," which marks the dis-
tance from Omaha, is within the Weber Canon,
thirty-two miles from Ogden.
The day will be passed chiefly upon the
great grazing plains of Wyoming. The scen-
ery along the Green River is remarkable on
account of the strange rock formations. The
Uintah range of mountains is crossed at Aspen,
at an elevation of 7835 feet, and the true con-
tinental divide at Creston, twenty-five miles
west of Rawlins, at an elevation of 7300 feet.
The highest point upon the road, 8235 feet,
will be reached at Sherman. The point here
crossed is not upon the main range of the
Rocky Mountains, but upon a spur of the
Black Hills. While passing through Wyom-
ing the antelope is likely to become a common
object, although these animals are not so nu-
merous as formerly. Some of the lofty peaks
of Colorado are seen from the vicinity of
TOUR OF THE ST. ELMO'S.
Cheyenne. The railroad crosses from Wyom-
ing into Nebraska about fifty miles east of,
Cheyenne. The western section of Nebraska,
like a large part of Wyoming, is given up
principally to grazing, but the valley of the
Platte, which the railroad follows for several
hundred miles, is richly productive.
Between Council Bluffs and Cedar Rapids
the road traverses a rich agricultural section of
Iowa. The aim of the road was for as direct
a line and as light gradients as possible, with-
out regard to the old towns. There has, how-
ever, sprung up on this line in Iowa some very
smart and flourishing towns, such as Neola,
Defiance, Coon Rapids, Ferry, Pickering and
Tama. Marion is reached at 5.15 A.M.; this is
one of the loveliest towns in the State, and is
the center of one of the best dairy farming
localities in the great West. Leaving this
point the road passes through the most fertile
portions of Iowa and Illinois. From Marion
a branch runs to Cedar Rapids, one of the
oldest and best towns in the State. Oxford
Junction is reached at 6.41 ; at this point
branches run to Davenport and Rock Island,
as well as to all points in Northern Iowa,
Minnesota and Dakota. Sabula on the west
and Savanna on the east bank of the Missis-
sippi are the next towns of importance, and are
connected by. one of the finest iron and steel
bridges in the country.
The Illinois section of the Chicago and
Council Bluffs Short Line is one of the finest
constructed and finished roads in the country,
traversing the bonanza portion of the great
Prairie State, crossing the Rock River valley
and following that of the Fox. Elgin, the
seat of the celebrated watch factory and the
home of numerous other extensive and popular
industries, lies on this line some thirty-seven
miles from Chicago. This piece of road liter-
ally flows with milk, the profits therefrom
constituting the honey of the dairymen."
TOUR OF THE ST. ELMO'S.
SATURDAY, Aug. 27.
A quiet sleep prepares us for an early start
for Ogden, thirty-four miles, with a tip-top
breakfast en route. An hour here makes up
a special train for Omaha ten hundred and
The morning is hot; we soon strike the Devil's
Gate, a cafion picturesque, rugged and wild.
Just at the opening beyond, a colony of three
hundred and twenty-five were massacred by the
Mormons a few years ago. In the rich valley
we look through the vibrating heated air to see
the snow on the mountains. Weber Canon is
fine and unlike any other yet seen, ending in a
lofty mass with curiously rounded butresses and
pinnacles. Here is the celebrated Devil's Slide
and Devil's Cave. The Weber River which we
have followed all the morning empties into the
Great Salt Lake. We soon reach the Echo
Cailon and find the most curious rocks. The
face of the perpendicular cliffs for miles is hol-
lowed and cut into myriads of fantastic forms.
Along the top are still seen the rocks placed
there by the Mormons for the purpose of
slaughtering the United States troops a few
years ago. An accident which detained the
troops saved them from massacre.
The Tower, Steamboat Point, Thousand
Mile Tree, Pulpit Rock and the Hanging Rock
are interesting points. At Evanston (altitude
about 7,000 feet), we stop for an hour. A
tribe of Wahsatch Indians and a few Shoshones
furnish diversion and an opportunity to trade
for trinkets. At Wahsatch we enter the vast
territory of Wyoming. The day's ride is in a
narrow sage-bush valley with peculiar side hills,
some resembling earthworks, some clusters of
tents, pyramids, cones and terraces.
At the Green River Canon all the novel
scenes of the kind are outdone. Here are
lofty walls, perfectly vertical, with horizontal
TOUR OF THE ST. ELMO'S.
lines of varying shades white, gray, blue,
brown and black lifting lofty castles against
the sky and presenting a spectacle of rare
beauty. Farther on, at the foot of a wonder-
ful cliff, the town nestles, the long line of
buildings fronting a broad plaza. Cages of
wild animals are here, panthers and bears being
captured on the premises. General Charles
Roone, of New York, joins us for a short visit.
In jollity and mirth the evening swiftly flies.
Notwithstanding the heat of the day the night
August 28. Our train is very heavy and
the grades during the night steep. The brakes
did not hold and the train drew the engine
back several times. We lost two hours. No
spare engine on this division, since there are
seven sections of the train back of us. At
Laramie, a city of 3,500 inhabitants, the train
stops nearly an hour. We make the acquain-
tance of Mr. John W. Donnellan, cashier of
the Laramie National Bank, who shows us a
fine banking building with excellent appoint-
ments and gives us much information concern-
ing the city, the territory, its climate, resources,
etc. A mine of crystallized soda with veins
and beds several feet in thickness has recently
been opened and chemical works are being
established. Two miles away a mountain
spring discharges pure water enough to fill a
twelve-inch main for city use and also supplies
a broad stream of running water to every street
gutter. The spring is 135 feet above the city
level. We move slowly up grade to Sherman.
" How is this for high !" Altitude 8,242 feet !
We notice the monument of Oakes Ames
on the summit. The party are becoming
accustomed to high altitudes, and no one suf-
fers any inconvenience, although in one of
the forward cars a gentleman is dangerously
ill from heart-disease. From Sherman to
Cheyenne the descent is over 2,000 feet. The
roads run a short distance through a country
full of rocks, then follow broad meadows and
TOUR OF THE ST. ELMO'S.
plains, in some places a little rolling. We all
supposed that mountain passes would be found,
and are surprised to find gradually descending
prairies. Enormous herds of cattle are seen,
and, of course, great numbers of ''cow boys."
Sir Knight, the Major H. H. Strong, rejoins
us at Cheyenne, having gone on ahead for a
visit with friends. His Honor Sir Knight
Doolittle meets here a schoolmate, Mr. Allen
Bristol, and we are favored with a visit from
Sir Knight S. A. Bristol and wife, also Pro-
fessor J. E. Starke and wife. The professor
has conducted the high school at Cheyenne for
eleven years. From Cheyenne eastward the
same beautiful plains are seen becoming more
and more green and all very fertile but requir-
ing irrigation. We find no change until after
crossing the Nebraska line. In the vicinity of
Sydney are cultivated fields with low rocky
ledges. At Salt Lake City we noticed " Uncle
Sam's boys," a military post being established
there, and we find another at this point. The
THRO UGH NEBRA SKA .
entire route from the summit is a table-
land meadow exceedingly well fitted for graz-
ing. Just after reaching the North Platte the
cry of "fire" is heard; a long line of flame is
running across the prairie. The sunset on the
plains is also a very pretty sight. During the
evening visits are exchanged with the Mary
Commandery, of Philadelphia, whose cars are
attached to our own.
We cross the South-Platte in the evening
and have been riding beside the Platte all night, a
broad, shallow river full of shifting sands.
The gradually descending grade of yesterday
still continues. Our ride through Nebraska is
a descent of 7,000 feet.
The morning of the 2Qth finds us within
eighty miles of Omaha, in a region suggestive
of New England scenery. Rains have fallen
and the rich dark green grass looks refreshing.
Numerous trees of various kinds are in sight.
Soon we come to level fields burdened with
heavy crops, in the fertile valley of the Platte.
TOUR OF THE ST. ELMO'S.
At Tremont, forty-seven miles from Omaha,
we receive notice of an accident ahead and are
compelled to wait. After a delay of a few
hours, during which time several trains come
up, we proceed to the wreck. A freight train
ran into another at the switch. The locomo-
tive was scattered about, twelve cars were de-
molished, eight of these being stacked up at
right angles with the track. No one was
seriously injured. A new track is laid down
the embankment connecting with the siding,
and slowly we " slide down hill," passing
around the ruin. After a short stop at Omaha
we cross the great bridge over the Missouri
river. At Council Bluffs while the cars are
cleaned, the time is well filled up. All hands
are weighed at the baggage rooms and all have
gained since leaving home, the gain being from
three to seven pounds each. Some astonishing
time is made in certain " go as you please " races.
The truck racing is also interesting. The amount
of exercise the ladies can endure, is astonishing.
When starting for home we picked up a poor,
sick, penniless boy from Connecticut, L. D.
Pierce by name, and raising a purse, purchased
for him a ticket to Council Bluffs. We find
him here and the kind-hearted railroad officials
grant him a pass to Chicago, which is the end
of their line. Mr. A. Alice, western district
passenger agent of the Chicago, Milwaukee
and St. Paul, joins our party to accompany us
the entire length of their line 490 miles. Since
leaving San Francisco we have already traveled
Into the giant state of Iowa we speed. The
wonderful fertility of these rich rolling lands
exceeds belief. A concert whiles away the
evening hour. During the early part of the
night no less than four prairie fires are seen.
The Central Missouri and St. Paul railroad is
well built, and the train runs at high speed,
yet most of the party sleep soundly. The
grade is slightly ascending to "'the divide,"
from which point the water runs west to the
TOUR OF THE ST. ELMO'S.
Missouri and east to the Mississippi, which river
we cross in the morning over a very fine bridge.
All the lands seen in Iowa are very fertile, but
the western portion is the best. Illinois is also
a beautiful country. The land is very produc-
tive, and fine farms are everywhere. It is
more thickly settled, and is a pleasant land
indeed. The views as we pass are refreshing.
Elgin is the greatest butter market in the
world. We are nearing Chicago, which sug-
AUGUST 30. On reaching Chicago the party
take carriages for a ride about the city, while
the transfer is made to the depot of the Grand
Trunk road. Sight-seeing and a dinner at the
Grand Pacific fill up the time till early even-
ing, when we start for Port Huron, after hav-
ing returned thanks to Mr. A. Alice, of C. M.
and St. P. R. R., for favors, and bidding adieu
to Sir Knight Frank Platt, who leaves us here
for a visit with friends. We are glad to wel-
come Mr. W. W. Bartholomew, of Meriden,
who accompanies us from Chicago. A ticket is
purchased for the boy picked up at San Fran-
cisco. The officers of the Grand Trunk
insisted on taking him along free and issued a
pass, returning the money one more favor to
add to the long list received from the railroad
companies. We compare records of the time.
A run of forty miles was made in forty-two min-
utes. One mile was made in fifty-seven seconds.
The evening was delightfully passed, an amus-
ing incident being the initiation of Mr. W. W.
Bartholomew, the members of the party hav-
ing passed through the same impressive cere-
monies at the start. The gentleman is now
entitled to sit in the car wherever he " has a
mind" to. The road is excellent, and the
speed immense, but we enjoy a good night's
AUGUST 31. The morning bright and beau-
tiful, finds us approaching the river St. Clair.