Fannie De C. Miller.

Snap notes of an eastern trip, from diary of Fannie de C. Miller online

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OK THK

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA.



Deceived JAN 1895 , /&?

Accessions No.iffi$/7. CAzss No.




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SNAP NOTES



AN EASTERN TRIP



FROM DIARY OF

FANNIE DE C. MILLER



When found, make a note of "

Captain Cuttle



SAN FRANCISCO
THE S. CARSON COMPANY

PUBLISHERS AND BOOKSELLERS.

1893




srf f



To
MY SISTERS, NELLIE, TESSIE AND JOSIE, WHO AFFORDED ME

THE TRIP, AND MRS. B. D. MURPHY, WHO

ADDED TO ITS

ENJOYMENT, I DEDICATE THESE STRAGGLING

NOTES AS A SLIGHT SOUVENIR OF MY APPRECIATION OF THE
PLEASURE EXPERIENCED.



PREFACE.



IN presenting these hastily snatched notes for perusal
my friends will generously bear in mind the fact that no
attempt at literary effort is intended. Having had the
benefit of the trip and enjoyed it, I reproduce some of
the leaves of my diary for private circulation, and may
be pardoned for so doing since it is commemorative of my
first visit outside the bounds of the California peninsula.
That many pages of this little book may contain faults I
readily acknowledge and must regret, in view of my
motto, Scriptum manet. F. DE C. M.



CONTENTS.

PAGE.

I. OVER THE RANGE 9

II. FROM OGDEN EAST OVER THE DENVER

AND Rio GRANDE 17

III. FROM DENVER TO DETROIT .... 32

IV. A VISIT TO NIAGARA 45

V. THE CITY OF BOSTON 58

VI. GLIMPSES OF NEW YORK 75

VII. A TRIP UP THE HUDSON 88

VIII. THE CITY OF BROTHERLY LOVE ... 96

IX. A VISIT WITH CARDINAL GIBBONS . .102

X. ROSELAND AND ENNISCORTHY, TYPICAL

SOUTHERN HOMES . . . . .108

XI. SCENES IN GETTYSBURG . . . . .115

XII. THE CITY OF EMMITTSBURG, THE OLD

HOMESTEAD AT UNION MILLS . .125

XIII. MOUNT VERNON

XIV. THE CAPITOL AT WASHINGTON . . .137
XV. LAST DAYS IN MARYLAND . . . .143

XVI. HOMEWARD BOUND 150

XVII. SALT LAKE CITY 157

XV] II. HOME AGAIN 161




SNAP NOTES.



CHAPTER I.
OVER THE RANGE.

August 17, 1891.

THE afterglow of sunset, gleaming through
warm folds of purple haze overhanging
the crest of Tamalpais, steals down softly and
silently over rippling waves of the lovely
bay, as we, a knot of kinsfolk, seat ourselves
comfortably in the Oakland ferryboat, prepar
atory to temporarily exchanging California s
matchless clime and genial fellowship for East
ern scenes and society. Later, twixt the hours
of seven and eight, darkness crept " from the
wings of night," and finds us cozily en
sconced in the drawing room of a Pullman
palace carriage midway in the train of four
teen cars, and forming a direct contrast to the
historical pilgrims who trod westward the same
route in less enviable style, in the memorable
"pioneer days."

(9)



10 SNAP NOTES.

After friends, who accompany us thus far,
have taken leave of the party, we start on the
Eastward "tack," and ere lapsing many miles
partake of a collation, plenteously provided by
a thoughtful friend.

Now, watching the Marin hills slowly fading
into the dim distance, with the familiar out
lines of grand old Tamalpais gradually reced
ing from view, effects a sense of lonesomeness
only experienced when leaving those we love,
by whom we have been always surrounded,
even though absence may cover but the space
of a few months. The shadow of gloom is
partly dispelled by our chaperon s call to
cheerfulness, with a gentle reminder that the
spirit of happiness and mirth should govern
the members of our party, whom I shall en
deavor to introduce to my diary. We are five.
Busily engaged hanging hats, wraps, etc., where
they must remain for several days, is Mrs. Mur
phy, worthy wife of my excellent cousin, Hon.
B. D. Murphy, of San Jose. Merrily humming
"Mary and John," she is cheery and light-
hearted as a bird, and anxious that all should
be as happy as herself.

Reclining lazily on a cushioned sofa is her
daughter,. Miss Evalyn, who, after gracefully
cutting the pages of " Under Two Flags," lan
guidly prepares for rest, A recent student



VER THE RA NGE. 1 1

with the Madames of the Sacred Heart, I hope
for interesting conversational companionship
in this accomplished daughter of my respected
kinsman, which hope gilds the prospect of a
long journey with pleasure.

Arranging her locks before one of the many
mirrors that line our boudoir, stands Miss
Maud Arques, my other cousin, a perfect
"daughter of the gods, divinely tall," and
lovely as an houri, her olive complexion and
black hair proclaiming her one of "Spain s
dark-eyed daughters."

Darting hither and thither, to and from the
drawing room, the life and joy of the occasion,
a "bother "yet a pleasure, is Martin Murphy,
eldest son of Hon. B. D., destined for George
town University, whither his mother is accom
panying him. Last and least is this " chield
amang ye takin notes, and faith I ll print
them!" Retiring at ten o clock, I find to my
anxiety that slumber fails to visit mine eyelids,
and am wide-awake at eleven o clock, as we
are launched into Sacramento, where we linger
a weary length of time. Mrs. Murphy and
Miss Arques, who have not retired, are looking
out upon the city and conversing with ac
quaintances. Sleep for me has vanished for
the night, the unusual noise and motion of
the cars having banished "nature s sweet re-



12 SNAP NOTES.

storer," leaving me awake, to the influence of
thought-producing, meditative night.

August 18, Tuesday.

We climbed the Sierras during the hours of
darkness, and nothing more picturesque than
long snowsheds meets my glance of curiosity
and interest, as I stealthily raise the curtain
for a glimpse of the rugged scenery. At eight
o clock we arrive at Truckee, but must note the
environs and town on our return trip, as I am
too tired and unrefreshed to view it satisfacto
rily, in the somber gray of early morning.
Steaming along the south bank of the Truckee*
where romantic beauty abounds, water rip
pling over rocks in frothy fretfulness, the low,
craggy banks fringed with tamarack saplings
and fragrant pine trees but at these I may
only glance, as breakfast is announced, and we
must proceed to the dining car. During the
meal we enter Reno, at nine o clock. The
dusky tribe are out in full force and glare of
color, the women particularly brilliant in
flashy calicoes, and heads ornamented with
bright kerchiefs, that on Arabs might be
called tarbooshes, or perhaps kufiyehs, but our
more familiar and comprehensive language
simply styles bandannas. The novel scene is
especially interesting to a veritable " innocent



OVER THE RANGE. 13

abroad" like myself. I admire the valley out
stretching from Reno, but the admiration
ceases when the eye is carried to the hills, arid
and bleak -looking in their covering of sage
brush. A monotonous sameness of lifeless
waste characterizes the country until reaching
Wadsworth, on the east bank of the Truckee,
two hundred and seventy-eight miles from San
Francisco. Here we delay for ten minutes,
alight from the train, stroll about, and Martin
tries several kodak pictures. When about re-
entering the train, I meet Mr. John T. Malone,
the actor, who remembered me from my con
vent days. He was delighted to have met the
party at Sacramento, and, upon Mrs. Murphy s
invitation, enters our drawing room, and enter
tains us most agreeably. He pointed out the
"sink of the Humboldt," of which I have so
often heard my father speak, in relating his
pioneer experiences and vicissitudes crossing
these "plains." We are pleased to have Mr.
Malone s interesting companionship over this
" realm of drifting sand," the Humboldt Desert,
which takes a whole day to span. He recalls
some incidents of my earlier acquaintance with
him, amuses us with accounts and plots of dif
ferent plays, and, indeed, makes us feel how
" lightly falls the foot of time, that only treads
on flowers." My first letter home, to dear




14 SNAP NOTES.



lie, I post at Lovelocks, in the heart of the des
ert. Our next stopping-place is Humboldt, a
fresh, green spot, a perfect oasis, indeed, in this
dreary sand waste, and here we take our lunch
eon, enjoying a waiting of ten minutes. Martin,
our " local artist," essayed to kodak our group,
with Mr. Malone in the center.

It is now 3:30 p. M. and Winnemucca lies in
sight, a larger town than I expected to see, but
no [more charming in appearance than others
of the vast, dreary, sterile plain, that "lies like
a load on the wearied eye." The name is In
dian, and the cognomen of a Piute chief who
was one of several who resided here during
the romantic era of the West.

At four o clock we pass through Elkon, an
other desert(ed) village of no great prominence,
and I glance out with the same result, the old
"bald, blear skull of the desert" still shining
under glare of the sinking sun.

Battle Mountain is reached at 5:30 P. M.,
where Mrs. Huntsman, a former resident of
San Jose, keeps a wayside hotel, which was
shown to us, with the proprietress in the front
yard. The place derives its name from the
fact that thirty-five or more years ago was wit
nessed a desperate contest between white emi
grants and settlers and Indians in the valleys,
or river "sinks," of Reese River country, which



OVER THE RANGE. 15

gave the name "Battle Mountains" to the gen
eral range south of this town. And now, as we
speed onward at the rate of twenty -five or more
miles per hour, I peer backward, and, far as the
taxed vision can stretch, I see the arid plains
still, mapping a great territory, never seeming
to diminish nor vary in feature, sagebrush
and sand, with occasional green spots, where
cattle gather, well appreciating the dwarfed
herbage on these pleasant places of this dull,
desolate, sage-ridden land. My fancy wings it
self with thoughts of the early travelers to the
Western slope. How many times they crossed
the winding Humboldt! How wearily, yet
patiently, they must have breathed the hot air
and alkaline dust of this trackless, treeless wil
derness! Or, if its broad, flat bosom rested
neath a mantle of snow when they were wend
ing their way to the Western Mecca of their
hopes, how irksome to the eye, how discourag
ing to the anxious heart, the outlook of their
cherished plans!

Ere approaching Argenta, I remark herds of
healthy-looking stock calmly browsing along
the banks of a refreshing stream, but looking
as tired of the " still solitudes of the desert " as
ourselves. Argenta (silver) is a small spot not
worthy of note beyond the fact that, after cross
ing the Humboldt River, it ushers us into the



16 SNAP NOTES.

Valley of the Palisades, a strange uprising of
rocky formation on both sides of the railroad,
with a swiftly-coursing creek on the south side.
After emerging from the canon and indulging
in more desert land we touch Carlin, an impor
tant town of many thousand inhabitants. It is
here that the Mary s Creek joins the oft-
mentioned Humboldt. A brief pause, and we
again bowl along towards Elko, the cattle-
shipping point of the plains, whence the herds
of stock are forwarded eastward. Passing sev
eral small stations we come upon Halleck,
which embraces four houses on the south side
of the railroad track, and Uncle Dan Murphy s
large dwelling standing alone on the north side,
as isolated of cheerful surroundings as is a
man s life in the midst of a divided household.
It is now late; we close our windows. Mr. Ma-
lone has remained in our drawing room con
versing, but, midnight approaching, he and
Martin have taken leave, and we retire, weary
and heavy eyed.



CHAPTER II.

FROM OGDEN EAST OVER THE DENVER AND
RIO GRANDE.

August 19, Wednesday.

WE were awakened this morning at half
past six, at Ogden, and found breakfast
waiting for us in the hotel. Mr. Malone is with
us until his train starts, when we part, to con
tinue the journey by the Denver and Rio Grande,
over Burlington route, he pursuing his course
by Central road, via Cheyenne, etc. We leave
Ogden, the great railroad center, about half past
eight o clock. We are now eight hundred and
thirty-three miles from San Francisco. The
Weber River runs to the right of the road going-
east and the great craggy range of the Wasatch
Mountains stands out on the left. At Ogden, in
Weber County, Utah, four different railroad
lines meet. The valley leading to the Jordan is
a generous-sized plain under cultivation, and
nearing Salt Lake City is refreshingly green
and beautiful, with the bosky, bleak mountains
towering cloudward to the east. Wood s Cross-

2 (17)



18 SNAP NOTES.

ing and other Mormon hamlets scatter along
until we reach the prophet s town, a large, flat
city, with long, tree-lined, shady streets, a busy
population, evidences of industry on all sides,
the general air of the place having an inviting
charm, indescribable in such brief notice. The
houses are built principally of brick. It is the
largest city I have seen since leaving San Fran
cisco. Arriving here at 9:45 o clock A. M., we
are bounding through the valley, Avith its soft
carpet of green alfalfa and other rich grasses,
squares of grain fields lately cut, corn just in
tassel, in abundance, and everything speaking
with a voice of plenty.

I should judge the climate to be unexcelled,
out of California, of course.

The rugged Wasatch Range, on our left, as
we steam through, is as absolutely picturesque
as the high mountains of Italy, of which we
read, and deserves to be entitled the American
Alps. At present these mountains are in places
covered with a white limestone resembling snow,
and are wildly grand beyond powers of my un-
traveled mind to pen paint. I marvel if human
feet have ever traversed their rocky, craggy,
eerie heights. The valley throughout shows
the happy results of irrigation, as the sage
brush flats, by its magical means, have been
metamorphosed into flourishing, healthy-look
ing pastures of sweet, waving grasses.



OVER THE DENVER AND RIO GRANDE. 19

After another treat to gray sage in the Jordan
Narrows, we come into Lelii, at eleven o clock,
a pretty little place within shadow of the range,
on Utah Lake, an elongated body of fresh
water to the south of the valley. The Utah
Sugar Company are here erecting extensive
buildings in the interests of their business.
The valley resembles that of Salt Lake, and
the towns merge into each other, the next being
American Fork, situated on Deer Creek, near
Mount Aspinwall, whose altitude of eleven
thousand and eleven feet casts a lengthened
shadow. The silver ribbon, Utah Lake, still
stretches its thirty miles of weary length along
the southern line of the pleasant vale within
half a mile of our train. Pro vo, on the east bank
of the lake is noteworthy for its fine woolen
mills; the buildings, of stone, four stories high,
attract attention. Here we alight from the
cars and take our luncheon at the hotel, where
we have an excellent meal, resuming our places
on the train at twelve o clock. In another few
minutes we pass Springville, thence through
a fruit and garden country as beautiful and
fertile as human heart could desire, the effect of
industry and irrigation. Utah Lake is still vis
ible. Spanish Fork, on river of the same name,
is surrounded by orchards and ornamental
trees, with thriving vegetable gardens in abun-



20 SNAP NOTES.

dance. Here Martin took a "special" photo
graph, a reversed observatory, minus telescope
lens, and even window glass. Careering on
ward we enter Spanish Fork Canon, the great
gorge of the Wasatch, and come upon the
Castilla Hot Springs, where hundreds of peo
ple are rusticating, presenting an enchanting
scene as they saunter forth to meet our train,
gayly singing or chatting, decked out in green
garlands and bright flowers. Right here we
are overtaken by a rainstorm, that pelts down
as mercilessly as any boasted California winter
showers.

Next comes in sight Red Narrows, a strange
construction of abrupt declivities, rocky, yet
covered with a verdant growth, which betimes
disappears, leaving the crags as bald and des
titute of vegetation as the worn crest of Ben
Nevis, but brilliant in color of crimson chrome
and other mineral elements. A laugh ing-
stream flows at the base of the cliffs, skirted
by willow and shrubs, fragrant and sweet. We
stop here but a few minutes, then steam on
ward, passing Junction a few hundred yards
further, the rain continuing until we get through
the canon. We find the " Gates Ajar" of Castle
Rock, and enter. The Castle rocks are of lava
precipitation, as though thrown up by volcanic
eruption, ;md present an imposing spectacle,



OVER THE DENVER AND RIO GRANDE. 21

resembling the picturesque beauty of Old World
ruined castles and feudal ramparts in their
beetling strength. After leaving the cliffy
gorge behind us, we enter upon a particularly
lime country, where kilns formed like immense
beehives diversify the scenery of limerock hills
covered with undersized pine trees. Especially
interesting are the seams in the hillsides of
variegated stone that project in tireless rows,
like even sets of teeth or columns of books.
About two o clock we halt at Clear Creek to
water the engine. Crossing the Divide, near
Summit or Soldiers Station, elevation seven
thousand four hundred and sixty-five feet, we
strike the snowsheds. Pleasant Valley Junc
tion, the next station, is another dreary spot
backed by barren uplands or hills, that do not
even afford an imposing appearance. Pleasant
here is a misnomer.

"Castle Gate," the great opening to the Mor
mon country from the East, is a novel and
mysterious creation of rock into castle-like
battlements of Titanic strength and magnifi
cence, and what powerful "bulwarks to the
nation" they would prove in warfare, since
they solemnly withstand without injury the
continuously attacking elements! Wonderful
scenery, marvelous handicraft of a powerful
Creator !



WAP NOTES.

Price, altitude five thousand five hundred
and forty-seven feet, is pleasantly located in
sight of the fortlike buttes towards the west,
where the strangely-formed city, abounding in
prodigious buildings of nature s own construc
tion, looms up. We are here informed that
we shall be delayed three hours on account of
landslides on the track a couple of miles far
ther. Obliged to accept the situation grace
fully, we conclude to walk around, and are
soon informed that we may be forced to re
main all night and take dinner in this less
than one-horse town, which we do about six
o clock, in a small Mormon hotel. We were
waited upon by a saucy piece of humanity, who
belongs, I doubt not, to the prophet s creed ;
and if ever she becomes "sealed" to one of the
elders, the elder will be the first to wish the
seal broken. The dining room is filled with
flies, hungry as ourselves. The improvista meal
is uninviting, and wholly unappetitious, but
the sound fun adduced from the occasion
repaid for the need of strong stomachs. I
presented Maud with a souvenir spoon of the
memorable place, to be had at but one Price,
selected one for myself as a r/m>mo forthe meal
as we paid triple value for the latter, and I
conclude that Price is properly named.
Martin is amusing himself with the kodak,



OVKR THE DENVER AND RIO GRANDE. 23

seeing which a woman emerges from a
wretched-looking dwelling and eagerly asks,
" Takin picters?" " Our artist," not being cer
tain of success, modestly stammers an answer
in the affirmative, and the simple creature in
stantly starts for her house, immediately re
turning with an infant, which she wished to
have photographed. Martin was caught, but
gracefully acceded to her request, and kindly
kodaked the little Mormon, whereupon she
anxiously asked if she might see the " likeness,"
and, " How much is the pay?" He explained
the impracticability of the former, and gener
ously waived all claim to the latter, cheerfully
assuring the poor woman that when he succeeded
in perfecting the little beauty s picture he
would send it to her. She congratulated him
upon the pleasure of having taken the virgin
photo of the small stranger, and, in her delight,
they forgot all about names, addresses, etc., so
the doting mother will long wait for the
"picter" of her darling, that can never come.
After eight hours delay they told us the
sand drift had been removed, and we could gladly
continue our journey. We retired, and soon
the city of several hundred Mormons and
three Gentiles was far behind. During the night
we traveled rapidly, and, fortunately, crossed
the pathless tracks of the Colorado Desert



24 SNAP NOTES.



without knowing it, and this, Thursday morn
ing, we awake to find ourselves in Colorado,
August 20, with small chances for breakfast-
The first station I note is De Beque, a small
settlement on the sand flat through which the
railway runs. We observe the river flowing
parallel with the railroad, a large, wildly tur
bulent, muddy stream. The scenery is tame
and uninteresting hereabout, except for pecul
iar bluffs of clay studded with rock that rise
on either side in somewhat fantastic formation.
The diminutive hamlets dotting the route are
unworthy of comment, save for their lonely
locations. Again, alfalfa-clad meadows please
the eye for a long stretch, to Rifle, a railroad
village of no significance, and on until the oft-
repeated scene becomes tiresome. At ten
o clock we stop at Newcastle for water. It is a
hamlet, built between craggy mountains, steep
and rugged, garnished only with wild, strag
gling, stunted pines. Bowling along through
the rocky canon we come upon Glenwood and
(llenwood Springs, most romantically situated
on the banks of the royal Grand, a dark, strong,
shallow stream, at times suggesting the Rus
sian River, of Sonoma County, California, so
familiar to us all. The scenery is here wild
and primeval, at times weird, but always
picturesque. The cliffs rise from the river



OVER THE DENVER AND RIO GRANDE. 25

bed hundreds of feet heavenward, are covered
with loose rock kept from shifting into the
river by dwarfed pines and roots of other
stunted trees. The walls of bare brown rock at
times surprise and fill the soul with awe and
wonder.

The Glen wood Springs are the resort for
Eastern people who spend the summer here;
particularly is it a Mecca for consumptives.
Many of their tents and cabins are scattered
along the railroad line, suggesting the comfort
here found by these elsewhere hopeless inva
lids. It is a lovely, lonely spot. The hotel, of
brown Colorado stone, is a grand structure, and
the pretty lakelet and sparkling fountain
most charmingly cheery and inviting. The
country hereabouts is indeed mountainous,
looking tumbled and disordered. Hastening
onward, we pass through three tunnels, and
now the rocky walls take a shelving character,
and rise in strength and effect until one ceases
to marvel at their towering heights, and we real
ize at last that we are indeed in the heart of
the Rocky Mountains. Here I am particularly
surprised at the massive grandeur of the
gorge, wholly unlike anything yet seen. We
emerge into a broader vale, through the center,
tracing the same yellow stream coursing on
ward through the canon. The near mountains,




26 SWAP NOTES.

in their red cinnabar skin, have a magnetic
attraction for me. It is now half past eleven,
yet we have not broken fast, and all are begin
ning to sympathize in the hunger of the ill-
fated Donner party of 1846. Having spanned
some distance, and reached more sage land,
I note the mountains lowering in stature, and
soft, fleecy clouds hang in the sky, screening us
from the garish glare of piercing sunlight. A
post marked "Eagle" calls my attention, and,
glancing out, I mark the green bit of landscape
lit up by the crystal glitter of the stream.
Giving our thirsty engine a drink, we cross the
river and leave it in the distance. The con
ductor informs me that the ravine from the
above-mentioned post is called Eagle River
Valley. The views along the banks and rock
towers are similar to those of the Rio Grande.
My companions and self are on the platform
enjoying the "sights" that are seen and car
ried away like dissolving views. We reach
the Rio Grande Hotel at one o clock r. M., and
have a good, comfortable breakfast and lunch
combined. Girls wait upon us, in a polite
manner, and are neat as rosebuds. Picturesque
log cabins for consumptives dot the banks of
the stream and railroad line again, looking
cozy and comfortable, so peculiarly adapted as
buildings to this wild region. The mountains



OVER TUP: DENVER AND RfO GRANDE. 27

to their dizzy peaks are densely clothed with fir
and pine, scant of foliage, and showing signs
in many places of having been visited at a re
cent date by fire. Panda, another diminutive


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Online LibraryFannie De C. MillerSnap notes of an eastern trip, from diary of Fannie de C. Miller → online text (page 1 of 8)