mits are white with snow, were seen in the distance all along the road.
We reach the Colorado and cross the long bridge into California at
the " Needles," and here is a village of Mojaves, more like monkeys
than any we had seen. The peculiar snap of the eyes, quick motions,
and dark color all betray their origin. Here, as elsewhere, they assem-
ble at the station and offer unique patterns of pottery, needle-work, etc.
THE SQUAWS' COSTUMES.
The women are barefoot, or have only a piece of leather strapped to
the sole of the foot ; a cheap calico or stuff gown, a shawl to cover the
head, and the papoose strapped to a board, slung over the back, will
complete the picture. None of the Aborigines seem ever to have been
educated to the sanitary or sanctifying influence of soap and water.
Possibly that sin might be as fatal as the entrance to Blue-Beard's
chamber. Presumably, however, none of them essayed either.
The valley of the Colorado seems, at some time, to have been washed,
as at Pueblo, by a rapid current of water which left behind it a plenti-
ful supply of sand and gravel, but very little soil. Here also, where
there are cuts, one observes the same condition of water drift that he
did at Toltec Gorge and other places. And these deposits must have
been made after the mountains had been elevated as far out of water as
the mountains are higher than the valleys or plains. It seems hardly
possible that the gravel beds are moraines or glacial deposits. The
superincumbent mass of volcanic rocks and lava are of still more recent
On the morning of the I5th of May we began to see evidences of a
better country, deciduous trees, blossoming shrubs, roads, etc., and in
half an hour more, so sudden was the change, we were in the midst of
nice painted houses, farms and fat cattle, vineyards, semi-tropical fruits,
figs, apricots, and orange groves where on the same tree was the luscious
yellow fruitage and the fragrant blossom. It seemed like a dream of
some fairy land, or the work of a master hand in fiction, and then such
fields of barley ! As Burns expresses it,
" Now waving grain, wide o'er the plain,
Delights the weary farmer."
We had, as it were, leaped down from the elevated plains to the valleys
beneath, from the arid desert to fruitful fields, from poverty and wretched-
ness to wealth and happiness, from savage to civilized life, in a period
so incredibly short that we could scarce believe our eyes, or in the
words of Macbeth:
" Mine eyes are made the fools o' the other senses,
Or else worth all the rest."
And then mark the difference in climate between the sterile elevated
plain and the fertile valley below. As we came over the desert they were
just preparing the soil for the reception of seed, but when we descended
to the lower levels we found them harvesting their barley and other
cereals. Southern California is not a hay country and barley is raised to
take its place. Then, as they have no rain from May to November, and
no frost to oppose, the barley is sown early, say in January or February,
TRANSCONTINENTAL TRIP. 419
in order that it may be so far advanced as not to be injured by the
drought. It is then cut while in the milk, baled and sold as hay, and
cattle and horses are said to thrive remarkably well on it.
The most of the party had a hard time coming over the desert, living
mostly on canned goods, and water saturated with various salts. We
all rejoiced exceedingly at our release, and being once more in a land of
plenty, and bracing, balmy breezes. We soon arrived at Barstow, where
we were transferred to the Southern California Road, and were quickly
moved to San Bernardino, the shire town of a county of that name, and
one of the largest in the State, embracing an area of 23,472 square miles,
or larger than four of the New England States. Nor were we long
detained here, but moved on down the great San Gabriel valley to Pasa-
dena, fifty-one miles, and within nine miles of the old city of Los Angeles.
This valley is one of the richest fruit sections in this fruitful region,
especially in grapes and oranges, and the climate is delightful. Great
efforts have been put forth to make Pasadena a large city, but this is
probably a work of longer time than its founders anticipated. As early
as 1873 some settlers were attracted hither, but the greatest impetus was
given in 1885, when the railroad was opened to the place which now has
about 10,000 inhabitants.
One of the chief attractions, for tourists and pleasure seekers at Pasa-
dena, is the magnificent hotel, " The Raymond," one of the largest and
most elegant structures in that section. It is located on the summit of a
beautiful hill, of easy ascent, commanding a panoramic view of the San
Gabriel Valley as well as the more distant one of the broad Pacific. The
northern view is very grand, embracing the San Bernardino range, whose
highest peak, " Old Gray Back," rises to an altitude of n,ooo feet, and
is constantly mantled with snow. But the great " boom " that gave birth
to the infant city, with its monster hotel, promised more than it per-
From Pasadena we were driven to the Sierra Madre Villa, a sort of
hotel on a large orangery, now somewhat neglected, and where we picked
from a tree our first oranges. It is a lovely place at the foot of the
mountain, overlooking a vast expanse of highly cultivated vineyards
and orange groves, and a very desirable place for nervous, overworked
people, who seek a quiet retreat from business, where are pure air, cool-
ing mountain breezes, delightful landscapes, and seemingly all that heart
could desire ; and here we saw more feathered songsters than at any
We drive around by the great Baldwin plantation of 14,000 acres,
where, in addition to extensive orange groves, is a grapery of 600
acres, and a rye or barley field of 640 acres. Mr. Baldwin is well known
as one of the Nob Hill millionaires of San Francisco, and carries on
his immense estates without regard to cost. Then we visited the Rose
winery, a ranch that has 800 acres of vines, and makes some of the finest
wines in the country. We sampled some port fourteen years old and
other wines that any European country would be proud to produce.
At San Gabriel, an old Spanish mission and settlement, we halted,
while those who desired to enter and inspect the antiquated style of
architecture, paintings, and statuary, said to be about 300 years old,
could do so. The earlier Jesuit missionaries, sent out to convert the
Indians, were, no doubt, a temperate, abstemious class, but must have
indulged freely in the light wines of the country. The large, well-
dressed vineyards found at each of the missions is ample proof that
they were plenteously endued with human wisdom ; but the place is
now in a state of desuetude, and is better known as the " deserted
IRRIGATION AND GROWTH.
We then visited the hotel, " The Raymond," and by the courtesy of
the proprietor were shown over the house, which was not then open to
visitors, and loaded with rarest flowers as we parted. It was now near
the hour of five and we drove to " The Painter " for lunch.
With a benediction to Pasadena and all its loveliness, we return to
San Bernardino and thence proceed to the beautiful and enterprising
town of Riverside, a place of about 8,000 inhabitants, who all seem to
be alive. The streets are wide and kept in excellent order. Magnolia
Avenue, 152 feet wide and twelve miles long, flanked on either side by
rows of magnolia, pepper trees, eucalyptus, palms, and other ornamental
trees, is one of the finest avenues in the world. The first house was
erected in 1871, but the town did not expand rapidly till the canal was
built to the Santa Anna river. Since that excellent system of irrigation
was adopted its growth has been rapid and permanent.
We have previously referred to the absolute necessity of some system
of artificial irrigation in order to get from the soil what it is only too
willing to yield forth. There are mountain ranges running nearly paral-
lel to the coast of California or at right angles, as San Bernardino, from
which, at no great distance, a sufficient supply of water may be obtained
to irrigate the lower hills and valleys of the southern part of California,
or, if the flow of surface water is insufficient, then artesian wells may be
resorted to, and wind mills utilized for pumping. It takes an immense
quantity of water to irrigate even one square mile, and to water the whole
57,800 of southern California would be almost beyond the realm of
human calculation. Still the lower lands of California are subject to less
limitations than the higher deserts of Arizona and New Mexico. This
whole matter is now undergoing investigation by our Government, and
TRANSCONTINENTAL TRIP. 421
the report of the Commissioners on this vast undertaking will be looked
forward to with great interest.
PROLIFIC FRUIT FARMS.
Riverside has the finest, most productive and carefully cultivated
orange and lemon groves it was our pleasure to look upon anywhere;
nor are the grape, fig, walnut or apricot orchards surpassed by any sec-
tion, either in extent or quality. The crop of olives was so large last
year that it could not be disposed of, and had to be converted into oil.
In the year 1888, there were shipped East from this place alone, 3,800
carloads of oranges; while the product of the State is said to have
reached 1,250,000 boxes. Apricots and peaches do not keep well to
ship to so distant a market as New York, and therefore have to be desic-
cated. New varieties of oranges as the " Seedless," " Washington
Navel," etc., are being introduced, and these new varieties bring say,
$2.75 per box, whereas the Native Seedlings bring $1.75 per box; an
acre of land produces about $500 worth of oranges each year. One man
had thirty-six acres of trees and sold the entire crop for $16,000.
It must be borne in mind that these fruit-bearing lands are fearfully
high, probably $1,000 an acre uncultivated, and then there is the
expense for irrigating, labor, trees, and outfit, so that on the whole, the
fruit grower in California may be no better off than the farmer in Massa-
chusetts. We have elsewhere said that this was not a hay country.
They raise barley and cut it green instead. They have, however, a very
beautiful green herb, looking something like our clover, called alfalfa,
much used in Spain, which produces many prodigious crops in a year.
A case was reported where seven crops were cut from an acre, amount-
ing in the aggregate to seventeen tons. Oats are almost unknown here,
and potatoes nowhere have that fine flavor and white flaky appearance
that the tuber from Aroostook or Nova Scotia does.
It is claimed that this is the greatest fruit-growing centre in the world.
But we must not, however, forget that "brag" is indigenous to the
country. Meet a man almost anywhere from San Diego to Port Town-
send and he will begin to boast of the advantages to be derived from
investing in real estate, generally house lots, in his town. One is
seriously impressed with the idea that every settler or speculator that
went to California, at once fell into the very best place in the country,
where one could suddenly become wealthy. This system of " booming "
everything, new towns, mines, fruit growing, and the rest, has become
not only contagious but chronic. The words " Syndicate " and " Boom "
are almost indispensable in this section.
BOOMS AND BOOMERS.
We hardly see how they could get along without them. For instance,
some great scheme, too large for one man to handle, such as the starting
of a new town, is to be set on foot. Several kindred spirits club together
and form a " Syndicate." A large tract of land is purchased, a gran-
diloquent name is adopted, broad streets are lafd out, with high-sounding
titles, many large houses are built and very likely occupied by one of
the syndicate or a friend, graveled walks constructed, grounds and
streets decorated with all sorts of exotic and native plants, shrubs and
trees, whose rapid growth in that genial climate will astonish the owner.
The same fatherly care will be bestowed upon the comfort of visitors,
lines of cars will be running, a lavish amount of electricity will be
consumed, a large hotel built, and everything will assume the greatest
possible activity and prosperity.
In order to bring in a large number of people so as to make it look
lively, cheap excursions, startling exhibitions, low prices, and other
contrivances are introduced.
A newspaper with an unscrupulous editor, if such can be found, must
be started in the interest of the " Syndicate," and now the town being
laid out in house lots of liberal dimensions, the " Syndicate " will turn
the business of selling or disposing of the lots to the " boomers," who
catch up the refrain, advertise, make noise, exaggerate, magnify results,
and the work is begun.
Speculators are attracted, and seeing large fortunes within their reach,
buy beyond their means, giving a mortgage for the balance, expecting
in a few months to realize 200 or 300 per cent, profit, which many at first
did. But other schemes were started, the fickle " booming " goddess
deserts the place, and takes swift wing for another. Prices fall, in fact
no sales can be effected, the purchaser unable to meet his engagements,
the property goes back into the hands of the mortgagee, and the specu-
lator, who so recently was flushed with the hope of a fortune within
his easy grasp, returns to his eastern home financially poor, but in
BEAUTIFUL SAN DIEGO.
We next report at The Grand Hotel, Coronado (Coronal) Beach, San
Diego. The hotel covers seven and one-half acres of ground, and is
said to be the largest seashore house in the world. It certainly is large
enough for the place. It has 750 rooms, and the dining room has a seat-
ing capacity of 1,000 persons. The climate is just lovely, neither frost
nor hot weather. The themometer ranges from about forty to seventy
degrees, differing little from summer to winter ; the average being about
sixty degrees. Fall of rain about ten inches near the seashore, but
much more back in the mountains, which are mantled in snow. The
bay of San Diego was discovered in 1542, and the town is the oldest in
what was then upper California.
The present city,-four miles from the " old town," was commenced in
1867, and now contains a population of 40,000 inhabitants. With the
TRANSCONTINENTAL TRIP. 423
exception of San Francisco, it has the finest harbor on the coast, but
unfortunately only twenty-two feet of water on the bar, though there is
good anchorage for a distance of twelve miles. A large quantity of
coal comes here from Australia. The Puget Sound coal is said to con-
tain too much sulphur for blacksmiths' use. Much of the lumber used
here comes from the Sound. The improvements on Coronado (crown)
beach were commenced about three years ago, under the auspices of a
" Syndicate " known as the " Coronado Beach Co." Land to the amount
of 1,1 10 acres was purchased and work on the hotel begun ; broad avenues
and streets were laid out, forty thousand ornamental trees planted, and
countless numbers of flowering shrubs whose perfume fills the air through
the entire year. In fact so prolific is the growth of flowers, as to draw
hither myriads of honey bees, and the production of honey has been one
of the great industries of the place. San Diego County alone produced
in 1886 the enormous amount of 2,679,747 pounds of honey.
Another more recently introduced industry has been established here,
viz., the raising of ostriches, mainly for the graceful downy plumes they
bear, which are sought for in nearly all parts of the globe as ornaments
or insignia of office or nobility. Three white ostrich feathers are the
well-known badge of the Prince of Wales. These feathers have from
time immemorial been highly prized, and as the birds, which belong to
the family Struthionidas, species, Struthio Camelus, were becoming
scarce in Africa and Arabia, their native lands, the project of importing
and propagating them here was attempted, and, as we understand, with
results quite satisfactory to the projectors. In South Africa they have,
to a considerable extent, been reared and found to be remunerative.
Several years ago there were said to be 60,000 or 70,000 of the birds
kept in confinement, simply for the growth of the plumes, which netted
an annual income of $7,000,000. There are at San Diego only about
a dozen adults and as many more of various ages, from the newly hatched
fledgling which are as large as a pullet to the maturer growth.
There are other ostrich ranches in southern California, at Fallbrook,
Pasadena, etc. The family at Fallbrook consists of about seventy.
The birds are valued at $1,000 to $1,200 each. They are enormous
creatures, six to eight feet high, and weighing 200 to 300 pounds. The
females are smaller than the males, and lay ten or twelve eggs, possibly
as high as sixteen, one every other day, which are placed in the nest
vertically, smallest end down. Under certain circumstances a bird may
lay as many as fifty eggs in a year, which are quite large, measuring
eighteen inches in circumference, and weighing from three to four
pounds. The shells are one twelfth of an inch thick, and are used by the
natives as water vessels. They feed on alfalfa, cabbage, corn, doura
(Indian millet), etc., and each adult consumes about forty pounds of food
daily. They will swallow almost anything : large stones, bits of brick,
metals, coin, etc., all of which they are able to digest. One of the birds
at San Diego is said to be thirty-two years old, but in their native land
they are reputed to live to the advanced age of eighty to one hundred
years. The period of incubation is forty-two days, the male performing
that duty from 4 P. M. to 6 A. M., while his generous spouse assumes the
delicate care of the prospective family the remaining part of the day.
In Africa, however, the sun's heat is sufficient, and for hours during
the middle of the day both parents forsake the nest, which is a mere pit,
or hole scooped out of the sand. They are said to be moderately gre-
garious. They also have the unenviable reputation of being as polyg-
amous as the most astute Mormon, some of the males having as many
as six or seven wives, all depositing their eggs in the same nest, and tak-
ing turns at the sitting process.
The male ostriches are quite pugnacious, being ever ready to exhibit
their valor, or pursue an inferior about the grounds with majestic pace,
said to reach in their normal condition a velocity of sixty miles an hour,
but that high degree of speed cannot be maintained for a great length of
They have but two toes, the inner and larger being armed with a hoof,
while the smaller has an armature of a simple claw, if at all. The form
of the foot is such as to enable them to deal heavy blows at an antago-
nist, or even to knock a hole through a three-quarter-inch board. They
keep their little rudimentary plume-covered wings constantly in motion,
reminding one of the vibratory movements of the elephant's ears.
Healthy adult birds produce fifty to sixty feathers at a plucking, which
takes place every nine months or possibly a little oftener. The first
plucking occurs when the youngsters arrive at the age of six months.
Some of the feathers -when bleached bring as high as from $3 to $5.
This would give an average income from the birds of something over
$200 each for the feathers alone. The flesh of the young birds is said
to be quite palatable.
A SALUBRIOUS CLIMATE.
The reason why the climate is so much more equable on the Pacific
than Atlantic coast in the same latitude, is owing mostly to the Kurosiwo,
a sort of Gulf Stream that sweeps across the Pacific from Japan, and
which is estimated to be a mile deep and five hundred wide, the tempera-
ture of which never varies more than three degrees from 56 Fahrenheit.
The wind along the coast is usually from the west in summer, with
perhaps a little more tendency to the southward in winter. Then again
what little rain they have falls in the night-time, leaving the atmosphere
dry and healthful, especially for consumptives, and hay-fever is almost
TRANSCONTINENTAL TRIP. 425
unknown here. Invalids and pleasure seekers from San Francisco and
other parts of the Union come here because the climate is so mild, and,
taking the year through, said to be the most delightful in the world.
And then the bathing is represented as very superior, though they gen-
erally forget to mention the numerous stingarees that infest the water.
The view of the Island of San Clemente to the westward forcibly reminds
one of the view of Capri from Naples, though the climate of the latter is
On the 2 ist of May, we departed from San Diego for Los Angeles.
On the way up, we pass through a fine grazing country and observe large
herds of tat cattle that would put to shame the little streaked and pied
creatures that good father Jacob tricked his uncle Labon out of. One
ranch is said to have 60,000 head of cattle on it, and Colonel Whiting
has a barley farm of 33,000 acres. He must ride a fleet horse in order
to traverse it before lunch. Of course, where the plantations are so large,
the houses are few and far between.
Los Angeles is a large town of about 60,000 inhabitants, and growing
steadily. It is a hilly place, but, with cable roads, elevations and distances
are very readily overcome. One sees here, as in other large towns, beauti-
ful cypress hedges, cut so as to represent a great variety of fancy figures;
vases, cubes, globes, etc., and most of the fields that are fenced at all,
are by hedge rows. Not remarkable for any special industry, but is rather
a distributing centre. As we are to visit the Yosemite Valley, our itin-
erary is abbreviated, in order to save time, and we move on for Santa
Barbara, passing the celebrated Ramona Ranch, the scene of Helen
Hunt Jackson's story by that name. The old house, the corn fields,
oranges, grapes, olives, and the solemn interval, all seemed to have a
sort of weird aspect. On the 23d of May, the thermometer at Santa
Barbara indicated sixty degrees. We drive round by the old Catholic
Mission, said to be 300 years old, where are some old paintings, but
none are good.
SANTA BARBARA'S BOOM.
Santa Barbara is a fine healthy place, of about 8,000 inhabitants, and
one of the most popular places of resort for northern and eastern people
to be found among the many agreeable places in southern California,
especially in winter. This is one of the places that has suffered by too
much " booming." Farming lands advanced to such a price that they
could not be worked, and city lots were sold during the excitement at
prices that could not be sustained. Then came the shrinkage, when
many persons were ruined. A friend of ours sold a lot of land to a
small church before the "boom" had reached its height, for $2,000.
They kept it a short time, and were offered $30,000 for it. He also sold
a house lot for $5,000, but before the deed was made, the purchaser was
offered $15,000, and finally sold it at that price. But neither lot would
at the time we were there bring half those sums. Farming lands all
around the town for miles were cut up into house lots, many of which
were sold at high prices; but the boom ceased, and to-day they would
hardly bring enough to pay for surveying and staking off.
We went to see the great Magee grape vine which is claimed to be
the largest vine in the world, but we find by comparison that it is about
the same size of the one in Hampton Court, sixteen miles out of London,
each being about fifteen inches in diameter; the latter, however, being
in a colder climate has to be kept under glass and only bears about a
ton of grapes, while its competitor here is in the full enjoyment of the
warm, salubrious free air of California, and bears the enormous amount
of four tons of grapes, if the stories told can be relied on. We did not
learn the age of the American patriarch, but the Hampton monster was
planted in 1768, and is 120 years old.
Wood is very scarce in this section, and we saw box wagon loads of
little twigs, cut a foot or less in length and hauled twenty miles, for $10
a cord. Coal is about $12 a ton. Great quantities of pampas or plume
grass were raised here last year, said to exceed in value $50,000, which