Copyright
C. A. (Charles A.) Higgins.

To California over the Sante Fé Trail online

. (page 7 of 11)
Online LibraryC. A. (Charles A.) HigginsTo California over the Sante Fé Trail → online text (page 7 of 11)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


still kneel and recite their orisons, the venerable
ruins are forsaken by all except the tourist and
the antiquarian, and their bells are silent forever.
One can not but feel the pity of it, for in the
history of zealous servants of the cross there is
hardly a more noteworthy name than that of Juni-
pero Serra, and in the annals of their heroic
endeavor there is no more signal instance of abso-
lute failure than his who founded the California
missions, aside from the perpetuation of his saintly
name. They accomplished nothing so far as can
now be seen.

12$




San Gabriel Mission.



The descendants of their converts, what few have
survived contact with the Anglo-Saxon, have no
discoverable worth, and, together with the greater
part of the original Spanish population, have faded
away, as if a blight had fallen upon them.

But so long as one stone remains upon another,
and a single arch of the missions still stands, an
atmosphere will abide there, something that does
not come from mountain, or vale, or sea, or sky;
the spirit of consecration, it may be ; but if it is
only the aroma of ancient and romantic associations,
the suggestion of a peculiar phase of earnest and
simple human life and quaint environment that is
forever past, the mission-ruins must remain among
the most interesting monuments in all our varied
land, and will amply repay the inconsiderable effort
and outlay required to enable the tourist to view
them. San Diego, the oldest; San Luis Rey, the
most poetically environed ; San Juan Capistrano, of
most tragic memory; San Gabriel, the most impos-
ing, and Santa Barbara, the most perfectly pre-
served, will suffice the casual sightseer. These
also lie comparatively near together, and are all
easily accessible ; the first three being located on or
adjacent to the railway line between Los Angeles
and San Diego, the fourth standing but a few miles
from the first named city, and the fifth being almost
in the heart of the famous resort that bears its
name.





Reluctantly will the visitor tear himself from the
encompassing charm of their roofless arches and
reminiscent shadows. They are a dream of the
Old World, indifferent to the sordidness and turbu-
lence of the New; one of the few things that
have been spared by a relentless past s whose habit
is to sweep the things of yesterday into oblivion.
Almost can one hear the echoes cf their sweet
bells ringing out to heathen thousands the sunset
and the dawn.

LOS ANGELES.

One can hardly cross this continent of ours with-
out gaining a new idea of the immense historical
significance of the westward yearning of the Saxon,
who in two and a half centuries has marched from
Plymouth Rock to the Sunset Sea, and has subor-
dinated every other people in his path from shore to
shore. The Spaniard was a world- conqueror in his
day, and master of California before the Stars and
Stripes had been devised. The story of his subju-
gation of the southwestern portion of the New
World is the most brilliant in modern history. It




Mission San Juan Capistrano



is a story of unexampled deeds of arms. Sword
and cross, and love of fame and gold, are inextri-
cably interwoven with it. The Saxon epic is a
more complex tale of obscure heroism, of emigrant
cavalcades, of pioneer homes, of business enter-
prise.

The world may never know a sublimer indif-
ference to fatigue, suffering and death than
characterized the Spanish invaders of America for
more than two centuries. Whatever the personal
considerations that allured them, the extension of
Spanish empire and the advancement of the cross
amid barbarians was their effectual purpose. The
conquistador was a crusader, and with all his cruelty
and rapacity he is a splendid figure of incarnate
force. But the westward-flowing wave of Saxon
conquest has set him, too, aside. In this fair land
of California, won at smallest cost, and seemingly
created for him, his descendants to-day are little
more than a tattered fringe upon the edges of the
displacing civilization. He has left his mark upon
every mountain and valley in names that will long
endure, but himself has been supplanted. He has
not fled. He has diminished, faded away.

In 1781 he named the city Pueblo de la Reina de
los Angeles (Town of the Queen of the Angels).
The Saxon, the man of business now supreme, has
retained only the last two words of that high-
sounding appellation; and hardly a greater
proportion remains of the original atmos-
phere of this old Spanish town. You
129




will find a Spanish (Mexican) quarter, unkempt
and adobe, containing elements of the picturesque;
and in the modern portion of the city a restaurant
or two where English is spoken in a halting fashion
by very pretty dark-skinned girls, and you may sat-
isfy, if not your appetite, perhaps a long-standing
curiosity regarding tortillas, and frijoles, and chili
con came. As for tamales, they are, as with us, a
matter of curbstone speculation.

Senoret, senoras, and senoritas are plentifully
encountered upon the streets, but are not in general
distinguished by any peculiarity of attire. Upon
the borders of the city one finds more vivid types,
and there the jacal, a poor mud hovel thatched with
straw, is not quite extinct. The words Spanish and
Mexican are commonly used in California to dis-
tinguish ^a racial difference. Not a few of the
Spanish soldiery and colonists originally took wives
from among the native Indians. Their offspring
has had its charms for later comers of still other
races, and a complexity of mixture has resulted.

The term Mexican is generally understood to
apply to this amalgamation, those of pure Castilian
descent preferring to be known as Spanish. The
latter, numerically a small class, represent high
types, and the persistency of the old strain is such
that the poorest Mexican is to a certain manner
born. He wears a contented mien, as if his
Diogenes-tub and his imperceptible larder were regal
possessions, and he does not easily part with dignity
and self-respect .




The existence of these descendants of the con-
querors side by side with the exponents of the new
regime is one of the charms of Los Angeles. It has
others in historic vein. After its first overland con-
nection with the East, by way of the Santa Fe
Trail, it rapidly took on the character of a wild
border town; the influx of adventurers and the
stimulation of an unwonted commerce transforming
the Spanish idyl into a motley scene of remunerative
trade, abandoned carousal, and desperate personal
conflict. Its romantic career of progress and ame-
lioration to its present enviable estate is marked by
monuments that still endure. Fremont, the Path-
finder, here first raised the Stars and Stripes in
1846, and Winfield Scott Hancock, as a young
captain, had quarters in this historic town.

It is difficult to write of the growth and develop-
ment of Los Angeles without exaggeration, and the
reader who is unacquainted with the facts will have
no doubt that the writer drank of the water of the
Hassayampa before assuming his task.

In 1860 Los Angeles numbered 4,500 inhabitants;
in 1880, 11,000; in 1890,50,000; in 1900, 102,479;
in 1910, 319,198.

With this gallop in growth its commercial, manu-
facturing, banking, transportation and other large
interests have kept pace, until the city ranks in all
particulars with the important cities of the country.





Owing to the great number of
strangers who annually come here, it
far outranks other cities of the same
population in metropolitan attrac-
tions. Its hotels are legion and range
from the most elaborate structures,
with luxurious furnishings, to the
most modest. In this respect Los
Angeles is outstripped by New York
Hotel Van Nuys. a]one amongst American cities. The

fear has been expressed that the building of
new hotels must cease, not because of lack
of patronage, but because the supply of alluring
names is almost exhausted. Its public cafes and
theatres are numerous and as varied as the cosmo-
politan patronage requires. In two of its theatres
stock companies are maintained the year 'round,
producing the successful plays of the world in an
artistic manner, while the other theatres have the
traveling companies sent out from New York.

The clubs of Los Angeles will also take rank
with the most dignified and attractive clubs of
other cities. No better examples can be found
anywhere than the California Club, Jonathan,
University and Country; and for the women the
Women's Club and the Ebell, which own their
own homes, and others.

Los Angeles is an up-to-date American city
in every respect. To find evidences of the old
Spanish life we must hunt it out in obscure corners.
Geographically, Los Angeles covers a large area.
132




It is, consequently, not surprising to find that
the average family in Los Angeles has plenty
of elbow room. The ordinary size of a resi-
dence lot is 50 by 150 feet, and many are con-
siderably larger. It is only during the past few
years that apartments have been introduced,
and probably ninety-five per cent of the
permanent residents live in separate homes.
Wood is the almost universal material for build-
ing, pine and redwood being used. Owing to
mild climate, the expense of building is considerably
less than in the East. There is a great and pleasing
variety in the architecture of Los Angeles residences.
Of late the Mission style, with some modifications,
has come into favor.

Any one who has not visited Los Angeles
for fifteen years would scarcely recognize it
to-day. In 1886 there was not a paved street,
few graded streets and scarcely any business blocks
of importance. To-day there are many miles of
paved streets, and several hundred miles of public
thoroughfares are graded and graveled.

Los Angeles is superbly lighted on its principal
down-town streets with elaborate clusters of electric
lamps,while the outlying districts are fairly sup-
plied with electricity. It was the first city in
the United States to adopt electricity exclu-
sively for its street lighting. Seen from one of
the surrounding hills, it is a striking sight, as
the lights are turned on in the evening,
twinkling like stars against the dark firmament.




Chris? 's Church.






There is a great variety of sites for building
within the city limits. In the northern and
northwestern and western districts are hills, from
many of which a view of the ocean, distant about
fifteen miles, is obtained, with the Sierra Madre
range of mountains, snow-capped in winter,
bounding the view on the north. These hills
have come into favor during the past few
years as residence sites. The city in the west
end, around Westlake Park, contains thousands
of beautiful homes.

The character of the residents reaches a high
average for refinement and cultivation, as is evi-
denced by their homes. A drive through the
residence districts will well repay the most veteran
explorer of cities. The architecture is as attractive
as it is varied and presents beautiful examples of
every school. These homes are set on lots never
less than 50 feet front, almost always adorned with
smooth lawns, and shaded by a great variety of
ornamental trees gathered from the four quarters
of the globe. One sees the acacia, the camphor,
jacaranda, crepe myrtle, pepper, magnolia, euca-
lyptus and cypress; also palm trees of many kinds.
Color is lent by flowers and flowering shrubs of
even greater variety than the trees, and as some of
them are always in bloom, the beauty of the home,
no matter how humble, is enhanced
every day of the year.

Electric cars connect not only
the different sections of the
134



Woman's Club, Los Angeles.




but furnish rapid and frequent

communication with Pasadena, ^
Santa Monica, Ocean Park, Venice,
Redondo, San Pedro, Long Beach,
Monrovia, Glendale, Santa Ana
and other adjacent towns.

There are altogether about a dozen parks within Church of the
the city limits of Los Angeles, of which five are Angels.

tracts of considerable size. In these parks may be
seen many beautiful examples of the semi-tropic
vegetation which flourishes here. In four of them
are lakes, with boats, and music is usually provided
on Sundays. In Eastlake Park, on the east side
of the river, the nurseries are worthy of inspection.

The Indian Crafts exhibition occupies fifteen
acres of ground on Mission Road, near Eastlake
Park, and is easily reached by street car. Here
Mr. Antonio Apache has gathered typical groups
of Indians from the various American tribes, who
live in their primitive habitations, wear their native
dress, and work at their aboriginal handicrafts.
The principal exhibition building is an exact repro-
duction of one of the old Maya palaces of Yucatan.
Chief Son-i-hat's house and totem-pole, brought
from Alaska, are also located here.

Elysian Park, a romantic, hilly tract of over 500
acres in the northern part of the city, is a rem-
nant of the thousands of acres of land formerly
owned by the municipality. Little has been done at
Elysian Park, beyond improving the portion near the
entrance and the construction of a few roads from
*35




Hotel Green, Pasadena.




The Raymond, Pasadena.




Hotel Virginia, Long Beach.



which enchanting views of the city and surrounding
country may be had. Just outside of Los Angeles,
on the north, is Griffith Park, a tract of 3,000 acres
of mountainous land. Nothing has yet been done
toward the improvement of this great tract, except
a start at reforestation under the direction of a
United States Government forestry expert.

A few years ago Los Angeles purchased from
private companies the neighboring water sources
and their means of supply. In 1905 30,000,000
gallons were distributed at an average cost of ten
cents per thousand gallons. This average shows
the greatest per capita consumption in the United
States at a rate lower than the majority of our
cities. The large consumption is accounted for by
the quantity used in sprinkling lawns, added to the
long duration of summer weather and the compara-
tively short period of rain. As the growth of the
city threatened to be limited by shortage in the water
supply, it has reached 226 miles across mountains
and desert to the Owens River and has undertaken
to bring to Los Angeles, at a cost estimated at
$25,000,000, a supply of pure mountain water
sufficient to maintain a city of 1 ,000,000 people.

Socially, Los Angeles is a refined and cultivated
community. There is nothing here that might be
termed " wild and woolly." This is not surprising,
when we consider that Los Angeles has been
chiefly settled by people of culture from east of the
mountains. The school facilities are excellent,
including a great variety of private institutions, in
137




addition to the public schools. All religious de-
nominations are liberally represented. An army of
specialists give instruction in music, painting and
every department of art and science. Many brilliant
writers and artists have made their permanent homes
here, or in the suburbs. Every fraternal society of
importance is represented.

Why does Los Angeles grow at such an aston-
ishing rate? What is there back of her, what to
support such a city?

The answer comes back hot, that the whole
United States is back of her and supports her.
Just so long as people grow rich in the United
States, just so long will Los Angeles grow. She is
like the best residence street in the cities. People
who can afford it prefer to live there, and in their
living they create work for thousands of others.
Her climate is her chief asset, but this asset is not
shared by any important city of the East. She has
a monopoly.

Aside from this, Los Angeles is the center of a
rich agricultural section richer than is commonly
supposed. She has mining interests in California,
Arizona, Nevada and Mexico, which return a big
sum every year in dividends. Her manufacturing
interests are growing rapidly she is the centre of
the oil-producing section of California and she is
casting her eyes across the Pacific and down the
west coast at the commerce that may come to her
through the harbor at San Pedro.

Her growth really has been a normal one.
139



Plaza Church.





Los Angeles Auditorium.

A glance at the following figures will indicate
the value of some of these things in dollars:



Citrus Fruits $15,000 ,000

Dried Fruits and Rais-
ins 2,050,000

Nuts i ,550 ooo

Beans 1,800,000

Other Vegetables 5,000,000

Grain and Hay 5,750,000

Sugar 3,432,155

Wine, Brandy and Beer 875,000

Canned Goods 1,000,000

Butter and Cheese 1,200,000

Borax 1,280,000

Poultry and Eggs 1,025,000

Miscellaneous Manu-
factured Products . . 45,000,000



Pork, Beef, Mutton,

dressed $ 5,500,000

Fish 5,75o,ooc

Wool and Hides 550,000

Fertilizers 650,000

Gold and Silver 3,900,000

Gems 340,000

Petroleum 12,000.000

Asphaltum 875,000

Salt, Mineral Waters,

Lithia 170,000

Cement, Clay, Brick,

Limestone, Sand-

stone, Granite 1,640,000

Lumber 300,000

Lime 410,000



PASADENA.

Just outside the limits of Los Angeles, intimately
connected by railway and street car lines, is Pasa-
dena, a thriving modern city of 30,291 inhabitants.
For the origin of the name you may choose between
the imputed Indian signification, Crown of the
Valley, and a corruption of the Spanish Paso de
Eden (Threshold of Eden). It is in any event the
crown of that Eden, the San Gab-
riel Valley, which nestles warmly
in its groves and rosebowers below
lofty bulwarks tipped with snow.
Here an Eastern multitude
makes regular winter home in




California Club, Los Angeles.



modest cottage or imposing mansion. Every
fruit and flower and every ornamental tree
and shrub known to Southern California is
represented in the elaborate grounds of this
little realm. - It is a playground of wealth, a
Nob Hill of Paradise, a blessed home of happy
men and women and children who prefer this
to vaunted foreign lands.

Orange Grove avenue is one of the most
beautiful residence thoroughfares in the
United States, or in any other country, for
that matter. Pasadena entertains a large
crowd of Eastern visitors within her gates dur-
ing the winter months. She is well prepared to
receive them, hotels and lodging houses being
numerous. The magnificent Raymond Hotel on
the hill, is a prominent landmark for many miles
around. The Hotel Green, adjoining the depot
of the Santa Fe, is a fine specimen of California
architecture. Another notable edifice is Hotel
Maryland, recently enlarged.

Pasadena is noted, too, for the number and
beauty of its church edifices, also for its fine
educational institutions. On Mount Wilson, near-
by, is a great astronomical observatory which has
a world-wide renown and boasts the largest tele-
scope on earth. Then there is Mount Lowe.




141




Hotel Maryland, Pasadena.




The Busch Residence, Pasadena.




Orange Avenue, Pasadena.



MOUNT LOWE.

From Los Angeles, through Pasadena and
Altadena, electric railway cars run to Rubio
Canyon, a distance of sixteen miles. There
from an altitude of 2,200 feet, the cable
incline conveys visitors to the summit of
Echo Mountain, nearly 1,400 feet higher.
From this point, where there is an observa-
tory already somewhat famous for astronomical
discoveries, radiate many miles of bridle-paths,
and another electric railway extends to still
loftier heights at the Alpine Tavern, nearly
a mile above the sea, and within a thousand
feet of the objective summit, which is reached
by bridle-path. There is no more pleasurable
mountain trip than this, nor anywhere one more
easy of accomplishment. Sufficiently elevated
above its surroundings to afford commanding views
which stretch across wondrously fertile valleys to
other ranges upon the one hand and to the coast-
wise islands of the Pacific upon the other, the total
altitude is not great enough to distress those who
are disordered by the thin air of more exalted
summits, as in the Rockies. Among the manifold
attractive features of California the ascent of
Mount Lowe worthily holds a conspicuous place.
Its details are fully described in local publications,
and may be omitted here.



'43





THE " KITE-SHAPED TRACK."

The most interesting trip for a stranger in Southern
California is that over the " Kite-shaped Track"
of the Santa Fe. A visitor can not do better than
to make this journey, during which he passes
through the heart of the most thickly populated
and best cultivated portion of the " Land of the
Afternoon." It is possible to make this trip be-
tween breakfast and dinner, allowing time for an
inspection of Riverside and Redlands, but days can
be most delightfully spent in many of the towns
passed, and indefinite periods in these two.

The track is in the shape of two loops, the
larger one extending from Los Angeles to San
Bernardino and the smaller end from San Bernar-
dino to Redlands.

The traveler may start from Los Angeles either
by the northern or southern branch of the " kite."
Twenty-five minutes after leaving the city, by the
northern route, the train arrives at Pasadena.
Turning eastward from Pasadena, the Santa Fe
line traverses the heart of the San Gabriel Valley,
the most beautiful stretch of country of equal
expanse in all California. Especially is this so in
winter when covered with a vivid mantle of green,
beyond which are the tawny foothills, dotted over
with chapparal, backed by the majestic Sierra




The California Limited in Southern California.



Madre, pine-fringed and often snow-clad in winter,
when oranges are ripening in the valley below.

East of Pasadena the train runs for several miles
through the Santa Anita ranch of " Lucky" Bald-
win. The home place, with its lake and beautiful
grounds and thoroughbred horses, is a favorite resort
for Los Angeles people and visitors. There are
many well kept orchards of citrus and deciduous
fruits in the valley. The old mission, from which
the valley obtained its name, lies several miles to the
south, and is not visible from the train. A dozen
flourishing towns are scattered along the fifty
miles between Pasadena and San Bernardino. The
most important of these are Pomona, Upland and
Ontario, through which the Santa Fe runs. At
Pomona a specialty is made of olive culture.
Ontario and Upland are celebrated for their lemons.
In the vicinity of Cucamonga are 10,000 acres of
v'neyards.

An electric car line runs from Ontario through
Upland to the Canyon at the head of Euclid
avenue, a wide, shaded thoroughfare. On either
side nestle the homes of the citizens, embowered in
orange and lemon groves and gardens. Ontario
was founded by the Chaffey brothers, somewhat
more than twenty years ago. They are now en-
gaged in developing the settlement of Imperial,
on the Colorado desert, near Yuma. The
visitor from sections of the East where heavy
soils are the rule will probably notice the
lightness of much of the soil between Ontario
H5




and San Bernardino. With an ample water
supply, it gives excellent results in fruit culture.
At Cucamonga are some of the largest vineyards
in California. North of San Bernardino there is
seen on the mountain side what looks like a big
arrowhead.

San Bernardino is an old city, as age is reckoned
among the American improvements of Southern
California, having been settled by Mormons from
Salt Lake City in the fifties. They were after-
ward ordered back to Utah, but a few of them
chose to remain in this land of promise, and some of
their descendants are still living there. Here are
the Santa Fe shops, which give employment to
hundreds of men. The merchants of the place do
a considerable trade with the surrounding country.
A fine toll road leads, by an easy grade, up to the
pine-clad summit of the mountains, back of San
Bernardino, where, amid the big forest trees, is a
picturesque clubhouse, known as Squirrel Inn,
surrounded by cottages, in which some of the
members of the club spend weeks every summer.

At San Bernardino commences the smaller loop
of the Kite-shaped Track, which runs around the
upper end of the Santa Ana Valley. Here, in the
foothills, overlooking a magnificent panorama of
mountain and valley, lies Redlands, a beautiful
city, twenty years of age, having been laid out



Squirrel

/*




during the big real estate boom of 1887. Redlands
people claim that the finest oranges in California
or in the world are raised there, and the prices
paid for the product in the East seem to justify
their assertions. Canyon Crest Park, Smiley
Heights, a picturesque and beautifully improved


1 2 3 4 5 7 9 10 11

Online LibraryC. A. (Charles A.) HigginsTo California over the Sante Fé Trail → online text (page 7 of 11)