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

To California over the Sante Fé Trail online

. (page 8 of 11)
Online LibraryC. A. (Charles A.) HigginsTo California over the Sante Fé Trail → online text (page 8 of 11)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


private estate, from which there are magnificent
views of the surrounding country, is open to visitors.
Up in the mountains, behind Redlands, and con-
nected by a stage line during the summer months,
is Bear Valley, with its lake, from which water is
obtained for the thirsty orchards below.

This is a favorite camping place for the valley
people, who find excellent fishing and shooting, with
plain and comfortable accommodations at several
points in the valley. There are sawmills in the neigh-
borhood. Returning around the loop, close to the
foothills, the train passes Highland, where is located
one of the State insane asylums. Back in the hills,
but plainly visible from the train, lies Arrowhead
Hot Springs and its fine new hotel. San Bernardino
is soon again reached, and the train runs southward
on its spin around the lower branch of the loop.
Colton is a railroad junction. Between Colton and
Riverside a branch of the Santa Fe runs off
to the southeast, through a section of the country
that has been celebrated by Helen Hunt Jackson,
in her widely read Southern California novel,
" Ramona," to Ferris, where it again divides. One
branch runs to San Jacinto, in the valley of that
name, the starting-place for Strawberry Valley, a




romantic spot among the pines, a mile above the
cities of the plain. This for many years has been a
favorite camping ground during the summer months,
and recently has been made more attractive by
the erection of a hotel on the detached cottage
plan with central cafe and casino. The visitor
who is fairly robust may scale the summit of San
Jacinto Mountain, five thousand feet higher up.
Idyllwild, as this resort is now known, is reached
from Hemet by stage. The main branch of the
Santa Fe from Ferris extends to Elsinore and
Temecula. At Elsinore there is a lake of consider-
able size, and more than a hundred hot springs,
with great curative properties. Around the lake is
a drive, fifteen miles long. Near Murietta, south
of Elsinore, is another group of hot springs.

The run from San Bernardino to Riverside
is alongside a big cement main ditch. Riverside
is a locality renowned for navel oranges, culmina-
ting in a busy little city of I2,OOO population,
overhung by mountain battlements and pendant
to two hundred miles of shaded and oiled avenues,
lined with tall eucalyptus, drooping pepper and
magnolia trees, and broken only by short lateral
driveways through palm, orange and cypress to
mansion homes. The almost continuous citrus




Arrowhead Hotel.



groves of Riverside are the result of twenty
years of co-operative effort, supplemented by some
preponderating advantages of location. The
pioneer settlers had much to contend with, but
they persevered, and their monument is visible
to all. The community is one of culture and
refinement, and the Riversiders boast that their
city is the wealthiest in the United States, in
proportion to population.

The Mission Inn, at Riverside, is a modern
hotel, combining the picturesqueness of the
eighteenth century with the luxury of the
twentieth. It is a long, low, cloistered building, in
style like the old missions tiled roof, arched porches
and many a gable built around a spacious court.
This court is faced by a long palm promenade.
The tower is a campanile, with twelve ancient
bells, where vesper hymns and old Spanish tunes
are played. Inside this hospitable inn you see open
chimney-places, massive beamed ceilings, mission-
bell chandeliers, iron latches on the doors, and
other reminders of the old California days.

^ The most striking features of the old-time mis-
sions are reproduced in a recent addition to the
inn, called the cloister. In the assembly hall thereof
is a magnificent cathedral pipe organ.

Automobiles meet Santa Fe trains, carrying
passengers to the U. S. Indian School and up
Rubidoux mountain ; the summit is reached by a






Mission Inn<

fine road with easy grades, equal to any Alpine
highway, and the joy of all autoists.

After leaving the station, the train runs for sev-
eral miles through a succession of well-kept orange
groves. Fourteen miles from Riverside is Corona,
a colony famous for oranges and lemons. A tree-
lined avenue extends between the two places. A
few miles farther and the track follows the wind-
ings of the Canyon of the Santa Ana River, through
a wild, picturesque region, bounded on each side
by low ranges of mountains. Orange is the next
place of importance. The three towns of Santa
Ana, Orange and Tustin form practically one con-
tinuous settlement of attractive homes.

Here one may travel mile after mile, over good
roads, aligned by beautiful shade trees, behind
which are orchards of deciduous and citrus fruit, in
a high state of cultivation. Orange is a railroad
junction on the line from Los Angeles to San




Arcady, Monttcito.




Riverside, Cal.

Diego, by way of Santa Ana. Anaheim, the next
stopping place, is the pioneer settlement of this
region, having been founded more than forty years
ago as a co-operative vineyard colony by Germans
from San Francisco. The town lies a short distance
from the railroad. A few miles west of Anaheim,
and connected with it by a short line of railroad, is
the Los Alamitos beet and sugar factory, in which
Senator Clark, the Montana and Arizona mining
millionaire, is interested. Fullerton, the next largest
town of Orange County, was laid out during the
real estate boom of 1887. It has since developed on
merit, and it is now an important shipping point
for horticultural products. There is also a number
of profitable oil wells in the neighborhood.

La Mirada, with a pretty little sta-
tion, built in the Mission style of archi-
tecture, is the center of an extensive
tract of olive and lemon orchards,
covering 3,000 acres. In connec-
151




tion with this enterprise is a chemicai laooratory,
in which are prepared a number of by-products
from the orange, lemon and grape fruit. Santa Fe
Springs, formerly known as Fulton Wells, is so
named from springs of mineral water, for which
great medicinal effects are claimed in the treat-
ment of rheumatism, gout and other diseases.
There is a sanitarium, which is open all the year
around. A few miles away, to the right, on the
side of a sloping hill, may be seen Whittier, which
was started in 1887 as a Quaker colony. The
large brick building is one of the State reform
schools, in which several hundred wayward boys
and girls are taught useful trades. Fine lemons
and other fruit are raised at Whittier, and there
are a number of producing oil wells in the hills
back of the town. Rivera, a small settlement
between the old and the new San Gabriel Rivers,
is the chief walnut-growing section of Southern
California. Standing upon the dome of the hotel,
and looking to the northeast, south and west, the
eye may follow long stretches of this valuable tree,
for miles in every direction. In less than twenty
minutes after leaving Rivera the train pulls up at
the Los Angeles depot.




SEASIDE RESORTS.

There are several popular seaside resorts in the
vicinity of Los Angeles, easily reached, within an
hour, by steam or electric cars. They are largely
patronized by residents and visitors, especially dur-
ing the summer months. Of late the fact has
begun to be realized that in some respects these
places are even more attractive during the winter,
after the rains have carpeted the surrounding
country with a mantle of green, and laid the dust.
It is no uncommon thing to see a crowd of merry
visitors sporting amid the breakers at Christmas,
in plain view of the snow-capped Sierra Madre
Mountains.

The chief of these resorts are Redondo, Santa
Monica, Long Beach, Ocean Park and Venice.
Santa Monica is the oldest. All are well improved,
progressive towns, with beautiful homes, fine
beaches, comfortable hotels and many attractions
for summer visitors. About three miles north of
Santa Monica is the mile-long wharf of the Southern
Pacific Company. Venice of America has been
built on novel and unique lines, and a vast sum of
money expended in making it attractive.

Redondo has a large hotel and wharf, from which
there is good fishing, a swimming bath, pebble
beach, and a nursery, where may be seen several
acres of beautiful carnations.
There is a commodious hotel,
facing the ocean.




Venice of America.



Long Beach, the most easterly of the seaside
resorts of Los Angeles County, has made a very
rapid growth during the past two years. It is
specially favored by families, and is the place of
meeting for the Chautauqua Association in this
part of the country. Here is one of the finest
hard beaches on the Pacific coast, several miles in
length, where excellent surf bathing may be
enjoyed.

A few miles west of Long Beach is Terminal
Island, a seaside resort on a narrow spit of land,
where a number of Los Angeles people have
summer cottages upon the beach. Across the bay
is San Pedro, the chief port of Los Angeles. Off
shore may be seen the long trestlework where
the United States Government is building a big
breakwater for the improvement of the harbor, so
that ocean-going vessels may enter, instead of lying
off shore. Standing out boldly against the horizon
is the lighthouse on Point . Fermin, a beacon to
mariners. San Pedro is now a place of consider-
able importance, which will be greatly increased
after the harbor improvements are completed.




Hotel Bixly> Long Beach.



SANTA CATALINA ISLAND.

Thirty miles off the coast it rises, like Capri,
from the sea, a many-peaked mountain cap, vary-
ing in width from half a mile to nine miles, and
more than twenty long. Its bold cliff shores are
broken by occasional pockets rimmed by a semi-
circular beach of sand. The most famous of these
is Avalon, one of the most frequented camping
grounds of Southern California. In midsummer its
numerous hotels are filled to overflowing, and in
the hundreds of tents clustered by the water's edge
thousands of pleasure-seekers gather in the height
of the season. Summer is the period of Santa
Catalina's greatest animation, for then, as in other
lands, comes vacation time. But there is even less
variation of season than on the mainland, and the
nights are soft and alluring, because the seaward-
blowing mountain air is robbed of all its chill in
passing over the equable waters. Here after night-
fall verandas and the beach are still thronged. The
tiny harbor is filled with pleasure-craft of every
description, from rowboats to commodious yachts,
and hundreds of bathers disport in the placid ele-
ment.

Wonderful are the waters of Avalon, blue
as a Mediterranean sky and astonishingly clear.
Through the glass bottom of skiffs specially con-
structed for the purpose you may gaze down
through a hundred feet of transparency to where
emerald weeds wave and myriad fishes, blue and





\



brown and flaming red, swim over pebble and shell.
Or, climbing the overhanging cliffs, you gain the
fish-eagle's view of the life that teems in water-,
depths, and looking down half a thousand feet upon
the fisherman in his boat see the bright-hued fishes
flashing far beneath him. He seems to hang sus-
pended in the sky.

Notable fishing is to be had. The barracuda is
plentiful; likewise the yellow-tail, or sea-salmon,
also generally taken by trolling, and frequently tip-
ping a truthful scale at fifty pounds. Sea-bass
fishing is a famous sport here, and probably the
most exciting known anywhere to the hand-fisher-
man. This fish is commonly taken, and in weight
ranges from 2OO to 400 pounds. The fisherman
who hooks one is frequently dragged in his skiff for
several miles, and finds himself nearly as much
exhausted as the fish when it finally comes to gaff.

The most popular fishing at Catalina, however, is
for the tuna, known in the Mediterranean as the
" tunny," a gamy fish that furnishes the ambitious
angler all the sport he can reasonably expect, and
more than many can appreciate. Visitors come
from all over the world to fish for tuna at Catalina,
and a tuna club has been formed, which issues
diplomas and prizes to those who capture with rod
and reel the biggest tuna during each season. They
must do it without assistance, and this is frequently
a difficult job, as the tuna sometimes weighs over
250 pounds, and has been known to pull a boat con-
taining three people for nearly twelve hours. The

1ST



favorite diet of the tuna is flying fish, in following
which they will jump out of the water and catch
their prey in the air. The average weight of
sixty-one tuna caught with rod and reel at Catalina
during the season of 1901 was 119 1-2 pounds, and
of 142 black sea-bass, or "jewfish," caught in like
manner, 225 1-2 pounds.

Perhaps the greatest novelty of a trip to Santa
Catalina, for most travelers, is the great number of
flying fish that inhabit its waters. At only a few
miles' distance from the mainland they begin to leap
from beneath the bows of the steamer, singly, by
twos and by half dozens, until one wearies of count-
ing, and skim over the waves like so many swal-
lows. The length of flight of which this poetical
fish is capable proves usually a surprise, for in spite
of its abundance off the Southern California coast its
precise character is none too generally known. In
size, form and color it may be roughly compared to
the mackerel. Its " wings" are muscular fins
whose spines are connected by a light but strong
membrane, and are four in number. The hinder-
most pair are quite small, mere butterfly wings of
stout fiber; the foremost pair attain a length of
seven or eight inches, and when extended are two
inches or more in breadth. Breaking from the
water at a high rate of speed, but at a very low
angle, the flying fish extends these winglike fins
and holds them rigid, like the set wings of a soaring
hawk. With the lower flange of its deeply forked
tail, which at first drags lightly, it sculls with a con-
ill



vulsive wriggle of the whole body that gives it the
casual appearance of actually winging its way. The
additional impulse thus acquired lifts it entirely
from the water, over whose surface it then glides
without further effort for a long distance, until,
losing in momentum and in the sustaining pressure
of the air beneath its outstretched fins, it again
touches the water, either to abruptly disappear or
by renewed sculling to prolong its flight. Whales
of great size are frequently seen in the channel
separating Catalina from the main land.

In the less frequented portions of the island the
wild goat is still common. If you wish to hunt the
goat you must first procure a permit, and to obtain
that you must adduce evidence of your ability to
tell a goat from domestic sheep upon sight.

Santa Catalina is reached by steamer from San
Pedro, connecting with trains from Los Angeles.
The exhilarating ocean ride and the unique pleas-
ures of the island can not be too strongly com-
mended.

SANTA BARBARA.

Santa Barbara long has been known the world over
as " The American Mentone," because in seeking a
term to convey its characteristics some comparison
with celebrated resorts of Europe was thought nec-
essary and this particular comparison most fitting.

Such definition is no longer required. Santa Bar-
bara is a name that now everywhere evokes the soft
picture of a rose-buried spot, more than a village,
159




less than a city, rising gently from the sea-rim by
way of shaded avenue and plaza to the foot of the
gray Santa Ynez Mountains, above whose peaks
the condor loves to soar ; where, when with us the
winter winds are most bitter, normal existence is a
joyous activity in constant summer sunshine. It
presents an endless variety of winsomeness. Here
are found the best climatic advantages of Egypt,
Italy, the Hawaiian Islands and Florida.

The flat beach is broken by rocky points
where the surf spouts in white columns with deaf-
ening roar, and above it lies a long mesa, dotted
with live-oaks, that looks down upon the little
dreaming mission city and far oceanward ; and on
the other hand the mountain slopes beckon to
innumerable glens, and, when the rains have come,
to broad hillsides of green and banks of blossom.
There are long level drives by the shore, and up the
prolific valley to famous orchard ranches, and Mon-
tecito, a fairyland of homes, is close at hand.
Between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, on the
coast, lies San Buena Ventura, with a well preserved
mission, and Summerland, where may be seen the
curious spectacle of oil wells pumping from w^harves
erected for the purpose, and extending beyond low-
water mark.

Four of the Channel Islands lie opposite Santa
Barbara Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and
San Miguel. The last three are only less attractive




Hotel Potter,
Santa Barks r fi-



by nature than Santa Catalina,of which mention was
made in its place, and although equal facilities do
not exist for the tourist, many persons find their way
there by means of fishing boats, which frequently
leave Santa Barbara for the island fishing grounds.

These islands are now permanently inhabited only
by sheep-herders,who tend flocks of many thousands.

Santa Barbara lies northwest from Los Angeles,
on the coast line of the Southern Pacific. It is
a thriving town of 15, OCX) inhabitants, with paved
highways, busy stores and attractive residences.
Modern American methods are in evidence along
the business streets, but Santa Barbara still has much
to remind one of the early Spanish days. The old
mission is elsewhere mentioned. Here the visitor
may enjoy outdoor life to the utmost; deep-sea
fishing, autoing, golf, and horseback riding are the
principal pastimes.

The new Hotel Potter, located on a large tract
facing the ocean boulevard, is the largest in the city.
This palatial edifice is six stories high, covers two
acres of ground, and cost a million dollars. The
architecture is that of the old Spanish missions.
There are five hundred guest rooms, four roof
gardens, polo grounds and tennis courts. Visitors
to Santa Barbara are thus guaranteed the very best
accommodations.

In the suburbs fronting the sea, and reached
by a drive along an avenue of palms, is picturesque
Hope Ranch, a place intended for exclusive country
homes.




The Nf<w Arlington,
Santa Barbara.




OSTRICH FARMING.

One of the popular attractions of Southern Cali-
fornia, that is visited by most new arrivals, is the
ostrich farm, at South Pasadena, beside the Santa
Fe track and a short ride from Los Angeles on the
electric. Here may be seen 150 ostriches, ranging
in size from the newly hatched chick to the
mammoth, full-grown bird. Ostriches appear to do
as well in Southern California as in South Africa,
their native habitat. There were formerly several
small ostrich farms in this section, but they have all
been combined in the establishment at South Pasa-
dena, which has been running for a number of
years. It is not merely a show place for visitors,
but does a large and profitable business in the sale of
ostrich feathers and useful and ornamental articles
manufactured therefrom, which are exported to all
parts of the United States.

There were recently imported to this farm seven-
teen Nubian birds, which are supposed to have the
finest plumage of any of the African ostriches. They
run wild, and the only way to obtain them is by bar-
tering with the natives for the chicks, the old ones
escaping. As there is an export duty of $500 on
each ostrich sent out of South Africa, these are the
only birds that can now be obtained to improve the
California stock. The proprietor of this establish-
ment recently opened an ostrich farm between




Nice and Monte Carlo, in the south of France,
with birds from South Pasadena, so that Southern
California may now add to her other varied
resources the exportation of ostriches.

WINTER SPORTS.

Where out-of-door life is the rule, there being
^either frost nor chill throughout the day, recreation
Becomes a matter of pure selection, unhampered by
any climatic condition outside the relatively infre-
quent rainstorm. A few enthusiasts make a point
of taking a daily dip in the surf, but the practice
does not reach the proportions of a popular pastime
in midwinter. Cross-country riding finds then its
perfect season, the whole land being transformed
into a garden, over enough of which the horseman
is free to wander. Happy must he be who knows
a purer sport than to gallop, either singly or with
comrades, in fragrant morning air over a fresh sod
spangled with poppy, violet, forget-me-not, larkspur
and alfilerilla; bursting through dense thickets of
lilac and mustard to cross an intervening highway;
dipping to verdant meadow vales ; skirting orchards
heavy with fruit, and mounting tree-capped knolls
that look off to glimmers of sea between the slopes
of the hills.

Coaching has its proper season then, as well,
and the horn of the tallyho is frequently heard.
For such as like to trifle with the snows from which
they have fled, the foothills are at hand, serried with
tall firs in scattering growths or dense shadowy





jungles, topping canyons where the wagon-trail
crosses and recrosses a stream by pleasant fords, and
the crested mountain quail skulks over the ridge
above one's head. There may be had climbing to
suit every taste, touching extremes of chaotic tan-
gle of chaparral and crag. There are cliffs over
which the clear mountain-water tumbles sheer to
great depths; notches through which the distant
cones of the highest peaks of the mother range may
be seen in whitest ermine, huge pines dotting their
drifts like petty clumps of weed. Under foot, too,
on the northerly slopes is snow, just over the ridge
from where the sun is as warm and the air as gentle
as in the valley, save only the faintest sense of added
vigor and rarefaction. So near do these extremes
lie, and yet so effectually separated, you may thrust
into the mouth of a snow man a rose broken from
the bush an hour or two before, and pelt him with
oranges plucked at the very mouth of the canyon.
And one who is not too susceptible may comfort-
ably linger until the sun has set, and above the
lower dusky peaks the loftier ones glow rose-pink in
the light of its aftershine, until the moon lights the
fissures of the canyon with a ghostly radiance
against which the black shadows of the cliffs fall
like ink-blots.

Notwithstanding the rapid settlement of South-
ern California, this section can still show better
fishing and hunting during the winter season than
almost any other region of the country. With the
first grass that follows the early winter rains the



wild duck comes down from his northern nursery

to bathe in the warm sunshine. The glistening
green of the mallard's neck dots the water of the
lagoon. Duck-shooting on a moonlight night is a
favorite sport. With the mallard come the canvas-
back, the redhead, the sprigtail, the gadwell, the
widgeon, the spoonbill and the delicate little teal.
This is not the blue-winged teal of the Mississippi
Valley, or the green-wing that is there so common,
but another variety of green-wing, of about the
same size as the Eastern bird, and with equal
swiftness of wing. These ducks, and some others,
are found in great abundance during the winter
season, within an hour's ride of Los Angeles.
There are great flocks of the Canada goose,
together with the snow goose. They feed on the
alfilerilla and clover of the ^plains and hills, occa-
sionally making excursions into the grain fields.
The valley quail of California is a gamy bird, which
has become somewhat shy since guns have increased
in number. Formerly this bird was so abundant that
one might easily obtain as big a bag as could be car-
ried home, without a dog, but now a good bird dog
is becoming essential, unless the sportsman is an
expert, or goes into a thinly settled region. The
little brown plover makes good game for the begin-
ner during the greater part of the winter. The
mountain pigeons sometimes come down in flocks
and afford lively shooting. The English snipe is
found on some of the meadows. Among the
brush, on the foothills, cottontail and hare are
165



plentiful, in seasons of normal rainfall. One needs
to be a good shot to make a bag of these active
little animals. Deer are becoming scarce, but are
still brought in during the season. The Pacific
Ocean abounds in fish, and while midwinter is not
the best season, there is often good fishing along
the coast, long before the winter is over. Among
the leading members of the finny tribe that may be


1 2 3 4 5 6 8 10 11

Online LibraryC. A. (Charles A.) HigginsTo California over the Sante Fé Trail → online text (page 8 of 11)