Frederick E Shearer.

The Pacific tourist : J.R. Bowman's illustrated trans-continental guide of travel, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean ... : acomplete traveler's guide of the Union and Central Pacific Railroads ... online

. (page 24 of 61)
Online LibraryFrederick E ShearerThe Pacific tourist : J.R. Bowman's illustrated trans-continental guide of travel, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean ... : acomplete traveler's guide of the Union and Central Pacific Railroads ... → online text (page 24 of 61)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

United States. The total ascent in elevation
for the whole railroad, is nearly 5,000 feet, and


the average grade of the railroad is 200 feet.
The maximum grade is 296 feet. This is the
steepest railroad grade in the United States.

Tourists who have enjoyed so fine and glori-
ous a ride up the canon hither, will perhaps
expect that the return will be tame. They
will be most pleasantly surprised and disap-
pointed, for it is the grandest of all railroad
scenes they will ever witness.

Detaching the locomotive from the train, the
conductor stands at the little brake, and with-
out a signal or help, the little cars of the train
quietly start on their downward journey alone.
Gliding down with increasing speed, rounding
the curves with grand and swinging motion,
the breeze fanning your face, and the beautiful
pure mountain air stimulating your spirits to
the highest limits of exhilaration, your feelings
and body are in an intense glow of delight, as
the rock scenes, crags and mountain heights
come back again in all their sublimity, and
your little car, securely held, glides swiftly
down the beautiful valley. In no part of the
country is . there a scene to be compared with
this. The entire being is fascinated, and
when, at last, the little car turns swiftly into
the broad plain, the tourist feels he has left be-
hind him a land of delight. The little cars
occupy but one hour in making the descent,
and the writer has made the trip in forty min-

NOTE. Since the foregoing description was
written, the railroad has been discontinued,
but the tourist can visit it by horse from
American Fork or Alta.

Lake Utah. This beautiful sheet of water
lies between the Oquirrh and Wahsatch ranges
of mountains. These ranges and their foot
hills come closely together between Drapers-
ville and Lehi, and the River Jordan cuts
through them there in a narrow gorge or canon.
The lake and valley then suddenly burst upon
the view of the traveler, and admiration grows
into enthusiasm as he contemplates the lovely
picture before him. The lake is about thirty
miles long and six miles wide, is triangular in
shape, and composed of fresh water. Its ele-
vation is about 4,482 feet, or nearly 300 feet
greater than that of the Great Salt Lake. The
railroad goes around the eastern side of the
lake, turning an obtuse angle at or near Provo.
The lake is fed by Provo River, American Fork,
Hobble, Spanish Fork, Peteetneet, Salt and a
few other small creeks. Its outlet is the Eiver
Jordan, which empties into Great Salt Lake,
and supplies water for irrigating the numerous
farms in its valley. As before stated, the lake
abounds in fish, and on its eastern and northern
sides has a large quantity of arable land. Its
western shore is not very well watered, only
one or two little creeks putting down into it
from the Oquirrh range of mountains. It is

well worthy of a visit from the tourist or

The Utah Western Railroad. This
road was first chartered on the 15th of June,

1874, with a capital stock of 900,000. The
company was mostly composed of Utah men
having their residence in Salt Lake City; John
W. Young, a son of Brigham Young, being
President, while Heber P. Kimball was Superin-
tendent. It has, however, recently passed into
the hands of the Utah Central, and will hence-
forth be operated as a branch of that line.
The same year it was chartered, twelve miles
were completed and opened for business on the
12th day of December, and on the 1st of April,

1875, it was completed to Half- Way House,
thirteen miles farther. Another extension of
fourteen miles was completed in 1877. This
last extension carried the road to within one
and a half miles of Stockton, a prosperous
mining town on the western slope of the
Oquirrh range of mountains. Its business on
thirty-seven miles of completed road for 1880
was as follows: Freights received, 10,781,854
Ibs.; freights forwarded, 7,958,839 Ibs. It
carried 25,000 passengers in 1880, of which
20,000 were visitors to its principal resort,
Lake Point. It is a narrow-gauge road (three
feet), and has prospects for an extensive busi-
ness in the future. Its general route is west-
ward until it passes the southernmost point of
the Great Salt Lake, and then southward along
the western base of the Oquirrh range, and
into the rich mining districts which have been
developed on the western slope of tnose moun-
tains. Leaving Salt Lake City, on a heavy
downward grade of ninety -five feet to the mile,
but which is short, the road crosses the River
Jordan on a common pile bridge. Near the
outskirts of the city, the road enters a stretch
of uncultivated prairie twelve miles wide by
about fifty long. Herds of cattle and sheep
alone utilize these rich bottom lands, as some-
thing has prevented such a lavish use of water
for irrigation as we saw almost everywhere else
in the Territory. We were informed that canals
could easily be led from Utah Lake, or the Jor-
dan, over all this broad area, and no doubt such
enterprises will soon be under way. This plain
or flat, sometimes thickly covered with sage
brush, is the "jack " rabbit's paradise. About
every sage bush claims its rabbit, or vice versa.

Millstone Point is near the base of the
mountains, and eleven and a half miles from
Salt Lake City. This place is named from the
fact that the first millstones used in grinding
grain in Utah were quarried from the moun-
tains near this point. The old overland stage
road from Salt Lake City to California passes
along the line of the road, as does one line of the
Western Union Telegraph Co. to the present ter-
minus of the road. The station is of no partic-


ular importance, and beyond the incident men-
tioned, is without a history. We are now at the
base of the Oquirrh Range, and the first station
of the Old Stage Company where they changed
horses is pointed out to the traveler on the south
side of the road. Beyond Millstone Point, about
two miles on the south side of the track, is a
large spring, which furnishes a good supply of
water, and which has been utilized by a dairy-
man. A little beyond this spring on the same
side of the track, there is, in the first point of
rocks, quite an extensive cave which a shepherd
uses as a shelter for his sheep, during the inclem-
ent season of
the year. A rail
fence with gate
surrounds the
entrance to the
cave, and it is
said to be large
enough to turn a
four horse team
and wagon with-
o u t difficulty.
The extent of
the outer part of
the cave is about
40 feet, where a
huge fallen rock
precludes f u r -
ther access with-
o,u t inconven-
ience. The lake
and its mount-
ain islands, and
the ranges be-
yond, now come
grandly into
view 011 the
north side of
the track.
The next sta-
tion is

Blade Rock,
17 1-2 miles
from Salt Lake
City, a sta-
tion named from
a rock, dark
enough to be called black, rising in the lake
about 100 yards from the shore. It is nearly
flat on the top, and with a little effort can be
easily ascended. Jutting out from the shore,
and a short distance from the station, is " Lion's
Head" Rock. Beyond this is "Observation
Point," from which the Goose Creek Mountains,
145 miles north, can be seen in a clear day, with
their white peaks glistening in the sunlight.
The northern point of the Oquirrh Range here
comes close to the lake, and what seems to be a
few scattering trees, or groves of trees, high up
on the mountain, contain millions of feet of pine


lumber, if it could only be made available.
Right under " Observation Point," on the very
edge of the lake shore stands a stone house,
formerly kept as a hotel for pleasure seekers, but
now the private property of John W. Young,
Esq. Whoever occupies it hereafter, can very
nearly be " rocked in the cradle of the deep," or,
at least, be lulled to sleep by the murmur of the
restless waves. Standing upon " Observation
Point," before you, a little to the left, rises the
rock from which the station is named ; beyor d
and to the left still, Kimball's Island rises out of
the sea twenty-two miles away ; while off to tl ie

right is Churuh
Island, 14 miles
away : they do
not look half the
distance, bat
the rarified at-
m o s p h e r e of
these elevated
portions of the
Continent is
very deceptive
as regards vision
and distance.
Point on the
north shore
of the lake is
also visible at a
distance of
about eighty

Lake Point,
20 miles from
the city is the
next station and
the great resort
for excursion
parties and tour-
ists in the sum-
mer. Near this
station is " Gr-
ant's Cave" from
which stalactites
may be obtain-
ed, and other
relics, said to be
remains of Indians who were conquered and
penned in until they died. A personal exam-
ination will satisfy the tourist as to the proba-
ble truth of this tradition. The company has a
large hotel at Lake Point containing 35 rooms
for guests, besides other necessary appurtenances
to a good hotel. A wharf has been built into
the lake, beside which, when not employed, the
stern wheel steamer, " General Garfield," is
moored. This steamer is employed for excur-
sion parties and for transporting ore from the
islands, and the west side of the lake, to the
railroad. A bathing-house has been erected on


the wharf, where conveniences for a salt water
bath are kept. The waters of the lake are very
dense, and it is almost impossible for bathers to
sink. In former times three barrels of water
would make by evaporation, one barrel of salt ;
now four barrels of water are required to effect
the same result. A company has been organized
in Salt Lake City, to manufacture salt from the
waters of this lake near Millstone Point, and
vats are to be erected the present year. An ex-
cellent quality can be made and sacked ready
for market for f 4.50 per ton.

Half -Way House 25 miles from Salt
Lake City, and Tooele Station 37 miles are
the next stations and termini of the road.
Grantville is one of the richest, agricultural
towns of Utah. Stages leave here for the min-
ing camps on the western slope of the moun-
tains, and a large amount of freighting is done,
with teams to and from the mines. The
station may lose its importance at no very
far distant date. There are large springs
of fresh water near the station, which sup-
ply a flouring mill and woolen factory
with power. On the left side of the track,
before you reach the station, is "E. T.
City " the initials being those of E. T.
Benson, who was interested in the town.
It is simply a settlement of Mormon far-
mers, nestled under the mountains. The
woolen factory alluded to is a long, low
stone structure, with approved modern ma-
chinery, about one and three-fourth miles
from the station, north of the track. This
route must prove very attractive to trav-
elers, and one which will amply reward
them in the pleasures it will afford.
The rich mining districts of Bush Valley,
Ophir and others, are reached by this line
of road.

Social Life Among the Mormons. Be-
yond the limits of Salt Lake City the uniform
character of Mormon families is of exceeding
plain ways of living, almost all being of very
modest means, and even poor. What the better
families have gained has been by the hardest
and most persistent labor. It is said that when
the city was first settled, there was not found
over $1,000 in cash for the whole community,
and for a long series of years thereafter money
was little used, and the people lived and paid for
their wants by barter, and a writer facetiously
says : " A farmer wishes to purchase a pair of
shoes for his wife. He consults the shoemaker,
who avers his willingness to furnish the same for
one load of wood. He has no wood, but sells a
calf for a quantity of adobes, the adobes for an
order on the merchant, payable in goods, and the
goods and the order for a load of wood, and
straightway the matron is shod.

" Seven water-melons purchased the price of a

ticket of admission to the theater. He paid for
the tuition of his children, seventy-five cabbages
per quarter. The dressmaker received for her
services, four squashes per day. He settled his
church dues in sorghum molasses. Two loads of
pumpkins paid his annual subscription to the
newspaper. He bought a ' Treatise on Celestial
Marriage ' for a load of gravel, and a bottle of
soothing syrup for the baby, with a bushel of
string beans."

In this way, before the advent of the railroad,
fully nine-tenths of the business of the Mormon
people was conducted. Now barter has given
place to actual circulation of money.

While there is not what may be called dis-
tress or abject poverty in any part of the Mor-
mon settlements, yet with many, especially the
new emigrants, their means are so limited, and
the labor so hard, it would be exceedingly dis-
couraging to exist, but for the grand confidence
all have in the joys to come promised by their
religion and their leader.

Except in the cities there is little or no form
of amusement, and the Sabbath is mainly the
great day of reunion, when the population turn
out en masse to the Tabernacle or other places of

In the church services no one knows, until the
speaker arises, who is to preach from the pulpit,
or what may be the subject.

The subjects of sermons, addresses and exhor-
tations are as wide as there are books. A writer
has laughingly said : " In the Great Tabernacle,
one will hear sermons, or advice on the culture of
sorghum, upon infant baptism, upon the best
manure for cabbages, upon the perseverance of
the Saints, upon the wickedness of skimming
milk before its sale, upon the best method of
cleaning water ditches, upon bed-bug poison,
upon the price of real estate, upon teething in
children, upon the martyrs and persecutions of
the Church, terrible denunciations of Gentiles
and the enemies of the Mormons, upon olive oil
as a cure for measles, upon the ordination of the
priesthood, upon the character of Melchisedec,
upon worms in dried peaches, upon abstinence
from plug tobacco, upon the crime of fceticide,
upon chignons, twenty-five-yard dresses, upon
plural marriages, etc."

Portions of this are doubtless the extrava-
gance of humor, yet it is true every possible
thing, secular or spiritual, is discussed from the
pulpit which the president thinks necessary for
the instruction of the flock. We attended per-
sonally one Sunday a Sunday-school celebration
in the Tabernacle, where the exercises were en-
livened with a spirited delivery of " Marco Boz-
arris" " Gay Young Lochinvar," the singing of
" Home, Sweet Home," and the gallery fronts
were decorated with gay mottoes, of which there
shone in great prominence, " Utah's best crop,


. Woodruff. 2.-John Taylor. S.-Mayor Daniel H. Wells. 4.-W. H. Hooper. 5.-Preaident Brigham Younjt.
6. Orson Pratt. 7. John Shorn. 8. George Q. Cannon. 9. Orson HyUo.


The city Mormons are fond of the theater and
dancing, and as their president is both the owner
of the theater and its largest patron, the Saints
consider his example highly judicious and ex-
emplary, so the theater is crowded on all occa-
sions. We were present, on one occasion, in 1869,
when we witnessed over thirty of the children of
one of the Mormons sitting in a row in the
dr.;ss circle, and the private boxes filled with his
wives. The most striking event of the evening
was when one of the theatrical performers sung
this ditty:

"if Jim Fisk's rat-and-tan, should have a bull-dog pup,
1K> you think Louis Napoleon would try to bring him up ? "

This elicited tremendous applause, and the per-
formers, much to their own laughter and aston-
ishment, had to repeat it.

A. few years afterward, in witnessing a large
body of Mormon children singing their school
songs we noticed the end of one of their little
verses :

"Oh, how happy I ought to be,
For, daddy, I'm a Mormon."

As justifying their amusements, the Saints
thus say, through one of their authorities :

" Dancing is a diversion for which all men and
women have a natural fondness."

Dancing parties in the city are, therefore, quite
irequent, and the most religious man is best en-
titled to the biggest amount of fun. Hence
their religion should never be dull.

" As all people have a fondness for dramatic
representations, it is well to so regulate and gov-
ern such exhibitions, that they may be instructive
arid purifying in their tendencies. If the best
poople absent themselves, the worst will dictate
th 3 character of the exercises."

Therefore every good Mormon, who can get a
little money, indulges in the theater.

The Relif/iott, of the Mormons. It is
not the purpose of this Guide to express opin-
ions of the religious aspect of Mormonism ; but,
an all visitors who come from the East, seeking
either from curiosity to gain reliable information,
or, having prejudices, expect to gratify them
with outbursts of indignation, we can only stand
aloof, and explain, calmly and candidly, a few
facts as we have found them by actual contact
and experience with both Mormons and Gen-
tiles, and leave each reader to judge for himself
the merits of this vexed question.

So thoroughly and implicitly have the masses
of the Mormon people been led by their leader,
that no one must be surprised to find that they
are firm believers and obedient servants to all
t;he doctrines and orders of the Church. They be- just as they are told.

Whatever, therefore, there is in their life,
character and business, industry and enterprise,
that is good and praiseworthy, to Brigham Young,
their leader, belongs the credit. But for what-
ever there is wicked in their religion, life, faith,

deeds and church work and for whatever is
lacking in good, to the same powerful mind and
willful hand, belongs the fearful responsibility.

Whether Mormonism be a religion or not
yet candor must confess, that if it fails to give
and preserve peace, contentment, purity; if it
makes its followers ignorant, brutal, supersti-
tious, jealous, abusive, defiant; if it lack gen-
tleness, meekness, kindness, courtesy ; if it brings
to its homes, sadness and discontent, it cannot be
that true religion, which exists alone by sincere
trust in Christ and love for heaven. If in all its
doctrines, services, sermons, prayers, praise and
church work, it fails to give the soul that seeks
after rest, the refreshing, comforting peace it
needs, it cannot be everlasting.

Mormonism has accomplished much in in-
dustry, and perseverance, in declaiming Utah's
waste lands and barren plains. It has opened a
country, which now is teeming with riches inex-
haustible and untold wealth is coming to a
scene, once the very type of desolation. We
give to the Mormons every worthy praise for
their frugality, temperance and hard labor. No
other class of people would have settled here.
By patience they have reclaimed a desert, peo-
pled a waste, developed hidden treasures, have
grown in thrift, and their lives bear witness to
their forbearance, and complete trust and faith.

How The Mormon Church Influences
Visitors. The system of polygamy is not the
only great question which affects the future of
Utah. More than all things else, it is the Power
of the Rulers of the Mormon Church. It is natural
that they should make efforts to maintain it by
every use of power ; gentleness if that will do the
work, coercion if not.

It is unfortunate that in the spiritual services
of the Church, they fail to impress visitors with
proper respect. Their sermons, all eastern
travelers have uniformly admitted, were remark-
able in the absence of spiritual power. The
simple truths of the Gospel rarely ever are dis-
cussed, the life of Christ, the Gospel of the New
Testament, the " Sermon on the Mount " the
Cross are all ignored, the Psalms of David, the
life of Daniel, Solomon, and the work of the
twelve Apostles are rarely referred to; instead,
visitors are compelled to listen to long argu-
ments justifying Mormonism and plural mar
riage, and expressions of detestation for then,

We heard three of the elders talk at one of
their Sabbath meetings, during which the name
of Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world, was
scarcely mentioned. One talked of the wonder-
ful conversion as he claimed, and baptism of
some Lamanites (Indians), not one of whom to-
day, can give a single intelligent reason for the
course he has adopted. Another told of the
time he was a local preacher in the East, of the
Methodist Church, and of the trials and persecu-


tion they had endured there. The third was
quite belligerent in tone, and gave utterance to
what might possibly be interpreted as treasonable
sentiments against the government of the United
States. In the meantime the audience accepted
all that was said with apparent relish. We
thought of the saying of one of the popular
humorists of the day, to the effect that " if that
kind of preaching suits that kind of people, it is
just the kind of preaching that kind of people
likes." Their preachers will often take a text
from the sayings of the prophets, and give it a
literal interpretation that would grate harshly
upon orthodox ears, while the listener would be
amused at the ingenuity displayed in twist-
ing the word of Gd making it mean anything

It is exceedingly unfortunate for the cause of
the Mormons, that such exhibitions of nature
are made, the only result of which is to increase
the prejudice of all visitors, and tend to grad-
ually change the minds of those who would
gladly be cordial, but feel they can not. We
speak in candor; the efficacy of a religion is
judged by its purity of life and speech. A true
religion wins admiration from even its enemies.
But Mormonism seems never to have made a
friend of an enemy, and Only returns even
deeper resentment.

A religion which does not do as Christ com-
manded, " Pray for them which persecute you,
bless and curse not," but treasures its resent-
ments and fulminates its curses continually can
it be any religion at all ?

Inconsistencies. Another circumstance,
one very unfortunate for the Mormons, and al-
ways noticed by strangers, is the inconsistency
of their history.

In the original, revelation to Joseph Smith,
there was not only no mention of polygamy, but
in the Book of Mormon, such a practice was
fiercely denounced. In the second chapter of the
Book of Mormon, there originally appeared this
warning to the Nephites :

" Wherefore, hearken unto the word of the Lord,
for there shall not any man among you have save it
be one wife; and concubines he shall have none;
for I the Lord God, delighteth in the chastity of

The following comments and arguments based
on the above, seem absolutely necessary, and im-
possible for any one to controvert :

1. If Joseph Smith wrote this under the inspira-
tion of the Holy Spirit, then present Mormon prac-
tices and doctrines, being wholly different, are not
true nor worthy of confidence.

2. If Joseph Smith did not write this under the
inspiration of the Almighty, then Joseph Smith did
not receive a true revelation, was not a true Prophet,
and what he has written has been entirely unworthy
the confidence of his people.

3. If Mormonism since then has found a new

revelation totally opposed to the first, then the first
must have been false.

4. If the first revelation was false, then the
Book of Mormon is wholly false and unreliable, and
Joseph Smith was an impostor.

5. If the first revelation was true, then (as the
decrees of the Almighty once given, never change),
the second revelation is not true, nor ever was in-
spired by God.

6. As History proves that Joseph Smith received
and promulgated both the first and second revela-
tions as one of these must be false as no Prophet
could ever be falsely led, if instructed by the Al-
mighty it follows that Joseph Smith never received
a true inspiration, was not a true Prophet that
Mormonism is not a revealed religion.

Another inconsistency, fatal to the claims of
the Mormon religion, is the curious act of Joseph
Smith at Nauvoo. On the 12th of July, 1843,
Smith received the new revelation. When it
was first mentioned, it caused great commotion,
and many rebelled against it. A few elders at-
tempted to promulgate it, but so fierce was the
opposition that at last, for peace, Smith officially
made public proclamation against it in the
Church paper as follows :


As we have lately been credibly informed

Online LibraryFrederick E ShearerThe Pacific tourist : J.R. Bowman's illustrated trans-continental guide of travel, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean ... : acomplete traveler's guide of the Union and Central Pacific Railroads ... → online text (page 24 of 61)