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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

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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 56 of 61)
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the hot sun of summer has burned up every thing
else, here may be seen prettily-colored patches of
vegetation. It is the tar-weed, and will stick to
one's boots as it does to the noses of the cattle.

At last the station called

Tehachfipi Summit, 350.2 miles, is reach-
ed, but the highest point, or the summit, is about
two miles beyond, or south. This station is the
nearest one to the summit. About two miles to
the right is the old town of Tehachapi, with about
twenty houses. It is on the old stage-road, but
the new town will eventually outrival it.

On the broad top of the range and down the
sides sheep find nutritious pasture. About five
miles away is a marble quarry, and on this ridge
there is also a little placer-mining.

The summit appears like a broad plain. The
highest elevation is 4026 feet. On the broad pla-
teau and on the right of the road there is a small
lake, and it would not be worth mentioning if it
was not salt. Digging down a few inches around
its shores reaches rock salt.

The water has never been known to flow out of
this lake and off the summit. White Rock Creek,
erroneously laid down on some maps as flowing
out on the plains near Mojave, empties when
flowing at all into this lake.

From the littie "divide," crossed just south
of the lake, tb-, road descends toward Cameron's
Canon, and lollows this out of the mountain.

Cameron, 359.4 miles, is a small station.
About half a mile from this the road enters the



340



canon, with walls from 500 to 700 feet high on the
south and very much higher on the north.

This canon is of peculiar interest, being an
earthquake crack more than five miles long.
Stopping to examine minutely the general slope
of the mountains, the strata, or the walls would
be inconvenient, but repay one who can do so.
After crossing the Mojave Plains near Alpine an-
other earthquake crack, and of recent origin, is
unmistakably recorded. The Spanish-bayonet is
abundant in the canon.

Nadeau, 364.6 miles, is a small station in the
canon. A stream of water runs down the canon,
and it appears as if the winter rains would carry
off the road-bed, but it is 10 or 12 feet above high
water.

On leaving the canon, the water channel con-
tinues to the left of the road a mile or two and
there sinks, leaving when dry white patches of
alkali and salt. Leaving the canon, the road
curves to the right and approaches the first sta-
tion on the plains.

Here a new object of interest appears in the
Yucca Draconis. It is peculiar to these plains,
and for miles along the road will attract atten-
tion. It is palm-like, and often called a " palm"
and " cactus," but it is neither. It is a yucca,
and a remarkable tree. It is exogenous, and
grows from ten to twenty feet high, has a trunk
18 or 20 inches in diameter, and terminates in
stumpy branches, each having at the extreme end
a tuft of dagger-shaped leaves. Out of each
bunch of foliage grows a panicle of blossoms with
greenish petals bearing large seed-vessels, but not
remarkable for either beauty or fragrance. How
often each tree blossoms is not known, but not
every year, and some say once in four years.
The trunk has numerous layers of fibers, which
run spirally, and each layer is at an angle to the
next.

The bark is removed, and the trunk used for
making paper. It is crushed into a pulp at Ra-
venna, a station in the Soledad Canon, and the
pulp taken to a mill near San Jose 1 and manufac-
tured. Experts have pronounced it adapted for
making a superior class of bank-note paper of
great durability.

Mojave, 370.2 miles, and the terminus of the
Tulare and also the Mojave Division. It is the
only eating-station between the San Joaquin Val-
ley and Los Angeles, and butter, milk, and all
provisions must be transported over the moun-
tains, and the water is carried in pipes from a
spring near Cameron station, ten miles away.

Besides the hotel, there are several stores,
some shops and residences. The railroad com-
pany has a round-house for fifteen engines, a ma-
chine-shop, and a large freight warehouse.
Freight wagons are always on hand to unload
bullion and carry supplies to Darwin, 100 miles,
Lone Pine, Cerro Gordo, and Independence, 168



miles, directly north in Inyo County. The Cerro
Gordo Freighting Company alone employ 700
head of horses.

Stages leave Mojave every other day for Dar-
win, 106 miles, Cerro Gordo, 135 miles, Lone
Pine, 145 miles, and Independence, 164 miles.
Stage fare, about 20 cents a mile. These plains
extend eastward as far as the eye can reach,
and on the west there is a semicircle of moun-
tains. The heated sand causes the wind to rush
furiously, and early in the history of the road
" Mojave zephyr" was a well-fixed term. From
Mojave it is only about 75 miles to Colton via the
Cajon Pass. Mojave is the point of divergence
of the proposed Thirty-fifth Parallel road, sur-
veyed to the Colorado River at "The Needles,"
254 miles east.

This survey crossed the sink of the Mojave
River at an altitude of 960 feet, and crossed the
Providence Mountains via, Granite Pass at an ele-
vation of 3935 feet.

The Atlantic and Pacific Railroad Company had
also a charter from San Francisco to the Colo-
rado, following the coast to the mouth of the
Santa Clara River, thence east to Soledad Pass,
and across the desert to the Colorado.

The course to be now followed from Mojave is
nearly south. The Yucca Draconis is more
abundant. Numerous buttes, hundreds of feet
high, are seen. They are of soft granite and
sandstone rock, showing that the country is not
volcanic. The highest are on the right. It is
quite probable that these are the peaks of a sub-
merged mountain chain.

Gloster, 376.8 miles, is named a station, but
there is neither house nor side-track ; and

Sand Creek, 384 miles,, is also dreary. But
water is only a few feet below the surface, and
this peculiarity extends over nearly all the plains,
and promises well for future development. Now
the plains furnish a valuable stock-range, as they
abound with bunch and other nutritious grasses.
In the spring of the year these plains are a vast
and most beautiful flower-bed, perhaps un-
equaled by any other gathering of colors to be
found in California.

Between Sand Creek and Lancaster the road
begins to ascend, the lowest elevation being 2300
feet, about six miles south of Sand Creek station.

Off to the left there seems to be an ocean ; it
is sand and alkali, and the well-known "mirage
of the desert."

Lancaster, 395 miles, is only a side track.

About half a mile north of the next station,
the road passes through a cut of chalky-looking
rock, and after the cut comes a fill of the same
material.

This is the wave of an earthquake made in
1868, and the wave may be traced lor miles. In
places juniper-trees may be found half buried yet
erect.



341



The Yucca Gloriosa, which disappeared in Ca-
meron's Canon, now reappears and is seen nearly
all the way to Los Angeles.

Alpine, 405. 9 miles, a side track, brings us
face to face with the San Gabriel Mountains.
This range directly ahead is between nine and
ten thousand feet high, and the other side of
these mountains will be seen from Los Angeles.
This range is the Sierra Madre, or San Gabriel,
Mountains, and on the west the range connects
with the San Fernando Mountains at the San
Fernando Pass. Ascending from Alpine to the
summit, and looking back and to the left, there is
a beautiful view of the Mojave Plains and the
mountains we crossed.

The maximum grade is 116 feet. The sum-
mit of Soledad Pass has an elevation of 3211
feet.

Acton, 415.6 miles, is a side track. The road
follows the Santa Clara, an open valley from the
summit nearly to Ravenna, where the valley nar-
rows and continues as the Soledad Canon to and
beyond Lang. The Soledad is a wild and rug-
ged canon, a " Robber's Roost," but was never
the home of that notorious outlaw, Tiburcio Vas-
quez. This murderous chief had his head-quarters
near Elizabeth Lake, about 25 miles north-west
of Alpine, and he ranged all over the mountains
of Southern California.

Ravenna, 419.3 miles, a small station and
cluster of houses ocupied by Mexicans. Here is
the mill in which the Yucca Draconis is crushed
to a pulp preparatory to its shipment to a paper-
mill near San Jose". No one will be likely to
travel long in California and not see the California-
quail (Lopkortyx Californicus) ; but if any one
has failed, he may surely see them in this canon,
for they find a secure home in these impenetrable
thickets. The plume, or crest, has from three to
six feathers, about an inch and a half long, and
will probably be erect, though it is often low-
ered, falling over the bill. This quail always
roosts on trees.

The plumed or ' ' mountain quail ' ' ( Oreortyx
Pictus), with a crest of two feathers three and a
half inches long, is never found south of the
Tejon (Tay-hone) Pass.

Deer and bear are also plentiful in these moun-
tains. Before leaving Ravenna, the side hills on
the right may be seen honeycombed with tun-
nels, built during a brief but wild mining ex-
citement. There is a little placer-mining carried
on by the Mexicans, who farm on a small scale
during the summer, and mine on the same scale
during the wet season.

Between Ravenna and Lang are tunnels 18 and
19, the walls of the canon 900 feet high, the
mountains much higher, and some of the crooked-
est and most picturesque country on the road. It
was in this region, half a mile east of Lang,
where the " last spike" was driven, September



5th, 1876, which completed the line between San
Francisco and Los Angeles.

Lang, 427.8 miles, is a small station.

The valley grows wider, and we soon find a
"stock country." As we reach Newhall, the
road leaves the main Santa Clara Valley, and
turns up the south fork of the Santa Clara
River and follows this nearly to Andrews.

Newhall, 437.9 miles, is a stage station where
stages connect daily for San Buena Ventura, 50
miles ; Santa Barbara, 80 miles, and there con-
necting with the coast line of stages for San Luis
Obispo, Pass Robles, and Soledad. Local fares,
about 10 cents a mile.

This station is in the midst of a fine grazing
country.

Andrews, 441.5 miles, a small station. Here
are two refineries for crude petroleum, which is
found in paying quantities a few miles distant.
The oil region of California may be traced in a
line almost straight from Watsonville, in Mon-
terey County, through Santa Barbara and Ventura
counties into Los Angeles County at San Fer-
nando, and thence on to San Bernardino. The
road now leaves the south fork of the river and
turns up the canon, in which the north portal of
the San Fernando Tunnel is situated.

The Sierra de San Fernando Mountains are now
directly ahead. There was no practicable pass,
hence one of the longest tunnels in America
6967 feet in which the lamps will be needed to
keep away gloomy thoughts, for nine minutes are
spent by all trains in passing through it. The
Hoosac is the only tunnel in America of greater
length. This tunnel is approached on a maxi-
mum grade of 116 feet, and at the north end has
an elevation of 1479 feet. In the tunnel the
grade is 37 feet, descending southward. It is
timbered from end to end, although cut through
rock. At the south mouth of the tunnel we find
the station called

San Fernando Tunnel, 444.4 miles.

The descending grade now increases, and we
drop down as we go south 116 feet per mile for
about five miles, down the San Fernando Creek,
and the country opens into the San Fernando
Valley.

San Fernando, 449.6 miles. Two miles
east is the old mission of the same name, one of
the most interesting in the State. It is well pre-
served, and its gardens beautifully kept. The
building is locked, but the keys are under the
care of the Catholic clergy in Los Angeles. The
groves of orange and lemon trees are like an oasis
to one who rides on horseback over the country.

Interesting specimens of cactus are on all sides.
It is one of the Opuntias, sometimes called the
pad cactus, and grows twenty feet high. Near
San Fernando, at the Tehunga Wash, are beauti-
ful specimens of the Agave Americana, the most
remarkable of all the agaves. It is the maguay



342



of the Mexicans, commonly called the American
aloe, or century-plant. It is frequently seen in
the gardens of California, but here may be seen
the fleshy spiny-toothed leaves, above the Ceano-
thus brevifolia of the region. The flower-stalk
shoots up from 20 to 30 feet.

Petroleum is found in Rice Canon, not far
away, and there is supposed to be a general diffu-
sion of oil underlying all this San Fernando dis-
trict.

Sepulveda, 462.1 miles, is a side track on the
bank of the Los Angeles River, which the road
crosses near the depot.

Los Angeles, 470.7 miles. Here are lo-
cated, near the depot, the shops of the rail-
road company quite a town of themselves.
It is the metropolitan city of Southern Cali-
fornia, with a population of about 16, 000, banks,
wholesale and retail stores v shops and fac-
tories and hotels. Of the latter the St.
Charles is first-class. It has many impos-
ing edifices and blocks of fine buildings, and four
daily and seven weekly papers. The dailies
the Star, Express, Herald, and Republican circu-
late over all of Southern California.

The city was founded September 4th, 1781 ; is
situated on the Los Angeles River, 30 miles from
its mouth, and in a large valley that fronts on
the Pacific Ocean ; and has two rival harbors,
Wilmington and Santa Monica. The area of the
city embraces six square miles. The full name
of the city is Pueblo de la Reina de los Angeles
(" Town of the Queen of the Angels"). From
every point of the city the panorama is grand,
especially when the Sierra Madre Mountains are
. in the background. It is the railroad center of
Southern California, and has already roads ex-
tending in five directions.

It is the seat of a Roman Catholic bishop, and
has a cathedral which is the finest church build-
ing outside of San Francisco. The several prom-
inent Protestant denominations have organiza-
tions, including the Methodist, Presbyterian, and
Episcopal. The Roman Catholics have a college
located here, and the Sisters of Charity a female
seminary ; and besides these there is an academic
institute and good public schools.

There is also a public library, an organized fire
department, and the city is supplied with gas and
water, and has street railroads extending from the
center in every direction. It was made a city
and the capital of California by the Mexican Con-
gress in 1836, and captured by the United States
forces under Commodore Stockton and General
Kearney in 1846. It is celebrated for a mild and
equable climate, fertile soil, the luxuriant growth
of semi-tropical fruits and flowers, and the abun-
dant products of its vineyards and orange groves.
1 Southern California has recently enjoyed great
prosperity and Los Angeles aspires to be the capi-
tal of a new state.



Los Angeles and Independence
Railroad.

LEASED TO THE CENTRAL PACIFIC.

This road was built by Senator Jones, and
opened December 10th, 1875. It connects Loa
Angeles and Santa Monica, giving this southern
metropolis its best seaport, and affording it and
the city of San Francisco an all-rail connection
with the " Long Branch " of the Pacific Coast.
It was projected towards Independence, and to
connect with the Utah Southern, or Union
Pacific. Considerable tunnel-work was done at
Cajon Pass. In 1877 the franchise and work
were purchased from the original owners and
leased to the Southern Pacific.

Trains leave Los Angeles for Santa Monica
every morning and every afternoon.

After leaving Los Angeles, the road passes
through the beautiful orange groves in the
vicinity, and soon turns directly toward the
coast. There are no important stations on the line
of the road, but the San Fernando Mountains in
the north, and many pleasant homes, and corn
growing to maturity without rain or irrigation,
may be seen from the cars.

Santa Monica is a new town, begun in 1875,
and has now about 1000 residents. The town
site is a mile square, and has a park of five acres.
It is supplied with water from the San Vincente
Springs, three miles distant, and has a weekly
paper, the Santa Monica Outlook. There are two
churches and a good school-house, and one of the
best hotels on the coast, the " Santa Monica
House." It has ample accommodations for 200
guests.

The situation of the town is charming. It is
on a horseshoe bend in the coast, that gives it a
land-locked advantage for vessels, and the best
surf of the ocean for bathing. From Point Dum6
on the north to Point Vincent on the south is 28
miles, and a line drawn across from point to
point would be ten miles from Santa Monica.
But the shelter of the harbor is increased by a
group of outlying islands which add picturesque-
ness to the lovely view from the commanding
town. Point Dumas is 13 miles north-west, Point
Vincent 20 miles south-west. Anacapa, Santa
Cruz, Santa Rosa, and San Miguel are all islands
in a line west of Point Dum6 the continuation
of the Santa Monica range of mountains. Santa
Rosa is 91 miles west, and San Miguel hidden be-
hind it. On the south-west is Santa Barbara, 25
miles, and San Nicholas, 37 miles, and 40 miles
south is Santa Catalina. On the north there is a
beautiful background in the " saw teeth " of the
San Madre range. The natural barriers of the
harbor afford the best shelter on the southern
coast north of San Diego, and make the gently



343



eloping, hard sandy beach entirely free from,
undertow. The requisite of good bathing in
the temperature is about perfect at this place.

The air, as modified in this region, is most
agreeable and invigorating, and has proved
worthy the highest praise as a resort for many
persons troubled with asthma.

See " Health and Pleasure resorts."

It has a solid and substantial wharf, 1,475
feet long.

The roads are peculiarly good, and in the
canons of the mountains there are many beautiful
camping and picnic grounds. In the vicinity on
the south are ducks, geese, and all sea-fowl in
great abundance, and in the mountains on the
north quail and larger game, and the ocean
affords fine fishing for mackerel and smelts.

In short, Santa Monica has the climate, scenery,
natural advantages, and conveniences that make
it unequaled as a seaside resort.



Wilmington Division, Southern
Pacific Railroad.

On this division two trains are run daily be-
tween Los Angeles and Wilmington. Leaving
Los Angeles, one travels through a succession of
orange groves and fruit orchards to

Florence, 6 miles from Los Angeles. This is
the point of divergence of the Los Angeles and
San Diego Railroad.

Co nipt on, 11 miles from Los Angeles, is in a
fertile and well-cultivated region, and is the most
important settlement on the line of the road.

JJoniinyuez and

Cerritos are small stations.

Wilmington, 22 miles from Los Angeles, is
the terminus. It has a population of only 500,
and is not so favorably situated as to insure its
rapid growth. Until Santa Monica became its
rival as the port of Los Angeles, it had a lively
aspect at times, and it derived considerable im-
portance from the presence of the army when it
was the head-quarters of the Department of
Southern California and Arizona.

The harbor is not accessible to large vessels,
and these are compelled to discharge by means of
lighters from San Pedro, two miles below. The
erection of a breakwater is in progress, and in it
the government has already spent more than half
a million dollars. The breakwater will be 6700
feet long. The jetty so far as completed is very
strong and solid, and apparently impregnable to
all assaults of the water. By confining the channel
it deepens itself. Now there is only 12 feet of
water at the wharf, and this gradually deepens to
22 feet at the bar. Eventually there will be at
least one safe refuge for all kinds of vessels in
all kinds of weather between San Diego and San



Francisco, and Los Angeles will have such a har-
bor as its commercial importance deserves.

Firmin Point is the most prominent point on
the west, and has a lighthouse on it with a light
of the first order. A number of islands lie near
the coast. Rattlesnake in front, Deadman's, a
rocky peak, at t^e end of the breakwater, and
Santa Catalina 20 miles distant.

Wilmington looks like a deserted place, and
changes its appearance very frequently with the
sand-storms that are common to the region, often
piling sand like snow in immense drifts.



The Los Angeles and San Diego
Railroad.

The company which owns and has constructed
this road in part was incorporated October 10th,
1876. The road is built from Florence, six miles
west of Los Angeles, to Santa Ana, a distance of
twenty-seven miles, and will be extended to San
Diego. The Los Angeles River is crossed near
Florence.

Doivney, 12 miles from Los Angeles, is a small
town of 500 people, but prosperous. Irrigation
is essential in all this part of the State, but with
abundant water, good grain, fruits, and vegetables
are assured. Here there is a supply from the San
Gabriel River, the river crossed soon after leav-
ing the station.

Nor walls,, 17 miles, and
Costa, 23 miles, are both small stations.
Anaheim, 26 miles from Los Angeles, is one
of the most important towns of Southern Cali-
fornia. It was settled by a colony of Germans,
and their thrift is quite apparent on every hand.
Water from the Santa Ana River is used for irri-
gation, and along the ditches are dense rows of
willows, poplars, eucalyptus, pepper, acacia, and
other beautiful trees. The population is about
1500. The town has a weekly paper, the Anaheim
Gazette, two good hotels, and many buildings
quite creditable to the young and rising place.

A few miles distant is the Westminster colony,
water for which is had from artesian wells and
is quite abundant. It is one of the most flour-
ishing colonies of the State. Anaheim was the
first of these colonies on a large scale, deriving
its water from the river, and Westminster the
first deriving its water from artesian wells. Both,
as well as others started since, have been emi-
nently successful. Anaheim has a landing on
the ocean about ten miles from the town, and to
this the steamers of the Pacific Coast Steam-
ship Company make regular trips.

Orange, 31 miles from Los Angeles, is anoth-
er flourishing colony, obtaining water from the



344



Santa Ana River. Thft road crosses the river on a
long bridge just before reaching the town of

Santa Ana, 33 miles from Los Angeles.
This, too, is one of the colonies in the great val-
ley, where cactus land worth $5 an acre rises to
$200 or $300 an acre soon after water has been
turned upon it. Santa Ana has derived consid-
erable importance from being the terminus of the
railroad, and now has daily stages for San Juan
Capistrano, 24 miles south-east (fare, $2.50) ; San
Luis Key, 65 miles (fare, $5) ; and San Diego,
100 miles (fare, $10).

San Diego, the objective point of this road,
is the oldest town in California, and well known
in all lands. Its history, beautiful situation, nat-
ural advantages, and remarkable climate, which
Agassiz said was " its capital " all make it in-
teresting and important.

It is the oldest settlement in the State, the
mission having been founded in 1769. It is des-
ignated as the western terminus of the Texas and
Pacific Railroad, and with its prospects and prob-
abilities in this direction corner lots have gone
up and down like a jumping-jack.

It is situated on San Diego Bay, about 12 miles
long and 2 wide, with 30 feet of water at low
tide, and good anchorage. It is one of the love-
liest of harbors, and greatly resembles that of
Liverpool. Excepting the Bay of San Francisco,
there is nothing like it between the Isthmus and
Puget Sound.

For miles along the bay the land rises gently
toward the interior, making a location for a city
unexcelled in all the world.

Its climate has long been noted, and its reputa-
tion as a sanitarium is deservedly great The
mercury never falls below 40 in winter, nor rises
above 80 in summer. The sea-bathing is fine,
the drives charming, and the vegetation luxuri-
ant.

It has a population of about 5,000, is the county
town of San Diego County, and has a large num-
ber of good buildings. The Horton House, a
hotel erected at a cost of $175,000, is not sur-
passed by any house outside of San Francisco.

But with all her natural advantages and beau-



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 56 of 61)