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 58 of 61)
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and elastic ribs are then used for covering adobe
houses, and many other purposes. The flower is
seen in May, is of a pale yellow, appears at the
extremity of both branch and trunk. The fruit
appears in June and is shaped like a small pear.
It is gathered by the Indians, who use for the
purpose a fork on a long pole, or else is found
where it falls when the birds detiich it in seeking
to open the outer covering to secure the dark red
pulp within a pulp sweet and delicate and riv-
aling any gooseberry. It is highly prized by
both Indians and whites. From it the Mexicans
make a syrup and agreeable preserves.

Distributed over the whole territory there is
the common prickly pear cactus, producing dif-

ferent colored flowers and a fruit of a pleasant
slightly acid taste. As many as 1,000, it is said,
grow on a single bush.

One of the most useful and important plants
is the celebrated Indian maguey an agave
with a bulbous root, like a lily partly above
ground, and varying in size from that of a man's
head to a camel's hump. It is full of saccha-
rine matter, and delicious when tasted. The
juice of the plant is boiled down into a good
syrup, and by distillation a favorite liquor is
made from the plant the strong drink of the
Mexicans. The fiber of the leaves is strong and
much used by the Indians and Mexicans for

Much gramma grass will be seen valuable
food for horses.

About 40 miles from Yuma, Poso Butte is
opposite on the right hand or south, and on the
north an old stage station called Antelope. The
river is from four to ten miles distant most of
the way to Gila Bend.

Mohawk Summit, 56.1 miles from Yuma,
has an elevation of 540 feet. This has been
overcome at a grade not exceeding one foot in a
100, and the descent eastward is on the same
easy scale. The Mohawk range runs north and
south, and though broken may be traced on both
sides of the river. Before reaching

Texas Hill, 63.7 miles from Yuma, where
trains meet at noon, the road has descended to
the level of the mesa, nearly two miles from the
gap. Here water is again pumped from the
river, the last supply to be had until the engine
reaches Gila Bend.

Stamvix is 85 miles from Yuma. At this
point, one is in the midst of the great lava beds,
and all around is ashes and desolation, but an
intensely interesting field, both as to the past
and the future. " In the rectangle contained by
parallels 32 deg., 45 min., and 34 deg. ' min.,
a.nd the meridians 107 deg., 30 min., and 110 deg.,
more than nine-tenths of the surface is of vol-
canic material ; and from this main body there
stretch two chief arms the one going north-east
80 miles to Mt. Taylor, and the other west-
north-west 175 miles in Arizona to the San
Francisco group of volcanoes."

Sentinel, 89.6 miles from Yuma, is a so-called
station, with nothing that is not common to many
miles of the road.

Painted Rock, 103.5 miles from Yuma, is
no more important as a station, but as the name
implies has much interest for the archaeologist
and the curious. It calls to mind the old stage
station of the same name along the river, where
rude hieroglyphics made upon the rocks have
baffled so far all efforts to decipher them more
effectually than the cuneiform inscriptions of





the Assyrian kingdom or the picture-writing of
ancient Egypt. These "Pedros Pintados," or
painted rocks, are north of the railroad along
the old stage road, and consist of huge boulders
piled 40 or 50 feet high, and isolated in the great
plain. How they came there is as unknown as
the meaning of their grotesque carvings or paint-
ings. It is probable that they were gathered
without any direct agency of man. They are
covered with rude representations of men, beasts,
birds, reptiles and things imaginary and real,
and some of the representations express events
in human life. It is supposed that they record
the battles between the Yumas, Cocopahs, Mar-
icopas and Pinahs, or that councils were here
held and recorded. The majority of those who
have viewed them consider them as of recent
origin, dating no farther back than the begin-
ning of the seventeenth century, and there are
those who ascribe them to the Aztec and even
Toltec civilizations.

The range of mountains noticed on the north
aide of the railroad is the Sierra Colorado.

Gila Bend, 119.3 miles from Yuma, is where
water is again pumped from the river to supply
the engines on the road, and named from the
bend of the river to the north. The distance by
the river to Maricopa is 150 miles, and by the
railroad only 45 ! The range of hills crossed by
the road, and which has pushed the river off to
the north, making the Gila Bend, is crossed at
an elevation of 1,520 feet, and after crossing it
the Mariposa desert extends off to the north,
and on the south is bordered by high broken

Estrella, 138.1 miles from Yuma, is of no
importance unless it be to mark the Sierra Es-
trella range, on the north or left hand side.

Maricopa, 156.3 miles from Yuma, is the
first point of importance reached after leaving
the Colorado river. It is situated on a curve in
the road fioe miles long, with a radius of six and
a half miles ! The elevation is 1,182 feet. Six
miles north is the old stage station of Maricopa
Wells, two miles further north the Gila River.
This is destined to become of great importance
in Arizona. The Santa Cruz Valley, running
north and south, and lying east of this station,
has in it good land covered with a thick growth
of sage brush, and added to the arable land
along the Gila will form an extensive agricultu-
ral country centering around Maricopa. Water
is abundant and is supplied for the railroad and
temporarily for the town, from a well 60 feet
deep. In digging this well at 40 feet there was
encountered a strata of lava two feet thick, then
a few leet of sand, and then again a strata of
lava, and beneath this a copious supply of water.
About five miles from Maricopa and a quarter
of a mile above the plain there is a large spring

that will no doubt be utilized to supply water to
the new town.

Much of the importance of the place will be
derived from its being the base of supply for the
Salt River Valley a rich agricultural Valley
from five to ten miles wide, and lying along the
river, more than 100 miles long. The river flows
through an immense salt bed, but the water is
nevertheless used successfully for irrigation. In
this valley Phoenix is the center of business and
has a population of about 2,000. Around it are
10,000 acres of land under cultivation, mostly in
farms of 160 acres. It is 30 miles from Mari-
copa fare, $5.00.

North-west of Phoenix and 90 miles from Mari-
copa is Wickenburg, just south of the line divid-
ing Ma.ricopa and Yavapai counties. It is a
town of about 300 inhabitants. The capital of
the territory is at Prescott, 130 miles north of
Maricopa (fare $25.00, time 24 hours) and is the
centre of trade for the most populous region of
the territory, and has about 5,000 inhabitants.
It has excellent schools and churches, a promis-
ing library association and a larger volume of
business than any other town in the territory,
but must look to her laurels since the extension
of the railroad promises many revolutions. The
town was named in honor of the historian who
has best studied and written the early history of
the country. Leaving Maricopa, the general
course of the road is southeast toward Tucson
(Too-song), and the present terminus is at

Casa Grande, 182 miles from Yuma, and
913 miles from San Francisco. It is 22 miles
from Florence and about 100 from Tucson. At
the end of the long curve, the road strikes a
tangent toward Tucson about 50 miles long, the
longest part of the road without curve between
Tuma and this point.

Casa Grande is named from the extensive ruins
of an ancient civilization. Irrigating ditches,
fragments of broken pottery, crumbling walls,
even yet two and three stories in height, and all
only a fragment of what was seen by the first
Spanish explorers, attest the greatness of what
is now so mysterious. Here is the point of de-
parture for Florence on the north-east and Tucson
in the direction in which the road is to be ex-

Florence is the county seat of Pinal county,
and like all the Arizona towns is in the center
of important mines. It is surrounded, too, by
rich agricultural land, and has water running
through its streets like Salt Lake City. The
population is nearly 2,000. All the buildings
are of adobe, owing to the high price of tim-

Euins of Casa Grande, Fainted Bocks,
Cliffe Houses, Cave Dwellings, etc. The
Gila Valley for 150 miles, including the region of
Casa Grande, and on both sides of the river, is


covered with the ruins of cities,
irrigating canals, and broken pottery
of all sorts. The ruins are similar to
those of Zuni, Taos, Jamez, Pecos,
Mancos and McElmo Canons and
others known, and perhaps many yet
unknown, in Arizona, New Mexico,
southeast Colorado and southern
Utah, and to those discovered in
Mexico and Yucatan. ' 'Casa Grande, "
the Great House, is the best pre-
served, but by no means the largest.
It is a few miles from the station of
the same name, in Arizona, has walls
of gray concrete nearly 40 feet high,
63 long, 45 wide and 5 feet thick at
the base.

None of the ruins are more inter-
esting than the " Cliff Houses "and
"Cave Dwellings " in Colorado. In
the immediate vicinity of these the
ground is covered, sometimes for
miles, with broken pottery, stone
implements, and traces of vast irri-
gating canals. Some of the edifices
had each from one to six hundred
apartments and held from 500 to
4,000 Indians. They were of several,
sometimes five, stories, and all en-
tered by means of ladders. On the
Mancos River there are a large num-
ber of houses constructed of cut
stone a soft (tufa) rock cut by im-
plements made of hardev stone, at-
tached to handles like an adze and
large round towers of the same
material. These towers were prob-
ably the places in which they wor-
shipped Montezuma, the Culture
god of the Aztecs. The altars, if
there were any, have crumbled. Mr.
Stevenson, a government explorer
under Major Powell, found 60 miles
of cliffs ''human swallows' nests,"
in which. 100,000 people may have
lived at the same time.

The origin and uses of all these buildings
have attracted much attention, and the subject
has been but partially examined as yet. The
theories of Humboldt, Gregg, Bell, Domenich,
Prescott, Abbe de Brasbourg, Baldwin and
Bancroft, and detailed descriptions of most of
the Arizona ruins, may be found in Hinton's
" Hand-Book of Arizona. " This last-named au-
thor concludes that the Aztec form of life is
marked in the pueblos of New Mexico, and
that the ruins of Arizona and southwest Colo-
rado are older, and of Toltec origin. But any
one desiring the fullest information must con-
sult thft reports of Prof. "W. H. Jackson, Hon.
Lewis L Morgan, of Rochester, N. Y. , and Mr.



James Stevenson, of "Washington, D. C., and
others, published under direction of Major
Powell and Col. Hayden. The elaborate report
of Mr. Morgan, "Contributions to American
Ethnology," Vol. IV. , 1881, says : "The Indian
edifices in New Mexico and Central America,
of the period of the Conquest, may well excite
surprise, and even admiration, from their pala-
tial extent, from the material used in their con-
struction, and, from the character of their
ornamentation, they are highly creditable to
their skill in architecture. A common $rinc ; ple
runs through all this architecture, from the
long-house of the Iroquois, to the pueblo
houses of New Mexico, and to the so-called



place of Palenque and the Honse of the Nuns,
at Uxmal. It is the principle of communism in

There are about 20 pueblos in New Mexico
inhabited by about 7,000 village Indians, and
there are seven pueblos of the Moquis near the
Little Colorado and about 3,000 Indians.

The Painted Bocks, Piedros Pintados (page
551), are near Gila Bend. The mass is scat-

tered over nearly an acre of ground. One
shaft rises about fifty feet. On the surface are
rude carvings of men, birds, reptiles and
hieroglyphics as yet undeciphered. They,
perhaps, record battles between the different
tribes, and other events.

Similar hieroglyphics abound in Mancos and
McElmo canons and other parts of Arizona,
Colorado and New Mexico.



Picacho 931.9 miles from San Francisco, is
only a side track, near the peak of the same
name. The word is a common one for an iso-
lated peak, and this one, so prominent for many
miles between Tucson and Yuma, has almost
monopolized the name. It is seen for many
miles, and is a noted landmark between Tuc-
son and Yuma.

Red Rock, 945.8, and Rillito, 961.3 miles
from San Francisco are also unimportant. But
there comes into view the oldest city in America

Tucson, 978.4 miles from San Francisco.
This is now usually pronounced Tooson. It was
supposed to be a Spanish word, but it is un-
doubtedly an Indian word and the correct pro-
nunciation is Tooke-son, and signifies good land.
It is the county seat of Pima County, and situ-
ated on the Santa Cruz River, about 75 miles
from the Gila River, the same distance from So-
nora and 370 miles from Guaymas.

It owes its early settlement and much of its
present importance to the Santa Cruz River a
river that is seen and then not seen flowing
alternately above and beneath the surface of the
ground, but nearly always beneath. A few miles
south of Tucson the river appears above the sur-
face of the ground, flows past the mesa on which
the town is built, and affords irrigation for sev-
eral thousand acres of land.

The exact date of settlement is not known. A
Jnile or more south-west of the town are the ruins
of the old mission church built by the Jesuits.
The first homes made by civilized people were on
the bottom lands from the San Xavier mission
toward Tucson, and in time a presidio (military
camp) was established on the present site to pro-
tect the settlers, and around this the town grew.
It was an important station in the Butterfield
overland stage-time, and was occupied during
the rebellion by a company of Texas cavalry,
who were in turn driven out by California volun-
teers. It became an extensive military depot
and has carried on a large trade with Sonora and

The town lies between the railroad and the
river, and to one stepping out of the cars appears
to be nothing considering its age or estimated
importance. But the houses are of adobe brick,
and with scarce an exception, only one story
high. They are flush with the narrow streets,
and the streets destitute of trees or shrubbery.
As in all Mexican towns, the plaza is prominent,
and on it is the Catholic church. Business for-
merly centered around the plaza, but with the
energy of the Americans the modern ways of
Mexican civilization are breaking up and the
principal business has left the plaza and passed
to other streets.

At the western edge of the town there is a de-
lightful park. Cottonwood trees of only a few

years' growth have attained great height under
the influence of irrigation, and furnish a shade
and a cool retreat that every one must appreciate
because the town is almost destitute in other re-
spects of any shade. The citizens throng this
park every evening, and the stranger is driven to
it to enjoy the pleasant coolness.

The population of the town, now about 8,000,
is steadily increasing. There are two banking-
houses, Safford, Hudson & Co., and the Pima
County Bank. In seven months one of these
bought and sold nearly $2,800,000 in exchange.

Some of the mercantile firms do a wholesale
and retail business amounting to millions of dol-
lars per annum, and carry stocks of merchandise
that one is surprised to see outside of San Fran-
cisco. Bnt Tucson is the commercial center of
a large portion of the state and parts of Mexico
and New Mexico. From it are supplied the min-
ing camps of Arivaca district, 70 miles east of
south ; Oro Blanco district, adjoining Arivaca
on the east, and 76 miles distant; Tyndall dis-
trict, 60 miles south; Aztec district, adjoining
Tyndall ; some mines in Sonora about 12 miles
south of Oro Blanco owned by Senator Jones and
others; and the Pima district about 25 miles
south-west of Tucson.

It is also the center of the agriculture and
stock-raising of the fertile lands along the river.
Nine miles from Tucson is one of the most inter-
esting structures on the coast the old mission of
San Xavier Del Bac.

One road leads past " Silver Lake " formed by
damming up the watersof the river then through
groves of mesquit reminding one of the oak groves
in the valley ot California, then on the mesa land
where the hard, gravelly, but natural, road-bed is
good enough to be mistaken for a race-course or
national turnpike. The mission was founded
in 1654, and is now on the reservation of the
Papago Indians. These are Pima Indians who
are supposed to have accepted the Christian re-

The present edifice was begun in 1768 on the
ruins of a predecessor of the same name, and
completed in 1798 excepting one of the towers,
yet unfinished. The style of architecture is
Moorish and Byzantine. The lines are wonder-
fully perfect. It is in the form of a cross 70 x
115 feet, and from its walls there rises a well-
formed dome and two minarets. A balustrade
surmounts all the walls and has 48 griffons, one
at every turn. The front is covered with scroll-
work, intricate, interesting and partly decayed.
Over the front is a life-sized bust of Saint Fran-
cis Xavier. The interior is literally covered with
frescoes, the altar adorned with gilded scroll-
work, and statues are as numerous as the paint-
ings. The tiling on the floor and roof is nearly
all as perfect to-day as when laid, but its manu-
facture is one of the lost arts. It is marveloms



that so long ago and in such a place, such archi-
tecture, ornaments, painting and sculpture were
so well constructed with even patience and perse-
verance. No one should fail to procure tickets of
admission from the priest in Tucson and visit
this interesting relic.

Tucson has four newspapers. The Arizona
Citizen and Arizona Star have daily and weekly
editions. The Pima County Record is a weekly,
and the Mexican population have another weekly
in their own language El Fronteriza.

There are two breweries, two ice machines,
and two hotels, a public school, parochial (Cath-
olic) school, a convent, a private school and a
Catholic and a Presbyterian church.

Seven miles from Tucson, on the Rillito creek,
and at the base of the Santa Catarina mountains,
is Fort Lowell, with a capacity of one battalion.
The buildings are the most attractive in the re-
gion, and it is probable that the Fort will soon
be the head-quarters for Arizona.

PapaffO, 993 miles from San Francisco, is
only a side track.

Pantano, 1,006.5 miles from San Francisco,
at the Cienega creek. It is a canvas town of a
dozen tents and one or two small adobe houses.
While it was the terminus of the road and stages
left daily for New Mexico and Tombstone, it had
a lively air ; but one familiar to its busy scenes
will soon be unable to recognize it. Its perma-
nence and importance will arise from its being
the base of supply for Harshaw and Washington
mining camps.

Stages leave Pantano daily for Harshaw 50
miles, $6 ; Patagonia 42 miles, $6 ; and Wash-
ington 51 miles, $7.50.

Mescal, 1,015.8 miles from San Francisco,
keeps up the semblance of regular stations, at
proper distances from each other, but why there
should be a station, so far as local reasons de-
mand it, no one can guess. As the name implies,
however, there is a new form of vegetation that
is important. The agave (or mescal) plant. Its
growth is so slow that it has been called the cen-
tury plant. It is the American aloe. It has
long, regular leaves of grayish-green color, termi-
nating in a sharp, black needle almost as tough
as whalebone. The flower-stem, when the plant
is ready to bloom, grows as rapidly as the plant
was slow, sometimes a foot or more a day, and
one can almost see it push upward. From the
main stem short branches issue, and these bear
a.small greenish-yellow flower. From this plant
is obtained the liquor, " Mescal," commonly used
by the Mexicans, and sold at about $3 a gallon.
The long leaves are cut off, leaving a stump like
a California beet in size, and these stumps are
collected and roasted in a hole in the ground or
rude oven. Then raw hides strung by the cor-
ners are made a receptacle for the roasted

stumps, and in a few days these ferment and
form a dark, thick, pulpy mass which is dis-
tilled once or twice for the Mescal of commerce.
After the stumps have been roasted they are
also eaten as food and are said to be quite pala-
table. The ordinary brown sugar (panoche) of
the Mexicans is also obtained from this plant.
When the flower stalk is about ready to appear
they cut away the bud and scoop out the center,
and into this is poured the abundant sap that
would have shot forth the panicle of flowers.
This is evaporated into syrup or sugar.

Benson, a telegraph station, is 1024.4 miles
from San Francisco and the junction of the
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad to Guy-
amas, Mexico, now in process of construction.
The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe road uses
the track of the Southern Pacific from Deming
to Benson, and thus forms a continuous line
from Kansas City to Guyamas. The chief im-
portance of Benson is in this junction and its
proximity to Tombstone, Bisbee&n& smaller min-
ing districts to the south. Of all these Tomb-
stone is the most important the most extensive
in the Territory, and a rival of the Comstock.
It is 25 miles south of Benson, situated on roll-
ing hills, and commands an extended and
beautiful view of the valley of the San Pedro
Kiver and the Dragoon mountains on the north,
and the Huachucha (Wali-choo-cha) mountains
on the south. It is the most beautifully situ-
ated mining town on the Pacific coast, and is
rivaled, for situation, only by Leadville and

Silver was first discovered at the old Bronco
mine, six miles southeast of the town; a mine
that has been the subject of much dispute, and
the scene of great violence, and at which seven-
teen men died with their boots on. Now, the
whole country is located for miles around, and
some of the mines are of surpassing value, such
as the Contention, Head Centre, Sulphuret,
Toughnut, Ingersoll, Stonewall, Lucky Cuss;
and others, like the Anchor and Prompter,
present immense promises. The ore is free
milling. The cost of raining has been the most
serious drawback, owing to the scarcity of
water. This requisite, even for a beverage in a
hot mining town, was long supplied from wells
on the stage-road between Tombstone and
Benson, two or three miles from town. It was
sold from the carts in the streets at two cents a
gallon. This scarcity required all milling to-
be done on the San Pedro Kiver. The mills
were located at Contention City and Charles-
ton, each nine miles from Tombstone.

Contention City is passed on the stage route
from Benson to Tombstone. It has a popula-
tion of about six hundred, and Charleston
about a thousand. The years 1881 and 1882
witness great changes in the water supply of



Tombstone. In the Sulphuret and other
mines an abundant flow was encountered and
utilized; a company brought water in pipes
from the wells near town, and another com-
pany from Boston laid twenty-seven miles of
wrought-iron pipe, bringing water from the
Huachucha mountains, and the supply from
these sources is sufficient for the people, and
all the mills needed.

Tombstone has about 7,000 people, is regu-
larly laid out, has two daily and weekly news-
papers, hotels, and all the usual accompani-
ments of a new and first-class mining town.
The dwellings are mostly small and uncom-
fortable, some but little better than tents or
huts, but the enjoyment of the comforts and
luxuries of life is rapidly increasing. Owing
to the elevation, nearly 6,000 feet, the climate
is delightful much of the time. Along the San
Pedro Biver are good ranches raising cattle and

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 58 of 61)