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Henry T Williams.

Pacific tourist : Adams and Bishop's illustrated trans-continental guide of travel, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean : a complete traveler's guide of the Union and Central Pacific railroads online

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Online LibraryHenry T WilliamsPacific tourist : Adams and Bishop's illustrated trans-continental guide of travel, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean : a complete traveler's guide of the Union and Central Pacific railroads → online text (page 24 of 62)
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to get through a pass or gorge in the mount-
ains, the valley below us with Sandy, Salt
Lake City, Salt Lake itself, its islands, the
mountains beyond and a vast scope of country
is suddenly unrolled, like a beautiful panorama,
to our view a magnificent spectacle which
never fails to excite and satisfy the beholder.
Turning to the left again, we near the narrows,
and, looking to the right, the river Jordan
winds along beneath us ; then, passing through



142



a deep cut, we suddenly emerge into the
valley of Lake Utah, and at once become en-
chanted with the lovely view now spread out be-
fore us. The valley, cities and towns we have
just left, are entirely shut out from our vision,
and, in their stead, new wonders invite our at-
tention. There is Lake Utah, with little villages
and settlements between its shores and the base
of the mountains, and those mountains thou-
sands of feet in height, piercing the very clouds,
around it. With an elevation about 500 feet
higher than that of the Great Salt Lake, it
lies nestled down among the lofty peaks, as
though it would hide its beauty and shun the
gaze of the outside world. But iron arms have
forced their way through the rugged denies, and
now hold it in long and lasting embrace.
Henceforth it will receive the homage of thou-
sands, and become a place of worship to the
multitudes who shall see in it and its surround-
ings, the Mecca of their pilgrimages the grati-
fication of their desires and the satisfaction of
every hope. This is strong language, and the
tourist himself shall be the judge of its truth-
fulness. This lake is virtually the head of the
river Jordan. It winds its way, like a ribbon of
silver, through the valley, passes through the
gorge we have entered and becomes lost to view.
Down into the valley of the lake we go and ar-
rive at

Lehi, the next station, 31 miles from the
City of the Saints. It is located on Dry Canon
Creek, though the creek furnishes water suffi-
cient to irrigate the thrifty farms bordering the
little village. A large portion of the bottom-
lands around the lake are cultivated and irrigated
with the water that flows down the mountain
streams.

American Fork, 34 miles from Salt Lake
City, is now reached. It is named from the
creek and canon back of the town, which has
cleft the mountains in twain, and left on their
ragged edges the marks of the heroic and victo-
rious struggle. From this town another narrow
gauge railroad has been built up the canon to
Deer Creek, some twelve miles, to accommodate
the necessities of the mines which have been
opened there. It will be extended whenever
the increased productions of these mines shall
demand it. Of the grand scenery of this
noted canon we shall speak in another place.
The town is about six miles from the mouth
of the canon, and has every appearance of the
industry which usually characterizes Mormon
towns.

Pleasant Grove, 87 miles from the city, is
the next station. It is a thriving farming set-
tlement, and similar to all the little villages in
the Territory. It was formerly called Battle
Creek because of a fight which early settlers had
with the Ute Indians. Leaving Pleasant Grove
we soon arrive at



Provo, 48 miles from Salt Lake City, and
the third town in size in Utah Territory, having
a population of about 5,000 souls. After leaving
the last station, off to the left, Provo Canon is
visible, with Provo or Timpanogos River flowing
through it. This river rises in the western spur
of the Uintah Mountains, flows along the south-
ern part of Kammas Prairie and then turns to the
south-west, entering what is called Provo Valley,
which lies east of the range of mountains on our
left, and finally cutting through this range into
the valley of Lake Utah. Observe, as you ap-
proach the town, how the strata of rocks in the
mountains on each side of the canon dip toward
each other. An immense body of water flows
down this river, annually more than passes
through the river Jordan, the surplus being
taken up by evaporation or drank by the
thirsty soil. We cross the river as we ap-
proach the town, and for the first time since
leaving Salt Lake, see small bodies of timber,
mostly cottonwood, and a thick undergrowth of
brush, etc.

Sporting. Between the town and lake are
low marshes and meadows which render this
place a paradise for ducks, which fact the sports-
man will do well to note. The streams which
flow into the lake abound in fish, and the lake
itself is full of trout, chub, suckers, etc. It is
no unfrequent matter to catch trout here weigh-
ing from seven to ten pounds, though from two
to five pounds is their usual weight. The trout
ascend the streams in the proper season to de-
posit their spawn ; the suckers follow to devour
it, and sometimes they almost choke the river, so
vast are they in numbers, and are caught in
large quantities. The streams sometimes fall so
rapidly that they are left in shallow places and
die there as the water recedes. Measures should
be taken to prevent this wholesale raid on the
spawn of the trout, or it will soon be des-
troyed at least materially lessened. If the
suckers are masters of the situation, so far as the
spawn is concerned, the reverse holds true with
the trout in the lake, for there they attack the
suckers without mercy, and the old adage that
" the big fish eat the little ones," proves liter-
ally true. It is evident that the young suck-
ers are highly relished by the larger trout in this
lake.

The town of Provo is regularly laid out, has
numerous school-houses, stores, grist-mill, tanner-
ies, woolen factory, etc. Brigham Young has a
private residence here, which he frequently visits,
and which is occupied by one of his so-called
wives. It has finely cultivated gardens, yards,
orchards and small farms adjacent.

S/-in</rille,53 miles from Salt Lake City.
The little town lies back under the mountains,
and will probably be the initial point of a narrow
gauge railroad to the extensive coal fields in
Strawberry Valley, some 60 miles east. This



143



coal possesses coking qualities, and as a large
amount of coke is now imported from Pittsburg,
Pa., for the use of the numerous smelting works
in the Territory, it. at once becomes an object to
manufacture it nearer home. Coke made from
coal found in the San Pete Valley is already ship-
ped from this point. Still rounding the eastern
rim of the valley, we soon arrive at the next sta-
tion, which is

Spanish Fork, 58 miles from Salt Lake
City. To the left, the traveler will observe the
canons and gorges which have cut their way
through the mountains, and the lofty peaks of
Mount Nebo, now nearly in front. Hobble
Creek courses a canon through the range back
of Springville, and now Spanish Fork does like-
wise. There is more of a depression in the
mountain, however, where this river canons
through. It has two main branches on the other
side of the range upon the northern, the pro-
posed Denver Railroad comes in, while the
southern branch heads in the divide that crosses
San Pete Valley, east of Mount Nebo. Near
Wales, in this valley, coking coal has been dis-
covered, ovens erected, and the manufactured
article is now delivered at Springville, being
hauled nearly 60 miles by wagons. The pro-
jected railroad from Springville, will pass up the
valley of the Spanish Fork River. The town is
located on this river, a little distance from the
road. We cross the river soon after leaving
the station. A little village called Pontoun, is
seen on the left at the base of Mount Nebo.

Paysoii, 66 miles from the City of the
Saints. Iron ore is shipped from here to the
smelters, where it is used for fluxing purposes in
the reduction of ore. It is hauled some 14 miles
by wagons. It is said to bear 60 or 65 per cent,
of iron, and is known as brown hematite. At
this station and the next, ore and bullion are
hauled from the East Tintic Mining District,
which is about 22 miles away. To our right, a
mountain rises from the level plain around it,
while the lake puts out an arm, as if to clasp it
in fond embrace. Between this mountain and
Mount Nebo, the road finds its way, and a little
farther on, this arm of the lake can be seen west
of the mountain.

Santaquin is the next station, 71 miles
from Salt Lake City. Stage lines leave here
for the Tintic Mining District on the west.
In one year this station received one million
tons of ore. The road now passes through
a low depression or valley, which divides the
Wahsatch and Oquirrh Ranges, and across the
divide between Lake Utah and Juab Valley, by
easy grades, and we soon arrive at

York, 75 miles from the northern terminus,
and the present southern terminus of the Utah
Southern Railroad. The town is of no particular
importance, and will lose its present significance
as soon as the road is extended. In fact it is no



place for a town, and there is no country around
it to support one. Farther down the valley,
streams from the mountains come in, water for
irrigation can be obtained, and the desert, under
the manipulations of labor, is made to bud and
blossom as the rose. When the road is extended
to Nephi, 16 miles, the traveler can pass into a
beautiful and highly cultivated valley, and be-
hold the towering form and giant outlines of
Mount Nebo, from the south. It is one of the
highest peaks in the Wahsatch Range of the
Rocky Mountains, and its lofty head whitened
by eternal snows, is frequently obscured by
clouds. The elevation of the summit of this
mountain, is given by the Engineer Department
of the United States Army, at 11,922 feet.
Frisco Mines. The railroad is to be ex-
tended this year 150 miles south to these mines,
and thence in time to Arizona and California
through new belts of mineral richness. Stages
leave here daily for Pioche and St. George.

AMERICAN FORK CANON.

Of this canon, no less a writer than the late
Charles Kingsley, Canon of the English Church
in London, England, has given the most enthusi-
astic expression, and declares it " The rival of the
Yosemite."

It is by far the most wonderful of all the canons
which are within convenient access to the Pacific
Railroad, and tourists who value sights of grand-
eur and sublime rock scenery, must not omit it
in their overland tour. In interest, beauty, and
as a delightful pleasure trip, it will surpass either
Echo, Weber, or Humboldt Canons, and not a
little of the joy is attributable to the novel mode
of ascent and descent.

Taking the cars of the Utah Southern Rail-
road at Salt Lake City, proceed southward to
American Fork Station ; there a little train is in
waiting with narrow gauge cars and locomotive.
If the party is large enough for a picnic, so much
the better, as often flat cars are added, neatly
trimmed with evergreen boughs. The railroad,
after leaving the station turns directly toward
the mountain range, and gradually ascends for
the first six miles, a steady grade of 200 feet to
the mile, until just before the mouth of the can-
on it reaches 296 feet. Nothing can describe the
apparent desolation of sage brush and dry sterile
appearance of the soil, but here and there where-
ever the little mountain brook can be diverted
from its course, and its water used to irrigate the
land, the richest of fruit trees, grass and grain
spring up and give abundant crops. The little
stream, with its rapid fall, follows us up the
entire length of the canon. The upward ascent
of the grade seems hardly noticeable, of so uni-
form a slope is the surface of the country, and it
is not till the base of the mountains is reached,
and the tourist looks back, he realizes his height,



144




2 3

to



145



and sees in the distance the clear surface of Utah
Lake considerably below him. Gathering now
on the flat cars where the scenery can be best
observed the little train slowly enters the canon.
Scarcely 500 feet are passed over before there
bursts upon the eye views of rock scenes of the
most rugged character. The little valley is
scarcely 100 feet broad, and in its widest part
not over 200 feet, but from the very track and little
stream, the rocks loom up into heights of start-
ling distinctness and almost perpendicular ele-
vation.

The color of the rocks is uniformly of very
dark red and brown granite, apparently having
once been heated in a terrible furnace, and then
in melting had arranged themselves into rugged
and fantastic shape more than mortal could con-
ceive.

At the beginning of the canon, the rocks aver-
age about 800 feet in height, then, as the route
ascends, the sides become more and more bold
and erect, the height greater, and the summits
sticking up in jagged points seem like heaven-
reaching spires, often 1,500, 2,000, and 2,500
feet above the observer.

No pen can picture the sensations of the ob-
server, as he passes slowly through these scenes
which are constantly shifting. Each turn in
the road brings forward some new view, more
entrancing than the last, and on either side,
front and rear, the vision is superb in the high-
est degree. We could not term these scenes
better than to call them " Rock Kaleidoscopes"
For in this short distance of 12 miles, there is a
constant succession of castellated heights, titanic
monsters, spires, rock mountains of increasing
height, sublime form and piercing altitudes,
meeting us, crossing our path, and shooting up
above and around us the entire distance, it
seems like a succession of nature's castles, far
more rugged and picturesque than the castle
covered rocks of the Rhine. Rocks of endless
form and beauty, vistas of rocks, sky tower-
ing summits, bold crags, and flinty points jut-
ting out from the mountain sides in most profuse,
rugged, yet charming positions and combina-
tions, that those eyes which once had no admira-
tion for rocks here confess with extreme en-
thusiasm, that there is beauty beyond the wildest
imaginations.

While passing upward, the train is very slow,
scarcely passing more than four or six miles per
hour, the traveler will see some rocks of curious
formations at the left hand, about one-third of
the way up; on the summit of one of the
highest crags, will be seen a sharp-pointed rock,
and in it a large distinct hole, through which can
be seen the sky beyond. The contrast of the
dark brown rock, and the clear blue of the sky is
intense. This is familiarly called the Devil's
Eye.

Farther up, the track passes under the jutting
10



edge of a rock mountain with a sharply cut
alcove in its base. This is Hanging Rock the
roof of the rock which projects over the railroad,
being about 20 feet outward.

Near the upper part of the canon, just before
reaching the junction of two little valleys, the
track reaches a huge rock mountain overlooking
a little wilderness of trees and vegetation, in the
center of which is located the Old Mill. It is
now entirely useless, once used for sawing timber
and ties for the railroad, but though it has left
its field of usefulness behind, it has remained
to add a far more important help to art. The
scene as viewed in our illustration, is one consid-
ered the most lovely and picturesque, not only of
the entire canon, but also of all the Territory. In
all that grand reach of country, of 2,000 miles
from Omaha to the Sierras, not a single view is
the equal of this delightful scene of the Old
Mill. The dense growth of trees, the rippling
water, the bold rock at the side, the soft shades
of light in the distance, the luxuriant bushes
along the stream, and the little silent deserted
mill, situated exactly in the most beautiful site,
make up a view which artists of keenest taste
admit with rapture is unparalleled in beauty.

Beyond this, as the track ascends the canon,
it is bordered with more shrubbery and trees,
and the rock views partially ceasing the tourist
will find his best vision looking backward, with
a good view of the tallest mountain of the canon,
Lone Mountain, or Mount Aspinwall.

At last the end of the track is reached at Deer
Creek, though the canon continues six miles or
more to the Silver Lake Mine. At Deer Creek,
there is a little village with a comfortable inn
and store, and a large collection of charcoal
kilns. This business is quite large, there being
ten pits of brick, which reduce each about 1,100
bushels of charcoal, for which the proprietor
gets 25 cents per bushel, a business of about
$50,000 per year is done.

The Miller Mine has been estimated exceed-
ingly rich, and is owned largely by New York
capitalists, who work it steadily. It is said to
yield, with lead, over fifty ounces of silver per
ton. The American Fork Railroad was built
originally to facilitate the carrying of ores,
as well as the charcoal, but the grandeur of
the scenery has given it a celebrity among
tourists, far beyond that of any railroad in
Utah.

At Deer Creek is a good hotel, The Mountain
Glen House, and a lovely picnic grove, pure spring
water, and for those of good wind and lovers of ad-
venture, an opportunity for mountain climbing.

The total length of the canon to this point, is
12 miles, and the total length of the railroad, is
16 miles, cost about $400,000, and the most
solidly built narrow gauge railroad in the
United States. The total ascent in elevation
for the whole railroad, is nearly 5,000 feet, and




SCENES IN AMERICAN FORK CANON.

L lit Aspinwall, or Lone Mountain. 2. Rock Summits. 3. Picnic Grove, Deer Creek.
4. A quiet Glen. 5. Hanging Rock. 6. Rock Narrows.



147



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, and the only
grade over 200 feet ascended by a locomotive.

Tourists who have enjoyed so fine and glori-
ous a ride up the canon hither, will perhaps ex-
pect that the return will be tame. They will be
most pleasantly surprised and disappointed, for it
Is Ike grandest of all railroad scenes they will ever
wit ne .

Djtachingthe locomotive from the train, the
conductor stands at the little brake, and without
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
th3 rock scenes, crags and mountain heights
com? back again in all their sublimity, and your
Iittl3 car, securely held, glides swiftly down the
beautiful valley. In no part of tin country is
tli3r3 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 behind
him a land of delight. The little cars
occupy but one hour in making the de-
scent, and the writer has made the trip in
forty minutes. This canon was first brought
to the notice of the traveling public and pleas-
ure travelers of the East, by the editor of
" THE PACIFIC TOURIST," who conducted over
it, in 1873, the first body of editors which had
ever visited the locality. Since that time, its
value as a road for mining purposes has be-
come less valuable, yet the canon has become
noted as a resort of grand and remarkable
scenery.

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 corns closely together between Drapersville
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 elevation 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 itiver 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 sphere is
not veiy 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 sportsman.

The Utah H extern liuilroad. This
road was first chartered on the 15tb of June,
1874, with a capital stock of $900,000. The
company is 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 is Superin-
tendent. 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. An
extension of fourteen miles is now under con-
tract, which will doubtless be completed the
present year. This last extension will take 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 busi-
ness on twenty-five miles of completed road, for
the year beginning February 10, 1875, and end-
ing February 9, 1876, both days inclusive, was
as follows : Freights received, 15,284,036 Ibs. ;
freights forwarded, 5,276,619 Ibs., one of the
smelting works near Stockton, alone forwarding
over 7,000,000 Ibs. of bullion, ore, etc. The
cash receipts for the same time were as follows :
$19,186, and the operating expenses of the road,
also, for the same period, were nearly $16,000.
It is a narrow gauge road, (three feet) and has
prospects for an extensive business in the future.
Its general route is westward 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 dis-
tricts which have been developed on the western
slope of those mountains. 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,
and then over a barren sage brush country, un-
til it reaches

Millstone Point, near the base of the
mountains, and 11 1-2 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 mountains 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 Company, to the present ter-
minus of the road. The station is of no partic-



149



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 fo- 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 fur-
ther access with-
out inconven-
ience. The lake
and its mount-
ain islands, and
the ranges be-
yond, now coma
grandly into
view on the
north side of
the track.
The next sta-
tion is

Black Rock,
17 1-2 miles
from Salt Lake



C i t y, a s t a -
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



Online LibraryHenry T WilliamsPacific tourist : Adams and Bishop's illustrated trans-continental guide of travel, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean : a complete traveler's guide of the Union and Central Pacific railroads → online text (page 24 of 62)