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

. (page 40 of 62)
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 40 of 62)
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jellies, meats and confectionery. When one of
tha Americans present, asked the interpreter to
explain this legerdemain of cookery, he expanded
his mouth in a hearty laugh, and shook his head
and said, " Me ican man heap smart ; why he not
Jiiut him <>u> ? "

Moonlight Scenery of tJie Sierras.
Travelers going westward have often the pleas-
ure of a delightful ride by moonlight across the
famous scenes of the Sierras. Just at evening,
when the sun casts its last glorious rays across
ths mountains, and lights up the peaks and
snowy summits with splendor the train arrives
at Capsi Horn, and the thrill of interest of the
excited tourist, will never be forgotten. Take a
good look from the point, westward down the
grand canon of the American River. Step
toward the edge of the cut, and look down the
fearful precipice, which is often broken ere it
reaches the lowest descent of 2,000 feet. It is a
scene more famous in railroad pleasure travel,
than any yet known. A few miles beyond, near
Shady Run, there suddenly opens on the gaze of
tli3 expectant traveler, just before the sunlight
has quite disappeared, and the evening shades
com i on, the vision of

The Great American Canon, by far
the finest canon of the entire Pacific Railroad.
Tha suddenness of approach, and the grandeur
of scene are so overpowering, that no pen, pic-
ture or language can give to it adequate descrip-
tion. Two thousand feet below, flow the quiet
waters of the Ameiicm River. Westward is
se?,n the chasm, where height and peak and
summit hang loftily over the little vale. South-
ward is a sea, yea an ocean of mountains and
the observer, seemingly upon the same level, is
bewildered at the immensity of Nature's lavish
display of mom. tain wonders; night comes on,
and the heights catch the soft light of the moon,
as it shines and twinkles across and among th^
tops of the pines, lighting up the open canons, and

rendering still more deep the contrast with the
shady glens the snow fields, cold, white and
chilling, with ever changing turns of the rail-
road, make the evening ride, beyond a doubt,
the most pleasurable that ever falls to the lot of
the sight-seer. The tourist must stay up long
see for yourself all the beauties of the Sierras,
while there is the least possible light Emigrant
Gap, Summit, Donner Lake, Blue Canon all
are delightful, and the lover of scene pleasures
must not forsake his window or the platform, till
the midnight hour finds him at Truckee. Trav-
elers eastward will bear in mind that from Cape
Horn to Summit, the best scenes are on south
side of the train, the American River Canon on
the right hand, or south side, and the Bear and
the Yuba River Valleys on the north side ; but
from the Summit the scene changes, and the ob-
server must find his pleasures on the north, until
he reaches Truckee.

East of Truckee, the scene is again renewed,
and the river and best views are mainly on the

Coif ax, 193 miles from San Francisco. It
was named in honor of the late Vice-President,
has an altitude of 2,422 feet, is a day telegraph
stati.m, and the breakfast and supper station for
the overland train*. Seventy-five cents, coin,
are charged for meals, and 25 minutes allowed
for eating them.

The old settlement was Illinoistown, but with
the opening of the station, the old town was
"finished." Colfax has a population of 1,000,
two churches, Methodist Episcopal, and Congre-
gational, three hotels and stores to indicate that
it is the center of trade for a population of
several thousand.

Nevada Count ti yarrow Gauge Kail-
road. From Colfax starts a small narrow
gauge railroad twenty-two and one-half miles
long, passing through scenery of the most
exciting character. The tourict should spend
one day over it.

Grafts Valley is 16.74 miles distant, has a
population of 7,000. It is the center of the best
gold quartz mining region of the State, and has
the largest Protestant Church (Methodist Epis-
copal) in the Sierra Mountains. It has also a
Congregational Church, Roman Catholic, Epis-
copal and Christian or Campbellite. Until re-
cently, it had two banks, but at present has none.
It is the center of large lumber, fruit and min-
ing interests, has a daily paper, the " Union"
and one weekly, the " Fo"thill Tiilintja"

This city as well as Nevada, is reached from
Colfax by the narrow gauge railroad, on which
two trains connect daily with the trains of the
Central Pacific. The fare to Grass Valley is
7.07, and to Nevada City $2.25, the maximum
allowed by the law of the State.

Nevada has a population of 4,500, and is
the county-seat of Nevada County. The people


l.-V!ew looking down the American Uiver. 2. View f Cape llnrn ami American Uivor Canon, looking

3. Point of Cape Horn.


of Truckee are compelled to attend court in this
city. Jt is in the same mining region as Grass
Valley, and was for many years the largest town
in the mining regions. From an area of six
miles, not less than .175,000,000 have been taken,
and 12,000,000 are now produced annually. Slight
snows fall in the winter. The route of the nar-
row gauge railroad lies through the valley of the
Bear River, over which one looks in descending
the Sierras. At the crossing of Bear River,
where it joins the Elkhorn, there is some fine
scenery, and although in the distance of 22 1-2
miles there are 16 stopping places, there are no
towns or villages except at the termini and at
Grass Valley. San Juan North, Comptonville,
and Downieville, Sierraville, Lake City, Bloom-
field, Moore's Flat and Eureka South, and
Marysville are all connected with Grass Valley
or Nevada by stage.

In passing along near Colfax, and in all the
foot hills, the manzanita is seen, but the bushes
are smaller here than in many other parts of
California. It is a queer shrub, and like the
madrona tree does not shed its leaf, but sheds its
bark. Its small, red berry ripens in the fall and
is gathered and eaten by the Indians. Crooked
canes made from its wood are much esteemed.
The bark is very delicate until varnished and
dried, and great care should be taken in trans-
porting them when first cut.

The foot hills are partly covered with chapar-
ral, a low evergreen oak, which, in early days,
afforded hiding places for Mexican robbers, and
now accommodates, with cheap lodgings, many a
"road agent " when supplied by a raid on Wells,
Fargo & Go's treasure boxes or the coin and
watches of stage-passengers. White blossoms
load the air with fragrance in April and May.

On the right, the valley of the Sacramento is
coming faster into sight, and the Coast Range
growing more distinct. The next station, 5.1
miles west of Colfax, is

New England Mills, at, the west end of a
plateau where there is no grade for three miles.
Lumbering in the vicinity has declined, and the
trains do not stop. Tha roadway continues on
the south side of the divide between the Bear
and American rivers, but this has so widened
that the cars seem to be winding around among
small hills far away from either river.

Water taken from Bear River, near Colfax, is
quite near the railroad, on the right, for a num-
ber of miles, and will be seen crossing over at
Clipper Gap.

Below New England Mills there is an opening
called George's Gap, named from an early resi-
dent, George Giesendorfer, and farther west is
Star House Gap, called from an old hotel ; then
signs of farming are again seen in Bahney's
Ranche, at the foot of Bahney's Hill, and Wild-
Cat Ranche farther west, where Wild-Cat Sum-
mit is crossed by a tunnel 693 feet long, and


Clipper Ravine is then found on the left-hand

This tunnel was made in 1873, to straighten
the road, and the ends are built of solid ma-

Across Clipper Gap Ravine, the stage road
from Auburn to Georgetown may be seen wind-
ing up the mountain side.

About half-way between New England Mills
and Clipper Gftp, there is a side track and day
telegraph station, called Applegaies, for the run-
ning of trains and a point for shipping lirne ; but
passenger trains run, without stopping, from
Colfax 11 1-3 miles, to

Clipper trap, 182 miles from San Fran-
cisco. The few buildings have a store and a
hotel among them. It was the terminus of the
road for three or four months, and then a lively

Hare and mountain quail abound in these foot
hills. The latter ,roost, not on the ground, but
in trees, never utter the -' Bob White," so famil-
iar to sportsmen, and fly swifter than the east-
ern quail.

A uburn, 175 miles from San Francisco, is
a day telegraph station, 6.6 miles from Clipper
Gap, with an elevation of 1,380 feet.

From Auburn Station a daily stage runs 22
miles to Forest Hill on arrival of the train from
the east, fare $4.00, and to Michigan Bluffs, 30
miles, fare $6.00, and another runs daily, except
Sunday, to Greenwood, 16 miles, fare $2.50, and
Georgetown, 21 miles, fare $3.00, Pilot Hill, 11
miles, fare $1.50, Colma, 21 miles, fare $2.50, and
Placerville, 32 miles, fare $4.00. Alabaster Cave
on the route of the latter, six miles from
Auburn, is an opening in a limestone formation,
and the seat of the kilns in which the best lime
of California is made. What little beauty the
cave once possessed has been invaded and it has
now no attraction for the tourist.

The town of Auburn proper is situated below
the station. It has a population of 1,000, two
churches, good schools, fine orchards, and is the
county-seat of Placer County. It is one of the
oldest towns in the State. It has three hotels,
one of which is the Railroad House. Many of
its buildings are constructed of brick or stone,
and grapes are extensively grown in the vicinity,
and with great success. The Placer Herald is a
weekly Democratic paper, and the Argus, a
weekly Republican paper.

From the point where the locomotive stands,
the Sacramento River can be seen on the left, as
also from other points as the train continues
westward. Soon after leaving the station, the
railroad crosses Dutch Ravine, at the head of
which is Bloomer Cut, where the train passes
through an interesting conglomerate, showing a
well-exposed strata of boulders, sand and coarse
gravel. The trestle work at Newcastle Gap
Bridge is 528 feet long and 60 feet high.





As the train nears Newcastle, the Marysville
liuttes, rough, ragged peaks, are easily discerned.
They are about 12 miles above the city of
JMarysville, and the town" near the railroad,
but clinging to a side hill opposite, is the
decayed town of Ophir.

From the trestle work, just before reaching
and also after passing Newcastle, there are fine
panoram as of
the Sacramento
Valley, on both
the right hand
and the left.
Mount Diablo
may be seen on
the left.

Ne w castle,
170 miles from
San Francisco,
is a day tele-
graph station,
five miles from
Auburn, 956 feet
above the sea.
It has a hotel and
several stores,
every man in
the place a Good
Templar, and
some promising
quartz mines in
the vicinity. It
was named after
an old resident
and hotel-keep-
er called Castle.
An earnest of
what may be
seen in the lovely
valley, that has
such unlimited
extent before the
traveler, may be
seen in a flour-
i s h i n g orange
tree, growing in
the open air, in
a garden only a
few yards from
the railroad

Almost every one will have noticed an ever-
green of attractive hue, a shrub and a vine,
always trifoliated. It is the poison oak or
poison ivy, and unless one knows that he can-
not be affected by it, he should avoid an inti-
mate acquaintance.

Below Newcastle about a mile, the railroad
leaves Dutch Ravine, along which it has kept its
way from Auburn, and enters Antelope Ravine,
by which it descends the plain.

Penryn is a side track near a valuable

granite quarry. The rock is susceptible of a
high polish probably unsurpassed in the State,
and was used for building the dry dock of the
U. S. Navy Yard, at Mare Island, and other pub-
lic buildings. In summer, 20U men are employed
in the quarries.

J'ino, 104 miles from San Francisco, is about
where the limit of the pines is found, in a coun-
try full of huge
boulders, with
quarries of gran-
ite, slightly soft-
er than that of

Rocklin is
162 miles from
San Francisco,
a day and night
telegraph sta-
tion, with 249
feet of elevation,
and is the point
at which east-
bound trains
take an extra
locomotive to
ascend the
mountain. The
roundhouse of
the railroad com-
pany, with 28
stalls, situated
here is a most
structure, made
from the granite
quarries near
the station.
From these quar-
ries, many of
the streets of
San Francisco
are paved, pub-
lic and private
buildings erect-
ed, and here
were cut the im-
mense blocks
used for the
pavements of the
BLOOMER CUT. Palace Hotel.

Junction is 157 miles from San Francisco.
It is a day telegraph station, and 163 feet above
the sea. The town is called Roseville, in honor
of the belle of the country who joined an excur-
sion here during the early history of the road,
and will probably be known as Roseville Junc-

Here the Oregon division of the Central Pa-
cific leaves the main line. On the left may be
seen the abandoned grade of a road that was
built to this point from Folsom on the American


River. By this road, Lincoln, Wheatland, Ma-
rysville, Chico, Tehama, Red Bluff, Redding, and
intermediate points are reached. One hundred
fifty-one and a half miles have been built from
the junction northward. Passengers going north
may use their tickets to San Francisco for pas-
sage over this division, and at Redding take
stage for Portland, Or. See page 300 for full
description of Railroad.

Antelope, a side track at which passenger
trains do not stop, and 6.6 miles farther on, a
place of about equal importance called

Arcade. The soil is light, much of it grav-
elly, but it produces considerable grass, and an
abundance of wild flowers. Prominent among
the latter are the Lupin and the Eschscholtzia,
or California Poppy. The long fence will inter-
est the Eastern farmer, for here is a specimen of
a Mexican grant. It is the Norris Ranche, now
owned by Messrs. Haggin, Tevis and others, and
nearly ten miles long. When California was
first settled, these plains were covered with tall,
wild oats, sometimes concealing the horseback
rider, and wild oats are now seen along the side of
the track. No stop is made, except for passing
trains, until the American River bridge is

About four miles from Sacramento we reach
the American River. It has none of the loveli-
ness that charmed us when we saw it winding
along the mountains. The whole river-bed has
filled up, and in summer, when the water is al-
most wholly diverted to mining camps or for
irrigation, it seems to be rather a swamp. It is
approached by a long and high trestle work.
After crossing the bridge, on the right, you will
notice some thrifty vineyards and productive
Chinese gardens in the rich deposits of the river.
On the left you will obtain a fine view of the
State Capitol; also you get a fine view of the
grounds of the State Agricultural Society. Its
speed-track, a mile in length, is unexcelled.
Its advantages, including the climate of the
State, make it the best training track in the
United States. It was here that Occident trot-
ted in 2.16 3-4, and is said to have made a record
of 2.15 1-4 in a private trial. The grandstand
was erected at a cost of $15,000.

Should you pass through the city in Septem-
ber or October, do not fail to see for yourself the
Agricultural Park and the Pavilion, and test the
marvellous stories about the beets and the pump-
kins, and secure some of the beautiful and de-
licious fruit that is grown in the foot hills.

On the left you will also see the hospital of
the Central Pacific Railroad. It contains all
modern improvements for lighting, heating, ven-
tilation and drainage, and a library of 1,200
volumes. It can accommodate 200 patients, and
cost the company $65,000. Fifty cents a month
is deducted from the pay of all employes for
maintaining the institution. No other railroad

has made such generous provision for its faith-
ful employes.

Railroad Works. North of the city there
was a sheet of water known as " Sutler's Lake "
and " The Slough," and a succession of high
knolls. The lake was granted to the city bv the
State, and to the railroad company by the'city.
Its stagnant waters have given place, at great
cost, to most important industries. The high
knolls have been levelled, and are also owned, in
part, by the railroad company. Not less than fifty
acres of land are thus made useful for side tracks
and fruitful in manufactures. Six and a half
acres of it are covered by the railroad shops.
Twelve hundred men are constantly employed.

These are the chief shops of the railroad.
Some you saw at Ogden, Terrace, Carlin,
Wadsworth, Truckee and Rocklin, and you
will find others at Lathrop and Oakland Point,
and at Tulare and Caliente on the Visalia
Division. At Oakland Point, 150 men are em-
ployed, but all these shops and even those of the
California Pacific Road at Vallejo center here.
These are the largest and best shops west of the
Mississippi River, and form the most extensive
manufacturing industry of the city.

The best locomotives, and the most elegant and
comfortable passenger cars on the coast are built,
and a large portion of the repairs for the whole
road is done here. All the castings of iron and
brass, and every fitting of freight and passenger
cars, except the goods used in upholstering, is
here produced ; boilers for steamers put up, the
heaviest engine shafts forged, telegraph instru-
ments made, silver plating done, and 12,000
car wheels made every month. All the latest
and best labor-saving tools and machinery used
in wood, iron and brass work can here be seen
in operation.

The capacity of the shops is six box-freight,
and six flat cars per day, and two passenger, and
one sleeping car per month. Twelve years ago,
the work of the company at this point, was all
done in a little wooden building 24 by 100 feet,
and with less men than there are now build-
ings or departments.

Last year a million and a half dollars was paid
out for labor in these shops alone, and 4,000 tons
of iron consumed. Some of the buildings, like
the roundhouse, are of brick. This has 29 pits
each 60 feet long, with a circumference of 600
feet. Some of the buildings have roofs or sides
of corrugated iron. Seven large under-ground
tanks, 1,600 gallons each, are used for oil and
2,000 gallons of coal oil, and 400 of sperm con-
sumed every month.

In connection with the shops, is a regularly
organized and well-equipped fire-brigade, and in
two minutes the water of two steam fire-engines
can be directed to any point in the buildings.

Soon a rolling mill will be erected, and upon
the location but lately pestilential. The whole


coast will be laid uoder further tribute to these
shops for the facilities of travel and commerce.

Just before entering the depot you will cross
the track of the California Pacific Railroad, and
see the Sacramento River on the right.

Sacramento. Trains stop twenty minutes
in the depot. This affords ample time to get
a lunch at the Palace Saloon in the depot,
or to visit the City and Capitol. Take one
of the " free busses " for the Capitol, Golden
Eagle, Grand or Orleans Hotel, all first-class,
comfortable and well patronized; or the street-
cars will convey you near any of these. A
new railroad depot will be finished this year,
the finest in California, four hundred and six-
teen feet long, and seventy, jeet wide, with
another adjoining, thirty-five by one hundred
and sixty feet.

The population of the city is about 22,000.
The streets are regularly laid out, and beginning
at the river or depot, with Front or First, are
numbered to Thirty-first, and the cross-streets
are lettered, beginning with A on the north side
of the city. The stores are chiefly of brick, and
residences of wood. The broad streets are
shaded by trees of heavy foliage, the elm, wal-
nut, poplar and sycamore prevailing, and in sum-
mer are almost embowered by these walls of
verdure, that are ready to combat the spread of
fires. It is a city of beautiful homes. Lovely
cottages are surrounded by flowers, fruits and
vines, while some of the most elegant mansions
in the State are in the midst of grassy lawns or
gardens filled with the rarest flowers. The
orange, fig, lime and palm flourish, and the air is
often laden with nature's choice perfumes. It is
lighted with gas, and has water from the Sacra-
mento River, supplied by the Holly system. Two
million gallons are pumped up daily.

The climate is warm in summer, but the heat
is tempered by the sea breeze which ascends
the river, and the nights are always pleasantly
cool. Notwithstanding its swampy surroundings
and the luxuriance of its semi-tropical vegeta-
tion, statistics establish the fact that it is one of
the healthiest cities in the State.

Among the more prominent buildings are the
Court-house, Odd Fellows', Masonic, Good Tem-
plars' and Pioneer Halls ; the Christian Brothers'
College, the Churches, Schools and the Capitol.
The grammar school building is a credit to the
educational structures of the State, and attracts
attention from visitors second only to the Capitol.

The Pioneers are an association of Califor-
nians who arrived prior to January, 1850. Their
hall has an antiquarian value especially in a
very accurate register of important events extend-
ing back to A. D. 1650. Another association,
the Sons of the Pioneers, will become the heirs
of these valuable archives, and perpetuate the
association. The annual business of the city
exceeds twenty-five million ilollnr.-.

The State Caititol. This is the most
attractive object to visitors. It cost nearly
$2,500,000. It stands at the west and thrice ter-
raced end of a beautiful park of eight blocks,
extending from L to N street, and from Tenth
to Fourteenth street. Back of the Capitol, but
within the limits of the park and its beautiful
landscape gardening, are the State Printing
Office and the State Armory.

The main entrance to the Capitol is opposite
M street. The edifice was modeled after the
old Capitol at Washington and lias the same
massiveness, combined with admirable propor-
tions, and rare architectural perfection and
beauty. Its front is 320 feet and height 80 feet,
above which the lofty dome rises to 220 feet, and
is then surmounted by the Temple of Liberty,
and Powers' bronze statue of California." The
lower story is of granite, the other two of

Ascending by granite steps, which extend SO
feet across the front, we reach the portico with
ten massive columns. Passing through this, we
stand in the lofty rotunda, 72 feet in diameter.
The chambers and galleries are finished and fur-
nished in richness and elegance befitting the
Golden State. The doors are of walnut and
California laurel, massive and elegant. The
State library has 35,000 volumes. The great
dome is of iron, supported by 24 fluted Corin-
thian columns and 24 pilasters. Rising above
this is a smaller dome supported by 12 fluted
Corinthian pillars.

The beauty of the whole is equaled an but
few of the public buildings in the country, and
the California laurel with its high polish adds no
little to the charm. The steps leading to the top
of the outer dome are easy, except for persons of
delicate health, and the view to be gained on a
clear day, will amply repay any exertion. The
extended landscape is incomparably lovely.
You are in the center of the great Sacramento
Valley, nearly 450 miles long by 40 wide, where
fertile soil and pleasant clime have contributed
to make one of the loveliest pictures to be seen
from any capitol in the world.

Just beneath lies a city with many beautiful
residences, half concealed in the luxuriant ver-
dure of semi-tropical trees. Lovely gardens
enlarged into highly cultivated farms then,
wide extended plains, on which feed thousands
of cattle and sheep, groves of evergreen oak,
long, winding rivers, and landlocked bays, white
with the sails of commerce, and along the east-
ern horizon stretch the rugged Sierras, with
their lines of arid foot hills, perpetual verdure,
and snowy summits, shining like white sum-
mer clouds in a clear blue sky.

On the west the Coast Range limits the vision
with its indistinct and hazy lines, out of which

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 40 of 62)