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 45 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 45 of 62)
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foggy 'days.

The cause which thus unfavorably affects the
climate of San Francisco in so marked a degree,
spread out as it is along the Golden Gate, the
only interruption for hundreds of miles to the
lofty Coast Range, erected as a barrier between
the cold, foggy ocean on one hand, and the
spreading central basin, gleaming bright and hot
with sunshine on the other, affects in some de-
gree many other places along the sea-coast. At a
sufficient distance inland, the ocean breezes are
tempered, and there are places near the sea-shore
where the trend of the coast and outjutting
headlands break the force of the trade-winds,
and give delightful shelter from them. It is this
circumstance which gives to Santa Barbara its

celebrity. It lies on a bay facing to the south,
the usual coast-line facing south-west, and is in
the lee of Point Conception, a bold headland
which turns away from it most of the cold ocean
winds. San Rafael, near San Francisco, nestles
under the lee of Tamalpais and adjacent hills,
and is also sheltered. In a direct line, it is riot
over six or seven miles from San Francisco, and
yet, when it is foggy or unutterably windy in
the city, it is often warm, clear and still there.

The consumptive patient should carefully avoid
exposure to the trade winds by seeking some
resort sheltered from them, or which they reach
after being thoroughly tempered by inland travel.
Neglect to heed this caution is the reason of
many fatal disappointments experienced by Cali-
fornia visitors seeking health.

In the summer season, beyond the range of the
ocean trade-winds, the choice between locations
for invalids in California will be governed as
much by other, as their climatic advantages.
Ease of access, hotel and boarding-house accom-
modations, social advantages, sources for amuse-
ment, comparative expense, are the considerations
that will chiefly weigh in deciding the question.
Sunshine will be found everywhere; the days,
however hot, are always followed by cool nights ;
there are no storms, no sudden changes, the air
is dry and clear and life-inspiring.

In winter it is desirable to go well south, where
there is little rain and little cold weather, though
even at San Diego, almost at the Mexican line,
a fire is very comfortable sometimes, as the wri-
ter experienced one 10th of January, much to
the surprise of some eastern invalids who arrived
there with him. It will be wise for invalids to
consult the physician best acquainted with the
place they may choose, and carefully heed his ad-
vice about exposure, clothing, wrappings and the
like. Every place has climatic features of its own,
knowledge of which is gained only by experience
and is of great value.

The following places are known as health re-
sorts, and each has attractive and valuable fea-
tures of its own : San Rafael near San Fran-
cisco, and Stockton in the San Joaquin Valley,
Santa Barbara and San Diego on the southern
coast, Paso Robles north from Santa Barbara,
and back from the coast, a beautiful spot noted
for sulphur baths; San Bernardino north-east
from San Diego, and some distance from the
coast, and fast coming into favor as it becomes
more accessible and better known. Gilroy Hot
Springs, 14 miles from Gilroy, on the Southern
Pacific Railroad, 30 miles south of San Jose, is
a favorite resort. It is in the hills of the Coast
Range, and has good accommodations for vis-
itors. Calistoga, at the terminus of the Napa
Branch of the California Pacific Railroad, at
the foot of Mount St. Helena, abounds in hot
springs, and is resorted to for its baths of various
kinds. On the railroad going to Calistoga the


White Sulphur Springs are passed at a distance
of two miles. They are much frequented, but
rather by visitors seeking summer recreation
than by health seekers.

The best place for the consumptive patient is
regarded by some good judges to be on an eleva-
tion among the hills of the Coast Range in sum-
mer, where the change of temperature will be
only a few degrees, and in Southern California,
a little back from the coast in winter. In such
an equable climate, the patient can camp out,
and keep in the open air, which is the best pos-
sible restorative.

The climate of San Francisco, which induces
no perspiration, and by dampness aggravates
rheumatic and neuralgic affections, is the most
favorable in the world for mental invigoration
and work.

Malaria is found in all the lowlands, and
often among the foot hills, but elevated places
are entirely free from it.

In short, there is such a variety of climate
within a day's reach of San Francisco that the
invalid may be sure of finding, somewhere on
the Pacific Coast, whatever natural advantage
will be most beneficial to his case.

California Pacific Railroad.

On the California Pacific Railroad two trains
leave Sacramento daily for San Francisco, one
at 6.30 A. M., and one 4 p. M. This is the short-
est and favorite route between the capital and
metropolis, and will no doubt ere long be the
principal line over which the Overland Express
Train will pass.

The train crosses the river by means of a "Y"
and the Sacramento & Yolo bridge. Directly op-
posite Sacramento is the village of Washington,
protected by a high levee, but retarded in growth
by the toll for crossing the river. Along the river
bank is a narrow strip of land sufficiently elevated
for farming but the train is soon beyond
this on trestle-work, or a high embankment
crossing the tules. On this narrow strip the
ubiquitous pea-nut and chickory grow to perfec-
tion. No pea-nut surpasses these in size or flavor,
and the chickory commands a price equal to the
German. Coffee men consider it of superior
quality, and the traveler will find it abundant
in the pure coffee of all the hotels in the interior.

The tule land is the richest in the State a fine
vegetable mold and deposit from the winter
floods. Many square miles of it up and down
the river await reclamation, and much has been
reclaimed. It will be difficult to reclaim the
great extent of it now before the eye, because on
the right of the railroad and several miles up the
river, the waters of Cache Creek spread out and
sink, and on the left the waters of Putah Creek
are also emptied, and high levees would be re-
quired to carry off so much water. These tules
are the temporary abode of some, and the perma-

nent abode of other varieties of wild fowl, and
the happy hunting grounds for many a Nimrod.
After the first rains come, the geese arrive, the
white brant coming first and in largest numbers.
Three varieties are common, the white and
speckled breasted brant, and the hawnker. Acres
of the ground, where the dry tule has been burned
off and the young grass has sprouted are covered
with the geese, and sometimes they are like a
great cloud in the air, and their noise heard
for a mile or more.

The varieties of the duck are many, but the
mallard, sprig tail, canvas-back, and teal are
most esteemed. It is an easy and pleasant task
for one acquainted with the flight of the ducks
to bring down from twenty to a hundred in a
single day, besides more geese than he is willing
to " pack." About five miles from Sacramento
is an island (of a hundred acres, dry and grassy)
where two or three days camping may be en-
joyed by a lover of the sport.

When the Sacramento overflows its banks and
the creeks are high, the tules are hidden by the
water, and if the wind blows, this region is like
an open sea. Frequently the road-bed has been
washed away, and now it is protected by an
inclined breakwater and young willows. It has
been generally but erroneously supposed tha;
hogs and the Chinamen feed on the tule roots.

The bulbous root they eat is called by the
Chinese " Foo tau," and is imported largely from
China, where it grows to a greater size than in
this country. Across the tules at Swingle's
Ranche is a side track and flag station.

Davisville is 13 miles nearly due west of
Sacramento, has a population of 300, all gath-
ered since the building of the railroad, and
has two stores, a dozen saloons, four restaurants,
and a Presbyterian, a Methodist Episcopal, and
a Roman Catholic Church. About the same pro-
portion of saloons to the population holds good
over California, but that of churches does not.
But " Davisville is not an immoral place, for the
liquor is all sold to non-residents"

In 18G2 land was worth from $6 to 810 per
acre, and now sells at $75 to $100.

Near Davisville are large orchards, " Brigg's "
covering 400 acres, and the " Silk Ranche " or-
chard 250 acres, but in diy seasons the quantity
and quality of the fruit, is greatly impaired by
the want of irrigation.

The failure of silk culture was largely owing
to the hot winds from the north, killing the
worms. Attention to fruit culture, has demon-
strated the necessity of allowing nothing to grow
between the trees. Nor are the trees trimmed
so high up as in the Eastern States. Alfalfa
has yielded in one season, $55 worth of hay to
the acre.

At Davisville the railroad to San Francisco,
turns directly to the south, and a branch runs
north to Woodland and Knight's Landing.


Woodland is a town of 1,000 inhabitants, and
9 miles from Davisville. Near Woodland the
road branches to the northern part of the valley
of the Sacramento, but is not yet opened for

Knight's Landing is on the Sacramento River,
and this railroad formerly continued on north-
ward to Marysville, until the flood of 1872 de-
stroyed the embankment for miles.

Continuing south from Davisville, Putah
Creek is crossed near Davisville, a dry channel
in summer, and a torrent in winter ; and 4 miles
south is

Foster, a side track, and 4.17 miles farther,

Dlxon is reached. It has a large grain
trade from the surrounding country, a Congre-
gational, a Methodist and a Baptist Church;
several hotels and a block or two of good stores.
Since the completion of the railroad the town
of Silveyville, about three miles distant, has
been moved bodily to Dixon. Farther south
3.27 miles, is

Eatavia, a village in a promising region,
with a large grain trade, a hotel and several
stores, and next south 4.83 miles, is

Elmira, formerly called Vaca Junction, the
junction of the Elmira and Vacaville Railroad, ex-
tending to Vacaville five miles, and Winters 17
miles. Fare to Vacaville 50 cents, and Winters
$1.70. South from Elmira 3.96 miles is

Cannon's, a large ranche, and 6.55 miles
farther is

f airfield and Suisun City. The former
is on the right-hand side of the road, and the
other on the left. Fail-field is the county-seat
of Solauo County, and Suisun the post-office and
business center. Fail-field has a Methodist Epis-
copal Church, and Suisun a Protestant P^piscopal,
a Cumberland Presbyterian and a Methodist
Episcopal. Suisun is at the head of Sui-
suu Slough, navigable for small sloops and
steamers, and on the edge of a large tract of tule
land. Its streets are subject to a slight overflow
during heavy rains, when its adobe soil is a
very tenacious friend to one's feet. The hills
which have been approaching closer and closer
since we left Sacramento one of the numerous
ridges of the Coast Range are now not far off, and
to avoid the grades in crossing them, a new road
will soon be built along the edge of the " swamp
arid overflowed " land to Benicia, on the straits of
Carquinez, and crossing these will continue
along the east side of the San Pablo Bay and
Bay of San Francisco, to Oakland Wharf and
form part of the Overland Route.

Before reaching the next station, a small spur
of the Suscol Hills is tunneled, and to the right

Uridf/eporf, 5.45 miles from Suisun, and
other points, may be seen fertile valleys in which
the earliest fruits of the State are grown. In
Green Valley one of these, sheltered from

wind and free from fog, fruits and vegetables
ripen sooner than in the paradise of Los Angeles,
about 400 miles south.

The tourist will be struck with the rolling
character of the farming land, when he sees the
highest hill-tops covered with golden grain or
thick stubble. The soil is the rich adobe, the
best adapted to dry seasons, and rarely found cov-
ering such hills. The crops are brought off on

Creston, the summit, is 3.84 miles from
Bridgeport, and simply a flag station. Soon
after passing it, the Napa Valley lies below on
the right, but almost before one is aware of it,

Napa Junction, 3.65 miles from Creston,
is announced.

Napa Valley.

Here the road branches through Napa Valley,
one of the loveliest and most fruitful of the
State. It is enclosed between two ridges of the
Coast Range, one of which separates it from the
Sacramento and the other from the Sonoma
Valley. Above Calistoga, Mount Saint Helena
stands like a great sentinel across the head of
the valley. The land is among the best in the
State, and fruit growing extensively and success-
fully practiced.

The climate is well tempered and the season
rare when crops fail. This branch is a part of
one of the chief routes to the Geysers and other
popular resorts.

The first station north from the Junction is

Thompson, from the owner of the ranche
and orchard, which will strike the observer as
closely related to the perfect arrangement and
culture of the farms in Chester or Cumberland
Valley of Pennsylvania, and a closer inspection
would reveal one of the most convenient and
complete farm-houses in the country. Suscol,
a landing-place and ferry on the Napa River, is
near by. The next station is 4.49 miles farther
north, and called

Napa. A town of great loveliness, with a
population of 5,000, set in homes smbosomed in
fruits and flowers a town not surpassed for
beauty of situation in the State, and rivaled by
San Jose only. It is at the head of navigation
for steamers of light draft on the Napa River,
and near it is located the new Branch Insane
Asylum, erected at a cost of more than a million
of dollars. The public schools rank high, and
there are also four colleges and seminaries of
high order. The Register is a daily and weekly
newspaper, and the Repnr er, a weekly. It has
two good hotels, the " United States," and The
Palace, many stores of high order, and good bank-
ing facilities. In no portion of the. State is soci-
ety more stable and cultivated. The churches
are imposing and well attended. The Presbyte-
rians have the largest, most convenient and taste-


ful house of worship outside of San Francisco
and Oakland, and the Methodists, Baptists and
Roman Catholics have good houses also. Daily
stages connect with the morning train for So-
noma. Above Napa, 5.45 miles, is

Otik Knoll, near which is hidden in a park
of evergreen oaks, the pleasant residence of R. B.
Woodward, Esq., one of the most enterprising
and public-spirited men of California, near which
may be seen his orchard, one of the largest aud
best in the county.

Yountville Is 3.45 miles farther north, a vil-
lage with about 300 inhabitants, called after one
of the early settlers. Near the' depot is a large
vinery. On the hill-sides are numerous vineyards,
and in the village a Baptist and a Congregational

St. Helena is a village of about 500 inhab-
itants, surrounded with ranches where people of
culture live in luxury, and two miles distant
are the White Sulphur Springs. Stages for the
Springs connect wuh every train, and for Knox-
ville in Lake County, with every morning train
from San Francisco. Presbyterians, Baptists,
and Methodists have churches here. The valley
grows narrower until

Calistoga is reached, with a population
of about 500, and two hotels one the "Hot

Here are hot and mud baths, and from Calis-
toga are numerous pleasant drives, especially to
the Petrified Forest, five miles distant, on the top
of the ridge lying toward the ocean, and in a
sunken part of the high table-land where there
was evidently a lake after trees had attained
an enormous growth, and long after this the
waters of the lake discharged by some sudden
rupture of the surrounding wall. The mountain
views, hunting, fishing and other attractions,
make Calistoga a popular resort, and the recent
discovery of many quicksilver and silv >r mines has
given a fresh impetus to the business of the town.

The population is about 700, but varies with
the summer freighting to Lake County. Foss's
line of stages leaves every morning during the
summer for the Geysers, and stages leave daily
on arrival of morning train from San Francisco
for Bartlett's and other resorts of Lake County,
continuing toward San Francisco on the main

Vallejo. The pronunciation of this Spanish
word is Val-yay-ho, and the town wds named in
honor of an old family still residing there.

Just before approaching the town, the " Or-
phans' Home," set upon a hill, and under the
auspices of the I. O. Good Templars, attracts at-
tention. It is on the left-hand side, and the town
on the right.

At the depot, street-cars connect with all the
trains, and carriages to any part of the city may
be had for " four bits ; " the " bit " being equiv-
alent to the old New York shilling.

The station for the town is called North
Vallejo, to distinguish it from the new town that
has grown around the railroad terminus, one mile

Vallejo was for a while the capital of the State.
It has now a population of about 5,000, and de-
rives much of its business from the United States
Navy Yard on Mare Island.

It has a Methodist, a Presbyterian, a Baptist
and a Roman Catholic Church, and South Vallejo
has also a Congregational Church. Vallejo has a
stage to Benicia, eight miles, and the steamer
Parthenius runs daily to San Francisco, in ad-
dition to the steamers that connect twice a day
with the trains 011 the California Pacific Rail-

Its wharves are in deep water, and at them
the immense quantities of grain brought from
the valleys north, are loaded direct i'or Liver-
pool and other parts. A large elevator the
only one tried on the coast, was blown down
during a south-east gale. The town has two
newspapers, the Chronicle, a weekly, and the
Independent, a daily. At

South Vallejo, 24 miles from San Fran-
cisco, passengers are transferred to a steamer,
and by it transported to the foot of Market
Street, in San Francisco.

On board the steamer a good meal may be
secured, for one dollar coin; and a trip to San
Francisco, for which an hour and a half, or two
hours will be necessary, according to steam and
tide, will be delightfully occupied with the
attractions of the bay and the bordering hills.
As the steamer leaves the wharf, the view of the
Navy Yard is fine, and when it doubles the island,
the straits of Carquinez, through which the
Sacramento River empties, are immediately on
the left, and when fairly out on the San Pablo
Bay. by looking to the north, the town of Vallejo on
the hill, and the Navy Yard on the island, appear
to be one city. West of Vallejo may be traced
the Napa Valley, and farther west, the Sonoma
Valley, so famous for its wines, and far off to
the north-west the Petaluma Creek, which forms
an opening to the Russian River Valley, through
which the North Pacific Railroad runs to Clover-
dale, and forms a pleasant route to the Geysers.
These valleys are parallel to each other but
separated by lofty ridges of the Coast Range.

After making this general survey of the north-
ern end of the bay and then having breakfast or
dinner, one will be in sight of the western me-
tropolis. The city comes into view as the steam-
er turns to the south-east, around a point of land,
off which are the " Two Brothers," corresponding
to the " Two Sisters " on the west side, and
enters the Bay of San Francisco. On one of the
Brothers ia a light-house of the fifth order, and
just below is Red Rock, a bold and pretty land-
mark. Off to the right is Mt. Tamalpais, with a
shoot for lumber, that looks like a swift road to


travel, and at the foot of the mountain, nestled
in a deep little cove, and overlooking the sheltered
waters near by, is San Rafael, the home of some
merchant princes of San Francisco, and the resort
of many invalids, who are seeking a new lease of
life in its genial clime. On the point of land just
south of San Rafael, is San Quentin. where the
State has a large boarding-house and workshop
filled with unwilling inmates.

Farther south-east is Angel Island separated
from the promontory of the coast main-land by
Raccoon Straits, through which one may look
into the Golden Gate.

The island is a military reservation, fortified
strongly on the south and south-west parts, with
a road running around the entire island.

Passing the island, the Golden Gate is directly

on the right, and Alcatraz, a naval station, mid-
way across it, and directly in front, the hills of
San Francisco, that ought to have been terraced.

On the east, beginning farther north are Berk-
ley, with the buildings of the State University ;
and Oakland, the city of residences and gardens ;
Alameda, of like character, but of less extent,
and more live oaks : and in the bay the Oakland
Wharf and Goat Island.

Never, except during severe winter storms, or
the prevalence of heavy fog, is the navigation
of the bay unpleasant, and on a calm morning
when the waters are placid, the skies Italian, and
the mind free from anxious care, the bay from
Vallejo to San Francisco will make some of the
brightest and most lasting impressions of the
Golden State.

New Routes of

By the completion of manv new local rail-
roads, so many new and delightful pleasure
routes have been opened, and made easily acces-
sible, that the tourist should not fail to visit
some of the following :

Santa Cruz. One of the most enjoyable of
seaside resorts, and abounding in garden bloom
and floral beauty, is now reached by three routes
of travel, by steamer from San Francisco, usually
taking a few hours or a day at utmost; by
Tke Southern Pacific Railroad to I'ajaro, and
thence by Watsonv'dle and Narrow Gauije Knilntad
along the coast, and lastly by the new South Pa-
cific Coast Narrow Gauge Radrond via San Jose
and over the Coast Range of Mountains. The
last named is a new road of exceeding beauty.
Probably there is no finer ride of a day's length
equal to this. The tourist must not omit it.

Santa Barbara is beyond question, the
gem city of the Pacific Coast as a resort for
tourists and invalids. It may be reached by the
Southern Pacific Railroad and a stage ride of
one day, or by steamer of two days. It is a city
of most attractive nature embowered among
gardens, fruit trees, flowers, and wonderful lux-
uriance of semi-tropical vegetation. This place
is full of admirable conveniences of hotel life,
and invalids and tourists reside the year round,
in enjoyment of its balmy air. For a home res-
idence, probably no place on the Pacific Coast is
it* equal in all advantages of climate, health
and social privileges. It has hitherto been dif-
ficult of access, owing to prolonged stage riding
or seasickness by steamer journey, but these
lessen each year by the nearer approach of the
Southern Pacific Railroad. In the spring-time,
when the country is in bloom, the finest route is
by stage from Soledad. The country is then
a paradise of floral loveliness the entire dis-

Paraiso Springs are a new resort near
Soleda'l, eight miles distant whose springs are of

Pleasure Travel.

iron, soda, white sulphur, excellent for rheuma-
tism, asthma and various skin and blood dis-

Riverside is a new resort near Colton, a
beautiful place of residence, and a home for
asthmatic*, combining mountain air with tropi-
cal gardening, and soft balmy sunny breezes ; an
asthmatic'* paradise.

San Bernardino has become more popu-
lar both as a place of resort and residence, and
also because of the value of the Waterman Hot
Springs, six miles north. These are said to be
a sure cure for rheumatism. Stages four miles
from Colton now reach it.

Lake Counfi/ possesses many new min-
eral springs. The Geysers have been made
more attractive than ever ; the hotel has been
thoroughly refitted and made desirable for resi-
dence. The trip to the Geysers and return can
now be made in 36 hours, with time to see all
the marvelous wonder of nature. Round trip
tickets now cost but $13.00. Tourists will do
well to extend their tour to Clear Lake, after
visiting the Geysers, ascend over the mountains
by the new route from Cloverdale. The scenery
is delightful. The steamer ride on Clear Lake is
well worth a visit. The mountain ride approach-

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 45 of 62)