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 47 of 62)
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owner of the ranch a mile north. It is the sta-
tion for stage to San Juan (pronounced San Wan),
South. It is across the Pajaro (pronounced Pah-
ha-ro) River, and six miles distant. Fare, 75
cents. San Juan South, is an old Spanish town,
the seat of a mission located in 1787, and second
best in the State in point of preservation. The
town may be seen on the left a few minutes after
passing the station.

The railroad now follows the course of the
river, and turns westward, then crosses it from
Santa Cruz to San Benito County, and then, to
shorten the distance, passes through a tunnel 950
feet long and into the- Pajaro Valley, 9 miles long
and 5 miles wide.

On the right are the Santa Cruz (Coast Range)
Mountains, and in the canons lingering traces of
the beautiful Redwoods.

Vega, 96.5 miles, is a signal station; but

Pajaro, 99.4 miles, is an important station,
receiving the freight of the valley in which it is
situated, and being the junction of the Santa
Cruz (narrow gauge) Railroad.

This forms an all-rail route to the most fre-
quented seaside resort on the coast, for which
see the " Santa Cruz Railroad."

Watsonvillc, across the Pajaro River from
the station, and a mile distant, has a population
of 3500, a good hotel the Lewis House four
churches, a bank, and two weekly papers, the
Pajaronian and the Transcript.

The river empties into the ocean, but furnishes
no landing for vessels. Formerly there was a
landing-place, " The Embarcadero, " about a mile
north of the river, but the wharf is now neglected
and the town receives its freight either by the
Southern Pacific Railroad or via Santa Cruz.

Watsonville Landing, on Elkhorn Slough,
is about three miles south of the town, and to
this point freight was formerly brought by a
small stern-wheel lighter from Moss Landing, on
the coast of Monterey Bay, about two miles south
of the mouth of the Salinas River, and twelve
miles from Watsonville.

The course of the railroad from Pajaro is now
parallel with the general line of the coast, and
crosses the tide-lands that skirt the eastern shore
of Monterey Bay. The Santa Cruz Mountains


are now behind to the left, and on the right are
the Gabilan Mountains, which extend from the
Pajaro River through the entire county. The
range increases in height as we go south, and
contains immense deposits of limestone and some
quicksilver. The climate from Watsonville to
Salinas is like that of San Francisco, modified
because further south, and the ocean winds are
less severe.

Castroville, 109.7 miles, is 4 miles from
Moss Landing, and has a population of 500.
The average yield of wheat in this vicinity now
reaches 30 bushels to the acre, and of barley 50
bushels, although 100 bushels of the latter have
been raised to the acre. Owing to the fogs and
damp winds, corn and potatoes are grown in this
region. Considerable game is shipped during
the winter, the salt marsh affording water-fowl,
and the Gabilan Mountains quail and deer.

Salinas, 117.6 miles, is the county town of
Monterey County, and has a population of 3000.
There are eight church organizations and about
as many lodges and benevolent orders. It is the
center of trade, wealth, and commerce for Mon-
terey County, and has banks, machine-shops,
foundries, flouring-mills, and factories.

I is the point of junction for the Monterey and
Salinas Valley Railroad, for which (and the town
of Monterey) see under the appropriate head-
ing. '

There is a fine hotel, the Abbott House ; two
papers are published weekly, the Index and the
Democrat. Stages leave daily for Natividad, a
pleasant little town at the foot of the Gabilan

Mountains, six miles north-east of Salinas, and
for New Republic, three miles east.

Chualar, 128.5 miles, is a new town in the
Salinas Valley, where a large business is done in
raising cattle and sheep.

Goiizales, 134.5 miles, is another new and
small but promising town.

Soledad, 142.9 miles, is the present termi-
nus of this division, and derives its chief import-
ance from this fact. Until the completion of the
road to Los Angeles, the mails to Southern Cali-
fornia went to Soledad by rail, and now overland
passengers fur San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles
Hot Springs here take stages of the coast line for
these points. These stages of this line run to
Lowe's, 28 miles ; Solon, 40 miles; Paso Robles
Hot Springs, 80 miles ; San Luis Obispo, 110
miles ; Arroyo Grande, 125 miles ; Guadaloupe,
140 miles ; Santa Barbara, 220 miles ; and there
connect with stages for San Buena Ventura, 30
miles, and Newhall, 80 miles. The fare is about
8 cents a mile.

Another stage leaves daily for Paradiso Springs,
eight miles south-west of Soledad. They are in
a horseshoe-shaped plateau about 1500 feet above
the level of the valley, affording a charming land-
scape, and with curative powers becoming quite
celebrated. The four springs are of soda, sul-
phur, chalybeate of iron, and chloride of potassi-
um, and vary from cold to 118 Fahrenheit.
Game is abundant, the table is vell supplied, the
cottages neat, and every thing combines to make
this as popular as the well-known and justly-cele-
brated Paso Robles.

To Southern California, Los Angeles, and Arizona


The Visalia Division of the Central Pacific is
operated 'in connection with the Southern Pacific
from Goshen to Los Angeles, and forms the
through line from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
The train leaves San Francisco at 4 p. M., via Mar-
tinez and Antioch, reaching Lathrop for supper.
At this point the Visalia Division begins, and ex-
tends southward up the San Joaquin Valley.

Morrano, 88.3 miles from San Francisco,
is a side track and warehouse for shipping grain.

Mipon, 93 miles, is another side track and
small station, near which the Stanislaus River is

Salida, 96 miles, is a similar station ; and

Modesto, 102.8 miles, is the county seat of
Stanislaus (pronounced Stan-is-law) County. In
1870, when the town was laid out, it was pro-
posed to name it after the late Wm. C. Ralston,
but his modesty forbade ; hence the name, the
Spanish for modesty. It has a population of
1500, asd is situated near the Tuolumne River.

Ceres, 107.4 miles,

Turlock, 115.9 miles,

Cresset/, 126 miles, and

Aiwater, 132.7 miles, are side tracks for
shipping grain.

Between Turlock and Cressey the Merced
River is crossed, flowing down and out of the
Yosemite Valley.

Merced, 140.2 miles, was located through
the exertion of Mr. C. H. Hoffman, a prominent
land-owner, soon after the railroad was built, and
has now become the county seat of Merced Coun-
ty, and the point of departure for the Yosemite
Valley via Coulterville or Mariposa. See "Stage
Routes to the Yosemite and Big Trees" for all
information concerning travel to the valley.

The large hotel on the left of the road the El
Capitan was erected by the railroad company
to provide for the greater comfort of tourists. It
is one of the most commodious structures for the
purpose outside of San Francisco. The Court


House is a credit to the town and county. It
cost $75,000, and is the best in the San Joaquin

Artesian wells are numerous. In one of Mr.
Hoffman's the water rises to within ten feet of
the surface and is then pumped by steam, dis-
charging at the rate of 30,000 gallons every

There are two weekly papers, the San Joaquin.
Valley Argus and the Merced Express. The
plain, especially toward the river, ten miles dis-
tant, abounds with hare, or tht " jackass rabbit "
(Lepus Calif ornicus), and Merced is the starting-
point of numerous coursing matches.

Much of the land is owned in large tracts.
One of the farms of Miller & Lux is near this
place. It is ninety-seven miles long, with an
average width of fifteen miles.

In two years they built on it 780 miles of
fence, costing $800 a mile. On this ranch are
kept 150 saddle-horses ; and two oxen, besides
calves, hogs, and sheep, are killed every other
day for the workmen. It is said they can begin
to drive cattle at Los Angeles and stop on their
own land every night until they reach. San Fran-
cisco. They send to the city 1800 oxen every

Leaving Merced, we cross a large number of
sloughs and creeks, but all decrease in size as they
go toward the river, and finally spread out over
the plain or sink.

Flainsburg, 150.1 miles, is a small station
on Deadman's Creek.

Mintum, 156.5 miles, is another small sta-
tion, not far from Ash Slough.

Berenda, 166 miles, is also a new railroad
town. Soon after leaving this place the Fresno
River is crossed.

Madera, 173.5 miles, is a new town,
started in 1876, and has a population of 400. It
is the terminus of a V-shaped flume, 53 miles
long, by which lumber is brought along the Fres-
no River from the immediate vicinity of the
Fresno groves of Big Trees. It is owned by the
California Lumber and Flume Company. The
company have a planing-mill at Madera. The
Fresno River supplies water also for extensive ir-
rigation, and the ditches may be seen on the
right of the railroad.

Madera will soon become known all over the
world, because from it nearly all tourists will
make their start for the Yosemite Valley. (See
" Stage Routes to the Yosemite and Big Trees.")
At this point a s)eer>ing-car is detached from the
train leaving San Francisco at 4 p. M., and re-
mains upon a side track until morning, thus in-
suring a full night's rest and refreshment.

Borden, 176.3 miles, is a town of 200 peo-
ple ; the surrounding country having the benefit
of the water brought from the Fresno River. Cot-
tonwood Creek may be noticed when filled by

the winter rains. It is crossed after leaving the

Sycamore, 185.3 miles, is a side track, but
marks the crossing of the San Joaquin River, at
the head of navigation for steamers during the
high water of the winter season.

Fresno, 195.1 miles, is thn county seat of
Fresno County, with a population of nearly 1000.
The Court House is the largest building, and cost
$60,000. The soil is mostly good, but crops can
be secured only by irrigation. A stage runs to
Centerville, in the foot-hills, 17 miles cast.

Two weekly newspapers are published here,
the Fresno Expositor and the Republican.

The town has a bank, and does a large business
with the surrounding country. One firm sells
$120,000 per year, and the receipts for passen-
gers and freight are $70,000 a month.

The town is located on a rich, alluvial, sandy
plain, between the King and San Joaquin rivers,
and the abundance of water for irrigation and
the canals built and projected destine this to be
one of the most fruitful portions of the whole
State. There are five hotels, the principal being
the Henry House.

The Central California Colony is located on
these rich lands, where the growth of trees,
shrubs, and alfalfa is astonishing. The lots are
40 acres each and are sold on small installments,
and are worthy the attention of settlers with
small means.

Fowler, 204.7 miles,

Kingsbury, 215.2 miles, and

Cross Creek, 223.3 miles, are small stations.

King's River, which is crossed between Kings-
bury and Cross Creek, rises in the high Sierras.
The course of the railroad being parallel to
the axis of the Sierras, the traveler has a succes-
sion of magnificent and ever-changing views.

Goshen, 229.1 miles, is where the Southern
Pacific Railroad connects with the Visalia branch
of the Central. The northern terminus of this
part of the Southern Pacific is not at Goshen but
at Huron, 40 miles west of Goshen. These 40
miles are the Goshen Division of the Southern Pa-

On the GOSHEN division,

Hanford is 12.9 miles from Goshen, in what
is called the Mussel Slough country, a region on
the north of Tulare Lake, embracing one of the
richest portions of the State. Five crops of al-
falfa may be cut during the year. Corn grows
to a height of twelve to eighteen feet, but the
yield does not exceed sixty or seventy bushels to
the acre. Pumpkins are immense.

Lemoore, 20.9 miles from Goshen, is a new and
promising village.

Heinlen is 22.5 miles from Goshen, and

Huron 40 miles. All these are in the Mus-
sel Slough country. Huron is the terminus at


At Goshen there is another branch railroad to
Visalia. It is only seven miles long, and was
built by the people of Visalia, the principal and
county town of Tulare County.

This Visaha Railroad is wholly independent of
the Central and Southern Pacific roads, the presi-
dent and manager being R. E. Hyde, Esq., of

Visalia is an old town, laid out shortly after
the occupation of the country by the Americans.
It has*a population of about 2000 ; one of the
best court houses in the San Joaquin Valley
south of Stockton ; six hotels, three churches, a
substantial bank, several mills, gas and water
works, and three weekly papers the Delta,
Times, and Iron Age. A United States land of-
fice is located here.

Soon after leaving Goshen, there is a tangent
to Lerdo 50 miles the longest piece of straight
track on the road.

Tulare, 239.6 miles from San Francisco, has
a population of nearly 1000, and a round-house
for the Tulare Division of the Southern Pacific

It is an important point for shipping wood and
wool. The eucalyptus-tree may be seen growing
luxuriantly wherever planted.

This part of the great San Joaquin Valley is of-
ten called the Tulare Valley. It is only 327 feet
above the sea-level, and is well timbered. The
groves of beautiful oaks are like natural parks in-
viting occupancy.

Tulare Lake lies south-west, is nearly circular
in form, 30 miles long, and covers an area of 700
square miles. It abounds in fish and water-fowl.
After leaving Tulare, the railroad crosses Tulare
River, a narrow channel, and reaches

Tipton, 250 miles from San Francisco,
where the character of the land changes, the
groves disappearing.

Alila, 262 miles,

Delano, 270.3 miles, and

Posa, 282 1 miles, are small stations on the
great plain ; and

L/erdo, 290.1 miles, is a station of the same
character, but the shipping-point for the JBuena
Vista Oil Works, about 40 miles south-west. The
oil region does not bid fair to rival Pennsylva-
nia's, but Californians are always looking for
new and rich developments. Lerdo is the pro-
posed point of junction with the branch of the
Northern Division, now built to Soledad, to be
extended through the Polonio Pass.

Near the next station the railroad crosses
King's River, flowing from the high Sierras and
the glaciers of Mounts Tyndall and Whitney, and
running south in these high Sierras from these
peaks directly east of Visalia until east of Sum-
ner. After flowing a long distance to the west,
the river turns to the north and flows into Tulare

Where the Kern River leaves the mountains
and turns toward the plain is Walker's Pass
(through the Sierras), thence a road north to
Owen's Lake, into which a river of the same
name flows. The lake is about 20 miles long and
10 wide.

bumner, 302.5 miles, is a busy point, with
a population of about 300. It is the depot for
Bakervfield, the principal town in what is called
the Kern Valley, and county town of Kern County.
Kern Valley, like Tulare, is a part of the San Jo-
aquin. The land is a rich sedimentary deposit.
In this valley are the most extensive irrigat-
ing canals and ditches to be found in the State.
Some are 40 miles long and 275 feet wide and 8
feet deep. A system has also been adopted to
reclaim swamp lands in the valley, by which
65,000 acres will be brought into market. On all
these lands water is abundant, and two crops can
be raised each year. Sweet potatoes are found
weighing 24 pounds each, alfalfa producing
seven crops of from one to two tons each to the
acre, and corn producing from 60 to 120 bushels
per acre ; and the growth of cotton has been suc-
cessfully tried, producing 400 pounds to the acre.

On one of the farms of Mr. H. P. Livermore, of
San Francisco, two artesian wells, 260 and 300
feet deep, send water 12 feet above the surface of
the ground, and discharge each through a seven-
inch pipe from 3000 to 4000 gallons per hour ;
3500 acres are in alfalfa. Mr. Liverraore has a
dairy of 300 cows, a large apiary, and 4000 stock
cattle, besides horses, mules, sheep, and hogs.

One of the plows used, the " Great Western,"
is the largest in the world, and requires eighty
oxen with a ton of chains and a ton of ox yokes
to use it, and cuts a furrow five feet wide, and, if
necessary, three feet deep, at the rate of eight
miles a day. Another plow, " Sampson," a lit-
tle smaller, requires from 30 to 40 mules for use
in ditching.

Messrs. Carr & Haggin, of San Francisco, have
a number of ranches in this valley, and on them
40,000 sheep.

One man raised 18,000 Ibs. of sweet potatoes
350 bushels to the acre. One half acre of sweet
potatoes yielded $150.

One man moved on 40 acres of land April 26th,
1877, and on November 1st, 1877, had grown and
sold $2000 worth of corn, beans, and pumpkins.
But it is said to be hot and malarious about Bakers-
field, the mercury standing at 110 and 120 for
days in succession.

The town of Bakersfield has a population of
about 1000, good public buildings, a bank, two
weekly papers, the Courier- Calif ornian and the

At Sumner the grade begins for ascending the
Sierras, but just before reaching Pampa there is a
descent of about 80 feet to cross Basin Creek (so
named from Walker's Basin on the east), after


which the ascent is resumed and the road soon
follows Caliente Creek, crossing and recrossing
it a number of times.

I'uinpa, 317.5 miles, is a small station.

Caliente, 324.8 miles, has an elevation of 1290
feet. It is at the junction of the Caliente and
Teliachapi creeks. The axis of the Sierras runs
south-west about 20 miles from Caliente to Te-
jon (Tay-hone) Pass. Caliente was .long the
southern terminus of the Tulare Division, and
stages ran from this point to the railroad 20
miles north of Los Angeles, it is now the ship-
ping-point for considerable freight.

Stages leave daily for Havilah, 25 miles, and
Kernville, 45 miles, both in Kern County and
north-east of this station. The population is
only 100.

Tehac/iapi JPass.

The Tehachapi Creek flows down the mountain
from the south-east, and at Caliente one can look
directly up the Tehachapi Canon for some dis-

As one approached the station, he saw the rail-
road on the right only a short distance away ; and
on leaving the station, the train bends around the
few houses and goes down the creek, but it con-
tinues and increases its steep and wonderful climb.
For twenty miles the grade, including curvature,
is 116 feet to the mile. So accurately and con-
stantly are the grades and curvatures adjusted
to one another, with reference to obtaining a uni-
form traction, that the whole is a piece of work
not only unique in plan but unsurpassed in exe-
cution. A writer of world-wide travel calls it a
remarkable triumph of engineering science, and
says, " I know of nothing like it, unless it be the
road over the Styrian Alps from Vienna to Trieste ;
and even there, if I remember rightly, the track
does not literally cross itself." Prof. George
Davidson, of the United States Coast Survey,
says it is not equaled by any railroad engineer-
ing he . has seen in America or Europe. It is a
marvel of genius and perfection that will give
lasting honor to Colonel George E. Gray, the Chief
Engineer of the road, and to his efficient assist-
ant, William Hood, Esq., by whom all plans,
suggestions, and directions were faithfully car-
ried out.

Cape Horn, on the Central Pacific, presented
no difficulty to be compared with the Tehachapi.
To overcome the former was an act of courage,
but requiring far less ingenuity and skill than to
build successfully and economically in this defile.

But the tourist will prefer to see for himself,
and his attention will be divided between the
work and the scenery of the canon. The latter
is not majestic, like that on the American River,
but quite picturesque and often grand.

Leaving Caliente, the Tehachapi Creek is lost
sight of, and the road winds around among the

Ltealeville, 330.1 miles, is a small station, honor-
ing General fieale. When approaching and at it,
I a pretty view may be had of the rugged hills on
the left beyond Caliente. Under the morning
sun on the numerous ridges and valleys, coming
down from the long mountain chain, there are
ever-varying lines of light and shade.

After leaving Bealeville the road passes around
Clear Creek Canon, one of the most formidable
pieces of work on the mountain, having in it tun-
nels 3, 4, 5, and 6 ; and as you enter the canon,
you see on the left the road ascending the oppo-
site wall of the canon more than a hundred feet
above, and it is only three or four hundred
yards across the canon !

The tunnels are numerous, there being seventeen
between Caliente and the summit. The short-
est is No. 11, 158.8 feet, and the longest, No.
5, 1156.3 feet. The aggregate length of the sev-
enteen is 7683.9 feet.

On emerging from tunnel No. 6, six miles from
Caliente, the Tehachapi creek and canon are
seen below, and Caliente itself only a mile away,
but about six hundred feet below the train !

The old road to Havilah and Kernville appears
like a trail on the hills beyond Caliente, and the
new road may be seen following up the canon of
Caliente Creek.

Oaks are now becoming more numerous and
beautifying the hillsides. The old stage-road to
Los Angeles is seen far away and above on the
right. And now there begins to appear the " Span-
ish-bayonet" (Yucca Gloriosa), one of the love-
liest flowers that adorns the land. When it blos-
soms in early spring, it will attract and enthuse
every one. On the top of its tall, straight, sin-
gle stem is a great panicle of snow-white blos-
soms, and the whole air is richly laden with their
most delicious fragrance. It partakes somewhat
of the character of the night-blooming cereus,
for the fullest bloom and sweetest fragrance are
in the night. Twelve hundred blossoms may be
counted on a single stalk, and in the vicinity of
Los Angeles, where the stalk grows fifteen feet
high, six thousand blossoms have been found.

The scenery now grows wilder ; the rocks in
the canon are sharper and more forbidding, and
piled higher and higher. In the narrow canon
there are rocks frowning from above, and rising
up from the crooked defile of the creek 700 feet

On passing through Tunnel 8, one may notice
how rapidly the bed of the creek is rising. The
heavy cuts also indicate the difficult character of
the work. The rock is granitoid, yet, solid and
safe as the tunnels through it seem, the fearful may
take courage, for assurance is doubly sure, all
the tunnels being lined with the cedars of Oregon.


An occasional pine is now seen, and as the al-
titude increases they will become more numer-

As one looks back down the canon, he may see
the top of Breckenbridge Mountain. It was hid
at Caliente, but has now crawled up into view.
The old stage-road is crossed and recrossed, and
at length the railroad crosses the Tehachapi
Creek itself. Off to the right we have a pretty
view of Bear Mountain, a peak of the Sierras.
It is snow-crowned late in the spring.

The track then curves, making the " Twitty
Creek Bend," from which, in clear atmosphere,
one may look out over the wide expanse of the
San Joaquin Valley, off hundreds of miles to-
wards San Francisco.

We recross the Tehachapi Creek, just aa we

Keene, 338 miles. It is a small station.
Around it there are many points of interest in
the mountain scenery, but the view is not exten-
sive or sublime. On the right of Keene is that
familiar friend, Bear Mountain, heavily timbered.
It appeared often along the road, and at Caliente
seemed as near as it now does.

Then crossing and almost immediately recross-
ing the creek, the road makes a long curve to
the right, turns again sharply to the left to pass
through tunnel 9 and pass around the Loop.

The road-bed is no longer far above the creek,
and how to ascend without expending millions
for long tunnels was the problem the Loop solved.
Here the canon of the Tehachapi has widened,
and in it there is a conical-shaped hill. Beneath
this the train goes through tunnel 9, and emerg-
ing it curves to the left and climbs this same hill
and crosses the track, with a difference in eleva-

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 47 of 62)