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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

. (page 52 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 52 of 62)
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and Downieville, 67 miles.

Marysville has been flooded several tunes, but
is now surrounded by high and strong levees, and
considered safe against any floods. Just across
the Feather River is Ytiba City, the county town
of Sutter County, with a population of 800. It
is at the head of steamboat navigation ; has one
weekly newspaper, the Sutter Banner. About
eight miles below the city is the " Hock Farm,"



308



the old home of General Sutter, so renowned for
hospitality in the Pioneer days of California.

At Marysville passengers going north take
supper, and going south take breakfast, and pas-
sengers for OrviUe (distance 28 miles), change
cars, taking at the depot of the Central Pacific
road those of THE NORTHERN CALI-
FORNIA RAILROAD, which connects closely
with the Central Pacific and reaches the follow-
ing stations.

Honcut is its only station, and an unimport-
ant one.

Oroville, the northern terminus, has a popu-
lation of 1500, and is the county seat of Butte
County. Its placer-mines, once fabulously rich,
are now worked chiefly by Chinamen, but the
mining interests in the foot-hills make Oroville
the seat of a considerable trade. It has stages to
Cherokee Flat, 12 miles ; La Porte, 45 miles ;
Susanville, 85 miles ; Chico, 25 miles ; and Bigg's
Station, 12 miles. Oroville has one church a
union church. During the summer nearly all
the families desert the place and take themselves
to the mountains to escape the intense heat.

After leaving Marysville,on the Central Pacific,
the Feather Rive.r is crossed, about two miles
from the depot.

Loinn and Live Oak are flag stations ; and
. Grldley and Biggs are both new and flour-
ishing towns, named from the owners of large
ranches. From Biggs there is a stage to Oroville,
12 miles (fare, $1). Biggs has a weekly paper, the
Register, and a population of about 1000.

All this upper Sacramento Valley is a vast
wheat-field, and evidences of its productiveness
are on every hand.

North of Biggs the road crosses the canal of
the Cherokee Flat Mining Company, 18 miles
long and 400 feet wide, but filled up like the
channels of the rivers, and extending its smooth
sediment over the acres on either side.

Nelson and Durham are small stations, but
in a rich section.

Cltico, 95.7 miles, is one of the best and most
prosperous towns of California. Its population
is 5000. It has five churches, is lighted with
gas, supplied with pure water from Chico Creek,
has several banks and hotels (the principal one
the Chico House), has one daily paper, the
Record, and one weekly, the Enterprise. The
Sierra Flume and Lumber Company have con-
structed several V-shaped flumes from the Sierra
Nevada Mountains on the east to different points
on the railroad. One of these flumes terminates
at Chico, and is 35 miles long.

The beautiful home of General Bidwell, who
came to California prior to the "gold fever,"
and who has always been one of her most enter-
prising citizens, is just north of the town. His
orchard is filled with oranges, lemons, figs,
almonds, walnuts, and the choicest of other



fruits, and his vegetable and flower gardens are
unsurpassed in Northern California. He has
32,000 acres of the choicest land in one tract.

Chico has a daily stage to Oroville, 25 miles ;
Greenville, 60 miles ; and Big Meadows, Plumas
County, 65 miles ; Big Valley, Lasson County, 80
miles ; Dayton, Butler County, 6 miles ; Jacinto,
14 miles ; Germantown. 13 miles ; Willows, 56
miles; and Colusa, 40 miles connecting at
Colusa for Williams on the Northern Railway,
and for Allen and Bartlett's Springs.

Stages run Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
to St. John, 10 miles ; Orland, 23 miles ; Coast
Range, 35 miles ; and Newville, 40 miles. The
fare is from ten to fifteen cents a mile.

Aford, Anita, Cana, Soto, Vina, and
Sestna are all small stations, but in a fertile
country.

The Sacramento River is crossed on a bridge
near

Tehama, 122.8 miles from Sacramento. The
population of the town is uearly 1000, and the
people have a daily paper, the Tocsin. The
place was first called " Hall's Crossing." It is
the terminus of a flume 40 miles long, belonging
to the Sierra Flume and Lumber Company. Las-
sen's Peak, with an altitude, according to Prof.
George Davidson, of the United States Coast
Survey, of 10,650 feet, may be seen in the north-
west.

Reel Bluff f 134.9 miles, is the county seat of
Tehama County, with 200 inhabitants. It is at
the head of river navigation in the midst of rich
land, and is the terminus of another flume of the
Sierra Flume and Lumber Company. It has two
weekly newspapers, the Sentinel and People's
Cause. Mt. Shasta may be seen in fair weather,
far away to the north.

Hooker and Buckeye are signal stations ;
and

Cottonwood, 151.9 miles, on Cottonwood
Creek, is a small village of 300 people ; and

Anderson's is a village of 200 people, 158.6
miles from Sacramento ; and

Clear Creek, a small station near

Redding, the present terminus of the road.
The population of Redding is about 500. It is
169.7 miles from Sacramento.

Stages leave Redding daily for Shasta, Scott's
Valley, Weaverville, and Yrcka, and for C'anij)-
bell's Soda Springs, 69 miles ; Sisson's, at the
foot of Mt. Shasta, 77 miles ; Yreka, 1 14 miles ;
Jacksonville, 174 miles, and Roseburg, Oregon,
275 miles. The fare is fifteen cents a mile.
Through fare from San Francisco to Portland,
$40.

During the summer season the stage leaves
Redding about midnight on arrival of the train,
and runs on fast time to Roseburg. During the
winter it leaves at 6 A.M.

At Roseburg connection is made with the



309



Oregon and California Railroad for Portland,
200 miles. On this overland route to Oregon the
tourist will find one of the most attractive
regions in the world, in the

Head-waters of the Sacramento
and Mount Shasta.

From Redding to the Black Butte, more than
80 miles, the stage-route follows the general
course of the river, leaving it occasionally and
crossing it five times. At Redding the broad,
fertile Sacramento Valley ends, and the foot-
hills, with numerous little valleys between them,
begin. The stage ride from Kedding north is
through these, and then across the mountains
that confine the waters of the Pitt and McCloud
rivers. These are the main tributaries of the
Upper Sacramento. The Pitt is fed by the eter-
nal snows of Lassen's Peak, the central and lofti-
est figure in a line of ancient volcanoes, and the
northern extremity of the Sierra Nevada range.
The McCloud is a rapid stream, rushing along
at from ten to twenty miles an hour, with high
canon walls on either side, and water cold as ice
and clear as crystal. It bursts from the ground
in a great volume, and is probably the outlet of
Mud Creek, which rises from a glacier on the east
side of Mt. Shasta and then sinks in the earth.

Near the crossing of the McCloud is the United
States fish-hatching establishment. All these
rivers abound in trout and salmon, but the best
place on them for trout-fishing is the upper
waters of the McCloud. The valley of the Sac-
ramento grows narrower as one goes northward,
and at last is almost a canon. Just beyond Camp-
bell's Soda Springs, 69 miles north of Redding,
the road ascends from the river to an extensive
mountain basin, walled in by yet loftier moun-
tains a sort of semicircular wall from Scott's
Mountain on the north to Trinity on the west and
Castle Rock on the south-east. On the east side
of the road, and in this great basin, Mt. Shasta
rears its lofty head into the dark, deep blue of
heaven.

This delightful region is of easy access ; and
while the Yosemits Valley is reckoned the most
wonderful attraction of nature in California, it
is surpassed in many respects by Mt. Shasta.
Shasta has an elevation of 14,444 feet, according
to Professor Whitney, and that of Mt. Blanc is
but 15,739 feet. Mt. Whitney is the only moun-
tain in the United States known to be higher
and that by only 500 feet. But Mt. Whitney is
flanked by numerous other mountains nearly as
high, while Shasta rises about 11,000 feet above
the surrounding country on every side.

Mt. Whitney and Mt. Lyell have glaciers of
feeble vitality, but Shasta has three, each living
and accessible. It is the only mountain in Amer-



ica where glacial phenomena may be carefully
studied with trifling exertion.

Mt. Shasta has two peaks, one called the Cra-
ter Peak, although both were active volcanoes at
a former day. The Crater Peak, Professor Whit-
ney said in 18G5, was " believed by many to be
cpiite inaccessible. Its sides appear to be covered
with loose volcanic materials, probably ashes,
lying at the highest angle possible without slid-
ing down." Now it is frequently climbed, its
sides being covered -with blocks of trachyte of
all sizes, which have broken from the crater
walls above. They slip down and retard the
climbing, but the footing is secure in the steepest
places. Only a few feet below the summit on
the main peak, and above glaciers and ice-fields,
there are springs of boiling water and juts of
constantly escaping steam, all strongly impreg-
nated with sulphur. It was these that kept
John Muir and his guide, Jerome Fay, from per-
ishing when a storm overtook them on the sum-
mit and compelled them to spend a night there.
They froze on one side and roasted on the other.

The panorama from the summit is beyond de-
scription. The view takes in the whole of Cal-
ifornia from the Coast Range to the Sierra
Nevadas, and from the Bay of San Francisco far
beyond the Oregon boundary not less than 450
miles. It is probably unsurpassed in the world.
Once the writer stood upon the summit in July,
and there lay around him 100 square miles of
snow. Often rolling masses of fleecy clouds shut
out all below, and one is left as in the very cham-
ber of heaven. As one climbs the mountain he
will hear the water gurgling through the loose
rocks, fed by the melting shows, but no stream
flows directly from the Butte. A journey of 100
miles around the cone may be made without
crossing a stream or finding a spring.

The ascent of Shasta is lull of interest to every
lover of nature. The flora is remarkable, and has
attracted to it in person such eminent scientists
as Sir Joseph Hooker and Asa Gray. The ascent of
the mountain is always made from Sisson's, a
charming hotel in Strawberry Valley, Siskiyou
County, California, one of the best and cheapest
places of resort in the State. Horses, guides,
blankets, and provisions are furnished. If there
are three in the party the cost will be $15 each,
and $20 if only one. The trip requires 36 hours.
The first night is spent camping at the upper
edge of the pinus flexilis and the lower edge of
the snow, at an elevation of about 10, 000 feet. La-
dies have occasionally made the ascent, and any
strong able-bodied man or woman can do so. It
is difficult, but not dangerous.

Besides Mt. Shasta there are hundreds of inter-
esting places to visit or to see. The Black Butte,
called the Black Cone by the Geological Survey,
is a sugar-loaf mass of trachyte more than 6000
feet above the sea, with an outline in the horizon



310



acific



as regular as it would seem an axe could hew it.
It is in striking contrast with the deep blue azure
and the bright green of Strawberry Valley.

Castle Rock seen from the stage-road is a
wonderful uplift of granite, perhaps surpassing
every thing of the kind outside of Yosemite
Valley, and strongly resembling the Sentinel
Dome.

Castle Lake, Picayune Lake, the Big Spring,
" The Falls" on the banks of the Sacramento
River, a'nd the Falls of the McCloud River are all
sources of surpassing interest. No region of
California is so varied in its attractions. Yosem-
ite is a place to see, Mt. Shasta is a place to
stay.

The hunting and fishing are unsurpassed in
California. The waters are filled with trout and
salmon. On the McCloud River the trout weigh
from half a pound to three pounds, and the Dolly
Varden species, with bright red spots on the side,
weigh from one pound to twelve pounds. The
McCloud is a glacial stream, and the Dolly Var-
dens are found only in such. Castle Lake and
this river are the best trout and salmon fly-fishing
places in the State.

The hunting is no less attractive than the fish-
ing. Grizzly bears are not found in the region,
but the black, the brown, and the cinnamon are
numerous. The puma or cougar is sometimes



found, and the lynx and two other species of
wild-cats. .

Deer are so numerous that a crack shot need
have no difficulty in bringing down at least one
every day. There are three varieties, the mule,
black-tailed, and white-tailed. Grouse, mountain-
quail, and squirrels are numerous, and mountain
sheep and antelope are found at no great distance.
Parties provided with guns can be fitted out for
hunting elk, antelope, deer, or mountain-sheep
in Oregon, and provided with competent guides
by Sisson. The region is full of mineral springs,
there being several in the vicinity of Sisson's, and
one of the best at Campbell's formerly Fry's on
the stage-road, 8 miles south of Sisson's. The wa-
ter is ice cold, strongly effervescent, and charged
with soda, iron, and salt. Campbell's hotel
is excellent. Parties are fitted out for fishing in
either the McCloud River or Castle Lake at both
Campbell's and Sisson's, but at Sisson's only are
guides to be had. Board is $10 a week at both
places, saddle-horses $2 a day, and guides, with
horse, $5 a day.

Those who desire a more detailed account of
this wonderful region should consult Clarence
King's " Mountaineering in the High Sierras,"
or " Calif ornian Pictures, by Benjamin Parke
A very," or " Health and Pleasure Resorts of the
Pacific Coast."



North Pacific Coast Railroad.

(NARROW GAUGE.)



This road is now completed from Saucelito, its
southern terminus, in Marin County, to the north
side of the Russian River. 80J miles in length,
with a branch from San Quentin to the " Junc-
tion," 17 miles from San Francisco. Nearly all
passengers take the route via San Quentin and San
Rafael, on the spacious, elegant, and fast steam-
ers " San Rafael " and " Saucelito," from the
foot of Market Street. These popular boats are
owned by the railroad company.

The railroad company own barges on which
they transport all their freight cars to and from
San Francisco without breaking bulk, but pas-
sengers by this route take the boats of the
Saucelito Land and Ferry Company. These
boats also leave the foot of Market Street.

Nearly all passengers go via San Quentin and
San Rafael.

The road passes through Marin and into
Sonoma County, and the trip over it is more di-
versified than any other of equal length in Cali-
fornia. From the beauty of the Golden Gate and
the Bay of San Francisco, the road skirts the base
of Mt. Tamalpais, and passes through a wild,
picturesque mountain region, down a beautiful
canon filled with trees, babbling water, and



trout, through rolling hills, the great dairy re-
gion of the coast, along the shores of Tomales
Bay, through fertile grain fields, and at last ends
in the dark forests of the red-woods, where the
Russian River has broken asunder the coast
mountains and forced its way to the ocean.

During the summer two through trains are run
daily, and during the winter one train, Sundays
excepted. In summer a Sunday excursion train
leaves San Francisco via Saucelito, and returns
in the evening.

Between San Francisco and San Rafael eight
round trips are made daily.

Leaving San Francisco via San Rafael, one
passes under the guns of Alcatraz Island, which
stand a sentinel at the Golden Gate, and rounds
Angel Island, which is separated from the main-
land by Raccoon Straits, and takes in on a clear
duy, while passing, the cities of Oakland and
Berkeley and the Contra Costa hills beyond them,
and more than the sye can hold, until he reaches

San Quentin, 11.5 miles from San Francis-
co. It is situated on a point of the same name
on the west shore of San Pablo Bay, a division of
the Bay of San Francisco. Its chief importance
is derived from the fact of its bein# the residence



311



of the Lieutenant-Governor of the State, who ex-
officio has charge of the State's convicts. There
are usually from 800 to 1500 of these persons kept
here at hard labor. The work-shops and other
buildings are on the left of the railroad ; and
on the left, and directly ahead, is Mt. Tamalpais,
the loftiest peak in this region. A wash-out near
the summit looks like a shute for logs.

Here passengers exchange the steamers for the
cars, neat and comfortable, but not so commo-
dious as those of a broad-gauge road. In a few
minutes' ride one will be at the town of

San Itaf'uel (San Ra-fell), 14 miles from San
Francisco.

It is the county-seat of Marin County, and
situated in a valley of the same name, about a
mile in width and four in length. It is built
upon the former site of the old Jesuitical mission
of San Rafael, founded in 1824. The town-site
is elevated, and on gently rolling ground, thus
assuring fine views of the bay on the east and a
favorable sewerage. As the soil is a loose gravel
or sandy loam, there is no malarial influence such
as renders many other favored localities unheal-
thy. It is completely sheltered from the ocean
winds and fogs by the surrounding mountains,
and the climate is mild and even, the mercury
rarely falling below 40 in winter or rising above
90 in summer. The water brought from Lagu-
nitas Creek, 750 feet above the town, on Mt.
Tamalpais, is pure and soft. For location,
climatic influences, and picturesque scenery, no
place in this part of the State can equal it. It is
quite a sanitarium for many in San Francisco
who suffer from the cold winds and damp fogs.

Many of the residences are elegant and costly.
The Court House was erected at an expense of
$60, 000. Two weekly newspapers are published,
the Journal and Herald. The town is supplied
with gas, and the roads in the vicinity are good
and afford most charming drives.

This is the best point from which to make the

Ascent of Mt. Tamalpais.

It is nearer than Saucelito, the trail is better,
and the variety of views greater. Horses may be
procured at $2.50 and $3 per day. The start
should be made as near daylight as possible, and
the whole trip may be accomplished in about
eight hours. The height of the western summit,
the highest point, is 2606 feet. The view em-
braces the ocean, the Golden Gate, the bay, San
Francisco, Oakland, and many other towns, and
is in some respects more diversified and prettier
than the view from Mt. Diablo. The latter is far
more extensive.

Sun Rafael will also be the terminus of the San
Francisco and North Pacific Railroad, now in
operation from Donahue to Cloverdale.

Junction, 17 miles from San Francisco.



Here the branch unites with the mam road via
Saucelito. The distance from San Francisco is
17 miles by either route.

Saucelito is six miles from San Francisco.

The stations between Saucelito and Junction

| are the " shops" of the company, Lyford's,

Summit, Corte, Madera, and Tamalpais. The

latter is at the foot of Mt. Tamalpais, but is

merely an accommodation station, without a

building near except the beautiful residence of

Mr. Kent, a retired merchant of Chicago. A

trail leads to the summit of the mountain from

his house. It was constructed at his own ex-

j pense, and is not open to the public.

Fairfax, 18.5 miles, is a popular picnic re-
sort. Leaving these grounds, the road curves to
the right and begins ascending to reach the sum-
mit of White's Hill. The grade is from 90 to
120 feet to the mile, and the curves in some
places 20 degrees. At one point the road
doubles back upon itself, so that, after traversing
three quarters of a mile, the tracks are not a
hundred yards apart. At no place so near San
Francisco can there be had as good an idea of
the mountainous regions of California as in cross-
ing this hill and descending to tide-water on the
west. The crookedness of the road as it curves
around one and another of the ravines is ex-
tremely interesting.

The railroad ascends on the north side of Ross
Valley, and as one climbs up he may see on the
left, far above him, the wagon-road from San
Rafael to Olema, and directly under this wagon-
road the cars pass through a tunnel 400 feet long
with an altitude of 565 feet.

At the summit the road descends into the val-
ley of San Geronimo Creek to a station of the
same name, 3 miles from which is Nicasio, a
small village in a dairy region. Laguuitas,
another small station, marks a creek of the same
name flowing from the north-west side of Mt.
Tamalpais. The valley has a large variety of
wild flowers in the spring, and at all seasons an
abundance of California shrubbery, such as the
Ceanothus, Manzanita, Madrona, Oaks, Buckeyes,
and some Red-woods, but none of the Douglass
spruce or firs peculiar to high altitudes.

As the canon narrows the scenery becomes
wilder, and the road follows "Paper Mill"
Creek, as it is called, from the "Pioneer Paper
Mill," the first mill of the kind on the Coast, at

Tnylorville, 31J miles from San Francisco.

The creek abounds in trout. Near Taylorville
is a favorite camping-ground to which hundreds
go every season to exchange their close walls in
the city for the freedom of the hills and woods
and brooks.

Tocaloma (Grove), 33.5 miles, is a small
station in a dairy region two miles from the town
of Olema. A stage runs from the town to the
trains. The creek is crossed and recrossed, and



312



one embankment is 1830 feet long ; but these are
soon passed, and one can look to the left and a
little behind him, as the road is fairly in the val-
ley, and see the town of

Oleina, 38J miles from San Francisco. On
the platform will be seen a large number of butter-
boxes. In winter passenger trains stop for dinner.
Tri- weekly stages leave for Bolinas, 13 miles south.

The general course of the road is now more
northerly, to Tomales Bay, and one quickly
changes from the trout streams of the mountains
to enjoy a " breath of the salt sea gale."

The road passes along the northern side of the
bay for about 13 miles, part of the time on the
shore and part on piles. The bay is only about
a mile wide, and 20 miles long, and very shallow.

Oysters have been planted in it, but the water
has proved too salt for their successful cul-
tivation. The bay supplies a large number of
fish, and in it are found an abundance of smooth,
hard-shell clams, the only source of this variety
of shell-fish for the San Francisco market. All
kinds of sea fowl are abundant during the sea-
son. Along the bay are several small stations
Wharf Point, Millerton, Marshall's, and Hamlet
from which butter, fish, and game are shipped.

After passing Hamlet, the road curves to the
right, crossing an arm of the bay, or Tomales
Creek, and follows up the west bank of this and
winds around the hills to

Tomales, 55f miles.

The town has a population of only 150, but the
country is thickly settled by intelligent dairy-
and ranch men. For a year and a half this was
the northern terminus of the road, further pro-
gress being delayed by the wall of solid rock
seen in the hills to the north. Here the company
have a large warehouse for storing grain and
freight. In clear weather Mt. St. Helena can be
seen in the north-east, and east and south-east are
the snow-capped Sierras.

Soon after leaving this station, the road passes
through the longest tunnel on the road, 1700
feet in length, reaches Clark Summit, and, de-
scending, crosses the Estero Americano, on a
high trestle, and enters Sonoma County.

Valley Ford, 62J miles, is a pretty little
village of about 300 people. Since the compte-
tion of the railroad a stage has run to Petaluma",
to fulfill a contract for carrying the mails. It
will probably be discontinued ,at an early day.
Valley Ford was so named from the crossing of
the old Spanish trail from the interior ranches to
Tomales Bay and the coast. Up to 1857 the In-
dians made two or three trips a year, to procure
shell-fish for eating and shells for the manufac-
ture of money. It is a well-accredited fact that
on this town site there were grown in 1854 one
hundred bushels of oats to the acre.

Bodega Koads, 65 miles, is the depot for
Bodega Corners on a portion of the tract formed



by the Russians, and in the midst of the potato-
growing regions.

freestone, 66.5 miles, was settled first under
direction of General Vallejo to check the ad-
vance of the Russians. It is in the midst of a



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 52 of 62)