RAND, MCNALLY & O's
ARIZONA, NEW MEXICO, COLORADO
BY JAMES W . S T E E L E .
RAND, MCNALLY & COMPANY, PUBLISHERS.
148, 150, 152 AND 154 MONROE STREET, and
323 BROADWAY, NEW YORK.
Lies immediately West of the State line dividing Kansas and Missouri.
ARMOUR, FOWLER, KINGAN, SWIFT,
* MORRIS * BUTTS, AND ALCUTT
The Union Pacific and Missouri Pacific Pail road Shops, and a host of smaller
Manufactories and Shops.
Is growing more rapidly than any City in the State. Will very soon be
the Largest City. Numerically, as it is now in importance,
in Kansas. Has in operation the only
Outside of New York City, a first class Cable Road, with several more in
course of construction. For Safe. Secure and
There can be no equal to the opportunities afforded in'
JAMES D. HUSXE3D,
REAL ESTATE DEALER
1st National Bank Building,
KANSAS CITY, KANSAS.
American Bank Building,
KANSAS CITY, MO
Copyright, 1888, by Rand, McNally I
THE JofKNF.v -.
is City Scenes at Union Depot The City's History and
Peculiar Features Westport Landing The Trail Growth and
Trade of Kansas City Railroads, etc 7~i?
Some Statistics The Pawnees The Raws Historical Notes The
Arkansas Valle) First Male White Child Born in the State The State
University Lawrence Topeka Some Reminiscences Emporia
Climatic Changes, etc. !8~47
History Topography Bent's Fort The Indians Trinidad Raton
Tunnel Mountain Scenery and Health Resorts The Staked Plain. . 48-64
PAX-HANDLE or TKXA-:
Location and Peculiarities The Cattle Baron His Anomalous and
Lawless Position The Cowboy 65-70
Ni.w Mi xico :
Its Antiquity Still Full of Ancient and Picturesque Nooks A Land
of Health Resorts, Beautiful Valleys, and Lofty Mountains Descrip-
tion of the Territory Topography History Some of Its Native
Inhabitants The Pueblos Silent Ruins Raton Las Vegas
Glorieta Pass Old Pecos Church Apache Cafion Starvation Peak
Albuquerque Laguna La Mesa Encantada 71-100
Its Magnitude Undeveloped Wealth Desolate Appearance The
Mojave Desert Water- Worn Rocks The Sand-Blast W'ingate
Navajo Church Rio Pucrco Valley Isolated Rocks Holbrook
Flagstaff The Cliff Dwellings Petrified Forests The Natural
Bridge The Painted Desert Grand Canon of the Colorado The
The Entrance to the State Dismal and Uninviting Barstow Topog-
raphy and Climate Valleys and Mountains 127-143
<ERN CALIFORNIA : PAGE
~t and Present Equable Temperature History of Its Discovery
and Occupancy Annexation to the United States The Colorado
Desert The Valleys of San Gabriel and San Bernardino What Irri-
gation Does for the Soil The Charm that Hovers Over the Country
A Land for the Wealthy, the Indolent, and the Sick The Poor
Man Has No Business There 144-167
Variations of Climate Governed by Topographical Features Warm
and Cool Nights The Californian Climatic Puzzle Tables of
Comparisons and Mean Temperatures Causes of California's many
Variations of Climate Effects of Altitude and Configuration upon the
Climates of the smaller Valleys i ' -
IN GENLKAI. :
The Mojave River and Cajon Pass Routes through California The
Yosemite Valley and the Big Tree Groves Th Sequoia the Last of
the Race of Giant Trees Peculiarities in the Flora and Farna of the
Pacific Coast Absence of Eastern Varieties of Plants and Animals
The Tarantula, the Mosquito and the Flea Scorpions Snakes 183-192
ASA HKALTH KK.>I. 193-196
From Kansas City to Los Angeles, San Diego, or San Francisco 197-198
SrANi.su GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES 199-212
JlftHIS GUIDE is intended for
the convenience of those per-
sons who, wishing to make a jour-
ney to California, find their most
convenient route to lie through
Such persons would live as far
south as Memphis, for instance, and
as far north as Chicago. There
are many thousands of these annu-
ally; for California, and especially
Southern California, seems to have
become a subject in which a great
portion of the American people
are interested. Why this is so may
in some measure appear in the
following pages. There is no country whose history is more curious or whose
changes have been more astonishing. Simply as a study; as a chapter out of mod-
ern American history; as an example of the results wrought by steam, water and
human industry, California, upper, middle or southern, is worth some attention,
if not very careful consideration.
This narrative will also include a glance, as careful as space will admit of, of
what lies between; Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. All these that
have not already come to the front in public estimation are rapidly coming, and all
are interested from at least one standpoint ; that which regards them as the seat of
future empire, the homes of countless thousands of people who will be all Ameri-
cans, all speaking the same language, wearing the same dress, following the same
customs, and under whose touch every desert will yet bloom, every mountain nook
become a home.
There are many trans Continental lines. They all offer their attractions and
advantages. But the tide of travel has for the past year or two sought the most
4 OVERLAND GUIDE.
direct li ard, and the shortest is the one whose features are of the most
interest to the average traveler, other things being equal, and that is the route
described in the following pages, so far, at least, as to Southern California. A guide
of travel that attempts a description of all possible routes at once, jumps here and
there without sequence or order, confusing the reader, to whom time-tables are
always accessible, and adding liule or nothing to the interest of any one route.
Nearly all guide-books are so made, and nearly all are, in this regard at least,
unsatisfactory. An attempt is here made to depart from this ancient plan, and to
give the reader a consecutive story, from day to day, of at least one route. It is
not an advertisement, but is printed and sold for the usual publisher's reasons. The
first editions have offered encouragement for the project of not only reprinting it,
but re writing it. The changes of two years have been like those of a fairy tale, and
an attempt will be made in these pages to overtake them.
But this is a journey over mountain and plain, over granite, lava and sage, through
a country which changes in its industrial features almost under the traveler's eye.
It crosses mountain ranges almost incomparable in beauty and vastness, and wide
plains, where the rim of the horizon is but a pale mist against the arching sk
includes the homes of a civilization older than any American history, yet where the
original inhabitants still live and toil, and it traverses the still plainly visible re-
mains of a civilization yet older far, at which modern science and investigation make
only plausible guesses and derive only possible inferences. Specimens of the races
that the lapse of time has not affected, and whose ideas and ancestry are alike
prehistoric, gaze listle^ and your train as you pass by. The m
appreciative traveler, making this journey for the first time, must at least perceive
that he is under stran^r I here are new sensations. There is a foreign feel-
ing. Some effort nee oneself that this is still the domain over
which floats the familiar flag; that it is still an integral part of the mightiest empire
the world has ever seen.
A long journey by rail is usually only a respectable mode of solitary confine-
ment for as long as it lasts. There are only glimpses caught of the country by
daylight, and one grows tired because he dots not know anything of the history,
traditions or industries of the country he is traversing. He does not know what to
look for, and all his information must usually be obtained from what is termed a
" folder"; a monotonous list of stations and distances that does not even name the
country in which one may chance to be.
Otherwise he must obtain information from some other form of railway adver-
tising, and in this he puts so many grains of salt that he may usually be said not
to believe it at all.
Though no guide was ever more than partially successful ; though all items of
interest can not be included; this little volume is intended, as far as possible, to
cover these deficiencies. It covers a long distance, and ends at last upon the shores
of that boundless waste of waters that, to one accustomed to seeing the ocean face
him the other way, seems the end of all things.
It ends in a country that is as yet an enigma to itself. Southern California is an
Eden that has sprung up out of a soil that looks like concrete, and that fifteen years
ac;o was one of the most hopeless of the foreordained and irredeemable deserts.
One can not believe, amid the scenes that lie around its gateway, that nestled here is
the garden of the United States; that it is-Summer all the year; where roses and
castor-beans alike take upon themselves the similitude of trees, ami where the fruits
and flowers of tropical islands, and curious perennials from across the seas, flourish
better than at home.
!HE beginning is at a place worth more than a casual mention.
KANSAS CITY is one of the towns that began in time, and
established a Union depot. For some years now, and since
the tide of immigration began in earnest, this has been almost a
depot for the Union. The crowds that have of late years gone out
to people that God-forsaken desert which now produces its hundreds
of thousands of bushels of wheat and corn, have mostly come stream-
ing through the narrow gateway of the Union depot at Kansas
Every traveler now sees this celebrated spot at its best, if its best
is when it is liveliest. Two or three times every day, for two hours
at a time, it is Pandemonium of a rather pleasing type. There is.
a vast crowd that is mostly American, with a sprinkling of every
nationality. Waiting-rooms for both sexes are full, and a small
army of both sexes and all ages is marching back and forth outside.
It is a human ant-hill. Everybody is on business of a puzzling
kind. They are all away from home, hundreds of them for the first
time, and unfamiliar with the great how-to-do-it in the way of tickets,
trunks, trains, direction, distance, locality and time. Counter res-
taurants are confronted by hungry rows,. some of the people having
on overcoats, and some linen dusters, thus showing their various.
8 OVERLAND GUI I'M.
conceptions of climate, and the wide-apart localities from whence
they have come.
There is an expression of resignation on the faces of some, of per-
fect weariness on the countenances of others, and of uncertainty in
the demeanor of most. For a dozen trains are making up. Long
<f cars stand waiting, so arranged as to be all accessible, and
into these the crowd is slowly percolating. Policemen in gray,
armed with patience and an unusual fund of information instead of
clubs, are kept very busy. The trains are all headed to the East or
to the West ; the one with its headlight toward the setting sun, the
other looking back toward where most of this company came from,
and where many a homesick one doubtless wishes he was again.
This scene changes daily in a certain sense, for if you come again
to-morrow at the same hour you will see the same crowds, the same
hurrying, anxious throng, but not a single person you ever saw
before. They will have passed hence as entirely and completely as
though yesterday were a quarter o a cent :ry ago. They are gone
toward the four winds, and will never come again. It is a daily
gathering of that innumerable and various company whose fixed
purpose is a new home. Old places and associations have seen
them for the last time. The great country to the westward swallows
them up. It evei. in a great measure changes their characters. It
moulds their interests, tastes, hopes and inclinations. It makes
them forget all they have deemed most worthy of remembrance, and
teaches them new themes. The gigantic growth of beech or oak to
which they have been accustomed is exchanged for the treeless
prairie where the nodding yellow sunflower is the highest growth, and
they are not astonished. A quiet country neighborhood or little
town, where every man knew the genealogy of every other, and
there has been no change within memory, is given away forever for a
land of booms and beginnings, and there is no surprise. This power
of the far West to educate people is one of the curious things. To
the old time westerner it invests this crowd with a peculiar interest.
Illinois and Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania, have lost these
men and women as irrevocably as if they were dead. They will
soon cease even to talk about the old homes. It is true ; they will
not come back.
It may be at ten o'clock in the morning, or the same hour at night.
In either case Kansas City the city itself is invisible. It is a queer
spot in which to build a town, and, like all other cities of importance, it
was not built it grew. The fate that makes them does not wait
upon the intentions and th^ designs of men. It is a place of steep
river bluffs. It is all up-and-down. Some of the principal streets have
been cut through high banks of clay, leaving houses perched airily
seventy or a hundred feet above the roadway. It is a place where
cows used to fall out of pasture and break their necks, and where
one's door-yard may be as dangerous as the brink of Niagara. Yet
it is destined beyond doubt to become, if it be not now, the com-
mercial capital of a great valley.
Its beginnings are as of yesterday. Within the memory of many
of its citizens, it was but Westport Landing a place where steam-
boats pushed their noses into the muddy banks of the Missouri and
were made fast to a tree. In those days there was one long, steep
road up the bank to the top of the hill, and on the hill there were
some dilapidated warehouses, a store or two, and the usual rough
accompaniments of the Western trading and freighting post. All
this was no longer ago than 1855-60. A little later, Leavenworth was
conceded to be the metropolis, with St. Joseph as something of a
rival. Something happened ; nobody knows precisely what, per-
haps ; and the place began to grow. It was the bridge over the Mis-
souri ; it was a caprice of the railroads ; it was natural situation.
Nobody would ever enquire what it was, but for the wonder of a
phenomenal growth, and they will soon cease to enquire at all.
There is one curious thing. A great, growing, beef-and-corn pro-
ducing State like Kansas, could not control the destinies of any city
of her preference on her own soil. She has poured her trade into
the lap of a Missouri town, notwithstanding that the two States-
have a grudge against each other almost as rancorous as a Kentucky
family vendetta. The town is but just far enough within the line to
induce the belief that it is a curious and an unfair thing that a Kansas-
made city should stand on Missouri soil. But the inexorable State
Line intervenes despite all sentiment. The cause of the feeling
between these two States is a matter of history. It belongs to that
time which now seems so far in the past; "before the War."
Descending through at least one generation, it is now but a remi-
niscence. But it is a vivid one. The rights which the young men
of Missouri trampled in the brown Kansas dust have long since
triumphed. There are no slaves, and there is no slave territory.
There is no cause of quarrel, yet for many years Missouri has been
the bridge and Kansas City the gateway, by which more than a
million people have passed into Kansas. That is simply another
instance of a drift toward greatness for which no adequate cause can
be assigned. For Missouri herself, with all her political offenses
KANSAS CITY. 11
against her sister on her head, is still one of the most splendidly
equipped in natural resources of all the galaxy of States.
But the old times were the romantic and interesting ones for Kan-
sas City. The stranger who visits the place, and takes the pains to
ride up the hill, or through it, on a cable car, will see from the
elevation a fair country of hill and wood. There is nothing wild or
strange about it. It is old, refined, cultivated. Let him imagine
these hills as they were but yesterday. Gaunt and long-horned oxen
wandering over them, but lately released from the yokes they had
worn over a thousand miles of mountain and plain from a country
as far and fabled as Cathay. There were men there such as civil-
ization does not produce, bronzed, bearded, wide-hatted, swagger-
ing. They were the typical frontiersmen whose shades now linger
in song and story. From every ravine and hill-side arose little thin
blue columns of camp-fire smoke. There was whiskey-merriment,
shouting, grotesque dancing, and the popping of enormous whips.
For this lonely and most unprepossessing river-landing was to these
men high civilization, [t was indeed, after all the lonely reaches of
Llano Estacadoj after days of wind-swept silence and nights of watch-
ing ; after the weary tramp through aland that held no human habita-
tion ; after months of wandering where countless herds of buffalo
blocked the trails ; after hunger and thirst and Indian-fighting, a
full measure of civilization.
For Westport Landing was the beginning of one of the great
" Trails," one end of which must of necessity be more or less civil-
ized after the fashion of those days.
A " Trail " is a curious thing. The word is one of the most com-
mon in both western and eastern literature now, and frequently
requisite in ordinary conversation. Yet it now has a meaning so
far in the past that the first significance is hardly thought of.
It may mean, but does not always, a road. At first it never did.
A trail was a path, winding away crookedly and endlessly, leading
-somewhere, but never definitely and certainly. Ages before America
1'2 OVERLAND GUIDE.
discovered by Europeans the aborigines of the country had
paths through the woods and swamps, across the plains and over
the mountain ranges, crossing zones and climates, and reaching to
the utmost verge of the land from Great Bear Lake to the Gulf, and
from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The trails of one region and tribe,
or confederation of tribes, ran imperceptibly into those of another.
Along these paths the light of thousands of camp-fires was always
shining by night, and silent files of warriors, one behind the other,
were always passing like dusky ghosts. There were trails and
Indians and camp-fires everywhere, yet so far apart that it would
almost seem that there were none, and that the vast continent was
Rivers and lakes were crossed in canoes, and the trails went
round, over or through all natural difficulties. There was even a
kind of commerce in those days without records, and tribe exchanged
with tribe the rude necessities and commodities of savage life. There
were vast regions where there were no metals accessible ; yet
tribe had its armlets and nose-rings. There were districts where
there was no flint or obsidian for arrow-heads ; yet all had these
articles of prime necessity. What was not got by exchange was
taken by theft or conquest.
But these were not colonists. They never >tayed : they did not
acquire, or try to acquire, territory. They came and went, and left
not a shred of the history of conquest. It can hardly be conceived
of in these days that what was considered worth toil, wandering and
privation ; what was worth fighting and dying for ; was not wort^
even so much record as a heap of stones. The North American
Indian was, and still is, a curious specimen of humanity. Guided
by an instinct in wandering as unerring as that of the wild goose,
the wilderness remained, save for these dim trails, absolutely un-
changed by their presence through uncounted centuries.
It is a very curious fact that these trails ; at least the principal and
main ones ; have had a most decided effect upon modern commerce.
The Original Trail-Makers
They are the commercial highways of the present. Starting from
Atlantic coast the traveler will closely follow them even to the
Pacific coast. Wherever the railway lines cross the mountains the
track lies almost precisely in the old paths. They were deepened
and worn by white men who imitated the Indians, long before the
railroads took them for the last use that has been found for them in
these later times when the chiefest consideration of life is trade and
For the prehistoric savage ; the old Indian who lived and died
long before he had been dreamed of as a subject of song or story,
or as the owner of valuable lands, or as a " ward of the Govern-
ment "; discovered and used all the
notches nature has placed so far apart
in the grim escarpments of the Rocky
Mountains. His trails crossed them,
leading up to them from far across the
plains. Raton Pass is in this sense one
of the oldest gateways of the world.
The existence of it gave rise to the
great trail from the bend of the
souri, where now is Kansas City, to the
Valley of the Rio Grande, down that
valley to El Paso ; an ancient rock-
bottomed ford ; down to the high-
lands of Mexico, or, by other passes beyond, to the Pacific
This, in much later days now historic from our view, was utilized
:ite men. The few Spanish soldiers who followed Coronado on
his celebrated expedition to Quivira, came and returned by it,
guided by an Indian whose tale of Quivira was but a fabrication to
lure unwelcome visitors away from his people. Later, and, indeed,
comparatively very recently, the traders took it. It became the
<4 Santa Fe Trail." The bend of the Missouri, as anciently, was still
An Early Explorer.
KANSAS CITY. 15
its western end. We measure the place by our own standards ; but
it was of immense importance long before it had become even West-
This old trail, lined with graves and wet with tears, the scene
throughout its weary length of innumerable battles that are not
named in history, the place of toils and perils that can never be
lived again, was the origin of the idea from which was born what is
now known as the Sante Fe Route. We are interested in this fact,
and in all that may be said about the various trails that have been
usurped by the most colossal of the commercial achievements of man,
because we shall follow one of them on this journey ourselves almost
as it lay a thousand or two years ago. Perhaps we shall find that its
interest has not all quite departed.
Yet Kansas City, by that name at least, is not a city of reminis-
cences. The western, or Santa F6, trade did not begin from it until
1832, when Independence, its now near neighbor, became the " out-
fitting" point for the western freighters. " Outfit " " to outfit,"
seems to be another peculiarly western term, now become a part of
the language. The first stock of goods was landed at the present
site of Kansas City in 1834.
But even this was some time before the quarrel, for the boundary
line which placed the then unmade and undreamed-of city in Mis-
souri was not established until 1836.
In 1839 a few houses seem to have been erected, and in 1853 the
village had, at most, only 478 souls.
In 1843-44 came a flood which submerged the place. This was
followed by the cholera. The growth may be said to have stopped
during this period, and for some years after. In the same year the
difficulty between Texas and New Mexico this is again to our
eyes quite prehistoric rendered an armed escort necessary for a
Santa 6 train. This doubtless interfered very seriously with
But so important was this trade already grown that books were
16 OVERLAND GUIDE.
published on the subject about this time. The'y read like foreign
travels. In August, 1843, all the Mexican frontier ports of entry
were closed, and remained so until 1850. This had the effect of
blockading all the Missouri river towns.
Mr. D. \V. Wilder (" Annals of Kansas," p. 49) says that on August
26, 1854, Leavenworth and Kansas City were first mentioned in the
N\\v York Tribune. This, then, seems to have been about the
beginning of the history of the present era. They may have been
mentioned before, but the Tribune settled the question as to its
having previously been worth while.
Another record states that " in 1857 the city had grown to 8,000
inhabitants, with a list of mercantile houses surpassing any Missouri
town, and with a larger trade than any city of its size in the world."
It is not known whether or not the writer means that Kansas City
was not then a Missouri town, or whether he excludes St. Louis and
other places from his mental list of " Missouri towns." It may have
had the 8,000 inhabitants mentioned, but as late as 1859 it did not
look as though it had them, at least as permanently established
But, at least, Kansas City is one of the places that has grown, and
3, almost as fast as they say she does. This, of itself, consti-
tutes the place a western phenomenon. In 1*870 the population was
stated to be 32,286. In 1873, 40,140. In 1885, 128,474. It now
claims, per directory ', 180,000. Mr. Jay Gould, in 1886, is reported
to have distinctly stated in an interview with a prominent citizen
that "in twenty-five or thirty years more you will see Kansas City as
large as Chicago and St. Louis are at that time''
There is therefore little use in asking " upon what kind of meat
doth this our Caesar feed." It is a wonderful place, offering to the
tourist from older communities the most wonderful of all the
instances of western growth. The same circumstances that gave
the far-western trading-post her business a quarter of a century ago,
feed her now. The causes of greatness are perpetual. Many a
reader will have no taste for the comparisons of local history and
the reminiscences of a quarter of a century. Many a one would
have more, could he but remember the wilderness as it was, and
compare the present with the dim past of so little a while ago. It is
one of the valuable lessons of the trans-Contkental journey these
pages are supposed to record.
From the Other End of the Trail.
7T\ ( ') get back to the depot again, to see the crowd that was not
\ *tl /
P here yesterday and will not be here to-morrow ; yet the same
crowd ; is an awakening from the dream of the Beginning which
may possibly seem to have been indulged in.
You have the names of the trains called in the long-drawn and
sorrowful tones customarily heard at depots, and there begin to be
long vacant spaces under the shed. This train and that one slip
silently away ; one to Chicago or St. Louis, or both ; one to Omaha,
another to Denver and San Francisco. There are more than a
dozen of them altogether, and these very long and very well filled
trains represent about thirty thousand miles of track. Within the
past year Kansas alone has had her surface gridironed by about
1,700 miles of new steel.
A very large number of people are statistical, and every man in
these commercial times who can quote figures, is respected accord-
ingly. Still thinking of the ox-teams, and huge wagons, and bull-
whackers, of twenty-five years ago, the waiting reader may be greatly
interested to know that so long ago as during 1886 there were 981,-
264 trunks handled ; they call it " handled " from a mere native
sense of humor on those platforms, and looked for and enquired
about, and tumbled and slid and rolled, under and across that time-
worn and battle-scarred piece of timber at the door of the baggage-
room. This represents an immense and unknown sum in ladies' and
gents' furnishing goods.
During the same year 4,960,320 people got on and off these trains.
This is not counting travel by suburban trains, or the uncles, cousins
and aunts who accompany bridal parties to the depot.
There are about $8,000,000 actually invested in railroad
property within the limits of the city. All the steamboats that
ver plied the waters of the Missouri since the little stern-
wheeler that made her astonishing appearance here in 1819,
March 2d, if they were tied end to end and trailed out by
the current, would not represent this sum in value. This last
statistic is guessed at all the more freely since it is understood
that the railroads have the entire business. The boats have gone
with the camp-fires.
" Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe. All aboard for Kansas, Colo-
rado and Southern Cal That is ours ; let us go.
You are no sooner away from the shadows of the building than
you are on modern historic ground. There is often very little justi-
fication for this often-made remark. All ground is in a certain geo-
logical sense historic. But it is made in this case very appropri-
ately. A very distinct group of sensations are evoked at the name
of Kansas, and, after all the strictly historical part is done with, the
fact remains that in all the history of civilization, of which Kansas
makes one of the most brilliant chapters, no territory of equal extent
has ever afforded so great and lasting a benefit to the average
struggling and energetic man.
The ground now comprising the State of Kansas was once mostly
owned by the Pawnee nation of Indians. These people had their
vicissitudes, for when settlements began first to be made the
country was held by the Kaws. The remark about vicissitudes is
merely an inference drawn from the fact apparent to anybody who
ever knew the Kaws, that if they could take a country away from
anybody, the party of the first part must have previously had vicis-
situdes, or something almost as bad.
The Kaw, or Kansas, Indians gave the name it bears to the State.
Very frequently it has been questioned why these two names were
interchangeable, and why the Indians, and the river upon whose
branches they lived, should be known by the one name or the other,
20 OVERLAND GUIDE.
indifferently, or the Indians by one name and the State by another,
or rice versa.
Kanza, Kanzas, Kanzoe, and the same name with an " s " instead
of a "z" partakes of the common fate of all our Indian names.
The Kaw Valley People of 1855.
" Illinois," certainly, has had the same troubles. " Kaw " is the
understanding the first settlers had of the pronunciation of the wurd
" Kansas " by the French voyageurs, who were the tireless wanderers
of the early times, and who were of course encountered here.
Actual history, in our sense, begins about April 30, 1819, upon
which date the treaty was signed by which France ceded to the
United States the Province of Louisiana. This included all of the
present Kansas except that strip of it which now lies south of the
Arkansas River. That strip seems to have been won by conquest,
contrary to what they call the "time-honored " policy of our Gov-
ernment. It came in as a result of the outrageous little war in
which we aired our valor before we began fighting in 'earnest, with
something to fight for. The territory that came with it was an
enormous slice, covering almost the whole of the journey we are
After the traders, the very first who came to Kansas were the
Missionaries. From the records, publications and journals of these
little missions, the information has been derived which seems to have
settled definitely and at last the disputed personality of that bold
frontiersman, the "first white male child born in Kansas." The
matter is only mentioned here because of the offense having fre-
quently been laid on the wrong person. Very appropriately, and
with poetic fitness, that "first," etc., was the grandson of Daniel
Boone. His name wa3 Napoleon Boone, and he succeeded to his
inheritance of fame sometime during the year 1825. Somewhere
about the southern line of what is now Jefferson County, the event
occurred. It was well inland, and is thought not to have been such
an unlawful importation of a voter from Missouri as became too
common at a later date.
Some of the most charming literature in the English language was
published in this year 1825, and about this country. But Washing-
ton Irving was very indefinite in his geography, in the two books,
"Tour of the Prairies," and "The Adventures of Captain Bonne-
ville." It only appeared to him as it must have to those early
missionaries and Santa Fe traders. It was a beautiful and silent
vastness. The country had been "explored," but there were no
boundaries, and very few names. Zebulon Pike and his brethren
had made these delightful marches that hundreds of boys have since
envied, through a land that was so full of meat that the meat was in
the way. What is now the pretty city of Council Grove had after-
ward witnessed a meeting of Indian head-men with the United
States Commissioners appointed to solicit of them the privilege of
crossing the plains, their undisputed country, from Independence to
N\ -w Mexico, 780 miles, and they had graciously given a promise they
only kept at intervals, for the Santa Fu Trail, as has been stated, was a
scene of ambuscades, surprises, and bloody fights always. It is
curious how valor can have been so persistent without accompanying
fame, for there were no newspaper reporters in those days, ana
how the blue-stem grass or the waving corn has long since overgrown
a thousand bloody graves and the scenes of a hundred displays of the
same courage that is commemorated now in our national cemeteries.
Within a mile of the Union depot the train enters Kansas. All
the hills you see rolling away to the southward were not long since
covered with diamond-shaped wagon corrals, and glowing in the
dusk with camp-fires. It was, within two or three miles of the
river, a vast overland camping-ground. It was, so to speak, the
delta of the great trail; a curious community lacking only one feature
of the picturesqueness of the West of a little later. The revolver had
not yet been invented. Whiskey was there much more of it, and
probably much better, than there is in later times in this virtuous com-
monwealth; and there was an occasional gun. I>ut it was of the long,
old-fashioned, slender-gripped kind, that loaded at the muzzle, out
of a powder-horn, and that had a beautiful piece of mechanism in
the shape of a flint-lock. It seems incredible, but with this museum
relic all the sharp and desperate battles of the trail were fought.
With it a continent was practically won. All American history is
based upon it. To recall it with all the vividness one can, only
causes us to come to the conclusion that the Americans of those
days would, had there been necessity, have conquered their way to
empire with wayside stones.
At the beginning of the journey it may be well to formulate a
few of the plainest and prosiest of the facts about Kansas. There
is plenty of romance ; and a long category of peculiarities, for the
State has a most remarkable modern history; but the material things
very likely come first in the minds of the majority of readers,
though it was sentiment, clan, pluck, that made the State more
than the material advantages or favorable circumstances that are so
much discussed in the tens of thousands of pages of descriptive
printing that have been issued since in her behalf.
Kansas is a symmetrical and well-proportioned oblong square,
lying, as a whole, quite in the centre of the Union. This square is
four hundred and ten miles long, and two hundred and ten miles
Early Kansas Residence.
wide, and has an area of 81,318 square miles. The only deviation
from a square in the configuration of the State is caused by the Mis-
souri River, with a northwestward trend, cutting off a slice of the
upper right-hand corner.
One must think twice before he. can quickly comprehend what
has passed in this quadrangle of soil in the way of material develop-
ment in the past few years, and when one lends himself to a con-
templation of the picture, judging by the past, the result must be
nothing less than a general feeling of astonishment. Were Kansas
as densely populated as New England is, it would contain thirty-
three million people. As the soil is so much better that there is
no comparison between the two sections in that respect ; indeed,.
Kansas soil would be worth almost anywhere in New England
probably twenty-five cents a cart-load as a fertilizer ; one can but
fairly conclude that in the course of a few years that enormous
population must be attained. Were the population as dense as it is
even in Ohio, there would be six millions of population.
In 1860, the year before the State was admitted, there was a
population of 107,206. There is a very slight doubt whether there
were quite so many as that. At the end of ten years, or in 1870,
there were 364,369 people.
June ist, 1880, showed a population of 996,096.
March i, 1885, by a State census, there were 1,268,530 people.
There is, even from a modern and western standpoint, something
extraordinary in this high percentage of increase. But there is
another view from which it is much more remarkable. This increase,
it must be remembered, has taken place in the heart of a desert.
No allusion is made here to the "Great American," etc., of the
old geographies. That glossy and polished chestnut has been
passed around for twenty years, and no one who knows how the
geographies are made ever wonders at their teachings. It was a
desert in the opinions of men who had tramped and camped all
over it; who knew it well. The explorers believed it uninhabitable.
The traders and freighters agreed. The more learned wrote
elaborate treatises of warning. The judicious grieved. The writer
hereof once had the adventurous spirit (under orders) to travel from
end to end of the very best of Kansas, the Arkansas Valley. He
was possessed of an amiable mule, which he rode, and when the
mule was wwamiable he walked. The whole country had been swept
by the besom of desolation. It was not only a homeless solitude;
there were reasons palpable and undoubted why it should never
become the home of civilized man.
Now, I presume, the Arkansas Valley in Kansas contains six or
seven hundred thousand people. Now, there is every reason per-
26 OVERLAND GUIDE.
fectly apparent why it should become one of the most prosperous
agricultural regions in the world, yet now, even yet, one is aston-
ished at the fool-hardiness, the temerity, the fatuousness, that
induced the building through this waste, at that time, of the great
railroad upon which we now journey to the Pacific coast. It was
the great cause of settlement, and there was not a habitation even in
hope when it first stretched its lonesome lines of iron across the
And yet, they say that " capital is timid." The fact is, that capital
is merely strange. If there is anything which makes an unneces-
sary fuss ; that sings when it is saddest and is most hilarious and
seemingly jocund when its back is broken, it is capital. It is the
human institution that has a thousand forms of deceit. But it is
useless to say, after the western railroads, and the money it took to
build them, and the circumstances, that capital is "timid."
Kansas is subdivided into ninety-five counties. An average one
of these counties contains about a half-million acres of land.
Most of them approach very nearly the form of the square. All
old-fashioned notches and diagonals are left off. The simplicity of
the Government surveys has been adhered to wherever possible.
It is all prairie. Only a very small fraction of the surface ever
had any timber growth. But in many instances that which was
prairie has become timber. Millions of trees have been planted,
and have grown into fair-sized timber within a brief time. Trees
completely changed the original appearance of the country in
very many cases. The horizon has departed, and clumps interrupt
the once almost boundless view. Kansas, revisited by the very
early settler, has a tendency to make him retire behind a hedge or
a red barn, for the purpose of castigating himself for not guessing
in time at the capacities of a country about which every common-
sense indication, every gloomy prophecy, was alike completely at
fault. They said, among many other wise things, that trees wouldn't,
wouldn't grow. God did not intend they should, or He would have
planted them Himself. It was a pious conclusion, built upon the
ideas of the Old School. But, like others of the same kind, it
appears to have been erroneous. Trees not only grow, but in this
soil that, never since the dawn of the present creation until now
felt the thrill of a creeping rootlet, they grow better than they do
The general idea of a prairie country is that it should be flat.
This is not; though the State can not boast a mountain, or even
anything that can be called a hill except by a considerable stretch
of courtesy. There is said not to be a swamp within its bound-
aries. The country is what is called " rolling," and the undulations
are very charming to the eye. From May until November, Kansas
is well worth a visit for the mere sake of feasting the eye upon
probably the most charming pastoral landscape, and the most exten-
sive, in the world. It will not answer to allow yourself to become
attracted by it unless you propose to listen to the promptings which
persuade you to remain. "Horizon hungry" is a phrase that has
crept inadvertently into the language. It is not entirely hyper-
bole. Nooks and valleys historically charming will thereafter
lose their spell to you, because they are too small. All Kansas
people are celebrated for an unreasoning poo-poohing of all other
localities. It is aut Kansas aut nihiL Sometimes one thinks they
would like to wall her in, and have everything to themselves, with
a few reciprocity and other treaties with those they liked, and
with a set of histories, newspapers, periodicals and poets all to
themselves, and to suit them. This spirit of loyalty has aided
largely in the wonderful growth of the country, and has its avail-
able side, and is entirely excusable as an effect of locality and
climate. But it has made possible a variety of treason not con-
templated by the Constitution, and that is punishable only by
epithets, and has called out a retaliatory crop of denials and counter-
This is the land of pretty towns, as you will find to be the case as
you rapidly come nearer to the middle of the " desert." They have
grown and changed with unequalled rapidity within the past two
years. In each of them the school-house is the prominent object.
Only in the very newest neighborhoods is the. school-building a poor
one, and it may be said with certainty that it never long remains so.
The system of public education is one of the most complete possible,
and public and private interest in the education of the masses has
not flagged from the beginning. A heavy indebtedness for school-
buildings is not complained of, and the first and latest effort of
every man who comes is to get, first a school-house ; second, a
railroad. There is one eastern feature that will be missed ;
there are no "saloons." It is true. This hideous feature of
civilization is actually eliminated. The Kansas " cranks " are
made of that kind of material that they actually mean their theories.
So far as human wisdom can see, there is no hope of the
re-establishment of this most horrible of industries. There is
now no question of either the wisdom or the strength of the anti-
saloon movement. It is not a movement ; it is a fact acquiesced
in by everybody.
There is, among minor considerations, something very remarkable
about the " luck " of this peculiar commonwealth. Every mishap
that could befall her by conspiracy of all the malignant powers has
befallen her. Nothing could be more terrible than the drouth of
1860, of which the half has not been told, or the grasshopper
scourge of 1874. They both, to all appearances, resulted in a
splendid advertisement and succeeding booms. Everything that it
was said Kansas could not do, and was not fitted to do, she has
In early times her climate was most discouraging from its very
inherent and incurable disagreeableness. The wind was always
blowing. It amounted to malice. Everything that was portable
was taken by the wind to some other locality. This perpetual
sirocco was not occasional, but continuous. It did not rain with
M ovi :DE.
any regularity even during the (comparatively) good years, and, in
fine, the weather, and anxiety about the weather, was the burden of
This is all changed, as the world knows. Why?
The last "streak" of industrial luck that has strQck the cour.
the sugar industry. This sugar is made from "sorghum" cane,
yields largely, can be made with certainty, and is profitable at four-
and -one-half cents per pound ; perhaps less. There is no locality
outside of its nativ .vhere this cane grows so big, and thick,
and tall, and sweet, as it does in Kansas. As usual with enterprises
here, this industry is dt . grow with great rapidity. There
will soon be sugar-houses with tall chimneys sticking up out of the
landscape even-where. Nobody will have ever seen these chin
before except in the midst of the palms, and with at least semi-
ive been raising sorghum in the western por-
tions of the State as a forage-crop. If t! sed region can now
come forward as a sugar-country, it will succeed in turning the
tables very handsomely upon pn putation.
a good deal a more modern date
than any thus far mentioned. All the hili- 1 the
timber, and out to the soutl ive been in a later clay than that
of the trail tramped over by those who were making 1,
with great effect, and more of it, probably, than they at the time
supposed. All the trails leading westward from the
this part of the State have been tramped over by armed men. They
did not live here ; in point of fact they had not the least business
here, and did not come to M
At this date, and to younger men, the whole story of the attempted
conquest of Kansas by people who came here purposely to do it,
and in the interest direct and avowed of an institution as dead now
as Pompey the Great, seems absurd. But they did come, and they
came so near to success in their efforts that for a while they were
sure they had succeeded. However, later times have shown that
this was but the sign of an approaching revolution. This is the
sense in which the first battles of the great war were fought in Kan-
sas ; a remark that is often made.
"No wonder they wanted it." This was the only remark
made on the subject by a gentleman looking out at the car win-
dow on this same route, when his eye fell upon the landscape
a few miles ea5t of Lawrence, where the Wakarusa joins the Kaw.
The country had a charm even in those gloomy days. They
M wanted " it.
A few minutes before noon the train reaches LAWRENCE. It is
now a town embowered in trees, and a place of elegant houses,
often referred to somewhat tritely as "the Athens of Kansas." For
the State University is here ; a beautiful building crowning the hill
west of the city, and visible for many miles in all directions. It is
32 OVERLAND GUIDE.
an institution that has received especial care from successive Legis-
latures, and that is rapidly growing in influence and educational
facilities. But the State is full of " institutions of learning," de-
nominational and otherwise, and trie public interest is largely con-
centrated in the schools.
Here, on the right of the train, one may see a curious sight, for
Kansas. It is a dam across the Kaw River ; the only one in sight in
a long journey. It is the only one ever built across this sandy cur-
rent, the "bed-rock" of which almost always eludes the eye of
As a point of historical interest, Lawrence takes high rank. The*
place was the centre and capital of the Free State side of the
Kansas struggle, and, then and since, its streets have witnessed
strange sights. Here, on the then extreme verge of western civiliza-
tion, it has been burned, purposely and by enemies, two several times.
First, when it was a mere village, but a very widely known one, on
May 21, 1856, and last, on August 21, 1863.
The following two accounts of the last burning are given in
Wilder's "Annals of Kansas." The first was written by the Rev.
Richard Cordley, D. D. The last appeared in a book called " Shelby
and his Men," printed in Cincinnati in 1867, and it gives a Confed-
erate view of the massacre.
Mr. Cordley's acconnt:
"Early in the Summer of 1863, a large band entered Olathe, one night, about
midnight. They took most of the citizens prisoners, and kept them till their work
was done. They plundered the town, carried off what they wanted, and destroyed
other property, and left before daylight. They killed some seven men.
" Some time after they sacked the town of Shawnee twice. In addition to rob-
bery, they burned most of the town. Several were killed here also. Individual
murders and house-burning were common.
" On the zoth < f August, a body of between three and four hundred crossed the
State line at sundown. Riding all night they reached Lawrence at daybreak. They
dashed into the town with a yell, shooting at everybody they saw. The surprise
was complete. The hotel, and every point where a rally would be possible, was-
seized at once, and the ruffians then began the work of destruction. Some of the
citizens escaped into the fields and ravines, and some into the woods, but the larger
portion could not escape at all. Numbers of those were shot down as they were
found, and often brutally mangled. In many cases the bodies were left in the burn-
ing buildings, and were consumed. The Rebels entered the place about five
o'clock, and left between nine and ten. Troops for the relief of the town were
within six miles when the Rebels went out. One hundred and forty-three were left
dead in the streets, and about thirty desperately wounded. The main street was all
burned but two stores. Thus, about seventy-five business houses were destroyed,
and nearly one hundred residences. They destroyed something near two millions
of property, left eighty widows and two hundred and fifty orphans as the result of
their four hours' work. Scenes of brutality were enacted which have never been
surpassed in savage warfare. The picture is redeemed only by the fact that women
and children were in no case hurt."
The Confederate view:
"About daylight on the morning of August 21, 1863, Quantrill, with three
hundred men, dashed into the streets of Lawrence, Kansas. Flame and bullet,
waste and pillage, terror and despair, were everywhere. Two hundred were killed.
Death was a monarch, and men bowed down and worshiped him. Blood ran in
rivulets. The guerrillas were unerring shots with revolvers and excellent horsemen.
General Lane saved himself by flight; General Collamcre took refuge in a well, and
died there. Poor Collamore! He should have kept away from the well, upon the
principle that actuated the mother who had no objection to her boy's learning how to
swim, if he didn't go near the water. Printers and editors suffered. Speer of the
Tribune, Pa'mcr of the Journal, Trask of the State Journal, hadn't time even to
write their obituaries. Two camps of instruction for white and negro soldiers, on
Massachusetts street (of course), were surrounded and all their occupants killed.
Every hotel, except the City Hotel, was burned. Other property, valued at two
million dollars, was also fired and consumed Massachusetts street was
made a mass of smouldering ruins. Sometimes there is a great deal in a name in
this instance more than is generally the case. After killing every male inna-bitant
who remained in Lawrence, after burning the houses in the town and those directly
around it, Quantrill very quietly withdrew his men into Missouri and rested there, fol-
lowed, however, at a safe distance, by General Lane, who made terrible threats, but
miserable fulfillments. Two hundred white abolitionists, fifty or sixty negroes, and
two millions of dollars' worth of property were fearful aggregates of losses."
34 OVERLAND GUIDE.
The purely political history of these times in Kansas is very inter-
esting, especially in the light of later events. But it can not be
Eleven miles west of Lawrence is another celebrated town. It is
LECOMPTON, the ancient capital of Kansas under the pro-slavery
organization. It is now a country hamlet, changed in its politics
and in all other aspects. Here, overgrown with vegetation, and
looking as ancient as Thebes, are the ruins of the old times. There
are foundations of an elaborate Capitol building whose walls never
grew beyond the basement and upon which a religious college now
stands. There are the remains of the jail where the " Yankees "
were confined, when caught, upon charges of high political crimes,
and under a peculiar construction of the constitutional definition of
"treason." Many of the first settlers of Kansas obtained on this
historic spot, and in this " Bastile," their most valuable political cap-
ital, upon which they did a fair business for many years afterward.
Reminiscences and association might have a rich field here, but it
is a busy country, and a very changeful one. The growing trees,
the fields of tall corn, the creeping carpet of sod, seem to have,
spired with the new-comers and the rising generation to obliterate
all the past. There is no country where less attention is paid to the
<-ens and the might-have-beens. The revolutionary war is
scarcely more a memory than are those recent times when men seem
to have gone stark-mad over a political idea ; when, for the sake
of perpetuating an institution that was even then doomed if there is
justice in Heaven, they were dyeing this virgin soil with the blood of
rapine and murder. And all the while, by their misdirected endeav-
ors, they were doing what they could to bring about a result pre-
cisely opposite from that which they desired. Here they succeeded in
awaking that phlegmatic northern lion who had up to that date
hardly so much as growled. He stayed awake for five years after ;
he refused to lie down again ; and when 1861 came he was still alert,
and ready to begin that contest of four years during which he never
slept. This is the sense in which the War was begun in Kansas.
The fatuous and foolish criminalities of early Kansas taught the
country what to expect. Nine men in ten, regardless of mere party,
were angry about it. Old John Brown, beginning his career here,
went on to Harper's Ferry. Mrs. Stone had written " Uncle Tom,"
and Helper contributed his prophetic book. The country is still
full of grizzled old fellows who were partakers in every peril of
those times. Some of them, as they pass by on a railway train that was
not dreamed of then, may look out at Lecompton with a grim smile,
remembering how full the place was of the preliminary parodies
upon their own later experiences. At one time nearly a hundred
free State men were confined here, and had many of the experi-
ences of prisoners of war ; vermin, bad food, etc. They kept
escaping, and could not be caught again. One night all who remained
were released by a surprise party of their friends.
At about one o'clock, TOPEKA is reached. Here is served the
first dinner of the journey, in the first of the longest serie^ of
hotels. on the continent, and whose cookery and attendance one dis-
covers to be an especial feature of the trip. The dining-car system
has not been adopted. The journey is a long one, and it is
pleasanter for passengers to seat themselves at a table that stands
still, and enjoy a meal for which the old-fashioned twenty minutes
gives place to a full half-hour.
Very little of the actual Topeka can be seen from the depot.
The extensive village in the neighborhood of the depot consists of
the very extensive shops, warehouses and yards of the Company,
and the homes of a small army of employe's.
The Santa Fe system was born in Boston, but it was conceived
in Topeka.' Away back in the sixties, when the infant State was at
that age when nothing could be foretold of her more than can be
of the average infant, the scheme which has since developed into
some eight thousand miles of steel track occurred to the private
consciousness of a citizen of the little prairie village. Of course,
86 OVERLAND GUIDE.
the origin of the idea was the trail, and the fact that an extensive
trade existed in the precise direction to be taken by the locomotive ;
when it should come. This dream, which should then have
consigned its author to a lunatic asylum if there had been any,
should now constitute a sufficient reason for his perpetuation in
bronze. The story of the difficulties encountered before the
" timidity " of capital could finally be overcome, would, if truly
told, constitute an attractive industrial romance of itself. The
dream came true. It remains a fact. The dreamer, now only in
middle life, has long been enjoying the substantial fruits of per-
sistence in a chimerical idea.
One of the secrets of the success of Kansas has been that the
State was from the beginning specially helped by a peculiar quality
of brains. The dreamers have made it. A hundred schemes have
been born since then, all of them ridiculous in the beginning, but a
considerable percentage of them very successful now. The con-
servatism of old communities has never had a place. The field was
wide, and everything was to be yet done, and they did it. The
Santa Fe Route is only one example. Hut it was the boldest of all.
There is a sense in which the State of Kansas owes more to this
extraordinary conception in the mind of a private citizen than she
does to any other fact in her history.
About the time of the beginning of the idea of the San-
Route, the village of Topeka was decided upon as the capital <> f '.he
State. The prominence of the place was thereafter more or less
assured. There are now about thirty thousand people here, and it
is the political and social centre of the commonwealth.
This road has two Missouri River termini ; one at Atchison, the
other, and chiefest, at Kansas City. The stem of the grotesque
" V," for the two arms of which Topeka is the junction point,
extends almost indefinitely down to the southwestward. They call
it " down " here, presumably because it is up. It is a western
fashion ; they frequently call a man " Governor " during ail the
remainder of his life, simply because he never was a governor, and
is known to have sincerely wished to be. It is really up ; about
fc^S, 8,000 feet of steady climb before' one
reaches the crest of the long slope which
is the western side of the Missouri-Mis-
sissippi Valley at Raton Tunnel.
For instance, Kan c as City is 765 feet
above sea-level. The short distance to
Topeka includes a climb of 135 feet. A
hundred and thirty-four miles farther, at
Newton, just at the beginning of what in
late years has been distinctively known as
8 "the plains," you are 1,454 feet high ;
i a climb of 554 feet more; and so on
c westward. Reduced to a scale whose
o differences are appreciable to the eye, as
? in the profile, and it is the steep side of
x a gigantic ridge. It does not take many
* hours of travel to reach an elevation as
I high as Mount Washington, and one never
j thinks of the fact, since nothing in the
surroundings indicates it to the eye.
So overgrown with trees is Topeka that
in Summer it almost produces the im-
pression that it is situated in native and
natural woods, where only some of the
trees, and not enough of them, have been
cut out. Grass, of the thickest and green-
est variety, is also plentiful. Also, in
Summer-time, the outlying streets and vac-
ant lots are thickly grown with gigantic
yellow sunflowers. But there is nothing
else about the place that would indicate
38 OVERLAND GUIDE.
any particular devotion to the aestheticism of which this weed is the-
This growth of trees and vegetation is not so remarkable unless
taken in connection with another fact ; that the soil upon which the
city stands was always celebrated for its poverty, being of the hardest
and yellowest variety of " hard-pan," which twenty years ago was
not considered capable of the faintest of those cachinnations the earth
is said to indulge in when tickled with a hoe. It was covered with
a short and wiry growth of grass that looked like dead moss and was
the recognized emblem of poverty. This may answer for a hundred or
more places in Kansas, and seems to be one of the features of that
much-discussed "climatic change " that has wrought a miracle upon
all the country lying west of the Missouri for five hundred miles, still
growing less and less apparent as the limit is approached. Time was
when no upland in the State was considered valuable. The majority
were of the opinion that it could never be tilled. When Western Kan-
sas is reached the reader will form that opinion of it, forgetful of the
fact that the whole State was once under the same ban. This opinion
was almost universally entertained about a quarter of a century ago.
The view, in Summer, from the roof of any public building i:i
Topeka is, excepting the San Gabriel Valley of California and the
famed Valley of Mexico, the most beautiful pastoral landscape in
this country, or perhaps in any country.
Immediately south of Topeka we pass the Osage coal-fields.
These were a great find in their day, because they solved the ques-
tion of fuel for the country west, of whose resources little was then
known, though it was known that wood for fuel was one of the things
not to be thought of. The mining villages of this region are like those
elsewhere, and seem an incongruity in the surrounding landscape.
One of the pretty cities of Kansas is EMPORIA, passed about the
middle of the afternoon. It is also reputed to be the wealthiest
city per capita. Its main street is headed by the State Normal
School, visible at a glance as the train passes.
Emporia is situated in the centre of what is perhaps the richest
agricultural region in any of the western States. The valleys of
the Xeosho and the Cottonwood meet here, and either of them may
be very well compared in extent, richness and variety of products
with the Muskingum, the Scioto, the Mohawk or the Connecticut
A few miles below, and at the junction of the two "creeks," as they
are usually considered here, is a natural curiosity for this country.
It is a body of timber considerably larger than any other between
the Missouri and the Rocky Mountains.
NEWTON is reached at about six o'clock. It is an eating station,,
and a most comfortable, not to say an imposing one.
But did the reader ever hear of Newton? Look out over the
pretty town, as civil a place as one could wish to see; enter this,
dining-hall where a meal is served that is scarcely to be excelled in
Chicago, and not certainly elsewhere west of the Missouri; and then
recall what Newton was about eighteen hundred and seventy-two.
It was the extremest verge of the civilization that was beginning to
creep over the face of the plains, and was the " hardest " community
on this continent at that date. Only Julesburg had in its day been
worse. They counted that day lost whose low-descending sun saw
no man killed or other mischief done. There is a spot near where
they used to " plant" them in those days; those distinguished ones,
who "died with their boots on." Poker and monte, and the dispen-
sing and imbibing of drinks were the only industries. The town
was a slab and canvas emporium, full of idleness, prostitution, vice
of all varieties, squalor, and general and unmitigated horror. There
were no farms, or any thought of agriculture, and the silent plains,
and the treeless valley of the Arkansas, stretched westward to the
mountains. It was the "western progress" ridiculed by the eastern
press, and dwelt upon at great length in all its hideous phases. It
is the idea of western progress still cherished by hundreds of well-
Look about you now, as the sun sets upon the fair scene, and you
will be able to carry away with you a picture of the actual progress
with which the other had nothing to do ; a pretty town, farms lying
on all sides, leagues of fruitful soil, happy homes, church spires,
school-houses, all the sounds and sights of prosperous industry, and
a visible wealth that is growing so rapidly that there are almost no
There are scores of towns like this, and. Newton is not an excep-
tional place. There is a long night before you, to be passed in the
rumbling oblivion of the sleeping car. If it were only daylight
there would be some curious experiences for one making the journey
for the first time. As it is, if at any time before one o'clock in the
morning you look out of the window, you may see a white glow upon
the horizon and specks of brilliancy that look like rows of setting
stars. These are the electric lights of the towns strewn along the
track in the "desert."
For at Newton you are really entering upon that historic deso-
lation. Not with reference now to the humorous geographies ; not
by inference and ignorance ; but actually. Some concessions had
been made by the public to eastern Kansas, and thus far only the
facts of the geography had been exploded. This region was not
included in that kindness. The line was drawn about here, and all
to the westward was at least " uninhabitable." The plainsmen them-
selves agreed to this, and this railroad company, who then owned
some three million acres of land here, did not insist upon its value west
of a certain line more or less definite. The last acre of this land has
long since been sold, and of the alternate sections belonging to the
Government there is not a " quarter " left.
Absolute scientific fact was of no value here. People did not
believe the deductions were correct. They came anyhow, and no
man is so well acquainted with human nature as to be able precisely
to tell, even now, after the fact, why they came.
All the ancient and striking features of the Arkansas Valley, and
the wide country that lay on either side of it for some hundreds of
miles, have been changed. Perhaps it is the breaking of that oppres-
sive spell of silence that used to hang over it. Perhaps it is the
consciousness that people do live here, whether we see them or not.
At any rate, the old times are gone.
Crossing the almost level plain between Newton and Hutchinson,
the Arkansas Valley is entered at the latter place. Thence west-
ward for three hundred miles the route lies beside, or near, that
It has been called the " Nile of America." It is not known pre-
cisely why, but the idea seemed poetic and attractive, and we will
consider it to be such, in the want of any other convenient Nile, and
in view of the necessity for having one. It was silent, lone, treeless;
a break in the prairie without banks or bluffs on either side for long
distances ; sandy, shifting, treacherous, and its unattractive and
unromantic current the color of ashes. Its sources were for a long
time untraced, and it reaches the Mississippi a thousand miles from
where we now see it in Kansas, after passing through two or three
climates and as many States.
A dozen years ago its banks were as uninhabited as those of any
wilderness river in any corner of the world. The prairie-dog towns
were built beside it, their outraged inhabitants seeming to hold
indignation meetings, and barking querulous protests against the other
diggers and delvers who were lately come, against the rumble and roar
and sounds of escaping steam that had begun to disturb the peace and
quiet of these exemplary burghers. The two very lonesome lines of
steel among the sedges were unauthorized by either the dogs or by
the common sense of the times. They have long since been worn
out by traffic, and been replaced. They have ceased to be lone-
some, and are now a part of the landscape. Yet, there is still
something almost supernatural in the distant flash of the headlight as
it creeps nearer and nearer through the silence and darkness across
the reaches of the prairie by night. There is still something ominous
in the long trail of heavy smoke that lies along the horizon by day.
The picture of the old time does not occur to many of the push-
ing inhabitants of the plains now. It has gone in the past, and is
of no concern to modern interests. Away from the town and the
track, and between fields, as it were, one might still see something
of it. Glimpses of the historic trail may be caught occasionally
from the windows of the train. The dog towns are still there, half-
deserted it is true, and lacking the air of opulence and prosperity
A Kansas Dog-Town.
which once characterized them. But the chiefest and most striking
mark of the departed days are the buffalo trails, now obliterated near
the line but still visible, after twenty years, among the hills.
The coumry was in those days crossed from South to North by
innumerable paths cut deeply into the sod. They were almost
endless, for they began in Texas and ended in Manitoba. The
bison trailed himself in long lines and innumerable hosts northward
in the spring, and back again in autumn. Filling himself with grass
44 OVERLAND GUIDE.
he lay down to ruminate upon it, cow-fashion. Rising up, the
great host began its journey again. Every day some miles of
progress were made. As it went, the herd fell into parallel lines,
one animal walking behind the other. Thirst impelled them to a
more rapid progress over the "divide" to the next stream. Good
pasturage delayed them. One herd was followed by another as
long as the migrating season lasted. And so across the plains, for a
width of two or three hundred miles, these deep paths lay side by
side innumerable. They are now all that is left to remember the
bison by, though so short a time ago he was here in such countless
multitudes. The plow obliterates them with all other signs of a
Then the gray thief of the wilderness yelped the night watches
away, barking to hear himself, and enamored of his own voice.
The camp-fire was his guiding star, and he smelled the frying-pan
from afar. In the early morning, herds of antelopes would appear
for a moment on the hills, and then were gone like phantoms of the
mirage the gracefulest and nimblest of the denizens of perpetual
silence and unbroken peace.
Skulking bands of Apaches or Kiowas, dragging all their posses-
sions on lodge-poles that trailed behind lean ponies, and riding
single-file around the hills, added the only feature of human life to-
a scene whose wildness was otherwise unbroken for hundreds of
As to climate, it is the great question now; it was then. It was
a dry country, but nowhere could it rain harder and faster than it
did on the plains. The terrific storms of midsummer were prom-
inent among the reminiscences of the old plainsmen ; the rain
came down, not in showers, but in sheets, and the deluge was accom-
panied by terrific thunder that broke in three or four sharp explo-
sions in the same spot. Electric phenomena of other varieties were
not uncommon. Balls and circles of fire rolled along the ground.
Stock was stampeded by unusual exhibitions of flame and sound, all
the low places would be flooded, and rivers would rush down, the
water-courses, carrying everything before them. In the morning all
would be over and the ground almost dry. The fuzzy grass shed
the water like a thatch. No rain ever soaked the plains. The sun
come out again, a relentless tyrant who burned the long clay
through, for weeks at a time, without a cloud.
All Summer a wind that never ceased or rested swept across the
country from the South. It bore all the aridness of a thousand
leagues of heated soil upon its wings. It was often so hot that it
seemed to scorch. Flying dust came with it, and the good-sized
*V^ Holding an Indignation Meeting.
pebble stones stung the face like hail. There was a mixture of
"alkali," also, and this blistered the lips and inflamed the eyes.
Only when night came again was there peace, and a more splendid
sparkle of moonlight or stars, a balmier sweetness of the air, were
In Winter, the wind came just the same, but from the North, and'
laden with the breath of the Arctic zone. There was not then, and
there hardly is now, a more striking scene of desolation than the
plains in winter. A snow storm is a terror, not from quantity, but
because it stings and numbs and blinds. It is not of the quality of
the heavy snow-falls that fill the northern woods. When it comes,
there is nothing to do but to wait until it is over. It means
less now ; there is shelter; there are hedgerows and houses; there
are landmarks and roads. Then, to the wayfarer it was death.
Western Kansas Cattle.
If you could see this same picture now, in the light of a Summer
morning, you would think the above one of the most uselessly
extravagant sketches ever written.
In the morning especially under consideration now ; something
less than twenty-four hours from Kansas City; you will find your-
self somewhere very near the western boundary of Kansas. Break-
fast should await you at LA JUNTA, Colorado. You may fancy that
your car has an imperceptible slant upward at the forward end.
There may be perceived, perhaps, a faint balsamic odor in the air,
and vast blue shapes, tipped or sprinkled with pure white, may lie
upon the horizon. You will see at hand the flat-topped hills called
mesas (;;/tfy-sas) from their resemblance to a mesa; a table. You
will have attained an altitude of about four thousand feet, and be
able to see by a hundred new sensations that you have changed
The old journey of forty days you will have passed in a single
night, and while asleep. You have gone by an empire of farming
lands, all destined to immediate occupation, and some of them now
worth per acre considerably more than Napoleon got for a county
when he sold it to us. You have passed some thirty-odd thriving
towns, some of them daily-paper and electric-light and water-works
cities, and each with a " boom " or a prospect of one. There have
been, besides, some hundreds of thousands of spotted cattle that
have taken the place of the bison, and the homes of more than a
third of a million of prosperous and contented people, with all that
belongs to a civilization that in its rapid development is more like
a dream than any chapter ever before written in the history of
You can have caught but a glimpse, but it is, perhaps, sufficient
to impress the stranger to these scenes with a new idea of his
country and its possibilities, and with the fact of how easy the slow
and painful processes of civilization may become with steam as a
pioneer. Also a realization, more or less vivid, of the folly of
adopting the Chinese idea of a region because it is not one's own
Flowery Kingdom, elsewhere in an Eastern State.
Santa F6 Route traverses only the southeastern corner of
( Colorado. COOLIDGE is the last town in Kansas, 469 miles
from the Missouri. Seventy-five miles west of the State line, in
Colorado, and 555 miles from the Missouri, at about half-past eight
in the morning, we arrive at the first distinctively Spanish name,
and also at breakfast.
LA JUNTA (La HoontaJi) means The Junction. The name is not
very felicitously chosen, as it also means the coming together of a
body of men, such as a legislature or the city council. But it will
do. It is a little town apparently in a valley, but it has an elevation
of 4,061 feet. The mountains lie just beyond, over the hill as it
were, and PIKE'S PEAK is north of us some ninety miles.
The cottonwoods and gray stream one sees are still those of the
Arkansas, and this is the last glimpse of the stream beside which we
have been for the past twelve hours, and on whose banks we may
be said to have slept. Its small beginnings amid mountain snows
are still many a mile away.
La Junta is not a romantic spot, and exists chiefly for railroad
and, from appearances, for "saloon" purposes. .Here is where
trains are made up. Travelers for the mountain resorts of Colo-
rado, and for Pueblo and Denver, have their cars shunted off to the
northward among the foothills of the eastern slope of the Rockies,
or to take the Colorado Midland road for the direction of Salt Lake
and Ogden, while those who, like ourselves, are content with nothing
less than the Pacific coast direct, are trundled away to the south-
westward behind a monster called a " Mogul " engine, who backs
himself up the track and joins the procession with a snap.
~>' OVERLAND GUIDE.
While we are waiting it may do no harm to enquire into some of
the facts of the State of Colorado.
To make up Colorado, parts of Kansas, Nebraska, Utah and New
Mexico were taken. The land, like Kansas, was acquired partly by
conquest and partly by purchase. Some of it came from Mexico, and
some of it was included in the Napoleon Bonaparte real estate deal.
Colorado was admitted to the Union July, 1876, and is fondly
known as the "Centennial " State.
In history she is a partaker with all her far-western sisters who
were subjects of Spanish rule, and has about the same musty histori-
cal facts, though not so many of them, to her credit. The Spaniards
wandered among her canyons more than three hundred years ago,
looking for the gold that, like that of California, seems through a
singular course of events to have been mostly reserved for the
The first American explorer was Major Zebulon M. Pike, who
came so long ago as 1806, and has a monument which will stand in
perpetual commemoration of his name ; Pike's Peak.
Colonel Long, and still later John C. Fremont, made expeditions
through Colorado and across the mountains.
About 1858 gold was discovered in what is now Gilpin County, a
few miles from where Denver now stands. This gave great celebrity
to the monument of Major Pike, and " Pike's Peak or Bust " passed
into history as the watchword of western pluck.
Colorado has an East and West length of 380 miles, and is 280
miles from North to South. It is in form, like so many of the newer
States, almost a perfect parallelogram. There are thirty-three coun-
ties; they being very large; with an area of 104,500 square miles, or
There may be said to be three natural divisions of the State; the
mountain ranges, occupying the central portion from North to South,
the foothills, and the plains. There are three generally parallel
ranges of mountains, with intervening plateaux generally known as
"parks." These last are a special feature of the State. They lie at
an elevation of nine or ten thousand feet, are almost surrounded by
high mountains, and are beautiful to the eye and rich agriculturally.
About one-third of the area of the State is plains. They lie in
the eastern part, and are the steep western edge of the great
central plain which the traveler from the east has just crossed.
The further west one goes, the
steeper becomes the plains-slope
until the foot-hills appear.
A Colorado Beginning.
The character of Colorado as a mountain resort is well known,
Beauty of sky and scene, purity of air, equability of temperature,
have been written of to the extent of scores of volumes thousands
Formerly the country was exclusively devoted to mining, and
undoubtedly is excedingly rich in mineral resources. But of later
years she has been discovered to possess very valuable agricultural
resources. The farming area is not extensive, but what is raised is
of the best. Colorado wheat, vegetables and beef have a character
of their own. Dairy products are a special feature. These interests
52 OVERLAND (,1'IDE
will all grow, and even now make an aggregate showing much better
than that of some States that have no resources other than agri-
Southern Colorado seems to have been about the northern limit of
Spanish occupancy. They crept up the fine valley of the Purgatoire
(Voyageur for " Purgatory"; vernacular, "Picket-wire") to Trini-
dad (La Trinidad " The Trinity"), and still further to LAS AM
MAS (" The Souls"). The river also takes that name among the
Mexicans, probably from the habitual, and perhaps very proper,
association in the Spanish mind of Purgatory and Souls.* Where the
Purgatoire enters the Arkansas, at the old Mexican town of Las
Animas, on the verge of the plains, their northern occupation
RLO is also one of the old places ; an extreme frontier village
of the Mexican civilization. About this latitude the Indian occu-
pancy began; the Apaches, worst of all Indians, held the ground,
with other tribes almost as bad, to the Missouri.
Thirty years ago this Indian occupancy was complete, and ten
years later it was still unsuccessfully disputed. This was the south-
western boundary of it. A few miles west of La Junta, on the
north side of the Arkansas, we can see from the car-windows one
of the mementoes of that time. This is BENT'S FORT. It was
famous in its time. The straggling line of dug-outs, log huts,
covered wagons, and tents that marked the then frontier, was away
behind it. As skirmishers preceding the line of civilization, the
gaunt, adventurous, nervy, desperate American frontiersmen pushed
up the valley of the Arkansas. They were further advanced here
than at other parts of the line because this valley was a favorite
trail, and not because they were making farms and homes in it, as
has since occurred. The occupants of Bent's Fort were hunters by
predilection. They loved the wilderness, and never returned to
civilization. They were fur-hunters and Indian traders and Indian
Lot Ankmat Perdidat is probably the original Spanish name.
fighters at the same time. They kept no records ; they did not
care. The American history they were making never got into any
books. They were intolerant and savage-tempered men, despera-
does on a pinch, every one. Their ranks were recruited by fugi-
tives from justice. Life was held very cheap. They were so atfcus-
tomed to the law of self-defense that it was second nature to them.
They hated Indians, and doubtless with reason, for it is undoubt-
edly true that all who have lived among them do hate them unless, as
often has happened, they were so bad themselves that they could
not live even among their desperate white companions.
A Colorado Ranch.
At Bent's Fort a sod wall, thick and high, enclosed about an acre.
There never was a more terrible acre of ground. It was full of
the most reckless men ever gathered in one spot. Every one of
them was, in our conception, a murderer. They had a different idea
of crime. They gambled, they got drunk, they fought Indians,
they stole stock, and they "traded." The man Bent was the recog-
nized head of them, and was afterward the first American Gov-
ernor of New Mexico. The commercial idea was probably predom-
inant, for everything was kept for sale there. The place was in the
midst of a great buffalo range, and around it Apache, Cheyenne,
>t OVERLAND GUIDE.
Comanche and Pawnee gathered and hunted and fought. They used,
when lacking a quarrel among themselves, to attack the fort. They
charged the wall on horseback. They never captured it, but if one
should visit those ruins now he might be sure that he was standing
upon ground that had been repeatedly soaked with human blood.
All down the valley, so peaceful now, it was the same thing.
Hostile tribes met in sight of the place, and fought it out almost
under its walls. The great battle between the Sioux from the Black
Hills and the Pawnees began close to Bent's Fort, and did not end
until both sides had fought their way down to what is now Pawnee
Rock, in Barton County, Kansas, which was passed at about ten
o'clock p. M.
Mr. Frank Wilkeson gives the following graphic picture of the
doings of which Bent's Fort was the nucleus. It affords a glimpse
of those old times which have so far gone that no thought is ever
given them. Boone, apd the settlement of Kentucky and Indiana.
have more or less passed into history. All this, as bloody and as
interesting, is curiously left out.
" As emigration increased on the Arkansas trail, Bent's Fort became an important
place. United States troops, marching to the Southeastern Territories, camped
there, and frequently secured guides from the post. Thousands of dollars' worth of
goods were sold annually. Enterprising young men bought goods at Bent's and
loaded them onto their pack animals. Then they rode North, South, West, in
search of Indian camps, which they entered and there traded with savage custom-
ers. The peddlers of the plains traded only for the more valuable furs. They
penetrated into the remote recesses of the Rocky Mountains. They crossed that
mighty snow-capped range and drummed up trade in then unnamed valleys where
unknown Indians lived. These men acquired trading routes along certain trails and
jealously defended them against all intruders. They recklessly entered all the Indian
villages they discovered. In time, if they were not shot or burned, they became
widely known among the Indians, and were welcomed and trusted. They sup-
plied the warriors with powder and lead and percussion caps. They also dealt in
traps, bright-colored cloth, beads, knives, axes, fishhooks, buttons and brass wire.
Many of these traders married Indian women, and from these unions sprang the
iialf-breeds dangerous men in whom the courage of their fathers was supple-
mented by the crafty treachery of their mothers. Some of the white traders,
especially in the Rocky Mountain region, adopted the dress and habits of the
Indians, and frequently became men of consequence in the tribes.
" Other men, lured from the bloody frontier by hope of profitable barter or love
of adventure, or who sincerely desired to put a greater distance between themselves
and pursuing sheriffs, loaded wagons with goods and drove westward to the buffalo
range, expecting to meet wandering tribes of Indians. They were careless whether
they met Sioux, Cheyennes, Crows or Blackfeet. These men generally traveled in
groups of three or four, each driving a team of horses, behind which rolled a
heavily-loaded wagon. Today they traded with Sioux; tomorrow they met Coman-
che braves; the next day painted and blanketed Cheyenne warriors crowded around
their wagons and exchanged furs for powder, balls, blankets and hardware. Or,
today they fought, and tomorrow their corpses lay blackening in the sun, and'
glossy ravens perched on their scalpless heads and plucked their eyes, and foul
buzzards stalked around them and prairie wolves tore them to pieces. Their goods
were scattered throughout the villages, and their scalps, suspended from sticks
thrust in the ground at the entrance of lodges, waved in the wind, and little Indian
children spat on them as they played."
Long after the times spoken of above, the plains Indians contin-
ued strong and defiant. In November, 1864, what is called the
" Chivington Massacre" occurred, on Sand Creek, not far from the
site of Bent's Fort, and on the old fighting ground of the tribes.
Chivington was a Colorado colonel, and his action was alternately
condemned and defended.
As late as the Summer of 1867, after railroads had begun to be
built, and when 10,000 children attended Sunday-school in Kansas,
there was an Indian raid in what is now a thickly settled portion of
the State. Still later a Kansas governor resigned to take command
of a battalion of Kansas militia, and went into the field. The same
Summer General Custer lost sixty men in a fight with Indians on the
Republican River, in what is now Republican County.
On September 17, 1868, Col. G. A. Forsyth, a soldier of the war
and a skillful fighter, was surrounded by Indians on the North
Fork of the Republican, probably in what is now Jewell County,
and remained so for eight days. He was almost mortally
wounded, and lost several men and officers, among whom was
Lieut. F. H. Beecher.
This seems not to have been the last of the Indian exploits in
this bloody raid, though its details are among the most thrilling in
the annals of frontier warfare. In the Summer of 1869 they were
still raiding Kansas. These were expiring throes. By that time
the railroads, farm-making and popu-
lation had advanced to an extent in-
compatible with Indian hostilities.
Only the perpetual and deathless de-
sire for revenge could have brought
them about. They were entirely useless and hopeless a.s attempts
to recover lost territory or stop the fateful march of civilization.
LA JUNTA marks the shore of a new order of civilization; the
oldest of the continent. Here begin the swarthy faces, the curious
dress, the adobe dwellings, the laden donkeys, the huge and
ironless carts, the curiously yoked oxen, the plows made of crooked
sticks, the growth of crops by irrigation, the Catholic faith and the
Spanish tongue. We shall see greatly more of all these un-Ameri-
can things as we go westward, and with them a still older and stranger
civilization; that of the Pueblos.
Amid varying scenes, and upon a track that, without any refer-
ence to sacred poetry, may be called a devious way, we pass most of
the forenoon. The difficulties of nature are obviously increasing,
and during this forenoon we shall climb about three thousand feet.
Magnificent glimpses of mountains are just before, and there is
rock, canyon and pine on either hand. A rushing stream is occa-
sionally passed, and plow-land is one of the things of the past, away
back beyond the western edge of Kansas. What few houses one
sees remind one of things noted in desultory readings about Pales-
tine, and, indeed, there is a relationship between them as near as
that usually existing between Irish cousins. The style of the Mexi-
can house is of Eastern origin. It came to Spain with the Moor,
and from Spain hither.
Before noon we reach TRINIDAD. The old town, the Mexican
Trinidad, is not visible from the station. It is spoiled by civilization,
even if it could be seen, and is not recognizable by the visitor of
fifteen years ago. It seemed then to have an air which it has now
lost. Beside its brawling stream ; Mexican, and not a mixture; sur-
rounded by beautiful mountains, with an air that was balm; after
three months of the hot breezes of the plains, it seemed a haven of
rest. And the worst of the plains came last, for there is not a more
God-forsaken tract of soil in the whole journey from Westport to
the mountains than that which lies between what is now La Junta
The flat-top mountain which seems so near, beyond the town, and
which changes its aspect curiously as seen from different points, is
FISHER'S PEAK. It is named for a pioneer.
On the right, going west, there is a yellow cliff rising brokenly to
a height of some five or six hundred feet. Good eyes and close
scrutiny will enable one to see upon this an upright monument.
Another of the old settlers chose to be buried there. The top of the
cliff was the scene of an Indian siege during his lifetime, in which
he took an enforced, but prominent, part, and when he died he was
It is at Trinidad that we really begin to climb. It is twenty miles
to the Raton (Rah-/<w: " a mouse") tunnel, and there are more
than sixteen hundred feet to climb in those twenty miles.
RATON TUNNEL is an elongated perforation through the back-
bone of the continent. But this " backbone," so often mentioned in
contemporaneous literature, is a desultory bit of geography and is
scattered about over a vast extent of country, and occurs in places
hundreds of miles apart. This is one of the most prominent pro-
cesses of the continental spine, and you come as near its exact
location as you can at any one place on a journey that certainly
does get around or over the vertebral column somewhere.
Around Trinidad lies one of the best and most extensive anthra-
cite coal-beds of the country. You may see the coke-ovens smoking
in the daytime and glowing at night, any time of the year. This
railroad has had great luck at striking coal-beds. It has them in
Kansas ; extensive ones in the mountains just beyond La Junta ;
here ; on the other side of the tunnel near Blossburg; and conven-
iently strung along the line almost to El Paso on one hand and Cali-
fornia on the other. Considering the frantic coughing of two
enormous engines, the clouds of smoke, the dribbling sand and the
very perceptible slant, you will conclude that coal in considerable
quantity is needed just about here.
While the train is toiling up the steepest portion of the grade just
east of the tunnel, if the day be fair you will find it to be worth the
trouble to look backward. At a certain point you will see rising up
-out of the immensity a vision that has often been declared worth the
60 OVERLAND GUIDE.
journey thus far; an almost unreal and unearthly panorama of pale
blue mountains flecked with white against a sky as blue as sapphire.
The pines and canyons of the lower regions lie between. Over all
hangs a haze so thin and so ethereal that it gives to the momentary
picture the semblance of a scene out of some gigantic fairy-land.
There is something in the mountain scenery of these regions that
impresses every man. But it can not be put into words, and has
never yet been either painted or described. Nothing but actual
presence will answer, and then, on a railroad train, there is but a
glimpse. One can but sit at a window and take in the general sen-
A Glance Backward.
sations. Then, after going over the same route a score of times,
one will continually be finding something new, and be smitten with
a species of remorse because he was so stupid as never to have seen
it before. Much of the best is unfortunately passed in the night.
The railroad waits for no man as a rule, and when it does it usually
happens in an uninteresting place. No rhapsodies will be indulged
in here. They seem puerile when compared with the actual scene.
The skies of these New Mexican and Arizona regions alone are
enough to furnish occupation. Perhaps there is nothing like them
elsewhere in the beautiful world.
Raton Tunnel is 7,622 feet above sea-level. It is nearly a mile
through it, and it continues to be up-grade to the middle of it, and
then it is downwards for the rest of the way. When you enter the
darkness of the eastern end you are in Colorado. When in the
. course of a few minutes you emerge into daylight at the opposite
end, you are in New Mexico.
Just before entering the tunnel one may see on the mountain-side
above certain apparently prehistoric remains. They are those of
the " switchback," by means of which trains were taken over the
mountains while the tunnel was building. One would think from
the indifference with regard to it of those who built it and all the
rest of the line, that a " switchback " over the narrow crest of the
Raton Mountain, and all the other engineering feats in the neigh-
borhood of the backbone, were the commonest things in life. In
truth they are not. Only absolute necessity invented them in the
later years. The modest men of the times are the civil engineers.
They have builded, to stand a thousand years, some of the most
astonishing of all the monuments of human genius, perseverance
and energy, and you can not even get them to talk about it. Some
of them were fighters, too, and knew how to march and camp and
watch as well as any trained soldier. They did not leave behind
them a trail of desolation, but of progress, industry and lasting ben-
efit to the country and the world.
It is, as is not unusual in human affairs, laard to get up at Raton
' Pass, but it is still harder, in this case, to get down. There was an
engine to pull, and one to push, in the ascent, and there is now one
Titanic monster exercising his utmost endeavor in what an engine
does not like to do holding back. There is often a thick smoke
which makes one imagine there must be a hot box; several of them.
But there is not ; it is hot tires. The brake-shoes have made the
rims of all the wheels hot enough to burn the oil with which the
surface of every car-wheel gets coated, and the resultant smoke
suggests a smouldering conflagration.
H-J OVERLAND GUIDE.
Observing these things one wonders how this and other steep
grades could be descended without the aid of the air-brake. No
stalwart brakeman, with a pick-handle thrust into the spokes of the
brake-wheel, could hold the shoes to the tires with force enough to
make them all hot, and yet loosely enough to permit the wheels to
turn. It is all done now by the engineer, with his thumb and
finger on a brass cock. There are many contingencies for nervous
people to think of, but an accident has never happened. It reminds
one of the curious fact that there is greatly more danger in riding
from your house to the depot in a hack, or even in walking, than
there is in the whole of the journey from the Missouri to Los
.Angeles or San Francisco.
El Llano Estacado.
Hut we seem to have quite lost sight of that suggestive TK AIL with
which we started out. Well, it is here, more prominently than ever.
A> you toil up the grade east of the tunnel, you may see a house,
built of adobe and once plastered, but now troubled with an eruptive
complaint and looking patchy, down in the canyon to the right.
This was once the place where toll was collected for that part of the
trail which was a road winding through Raton Pass. The man to
whom it was a source of revenue still resides there, with his occupa-
tion as far gone as ever Othello's was. The old track is still visible
beside his house, but there is no toll to speak of. Through this
narrow notch in the mountains has screeched many an ox-drawn
cart laden with goods from Westport, or Independence, or Lex-
ington, or Leavenworth. It seems worth while to try to think how
slowly, according to modern ideas, we have come thus far, and then
endeavor to substitute for our twenty-eight hours, or less, the old-
fashioned four months. Not four months of sitting upon red mohair,
The first merchandise coming by this famous route was sent all the
way from Kaskaskia, Illinois, and as far back as 1804. From 1822
to 1856, it was an almost continuous traffic, interrupted only by
Indian raids and our difficulties with Mexico. In 1846 the value of
the goods carried across the plains and mountains was $1,752,250.
The sum does not seem large by modern standards, but it required
a good deal of toil with the means then at hand to do as much, and
the trail must have been a scene of camps from end to end. This
traffic employed a large number of men, who became professional in
it, and could fight Indians, find water and feed, take all the chances
of the wilderness, and make the round trip within a few hours of a
given number of days.
Ami there was still another road. It left the main trail somewhere
near where the western line of Kansas now is, and turned southward
across a place, a vast country, in fact, the very name of which
was a synonym of danger before civilization came, and which is still
almost unexplored. For this nearer trail to El Paso, and the City
of Mexico may also be includecl, lay across EL LLANO ESTACADO
( }W/no Aistah^tfdo, The Staked Plain), and was in all likelihood the
very dreariest road ever traveled. The distances were immense, and
must be made. Water was not plentiful, and Comanches were. It had
its name from the fact that the early Spaniards priests, they say
had taken pains to mark the first route with stakes, so that others
might come and they return.
Well, it is still " The Staked Plain," for it has been staked again,
this time not by Spaniards, and presumably not by priests. Starting
from a point on the lines in Southern Kansas, the Santa F6 Route
has already built southwestward to the verge of this dreadful coun-
try, and will eventually cross it. More than this, it is, like the Kansas,
"desert," not so bad as believed. There is nothing, no miracle,
that can so quickly change a country as the advent of a railroad.
Men of this generation will live to see this paradise of the Comanche
and the coyote, this hideous wilderness, this unknown dread, covered
with settlements and rich in spotted herds.
The northeastern boundary of the old Llano Estacado is what is.
known as the PAN-HAN
aside from the narrative of any overland journey, the
J PAN-HANDLE is so curious a combination of frontier barbar-
ism and growing civilization (besides being accessible by the same
lines of railroad), that a brief sketch of it is inserted here.
It is the extreme northwestern corner of the LONE STAR STATE.
It is bigger than all the New England States with New Jersey added.
It is practically, so far, a region without law ; it is a law unto itself.
Its remote and peculiar population pay little or no attention to the
Texas Legislature, or Courts, or Governor, or Sheriff. The only
means of reaching them is to send a company of the Rangers into
the region. This body of troops is under State pay, and regularly
enlisted. They go in squads or companies, are fighters to a man,
and command respect even in the Pan-Handle. There is nothing
to hinder the whole of the six companies of Rangers being sent
there at one time. If they should come, that which they were look-
ing for would very probably be found. So, when a squad of them
makes its appearance, there are others who go. Cattle are left to
take care of themselves. No-Mans-Land, Colorado, New Mexico
and southern Kansas have some distinguished visitors who come on
Within the confines of the Pan-Handle are mountains, rivers,
lakes, deep gorges, cliffs, heavy timber, rich farming lands, and un-
counted miles of rolling prairie. If the country were not fairly well
watered it could not be used for its present purposes, for it is the
home of the Cattle Barons.
This is a picturesque character. He is an Arab by custom and
instinct. But he is a Bedouin without being a Moslem, and he has
no religion. He fears not God or the devil, and man only when the
man is a Texas Ranger. Under his rule there has grown up in the
Pan-Handle an anomalous condition of society which has never
been known elsewhere. The term " Baron " is not entirely mis-
Woman's Rights in the Pan-Handle.
applied. He is still, notwithstanding the changes taking place since
the country has been penetrated by the railroad, the sworn enemy of
the man with the plow. He had, and still often has, a small army of
retainers, from thirty to two hundred, all armed to the teeth, and all
believing in his right to all he claimed, which was, almost literally,
PAN-HANDLE OF TEXAS. 67
the earth. The Baron did not, and still does not, own any of this
vast territory. He divided the country up with his lordly neigh-
bors, and they made common cause. They kept everybody else out.
They would not permit settlers to come. They paid nothing for the
use of the land, and never intended to. When they wished they
fenced it. There was no difficulty in finding men who owned fifty
thousand head of cattle, claiming of absolute right the " range " they
had seized upon for them, thousands upon thousands of acres. Their
ranch-houses were arsenals; their liegemen were armed retainers.
It was, and in many cases still is, a complete baronial establishment.
All this time this unique system of armed communism was as
much in defiance of all law as though there were no Texas, and no
United States. These men refused to pay taxes, refused to pay rent
for the land they occupied, refused to appeal to the State courts for
any wrong done or suffered within the confines of the Pan-Handle,
and declined in all respects to recognize the right of the State to
have anything to do with them. They do not vote. The Pan-
Handle contains forty-eight or fifty counties. There are thirty-three
million acres of school-lands, and three million acres of Capitol
lands within its boundaries. There are also several million acres of
alternate sections of lands granted to railroads for construction.
The cattle barons occupy all this.
Sometimes these offenders are corporations, the chief stockholders
of which reside in New York, London, Glasgow, Paris, or Berlin.
The State of Texas adopted a curious plan for building a capitol.
She owns land in any quantity, for when she entered the Union by
her own volition, and by annexation, she retained possession of all
her lands. She has a homestead law of her own. A syndicate was
given three million acres to build a capitol. This syndicate con-
verted most of these lands into a huge range. It is already worth
ten millions of dollars.
The following story is told by a correspondent of the St. Louis
Globe-Democrat, and is illustrative of the curious doings that may
68 OVERLAND GUIDE.
occur when the "desert" begins to be redeemed U>civilization. The
of the frontier, never half told, is a very strange one, illustra-
tive c f all the varieties of action that may be prompted by the bar-
baric selfishness of men:
"The largest range in the Pan-Handle, perhaps, is that controlled by Goodnight &
Adair. This firm controls over a million acres, and perhaps does not own a thou-
sand acres all told. Their chief ranch is the Palo Daro, situated in Armstrong
County, with Clarendon, Donley County, as post-office town. The Palo Duro
ranch embraces fully 600,000 acres, and covers nearly all the good pasture land in
Armstrong, Donley, Randall, Briscoe and Swisher Counties. It is fenced on the
west mostly by a natural precipice, on the east with barbed wire, and on the north
and south is guarded by line riders. There are about 75,000 head of cattle on this
ranch. They are fed almost exclusively on free grass, or, as it is called in Texas, the
"children's grass" Charles Goodnight is the manager of the ranch. He is a
strong, rugged, fairly educated man, and enjoys the distinction of wearing i
name. He moved from Colorado to Palo Duro canyon, in the Pan-Handle of Texas,
about the lime the civil war broke out. Adair, the other member of the hrm, is an
Irishman, a landlord and an Orangeman. He docs not stay in Ireland much, nor
docs he spend much of his valuable time in this country. He is in a perennial row
with his Irish tenants. When the legislature of Texas passed the lease law, and
it an offens** to inclose public lands, or private lands without the consent of
the owner, the land board called on Mr. Goodnight to put up six cents an acre for
about 500,000 acres c f school lands that his herds fed on, and that his fences and
his cowboys held exclusively for his use and benefit. Goodnight flatly refused to
put up. The attorney -general notified him that he was violating the law in main-
taining fences around public lands. Goodnight ignored the warning. The attor-
ney-general concluded that he would make a test case with Goodnight, and nude
preparations to proceed to the Pan- Handle and have the cattle baron indicted. Then
Goodnight got in some fine work. He had Armstrong and Donley Counties organ-
ized, and, under the law, certain other counties were attached to them for judicial,
purposes. The foreman of one of his ranges was maJe sheriff of Donley County,
and another of his foremen was elected sheriff of Armstrong County. Let it be
remembered that every person residing in Armstrong and Donley Counties were vas-
sals of Goodnight. His employes were elected clerks, assessors, collectors, treas-
urers, school-superintendents, county judges and county attorneys. Goodnight
took a briefless attorney from Mobeetie, transplanted him at Clarendon, in Donley
County, and had him elected district judge. When the machinery of the law was
PAN-HANDLE OF TEXAS. 69
complete, court commenced, grand and petit- jurors were summoned, and everything
set in motion. Goodnight himself was made foreman of the grand-jury. The
county attorney presented an indictment against Goodnight for maintaining a fence
around public land. The grand-jury brought in a true bill against Goodnight him-
self, be it remembered, being the foreman and his employes being members of the
grand-jury and he went to trial. He was acquitted, of course, and a few days
later, when the attorney-general arrived at Clarendon with some costly counsel in
his train to help him prosecute Goodnight, they found they were headed off. Good-
night was tried and acquitted and could not be placed in jeopardy twice. The
attorney-general stormed around, denounced the proceeding as a humbug, but was
completely beaten, and narrowly escaped being imprisoned for contempt of court.
At the last session of the Texas legislature the house passed a resolution calling
upon the governor to remove the judge from office for this proceeding, but the sen-
ate, being pretty well controlled by the cattle barons and other corporate influences,
refused to concur after a stormy debate. The judge is still in office, and so are the
other officers selected by Goodnight for his counties.
It is no misnomer to call Goodnight a baron. He is one in reality. He owns
-all the school- houses, all the churches, all the buildings in Armstrong and
Donley Counties. He maintains two school-teachers and two preachers at his own
expense. He does not allow any liquor to be sold in either of his counties, and
when a cowboy becomes obstreperous he is ordered to move out of the barony, and
if he refuses Mr. Goodnight's sheriff arrests or kills him and Mr. Goodnight's judge
sends him to jail or holds an inquest on him. Other of the Pan-Handle barons
are now attempting to organize their baronies " according to law " a la Goodnight,
but so far have not been very successful. Goodnight has not paid a cent of rent to-
the State yet. At every legislative session an effort is made to amend the law
so that the venue in suits for rent may be changed from the county where the
violations of law occur to the State capital, but Goodnight and the cattle barons
have up to this time been strong enough to defeat it. As long as the trial must
take place in the vicinity it is safe to say that Mr. Goodnight and the other
Pan-Handle barons will not contribute much to the public school fund."
But the old times are passing away. The 30,000 nomads who now
inhabit the Pan-Handle must succumb to a new power that does not
enforce its edicts by writs and in courts ; the power of immigration,
the forerunner of which is the locomotive. The iron pioneer has
shrieked the death-knell of lawlessness wherever it has so far gone.
The " Farewell, festive cuss !" of the Western newspapers must soon-
be said to all the cowboys. The case of the Pan-Handle, a rich
country that must as certainly be settled by farmers as it is certain
that it is there, is up to date a peculiar one. But it will go with the
rest. Women will come. That is the sign of doom. American
women go to church. Preachers will come. Children will be there,
the heralds of the little white school-houses that will shine on the
hills, as they do in Kansas. The process will be short, the tine
brief. It will not be ten or twenty years, but four or five. Those
who have not seen the wonderful process have no idea of the aston-
ishing rapidity with which the wilderness may be transformed.
O far as its place
in the history of
American civilization is
concerned, NEW MEX-
ICO is among the oldest
of the few old things.
we have to boast of.
It is, or it was a very
few years ago, very for-
eign. There was not
in all its mountain realm a single idea that owned the least kinship-
to American advancement. Spain had, by a transmigration as curi-
ous as any theory advanced by Pythagoras, transferred her Sancho
Panzas, with a sprinkling of Don Quixotes, to this region. It was.
the northern extension of the Latin empire established by the con-
quest of Mexico, which within the memory of living men existed in
full vigor on the main land of this continent. The place you may
refer to on any map, or on the time-table, called " WAGON MOUND,"
was the site of a frontier Mexican custom-house, whose collections
were supposed to find their way into the national money-box in the
distant City of Mexico. Of course, in this empire were included
California, most of Arizona, parts of Kansas and New Mexico, and
all of Texas. A fact much more curious than the falling of these
vast possessions into the hands of the foreordained and pre-
destinated Yankee, is the other fact that within thirty years they
have become more valuable in dollars and cents, or in escudos and
dobloncs if you will, than all that is left of Mexico, with Old Spain
Notwithstanding the encroachments of the Americans carried
hither by the railroads, New Mexico is still full of nooks and corners
where eternal peace has her abiding place and broods over the hum-
blest arid happiest homes in America. In these, the adventurous wan-
derer will still find the cumbrous carts with wooden wheels, like those
of the car of Juggernaut, and which it is against the custom of the
country and religious faith ever to grease. There, the people still live
in the homely and most comfortable poor men's houses ever known,
built of the sun-dried bricks called adobe (ad-r-bay). There they
still plow with the Egyptian implement which is little better than
a sharpened stick, and which has come down to them legitimately,
and without infringement of copyright, from that far Arabia who
is still, at this day, the venerable ancestress of more things in New
Mexico than Columbia is, prolific mother though she be.
These simple people have another thing, of more importance than
a plow, that is also Arabic or Spanish, which are interchangeable
terms. They are courteous; they only require half-decent treatment
at the hands of the man who habitually calls them " Greasers," and
who has not so far given them that, to be found kindly, hospitable,
singularly intelligent for their circumstances, and lacking so much
of being barbarians that the graces of life seem to have singularly
flourished among them.
New Mexico is a land of brilliant sunshine, beautiful mountains,
valleys picturesque and rich, blue distances, wide pasture-lands,
pines, pure air, and general freedom from disease. There no
dyspepsia, no malaria, no epidemic disease is possible, aru.1 all the
general pleasures and advantages to be derived from climate are in
Of late years ranches have been established in many valleys, and
tens of thousands of cattle graze on the mountain slopes. The
An Unprngressive Granger
country is rich in minerals and mines, and the general hopes always
attached to the mining interest divert the minds of the majority of
the foreign population; for, if it is possible to be a foreigner in one's
own country, then the American is a foreigner among the Mexicans.
New Mexico is almost as square in outline as the rest of her
sisters, being on her eastern boundary 345 miles long, and on her
western 390 miles, with an average breadth, east and west, of 335
The Territory contains 121,201 square miles, or 77,568,640 acres.
There are only about a dozen very large counties.
All of New Mexico is a series of plateaux, lying at an average
elevation of about 5,000 feet. Out of these plateaux rise the mount-
ain ranges and peaks, sometimes to an elevation of more than 12,000
feet above the sea.
Where the plateau in any case is narrow, it of course becomes a
valley, often very fertile. , The valley of the Rio Grande, (Re-oh
Gran-day dail -Mv-tay, " Big River of the North ") is a river valley in
all respects, with a rich alluvial soil. This is the principal river of
the country, and rises in Colorado at an elevation of nearly 12,000
feet. It runs through the
middle of the Territory
north and south, and must
some day become one of
the most fruitful valleys
in the world. The diffi-
culty now is that it is
mostly occupied by the
Mexican population, and,
in localities, by the Pueblo
communities. The land
is held under the Spanish
grant system, and what
Americans and American
law consider good titles
can not be readily given. This is the case with regard to other
portions of the Territory, and constitutes the chief reason why the
growth of so fine a mountain and valley country has been retarded.
Nevertheless, the Territory contains about sixty million acres of
Government land not covered by grant or adverse title of any kind.
Most of these unoccupied lands are available for grazing purposes,
at least, and a considerable proportion for agriculture. The country
generally is not nearly so hopeless-looking as Southern California
was a dozen years ago, and the climate is almost as good. The
El Hogar Domestico.
NEW MEXICO. 75
Artesian well, and other plans for obtaining water, have not been
tried with any persistency, and thousands of acres will be redeemed
and found to be among the most fruitful and valuable in the world
when they are. Aside from this, there is over most of the Territory
a well-defined rainy season. None of the water falling there has ever
been utilized. The Mexican idea that the land must be soaked by
ditches to raise anything, has been until the last year or two accepted
as a fact. It has been found not to be true in other similar cases.
Intelligent methods of cultivation will raise fine crops on much of
the Government land now obtainable. Congressional action in regard
to land titles, as applying to lands not now owned by the United
States, will be a boon when it comes; but one-half the energy and
skill and money that have been expended upon California would
produce results almost as astonishing here.
Twenty years ago the country was considered almost entirely water-
less. The soldiers who chased the Apaches obtained their supplies
long distances apart, and generally from what were called " tanks;"
hollow rocks where water gathered in limited quantities when it rained.
Where the town of Deming now stands was one of these waterless
regions. A few miles east of there the little Miembres River goes
entirely out of sight in the sand. Water was conceded to be an
absolute impossibility, either by digging, boring or witchcraft, over
all that country.
Now the passer-by on that branch will observe that Deming is full
of windmills. There is an ample supply of water out of shallow wells.
There is little or no drainage to the country; at least not suffi-
cient to account for what becomes of the water that falls, and that
melts from snow in the mountains.
The plateaux are fillings. The spaces between the mountains
and ranges that now stand up out of them were in the beginning
V-shaped, and came together at the bottom. They filled up with
the wash from the mountains; the boulders and gravel falling first
-and lowest; then the soil, which is disintegrated rock. The surface
76 OVERLAND GUIDE.
of this filling U now the immense tracts OL level country character-
istic of the region.
The rainfall and melted snow goes every year down the sides of
the slopes and sinks into the soil. It will be found, when bored for,
in the gravel where once was the trough between mountains or
ranges. Sometimes it may be near the surface ; at other places it
rnay be hundreds of feet below.
Geologists have frequently affirmed that this is the first portion of
the American continent that lifted itself above a wide and sailorless
sea. There are other scientists who state that the eldest of the
successive civilizations existed here, and that there was a civilized
What bcom of the W ter.
people with arts and a steadfast government, when our fore-
fathers were savages under the oaks of ancient Britain or in the
woods of Germany. Be this as it may, the country is very old
from even our standpoint. The native inhabitants of New Mexico-
and Arizona numbered many thousands when the country was first
visited by the Spaniards in the sixteenth century.
It was first visited by one Nunez, a Spaniard, who was followed
by numerous others of his kind ; Cabeza de Vaca (" Cow's Head,"
an aristocratic Spanish family name): Espejo: Es-/<y-ho (" Locking-
Glass/' also a family name); Onate; Coronado (" The Crowned,"
family name). It is not possible, nor important, to know all these
people. They came, as usual, for gold, and, as usual not only with
Spaniards but with all the rest of us, they did not find much of it
lying around loose.
Before the end of the sixteenth century a permanent settlement
had been made. Santa Fe (" San-tah Fay day San Hawaii ; " the
Holy Faith of St. John ") was the place selected. The town, or the
immediate vicinity, had been a kind of political and religious capital
for an indefinite time before the Spaniards came. These wonder-
ful explorers began at Santa Fe, and at San Augustine, Florida,,
about the same time ; so nearly together at the end of the fifteenth
century that very few people know precisely which of the two towns,
is the oldest. But Santa F6 was the capital of an organized com-
munity and of a form of civilization so long before that date that
there can be little doubt that it is not only the most ancient
city still existing in this
country, but that it is
aho one of the most
ancient capitals of the
world. It still remains
largely what it always
was. It does not de-
cay; on the contrary, it
is almost spoiled by
modern brick houses.
It was a much more
interesting place twenty years ago than it is now. But now, to
traverse the seventeen miles from the station of Lamy to Santa F
is one of the pleasantest mountain railroad rides in the country, and
there is still interest and oddity enough to occupy the few hours one
will stay there.
But the actual, original explorers of New Mexico; the people who
came to stay; were the Franciscan priests. The difficulties they
encountered were appalling. There is a very grave doubt if the
original Mexican whom we now call the Pueblo has ever been
converted. If so, it is not a thorough regeneration, but a mixture of
every Christian belief with his ancient religion. This Pueblo lived
New Mexico Oven.
Pueblo Citizen (from a Photograph).
NEW MEXICO. 79
under just laws, justly administered. He had a system of worship
and a defined belief. He was, like the modern Chinaman, very
hard to convince. Often, like the Chinaman, he complied with the
forms, but maintained his private belief. He clung to the religion of
his fathers, and hated that of the conquerors, and kept killing
Franciscans from time to time.
After he had been preached to and enslaved for almost a century;
for the two things went together; he in 1680 rose in rebellion.
All Spaniards suffered together. All the foreigners who were not
killed fled toward Paso del Norte.
[This is where the city of EL PASO, Texas, now stands. Pafi-so dail
Nor-tay is a rock-bottom ford on the Rio Grande, and the name
means " Pass of the North." It is the ancient gateway of Mexican
trade, used when New Mexico was an AzteC dependency, as it after-
ward was a Spanish and Mexican one. An ox-team and cart can be
driven without difficulty from Santa F6 to the City of Mexico;
nearly two thousand miles through a country all mountains.]
The Spaniards did not regain a foothold for several years, and
after many unsuccessful attempts. And then they could not retain
it with any comfort until they did what no Spaniard has ever been
known to do before or since ; they retracted. They abandoned the
mines, and recalled the infamous edict by which the natives had
been unlawfully enslaved.
This little bit of history has, strangely enough, never excited
remark. The Spaniards have never been in the habit of doing such
things, and have lost nearly all their immense possessions on this
side of the sea by not doing it. The poor Pueblo, always respected
by those who know him, but still a miserable " Indian," wears this
one historic feather in his dilapidated hat ; he made the Spaniard
Neither is it generally known, or thought of if known, that the
" Santo oficio, " the " Holy Inquisition," held its horrible functions
at one time here. This was before the 1680 rebellion. With
slavery, a changed religion, and the tortures and punishments of the
Inquisition to enforce it, the Indian cup must have been as nearly
full as it has ever been since, even under our administration of
It is also not usually thought of that of the full blood of the
Pueblos, of some of whose villages you will catch glimpses from the
car-windows, was the ablest and best of all the presidents of Mexico,
NEW MEXICO. 81
Benito Juarez. The present president, Diaz, possesses only a little
less of the Indian blood.
It is also an historical fact worth remembering that of the twelve
million inhabitants of Mexico about ten million are Mexicans; that is,
Aztecs; Pueblos. Now, these people have had the life, the courage,
the national tenacity, to survive a Spanish occupancy that lasted
from the invasion of Cortez to 1821, and then achieve absolute free-
dom, modernized into a republican form of government. Since 1821
they have repelled, under the leadership of the Pueblo, Juarez, the
tripartite effort of the European powers to establish an empire on
their soil ; a story that everybody is familiar with, but which few
think of in this connection. Perhaps the virility of the Pueblo may
yet show itself in the making of a great country out of Mexico.
Stranger things have happened.
That New Mexico should be strewn with ruins is to be expected.
They lie in nooks and corners everywhere. But they tell little.
The documents by which their history might be ascertained were
largely destroyed at the time of the rebellion. The general conclu-
sion by every visitor is that it is, historically, a very old country,
and ck-tails are not sought. Perhaps they are unimportant. The
old days and the old life are largely swallowed up in ttye new. To
the average American antiquity is a bore, and the present dollar is
the only item of importance.
Our interest in N-ew Mexico begins in 1846, with the occupation
of the capital by General Kearney. This was followed by the con-
clusion of the Mexican War and the treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo.
We should unquestionably have held it just the same, but the
treaty placed the matter beyond dispute.
[Guadaloupe Hidalgo is a village about seven miles out of
the City of Mexico. There is a rambling adobe country-house
there, in which the commissioners resided and the celebrated
treaty was signed. The village, and not the City of Mexico,
probably became unwittingly famous as the scene of a very shrewd
82 OVERLAND GUIDE.
transaction in real estate through some freak of diplomatic
But previous to this military occupation we had some doings quiie
after the Spanish fashion. Our Captain Pike ventured into the
country by mistake in 1805-6. He excited the suspicion of the
Spaniards, who courteously arrested him, and seem to have marched
him pretty much all over New and Old Mexico. He did not get
back again until 1807.
[Zebulon Montgomery Pike seems to have entirely deserved the
magnificent natural monument referred to on a preceding page.
He was born a soldier, served his apprenticeship in arms in his
father's regiment, was the most intelligent and undaunted explorer
of his times, and was finally killed in battle under his country's flag.
A careful reading of his life and explorations would not come amiss
to the average youth of these times.]
New Mexico is the land of resorts. The mountain scenery, pure
air, brilliant sunshine, and dry climate make it so. There are innumer-
able nooks and corners, in addition to the advertised resorts, where
one would like to spend a summer on his own account. Las Vegas
Hot Springs, a resort near the town of Las Vegas, is one of the
most attractive. The Manitou resorts, near Colorado Springs, and
reached by a branch of the line from La Junta, are also very popular.
There are others coming forward not as yet so well known; Jemez
Springs, and Cascade, Santa F6, and others.
For the mere purpose of crossing the country, its beauty is not
lost. It is a pleasant land, full of charming glimpses of sky and
mountain, and dotted with sufficient population of all kinds to
keep it from seeming lonesome. It does not much matter to us,
perhaps, what its resources may be. The landscape is ours.
RATON is the first town beyond the Pass. It is important in
being a dining station in a region where a good appetite is the de-
Part of the importance of Raton does not, however, appear
NEW MEXICO. 83
upon the surface, as it is the centre of a considerable cattle
Just below the town is a spur running to Blossburg; another
coal mine. There may be a capitalist along, and he may be inter-
ested to know that in the matter of coal New Mexico is a second
Pennsylvania. One-fourth of the whole area of 121,000 square
miles is underlaid with coal of the best quality. The measures of
which the outcrop was seen near Trinidad, extend unbroken for two
hundred and fifty miles. The only anthracite coal-beds found in
accessible and paying quantity west of the Alleghanies are in Santa
The cattle-business, of which the town of Raton has been alluded
to as a centre, has attracted thither so distinguished an individual as
Ex-Senator Dorsey, and with him is reputed to be interested Col.
Robert Ingersoll, of the silvery tongue. Just below the town, where
an endless wire fence extends on each side of the road, is the Dorsey
In sight, and not seeming to be sixty-five miles away, is the
queerly-shaped mountain known as WAGON MOUND, referred to on
a previous page.
At Watrous, a little station that owes its greatest importance to
some pretty scenery, the train enters the wide, green plateau named
by the Spaniards LAS VEGAS; "The Meadows." This is one of
the most extensive and beautiful of the New Mexican plateaux. So
wide is it, and fenced by mountains on all sides, that it is difficult to
think of it as having a general elevation of more than six thousand
feet; as being an extensive mountain-top in fact.
The plain extends from here down to the Glorieta Mountains,
some sixty-five miles, with a width proportionate.
LAS VEGAS is a town which takes its name from its location, and
is where the traveler is expected again to indulge his appetite. It also
has an old town and a new; the old one being out of sight, with the
usual retiring disposition of all New Mexican towns after the rail-
NEW MEXICO. 85
road comes. The place is of considerable commercial importance,
with a population of several thousand.
There is a branch at Las Vegas, of course, but this time it is not
to a coal mine. Six miles away, and reached by this branch, is the
watering-place and health-resort known as LAS VEGAS HOT SPRINGS.
It is a mountain nook where there are a large number of hot and
cold springs, a beautiful hotel, extensive bath-houses, and all the
appliances necessary to tired people and invalids. The surround-
ings of this spot are very attractive, and the waters have a wide rep-
utation for medicinal virtue.
[ I ,uhs- Ftfy-gahs is the correct pronunciation of this name, con-
trary to the usual custom of saying " Loss Vaygus."]
It is unfortunate to leave Las Vegas after supper on a moonless
night, because the Glorieta Mountains are not far ahead, and they
are worth looking at. But time-tables continually change, and the
reader may dine at Las Vegas and sup somewhere else ; an arrange-
ment much the pleasantest. There may be a moon ; and when there
is it is usually very bright.
The scenery of the Glorieta Pass is by no means sublime. Yet it
scarcely comes under the head of " pretty," which the young lady of
the party is sure to apply to it. We have now traveled several hun-
dred miles without having traversed a forest of any kind except
when we entered the mountains just beyond Trinidad this morning.
Here are the children of the mountains stretching away in thick
undulations as far as one can see. The train threads a rocky canyon,
puffing and twisting up a winding grade only a little less steep than
that at Raton Pass. Away to the north the mountains lie piled, in
Summer green ; Li Winter green-and-white. The air is cool, even
in midsummer, and at intervals there is a rushing stream. The
whole pass, some thirty miles long, is a scene of beauty so immedi-
ately at hand that one has a desire to get out and walk through it.
Some of it is like ,'i natural park which no artificial effort could equal.
Some of it is made of alternate rocks and deep gorges. Some of it
is cliffs, and it is all pines. The summit is the little town called
Glorieta ; a place where there is nothing but two houses, a saloon,
and scenery ; and from there there is another case of air-brakes and
holding back. Half way down is visible through the trees, and in
the Valley of the Pecos, the venerable and massive ruin of what is
called Old Pecos Church. When found by modern adventurers it
had been roofless so long that there was no tradition of when it was
not so, but the adobe walls, six or eight feet thick, were still stand-
ing, and in a surprisingly good state of preserva-
tion. A few years ago the interior was strewn
with cedar beams, quaintly carved,
but these have long since been car-
Notwithstanding any hints
at history that may be noted
on previous pages, places
like Pecos Church go far to
convince one that this coun-
try really has no history.
You must guess aU the de-
tails of the past. There is
evidence that the Pueblos
were here a thousand years^
perhaps, before the Spaniards- came. The dimly-defined ruins of an
extensive town lie around the church. When Cabeza de Vaca
crossed the country in 1536, not knowing where he was, he found
this place. It was called " A-gu-yu," and the church was after-
wards built to convert the A-gu-yu-ans. About 1540 is the nearest
guess that can be made as to the date of its erection. These old
walls have been nearly 350 years in crumbling, and, merely dried
mud in the first place, they still remain.
The ruins around it are perhaps more interesting than the church
is, since they have the effect of giving a mere undecipherable hint
of a departed people, of whom less is actually known than of the old-
est of the Egyptians. All the valleys are strewn with such remains,
more or less distinct, and all indications point to the fact that these
and the scattered communities of the Pueblos of to-day are of the
Coming to names again, as is frequently necessary in this country,
one wonders why a stream should have been named Pecos, (Pay-
cose) which means simply "freckles"; not spots or spotted, like a
cow, but plain, ordinary freckles. It is of no importance, but some
of these names are subjects for a good deal of harmless guessing.
As they decline to say " kuevas" ("wavas) for eggs, in Mexico, and
call them always " blanquillos," (blan-&^/-yose) literally " little
white things," so may they have called this mountain stream, for
instance, just "freckles," as an allusion sufficiently distinct to the
speckled sides of the mountain trout.
The western end of Glorieta Pass is called Apache canyon.
There are many Apache canyons .scattered through the Rocky
mountain region. This is one of them. This red devil was, in his
ss 0\ l-'Kl AM> GUIDE
prime, very nearly ubiquitous, aiul was a famous lurker in the narrow
as where liis prey would be ob . ami there he made
.Jit of it. aiul got him- ; had
ted in the open field.
Hut thr . \parlio did not have a monopoly of this beautiful nook
of the mountain world for lighting pu: I -harp little
battle oeetirreil here in 1847. bct\\ccn a body of I'.eneral K
troops anil tin : her occurred between the Federals
and the Confedera: in iS6.\ IVtails of these little battles,
or of the Indian skirmishes or massacres from which the place takes
its n ime, are now hardly to be obtained.
Just beside the western end of this , the track,
stands a little tenantlcss adobe buildins;. There is apparently
no n '.tachinv: to it. Hut it was the school-house
Indians are gone, only this little build'.. dence
of practical n Ancient ruin r
1 \M\ is the ItatKH) from which the branch runs
Santa \-\'\ seventeen miles. It d during the m-ht by one
tram, but during the afternoon ! :. Persons desr.
visit Santa l-Y> can arrange I .y. if upon the \\ in, by
stopping a few ho.. 9 \ i |M,
taking the proper train from t d reiurr.
I.amy and continuing the j
Gloneta Pass is the real \\ ! of this region, and the -
from the summit down the western the entrance to t:.
I'irande Valley. I p tC ' t all the Streams How southward and
.iril. tlowinginto theiiiilf some hundred- - further to the
northward than th, :ween the Texan and Mexi-
can I Hrownsviile and W
The name ('.lor., not (/Yi>r/V7/i) is a Spanish
that may be I d ti> mean a pleasant place. A bo\\
'. MI \ICO. 89-
llollse III .1 ;', II den, .I st ni< I II I e lil.lde < it open \vnnd \V< 'I I. .11 id ' '
willi vines, is called a " gfol
There ll a hUge Hal L.j.prd mount. nn risible "" l>"lli sides ill the
j).iss, and nllen .1 prominent <l|e< I .it the dr. I. mi e n| hli\ t., ei;dily
miles.* that the tourist often wishes to i>n<>\\ ahout. 'i ins is "Star*
There is, of course, a story connected \\ith it,
from \\liifh its name is derived. In fact, there are several stories.
So much do tin- i. vary that you can't tell, after ln-arin;'.
1 of them, \vlicl her it. was Indians or Mf.xi'ans who
driven ihrrr. and eventually starved lo drail, hy sie^c. 'I he starving
and tin: h<-sie;MM^ if laid .ilternately upon eii|,<i party. I ,et HI
-90 OVERLAND GUIDE.
content ourselves with the hope that the sufferers were Apaches,
and that none of them ever got down again.
There are always, for some reason, three gigantic crosses on the
summit, except when, as sometimes happens, one or more of them has
been blown down. They seem to be maintained there by the cus-
tom of the country, and in commemoration of the event from which
the mountain derives its not very attractive name.
A few miles beyond Lamy you enter the actual valley, and the
scene again very decidedly changes. It is about as foreign as.Persia
or Xubia, and, indeed, not very unlike the latter in appearance,
have now reached, if you ever will, the land " where it is always after-
noon." Beside the track is the stubborn old life of the Spanish
peasant, as poor, as happy, and as quaint as it ever was at home. It
is a land of ancient and changeless custom. The Mexican village
is there, drowsy in the sunshine, with all its " improvements " made
and all its hopes realized, as ignorant of the meaning of the w< rd
" boom " as Babylon is. There is something oriental about every
Mexican house. It is either built around a square, or is a modifi-
cation of that plan. In this square should be stored all the family
property, and the goats, fowls, don 1 pigs should be there
also at night. This house is always of adobe, and almost always
clean. Its floor is of hard-packed earth, and its roof as well. It is
not necessarily the dwelling of abject poverty ; not a hovel. Indeed,
that is seldom the case. It is simply the house of the country, and
neither the proper soil to make the bricks of, nor the climate which
will permit of their durability, exists elsewhere.
The village composed of these houses is a curious place when
seen for the first time by American eyes. But you can never arrive
at the true inwardness of it without living in one for a while, and
having some knowledge of Spanish. Seen at a distance of two or
three miles, it looks like an unburned brick-kiln. Close at hand, it
is the only place in this wide country where there is no newspaper,
no advertising, no schemes, no boom, no prospective rise in the
Picnic Party at Las Vegas Hot Springs.
price of lots, no worry. Life goes on undisturbed by any of the
changes. There are births and weddings and deaths ; that is all.
Away from the railroad, the village street is a path originally made by
that accomplished pathfinder, the Mexican donkey. It is a mountain
nook, or a little valley, or a place beside a spring. There are no
lawyers or doctors there, or any politics. They are rural swains,
and the only scholar is the priest, and he often does not know too
much. They are a people thoroughly accomplished in their own way
of life. They have no theories. There are no experiments to try.
Their continued existence and prosperity is certain. The lads and
lasses grow up and marry and die. They often live to a very old
age. Surrounded by mountains, under a lovely sky, industrious in
their way, and frugal, the people of the a\ Mexican village
have a recipe for happiness the possession of which the anxious
American does not envy them. But it would do him good, never-
But they are not barbarians. There is an easy courtesy, a perfect
understanding of even the statelier forms of politeness, that is aston-
ishing. It is an inheritance, for this man is, after all, and after the
lapse of more than three long centuries of isolation, a Spanish peasant.
He is, in manners, language and religion, what he was in 1598. The
Spaniard is the true Bourbon of the world, and the Bourbons u'cre
Spaniards. He never changes. This man in only isolated cases is
mixed with the Pueblo. The usual idea is that the peasant of New
Mexico, and the same class in Old Mexico, are alike. They are
very different. In the first case he is, almost without mixture, a
Spaniard ; in the last he is, equally without mixture, a Pueblo, an
Aztec, a Toltec, an Indian ; whatever you choose to call the
original people of the country. There are reasons why this should
be so, too long and speculative for discussion in a book of travel.
And here you come upon a string of names that at once indicate
the foreigrmess of the region. Here is BERNAL, and later on BER-
NALILLO. Ber-a/, a common boy's name. He was originally a
jgas Hot Springs.
94 OVERLAND GUIDE.
Saint ; Bern-ah-/^/y0, is simply " little Bernal." San Miguel (Satin-
Me-^0/7) is St. Michael. Lamy (La/i-my) is French ; the name of
the Archbishop of Santa F6, Ortiz, (Or-/<r^), a family name. Los
Cerrillos, (Lose Cer-^/-yose), little hills ; Cerro, a hill; illo, ito, ico,
&c., being Spanish diminutives, used wherever possible. Albu-
querque; originally Al&rquerque (^/-boo-ker-kee), a family name,
and somewhat historical as having been borne by a Spanish general.
Isleta; should be Ysleta; (Ees-Ay-tah), a little island. Rosario,
Ro-Jfl^-re-oh) a rosary. Elota (E-/c?-tah) a girl's name. Algodones,
(Al-go-<&-nais) cotton ; cotton-lands. Alameda, (Ah-lah-w0y-dah) a
shaded walk; a road lined with shade trees.
Of such names the country is full. They occur at frequent inter-
vals between here and California. They are nearly always mispro-
nounced, and still more frequently their meaning is misunderstood.
Very often some trivial circumstance, long since forgotten, and,
indeed, never worthy of remembrance, gave rise to them. They
often smack of saints and sacredness. In Spain it is not uncom-
mon to name a steamboat or a factory after the Holy Ghost, and
here, as there, children are often named Jesus. These people will
also often turn the picture of the Virgin to the wall if they intend to
do anything particularly bad. It is all of a piece; they are not
really very pious, except as a matter of names and form.
Isleta, named above, is just south of the junction where through
cars leave the main line of road which goes southward to El Paso,
and are carried westward over the Atlantic and Pacific, (part of the
system) and across Arizona and the greater part of California, to the
Pacific coast. But Isleta is also a Pueblo capital, being the largest
and most industrial of the towns now remaining. It presents a very
pleasant picture of contented, though communal, industry. Nobody
is poor, everybody is contented; but one who knew the place some
years ago can not help wondering that it should retain so much of its
old character after the railroad came; a coming full as strange to these
Indians as that of the expected Montezuma could be. There is
something peculiar about the ways and habits of thought of these
old races. They seem to possess in a degree not even conceivable
by the Saxon, a faculty for minding their own affairs. They do not
know; they do not wish to know. They do not change, and are not
even affected by the daily presence of that most far-reaching and bene-
ficent of the triumphs of human genius, a railroad. You may people
the desert, you may build cities, you may increase the values of a
whole region a hundred per cent, in a single year, you may make
boundless wealth in places where in all the ages before there was
nothing but wind and silence, but by the same means there are at
least four races you can not
affect in the least; Spaniards,
Chinese, Indians, and Pueblos.
They all accept it as an unin-
vestigated fact. They do not
often look at it, and very seldom
ride on it. They do not even
resent it. The old Pueblo who
plods beside the track with his
string of laden donkeys does
not even turn his head. He
who prunes his vines or digs
amongst his onions or chile, does not look up. The railroad amid
these vineyards is a staring and startling incongruity, and there is
a sense in which it has spoiled New Mexico.
ALBUQUERQUE, where in the watches of the night vpu will feel
yourself being pushed about and coupled and uncoupled, is the
metropolis of the upper Rio Grande valley. The old town is, of
course, behind and quite out of sight; the new and the old together
have a population of some twelve thousand. The electric light
flashes there now, and all the life you see is of the very newest
American cast. But, if you could build the civilization of 1888 as an
.annex to Jerusalem, and still leave the old city of the priests and
Sitting in the Sun.
NEW MEXICO. 97
prophets as it is, and could walk from one place into the other when
you wished, you would have nothing more strange than you can see
now if you wander about Albuquerque in daylight and at leisure.
The breakfast station, going west, is COOLIDGE, one thousand and
thirty-eight miles from the Missouri. It is the second morning out,
and we are still in New Mexico, though only thirty-eight miles from
the eastern border of Arizona.
Since leaving the Rio Grande, which we do when we turn west-
ward at Albuquerque, it has been plains-country, with mountains in
the distance on every side. The scene is very different in details
from what we had yesterday. Though still mountains, the sensations
are not the same. About this there is a peculiar vastness that makes
one feel like a being infinitely small ; a speck in immensity.
There is a glimpse that will interest you if you should pass the
place in the day time, (which you do at least on the return trip). It
is LA<;I:NA, sixty-six miles west of Albuquerque, a Pueblo town
built after the most ancient fashion, and in that respect unlike Isleta.
It is perched upon a sterile hill close beside the track, and is a com-
pact cluster, in effect all one house, capable of holding eight him.
dred or one thousand people. It was at one time without any doors,
the people climbing ladders to the roofs, and then taking the ladder
up after them, descending again to the interior through a hole in the
roof. In later times, however, a few openings have been made
This curious town is terraced so that half the occupations of life
may be carried on on the roof. It is a kind of human ant hill. It
would, however, be a mistake to suppose that this Pueblo idea of
architecture was a fashion merely. Living time immemorial sur-
rounded by enemies ; Apaches, Navajoes, etc., all of them nomads
and robbers by nature, the terraced house was a necessity. The
Pueblos are farmers as totally unlike the North American Indian as
possible. He can fight, and does upon occasion, or he would long
since have become extinct. But he always had something eatable
valuable to be robbed of, and he could not
his tent and steal away. The fight he has
made for hundreds of years,
purely in self-defense, has
been a most galiant one.
As you pass Lacuna (Lah-
gM-nah ; a lake) there may
not be a soul in sight. But
there are occasionally some
little black-eyed, cotton-clad
urchins on the rocks. These
A Great-grat-granddaughtr of Castil*.
people work some arable and
watered land not far away,
and the children are usually
out in the plain, herding
The Pueblo of Acoma
(/^-o-mab) is about twelve
miles from McCarty's sta-
tion, twenty-seven miles west
of Laguna. This curious
place is a " City in the Sky."
There is a wide canyon with
precipitous sides only to be
descended by zig-zag paths.
Where this canyon widens
out into a vallev there is a
A New Mexican Matron.
mass of rock standing isolated, high and steep. There was until the
last few years only one way of reaching the top of this ; a perpen-
dicular path with notches in it that would fit the toe of a moccason,
and were worn to that exact shape. Up and down this path these
Pueblos went daily for nobody knows how many years, and they do
it yet. But they have now made a road on the opposite side, very
A Pueblo, New Mexico.
steep and difficult, up which animals that are accustomed to it can
go, one at a time. The city at the top is about three acres in extent.
Down in the plain there are patches of cultivated ground, the farms
of these sky-dwellers.
Some distance up the valley beyond Acoma there is another high
and inaccessible rock called LA MESA ENCANTADA (Maysah Encan-
to/j-dah) " The Haunted Hill." The true story of this place is a
100 OVERLAND GUIDE.
touching one, and there is a reason for the peculiar name. It was
once the home of the people of Acoma, used as Acoma is now.
One day the whole population of the town, men, women and
children, with the exception of three ailing women, were in the
valley below at work. It was harvest time, and they all worked
together according to custom on such occasions.
A cloud-burst, as the sudden Hoods of this country are called,
occurred up the valley. A great wave came down the valley and
undermined the sand upon which rested the narrow stairca-
notched rock by which alone the top of the mesa was reached.
When the people returned they found that where the stairs had been,
the whole side of the mesa was gone, and had fallen in a heap in
the valley below. The place was absolutely ina The
three women could be seen above, wandering around the edges,
waving their arms and .shouting, but there was no help. The city
is there, just as it was left so many years ago, and the skeletons of
the three women lie somewhere undisturbed. Nobody has been upon
the Me>a Knrantada since the day of the flood. The people moved
ma and began again.
ie from anything Mr. dishing has done in connection with
the /ufiis, just south of here, half the pages of this volume could
readily be filled with sketches of this interesting people. A detailed
account of c very-day life at Acoma alone should be well worth
perusal. There is, over the whole story of the Pueblos, a charm of
hospitality, courage, industry and love of home. It is a story of
ages of suffering and peril, of persecution and constancy. The
little glimpses of their rocky homes the railroad traveller may get do
not tell the story. The Pueblos are the remaining representatives of
a past that has a history only to be partially known. Through all this
history their men have been brave and their women virtuous. They
now cling to their fastnesses from association and the love of home.
They present the only instance of successful communism. They are,
and have always been, absolutely independent of all mankind besides.
TVMNDLY remember as you pass by,
1*?^ that Arizona is about as large as
New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
Delaware and Maryland combined. We
are not going to see it, the human vision
being limited, here as elsewhere, to a few miles. The Atlantic and
Pacific railroad is but two lines of steel and a right-of-way across
this vast territory with land enough for an empire, and the puny
effort of steam and steel is hardly noticeable to the soaring bird
amid the surrounding immensity.
We are in a region now compared to which all we have previously
passed is comparatively far advanced in civilization. This is a land
upon which the sunrise of the coming time is just breaking; a scene
of wide pasture-lands, vast mountain-ranges filled with ores, lava-
beds which seem to have scorched a fiery course through the valleys
in comparatively modern times, arid wastes, rushing streams, pine
forests, awful gorges like that of the Grand Canyon, caves, petrified
!<>,> OVERLAND GUIDE.
forests, rock-hewn cities perched between the ledges of the cliffs,
and all brooded over by the monotony of a vastness and silence that
makes the eyes ache and the senses tired.
It is also the residence, time immemorial, of tribes and peoples
whose history is speculated upon, but really unknown, and who
differed very widely from each other, in language, life, disposition
and occupation. The Pueblos are perched upon their hills, while
Navajoes and other wandering tribes, all enemies to these shepherds
and farmers, still come down from their reservations to stare at the
passing trains, wh.le the Moquis, far aloof, seem to have nothing to-
do with either their farming brethren or the savage tribes, and the
white American, making his little ambitious towns in the heart of the
desert, is the manifest heir of all.
It is the land of mountains. Mexico alone can offer any compar-
ison to it in this respect. Beginning aim .level in the south-
:hey rise higher and higher until i some cases they are lost in
the clouds. They lie sometimes in I "it most frequently in
groups and ah ^ in the San Fran-
cisco range, north of Flagstaff, they rise to a height of fourteen
These mountains all seem to the eye to be brown and scorched;
mere masses <>: barren and so big as to be repellent from the
standpoint of usefulness or profit. But in reality they are largely
covered with grass and timber, and are watered by running streams.
Looked at from the car-windows they are gigantic monuments to
perpetual desolation. It is like looking at the full moon. It is plain
enough, but you can't tell from looking what may be there. The
canyons, at least, are not visible. They are often valleys many miles
in length, completely shut in from the outer world, thick with pines,
having running streams, and even cascades, and as silent as a land
of ghosts. In some cases, and more in certain groups and ranges
than in others, there is a climate, a flora, an atmosphere, that, as
compared to all you see below, make another, an unsuspected, and
104 OVERLAND GUIDE.
delightful world. The Indians of the country have always lived in
the mountains until the era of reservations came, and lived well.
;ng down on the arid plateaux where all they hated was, they
felt a sense of security. Nobody could follow them to their retreats.
As a matter of fact no one ever has followed them thither. They
were only in danger when caught before they could get home.
There are in some of these mountains wide plains, lying at an ele-
vation of five or six thousand feet, that are covered with fine grasses
and crossed by unfailing streams. Out of these plains rise still other
and higher peaks. In places the streams have cut deep gorges and
canyons, and in others they have widened out into alluvial vaK
There will be times during to-day and to-morrow when you will
know, as you look abroad, and with a personal and private certainty
that you do not propose any guide-book, or the stories of any old
settler, shall cheat you of, that this gigantic panorama of mountain
and plain, blazing in white sunlight and uninhabited as the sea, is
absolutely worthless for all the purposes of human occupancy. In
all probability you wilt be mistaken. They are improving Arizona.
It was improved once before, and knew a higher civilization than
any of the eastern States did before the white man came. Here and
there in various localities the old water-ways are visible amii!
and cactus and There were hundreds of thousands of acres
of fruitful land. It was never all so. Mountain ridges are not tii : -
able in any country. The huge divides h?.ve been washed down to
the bare rock by the storms of centuries. But this same washed
soil, deposited in lower places, is the most fertile known. California
is a lesson to the whole country on ways of procuring water, and
places that have long been abandoned to the coyote and the sage-
hen, and are all the more desolate now from having once been in-
habited, will be used again for the purposes of civilization. There
is reason for the conclusion that both New Mexico and Arizona are
to be coming countries for the home-seeking class. The public lands
^re gone almost everywhere else. The achievements of these home-
making people are such as to give assurance of success where success
is possible. If there were no Apaches; absolutely none on reser-
vations or elsewhere ; the advance-guard would already be in these
mountains. Of late years the name of the country has been synony-
mous with Indian outrage, rapine and torture. In no portion of
the I'nited States has there been a more persistent struggle against
savagery. When some future historian shall have collected the facts,
if one ever does, the tale will exceed all fiction.
Isolation and Indians are two words that portray
the history of Arizona almost up to date.
The territory is, excepting the comparatively
small area included in Southern California, the
south - western
corner of the
miles, or 72,906,-
240 acres. This
makes it as large
in area as five
or six ordinary
The size of
these enormous districts of almost unsettled, and entirely unde-
veloped country, has much to do with the future of the great
Republic. It is only by comparisons with the combined areas
of other States that we know all about, that we can arrive at any
fair conception of the enormous scope still left to the growing mil-
lions of this nation before the time prophesied by Macaulay shall
The best parts of Arizona are not seen from any railroad as yet
built. One half the area of the northern half is a plateau lying at
An Arizona Valley.
an elevation of 6,000 feet. The surface of this is diversified by
occasional peaks and isolated ranges and is covered with fine grasses
and crossed by streams. There is through this portion of the ter-
ritory a long line of extinct volcanoes, and lava-fields are scattered
here and there.
The south-western portion is mostly a succession of sandy plains;
not deserts in any strict sense, since both the Yuma, or Colorado,
and Mojave plains are covered in places with grass. Both these are
considered and called " deserts " both by geographers
and locally. They are divided one from the
other by a range of mountains, being
otherwise continous, and across the
upper one, the " Mojave Desert," the
Atlantic and Pacific road is laid.
In Arizona the great record of the
primeval world lies open, with the
story of the ages
upon its pages. It
was once a Paleo-
zoic sea, on whose
waters no ship ever
sailed, on whose
shores no man trod. w.tr worn
It is a land of revelations to the geologist. Nowhere can the past be
traced more distinctly. There are everywhere the marks of water.
Its erosions are on the cliffs and in t'he canyons. You can see them
miles away, and close beside the track. Some of the grinding was
done by the lapping waves of the ancient sea, some is the rgsult of
floods, oft repeated in later ages, and some of the fantastic carving
was not done by either, but by nature's gigantic sandblast; the wan-
dering winds of solitude, bearing with them the sharp sand gathered
from the ground, have in the course of time cut the cliffs and " mon-
uments" into those fantastic shapes, and the process is still going on.
The later history of Arizona is the same, in all essential features,
with that of New Mexico. Arizona remained part of that territory
until as late .as 1863. It was a portion of the " Gadsden purchase"
of 1854. At the close of the Mexican war there were almost no
white people here, and fifteen years ago the Apache was lord of all.
The building of the railroad was almost the first dawn of the modern
era. The Pueblos, almost destroyed by centuries of savage depre-
dation, afforded the only glimpses of industrial life at its advent. It
.seems almost an intrusion still. The palace-car is an anachronism.
The sensations induced by the curious situation may not occur to
everyone; they are dulled by use. But, when darkness and silence
have shut in the scene, one lies in his bed and listens to the ring of
the wheel upon the rail, and knows that the headlight flashes across
the waste, that the whistle awakes echoes silent always until now,
and wonders at the boldness that has caused so incongruous a thing
as a railroad train to dash across these uninhabited silences. In old
times they did not make missionaries of wrought iron and polished
brass. The world has changed.
Taking up the thread of travel again, we pass, ten miles west of
Coolidge, the little station called WINGATE. Three miles south of
this, and distinct in the sunshine, is the military post of Fort Win-
gate. It looks a pleasant place, and presents at least one isolated
:spot where all the refinements of eastern civilization may be found.
Close beside it stands the curious, cathedral-shaped rock known as
" Navajo Church." Sometimes the books of travel have in all seri-
ousness spoken of this as an actual ruin. It is simply a huge rock
that, in the vernacular of the region, " got left " in some convulsion
or erosion that tore down the remainder of the ledge.
About forty miles from Wingate is Zuni (Zoon-ye) the Pueblo
town and tribe so extensively advertised by Mr. Gushing. So ex-
tensively has this already been done, that it is not worth while to
linger upon the subject here.
Gallup station is a place of coal. But the character of the
deposit changes here, and this is a lignite, or brown coal, of a not
extraordinarily good quality.
For a long distance here we traverse the valley of the Rio Puerco
(Ree-o\\ P'7^rco). You may not be able to discover this fact by
simply looking at it, for nothing looking much like a river is visible.
But there is an indefinitely defined valley, arable land, and water
somewhere. The \\M(\ pucrco means filthy, dirty, foul. It is one of
the strong terms of the Spanish. It also commonly designates a
pig, and isakin to our work "pork. 1 Twining and bending endlessly
through New Mexico, this Puerco River is a very long one, though
you can with difficulty see it. It has been a source of life to many
generations of Pueblos, and its valley has always been a centre of
The curious and hideous heaps of black rock you have observed
by the roadside are pure lava. Except to crack in cooling, most
of it that is visible lies where it was originally deposited. It
seems to have been a comparatively recent flow, but in reality it is
not. Nothing in Ari/ona looked as it does now when this red-hot
stream flowed down the valley. Nine-tenths of it is long since cov-
ered up. It is only that some of it is exposed here that it seems pecul-
iarly a volcanic country in this immediate neighborhood. If you
climb to the summit of San Francisco Mountain, you can look down
into the parched throats of a hundred craters.
Immediately north of the station of Gallup, and some fifty miles
distant, is the enormous reservation of the Navajoe Indians (N'av-
ah-hoe). These often come down to some one of the various sta-
tions south of them, and display their only interest in civilization by
looking at the trains. There is no telling what they think of the in-
novation. They can speak Spanish a little if they wish, but are in-
variably entirely non-committal as to all personal opinions. The
Pueblos often come also. There are certain signs by which the
stranger can readily tell the difference between them. The Pueblo
woman has always her hair banged. They started the bang several
hundreds or thousands of years ago, and it gives their faces a stupid
look. They also wear thick casings of buckskin upon their legs, giv-
ing these from the knee down the thickness of ordinary fence-posts.
When we reach the open plain near what is called the Continental
Divide, we shall see on the north side of the track some of the curious
work of the water. For several miles there is a line of red and gray
palisades. Sometimes the face is marked by a long and narrow
Isolated Rocks; Casa Grande.
streak of white. Sometimes there is a coping of green, and here and
there an isolated mass stands out in the plain. This is a case where
a portion of the mass " got left," again. It is evident that the plain
was once covered clear across by these strata.
HOLBROOK is an eating station, and sixty miles west of there what
is called in not very choice .Spanish Canyon Diablo (De-0//-blo)
is passed. The name means " Devil Canyon," and the place is
simply a hideous gash in the face of nature 540 feet wide and 222 feet
deep, and running for miles across the plain. The edges are level
with the surface of the country, and at a little distance it cannot be
seen at all. If it were closed up the projections on one edge would
fit with tolerable accuracy the notches on the other. It was caused
simply by a contraction and cracking of the surface of the earth in
cooling. So, on a much grander scale, was the Grand Canyon off
From this point San Francisco Mountain can be distinctly seen,
being the easternmost one of the group composed of Kendrick's
IVuk, Challender Peak, Mt. Sitgreaves, and furthest to the west,
Antelope Peak. These form the San Francisco Mountains, shading
off into the plateau with numerous smaller elevations.
And here the country begins to change into something the trav-
eller does not expect. It becomes, and continues for many miles, a
beautiful pine forest. The ground is covered with a thick growth
of grass. There is to the eye scarcely a more attractive country in
all the W
Flagstaff is a brisk little town with an eccentric name, and is a
lumber capital. They are cutting out the yellow pine as fast as pos-
sible, not for the sake of clearing the land, but for lumber. As for
the soil, it is not as good as that of some of the most unprepossessing
of the country we have been riding through all day. No means has
thus far been devised of obtaining water. There are few streams,
and all that lies beneath seems to be volcanic rock of the hardest
variety. It is a country of great natural beauty, lying some seven
thousand feet above sea-level, and a health resort, but agriculturally,
or even for very extensive grazing, nearly, or entirely, worthless.
Eight miles south-east fromFlagstaff,and across a beautiful timbered
park, lie the famous cliff-dwellings. There is an enormous canyon,
the walls of which are composed of rough sandstone. It is in these
walls that the dwellings are found. They occupy a space in both
sides-of the canyon where a soft layer lies between two harder ones,
114 OVERLAND GUIDE.
making, from crumbling and falling out, or being easily displaced, a
niche or space. A rough wall laid in clay, and extending from the
front of the lower to the upper ledge, formed the fronts of the dwell-
ings. These rooms are extensive enough to have sheltered an ex-
tensive population, and, being situated about half-way up the wall,
were, while not inaccessible, easily defended. The remains found in
the long-ago-abandoned dwellings are of such articles as arc now
in common use among the Pueblos. The only difference seems to
consist in the fact that wooden articles found have been cut with a
stone axe. This means only antiquity. IUit the articles unearthed
from the works of the Mound-Builders east of the Mississippi are
:ch as the Puebl< :;larity extends to small de-
There are those who are firm in the belief that all one may
see at Yslela. <.r Tesuque, or Laguna, or Acoma, >r here in the sides
of the canyon -walls, has a direct connection with the curious tumuli
that have puzzled the antiquarians ever since they were discovered.
This Pueblo, A '.tec, Mound-Builder, or whatever he may be,
is the most interesting .and sorrowful human en w known.
The remains and traditions of departed greatness hang about him
unexplained. There is a peculiar pathos about an expiring race.
There is something far more pathetic than entertaining in these de-
serted cliff-dwellings, perched between heaven and earth in a lonely
canyon, old and futile refuges against the rapine that finally almost
destroyed the race.
In the immediate vicinity of these cliff-dwellings, but out in the
plain, there are other remains of a city. Remains of pottery and
domestic utensils offer convincing evidence that the same people
occupied both places.
>ut eight miles north-east of Flagstaff, a small and isolated
mountain stands in the plain. On the south front the volcanic rock
is full of cavities, round in form, that are actually the blow-holes of
a gigantic piece of slag. Some of these globular cavities are
twenty-five feet in diameter. All of these were a long time
inhabited. They were reached by steps, and sometimes were
walled in front.
The " Petrified Forest " lies a few miles from the station of
The Cliff Dwellings, Arizona.
HOLBROOK. It lies over an extent of several miles. The trees
are many of them of large size, and their varieties have not been.
116 OVERLAND GUIDE.
definitely decided upon. One of the flinty trunks is ten feet in
diameter. Limbs and branches, petrified into solid rock, lie scattered
in all directions. Every color found in nature is reproduced in this
agatized wood, and it has become an article of trade in the form of
There is a natural bridge in Arizona, in comparison with which
that of Virginia becomes hardly worth mentioning. It is not acces-
sible from the railroad, and is merely mentioned as one of the freaks
orange country is capable of. It lies in what is called the
Tonto Basin, in the south-eastern part of the enormous county of
Yavapai (Yava-//-ee), itself containing something near thirty thousand
square miles. (Massachusetts contains only seven thousand eight
hundred, and the State of Maine is only a little bigger than Yavapai,
having an area of about thirty-five thousand square miles.)
A man may stand on the crown of this bridge and not know it,
for there are about sixty acres of it, and some of this is cultivated
ground. It has a span of eighty feet, and its width is a hundred and
fifty yards. There is a round hole in the middle of the arch through
which one can look at the stream below. The gigantic limestone
walls spring in perfect curves to the perfect arch above.
A weird and uncanny region must be what is called " The Painted
Desert." It is a wild and desolate plateau, also in Yavapai County,
but in the north-eastern part. It is absolutely destitute of water or
vegetation, and its surface is covered with columns, isolated peaks,
and buttes, all sandstone, and worn into fantastic shapes by the
wind; the sand-blast. The peculiarity of this desert consists in its
wonderful mirages. There are depicted there palaces, gardens,
colonnades, temples, fountains, lakes, islands, fortifications, woods,
groves, orchards, men and women, herds of cattle, etc. The
Indians are superstitious about it, and have always carefully
This mirage sometimes plays fantastic pranks with the ordinary
senses of the traveller in other parts of Arizona and New Mexico.
A beautiful lake, with islands, a port and town, sailboats, and trees
on the shore, may occur at any moment beside the track. Th e
illusion is perfect, except that it is too pretty for the actual thing.
The mirage has a most prosaic explanation too. It is nothing but
- of rarified air rising from the heated ground. Any one who-
looks across the top of a heated cooking-range through an open
window can at any time
have a modified and
imperfect miroge for
Perhaps the best
country in Arizona is
that nursery of thieves,
the San Carlos Indian
Reservation. It is on
the San Carlos River
that so manV remains
of an ancient civiliza-
tion are found. The
ruined irrigating chan-
nels and dwellings that
line its banks show that
a large population once
THE GRAND CANVON
of the COLORADO may
be reached most agree-
ably from the town
of Flagstaff, though
the distance is much
greater than from
Peach Springs, which
is the nearest station
.on the A. \- P. road to
the great southward bend the gorge makes on the western border
of the Territory. The ride from Peach Springs is only some
twenty miles, but it is a rough road even for Arizona. From
Flagstaff it is some sixty-five miles, but it is a most enjoyable Sum-
mer trip through heavy pine country, over a fairly good road,
and in a grass country. It means camping and some hardship, in
any event, and should not be undertaken by invalids, or by ladies
who are not accustomed to roughing it. A railroad from Flagstaff
has been for some time contemplated, and when built will offer facili-
ties for visiting a piece of scenery that has no rival in the world, and
that is worth the journey hither many times over.
There is no intention here of attempting to describe the Grand
Canyon. Such efforts, thus far, have been invariably thrown away.
A friend of the author once told him the following story, which is
only repeated here to illustrate the uselessness of talking about a
place which is far beyond any descriptive power, and which, as a
noticeable fact, no one talks much about after seeing it.
These two gentlemen were Knglishnu-n. When they had alighted
from the wagon and gone to the edge of the canyon, they for awhile
stood silent. Then one of them ejaculated "Well, I'll bed d!"
The other had meantime seated himself upon a convenient boulder,
and was weeping like a broken-hearted girl. The scene that affects
men's nerves like this, and causes them to utter inane ejaculations or
weep, it is useless to dwell upon in types.
But, at least, let no one imagine that the Grand Canyon is "pretty."
That it is awful there can be no question, and it makes an impression
that is never recovered from. No one has ever seen it all, except
possibly Major Powell. When you have exhausted all the time at
your disposal, you must remember that there are still hundreds of
miles of it to be seen, for the chasm is four hundred miles in length.
Canyon is not a fit name for it, as its heights and depths must be
measured, not in feet, or by ordinary standards, but by miles. As
you look down from the top the chasm is a measureless abyss. As
you look upward from the bottom the awful walls overwhelm you.
The river that has its channel between is not a puny stream, for the
Colorado is more than 1,500 miles in length, and the area drained
by it is larger than the States of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and all New
England combined. There are no actual falls in the Grand Canyon,
and if there were they would be the mightiest of the world: but
-where the Canyon narrows the mighty* stream rages through its
narrow gateways with terrific force. Floods raise it sometimes
seventy feet in a few hours.
All the Canyon, and all the world around it, is rock. It is unin-
habited save by a few Indians, and uninhabitable. Domes, cliffs,
fantastic monuments, sheer walls, cracks appear everywhere. The
half of it is not known; nine-tenths of it has never been seen by white
men. It impresses all. No man is so dull as to escape its fascina-
tion. A frontiersman of the old times told the author twenty years
ago that he had travelled and lurked three days amongst the hostile
Indians of those times to get a view of it, and that he went again
and again, though as he expressed it, " I had to crawl on my belly
to git thar."
Geologically, the Grand Canyon is a crack, and has been there
since the world cooled. The river did not wear the channel there,
but simply flowed into and through it when the time for rivers
Some time the place will be better known ; this upon the sup-
position that it is possible to know a place of such proportions,
where all ordinary chasms and gorges would be lost and never even
observed. The chasm below the falls at Niagara might be swallowed
up in a side-canyon here, and its existence never be suspected.
Beyond Flagstaff the road lies in the heart of characteristic
mountain scenery. Beyond the station of WILLIAMS the descent to
the valley of the Colorado is rapid. If it is daylight, the difficulties
that were overcome in the construction of the road are very apparent.
But, however they may have seemed to the engineers, they are
very pleasant to the traveller. They convey the impression that
the Atlantic & Pacific road was built in the only place possible, and
looking back causes a mental question as to how this one route was
ever found. There are not many landmarks except to some accom-
plished mountaineer. It is all pine and rock and chasm. But Bill
Williams's Peak looks blue above the rest on the left. The inquiry
naturally is as to the history of a man who has a mountain named
for him. He seems to have been a pioneer of strong character who
impressed himself upon his local surroundings, and more than this
of him seems dimly traditional.
TION, a station near
the western end of
Picacho Canyon, and
some fifty miles from
the dining-station of
WILLIAMS, is the junc-
tion-point for I'
i , the capital city
of the Territory, by
way of the Prescott
\- Arizona Central
It is one thousand
four hundred and
seventy-six miles from
the Missouri River to
the western boundary
line of Arizona, and
the Colorado River.
A- the train glides
downward toward this
useless river, dash-
ing its ashen waves
against the piles of
the long bridge, the
grown curiously un-
through the willow-
clumps, or rubbing
sleepy eyes at the
door of the wickiup, you may catch glimpses of almost naked
Indians. You will see them again, to the entire satisfaction of any
reasonable curiosity, when the train has crossed the bridge.
THE NEEDLES takes its curious name from some sharp peaks on the
Arizona side and some fifteen miles away at the northern end of what
is called the Mojave (Mo-/W/-ve) Range. They stand on the left
before reaching the river. The town is celebrated for a climate of
almost unvarying torridness, for its surroundings of sandy and lava-
. strewn desolation, and its convenience as a loafing place for the
Indians of the region. Otherwise it is a railroad town entirely, a
changing-place for engines, etc. As a dining-station it has attrac-
tions. The only ice ever seen here appears on the table, and the
profusion of luscious fruits proclaims our nearness, at last, to the
vineyards and orchards of Southern California.
The Colorado reminds one of the Missouri, except that the current
is very much less sluggish. Its peculiar color is obtained after it
leaves the Canyon, and there its waters are amber-color, or white.
Next to the Columbia the Colorado is the principal tributary to the
Pacific on the continent. It was first discovered by one Fernando
l'J4 OVERLAND GUIDE.
Alarcon, May pth, 1540. He ascended it in boats as far as the
Grand Canyon, and is probably one of the few people who ever did,
for it is one of the most unnavigable and capricious streams on the
continent. Where it ran last year is this year a fertile bottom over-
grown with swamp-grass, tall weeds, and willow-clumps.
One of the Wild Oi
The Indians you see at The Needles are Mojaves. There are only
some eight hundred of them altogether, but there are about two
hundred more known as Chim-e-hu-vis, who live with them. The
Mojaves are, as to stature and proportion, not bad-looking; for
Indians. They were once a fighting people, and gave a good deal of
trouble until 1859, when a certain Colonel Hoffman, of the regular
service, gave them so crushing a
defeat that they have been ever
since about as you see them now.
Morally they are considered to
be very low in the scale. Contact
with the whites has brought dis-
ease, idleness, whiskey, loaferism
and beggary. They are now an in-
significant band of tatterdema- ^
lions, amusing and disgusting
alike to overland passengers at
The Needles. Studied at cW
quarters the best specimens of
the Noble Red Man lack a good
deal of filling the ideal of old-
fashioned poetry and Cooper's
novels. They are all rancid.
These Mojaves are neither the
best nor the worst.
There are two or three of them x
ordinary habitues of this little
town whom you will not find it
difficult to carry away with you in
your mind. One of them is the
belle. She wears a hoop-skirt
under a calico petticoat, and a
gorgeous mantle made of cotton ?J
handkerchiefs that have not been
cut apart. Bare-legged, bare- Ari20na Belle '
footed, bare-bodied and bare-headed, the remainder of her attire
is not worth mentioning.
Another is the Old Squaw. You cannot imagine until you see
her, what texture the human skin may take when uncovered for half
or three-quarters of a century. It is simply living leather, and hang-
ing in tough wrinkles and folds, is a modification only of the hide of
a rhinoceros. Her breasts hang down to her waist, callous like the
rest. Her feet and
legs are indifferent
to thorns. Heavy
gray hair covers her
head and hangs in
She is a hardened
and brazen old
creature, strong and
by the presence of
strangers; an epi-
K fome and abridge-
/ T^S^O 'T ment of a " one has
ever heard or read
4-W*y , \ <'wfi* of of the chiefest
V >' barbarian of them
^ all; The Squaw.
The Yuma tribe,
just below, seem akin
to these. They also
were once strong and
warlike, but since
1851 have been peaceful on account of having had a chastisement at
the hands of one Colonel Heintzelman. The old Fort, historic as the
place the dead soldier came back to from hades after his blankets,
and built to hold in check this once powerful tribe, is now occupied
by the Indians themselves. Like the Mojaves they are passing away.
An Old Settler
fTHE crossing of the Colorado, at The Needles, is very nearly at
the junction point of Arizona, Nevada and California. The
town is in the huge county of San Bernardino, and the track lies
in this county almost to Los Angeles, about three hundred miles.
It is a very
State, for here
begins a semi-
ed on the jour-
ney. By a
Providence each transcontinental line
crosses one of these, some better,
some worse. This is reputed easiest
of all. Going to Southern California
first, and making the journey by way of Los Angeles,
there is one hundred and seventy miles of it from
The Needles to Barstow, where the train turns-
southward through the Cajon (Cah-hone; a box,) pass into the San
In midsummer this half-day's ride, or more, is very warm. But it is
128 OVERLAND GUIDE.
not necessary to believe that clouds of sand will drift with the wind,
or that the heat has any stifling qualities. Many an eastern journey
has both more heat and more dust in it. Many who are unused to
such scenes nnd T an enjoyment in it through contrast with all the
journeys ever made before. This is something like what may be
There is rock, cactus, volcanic scoria, sage-brush, eternal sunshine
and absolute silence. Save where at long distances apart some little
sign of water has made a cluster of human habitations, there seems
to be no inhabitant of earth or air. The thickest of the stunted
herbage is called "sage," and seeming to be always dead and never
green, it grows upon a soil that is not soil at all, but a species of
concrete. What grass there is grows in bunches. The region
oppresses, while it interests you. Vast masses of mountain lie all
around, hazy-blue with distance. Gaunt cacti sway and nod in the
idle wind. Forests of the curious yucca palm appear at intervals,
some day to be all cut down and taken away for the manufacture of
paper. There may be rarely a gray coyote, looking behind him,
and seeming to smile when he lolls his red tongue. Occasionally a
jackass rabbit lays his long ears down, and makes a gray streak of
himself as he departs for some locality where there are fewer myste-
rious rumblings and less smoke. The effects of the sunshine are
something like those of the electric light; the lights are intensely
brilliant and the shadows black. The scene is not wanting in a
weird and mysterious charm. Silence, loneliness and vastness, have
the effect of entertaining and pleasing, where there is no danger
and little discomfort, and where by simply sitting still the panorama
will unwind itself and pass away. This lacks only yellow sand and
a string of laden camels, instead of ice-water and the luxurious
interior of a Pullman car, to give one all that sense of solitude, that
feeling of the danger of being lost, that utter isolation, the pilgrim to
Mecca must have as he crosses the wastes of the Sahara.
Sometimes, far ahead, a brown dot in the landscape indicates a
station-house. One of them, for some unknown reason, is called
Bagdad. Another is called Siberia, possibly because it is the hottest
place on the road. But Ash Hill was named in good faith.
It is deemed not improbable that water can be procured here by
boring wells, and people who have had their lessons about deserts
are looking forward to the time when at least a portion of this may
be made not only inhabitable, but
very fruitful. Climate is the chief
inducement to these speculations.
Yet, except in nooks and corners,
it is not free from frost.
BARSTOW, the junction-point
for Southern California direct,
forms the terminus of our west-
ward journey. The place is one
thousand six hundred and forty-five miles from the Missouri. Here
the cars destined for Los Angeles and San Diego turn directly south-
ward. It is the end of the desert. By a contrast and transition so
striking as to be almost marvelous, you stand at this lonely little
130 OVERLAND GUIDE.
desert station almost upon the verge of a country where all the-
products of two zones grow side by side, with a luxuriance unknown
elsewhere on the globe, and beneath a climate that within the past
five years has attracted tens of thousands of permanent residents.
If in Winter you go south into Southern California from the main
line of the Atlantic &: Pacific at Barstow, you will find the north-
ern side of the San Bernardino Range to be frosty. The beautiful
mountain scenery of that range, though green with grass, pines, and
the variety of California shrubs, may be flecked with snow.
The moment one has emerged from Cajon Pass on the southern
side, however, the scene changes, and one enters the now famous cli-
mate of Southern California.
The situation is peculiar. Climates are not ordinarily capable of
being fenced. This is. The San Bernardino Range runs almost
east and west, with a trend toward the south-east. It is the barrier
which fences off all that may be found inhospitable, in a climatic
sense, to the north of it.
All the railroads from the East, previous to the construction of the
California Southern and Central lines of the San: -tern, were
built with especial reference to that portion of California that for
thirty years or more had been the only portion of the State in which
any interest was felt. Up to within about a dozen years ago, Cali-
fornia meant that part which lay above the thirty-sixth meridian.
The southern portion of the State was considered, and indeed was,
a desert. In all the wonderful history of early California after it
came into the hands of the Americans it had no part. Yet it is very
old in the fact that it was the first locality upon American soil to
be occupied by the civilization of Europe. It has a story of its own,
and a curious one, apart from that story of California which began
The San Bernardino Mountains are but an extension of the Sierra
Madre Range, and the name is applied for local convenience. It is
the spur that cuts off the Mojave rrom the so-called Colorado or-
Tuma desert. Siera Madre means in the Spanish, " Mother Range."
The term "Sierra" (Se-tf/V-rah ; a saw; toothed), should only be
.applied to a succession of sharp peaks. Mr. T. S. Van Dyke, in his
""Southern California" says of these :
A Rift in the Sierras.
"Few parts of the United States are less known and less traversed than these
.-great hills ; yet they look down upon the very garden of California. Away up
there the mountain trout flashes undisturbed in the hissing brook, and the call of
the mountain quail rinjs from the shady glen where the grizzly bear yet dozes
.away the day, secure as in the olden time. From the bristling points where the
i:X' OVERLAND GUIDE.
lilac and manzinita light up the dark hue of the surrounding chaparral, the deer yet
looks down upon the plain from which the antelopa has long been driven; while
on the lofty ridges that lie in such clear outline against the distant sky the mountain
sheep still lingers, safe in its inaccessible home."
This range then, is the cause of the distinctive designation
"Southern California." Practically it is treated separately by all
travellers, and its commercial and industrial destiny seems to be also-
different. It will, at the proper time, be considered separately in
California, next after Texas, is the largest State of the Union.
Departing from the usual squareness of the Western States, it IMS a
curious, broken-backed configuration, being in extreme length 770
miles, in breadth 330 miles at its widest part, and at its narrowest
not more than 150 miles. Its area is about 188,981 square miles, or
120,947,840 acres. The coast-line is bow-shaped, much indented
with long curves and few hays, and is more than seven hundred
miles in length. The State, by way of comparison, may be stated to
be one-and-one-half times larger than Great Britain and Ireland,
which contain a population of 32,000,000.
California is a mountain State, and it is estimated that 89,000,000
acres are suited to some variety of profitable husbandry. It is the
only State that may be said to embrace within its boundaries every
known variety of climate. Mexico has largely this quality, with a
wider area and greater general elevations and depressions. The
practical facility with which this climatic variety can be used is an
especial Californian feature. Until the southern part of the State
became known it was not conceived possible that any country could
be tropical without being in the tropics, and could have every known
charm, product and advantage, without a single one of the perils.
or disadvantages of equatorial regions. Indeed the whole State is
believed by its oldest inhabitants to be a country of contradictions
and curiosities, which must all be learned before its advantages can
be successfully used.
The topography is peculiar. It is, generally speaking, mountain
and valley, but these take unique forms. The reader is requested
to imagine Califprnia as lying on the Atlantic instead of the Pacific
coast, east and west being reversed for the purpose. He would find
it to include the whole shore-line from about Boston to Charleston,
with all the area included in ten of the thirteen original States.
There are two great mountain ranges which, aside from the smaller
ranges and spurs, are its chief topographical features. One of these
is the Sierra Nevada (Se-air- rah Neh-z^^-ah; snowy, or snowed^
Range, and the other the Coast Range. The first has an altitude of
from eight to fifteen thousand feet, fencing all the eastern border.
The Coast Range is more like the mountains we are accustomed to,
Itt OVERLAND GUIDE.
having a height of from two thousand five hundred to four thousand
feet. These hills do not count for much after what the traveller has
been accustomed to, and would pass almost unnoticed but for the
fact that, in connection with the Sierras, they fence in one of the re-
markable valleys of the world.
A rough diagram of California would show a very much elongated
and very narrow basin, lying North and South nearly, and coming
together at each end with an almost V-shaped point. The northern
junction-point is marked by Mount Shasta, a volcanic peak bare and
cold, rising to an elevation of nearly fifteen thousand feet. At the
southern junction of the two ranges stands San Bernardino Mount-
ain, twelve thousand feet high. To an inhabitant of the moon this
conformation may rudely seem like the braided chevron on a lady's
e, with a gigantic button at each end.
The canoe-shaped valley, with its serrated edges, is studded here
and there with single mountains, groups, or spurs, and crossed by
lower ranges. The cause of the peculiar climate of Southern Cali-
fornia, considered with reference to this mountain system is, that the
coast range divides, or forks, about the north-western corner of Los
Angeles County, and while the main, but lower, range holds south-
ward clown the coast, that which is locally known as the San Bernar-
dino Range, or the Sierra Madre more generally, turns sharply south-
HIS outline of the principal moun-
tain systems of California, leaving
out all details, shows the sheltered
corner in which most that is improved
of Southern California lies, also the
situation of the great valley of the
State, and explains the reason for much
that is peculiar in the most remarkable
climate of the world.
eastward, almost eastward, and becomes the climatic barrier before
referred to. Between the Coast Range and the San Bernardinos,
crowded up into the notch, lies the San Bernardino Valley; a pocket
136 OVERLAND GUIDE.
as compared to the area of the State, or even as compared to the
whole area of that which is distinctively known as Southern California.
But the real valley of the State; that which as to its northern
half is known as the Sacramento Valley, and as to its southern half
as the San Joaquin (H'wah-Aeen); comprises what a few years
ago was meant by the word California. Usually, a river which trav-
erses a valley flows into it at the upper end and out of it at the
lower. Here it is not so. The two rivers, Sacramento and San Joa-
quin, flow, one southward and the other northward, practically run
together half way, and then turn westward and empty into the Bay
of San Francisco. It is a case of geographical eccentricity of which
California only seems fully capable.
These two valleys were fur a long time famous alone. They
were the agricultural and fruit-producing California of which so
much was said and written. Lateral valleys, nooks, corners and
pockets, shared the general reputation. They were famous, and
deservedly, quite to the exclusion of that arid southern quarter
which was perhaps good enough for the Spaniards, but supposed to
be good for nobody else. Enclosed between their mountain walls,
once, doubtless, an inland sea, they constitute an immense and fer-
tile area which, in its turn, was not appreciated by the Spaniard, but
in which the Saxon has grown rich.
The Sacramento Valley is forty miles wide. It becomes mountain-
ous in the northern part, but contains at least five million acres of
fertile land, much of which does not need irrigation. The average
annual rain-fall is about twenty inches.
And it is an error to suppose that the climatic peculiarities that
have made the southern quarter of the State so famous are en-
tirely confined to that region. All of California constitutes a
climatic curiosity as compared to the East, but Southern California
is unique as compared to the world; that is the difference.
In the very northern counties of the State snow rarely lies on the
ground more than one day. Domestic animals live out of doors the
year round. There is frost, but plants that die entirely every Winter
in the East, spring again from the roots here in the early Spring.
The tenderest varieties of foreign grapes grow.
Until lately the Sacramento Valley was the most thickly populated
portion of the State. It was unusually attractive; a great level over
California Live Oak.
which as far as one can see are scattered groves of live-oaks, which
make the country resemble a great park. The foot-hills on its eastern
side were the scenes of the earliest gold-digging, and a population
which went for dust remained to farm. The Sacramento River is-
navigable for some distance, and the valley had a railroad some years.
138 OVERLAND GUIDE.
earlier than any other portion of the interior. There, between Sacra-
mento and Marvsville, lay Suiter's old fort, and around this, and
filling all northern California, lay the romance of the gold-digging
days; a romance that appears one of the most attractive in our an-
nals to every entirely disinterested person, but which seems not to
affect the active participators in it.
>ut Stockton is supposed to begin the southern extension of
this valley; the San Joaquin. This end of it has an area of some
seven million acres, and stretches from Stockton southward some
three hundred miles. It has, not including thne foot-hills, an average
width of forty miles. These foot-hills are among the best portions
of the valley in certain respects. There are, altogether, about eight-
een million acres of good land, ten millions of which are considered
susceptible of high tillage.
Both these valleys, considered together as the great California Yal-
.ave an area, including the lower hills on each side, of about
sixteen thousand square miles. The greater part of it con-
sists of soil washed down from the mountains on either side. It is
alleged that it is the richest large body of land in the United States.
That statement must now, however, be considerably softened and
modified by the immensely rich and wide pieces of "desert" that
have been taken in during the past ten years, one patch of which, in
1884, produced nearly fifty million bushels of wheat. With the State
of Kansas, wind-swept and blizzard-haunted as she is, staring one
in the face, so to speak, it is difficult to prove that California, or any
other State, contains "the richest large body of land in the world."
But time was, since the American occupancy, when this valley was
considered "good for nothing but grazing." The cattle-kings had
their day here too, and stubbornly resisted the first feeble encroach-
ments of agriculture.
In this great valley was tried the first experiment, by the Saxon,
on any considerable scale, in irrigation. It was a great and remark-
able success that has since turned not only the region where first
tried, but also the forsaken sands of Southern California, into a vast
garden. In the past fifteen years thousands of English-speaking
people have become permanently prosperous and independent by
the practice of an agricultural art that, twenty-five years ago, was
considered a Mexican and Pueblo makeshift, which it was scarcely
likely any but renegade Americans would ever adopt.
An Unoccupied Corner.
In all California, northern and Southern alike, the winter is the
summer-time of the year. This question of Climate is a very prom-
inent one, and is often alleged to be the principal factor in all the
charms of the country. " Ninety-five per cent, climate," is a very
common allegation. Many people have been willing to accept that
fact, if true, and to candidly acknowledge the potency of a charm
the Spaniards perfectly understood two centuries ago, and which
140 OVERLAND GUIDE.
they themselves have only recently discovered. The idea of a
reversal of the seasons is not perhaps pleasant to the thorough-
going Northerner. The curious thing about it is that it is not a re-
There are two or three facts that ought perhaps to be better
FIRST : Mildness of temperature, blooming flowers, or the plant-
ing of ordinary Spring crops in September or November does not
mean that there must be cold and frost at the opposite sea
SECOND : It does not mean that, being warm in Winter, it must
be proportionately and unendurably hot in Summer.
It is, especially in Southern California, largely an anomalous case,
and the facts are these :
The rains : there bein^ a distinct rainy season, begin the last
of September or during the first half of October. Ploughing
begins about the firs: ember, and often la'er, and wheat,
barley, oats, etc., are - so<n as the ground can be made
ready, but often not before February. The California farmer has
about four months in which to prepare his land for seeding.
;i. where it is raised at all, is planted from .March to May, and
need not be gathered at any particular time.
The harvest season for small grains is in the last part of May or
the first part of June.
The rains having ceased in April, the harvest season is always dry.
The grain is threshed and put into ba.^s, and left in the fields, and
may lie there at the convenience of the owner. California grain
does not "sweat." Potatoes are often left in the ground long
after they are matured.
Sometimes there are two crops raised on the same ground in one
year; wheat or barley for the first, and corn for the second. Wheat
and barley are often sown for hay, and cut before the heads fill.
But a couple of acres of beets, replanted as they are used, will keep
three or four milk-kine the year through. Sheep are never fed at all.
Horses not at work get nothing except what they " rustle for " at
14J OVERLAND GUIDE.
any season. Alfalfa sometimes yields as much as fifteen tons per
acre in a single season, in from six to nine cuttings. Horses are
much more easily kept in condition than elsewhere. California is
rapidly becoming the blooded-horse country of the continent. The
business of raising cattle was, for many long years, say a century
and a quarter, the only business followed in California.
It therefore follows that the genuine, old-fashioned Michigan, or
New York, or Kansas, or Iowa Winter is absolutely done away with
and unknown in all parts of the State. The remarks above are
especially intended to apply to that part now generally known as
northern California. So far as that part is concerned, it is true, in
addition, that there are frosts except in places especially sheltered;
there are cold winds. The farther north one goes the colder does
it become, but only comparatively. In the extreme north there is
no Winter in our sense.
In Southern California both Winter and Summer are further
modified by the geographical situation mentioned in a preceding
|HE reasons for the peculiar climatic conditions that have
^caused Southern California to be set apart by common
consent, and considered a separate country, have already been
So great is the comparative difference between the two sections of
the State, that there has been for some years a local rivalry. Indeed it
may almost be said that everybody, in California or out of it, regards
the two sections as entirely distinct. It is so thought of and spoken
of. The distinction has produced a "boom " in which the northern
three-fourths of the State has not shared. It has given rise to an
enormous literature and endless discussion, all with a climatic ten-
dency, and nearly all included under the general head of advertising.
For it has been discovered at last, and after more than thirty
"years of neglect, that all the advantages, benefits and glories of
which California-at-large has justly boasted since 1846, exist in
intensified form in that neglected corner of her area which was of
all men considered as but little better than the Yuma and Mojave
deserts lying in suspicious contiguity close beside. Every Californian
of the old time who strayed thither strayed out again. There was
" Sunshine and Sand." The soil was a species of concrete to any
judge of soil, covered with a merely ornamental and superfluous
layer of fine sand, that swirled and shifted with every wind. A
horrid river-bed, a mere convenience as an occasional sewer for
cloud-bursts, wide and gray and dry, and littered with round
An Unoccupied Nook.
boulders, and treeless and forsaken, was occasionally encountered.
A clump of willows or a bunch of live-oaks grew here and there.
The brown mountains fenced the valley round, and they were bald,
silent, changeless, desolate. There were almost no inhabitants.
The old missions were there, encountered far apart and falling
into ruin, and once in a long time there was a cluster of adobe
houses answering mutely to some sacred and sonorous name
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. 1 tr.
like NUESTRA SEXORA REINA DE Los ANGELES ; a glittering city
now known as " Laws Anglees," and SAN CARLOS DE MONTEREY,
SAN ANTONIO DE PADUA, SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, SAN Luis
OBISPO, and a hundred other Sans and Santas, all flavored with
south-of-Europe sacredness and Spanish sonorousness of idea and
The people one met were queer. They were Spanish peasants ;
ex-soldiers stranded in this far clime so much like Madre Espana;
and poor devils of Pueblos. They held the country long, as time
goes modernly, but it turned out that they did not belong there, and
could not stay. As to how some of them went, see "A Century of
Infamy," by Mrs. Jackson.
There was sunshine, as mentioned, but no water, no soil, no hope.
It is not definitely discovered as yet, to whom belongs the credit of
re-discovering the country; of seeing with the eye of faith that there
was something else ; for his name is drowned in the clamor of a
"boom " to which all other booms that have been are as nothing.
Kansas City, and all the Kansas Chicagos, fade into insignificance
when confronted with a comparison. It maybe in its expiring throes
when these words reach the public. If so it will be a late reminis-
cence. It is now in the present tense.
At this date one hears the buzz all around him if he is there.
The stranger is impressed with the idea that nobody has a genuine
and unperverted " level " head. All one sees are busily discussing
one sole, lone, solitary, isolated question; real estate. Lone and
unprotected office-girls, gaining a gruesome crust by hammering the
unmelodious type-writer a little year or two ago, now smile serenely
upon a world that has never been particularly kind to struggling
females, for they too "caught on," and now contemplate with chas-
tened sweetness a bank-account of a hundred thousand or so. Boys
and youngsters, all trades and occupations, have shared in the opu-
lent results. Old sea-dogs who had sailed the wide world over,and who,
.-sailor-like, were previously content, have anchored to these rocky
hills, and will sail no more. Smart young men from the slow old
towns and States where booms are never known, and where the
citizens however worthy and pious do but vegetate, find full scope
here for a financial genius hitherto unsuspected save by themselves.
All are talkers upon one eloquent theme ; there are no conservatives-
and silent men. The idea that the word " value " retains any of its
original significance is discarded. It is all "will be." There is
practically no present, and yet to this golden present there
Old California Hacienda*
is to be no end. It is the curious spectacle of a country
originally rocky, sandy, silent, useless, wearing only the pe-
culiar charm all sterile countries seem to wear, suddenly acquir-
ing a value as though in the core of each of its oranges there
was hidden a grain of gold ; as if every acre had suddenly ceased to-
be merely soil, and was become a new commodity in the markets and
desires of men. There is an idea more or less clearly defined that
every person in the wide expanse of the Union outside of California
is an invalid, and must come here. There is nowhere else to go.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. 147
Perhaps old Palestine was such a land as this when the spies car-
ried back that somewhat hypothetical bunch of grapes, but if it ever
was the day has passed. Italy is not such, or Spain, with all its
olive-orchards which to the mind of Padre Junipero Serra were
doubtless typical of those he and his brethren' planted here. For
these glowing Summer days there is no change during all the long
year. In Winter, the Winter we fear and dread the rains come,
and dusty nature bathes her face and blooms again. The tender
roses we nurse and watch, here climb the roof-tree in January. The
beautiful foliage of Japan rejoices in its exile, and makes the yellow
road like an avenue in Jerusalem the Glorious. So tickled was the
concrete soil with the first drink brought it by the contriving Yankee
out of an iron pipe, that it has not since ceased to laugh. Gerani-
ums, verbenas, and such weeds, become trees. Plebeian tomato-
vines live and spread and bear from year to year. Oranges, side-
by-side with the fruits that everybody's boyhood knows, are expected;
nobody notices them, though every tree bears three or four times as
much as such trees do m their natural homes in the tropics. All the
vast kindred of luxuries patiently waited for and thankfully received
once in a while in other States are here a matter of course. We
raise grapes, for instance. Certainly; so does God raise them in the
woods for the birds and foxes, and both are about of a kind when
one comes to compare them with such as grow here on every vine,
that lie in the dust ungathered for over-plentifulness.
Yet the climate that is luxurious in Winter does not grow oppress-
ive in Summer. Of all dog-day resorts this is probably the best.
It is not believed; the reader will not believe it; but it is true. You
may walk in the sun, or sit in it, in June or January. It is true that
within a very limited area one spot may be much hotter than
another; one side of a row of hills may have at seasons a different
climate from the other side. A change very perceptible to a con-
firmed invalid may be had by going a few miles in the same vicinity;
but the general statement is true. You wear the same clothes the
year round. Every night you sleep under a blanket You may
calculate with certainty upon what, save a woman's mood, is known
to be the most uncertain of earthly things; the weather.
It is the south-western corner of the American world, Beyond
the rim of mountains that fence it on the East and North lie the
Original Inhabitants of the Sacramento VtHey
voiceless stretches of rock and sand; grown sparsely with yucca
palms and all the stunted family of gnarled and warty vegetation
and strewn with volcanic scoria; which you have crossed. Through
the notches in its western rim is seen the shining sea. Below it lies
the peninsula of Lower California. But the electric light is glinting.
SOUTHERN 7 CALIFORNIA 149
over leagues of what to the Pueblo, the Spaniard, and the early
Californian alike, was simply yellow desert. In a brief time the
leaves of palms and cypresses will meet across miles of stately
avenue, and the white towers of its cities will shine through morn-
ing mists like Beulah from afar. Fenced in by distance, desert
and sea, unknown while the Republic grew to fifty millions of
people, it was its unguessed destiny to burst at last upon the
traveller from the windows of a palace-car. When he has seen it
all; when his mixed sensations have settled down to certain con-
clusions; when he is tired alike of its oratory and its sweets; when
he has learned the alchemy that transmutes sand into soil and yellow
and forbidding nakedness into the verdure of Eden; he may as he
again turns eastward almost wonder where now is the Angel with the
Flaming Sword who by all authentic accounts had orders to stand
at the southern end of Cajon Pass; that is to say, at the gate of
the lost paradise.
AVhatever history California has, began, and most of it was en-
acted, south of the Sierra Madre Range, and a review of it is merely
a glimpse of those sleepy years when all the life of the country was
as much as possible like that of .Spain, and under a climate so much
like that of Spain that these Latins loved it and fought for it to the
best of their resources and valor.
To begin at the beginning, the Bay of San Diego was discovered
in the month of September, 1542, (December 2ist, 1620, being the
date of the landing of the Pilgrims) by a Portuguese in the service
of Spain named Cabrillo (Cabree/yo: little goat; Kid). He was a
wandering mariner in a new world, sailing unknown seas in the em-
ploy of the then greatest maritime power of any age. The object
was not geographical or scientific investigation, but simple, harmless
conquest. He happened upon this finest harbor but one on the
Pacific coast, but no result followed. He merely sailed out again,
and the important find was almost forgotten for more than fifty
During this interval one Sir Francis Drake, wandering abroad like
the Little Goat, discovered the place, and had the audacity to name it,
and all the adjoining country, NEW ALBION. This is the first name
by which California was known to those by whom, after so long a
time, it was to be owned and extolled and speculated in. As for
Drake, all English-speaking people have been trained to regard him
Beach at San Diego.
as a great navigator, ranking with Frobisher and Cook. But he was
not; he was a "pirate." That is what the Spanish historians dis-
tinctly call him, and his exploit in taking in the Bay of San Diego
when he did not know anybody had been there before him, so
angered Felipe II, when he heard of it, that he ordered the place
So a man named Vizciano (a nickname for a man who hails from
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. 151
the Spanish province of Biscay; aBis-ke-#//-no) came here November
loth, 1602, for that purpose. This was the first step taken to actually
occupy the country by white men and Europeans. The place was
named SAN DIEGO. For it must, complying with the pious customs
of the Spaniards, be San or Santa something. The name is the
same with St. James, or James (Santiago) who is the patron saint of
old Spain, and whose name has for hundreds of years been the
Spanish war-cry. His "day " is the i2th of November; the day of
the survey of the Bay by Vizciano; and this is why the place remains
for all time not New Albion, but San Diego. As the name is likely
to be a frequent one in all Southern California reminiscences, it is
well enough to remember that it is not pronounced " Dee-#tt'-go," but
Dee-0-go, with the "a," Spanish "e" as broad as one can get it.
The name of this holy man is often on the lips of Spaniards,
especially sailors in foreign parts. That is why they are universally
nicknamed " Dagos," meaning " Diegos "; Jameses. It is a subject
of appropriate mention here because there are dozens of euphonious
Spanish names in California, both the meaning and pronunciation of
which are disregarded equally with this.
From this i2th of November, 1602, that which is now known as
Southern California was called "Aha " California; an almost pre-
cisely opposite designation to the present one, given in distinction
to the Peninsula, now, as then, called " Lower " California. The
Spaniards of those times knew little or nothing of what we call Cali-
fornia. It seems from later events that they were very ignorant of
its resources when they lost it, two hundred and forty-four years
later. But what they considered to be theirs was without boundary
or limit in any direction. As usual, they did not know what they
had, either commercially or geographically.
Events moved so very slowly in those days that it was not until
July ist, 1769, a date which brings us very near to the beginning of
our Revolutionary war and something to date from, that the actual
occupation of the Pacific coast by Europeans began. Then one of
the most remarkable men of those times, a Franciscan friar named
Junipero Serra, (Hu-^<r/-a-ro Ser-ra^) with his companions, came
to San Diego to establish a mission. It is so very easy to say they
came, and so easy to do it now, that it is difficult to appreciate the
fact that they had a terrible time of it, and that some who started
never reached the place at all. The soldier and the priest came
Unconverted Aborigines of Southern California.
together, as usual, and the conquest was one of Church and State
combined. They camped on this desolate shore to create a peculiar
history, and leave results that have not yet departed. San Diego
was the spot where civilization began, and the place has also the
honor of being the initial point of the second and more wonderful
civilization which was to follow, when in 1846 Commodore Stockton
entered the harbor with the frigate Constitution, and proceeded to
occupy the antique earthwork above the Old Town of San Diego,
which has since then been known as Fort Stockton.
The story of early California is a religious history. It begins and
ends with the history of missions. The mission of San Diego was.
the mother of all the rest. Fifty years after the establishment of
this there were twenty others scattered along the coast as far North
as San Francisco. Though in many cases they were fifty miles
apart, their boundaries joined. They occupied the land. In 1825,.
when the Spanish rule had departed from Mexico and they had
begun to rapidly decay, they still owned 1,200,000 head of cattle^
154 OVERLAND GUIDE.
more than 100,000 horses, 15,000 mules, 100,000 sheep, and innu-
merable swine. They had not less than a million dollars in dust,
bullion and coin, not to mention treasures in the form of gold and
silver statues, crucifixes, and other church property. They had
established a foreign trade, and did a lucrative business in hides,
h jrns, tallow, etc. It was then, and would be now but for the fact
that the land has grown too valuable, the finest cattle country of
which there is any knowledge. About 1820 this religio-commercial
arrangement had grown to be the most remarkable missionary
scheme the world has seen. The beginnings had been honest
enough, entered into in peril and carried out in good faith. In the
end, and long before the end, the enterprise had degenerated into a
money-making scheme, backed by plain, simple, undisguised slavery.
There were twenty thousand "Christianized " Indians in and about
irious missions. Every one was an agricultural slave, held and
worked as such for pecuniary profit. When unwilling they were
flogged, confined, starved or tortured. Besides these miserable
creatures there were at least a hundred thousand still wild and
unconverted ones, to whose spiritual welfare nobody paid the
slightest attention. "Ranching" had become the business, with a
droning accompaniment of religious services. The civil officers, the
alcaldes and commandantes, were partners with the Church in this
business. During the lapse of a half-century or more, the Spaniards
who owned Southern California had every inducement to become the
idlest, proudest, most independent and wealthy provincials on the
And they seem to have improved the opportunity. You may see
the remains of it wherever you encounter a son of the soil. Con-
versation with the elders of them always elicits a vain regret that
the old times did not stay. The change, when it came, ought to
have made a millionaire of every holder of a grant, for it trans-
formed an unknown and almost worthless Mexican province into one
of the great States of the Union, but it did not have that effect.
'l.-> OVERLAND GUIDE.
These first families often have a bearing that makes you privately
smile, for they retain amid all the changes and after so long a time,
almost all of the traditional Spanish moods, gaits, hauteurs and
arrogances. Sometimes, though not often, there has evidently
been an admixture of Indian blood. Nearly all that are left are
strong reminders of the happy times when no Spaniard in California
ever actually worked, no matter how poor ; when the Christianized
Indians were his own in the name of piety ; when he owned all the
surroundings of a narrow and provincial magnificence. An aristoc-
racy had grown up here the patent to which consisted only in being
a native of California. They had wealth galore. Their beautiful
women grew up sprightly, frivolous and pious, precisely like their
great-great-grandmothers in old Spain ; only incomparably richer.
They imagined they had all this sunny world to themselves, and
were born and died in it, secure and content. They had practically
forgotten Spain, caring no more about it than we do about England
or Germany. They called themselvt ins only because it was
necessary to be something, and they cared very little for that far-
away power, or for any other. They did not dream of the destiny,
or want of destiny, in store for them at the hands of a republic of
whose existence they onlv knew from "around the Horn."
The change came suddenly. From August 6th, 1846,10 December
2d, of the same year, had been passed by a squad of men who were
considered "The Army of the West," in marching from the banks
of the Missouri to a pass on what is now known as Warner's Ranch
in San Diego County. They were met there on December 6th, by
the Mexican force, and the bloody little battle of San Pascual (Pas-
qual) was fought. It was a victory for the " invaders," but it cost
the lives of nineteen officers and men, only two of whom were killed
by bullets, the remainder being the victims of the characteristic
Spanish "cold steel." If there is not a national cemetery in this re-
mote corner of our dominion it would seem that there should be.
The little command continued its march to San Diego and a June-
tion with Stockton, and " Alta California" was practically gone from
the Spaniard forever.
But already in 1845 five thousand Americans had crossed the
plains into California, having made a journey a good deal longer and
harder than any mentioned in these pages. It will be recalled that
Captain Donner and his party perished in a snow-storm in 1846.
Then the romance and the tragedy of California began. After the
episode of Sutter's Mill the country filled very rapidly. But the im-
migration tended northward entirely, and the growth of the State
was mainly there for thirty-five years. A few years ago the results
of agricultural and irrigation experiments began to demonstrate the
wisdom of the Spaniard's choice. Southern California has of late
years attracted more attention than any other country of equal size
has ever done.
Southern California, solely considered, has been so much talked of
and written about that the idea that it is a geographical and munici-
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. 159
pal subdivision of the State would be a perfectly natural one. But it
has no specific boundaries. The name is a purely local one. It is
supposed to be composed of the counties of Santa Barbara, Ventura,
Los Angeles, part of the huge county of San Bernardino, and all of
the equally huge San Diego. That is, run a line East from the
northern boundary of Santa Barbara County, and all South of it is,
by common consent, Southern California.
A glance at the map will show that this is but a small portion
of the territory included within the boundaries of this great State.
It is outside of the great valleys ; it is fenced off ; it is but a
pocket, a corner. Yet this " small " territory contains nearly ninety
thousand square miles. The irregular square comprising Massachu-
setts, Rhode Island and Connecticut would be less than one-fourth
of it. Los Angeles County; a very small one for California; is two-
thirds as large as Massachusetts, while San Diego County is rivalled
only by Yavapai, in Arizona, and is considerably larger than an aver-
Another curious fact is that only an infinitesimal corner of
this corner has given the country its world-wide reputation. The
little nook where the Coast Range divides and runs off eastward,
while another, and lower range, continues its southern direction, is
the centre of richness and celebrity. Everybody has heard of the
San Gabriel Valley, yet it is only about twenty miles long and ten
miles wide. The whole San Bernandino Valley, lying south of the
range of that name, extends only from San Bernardino to
Los Angeles, but it is a present or prospective garden from end
It is necessary to take what is called a " bird's-eye " view of the
country. If a miniature cast were taken of Southern California, as
has been done of Switzerland, looked down upon it would casually
appear to be nothing but mountain ranges, spurs, and hills. But,
closely inspected, there could be seen some small valleys nestled in
between. Therein lies the secret. These valleys ; mere nooks of a
mountain world ; of all shapes and dimensions; unimportant as to
size when compared with the country but big enough of themselves,
and each one an Eden of fertility ; have given Southern California
the fame no other region ever had.
Out to the south-eastward of Los Angeles stretches the Colorado
Desert. It occupies, with other and smaller patches of the same
desert under different names, the greater portion of the country. It
is just like what the wayfarer has recently crossed between The
Needles and Barstow. It grows even more hideous in the south-
eastern part of San Bernardino County; on down to old Fort Yuma
on the Colorado. There are places there where the climate seems
unmitigated by a single redeeming circumstance. One spot* is
* On Tuesday last, the men employed by the Southern Pacific Company, three miles east
of Indio struck a steady flow of pure water at 540 feet depth. The present flow is about
10,000 gallons per hour, but the engineer in charge expects to obtain a flow of at least sW,000
gallons, when the pipe is cleared of clay and gravel. \V< >rk has been going on for the past
six weeks on this well, the success of which will undoubtedly result in many more being
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. 161
three or four hundred feet lower than the adjacent sea, and is a kind
of geographical Hades all the year. Always in sight, from every
elevation, are the glowing edges of some desert stretch where man
has not dreamed of residence or toil.
We will venture the statement that the desert is in nature precisely
like the rest. It does not seem so now, but it was so not many years
ago, when all the now lovely valleys were sun-baked ovens no one
had thought of occupying.
The eastern man who is on his way to California should remember
that he is about to witness something to which he has heretofore
been an entire stranger. The remotest traditions of the Saxon race
have left it out. It is the making and occupying of a new country
without natural resources except as to climate, by entirely artificial
helps. It is a scheme of geographical Redemption. Water is the
transforming power. None of this wonderful country ; hardly an
acre beyond the occupations of the original Spaniards ; could be
occupied now save for the skillful bringing of water where it never
If you should go into any nook of the Colorado Desert, and get
water there by boring or ditching, you will find the apparently sterile
soil the richest in the world. If there is water enough, an Eden
will grow green there also. In time to come there will be oases
there, and it will be no more strange, no more curious to the visitor's
eye, than it is now to see the mysterious streams and flowing wells
that are a feature of the redeemed portion.
There was, under the Spanish occupancy, a little water. There
were " rivers," such as they were, as the Los Angeles, the San Gabriel,
the Santa Ana. In an eastern sense they were ridiculous. They
did not flow between defined banks; for a good part of the year per-
haps, they did not flow at all. They had a way of dodging under the
ground for miles at a time. Their wide beds were marked by gray
sand and round boulders. There merely seemed to have once been
a river there, perhaps. At other places their current gently flowed,
162 OVERLAND GUIDE.
and at these localities the Mission fathers and the Spaniards made
their improvements. But Spanish irrigation was wasteful and neg-
ligent of what little water they had. When the Yankee concluded
to come he took measures to conduct the streams in cement-lined
ditches and through pipes. Then he began to bore. Not content
with a perpendicular hole, some of his Artesian exploits are hori-
zontal. Boring into the side of a mountain, he coaxes the stream
that has sunk there out to him by gravity. The expedient occurred
to him of damming the ends of mountain canyons, and making a
reservoir. All his experiments have been successful. Indeed the
story of the country is a romance of unlooked-for successes. There
is much more water than the first settlers dreamed there was, and it
requires less to make the country fruitful than the Spaniards
Thus, there is likely to be a surprising awakening for any eastern
traveller who conies to S mthern California with only the flowery
side of the country uppermost in his drear.is. There are no level,
black acres of government land awaiting the plow; there are no roll-
ing green prairies. Seen as it lies, and compared by sight alone
with such countries as Illinois - r .Misuari or Kansas, the region is
miserably poor. More than half of it is irredeemable after water
has done all that it can do. Barren places abound in the richest
parts. Patches pitilessly desolate lie beside gardens. The country
can never become either in appearance or reality a vast vegetable
garden. The charm of variety will still remain, no matter what
improvements are made.
This is fortunate from a view which is undoubtedly the practical
one. The country owes its fame and its unprecedented "boom" to
the facilities it offers for the enjoymnit of life. Both in climate and
scenery there is little left to be desired. The struggle with the
alternations of intense heat and bitter cold, and deep mud and wet
seasons, and coughs and general discomfort, is forever over here.
Wherever there is a valley where water has come the productiveness
Moun am <nd Valley.
1M OVERLAND GUIDE.
is enormous. No one who has not seen it can have any conception-
of both the luxuriance and the quality this disintegrated granite
"soil" brings forth. It cannot be judged by the eye. Some of it
that appears to be almost pure sand, or even mica, is surprisingly
rich. It requires only two conditions to make almost the worst of
it more productive than the loam of primeval woods ; moisture and
warmth. The last it always has; the first comes by skill and the
expenditure of capital.
The appearance of the country as nature left it may suggest to-
the reader none of its capacities. Everything now is an exotic.
Everything from everywhere will grow. This is what the country
was, as described by Mr. Van Dyke, before the modern miracles had
been worked. He alludes, of course, to the country as it was then
habitable; not to the desert.
" Within this enclosure of desert, mountain, and ocean lies a tract that has not
its like upon the globe. One sees valleys of the brightest verdure where the grass
is fed by the drainage of the surrounding hills, and ot . - j^rccn with the
dense foliage of live oaks that have stood shoulder to shoulder for ages. * *
Here a canyon enters the plain with a great wash from some ancient cloud burst or
season of unusual rain, cutting the level with a long deep gully, and then covering
it with acres of boulders and gravel; and here another enters by a little soft valley,
clad in a rich brown carpet of dried clover and flowers, with perhaps a huge rock-
pile of ancient granite in its centre overshadowed by the sweeping arms of some
venerable live-oak. There lies the great plain itself, with the distant laguna glitter-
ing on its breast, with tall slender columns of dust marching slowly over its face
where the little whirlwinds move along; the Indian girls, bright with gay calico, jog-
ging on their little ponies. * * * Upon a rising knoll shine the white
walls of the old Spanish ranch-house, with saddled horses tied to the porch, beneath,
which the owner and his friends are perhaps rolling cigarettes and chattering melo-
dious Spanish, while the herdsmen are driving the herds without.
"You see the line of the water course, now perhaps only a long dry bed of white
sand, winding seaward through long green lines of sycimore, cottonwood, and
willow, spreading out at times into broad groves. Perhaps the water breaks out
here and there in a long shining strip, or it may flow on for miles and then sink
to rise no more. * * *
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. 165
"Along the edges the plains and valleys Lreak into low hills covered with
thin grayish-green brush, and the little hollows between them are often filled with
prickly-pear, or the still more forbidding cholla cactus, as high as one's head. And
often these low hills are themselves hard and stony, and covered with cactus, and
often are only concretions of cobble-stones, with which the intervening hollows are
also filled. * * * These hills break into higher ones that roll in all sorts of
shapes and bristle with dense, dark brush higher than one's head, or perhaps are
covered with dead grass and scattered green bushes of live-oak, sumac and fuchsia.
Among these bushes smooth boulders of granite often shine afar like springs on
the hill-side, or they stand along the crests looking against the sky like houses or
chimneys. Again some of these hills are only huge undulations of bare dirt,
reaching for miles like chopping waves upon a stormy sea, some gray, some
dingy white, others a sickly brown or red.
" Beyond these secondary hills rise others, thousands of feet high, covered with
dark-green chaparral, through which perhaps a clump of dark-green sycamores
marks the presence of water. Or they may be from base to summit studded with
boulders, amid which the lilac, manzanita, and live-oak struggle for foothold.
Others again have long, smooth slopes, golden with dead fox-tail grass, over which
venerable live-oaks stand scattered. And among the fostering shoulders of these
lower mountains are often little gardens of living green, some. imes sunk like
lakes into their very tops. Between the ranges of such hills may lie broad valleys
or wide table-lands, with surfaces like rolling prairie, all lifted into the region of
abundant rains. And far above all else rise fir-plumed mountains, whose sides
are robed in dark forests, below whose heads the clouds float in long streams,
whose highest gulches are white with snow far into the summer, while in winter
it often lies twenty feet deep, though the orange tree is blooming scarce twenty
This brief and comprehensive picture embodies much of the charm
of the country, and is at least suggestive of the fact that the region
is unique in appearance as it is in climate and products. The author
adds a contrasting picture. He says:
"Such was the view of the land a few years ago; but now valley, slope, and
mesa, and even the mountain-sides, are dotted with bright and beautiful homes,
while villages and even cities are rearing tall spires from the lately bare plains.
* * * Hundreds upon hundreds of handsome houses, embowered in every
variety of shrubbery, now rise amid orange arid lemon groves, fields of alfalfa,
orchards where the foliage of the apricot, prune, plum, walnut, almond, peach, or
pear hide the ground beneath, vineyards where over sixty kinds of grapes are
growing, and the plats of raisin-grapes alone are larger than many wheat-fields of
the Middle States."
These pictures might be made indefinitely by any visitor who had
the love of nature to understand them and the skill to describe them.
But only actual presence can give the actual and almost indescrib-
able charm. And the growth, the changes, the unparalleled im-
provement, is not embroidery. It was done for money, and it brings
money. The country is not one for the pioneer; it is rather the
land of the millionaire. No man of quite moderate means has any
call to California for an improvement of his fortunes. The " day
of small things" has passed. It is rapidly becoming the most
o'pulent region under the American Flag. Its acres are purchased
as a luxury. When the " boom " is a thing of the past the situation
will not be greatly changed, for the reason that there is no other
place on earth where a life without toil can be so greatly enjoyed.
As a place to go, a land in which to escape from some of the studied
cruelties of winter, a country to live in in chronic tiredness and
changing health, California has no equal. It does not quite share
the fate of the other beautiful countries. They are nearly always
poor. All regions of mountains and sunshine; of pines and falling
waters; of natural beauty and wholesome air; are good for little
else; all but this.
S to the climatic cure for chronic diseases which come under
the general term of " ill health," all grades and varieties of
sick people come to California. There are several chronic com-
plaints for which the Pacific coast is said to offer certain relief.
Among these is the all-but-universal hay-fever. There are innu-
merable people here who have for some years been rejoicing at the
success of a scheme for saving their lives by driving mules or
The climate of the whole State is governed largely by the sea.
From April to October the current of cold water which pours south-
ward out of Behring Strait has a temperature of fifty-three degrees.
The north and north-west winds from this, meeting the south-west
trade-wind, bring a fog which often wraps itself like a gray cloak
around the Coast Range, but which is carried into the interior only a
short distance where there are gaps and openings in the range.
There are at least two distinct climates; the coast and the inland.
These two have each, in their turn, their several gradations. In one
place the coast will be unsuitable for invalids; at another locality, pos-
sibly only five or eight miles away, it will be found entirely different.
San Diego has the most equable and changeless climate known,
yet some of the bleakest spots on earth lie in sight of it. A mount-
ain, even a ridge, may practically change the climate to an invalid.
To realize this fact actual presence is necessary. The State has
been from the earliest times a climatic puzzle, though all changes
and varieties must come only within limits \vhich seem very narrow
to a stranger. One grows very particular after a little while. There
Sierra Madre Villa-San Bernardino Valley.
are wraps and overcoats in plenty on a dummy train between San
Diego and National City, for instance, though it be August. One
of the places is only five or six miles away, but exposed to the sea-
wind, and seems to be looked upon very much as Kansas people
look upon Dakota. There is often an apprehension of cold amusing
to a stranger, as there is in Mexico or the West Indies. There is
comfort in a fire "to get up by," in a California valley where frost
has never been known. Overcoats, or pretences of overcoats, are
carried and worn where the bitterest cold, actual cold, that ever
comes would not wither the petals of a hot-house lily.
These sensations are largely due to variety of surface. In the
Valley of the Amazon, in the heart of tropical Brazil, Midnight
and Noon are nearly the same the whole year through. Where
there are hills and valleys, a wide and open country round, and the
sea near at hand, the sensations, though not the actual changes per-
haps, are very different at noon, night and morning.
The following explanation of the great California!! climatic puzzle
is copied from one of the numerous immigration publications, and
the name of the author is unknown:
" The northern boundary of California is at about latitude 42 de-
grees north, while the southern boundary is very nearly at 32 degrees
north latitude. On the Atlantic coast, Boston, Massachusetts, occu-
pies very nearly the same relative position as the northern boundary
of California, and the city of Chicago is very nearly in the same
latitude, while the city of Savannah, Georgia, corresponds with the
extreme southern boundary of California. Wh'at a stretch of sea-
coast for a single State!
"One fact will suffice to show the great contrast of climates as.
between the Pacific coast and the Atlantic coast. At Oroville, in
Butte County, which is very near the 4oth parallel of north latitude,
oranges, lemons, limes, pomegranates, and other semi-tropical fruits,
are produced with as great or even greater success than the same
fruits are produced on the coast of Florida, u f . the 3oth parallel of
north latitude, or 720 miles south of Boston and 600 miles
south of Oroville. When it is considered that but for the
ameliorating climatic influences of the Gulf Stream, Eastern
Florida could not successfully produce the semi-tropical fruits
named, and that Oroville is at least 150 miles inland from the Pacific
coast, with the Coast Range of mountains, from 3,000 to 4.000 feet
high, intervening, and is located in the foot-hills of the Sierra.
Nevadas, at an elevation of about 1,000 feet above the sea, some
faint conception of the wonderful contrast between the climates of
the Atlantic and Pacific coasts may be obtained.
The Big Trees.
" Oroville is mentioned simply because it is one of the most north-
ern points in California in which the semi-tropical fruits have been
very successfully cultivated, but all along the foot-hills of the Sierra
Nevada mountains, at about the same elevation as Oroville, to Los
Angeles county, these fruits may be, and have been, cultivated with
equal success. The length of this belt of country is about 400
miles, by from 10 to 15 miles wide.
" In many localities in and along the east base of the Coast
Range of mountains, for the same distance north and south, the
tropical fruits are cultivated with good success. The wide, open
valleys of the Sacramento and the San Joaquin rivers and their
large tributaries, are not so favorable for the cultivation of these
fruits, neither in the composition of the soil nor the characteristics
of the climate.
" Having pointed out the great difference of the climates of the
Pacific coast and the Atlantic coast, by a reference to some of the
productions at different points, attention is now called to the follow-
ing table, which shows the contrast as indicated by the thermometer.
" Taken the months of January and July as representing the ex-
tremes of heat and cold of the year, and given the mean temper-
ature of place named for each month, points in California are
contrasted with other points in the United States and Europe.
Genoa Italy .
4 U J/
Jacksonville Florida . .
Los Angeles Cal
" Thus comparing the weather in January and July, at Sacramento,
with that of same months at Chicago and New York, while it is
thirty-five degrees colder at Chicago in January than at Sacramento,
it is but ten degress cooler in July at Chicago than at Sacramento,,
-and while it is fourteen degrees colder at New York in January than
at Sacramento, it is also three degrees cooler at Sacramento in July
than at New York.
" Comparing San Francisco weather with the weather at Chicago
and New York, while it is thirty-eight degrees warmer in winter at
San Francisco than at Chicago, and seventeen degrees warmer than
at New York, it is five degrees cooler in San Francisco in summer
than at Chicago, and nineteen degrees cooler in San Francisco in
summer than in New York.
North of the Range.
" Going on with the comparisons as between the places named in
California, and those named on the Atlantic coast and in Europe, it
will be seen that the extremes between winter and summer in Cali-
fornia are less than between the same seasons at the most favored
localties on the Atlantic slope or Europe. In other words, while
there are warmer winters there are also cooler summers.
" In addition to the above climatic showings, as indicated by a com-
parison of the figures of the thermometer, owing to the absence of
moisture in the atmosphere in California in the summer, eighty
degrees of heat, as shown there by the instrument, is less oppressive
than sixty degrees, as shown by the instrument on the Atlantic coast
or in Europe. In consequence of this difference in the state of
moisture in the atmosphere, sun-stroke and like affections are un-
known in California.
" Owing to the comparative absence of moisture in the air in Cali-
fornia in summer, however warm the day may be while the sun is
present, the moment he has gone below the horizon the effects of his
heating influence cease, and the evenings and nights are cool.
Everybody sleeps under blankets.
' For a more full exposition of the climate of California, aSj com-
pared with the world's noted climates, we give the following table
of mean temperature:
D 3 T
'Cinninnati Ohio ...
City of Mexico
Kort Yuma Arizona
Honolulu S I
Hollister Cal ....
New Orleans Louisiana
Richmond Virginia .
Santa Barbara Cal
San Diego Cal
Stockton Cal . . ... ...
San Mateo Cal
San Jose, Cal
^St. Augustine, Florida
" A short statement of the peculiar causes that help to form the
many climates of California, will help the reader the better to under-
" The Golden Gate pass is an opening several miles long but of less
width, through the Coast Range of mountains, and is the only com-
plete break or pass in the Coast Range, from the southern to the
northern end of the basin to which it forms the outlet.
"Directly opposite the Golden Gate, across the bay of San Fran-
cisco, and several miles inland, stands the world-famed Diablo
mountain apparently representing a section of the Coast Range,
which, by some ancient disturbance, had been cut out of the space
now known as the Golden Gate and moved bodily inland, and
placed firmly on its base again. Now, this Golden Gate pass and
Mount Diablo together form the key to the climate of the interior
of northern California. Without such pass as an outlet to the inte-
rior waters, the great basin would be an inland lake. Without such
pass as an inlet to the currents of moisture-laden atmosphere from
the ocean, the same basin would be like an oven-heated, arid desert.
Keeping the above statements and formation of the country in mind,
the reader is prepared to follow the explanation of the natural
causes that produce the climate of interior California.
"The trade winds of the Pacific ocean are constant winds blowing
from near the equator in a north-easterly direction. These winds
are, of course, warm, and carry with them large amounts of warm
moisture in suspension. Were there no break in the Coast Range
of mountains, they would simply float above them and over the basin
of the interior, without condensation, and without leaving any
moisture in the form of rain, winter or summer. As it is, however,
in the summer these trade winds unite with the cooler winds that
sweep down the coast from the north Alaska and Behring Straits
and entering the Golden Gate pass, strike Mount Diablo and divide,
the larger portion sweeping up the Sacramento valley, and the lesser
portion up the San Joaquin valley thus producing in both these
valleys, in the summer, dry but delightfully cool summer breezes, or
tempered trade winds.
"These breezes generally begin about noon, and last till about
midnight of each day. Thus is produced the general summer climate
of the interior valleys, the cloudless days and cool nights. And
^ The Three Brothe4-Yo Semite
thus is accounted for the fact that the San Joaquin valley has, as a
rule, the warmer climate in the summer, and also the fact that in
the upper or extreme northern end of the Sacramento valley the
weather is warmer than at points nearer the Golden Gate, hundreds
of miles further south. Both these uniting currents of air being
comparatively dry in the summer season,, and coming in contact, in
the valley, with no cool current or surface, no condensation takes
piace, and we have no rain in summer.
" Now for the winter climate of the interior. But for the opening
at the Golden Gate and the ingress at that point of winds from
the ocean, the winter climate of the interior would be dry and cold,
and probably without even snow to cover and moisten the soil.
As it is, however, just at the time when there is a tendency to cold
in the valley, from the absence of the rays of the summer sun, the
presence of that sun further south over the Pacific ocean heats up
the water and air there to a greater degree, and the trade winds
come north with greater vigor and constancy, and meeting at the
same time more fierce and colder winds from the northern coast,
storm centres are formed out at sea, and awaiting some escape for
their furious natures, very naturally float in at the Golden Gate,
and, dividing as they strike Mount Diablo, find their way up both
valleys, discharging the accumulated moisture as they go. But
instead of bringing with them a lower degree of temperature and
colder weather, as on the Atlantic coast, these storms of the Pacific
modify the temperature, and end in warmer weather. The plain
reason is that they come from toward the equator, and bring warm
.air with them.
" The great variety of configuration of the valleys, presenting end-
less checks and breakwinds to the ocean air as it comes in at the
Golden Gate and spreads out, fanshaped, and sweeps up the country,
causes corresponding variations of climate. Hence, even in the great
valleys,while compared to the climate of the Atlantic coast and Missis-
sippi valley States, this is mild winter and summer ; still both in winter
and summer we have almost endless degrees of mildness, amounting,
practically, to a different climate for each location. This brings
.about wonderful and almost incredible variations and conditions.
" But when we leave the valleys and go up the foot-hills toward
either range of mountains, we come in contact with still greater
varieties of climate. The general slightly undulating elevations of
these foot-hills have a climate varying but little in its general
character from the climate of the lower valleys adjacent. But when
we enter the thousand and one small valleys running up to and
losing themselves in the equal number of gulches and mountain
canons, some penetrating the mountain ranges at right angles, some
presenting their funnel-shaped mouths or approaches directly to the
currents of the ocean air, and thus leading it in and giving it direc-
tion into their recesses, and some still opening out into the large
valleys behind projecting spurs that turn away and exclude these
prevailing breezes from the small valley, at the gates of which they
seem to stand as constant and watchful sentinels, in each of these
valleys we find a climate, though always mild, still in many par-
ticulars differing from the climate of each of the other valleys of
the same general character.
" These small valleys are found at all elevations up the mountain
slopes, from five hundred to five thousand feet above the level of
the sea, and each in turn is affected by climatic influences, accord-
ing to its altitude or elevation.
" Under such circumstances it is plain that the lowest parts or
troughs of a valley will, under the influence of the sun's rays,
become the warmest section of the valley.
" It is plain, also, that the moment the sun sinks below the western
horizon, and thus removes the heating influence, this warm air in the
trough of the valley would, being rarefied and lighter than the air
resting on the mountain slopes above, begin to rise, and the air
above on all sides would begin to run like water to the lowest
point, and thus in the latter part of the night and the morning
the lowest point in the valley would be full of cold instead of warm
air, and would in turn become the coldest section of the valley.
If frost occurred anywhere, it would be in this low trough. At
180 OVERLAND GUIDE.
some point up the mountain side there might, under such circum-
stances, be found a warmer place or belt of air than could be
found above or below it. If so, this would be a thermal, or warm
belt. But the mountain sides, instead of being a smooth inclined
plane, are cut by high ridges, on the upper sides of which are
canyons or gulches, leading off in different directions down toward
and into the valley below.
" In the middle of the day, therefore, under the heating influence
of the sun's perpendicular rays, the middle or trough of the valley
becomes the warmest. At night, the sun being below the horizon,
this warm air begins to rise and the cold air up the mountain sides
begins, like water, to run down. But it can not run down all in one
sheet, but, like water, it runs down the canyons and gulches and
seeks the valley in streams or currents. Within the line of these
streams or currents of cold air it is plain there will be a cold streak
or section of country, whether high up the mountain side or lower
down in the valley. But on the lower side of the ridges, which
check the descending cold air and hold it in streams or currents
and turn it down the ravines, it is plain there must be a warm sec-
tion or belt where the heated air of the day remains quiet and
undisturbed, like still water along some bends or eddies of a great
river. Here, too, the warm air of the lower valley, rising, finds a
quiet resting place and helps to keep the section warm and balmy.
"Thus are produced the warm belts of California, the warm belts
in the west and mountainous sections of Virginia and North Caro-
lina, and the eastern sections of Tennessee and West Virginia
Thus it is, that on account of the warm current of air from the
equator, sweeping up the valleys during the winter season, combined
with this peculiar natural phenomena we have just described, that in
California, at a latitude but little below Boston and Chicago, they
can grow oranges, limes and lemons, ripening in December, and pro-
duce cherries, peaches, apricots, nectarines and many of the smaller
fruits and berries, and vegetables, ripe and ready for market before
the blossoms appear on the same kinds of trees in the same latitude
east of the Rocky mountains."
The foregoing may be taken as a fair explanation of the well-
known curiosities of the puzzle, at least so far as northern Cal-
ifornia is concerned. The additional modifying causes in the case
of Southern California have been mentioned in preceding pages.
It should also be remembered that the Pacific is full of currents; the
one coming down through Behring Strait having a low temperature
as mentioned. All winds off of the Pacific seem cool, almost cold,
when they reach one round a point or through a notch direct. When
in Winter, one sees the snow on the north side of the San Bernar-
dino Range, and the flowers on the south side, and observes that the
difference is made by coming southward through Cajon Pass, it has
a tendency to produce in his mind a high regard for merely local in-
fluences. The question of the difference between a valley and a
ridge is one of prime importance only to the more delicate class of
health-seekers. To the average eastern man the execrated and ab-
jured climate of San Francisco does not seem so very bad. Com-
pared with anything known east of the Rocky Mountains, every
nook of the State is a revelation.
Boundary-Line Monument, near San Diego.
IOMING down from Barstow to San Bernardino there is a
suggestion of a river on the right. It is a desert stream called
the Mojave ( Mo-A#//-ve ), beginning and ending on the north side
of the range. Its ultimate destination is the " Sink " of Mojave ;
a lake of gray mud or sand, passed before reaching Barstow.
During the afternoon the train traverses the range which is the
climatic fence of Southern California, through Cajon ( Ca.h-/wne :
a box) Pass. The scenery here, especially in Winter, is very
striking. The road is very crooked, and the cuts very deep
and narrow, not through rock, but through a peculiar deep-yellow
soil. Often the head of the long train may be seen apparently de-
tached and running alone on the other side of the hill from the
passenger. These long and narrow cuts were made by the engineers
with perfect impunity. All the snow that falls, even on the north-
ern side, scarce serves for more than the tracking of the big Cali-
Once through the pass, and you may see the glitter of the electric
lights at San Bernardino.
This is the point on the California Southern road whence you go
either southward to San Diego, or turn westward to Los Angeles.
A glance at the map will explain.
If the journey be 'direct to San Francisco by this route, the car
does not turn southward at Barstow, but goes direct to Mojave,
seventy-two miles further west, and thence northward to San Fran-
cisco. It will be seen that the same journey can be made via South-
ern California, by going to San Bernardino, from there to San
Diego; back again via San Bernardino to Los Angeles, or more
184 OVERLAND GUIDE.
directly via Oceanside and through Santa Ana, and northward from
Los Angeles through Soledad Pass to Mojave and thence to San
Francisco. The extensions of the railroad system of Southern Cali-
fornia within the past two years offer one of the most striking
features of the contrast between the old and the new, and by this
journey alone, almost without leaving the cars, a general view of the
country may be obtained, and all the contrasts of shore, valley, and
mountain be obtained.
North of Mojave, going either direct by Barstow, or by way of
Southern California, you enter through the Tehachapi Pass the
valley of the San Joaquin, and are in the California of the old times.
Here is the remarkable engineering work called the Loop, and the
name more or less accurately describes it. This scene, even by
night, especially if the moon shines, is a very remarkable one.
In a pocket at the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley are
clustered the three shallow lakes, Tulare, Buena Vista and Kern.
They are not considered places of interest.
From the station of Berenda, on the Southern Pacific road, there
is a short line constructed to Raymond, saving that much horseback
or stage on the way to Yo Semite and the Big Tree groves.
There are three Big Tree groves in California, that most frequently
visited being the Mariposa grove, included in the same tour with the
Yo Semite. It is almost useless to attempt a new description of
these wonderful places, which thousands have crossed the sea to
visit. The enterprise of modern journalism sometimes discovers
somewhere else bigger trees than these are, but the locality always
remains doubtful. As they are, they have been drawn, described,
photographed and wondered over thousands of times. The Sequoia
seems to remain the sole living representative of a race of giants
that will never come again. These are but the stragglers of a host,
outliving their time. All over these mountain sides there are great
trenches where they have fallen, perhaps a thousand years being
passed in their slow decay. It is not even known how old these
living ones are, whether they are yet growing, or how long they
The Yo Semite Valley, very briefly described, is an irregular basin
about eight miles long and two miles wide, whose sides are irregular
walls of rock about two miles high. The rim of this amphitheatre
has notched edges. Of the special points in the edge to which
names have been given, the following are some: Mount Starr King,
(named after the eloquent divine of that name, who lived at San
Francisco and who died some years ago), 5,600 feet; Cloud's Rest,.
ear San Diego.
6,034 feet; South Dome, 4,737 feet; Sentinel Dome, 4,500 feet; El
Capitan, 3,300 feet.
The lowest point in the rim of the valley which has been specially
named is 1,800 feet. It must be readily observed, even on paper,
that these are very unusual elevations to be grouped around an
amphitheatre in such a manner that most of them are included in
There are eleven water-falls, one of them, the Yo Semite, being
2,634 feet high, while the Sentinel measures 3,000 feet. By way of
186 OVERLAND GUIDE.
comparison, it may be recalled that there are 5,280 feet in a mile,
and that Niagara is only 163 feet high. Places and falls that are
pigmies compared to these have a celebrity that is world-wide.
Might not one better visit California first and Europe afterwards ?
Yet comparisons, heights and depths, absolute statements, have
little to do with it. You cannot quite comprehend it even after you
SAN FRANCISCO is still a place unique, and notwithstanding its
tens of thousands of annual visitors, and all their letters and con-
versations afterwards, still worth seeing. The long, deep Bay of
San Francisco, on whose shore the track lies for thirty miles or more,
is interesting to that man especially who feels that now the ocean
which bounds his western shore is reached at last.
The tourist has now practically reached the end of a journey
whose western terminus is in the land of contradictions and curiosi-
ties. It is in no sense a wilderness. The facilities of convenient
travel are on every hand, and on every hand is a place to go, a
change of climate, a mountain resort, a watering-place. This most
favored land on earth is in no respect behind the times in every ar-
tificial luxury of the century. A thousand pages would be inade-
quate to describe what might be done.
But all of us carry to California and elsewhere, our preconceived
ideas. These govern us wherever we may go. There is little use
for them; as little as there can be anywhere on the planet, in any
of the various States and Territories briefly described in this volume,
and in California perhaps least of all. In every respect it is a
curious country, and often seems not to be known well as yet even
by the oldest settler. There are facts that indicate that the country,
like Australia, was originally intended to be left by itself.
It is comparatively rainless, yet there are places where eighty
inches of water fall in a year.
It is the land of all the world for flowers, yet a great portion of it
45 heart-breaking, hopeless, despairing desert.
IN GENERAL. 187
It can, and will, produce wine enough to supply the epicurean
tables of the world. Yet there is but one species of native grape ;
all the rest have been imported as experiments; and all grew.
The trees are not only indigenous, but are mostly confined to this
coast. The three species of the Sequoia, including the redwood,
never grew elsewhere. Yet you may look in vain for familiar trees
like the maple, hickory, bass-wood, gum-tree, persimmon, sassa-
fras, birch, chestnut, or almost any others that would make the
woods look home-like. It is the only place in the world where
Torrey's Pine has been found. This rarest tree on earth grows
even here in only one locality, and you may see a few of them
near the station of Del Mar, on the California Southern road. The
lawns smile with grass that does not grow elsewhere. Even the
trees which have familiar names are unlike the trees of the same
name in the East. There is an extensive and beautiful family of
smaller and greater growths, all differing in appearance and nature
from what we would imagine they were from their familiar names.
Of birds, there are some three hundred and fifty species native to
the country. Of these, twenty kinds are woodpeckers. There are
thirty-seven different birds of prey, and among these, twelve kinds.
of owls. None of these have ever lived elsewhere.
Out of one hundred and fifteen kinds of mammals, twenty-seven
are carnivorous. Yet the familiar animals of youth, the woodchuck,
'possum, wolverine, mink, musk-rat, otter, and beaver all are want-
ing. Our familiar rat is not there, but his place is fully and credit-
ably filled by another, who keeps up the family reputation. Califor-
nia has not even our familiar family mouse, but the place of the poor
little bead-eyed victim of universal feminine vindictiveness is taken
by another who is represented as "having a more fuzzy tail"; teeth
and general propensities probably very much the same. There is
also a jerboa, or jumping, kangaroo mouse, and another who seems
a unique and interesting combination of mouse and squirrel.
All our familiar squirrels are missing, red, gray and fox. There.
-are not even chipmunks. Above a certain elevation there is a squir-
rel, but he doesn't act and bark like our gray squirrel, and must be
passed as a Californian. The squirrel of the country can climb, but
won't, and has decided to live on the ground. His numbers, like
other things of the country, are amazing, and while he is good eat-
ing, nobody kills him because he is too easily hunted. He is said to
be entirely capable of visiting the dining-room and eating the butter
off of the middle of the table before the family can be seated.
California Orange Tree.
Nearly all these beasts can do without water. They wait until it
rains, and if it does not rain in time they go to sleep and wait.
"Molly Cotton-tail " does not live in California, but her place is
taken by four or five varieties of hares, one of them a monster weigh-
nine or ten pounds, who regards the utmost efforts of the ordinary
dog with cool contempt. There is a little cotton-tail too, but almost
totally unlike her of the Middle and Eastern States
IN GENERAL. 189
The birds have features and feathers like their cousins in the
East in many cases, but when they have they act so differently that
one wonders what ails them. It is a country where robins take to
the mountains, where the mocking-bird is credited with but eight
notes sung over and over, where the meadow-lark is a hermit of the
chaparral, where the big " crow " blackbird has assumed the habits of
his little brown cousin and sits on the cows' backs, and where the wood-
pecker spends most of his time picking up ants and beetles on the
ground. Jenny Wren, darling of childhood, is not here, but her place is
taken by a wee gray cock-tail about half her size, or by another as
big, but not of her color, that " never looks too fine.'* These, how-
ever, are so glib and pert that there is no doubt about their being
wrens. Our King Bird has degenerated here into a " drab-coated
rascal that lives on nothing but bees, and wakes one an hour before
dawn with notes like the filing of a saw."
Among insects, ants of all varieties, and all grades of industry
and vindicj-iveness, swarm from the coast to the mountain-tops.
Some are almost as tiny as chigoes, while others have a fearful
The wild bee, buzzing everywhere, and even occupying the deserted
and decaying mission-buildings to the exclusion of other visitors, is
not "wild" at all. There were no bees in all this land of flowers
until they had escaped from those who brought them here from the
East. There is, among a half-dozen kinds, a wasp nearly two inches
long. There are two or three kinds of bumble-bees, none of them
belonging to the bee family. One of them looks like " a cross be-
tween a bat and a humming-bird," and another is of enormous size
and hums like a deep bass reed.
There is a tarantula that can bite through a green twig as large as
a lead pencil, that lives in a satin-lined hole closed with a lid with a
perfect hinge, that is a beast of prey in all senses. Yet there is a
wasp ferocious enough, and big enough, to kill him whenever he can
be caught away from his aesthetic and elegant habitation.
There are beetles big and little, gray, brown, yellow, purple, blue,
crimson, banded, striped, long-geared, stubby, soft, hard, flying,
jumping, and snap-backed. Yet the cockroach and bed-bug are
almost or quite unknown. But many a car-load of baggage and
household goods has gone across, and if one of them should get
away from his nook in these, there is nothing to hinder his assump-
tion of family habits, and getting a living and begetting a numerous
A Nook on the Coast
There are, so far as yet counted, ten separate families of mosqui-
toes. It is a consolatory statement that "some of them do not bite."
Then again, others do.
There are two or three varieties of fleas. Some of them only live
upon hares and rabbits, and do not bite people. But he who does is
" a savage wretch that never wearies of anything except the old
place. He takes a new spot every second." It is comforting to know
that he, being select in his tastes, does not bite everybody. It is alsa
kind of him to disappear in Winter entirely.
There are two kinds of scorpions. They are not abundant, and
IN GENERAL. 191
only traditionally, perhaps, come and get into bed with you. There
is a gigantic earwig called a centipede, six or eight inches long, but
keeping generally to himself in his lowly habits of life.
There are innumerable lizards, of all sizes, from eight to ten
inches in length downward. Most of them are agile and beautiful,
and all are harmless. There are none of the familiar tree-toads that
chirp our brief Summer nights away.
California snakes all hibernate even in the very warmest localities,
where there is never frost. The only poisonous snake is the rattle-
snake. They are rare and sluggish.
Notwithstanding the apparently formidable array of reptiles and
insects one could make out in this prolific country, the Californian
would gladly take ten times the number he has of centipedes, scor-
pions, lizards, snakes, beetles and earthquakes, rather than give up
his present immunity from wind-storms, hydrophobia, sun-stroke, hay-
fever and lightning. The best writer on California topics, Mr. Van
Dyke, says " the whole number of persons in the whole southern
half of the State (where thousands sleep all Summer on the open
ground) injured by snakes and poisonous reptiles, animals, etc.,
in the last ten years, is not equal to the number killed by lightning
alone in one year in one county in many Eastern States, to say
nothing of cyclones, mad dogs, etc."
Of flowers it is entirely useless to begin to write. The green-
houses that wealthy people build, adorned with stucco rocks, and
with waterfalls that remind one of an accidental leak, and that are
warmed with coils of plumber's pipe, or with the uncongenial heat of
a furnace, show all over the land the appreciation in which are held
what to many gentle souls are the sweetest and choicest gifts of
heaven ; the flowers. Yet all the contrivances of art never pro-
duced under glass anything to equal a nook in the forest, a corner
by the wayside, or a poor man's door-yard, in the Californian mid-
winter. Of infinite variety naturally, nearly all of delicate tints and
beautiful forms ; a natural flora in its season the most varied and
beautiful on earth ; they have been supplemented by every exotic of
the tropics. The hillsides that dazzled the wanderer with a blaze of
color from acres and roods of pink, great fields of violets, vast
reaches of blue, endless sweeps of white, were not enough. The
most beautiful flowers and trees of the world now grow and bloom
in California. The long, dry Summer has its compensation when
the rains of this glorious Winter begin to fall. Without doubt or
question it is the realm of flowers.
s A HEALTH RES0RT.
The last man who asks a question about this land of contradic-
tions will be he who wishes to know if he will recover his health if
he should go there.
The general character of the seasons has been considered on
previous pages. Dry, damp, cold, hot, may be found with all their
variations within a few miles of travel; only the very damp and the
actual cold are a little scarce. Many an invalid has been sadly dis-
appointed, while many another has been cured. There may be for
you little or nothing in any climate. You have waited until you are
almost dead, according to a time-honored American custom. There
is bad weather in California, as there is in all lands, and some of it
may seem to you awful; as when the dust that has been lying in the
roads as fine as wheaten flour for months is driven by the winds;
when the chill of the early morning strikes you so hard that you
look with wonder upon the blooming exotics that do not wither;
when the gray fog which has blown in from the sea through a notch
in the mountains wraps you like a cloak because you are not quite
high enough to be above it; when the "night air," the dread of
our grandmothers, chills you to the bone without turning the petals
of a single rose.
But you may rely upon the fact that the fogs disappear; that the
night is followed by a day almost always warm, bright, beautiful;
that the winds are always dry, always above fifty-five degrees,
and that there are places enough where they can scarcely be felt
Of all things do not make the not unusual mistake of going in the
Winter and coming away in the Summer, under the impression that
you cannot stand the heat, the malaria, the insects, the drynes.s, or
that you must go back anyhow, and attend to business. It is dis-
tinctly not like Florida, where the only thing to go for is the Winter.
The almost universal testimony by those who should know is that if
you are to receive any benefit of permanent value you are likely to
get it in the Summer of Southern California. Often-^ they say, it is
the Summer only that cures. Do not return at its commence-
ment to the place where
There is little in climate
as an actual cure. Re-
move irritation from the
throat and lungs and they
cure themselves. Acquire
a store of vitality and build
up the general strength,
and to do so go to a
country where you can do
it best, and you have the
whole climatic receipe, per-
haps. If one is so far
gone with consumption
that all he can do is to sit
in a chair and keep up
his strength with tonics until the climate can cure him, he might
perhaps better far stay at home. Many a sorrowful pilgrimage has
been uselessly made both ways because of this mistake.
If the invalid realizes in time, and while there remains sufficient
strength to use them, that the actual advantages consist in the
opportunity to be out of doors nine days in ten, and often every day
for months at a time, where cold and dampness almost do not exist,
where he can walk, ride, hunt, farm, drive team, trim vines, or merely
loaf and sit in the sun, and can make up his mind to stay at least a.
AS A HEALTH RESORT. 195
year, and if he grows better to stay permanently, at any price, then
it is likely that Southern California will cure him if there be a place
and a climate that can.
The country has begun to acquire fame as a good place for women
and children. Every observing visitor is impressed by the sight of
the youngsters who are sensibly turned loose by their ancestors, and
who rolic and run barefoot in the most bare-legged and unfashiona-
ble fashion, out of doors the livelong day, every day unless it rains,
which last is a contingency that may be considered when it comes.
Women belonging to the numerous but aristocratic sisterhood that
never " feels well," seldom smiles, and never grows fleshy, are
observed to "pick up" wonderfully in these latitudes, and the
feminine countenance seems much more inclined to rosiness and
smiles than it was "back east." Men engaged in the actual contest
with the raw wilderness, or worried about the fluctuations of the
real-estate craze; as much gambling as ever lard-corner or wheat-
deal is; do not look differently from their hard-worked and fretting
brethren the world over.
That California is a very curious country, is a fact that will appear
to you in very strong colors after you have come away again. You
may add to all these pages tell you, certain historical recollections;
the immense yield of the precious metals in her earlier history, the
days when all those who knew the country best unanimously declared
that it was "no good for farming"; the profusion and quality of
her present products; the energy and genius of her people; the
princely endowment of her Lick Observatory, and of her schools,
colleges, asylums, institutes and organized charities; the eloquence
of her preachers from Starr King down to Kalloch; her authors,
statesmen and soldiers; her renowned courts of law, whose decisions
are quoted in every Saxon court; her beautiful women and happy
children; her tolerance, her anti-Puritan wickedness, and her famous,
whole-hearted and prodigal hospitality. You may also remember
the fateful days of the Vigilantes, and the chaos out of which all
this order sprung, and recall the latest stories of her millionaire
fools, the desperate games of her female adventurers, and the un-
blushing perjuries of her divorce trials. She must present, notwith-
standing, the largest progress ever made in thirty-six brief years in
the whole history of the human race; the most favored land over
which the standard of any country ever floated.
THE I M>.
NOTE. The journey here briefly sketched may not occupy quite the time stated,
the incidents remaining the same. Also, the eastern terminus of the Santa F6
Route is now Chicago. The interest to the Western Tourist making the journey for
the first time being usually from Kansas City westward, only that portion of the
journey is given.
MONDAY : Leaving Kansas City in the morning, arrive in the
evening at NEWTON, Middle Kansas, SUPPER. During the night
the journey lies westward along the Arkansas River, first seen
at Hutchinson, Kan., across what were once known as " The
Plains," to and across the western line of Kansas, to LA JUNTA,
COLORADO. BREAKFAST, Tuesday morning.
From La Junta the coaches and Pullmans going direct to the
Pacific coast turn south-westward ; those for Denver, or Colorado
Springs and a junction there with the Colorado Midland Railroad
or the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, going northward. During
the forenoon TRINIDAD, at the foot of the Raton Range, is passed,
and the train climbs the eastern slope and passes through Raton
tunnel. DINNER at the town of Raton. SUPPER at the town of
LAS VEGAS, whence a branch line of six miles runs to the LAS VEGAS
HOT SPRINGS. Beyond Las Vegas is passed the Glorieta Range,
and immediately beyond this is the station of LAMY, whence a branch
line of 17 miles goes up to the city of SANTA FK.
During the night of Tuesday, the train enters the Valley of the
Rio GRANDE, passing down this valley as far as ALBUQUERQUE,
where the Pacific coast cars turn westward over the Atlantic &
Passengers for El Paso, or the interior or City of Mexico, are
carried southward from Albuquerque.
19 8 APPENDIX.
WEDNESDAY: Breakfast at COOLIDGE, near the western line of
New Mexico. During the forenoon pass LAC; UNA, Fort Wingate,
etc., and fairly enter the curious country in which there is so little,
and yet so much, to interest. DINNER at HOLBROOK or WINSLOW.
During the afternoon pass Canyon Diablo, and enter the forest
region about Flagstaff. SUPPER at WILLIAMS. During the night
pass some of the finest mountain scenery possible to American
travel ; about midnight reach Peach Springs, the nearest railroad
station to the GRAND CANYON, which lies directly north ; and strike
the cown grade to the Colorado River.
THURSDAY: Breakfast at THE NEEDLES, California, at the western
end of the bridge crossing the Colorado.
Here begins THE DESERT, to many travellers not the least interest-
ing portion of the journey. DINNKR at a station reached about one
o'clock, and at about three o'clock p. m. arrive at BARSTOW, where
cars for Los ANGELES, SAN DIEGO and all points in Southern Cali-
fornia turn southward to cross the San Bernardino Range through
Cajon Pass. SUPPER, SAN BER V or Los ANGELES. At San
Bernardino the cars for Los Angeles turn westward through the San
Bernardino Valley; those for San Diego direct go southward. To
Los Angeles, the journey (supposing it to begin on Monday) ends
on Thursday evening; to San Diego on Friday morning; to San
Francisco direct, not turning off at Barstow, on Friday morning.
The distance from Kansas City is: to San Bernardino, 1,740 miles.
To Los Angeles, 1,800 miles. To San Diego, 1,871 miles. To
San Francisco (diect), 2,115 miles.
N. B. The time-tables of all principal Lines are usually issued at the
beginning of every calendar month. They show the frequent changes in
details of time and train service, and the latest should be consulted.
Mileage, scenery and territory, and usually gross time required, do not
change, and a Guide is supplementary to the technicalities of the usual
NOTE. Many of the geographical names of California and the South-west are
Indian, or Indian corruptions. There is no definite authority upon pronunciation
01 nu-aning, and no attempt has been made to give them. On the other hand many
of the Spanish names are mis-spelled on the maps, often t6 the extent that it is not
possible to trace their original significance. Some of them are abbreviations by ear,
Others have been given by Americans for sound only, and are composites of two
words not capable of being joined in meaning. Others have a meaning not com-
plimentary to the place, or ridiculous, or that belongs to the colloquialisms of a
tongue richer in proverbs, plays upon words and double meanings, than any other.
Others, having or ginally been given more than two centuries ago, are to the modern
Spanish vocabulary what old English would be to ours, and their meaning is doubt-
ful. There is a very trivial meaning, without significance or value, attached to many
of these geographical names. In such cases the pronunciation is the chief thing of
value. Spanish scholars will observe that in words beginning with "c" or "ch,"
etc., the pronunciation prescribed by the Spanish Academy has not been adhered
to. In many parts of Spain, and in all parts of Spanish America, the lisp which is
so piquant when used by a Madrid orange-girl is considered rather an affectation,
and "ch" is pronounced as in our word "church," and not like, or nearly like,
"th" in "thus." The sound of "11"; like that of those letters in our word
"million," is adhered to, their elimination being in all cases a provincialism.
Persons unaccustomed to Spanish pronunciation should remember amid the Sans
and Santas, and "ahs" generally, that the "a" is in all words as it is in our "man"
or "sand," and the "aw" sound should not be given it. " O," occurring often in
such words as "los"; "the," is the same as las, except that it is masculine, and
the " o" is pronounced as in our word " ore"; thus "los" does not become "loss,"
but is pronounced "lose." The Spanish "z" is practically our " s. " The pro-
nunciations given below the word are in all cases as near an approximation as
p ssible, though perhaps not always absolute and exact, since in our peculiar and
wonderful mother-tongue the same plain word, plainly spelled, may be pronounced
in three or four ways, by the same number of persons, in the same conversation.
200 OVERLAND GUIDE.
ADONDE ................ Where to.
AGUA CALIENTE.. . ...... Hot water.
ALAMEDA ............... Lit. a grove of poplars; a shaded walk.
ALAMILLO .............. A place of poplars.
ALBUQUERQUE ........... A family name.
ALCATRAZ .............. Pelican.
ALGODONES ............ Lit. cottons; cotton lands.
ALISO .................. Alder-bush.
ALMADEN ............... A place of mineral deposits. The word
Al-mah-</<7///. is not in common use.
ALTURAS ................ Heights.
ALVARADO .............. A launching place for ships: not in
Alvar-rt//-do. common use.
A i vise .................. A view; not in common use.
AM ADOR ................ Lover.
ARENA ................. Sand.
ARROYO, OR ARROYO SECO. A wash made by water; not a creek or
Ar-r0-yo 6V7)'-co river, and shallower and smaller than
AZUSA ............... . . . A provocation; annoyance. The word
Ah-tt?<?-sah is colloquial.
BALLONA .............. If spelled Ball/na (bal-j^-nah) it would
ah. mean whale.
SPANISH GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES. 201
BELEN A seige and capture for which the Spanish
Hay -lain. histories claim great glory.
BELLA VISTA Pretty View.
BENICIA Should be Venecia; Venice.
BERNAL Proper name.
BERNALILLO Little Bernal.
BERROS, Los Name of a plant, Berro; water-cress.
BUENAVENTURA Good fortune; also a frequent proper
BUENA VISTA Good View; does not mean "beautiful "
l?wain-a\\ f^ees-tah. view, but one unobstructed.
CAJON Caja, a box; cajon, a big box, Cajon Pass,
Cah-/i0/ie. " box pass."
CALAVERAS Plu. The rattlepates; the mad-caps, or
Cal-ah-z/tfy-ras what we call goings-on; didoes. Used
modernly only in this sense.
CANYON The Spanish spelling is "canon, "and pro-
nounced can-on by persons not accus-
tomed. The Span, pronunciation is
can-yone; the American can-yon. It
means the bore of a gun; calibre; a
groove, in artillery, the gun itself.
As used ordinarily it means a ravine
with" steep sides between hills or
mountains, or a deep crack in the
earth. CANYON DIABLO; (De-a^-blo,)
Devil's canyon, Canyoncito; (^<?-to,)
CANUTILLO A place of small rushes.
202 OVERLAND GUIDE.
CARMELITA ............ Name of a flower.
CASA GRANDE ........... Big House.
CARRIZO ............... A kind of reed grass.
CERRO GORDO ........... A thick ridge.
CERILLOS, Los ........... Plu. small round hills.
CERITOS ................ Little ridges.
CHAVES ................ A family name.
CHICO ................. Little.
CHINO ................ A Chinaman.
CIENEGA ................. \ swamp.
CIMARRON ............... An estray , lost
COLORADO .............. Red.
CORDERO ............... A lamb.
CORONADO .............. A family name. Lit. "The crowned."
CORRAL ................. A pen; an out-door enclosure.
COSNINO ................ Meaning unknown.
CUBERO ................. A cooper.
SPANISH GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES. 203
CUCAMONGA ............ If this word were spelled with a " j " in
Ku-cah-mon-ga. the place of the " g," the word would
mean an uncomplimentary reflection
on a nun.
DE Luz ................ Lit. of light.
DEL MAR ............... Of the sea.
DESCANSO ............... Rest.
Dos CABEZAS ............ Two heads.
Dos PALMAS ........... Two palms.
Dose /*#///- mas.
Dos VALLES ............. Two valleys.
ELDORADO .............. The golden; in modern use " dorado "
Ail Do-m/i-do. means gilt, washed, plated.
ELOTA .................. Meaning not known.
EL MOLING ......... .... The mill.
EL MONTE .......... ..... The wood.
EL PASO ................ The pass. Del Norte (Dail Nortz.) The
Ail Pah-so pass of the North.
EL RITO ................ The rite; the ceremony.
ENCINITAS .......... Little oaks. The name also expresses a
Ain-say-w^-tas variety of the oak.
ESPERANZA ............. Hope.
ESTRELLA ........ ....... A star.
FARRALLONES .... ....... Plu. Small peaked islands rising out of
Fair-al-,y0-nais. the sea. Farol (Fah-r^), a beacon.
204 OVERLAND GUIDE.
FRESNO ................. Ash tree.
GALLINAS ............... Plu. Hens.
Garcia .................. A family name; the Spanish equivalent of
Gar-f^-ah. Smith or Jones.
GARROTE ..... ......... The Spanish instrument for capital pun-
GARVANZO .............. Provincial Sp. A pea; pea-vine or bloom.
GAVILAX ................ A hawk.
GAVIOTA ................ A sea-gull.
GOLETA ____ ........... A schooner.
GRACIOSA ............... Kind.
GRANADA .............. A pomegranate; renowned; powerful;
HERMOSILLO ............ Little beauty. Hermosa (Air-wo-sah),
HORNITOS .............. Little ovens; Homo ((9r.no), an oven.
ISLETA ......... . ....... Little island. Isla (ees-\ah), an island.
INDIO .................. Indian.
JICARILLO ............... Should be spelled J0carillo; a braggart,
Hic-ah-r^/-yo. a boaster.
JIMENEZ ............... A family name.
SPANISH GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES. 205
JORNADA ............... A journey; Jornada del Muerto (dail
Hor-na/i-dah. ATuer-to), journey of death.
LAS ANIMAS ............. Plu. The souls.
LA CANADA ............. The Glen; a vale between hills.
LAS CASITAS ........... Plu. The little houses.
LAS CRUCES ............. The Crosses.
LACUNA ................ A lake.
LA JOYA ................. The jewel.
LA PANZA .............. The paunch ; the suggestive name of
Lah Pan-sah. Don Quixote's esquire.
LA PUNT A ............. The point.
LAS FLORES ............. The Flowers.
LA JUNTA .............. The Junction.
LAS VEGAS .............. The Meadows.
LERDO .................. Dull ; obtuse; thick-headed.
LINDA .................. Pretty.
LOBOS .................. Plu. Wolves.
Los ALAMOS ............. pj u . The poplars.
206 OVERLAND GUIDE.
Los ANGELES ............ Plu. The Angels. The name of this
Los An-hel-ais. city has locally two or three pronun-
ciations, none of them the Spanish.
The original name was Nuestra
Sefiorij, Reitia de Los Angeles. The
meaning generally given ; " City of
the Angels," is imaginative.
Los BERROS ......... .... Plu. The water-cresses.
Los CUEROS ............ Plu. The hides.
LOSGATOS .............. Plu. The cats.
Los LOMOS .............. Plu. The hills.
Los LUNAS .............. The Moons; Luna, the moon, is feminine,
Lose Z^-nas. and if this name did not express the
name of a place that is the residence
of the Luna family it would be Las
Los MEDANOS ........... Plu. Sand-banks on the sea-shore.
Los NIETOS ............. Plu. The grandchildren.
Los ROBLES ............ The oaks.
MADERA ................ Wood ; general term.
MADRON, madrono ....... A kind of tree.
MAXITOU ............... Indian ; a name for the Supreme Power.
MANUELITO .............. Little Emanuel.
MANZANITO ............. Lit. Little apple. A California shrub.
SPANISH GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES. 207
M ARIPOSA ............... Butterfly.
MENDOCINO ............. Lit. A little liar.
MERCED ................ Mercy.
MESILLA ............... Little flat-topped hill. Mesa (May-sah),
blay-seet-yah. from the Spanish word meaning a table,
is the name of this peculiarly shaped
hill throughout the south-west.
MESQUITE ........ . ...... A shrub of the acacia family growing
Mes-/Cw/. extensively over the whole South-
west and Mexico.
MILPITAS ............... Lit. A thousand whistles.
MODESTO ---- -. .......... Modest.
MONTE DIABLO .......... Devil Mountain.
MONTECITO ............. Little Mountain.
MONTEREY .............. King's Mountain.
MONTOYAH .............. Meaning not known.
MORENA ................ Brown.
NACIMIENTO ............. Lit. A birth. More especially applied to
Nah-se-me-0/Vz-to the Nativity.
N'AVAJO ................. Name of an Indian tribe.
NOGALES ................ Plu. Walnut-trees.
OLLITA ................. A little water-jar. Sometimes spelled on
208 OVERLAND GUIDE.
OXAVA ................. Meaning not known.
ORO GRANDE ............ Lit. Big gold.
ORTIZ .................. A family name.
OTERO ................. A family name.
PACHECO ................ A family name. Lit. a harmless little
PAJARO ................ A bird; general term.
PALA ................... A wooden shovel.
PASADENA .............. A Spanish phrase pronounced " Pah-so-
Pas-atWtfy-nah. deh-^/W// " would mean "Gate of
Eden " poetically. Many Spanish
words have been contracted, wrongly
spelled, mispronounced and misunder
stood as badly or worse than this, sup-
posing this to be the real meaning of a
name very probably first used by the
California padres, and afterwards mis-
pronounced, by ear, by the Americans.
PASO ROBLES ........... Oak Pass.
PECOS ............ ..... Freckles.
RO .............. A fishing-place.
PICACHO .............. Peak.
PIEDRA GRANDE ......... Big rock.
PINIVETA ........... :. . . A variety of the pine; veined or fat pine.
SPANISH GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES. 209
PINOLE ................ Parched corn, ground and mixed with
Pe-//<?-lay. sugar and water as a drink, or used as
food. The gofio of South America
and West Indies.
Pix< >x .................. A species of nut-bearing pine.
PLACER ................. The place near a stream where free gold
Play-satr. is found. Lit. pleasure.
PLUMAS ..... . ........... Feathers.
PONCHO ................. A cloak like a square or round blanket
Pone-c\\o. with a slit in the centre for the head
to pass through.
POTRERO ................ Lit. a place for raising colts; usually
Po-tray-ro. meaning a small stock-farm.
PRESIDIO ...... . ......... A garrison of soldiers; a penitentiary.
PUENTI .................. \ point of land.
Pri.kco ................. A pijr; dirty, soiled, filthy.
RANCHO, RANCHITA, etc. .Our very common western word "ranch "
is in Spanish a mess, as of soldiers,
sailors, hunters. Any place where
there are buildings for shelter in the
open country would be called a rancho.
RATON .................. A mouse. This is a case where the usual
Rah-/Vw<? Spanish augmentative termination is
reversed in meaning. Rata (ra/i-
means a rat.
Rio, Rio VISTA, Rio
GRANDE, etc ....... A river, river-view, big river.
ROMERO ............ ... A family name.
210 OVERLAND GUIDE.
ROSARIO ................ A rosary.
SACRAMI NT<> ............ A sacrament.
SALIN \ s ........ ........ Places of salt.
SAN ANDREAS ........... San Andreas.
SAN AN TONIO ........... St. Anthony.
SAN BERNARDINO ........ St. Bernard.
SAN DIM AS ........... . . . St. Demas.
SAN DIEGO ............. St. James.
rrro .......... Little St. James.
....... St. Ferdinand.
SAN CiAiiKiKi ...... (iabriel.
:>- re -<///.
SAN J.U-INTM ........... ith.
............. St. Joseph.
\\ ............... St. John.
1 IAN CAPISTKANO. . .St. John the chanter, as nearly as the
G7//-pees-/ra//-o. meaning can be rendered.
!o\(ji IN ............ San Joaquin.
SAN M AKI-IAI ............ St. Martial.
SPANISH GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES. 211
SAN MATEO ............. St. Matthew.
SAN MIGUEL ............ St. Michael.
SAN PABLO .............. St. Paul.
SAN PASCUAL ............ Holy Easter.
Pas -qua I.
SAN PEDRO .............. St. Peter.
SAN RAFAEL ........... St. Raphael.
SAN TOM-CIS ............. St. Thomas.
SANTA ANA; ANITA ...... St. Ann; or Little St. Ann, pronounced
A/i-nah. An-^-tah. San/W#ah, one word.
SANTA BARBARA ......... St. Barbara.
SANTA CATALINA ........ St. Catherine.
SANTA CLARA .......... St. Clara.
SANTA CRUZ ............ Holy Cross.
SANTA FE ............... Holy Faith.
SANTA MONICA .......... St. Monica.
SAPINERO ............... Sapino, a kind of pine ; a grove of such.
SAUCILITO ............. A little willow.
SIERRA MADRE .......... Mother Range.
SOBRANTE ............... Rich; wealthy; surplus; overflow.
21'2 OVERLAND GUIDE.
SocoRR' ................ Succor; relief.
SOLEDAD ................ Solitude; lonesomeness.
SOLANA ................. A sunny place; sunshine.
TAMALPAIS .............. The country of tamales. The tamal is a
Tam-al-y^-ees. bit of Mexican cookery.
TIA it \N \ ............... Tia Juana; aunt Jane.
//tf-na; one word.
Te em -pahs.
TRINIDAD ............... The Trinity.
TL ; ............... A place of rushes.
VAC .......... i cow. Cowville.
VALLEJO ............... A little valley.
VARA .................. Spanish yard measure; a wand, a switch.
YOSEMITE .............. Said to mean a large grizzly bear.
YSIDORA ____ ............ Isadore; a woman's name.
FOR ALL PURPOSES,
Guaranteed, Correct, Durable.
PC LI PS E U/IND MILLS
L_ ARE If TH E III BEST.
FARM AND ALL OTHER USES.
STANDARD AND JUNIOR
FAIRBANKS ft CO.
DENVER. - ST. LOUIS.
THE O. A. R. SOLDIERS' HOME,
Is the only place we know of where a small investment
is sure to pay. The erection of a beautiful building,
with capacity for, say 500 Veterans, with beautiful
grounds covered with the flowers and fruits of the trop-
ics all this in the finest climate the sun ever shone
on. Neither heat nor cold ; no malaria. Life becomes
a pleasure, and grief vanishes.
Lots in Grantville can be had for $125 ; $25.00 cash,
$25.00 in three months, $25.00 in six months, $25.00
in nine months, $25.00 in twelve months. No interest.
Call on, or address
W. H. HOLABIRD & CO.,
:i or not to sell ;
That I* the quest i
Whether it ir. letter to sell the lota
And take the risk of three payments
Or to make sure of what i- in possession
And by declining hold them.
To sell ; to risk ; perchance to loae :
For when the lota are gone
What charm can win them back
From fortunate holders ?
Will bills be paid when due,
Or will the time *trvtrh out till orack of
What of*-- .vhat of relatire*.
What of undes, aunt.-, and mother in-law
With | :i,-y;
What of exemptions, bill of sale, and the
That coolly offers a dime In the dollar,
; the real estate dealer's commissions,.
That eat up even this poor pittance ?
Yet sell we must,
An.l Kome we'll trust.
"We seek the just ;
For wealth, we lust,
By some we're oust,
>\n<l stocks -will rust;
But we skip the wust
Or we'd, surely bu.^t.
W. H. HOLABIRD & CO
Leading Real Estate Dealers.
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA.