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Full text of "Solano County, California, the land of fruit, grain and money;"


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SOLANO COUNTY. 

CALIF O RNIA 
0" 



The 

LAND 

of 

FRUIT, 

GRAIN 

and 

MONEY 



ISSUED BY BOARD OE SUPERVISORS 

SOLANO COUNTY 

JAMES E.SULLIVAN, CHAIRMAN . . . . RIOVI ST A 

H.J.WIDENMANN . . . . . . . VALLEJO 

DAVID M. FLEMING ...... VALLEJO 

GRANT CHADBOURNE ...... SUISUN 

V^. H. PAYNE . . . .... VACAVILLE 




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T 



NORTHERN SOLANO COUNTY NKAR WINTERS, CAL 



(bounty 

IJlifornia 



Nestled in the foothills of the Coast Range on its Western bord- 
er, and extending across broad acres of the most fertile land in 
l)ounteous California, till its Eastern confines are marked by the 
majestic Sacramento River, lies Solano County. It is, in part, in the 
Sacramento Valley, the great stream of Northern California break- 
ing through Solano's hills in the onward rush of ages toward the 
sea, and thousands of its acres being in the vast area that has been 
a world's granary for years, its products going to all lands. A quarter 
of a million acres, nearly half Solano's area, is devoted to grain 
raising. The wheat grown here is the best milling wheat produced 
in the State. Thousands of cattle, horses and sheep graze on the 
u])land pastures and marsh lands, and great industrial establish- 
ments pay fortvmes in wages annually, but the brightest gem in the 
diadem of resources and industries that marks the County's un- 
questioned leadership is the fruit produced in its sheltered valleys, 
a product that has made the county famous far and wide. The first 
decidious fruit sold in the United States each year is grown in 
Solano County, where are several sequestered valleys, with gently 
rising slopes, sheltered by ranges of high hills that bar the egress 
of moisture laden clouds in one season and shut out the hot drving 
winds of another. Here the trees bloom in February and the fruit 
forms rapidly, ripening beneath the genial heat of the spring sea- 
son, which^is really early summer. In early April the shipments 
begin and continue until late fall. The soil is unexcelled, even in 
California, for productiveness, and the fruit raised on the limited 



area is sold for millions of dollars annually, returning fortunes to 
the orcliardists of this favored section. Citrus fruits are marketed 
here a month ahead of the Southern California products. 

In the Eastern section of the county where the enterprise of man 
has wrested broad acres from overflow, is another fabulously rich 
section, the delta lands of the Sacramento River being noted for thei. 
productiveness. In addition, many large industrial establishment? 
are located within the county, a great majority of the people being 
prosperous wage workers, whose yearly earnings, with the resources 
of the soil, the products of field, farm and factory, make a story of 
wealth and prosperity- that seems incredible, the income - the 
count} from all sources exceeding the princel}' sum of Twenty- 
Two Million dollars per year, 

This favored section is of a limited area, h^-om east to west its 
extreme length is forty-five miles, while from north to south the 
county measures thirty-five miles. The surface of the county is 
911 square miles, or 583, 000 acres, of which 40.000 acres are water, 
included in the Sacramento River and Suisun and San Pablo Bays. 
Besides its great natural resources, or rather because of them, 
Solano County ranks as one of the strongest counties in California, 
from a financial view-point. There is not a dollar of county debt. 
either bonded or fioating. Three communities — v^Hejo, Suisun and 
Rio Vista, — own their own water systems and su])plv their in- 
habitants at rates at least fifty per cent lower than those paid in cities 
depending u])on private capital for this essential necessitv. The real 




LO.\DINrT C.\RS AT SUISUN, C.\L., WITH FKUIT FOR EASTERN CITIES 




PROSPEROUS INDUSTRY AT DIXON, SOLANO COUNTY 

property and improvements in the county are worth, at a conserva- 
tive valuation, Jf 30.000,000, while the mortgages amount to the 
comparatively insignificant sum of $2,666,000, the major portion of 
which is represented in money invested in home building witliin 
municipalities. The enormously rich agricultural and horticultural 
holdings are practically free of incumbrance. 

The tax rate for county purposes is from $1.00 to $1.10 on the 
$100.00 outside incorporated cities and towns, and 4.0 cents les> 
inside, where no levy is made for road purposes. The expendi- 
tures, while by no means extravagant, are liberal for school, road 
and hospital expenses. The county salary roll, including town- 
ship officers, is about $45,000 per year. The sum of $c;o,ooo to 
$60,000 is annually spent on the roads, which are maintained in 
excellent condition throughout the year. Public schools cost over 
$130,000 per year, of which $37,500 is raised in the county tax. The 
sum of $17, coo is spent sprinkling the roads, and over $11,000 for the 
expense of the homeless, sick and indigent. 

CLIMATE. 



As in other respects. Solano County is greatlv fa\'ored in climate. 
The rainy months are from Xovember to March, with desultor^■ rains 
a month or six weeks earlier and later. The dry season is from six 



to eig-Iit months, (irain and hay are kept in the field till hauled f.)r 
shii)nient. Snow and hail are practically unknown, and frosts rarely 
do any damage to even delicate plants. The averatie rainfall is 
sixteen to twenty inches, though it is greater in the fruit-growing 
sections. Intense cold is unknown, and at Mare Island Xavy Yard 
and other indu- trial plarits hiindreds of men work in I he open air 
the year round. Jn summer the heat is never oppressive, rarely go- 
ing above lOO degrees Farh. The nights are cool, a breeze from the 
ocean coming each day at sunset, cooling the atmosphere, and 
greatl}' adding to the health and comfort of the people. 

POPULATION. 



The population in 1900 was 24,193, and is now estimated at 

30.000, of wdiom nearly one-half li\'e in \'"allejo and Benicia, the 

industrial centers of the county. The county could easily sup]:)ort 
double its present population. 

ADAPTABILITY. 



The land of Solano County \aries in the purposes for wdiich it 
is adapted, the following table having been compiled by E. X. Eager, 
when County Surveyor, to show the area available for different 
modes of cultivation. 

No. I fruit land 53.000 acre^ 

No. 2 fruit or No. i grain land 240,000 acres 

No. 2 grain or No. 1 pasture land 75,000 acres 

Pasture land 45.000 acres 

Mountainous grazing land 30,000 acre^ 

Marsh or tule land 100,000 acres 

Water 40,000 acres 

INDUSTRIES. 



The Mare Island Xavy Yard, employing 2.000 men, most of 
whom are skilled mechanics, is the greatest industrial factor in the 
county. The government also has an army arsenal at Benicia, while 
among the private enterprises are the Pacific Portland Cement 
Works, east of Suisun, with a pay roll exceeding $100,000 annually ; 
the quarry of the E. B. & A. L. Stone Co. at Cordelia, with a capa- 
city of fifty to one hundred car loads of crushed rock daily, beside 
great cjuantities of basalt paving blocks and building stone, limited 
only by the demand ; the Starr IMills at South Yallejo, with a capa- 
city of 2500 barrels of flour daily ; three tanneries at Benicia and one 
at \"allejo, with a total annual output of over $2,000,000; Iron \A^orks 
at lienicia with an output of 1000 tons daily ; canneries at Dixon, 
Benicia and Rio Vista ; fish packing establishments, many cream- 

6 



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en'es. several fruit packini^ establishments in Suisun and \'acaville, 
three wineries at Cordeha. a tule factory at Rio \'ista, planing; mills 
and numerous smaller industries. In the aggregate these pay $3,000,- 
000 in wages during the year. During the fruit season, work is plenti- 
ful in Suisun and \'aca X'alleys, 3,000 people finding work in the 
former and 5,000 in the latter. The fruit growers prefer white help 
to L'hinesc and Japanese labor, and are making earnest efforts to 
secure sufficient white labor to handle their product. Alen. women 
and children find renumerati\'e employment in the packing and cut- 
ting sheds for many months each year. 

POWER. 



Power for all pur]X)ses is accessilde and reasonable in price, 
the power lines of the Ray Counties Power Company, carrying a 
voltage of 55,000, traversing the county from end to end. P>ranch 
li'i's to Xapa, Sonoma and Marin Counties leave the main line of 
this corporation at Cordelia, furnishing power to the counties named, 
while the main line crosses Car(|uinez Straits between N'allejo and 
l>enicia, with branch lines to both these cities, and conveying pow^' 
to Contra Costa and Alameda Counties. Electric power is utilized 
for nnuiing dairy machinery, pumps for irrigating alfalfa and other 
fields, and is right at hand for any purpose, from a fractional horse 
]30wer motor to a gigantic inchistrial plant employing hundreds of 
men. 

FRUIT. 



The orchards of Solano County are a source of vast wealth, not 
on]\- in the value of the ])roduct itself, but in the emi)l(\Ainent of 
thousands of hands in the fields and i:iacking houses, and in j^repar- 
ing and transporting it to market. The fruit section extends from 
(ireen X'alley through Suisun, Lagoon, Vaca and Pleasant \'alle}'s 
and their adjacent hills to Putah Creek, the county boundar}-, and 
along the banks of that stream in a belt from two to six and eight 
miles wide for a distance of twelve or fifteen' miles to the Yolo P)asin, 
which forms the eastern boundary of the county. In this s])U'n(lid 
fruit belt are over a million trees, diciduous and citrus, with i'ruit 
ri])cning every moiuh in the year. lieing the first marketed in the 
several varieties the highest price is always obtained for the fresh 
product, while the dried fruit, raised on non-irrigated land, gives the 
highest ])ercentage of marketable i)roduct, some varieties losing but 
half their weight in evaporation. Idie knowdedge gained by study 
and experience is utilized in handling and grading the fruit, wliich 
is sold at a large i)rofit throughout the Ignited States. Great cpianti- 
ties of fruit are taken by canneries and carried to the consume,- m 
that form, adding to the wealth of the grower, beside gi\ing empkn- 
ment to hundreds oi people. 

The assessor's list of 1904 gi\es the following data concern- 



ing fruit cultivation, to which may be added approximately five pcr 
cent for new trees coming into bearing and increased acreage : 

Grapes 2200 acres. 

Apples 2265 trees. 

Apricot 33,165 trees. 





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Cherry 3'''-740 trees. 

Fig..'. 5430 trees. 

Olive 3.050 trees. 

Peach 332.570 trees. 

Pear 218,540 trees. 

iM-ench Prunes 281.460 trees. 

Prunes (varied) 105,630 trees. 

Orange 3.440 trees. 

Lemon 2,130 trees. 

Ahnond 100,240 trees. 

Wahnit 3.7'^>o trees. 

From the above tal)le it will be seen that the soil is adapted to 
every variety of fruit grown under the sun. The preponderance of 
fruits that can be marketed fresh, dried or canned is a note worthy 
feature, the growers not depending upon any one method of getting 
the highest returns from their products. 

Hie shipping of fruit is a business by itself. The fresh product 
is carefull}- selected, wrapped and packed, and shipped in ventilated 
refrigerator cars to the Atlantic seal)oard. Each car contains ten 
tons of fruit, and frequently has the product of a dozen or more 
growers, each being disposed of separately, the incidental cost being 
divided pro rata. Experienced hands secure steady employment in 
packing the fruit in crates and boxes, the regular smooth layers of 
luscious fruit presenting a most attractive appearance, to which may 
be added the exquisite flavor gained from weeks of ripening under 
genial sunshine, which develops the saccharine qualities to the 
utmost degree, and evolves a product fit for a king's table — unexcell- 
ed anywhere. 

The long rainless season in California is especially propitious 
for curing fruits, which are cut and spread on great trays, covering 
acres in extent. The moisture evaporates quickly, leaving the sugar 
and flavor unimpaired, the dried product being second only to the 
ripe fruit. In Solano County thousands of tons of fruit are prepared 
every year in this manner, and shipped in car load lots to all parts 
of the United States, while great (piantities are exported on the 
ocean liners radiating from San Francisco. 

GRAIN. 



While thousands of acres are devoted to fruit raising. Solano 
County has a vastly greater area given over to cereals. In the north- 
eastern and central section of the county are great ranches devoted 
to grain growing. The rich adobe land of the Montezuma Hills pro- 
duces the best milling wheat grown in California. Failure of crops is 
unknown and 50,000 tons of wheat, free from w^eeds or foul stuff, is 
the annual offering of this portion of the county. On Ryer Island, 
and in the northern and eastern sections of the county, large areas 
are planted to barley, the yield in some instances going as high as 

10 



sixtv sacks to the acre, though that is above the average. The total 
grain output of the county in a favoral^le year will exceed 150.000 
tons. The farmers have the advantage oilered by water freights and 
their product is marketed at a mininumi expense. 

HAY. 



Ocat (|uantities of hay are raised annually in the county and 
shipped from Dixon, Elmira, Suisun, Rio \Tsta, Benicia and X'allejo. 
A fair estimate of the amount would be 20,000 to 25,000 tons of high 
class hav. In Benicia and Vallejo townships the principal product of 
the farming section is hay. 

LIVE STOCK. 



The value of the live stock in this county runs to very large 
figures. The sheep industry brings in a rich return for the 75,000 
head owned in the county. Among medium sized flocks, where the 
owner can give his indi\'idual attention to them, the profit for a year 
is efjual to the value of the stock. The spring and fall clips at the 
present ])rices, will average over $2.00 per head, wdiile the yearly 
increase, in some of the fiocks in Northern Solano has amounted to 
100 and 125 per cent in numbers. Sheep are kept on all farms and 
run on cultivated fields after seeding, keeping down the weeds and 
noxious grasses, and are also put on the stubble after the crops are 
taken off. On Ryer Island the sheep remain on the grain fields till 
late in March, keeping t^ie grain down to prevent too rank a 
growth. The large flocks, from 3,000 to 10,000 in numbers, are kept 
on the ranges in l^lmira. Denverton, and Maine Prairie Townships, 
though nearly every farmer in the county has from twenty-five to 
250 and 500 sheep, which make a goodly increase in his yearly profits. 
As a rule the sheep are crossed with a thoroughbred strain, getting 
the best wool and mutton cpialities, combined with strength and 
hardiment. 

CATTLE. 



The cattle industry goes hand in hand with the dairy interest, 
though there are several ranges devoted to raising beef cattle. The 
Humboldt Stock Farm, located about two miles from Suisun has 
about 200 thoroughbred short horns with an imported bull, valued 
at $4,000, at the head of the herd. The stock from this farm are all 
registered thoroughbreds, and are sold for breeding. Manv of them 
have been bought in the county and the (piality of tlie stock is being 
constantly improved. It is estimated that 100 car loads, or 2600 head, 
of beef cattle will be ship])ed from Suisun alone this year. 

DAIRYING. 



The dairying interests of the county are going ahead l)y leaps 

IS 



and bounds. There are at least 15,000 head of dairy cattle in the 
county, with creameries at Benicia and Dixon, two in Vallejo and one 
in Rio Vista beside a number of large dairies. Quantities of milk and 
cream are also shipped to Oakland, Alameda and San Francisco. 
Grizzly and Joyce Islands, reclaimed lands adjoining Suisun Bay, 
have hundreds of dairy cows, the moisture underlying the soil keep- 




ing- feed green almost the entire year. In the uphand section, the 
acreage in alfalfa is constantly increasing. Irrigation from wells is 
both easy and cheap, and five and six crops are cut each year, aggre- 
gating ten to twelve tons to the acre if cut for hay. or furnishing the 
equivalent of green feed. The product of Solano County creameries 
receives the highest price in San Francisco, the entire output of the 
Dixon creamery being handled by one retail establishment. 

HORSES. 



Horses, thoroughbred and standard bred, have l^een raised in 
Solano County since Theo Winters established his famous stud on 
Putah Creek. To-day there are several noted breeding farms here. 
The Suisun stock farm of five thousand acres in the Potrero Hills has 
the premier stallion Demonio, 2:11 1-4, a full brother to Diablo. Yal- 
lejo has Gaff Topsail a son of Diablo and Baywood 2:09 1-4 a son of 
Woodnut, while the Hoy breeding and training farm in Solano Coun- 
ty opposite Winters has Bayswater Wilkes at the head of the stud. 
Several fine standard bred stallions are owned at Dixon. There are 
race tracks at Vallejo and Dixon, a number of horses being in train- 
ing at both places. 

Draft horses are a factor of Solano County farms. In the present 
year imported Percheron stallions have been bought in \'allejo. Sui- 
?un. Dixon and Rio Vista, while an imported Belgian Draft stallion 
is owned in Suisun \^alley and a splendid (ierman coach stallion has 
been imported by Vacaville owners. 

Each of these horses is valued at $3,000 and upward, and with 
the infusion of new blood into the county. Solano may easily hold 
its rank as one of the foremost horse breeding sections of the State. 

POULTRY. 



Strange as it may seem, Solano County has few places devoted 
to poultry raising, a condition which will last but a short time. A 
poultry ranch of eight acres near Fairfield with an expenditure of 
less than $2,000 for facilities gives a product of $1200 to $1500 a year. 
Similar results are obtained at places newly started near Dixon and 
Benicia, showing that this business may reach immense proportions. 
In the central portion of the county, with ample facilities for reaching 
a market is a stretch of 10,000 acres admirably adapted for poultry. 
The soil is dry with an abundance of gravel. \\ ater is easily reached. 
This section is an ideal i)oultry raising localitv. The land is cheap, 
and if settled by small poultry farmers, will produce twenty-fold 
what it does now as a grazing land. If fully settled this section will 
maintain millions of fowls, and produce an income that will run in- 
to the millions. At this time hundreds of cases of eggs and coops 
of poultry are shipped each year to market from the several stations 
along the line of railroad. 



HOGS. 

Tlio prosonce of so many dairies in tlie count}" and much (li\'er- 
sified farming favors the raising- of hogs as by-product on the farm-. 
'Hie yearly aggregate shipped to market will reach $100,000. 

SCHOOLS. 



The educational facilities of Solano County are a source of 
rigliteous pride to her peojile. The allowance of funds for public 
schools in the tax levy is liberal, while in addition special taxes ar.* 
levied for high school and in several instances for the better main- 
tainance of the elementary schools. There are fifty-six schools in 
the county, with sixty-four buildings, and 142 teachers employed. 
The average cost of each elementary school pupil is $25.80 per year. 
The average cost of high school pupils is $70.70 per year. Teachers' 
salaries average $72.50 per month. The value of school property in 
the county is a quarter of a million dollars. There are high schools 
at Vallejo. Benicia, Fairfield, Dixon and Vacaville, while the county 
has a joint interest in the high school at Winters. Yolo County. The 
high school libraries in the county contain 3,330 volumes and 
the libraries of the other public schools 2d>,'/2)7 volumes. Beside 
the public schools there are three splendid private institutions of 
learning. St. Catherines Academy in Benicia, and St. Gertrudes 
Academy in Rio Vista are boarding and day schools, and St. Vincent's 
school in Vallejo is a day school. The three institutions aft'ord edu- 
cational facilities for hundreds of childn.Mi. 

TRANSPORTATION. 



Solano County, washed for miles along its eastern and southern 
shores by the Sacramento River and Suisun Bay. with two navigable 
sloughs penetrating for miles into its interior and with its two larg- 
est centers of population on Carciuinez Straits and the Mare Island 
Straits, is most happily situated as regards transportation facilitic'^. 
Numerous landings and warehouses are accessible to shippers, whil-^ 
water freights on all commodities are very low. The Southern 
Pacific Railroad with its connections runs a main line directlv 
through the county with branches from Suisun to Napa Junction 
connecting with lines from V'allejo to Calistoga and Santa Rosa, while 
at I''dmira another l)ranch runs to Vacaville and on through ^\)lo 
County. Suisun is on the main line of the Southern Pacific Road and 
Vacaville is but four miles from it. so no delay is encountered in 
routing fresh fruit shi])ments to eastern points, time being an im- 
portant element in this important industry. 

An electric line has just been put in operation between Vallejfj 
and Napa making fast time with superb passenger accomodations. 
At Vallejo connection is made with the steamers of the IMonticello 




Southern Pacific Company's Terminal, South Vallejo, Solano Couaity 



Steamship Company, making six round trips daily to San Francisco. 
These are the most handsome and fastest bay steamers plying out of 
San Francisco, and do a very large business. The headquarters of 
the company which operates these steamers is at Vallejo, where it 
owns extensiv'C wharfage facilities. The shipping business of Vallejo 
is divided, the Piper, Aden, Goodall Co., of San Francisco, operating 
five steamers and a fleet of schooners and barges running a regular 
freight line to Vallejo. The Southern Pacific Company also runs a 
daily freight steamer to Vallejo and Benicia. All lines of river 
steamers plying from San Francisco to Stockton and Sacramento, 
touch at Benicia, and the Sacramento River lines at Collinsville and 
Rio Vista, and other landings when business warrants it. The rail- 
road runs ferry steamers to connect its train service between Vallejo 
and Vallejo Junction and between Benicia and Port Costa. The 
Solano, on the latter run is the largest ferry boat in the world, trans- 
porting three trains at trip. The steamer Newtown, owned at Rio 
Vista, does an extensive business in bay and river freighting, as does 
the Steamer Suisun City running between Suisun and San Francisco, 
and owned in the former place. 

The traveling facilities between points in Solano county will be 
greatly enhanced by the building of the electric lines, for which 
franchises have been granted. The lines now running from Napa 
to Vallejo will shortly be extended to Benicia. Franchises are held 
by the founders of that road for lines from Benicia to Suisun via 
Cordelia and Suisun Valley, from Suisun to Rio Vista, and from 
Suisun to \"acaville and Dixon, and on to Woodland in Yolo countv. 
All preliminary work has been done on these lines, which will reach 

17 



cverv point of importance in this ma<;'nificient section. 

A competing- steam line through Solano County is a certainty in 
the near future. Thousands of dollars have been paid for rights of 
way for a road to tap the Vacaville fruit belt and run south, which 
must be built by January ist, 1907. while projects for bridging Car- 
quinez Straits and Suisun Bay are now under consideration by the 
Federal authorities. When these projects are completed, Solano 
County will have competition in transportation, both in rates and in 
service. 

RECLAMATION. 



The original lines of Solano County embrace over 100,000 acres 
of swamp and marsh land, most of which has not been wholly re- 
claimed. Ryer Island containing 12,000 acres, has been completely 
leveed and is a veritable garden spot. Grizzly and Joyce Islands with 
a similar area, have tide levees, and the Egbert tract of 10,000 acres 
above Rio Vista, has been leveed, but being in the direct line of over- 
flow from the great Yolo Basin and its outlet. Cache Slough, has been 
flooded several years in succession. The owners of this valuable land 
are awaiting the inauguration of a permanent plan for rectifying the 
channel 01 the Sacramento River, when they will rebuild their levee 
and the 10,000 acres of rich land will again yield as highly profitable 
crops as Ryer Island. Some very rich land in the immediate 
neighborhood of Suisun is now being reclaimed, and Cross Island, 
containing 7,500 acres of land lying between San Pablo Bay and Napa 
Creek, is growing very heavy barley crops. On the shore line north 
of Vallejo a tract of 900 acres has been reclaimtd and will be de- 
voted to asparagus culture and dairying. Operations have been start- 
ed on the adjoining tract extending into Napa county. 

There is a great expanse of marsh land, extending around Sui- 
sun Bay from Benicia to Collinsville, with sloughs to Suisun, Denver- 
ton and Maine Prairie, upon which the advocates of reclamation ha\\; 
set covetous eyes. This land, now worth $15 and $20 an acre, will be 
worth $100 when the great dredgers have traversed its borders leav- 
ing substantial levees behind. The broad sloughs will be deepened 
and otherwise improved, the products of the land being shipped by 
water to market. This project offers a splendid opportunity for 
investment with a certainty of a handsome income from the outlay. 

MINING. 



The only successful mining in Solano County has been for 
quicksilver, which was first discovered by John Neate in 1852. Six- 
teen years later he opened the Brownlie mine east of Vallejo, from 
which $30,000 worth of quicksilver was taken at a depth not exceed- 
ing forty feet. Later he located the St. John mine, which was work- 
ed energetically from 1873 to 1880. producing $504,000 in quicksilver. 
Much of the ore averaged eight and ten per cent in quicksilver, and 



the yield never went below 2 7-8 per cent of the cinnabar reduced. 
The mine was closed from 1880 to 1899, when it was taken over by 
a new corporation and re-opened throughout at an expense of $100,- 
000. The tunnel 1300 feet in length was retimbtred, and the shaft 
opened to a depth of 682 feet, and crosscut beneath a great body of 




Dixon, Solano Count}-, Churches and Public School Building 



ore which is now l)cing- worked. New and niixlern reduction works 
using crude oil as fuerhave been established and the development of 
the rich property, which extends over 713 acres of land, is going right 
ahead. A scoreof men are employed and quicksilver is being shipped 
regularlv. There is a vast ore body in this mine which has not been 
touched. 

Another mine is being developed on the Hastings Tract a few- 
miles southeast of the St. John mine and in the same hill as the origin- 
al Brownlie mine. A tunnel has been run into the hill for a distance 
of 900 feet under cutting a vein of cinnabar thirty feet wide. A re- 
duction plant is being erected by the owners of the mine. 

EMPLOYMENT. 



The manufacturing industries in the county employ thousands 
of men. The government establishments at ?\Iare Island and Benicia 
disburse $2,000,000 annually in the county for wages and supplies. 
The cement plant near Suisun, the rock crusher plant at Cordelia, 
the iron works and tanneries at Benicia, the Hour mills and tannery 
at Vallejo and the tule factory at Rio Vista, afford constant employ- 
ment, while the canneries and the fruit packing and cutting- establish- 
ments give work to thousands during the season. Building and 
other improvement work are constantly under way, and the indus- 
trious artisan or workingman is seldom idle in this favored land. The 
income of the county from all sources is so great that everyone has 
the opportunity to earn a good living, while mercantile establishments 
of all kinds do a thriving business. The schools, churches and social 
opportunities aft'ord abundant means of mental improvement and 
recreation and tend to make contented prosperous communities in 
every respect. 

PLEASURE RESORTS. 



The hills and valleys of the western section, the broad sweep of 



AT WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, SOLANO COUNTY 




ORCHARD LAND NEAR SUISUN, SOLANO COUNTY 

the river on the east, and the great expanse of bay shore, afford 
ample opportunity for health and pleasure seekers. One of the 
most accesible health resorts in the State is the Vallejo White Sul- 
phur Springs, a beautiful summer resort with waters of great medici- 
nal value and excellent accomodations for the health and pleasure 
of guests. This place is a great favorite resort for residents of Val- 
lejo and Benicia. Glen Cove, another picnic and health resort, is 
situated on Carquinez Straits, with a steamer landing to accomo- 
date excursions from all bay and river points. In Green Valley, the 
City of Vallejo owns, in connection with its water system, a thous- 
and acres of natural picnic park, which atrracts thousands of pleas- 
ure seekers annually from the different parts of the county. Tolenas 
Springs, north of Fairfield, has a rich mineral spring amid rugged, 
beautiful surroundings. When accomodations are provided this will 
make an ideal pleasure resort. It is the site of the famous Tolenas 
marble quarry, whose beautiful product is highly prized wherever 




LARGEST FERRY IN THE WORLD, BENICIA. SOLANO COUNTY 

21 



known. Putali Creek lias many l)eantiful spots to attract those who 
seek a change from work or business. The Sacramento River on its 
lower reaches has many picturesque scenes. All these places are 
easy of access and are additional attractions in this land of plenty. 

VALLEJO TOWNSHIP. 



Lying in the extreme southwestern corner of the county is 
Vallejo Township, including the City of the same name, with approxi- 
mately one third of the population of the entire county. This town- 
ship is the southern portion of the great Suscol grant, originally 
held by General M. G. Vallejo, by whom the site of the city was 
selected and for whom it was named. The township is a narrow 
strip extending along Napa Creek and Mare Island Straits to the 
junction of the latter with Car([uinez Straits, and for several miles 
along that waterway. Its soil is mainly a rich adobe, which has 
yielded great grain crops for half a century. Of recent years much 
of the land has been devoted to dairying and the auxiliary cultivation 
of hay. Little grain is now raised here. There are about twenty 
dairies in the township, supplying two creameries in Vallejo with 
material for making i,ooo pounds of butter daily, while very large 
quantities of milk and cream are shipped to San Francisco and Oak- 
land. From 2,000 to 3,000 milch cows are owned in the environs of 
Vallejo and their produce is shipped in various forms from that point. 

The reclamation of the tule lands along Napa Creek above Val- 
lejo, is but a question of a short time. One tract of 900 acres has 
just been dyked and work is to be inaugurated on another at once. 
There is no flood water to speak of. the tides being the only element 
to consider. Cross Island of 7,500 acres in Vallejo Township and 
Napa County has been successftilly reclaimed and produces immense 
crops of barley and hay. Island No. i lying between Cross and 
Mare Islands is also reclaimed. These tule lands produce abundant- 
ly and will be largely planted to asparagus, a most prolific and profit- 
able product. 

Vallejo Township includes the St. John (|uicksil\er mine, which 
has produced over half a million in cjuicksilver and which has recently 
been re-opened and, with a large area of unexploited cinnabar ledges, 
promises to yield untold wealth. 

An institution well worthy of consideration is the Good Temp- 
lars' Home for Orphans, located on a commanding site overlookino- 
the City of Vallejo and the waters beyond. Here 250 little ones, 
whose being "homeless orphans"" is the only passport demanded at its 
])ortals, are cared for, and reared on lines of truth and righteousness. 
They are provided for till fourteen years of age. The home was 
established and maintained by the Independent Order of Good Temp- 
lars, but was placed on a permanent financial basis through the be- 
cpiest of the late E. I. Upham, of Collinsville, being the noble monu- 
ment far surpassing any structure of stone or bronze. The insti- 




PLACES OF WORSHIP, VALLEJO, SOLANO COIXTV 



tution IS admiral)!}- conducted, and is aided by residents of all sections 
of "^olano and neighboring counties. 

In this township a few miles from the cit}' are the \'allejt> 
White Sulphur Springs, a most popular health pleasure resort. It 
has an excellent hotel, cottages, clubhouse, pavihon, lake, and ail 
facilities for pleasure and health seekers, and enjoys a large patron- 
age during the season from May to November. It has telephone 
service and a regular stage connection with all boats and trains at 
Vallejo. 

CITY OF VALLEJO. 



The City of Vallejo is Solano's metropohs. Its population is 
about 12,000. The city has a charter framed by its citizens. The 
water system, owned by the municipality, is worth $1,000,000 and 
furnishes a bountiful supply of pure, fresh water, the storage rese'-- 
voir being in the mountains fourteen miles distant. There are over 
twenty miles of pipe in the distributing systems. The rates to con- 
sumers are about one-half those paid elsewhere, yet the revenue 
from this source pays all expenses, the sinking and interest funvl 
demands and leaves a surplus which grows larger as the payments 
on maturing bonds are made. One-half the original bonds have been 
paid off. and two new issues for improvements have been made. The 
city property, including six fire department houses and apparatus. 
City Hall, Public Library building, public wharf, and five school 
buildings, is worth $125,000 beside the water system. The entire 
business portion of the city has been paved with bitumen at a cost 
of $100,000 to property owners. There is a regular police force and 
letter carrier service. The public library, containing- 6,000 volumes 
of which forty percent are works of fiction and the balance reference 
and statistical works of all kinds, is housed in a new stone building 
erected by Andrew Carnegie at an expense of $20,000. and ecpiipped 
at a further expense of $3,500 to the city. Files of all standard maga- 
zines and all the leading California newspapers are kept in the read- 
ing rooms, 

SCHOOLS. 



l^he public schools include a high school and elementary grades 
in fi\e buildings, while an additional school is maintained at the 
( )rphans' home. The corps of teachers number thirty-five and the 
annual expenses approximate $35,000. A feature of the system is a 
night school, where fifty young men and women, wlio work during 
the day for a livelihood, are enabled to obtain an education. The dav 
pupils number 1400 of all grades. The high school is fulh' accredit- 
ed by both great universities and the standard of the schools through- 
out is as high as any in the State. 

Beside the public school a day school is maintained at St. \'in- 
cent's Convent, where 450 boys and girls are taught by a staff of 

84 




CARNEGIK PUBLIC LIBR^^RY, VALLEJO, SOLANO COUNTY. 



eleven Sisters, with one lay assistant. The course of study takes 
twelve years and is identical with the public school course, includiuQ- 
the high school, with special instructions given in stenograph}-, 
music and drawing. 

The municipal assessment roll of Vallejo amounts to $3,500,000. 
The tax rate is below $1 on the $100, and will be reduced as the su:'- 
plus from water revenues increase. The city owns a wharf, insuring 
competition in shipping rates, beside adding to its revenue. Streets 
are completely lighted by a system of ninety-five arc lights. Com- 
mercial lighting is provided by electric and gas corporations, rates 
being very reasonable for all domestic purposes. 

Vallejo is one of the healthiest cities in California. An elaborate 
sewer system is maintained, while cool, fresh breezes from the bay 
are conducive to both health and comfort throughout the year. The 
death rate is among the lowest of any city reported in the United 
States statistics, and in some years has been the lowest of all. Resi- 
dence lots cost from $100 to $3,000 and business property from $20 
to $400 per front foot. Rents for dwellings range from $8 to $50 per 
month, and store rents from $10 to $100 per month. Building opera- 
tions are active and there is an excellent opportunity for investments. 
The determination of the Government to make Mare Island Navy 
Yard a shipbuilding as well as a repairing plant assures permanent 
employment to a much larger force of rnen than at present and bids 
fair to more than double the population of Vallejo in a decade. 

The transportation facilities of Vallejo are excellent. It is on 
the line of the Napa Valley and Santa Rosa branches of the South- 
ern Pacific Railroad Company, has an electric railroad to Napa, which 
will be extended to Benicia and also to Lake County, and has two 
lines of steamers to San Francisco, one making six round trips daily, 
in connection with the electric road, beside a service of five round 
trips daily by rail. On an hour and thirty minute schdule the Monti- 
cello Steamship Co's. steamers make six round trips in connection 
with the electric road and travelers are assured of every ease and 
comfort with a choice of routes. 

Vallejo has three daily newspapers and one weekly. The 
churches include the Baptist, Catholic, Episcopal, Methodist and 
i'resbyterian denominations with attractive edifices, and a congrega- 
tion of the Christian denomination which holds services in a hall. 
One theatre runs continuously and one at frequent intervals. A 
splendid institution is the Naval Branch of the Y. M. C. A., a club- 
house for enlisted men, founded by Admiral and Mrs. B. H. McCalla. 
and furnished with every facility for the comfort and pleasure of 
"Jack ashore." The building and equipment are worth $100,000 and 
is fully occupied at all times. The Vallejo Yachting and Rowing 
Club has a handsome clubhouse on the water front, where \'isiting 
yachtsmen are royally entertained. Two banks do a very large 
business. 

The fraternal organizations of Vallejo form a roster of the great 

86 



beneficial societies. The Odd Fellows own two halls and have five 
l)ranches including the Patriarchs Militant and Rebekah Degrees. 
The Masonic fraternity owns its hall and has all five lodges from the 
Commandery down, there being two Blue lodges and chapter of the 
Eastern Star. The Redmen own their hall, there being a prosperous 




Gi Pen Valley Waier Falls, Owned by the City of Vallejo. Solano County, 
McMillan Photo Source of Vallejo's Great Water Supply. 



tiil^e and two councils of the I'ocahontas Degree. The Eagles main- 
tain their headquarters under lease and the Elks have a handsome 
club home. Forestry has three branches, each with a companion 
degree. The Knights of Pythias. Uniform Rank and Rathbone Sis- 
ters are three flourishing bodies. The Native Sons and Native 
Daughters, Young Mens" and Young Ladies' Institutes, Knights of 
Columbus, Druids, Workmen and Degree of Honor, Maccabees and 
Lady Maccabees, Woodmen and Women of Woodcraft and other 
fraternities, the Grand Army of the Republic, Women's Relief Corps, 
Ladies of the G. A. R., Naval Veterans, United Spanish-American 
War Veterans and affiliated societies of those who have served the 
flag are numbered among the organizations, all of which do much to 
build up the social life of the community. 

Mare Lsland is the principal factor of employment, yet Vallejo 
has other notable industries. The Starr Mill with a capacity of 2500 
barrels of flour and 1,000 sacks of crushed barley daily, does an im- 
mense business, exporting flour to Europe, Mexico, Central and 
South America, Hawaii, the Phillipines, China and Japan. Its local 
field goes throughout California and into Nevada and Utah. The 
wheat is bought in all sections of California and the Pacific Coast, 
and handled on both practical and scientific lines, so the flour pro- 
duced is of the most accurate standard known. Every lot of wheat 
milled is first tested from grain to bread, and the standards recpiired 
in each of the varied markets of the mill are met. All grain is 
handled by power in and out of the irAW. which has its own electric 
])lant, power being generated on the premises. Crude oil is used for 
fuel, and the cost is as cheap as in any steam plant in California. A 
great cpiantitv of crude oil is also sold for fuel and road purposes, 
am]ile facilities for handling it having been installed. The high value 
of the i)roduct of this mill is shown by the large numl:)er of brands 
made to order for ])atrons throughout the world. Quantities of flour 
are sold annuallv to the I'nited States Armv and Xavy, meeting the 
most severe tests. A sjjecial moisture and air proof package origi- 
nated in this mill has caused a heavy demand for its product for ship- 
ment. Abt)ut fifty men are given steady employment the year round. 

The Engelbr Wiese Packing Establishment exports salmon to 
Germanv, where it is smoked. The fish are gathered by tenders 
and cleaned, i)ickled and shipped in cooperage in cold storag^^. 
PTom twenty-five cars upward are shipped each year, the value being 
x$i40,ooo. An ice plant in connection with the establishment meets 
the local demand for this commodity. 

The tannery o])erate(l by the \'alleio-Santa Rosa Tanning Com- 
])anv has an outjnit of 50,000 sides a year, beside finishing the output 
o:' auxiliary tanneries. Its equipment is unexcelled in the State, and 
its product brings the highest price. Special devices to facilitate 
work and improve the quality of the output are in use. The tannery 
employs from forty to fifty men. 



The Vallejo Cement Block Company, manufactures artificial building 
stone, and gives emplo5'ment to a dozen men. It is a new industry 
and promises well. 

Another small industry that advertises Solano all over the world, is 
W. F. Henry's manufacture of man 'o war views. A business that 
has grown from 1,200 orders in 1900 to 17,000 in 1904, giving constant 
employment to several hands. 




( ITV "K VAl.LKJO LOOK 





H^y^/^tm^ 






u.:^3.^\t^ '*~«.-s;v^ .T»*# X .v:^! 



NOltTIlERX AIMHTIOX To VALl.K.Hi. WHIC 



■BatiiHMi.'v^r*' '^-^bN^^^aut^uM 





^ROM MAKE ISLAND NAVY YARD 




ND WAS A WHEAT FIELD FIVE YEARS A(i() 



The Aden Company has a planing mill and luml)er yard, employ- 
ing- from sixty to one hundred men and enjoying a large patronage 
in Solano, Napa, Lake and Sonoma Counties. The hcackiuarters of 
the Piper, Aden, Goodall Co. steamers are at the shipyard of this 
company. 

Vallejo has a steam laundry employing sixty hands, three l)rew- 
eries with a combined output of 10,000 barrels annually, four bottling 
works that put up 50,000 cases of lager beer and two carbonated 




RIOT OF APRIL ROSKS IN BLOOM, VALLKJO, SOLANO COUNTY 



water factories producing 65,000 dozen yearly. A large number of 
men are employed in these establishments. ( )ther industries include 
a large machine shop and a stone yard with appreciable outputs. A. 
considerable business is done in dressed meats, three establishments 
sending carcasses worth approximately $150,000 a year to San Fran- 
cisco. 

MARE ISLAND NAVY YARD. 



Mare Island Navy Yard, drawing its labor supply from Vallejo, 
is the largest government institution west of the Mississippi River. Its 
equipment has cost over $12,000,000, including a splendid granite 
dock, which has been in use twenty years with no expense for re- 
pairs. A larger dock is now being constructed. Scores of brick and 
steel buildings are occupied by the 2,000 workmen employed. The 
Ordnance department and magazines are the supply headquarters 
for the United States Pacific and Asiatic tieets, as are also the marine 
barracks and medical departments. Splendid facilities for the repair 
of all classes of vessels are available, and a modern building slip and 
complete equipments are about to be installed for building the collier 
"(Ontario'" recently ordered by Congress. Hundreds of ships have 
been repaired for the Navy, Loast Survey, Light House, Revenue and 
Army Transport services and for foreign governments, while thi 
vessels built include the Mohican, Monadnock, and Intrepid, the tugs 
Monterey, Unadilla, Pawtucket and Sotoyomo, and numerous smaller 
crafts. Nearly all the war vessels built at the Union Iron Works 
received their boats and e(|uipments from Mare Island. Three of the 
vessels which won the great battle of Manila Bav under Admiral 
Dewey — the Boston, I5altimore and Petrel — had been thorough! v 
overhauled and prepared for duty by mechanics at Mare Island, while 
every shot fired from the main batteries of the fleet on that memor- 
able occasion was prepared at the Mare Island magazines. This 
'■^-lablishes the claim that the standard of workmanship on the Pacific 
is higher than in any other industrial establishment on the Pacific 
Coast. The mild climate enables the men to work in the open air 
the year round, this fact alone enabling Mare Island to successfully 
compete with Eastern yards where progress is retarded by excessive 
heat in summer and cold in winter, sufficiently to counteract the 
higher wages paid here. In this respect Mare Island may justly be 
termed a workingman's paradise. The pay roll is over $5,000 a dav, 
exceeding $1,500,000 annually, while vast sums are expended for 
material and supplies. The yard plant includes electric power stations 
and every arrangement for comfort and convenience of the workmen 
as well as the officers and enlisted men and other residents of the 
island. 



BENICIA TOWNSHIP, 



Adjoining \"allejo township on the east is Benicia Township, 
a fertile section including two ranges of hills with a beautiful valley 
between them and extending into the marsh lands of Suisun Bay. 
It contains over 20,000 acres of farming land, much of which is devot- 
<ed to hay raising and dairying. The product of over 2,000 cows in this 
section is handled by a creamery at Benicia, while milk and cream are 
also shipped to Oakland and San Francisco. In the township is the 
Hoyt rock quarry from which much road material has been taken. 
The quicksilver mine on the Hastings ranch bids fair to be marvel- 
ously productive. 

CITY OF BENICIA. 



The City of Benicia is a splendidly located manufacturing center, 
and its industrial enterprises support a population of 3,000. It is 
a city of the sixth class. Water and light are provided by private 
corporations, the water supply being stored in reservoirs of 350,000.- 
000 gallons capacity, adequate for a city of 10,000 people. It is piped 
foui miles. The street and commercial lighting are from the lines 
of the Bay Counties Power Company which also furnishes power 
to the great industrial establishments. 

Benicia has an effective fire department of three volunteer com- 
panies. It owns a wharf and gives competition in shipping to the 
people and the outlying country. Wharf bonds to the amount of 
$12,000 form the only indebtedness. The city hall, which was for- 
merly the State capi'tol, is a most interesting building. The town 
has tw^o weekly newspapers, a bank with a capital of $30,000, all the 
stock being owned by residents. The schools are of a high standard, 
from the high school to the lowest grade. There are fifteen teachers 
employed in five buildings, all the schools in the township forming 
one district. 

Churches in Benicia include the Catholic, Congregational, Epis- 
copal and Methodist denominations. The fraternal societies are well 
represented. The Odd Fellows, Masons, and U. P. E. C. (Portugese 
Benevolent Society) own their own meeting halls. The Odd Fellows 
have subordinate lodge, encampment and Rebekah degrees. The 
Masonic bodies include Blue lodge, Roval Arch Chapter, and East- 
ern Star. Knights of Pythias, A. O. U.' W., Y. M. I., I. O. F., Imp. 
O. R. AI., and K. O. T. M., are included in the list of Benicia fratern- 
ities. 

The oldest private educational institution in the county is St. 
Catherine's convent founded in Benicia in 1852. It is conducted bv 
the Dominican Sisters, seven of whom teach the 120 day pupils and 
thirty boarding pupils. The course is similar to that in the public 
schools, including the high schools, taking twelve years to complete. 

35 



INDUSTRIES. 



The industries of Henicia are its greatest feature. It lias miles 
of deep water frontage and several lines of steamers carry its product. 
The r)enicia tannery is the largest on the Coast while the McKay 
and Shaw tanneries do a very large business. Their output is sold 
tliroughout the east and immense quantities are shipped to tha 




Orient. The three tanneries employ from 200 to 300 men and have 
a yearly output valued at over $1,750,000. The wages dispersed by 
these institutions amount to over $200,000 a year. Sole, harness and 
skirting- leather are produced, nearly 300,000 sides per year being 
shipped from this point. 

The Carquinez Packing Co., with a plant valued at $100,000 puts 
up yearly 40,000 cases of fruit vakied at $150,000; 6,000 cases of sal- 
mon, worth $25,000; and 800 barrels of salmon worth $75,000. Their 
pack is almost entirely Solano County fruit and fish caught in the 
county waters. Their pay roll amounts to $50,000 per year, from 
fifty to 300 persons being employed. 

The Western Creameries Co., is another very large institution. 
It has a splendid machinery plant with a capacity of 5,000 pounds 
of butter a day. From 1,500 to 2,000 gallons of cream are handled 
each day, being gathered from a large territority. The same insii- 
tution has a condensed milk department, putting up from fifty to 125 
cases daily. The creameries employ from forty to fifty hands. The 
product of the place is worth a quarter of a million yearly, a figure 
which is constantly increasing. 

The Benicia Iron Works, covering an area of twenty-five acres, 
employing 200 men, with the highest class of modern machinery, 
has the most extensive output of any institution in the county, the 
shipments average 1000 tons per day. The works manufacture all 
descriptions of agricultural machinery and do all kinds of iron work. 
The most modern bolt plant in the State is located here, turning out 
35,000 bolts per day. The power is derived from the Bay Counties 
Power Company. Shipments are made from the company's wharf, 
which was built for the Pacific Mail Steamship Company when 
Benicia was its main terminus. The products of the works are 
shipped to Mexico, South and Central America and all transpacific 
ports, while the farm machinery is sold in all parts of the world. The 
pay roll runs from $150,000 to $200,000 per year and the value of the 
output runs into millions. 

A lime and plaster factory is being erected in Benicia and will 
shortly be in operation, and the energetic people have inaugurated 
a ferry service to Bulls Head point in Contra Costa Countv, to en- 
able the workmen of the large smelter there to live in Benicia and 
enjoy comfortable homes. 

A brewery plant with an annual capacity of 2,000 barrels auvl 
a bottling annex with an output of 10,000 dozen carbonated waters 
is one of Benicia's minor industries. 

The shipbuilding industry has been an important factor in 
Benicia's prosperity. The Turner ship3^ard has constructed 344 vessels 
and does a great quantity of new and repair work. The Delanev 
shipyard has special facilities for repairing river steamers and barges. 
Several ri^ver steamers have been built here in recent years. Manv 
men find employment at good wages in these yards. 

The Benicia Arsenal, the United States Army headquarters for 

37 



ordnance work on the Pacific Coast is an extensive ])lant. It employs 
a number of high class mechanics and pays from $40,000 to $50,000 
a year in wages. The I)enicia barracks is the headquarters of Army 
Signal Corps on this coast, two companies being maintained there. 
The enlisted men are a factor to the business interests of Benicia, 
while the supplies purchased at the two stations amount to a very 
material sum everv month in the year. 




GREEN VALLEY TOWNSHIP. 



North of V^allejo and Benicia Townships is Green Valley, show- 
ing in minature the general characteristics of the county. On the 
west side its boundary is the summit of the foothills, its valley is one 
of the prettiest spots in the county, and its borders extend to the tule 
marsh that lines Suisun Bay. Its products are fruit, grain, livestock, 
dairy products and manufactured products. /\bout 500 acres are 
planted to vines and an equal area to fruit trees. The Jones' orchard 
tlie largest cherry orchard in the State, is in this valley. In some 
years it has shipped the earliest fruit to market. During the season 
1,000 people are employed picking and packing fruit on this single 
holding. 

The dairy interests of this section are considerable, fully 1,000 
milch cows being kept. The cream, shipped to various points, 
amounts to $30,000 annually. The shipment of eggs average one 
hundred cases a month. In this township are from 4,000 to 5,000 
acres of grazing land, from which 750 head of beef are sold each 
year. 

The wine industry is an extensive one in Green Valley. Over 
150 carloads of grapes are received each year in addition to the 
grapes grown here and the output of the three wineries exceeds 
600,000 gallons per year. 

The great industrial output of the township is crushed rock and 
building stone. The E. B. & A. L. Stone Co. have a quarry on a hill 
of 250 acres arising abruptly from the valley. Their crushers have 
a capacity of 200 tons per hour. In addition an extremely valuable 
building stone underlies the entire hill. It is a volcanic tufa, easily 
worked, and will be a source of great income to the community. The 
company has a railroad system, the yard having five tracks, placed 
under the storage bins to facilitate loading cars, a private spur con- 
necting the line of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Paving blocks 
are split by machinery and finished by hand, being loaded on cars 
by a cable running past the cutting floors, gravity being utilized. 
Th;-^ crushed ruck will be washed and marketed perfectly clean, the 
debris forming a valuable by-product. The company employs 125 
men and the annual pay roll amounts to over $100,000. 

The only town in Green Valley Township is Cordelia, a very 
prosperous community. A good public school is located here, and 
one church, used by the several denominations. There is also a 
Methodist church at Rockville. There are four school districts in 
the township teaching the highest grammer grades, while the pupils 
of advanced standing attend the Union High School at Fairfield. 

SUISUN TOWNSHIP. 



One of the most productive townships in the county is Suisun, 
which adjoins Green Valley on the east, and extends southward to the 

39 



Bay. In the western portion is Suisun Valley, a wonderfully fertile 
fruit section, which is one vast orchard, producing all varieties of 
fruit of the richest flavor and the highest market value. It is raised 
^vithout irrigation and produces a value of over $1,000,000 a year. 
The valley contains thousands of Bartlett pear trees, which bear the 
finest fruit shipped to eastern markets. Cherries of the choicest 
varieties are also grown in the valley and are sold in the eastern mar- 
ket for the best prices. Probably one-tenth of the fresh fruit shipped 
from Suisun consists of this highest priced product. The apricot, 
peach and plum outputs assume immense proportions. The yearly 
shipments will exceed 300 refrigerated carloads of fresh fruit worth 
over a third of a million dollars. 

The dried fruit business of the township is also of great volume, 
Two large packing houses, the J. K. Armsby Company and the Ernst 
Luehning Company, employ hundreds of people for six months each 
year, expending over $10,000 a month for wages. The yearly ship- 
ments of dried fruits and almonds amount to over a million dollars. 
Dried fruit is brought from different sections of the countv, graded 
and shipped to eastern and foreign markets, always bringing re- 
nunerative prices. The average return for a carload of fifteen tons 
is $1,200 for fruit, while almonds bring $2,000 per car load. 

The most important industrial enterprise in Suisun and one of 
the great sources of wealth in Solano County is the Cement Works 
of the Pacific Portland Cement Co., located about six miles northeast 
of Suisun. . 

This great plant has a capacity of 2,200 barrels daily. The 
quality of the product is the equal of any Portland cement and is in 
use by the U. S. Government, municipal governments, railroads, 
architects and engineers of the Pacific Coast. The construction of 
this factory has occasioned the founding of the town of Cement where 
all the employees live, ether in cottages or in the company's boarding 
houses. The corporation has erected a school house and largely 
maintains the school ; has built and thoroughly equipped a hospital 
for the benefit of all sick or injured employees who may need medical 
attention. The mill affords employment for more than two hundred 
men, is of modern construction and operated by electricity. Crude 
oil is used for incinerating the material. The power is derived from 
the lines of the Bay Counties Power Company. 

Suisun is also the center of a large grain section. Having facili- 
ties for water freighting, 30,000 tons of grain yearly passes through 
its warehouse. Great quantities of hay and wool are also shipped 
from this point, the excellent facilities bringing the volume of busi- 
ness. The livestock business of Suisun Township figures as a 
splendid asset, at least a hundred carloads of beef cattle being shipped 
annurdly. Poultry raising is a constantly increasing industry, one 
establishment bringing a return of $1,200 to $1,500 per year on eight 
acres of land with an investment of less than $2,000. 

Hogs in great numbers are raised on the tule islands that border 



Siiisun Bay. being; an important by-product of the dairies. 

The great area of marsli land in Suisun Township has been par- 
tially reclaimed and is largely used for dairy purposes, (irizzly and 
Joyce Islands support over 4,000 head of milch cows, the profit on 
w hich varies from $20 to $30 per head. Rach dairy farm has modern 
machinery and separates the cream, which is shipped as a rule and 




the skimmed milk used for feeding calves and hogs. Some of the 
ranchers market their butter. The land adjacent to these islands is 
easily capable of reclamation and will then be worth $ioo an acre, 
whereas now it is valued at $15 and $20 per acre. This is one of the 
finest openings in California for men of capital and enterprise. 

SUISUN and FAIRFIELD. 



The population of the township is mainly located in the adjoin- 
ing towns of Suisun and Fairfield. The latter is the county seat. 
Sdisun is the shipping point for a wide section, having both water 
and rail communications. A steam vessel owned by Suisun people, 
plies regularly to San Francisco, and hauls freight for the adjoniing 
country as far as Vacaville and Elmira. Suisun is the center of the 
electric lines for which franchises have been granted in the county, 
and is also on the line of the proposed new railroad for which rights 
of way have been purchased through the Vacaville fruit belt, and 
will continue to be one of the principal shipping points in the county. 

Both Suisun and Fairfield have town governments. Suisun owns 
its water system, and provides an abundant supply of pure water 
for domestic use at low cost, also supplying a portion to Fairfield. 
Lights are provided by a private corporation, the power being ob- 
tained from the Bay Counties lines. A natural gas well is located a 
few miles from Suisun and pipes are laid to convey it to Suisun for 
domestic purposes. The supply exceeds 100,000 cubic feet daily and 
the gas can be profitably supplied to consumers at a very low figure. 

Suisun is progressive and has macadamized streets. There is a 
splendid public school for which a special tax is voted every year, 
and the Armijo L'nion High School at Fairfield is one of the best 
educational assets of the community. The churches are the Catholic. 
Congregational, and Episcopal denominations. Two splendid week- 
ly newspapers are published here and the Armijo Social Club, a verv 
liberal institution has a handsome home at which visitors are wel- 
come. The fraternal organizations include blue lodge, chapter and 
Eastern Star of the Masons, the subordinate lodge and Rebekah 
lodge of the Odd Fellows, the K. of P., N. S. G. W., W. O. W., and 
A. O. U. W. 

Property values in Suisun are very stable, the wealth of the com- 
munity per capita being large. Store rentals range as high as $7:^ 
per month. An enterprising local corporation owns the semi-marsh 
land between Suisun and Fairfield and has made a contract to fill it 
in, when some splendid sites for business and residence purposes 
will be available for building operations. Suisun has two banks to 
handle its large financial afi^airs. 

Fairfield, the county seat, has a much larger area than Suisun. 
though much of the business community is centered in the latter. 
The county seat has recently been incorporated, and a nuinl:)er of 
civic improvements have been inaugurated. A high degree of local 

43 




CHURCHES IN THE GREAT FRUIT BELT CITY 



pride obtains here and the town will go rapidly ahead. The schools 
are well manag-ed. the Armijo High School being located here. 
Town lots may be purchased at a reasonable figure, and every in- 
ducement is offered for home seekers. Many people obtain water 
from the Suisun works, while a private system, pumping from wells, 
affords competition in supply and price. 

It is not out of the range of possibility that Suisun and Fairfield 
will eventually merge into one municipality, to the advantage of the 
people of both towns. Fairfield has two energetic improvement 
clubs and a grove of the U. A. O. D. The ?^Iethodist congregation 
has a commodious church. 

VACAVILLE TOWNSHIP. 



Much wider than the knowledge of Solano County, rich as it is 
M 'esources and prosperity, is the fame of Vaca Valley, which lies in 
the heart of Vacaville Township. In every fruit center of the 
United States, the product of this unecjualed section is known as the 
earliest fruit placed on the market anywhere. The township in- 
cludes 115 square miles of land, the most productive portion of which 
is located in Vaca Valley, Lagoon Valley to the south, and Pleasant 
Valley to the north, with the adjoining hills which surround them 
on all sides. In all there are approximately 15,000 acres ;planted in 
fruit, the general ratio being 100 trees to the acre. In addition are 
a number of extensive vegetable fields, the produce of wdiich is in- 
variably first in the San Francisco market and bring the highest 
price. These shipments begin in February — in midwinter — and have 
an advantage of about a month over other sections, the remarkably 
high prices received netting the growers a handsome income. It is 
estimated that $50,000 a year is received by vegetable growers here, 
a profit of $150 per acre being nothing unusual. 

The fruit shipments from the Vacaville section are unexcelled 
anywhere. The gross sales per year reach the enormous total of 
$2,500,000. Early cherries, shipped during the first days of April, 
bring from $3,500 to $4,000 per carload, and the prices received 
through the season average $3,000 per car. The record price for a 
single box of ten pounds is $100 paid at auction in 1905 at Phila- 
delphia. The cherries grown in this section are noted for flavor and 
shipping qualities, and the returns received by the growers are almost 
incredulous. One grower in 1901 cleared $2,200 from ninety cherry 
trees, while another grower has netted $2,000 a year from nine acres 
of cherries. A single tree on the choicest land in the section has 
produced a net profit of $18=; a year. 

While cherries bring the highest price they constitute but three 
per cent of the fresh fruit shipments from Vacaville. Apricots and 
early plums follow the cherry season, with peaches, pears and 
grapes in rapid succession, keeping the shippers busy till late in the 
fall. In 1903 the total shipments of fresh fruit from Vacaville were 



T,400 carloads. The average proportion of shipments would h^ 
twenty-five per cent each peaches and plums, twenty per cent table 
i>Tapes, fifteen pci cent pears, ten per cent apricots, three per cent 
cherries and two per cent miscellaneous. The percentage of cherries, 
is increasing owing to the high profits. I'lums will bring an average 
of $1,250 per car and other fruits average $1,000 per car. 

The shipment of fruit is mainly in the hands of five large con- 
cerns, though each grower's product is treated as an individual con- 
signment, and sold as a unit. This gives those who use the greatest 
care in packing the best returns, the appearance and condition of 
the fruit being the factors in the price obtained. The cars are routed 
to avoid competition in the eastern markets, no greater quantity be- 
ing sent to anv locality than can be disposed of to the best advant- 

So large a quantity of the fruit being sold in the east the pro- 
ceeds are largely affected by the local crop on the Atlantic seaboard. 
Should that portend serious competition with the Vacaville product 
the growers refrain from shipping, and dry their fruit. The fruit 
being non-irrigated carries a minimum degree of moisture and the 
evaporated product averages from sixteen to fifty per cent of the 
ripe fruit in weight. The record for 1902 was 450 carloads of dried 
fruit, aggregating 6.750 tons, of which approximately one-third were 
French prunes valued at $900 per car load, one-half were apricots 
and peaches worth $2,100 and $1,800 per car. and the balance mixed 
fruits and nuts worth $1,500 per car. It will be seen that this im- 
mense output disposed of an even greater volume of fruit than the 
fresh shipments. In addition to these aggregates were about 100 car 
loads of fresh fruit sold in California and the northwest and probably 
thirty or more carloads of select fruit sold to canneries. 

The handling of this immense volume of fruit requires a great 
army of workers, and the fruit season adds at least 5.000 souls to 
the population of Vacaville township. Men. women and children 
receive good wages for easy work. White labor is preferred to 
Chinese and Ja])anese when it can be obtained, and the leading men 
of the community have taken steps to induce white people to spend 
the fruit season in this section where ideal conditions enable them 
to combine pleasure and ])rofit during the smnmer. 

VACAVILLE. 

The town of Vacaville is beautifully located in the heart of \'aca 
Valley. It is a rich community, with s|)lendid schools and churches, 
and all that goes to make residence desirable. There is a town 
government, good volunteer fire department, public librarv. splendid 
public school housed in a brick building, and emploving six teachers, 
a Union High School with a stafi^ of five teachers, fullv accredited 
by the State University. \A'ater is pumped from wells by a private 
cor])oration. and electric lights are sui)])lied from the Dav Counties 

46 



Power lines. Dwelling lots cost from $ioo to $750 and dwellings 
rent from $5 to $15 per month. Business lots are worth $40 a front 
foot and store rentals range from $15 to $50 per month. Building- 
operations are active, the community having a greater proportion of 
handsome homes, surrounded by semi-tropical gardens, than any 
other place in the comity. Buck Avenue, the leading residence street, 
would attract favorable comment in a city of 50,000 population. 

Vacaville has handsome churches occupied by the Advent, Bap- 
tist, Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian and Christian denominations, 
while an Episcopal Mission is maintained in I. O. O. F. Hall. 

The leading fraternities are well represented. Masonic bodies 
include blue lodge, chapter and commandery, and a chapter of the 
Eastern Star. The Odd Fellows have subordinate, encampment and 
Pebekah degrees. The K. of P., N. S. G. W., W. O. \\'., and 
AV. C). W. have branches here. The Ulatis Club, a social organization 
bas commodious quarters for the pleasure of members and guests. 
A steam laundry and bottling works are included in the town's in- 
dustries, while a prosperous bank and many attractive mercantile 
establishments do a large business. The Steiger rock quarry north 
of town, has a crushing plant with a capacity of 125 tons daily. The 
roads throughout the township are kept in excellent condition at ail 
times. 




TRAINING SHIP INTREPID, BUILT AT MARE ISLAND, SOLANO COUNTY 



COUNTRY SCHOOLS. 



Beside the excellent schools in Vacaville, there are eleven district 
schools in the township, where the primary and grammar grades are 
taught, the pupils, after completing their studies there, being eligible 
for entry into the high school. The splendid educational facilities 
of this section will compare favorably with similar institutions any- 
where. 

SILVEYVILLE AND TREMONT TOWNSHIPS. 



Northern Solano is composed of these townships, which are a 
part of the Sacramento V^alley. The northerly line of each is Putah 
Creek and they extend southward for miles along stretches of roll- 
ing and level land of great fertility, producing heavy crops. The 
belt of land adjacent to Putah Creek is a rich sandy loam, in which 
fruit trees and vegetables thrive and produce remarkable crops. To 
the southward of this is the "Dixon Ridge," in reality a former bed 
of Putah Creek. This is a rich sediment land and has a high value 
for all purposes. Great acreages are planted to grain in both town- 
ships, which lie side by side. From a belt from six to eight miles 
south of Putah Creek are sold great quantities of almonds, apricots, 
peaches, prunes, pears and grapes, while citrus fruits are raised in 
commercial quantities. The orange crop on the Currey Place in this 
tract has never failed. This section raises the finest tomatoes in 
California, averaging twenty-five tons to the acre. They are put up 
at the Dixon cannery, where it is not an unusual thing to add water 
to them when cooking, so firm is the natural product. There is .• 
constantly increasing area devoted to alfalfa, which is irrigated from 
wells. The water is found in unlimited quantities at a slight depth 
and is raised by electric pumps. The land yields five and six crops 
per year, the aggregate making ten to twelve tons of hay per acre. 
The dairy interests keep in close touch with the subdivision of the 
larger tracts of land and the increase of alfalfa and irrigation. 

Though northern Solano has two townships, the business center 
is the town of Dixon. The other railroad stations and shipping 
points are Tremont and Batavia. The princi])al grain crop in the 
entire section is barley, which is farmed with the best modern labor- 
saving machinery. The yield averages twenty-five sacks to the acre. 
The yearly shipments are 8,000 to 10,000 tons of grain from Dixon, 
6,000 from Tremont and from 5,000 to 7,000 from Batavia. Maine 
Prairie is a water point on Montezuma Slough to which grain is 
hauled in large quantities from these townships and shipments of 
16,000 tons of grain per year are made. The aggregate has been as 
high as 20,000 tons per year. The land throughout Silveyville Town- 
ship is very rich and this township has the highest assessed valuation 
in the county. Tremont is also a rich section, the southern porti-.n 



being a heavy adobe soil especially adapted for grain. The extreme 
eastern border is adjacent to the Yolo Basin, and is damaged at times 
by high water. The completion of the reclamation scheme for the 
Sacramento River will obviate this and the land in question will be 
extremely valuable. 




DIXON. 

The town of Dixon is an enterprising- little commnnity on the 
main railroad line. It has a town government, and a light and water 
corporation affording adequate supplies of both facilities. The line 
of the r.ay Counties Power Company passes through the town 
furnishing power to all industries. The population is about 1,000. 
There is g'ood fire protection, rents are very reasonable, from $5 to 
$15 for dwellings, and from $15 to $100 for stores. Dwelling lots 
are worth from $100 upwards and business property $125 per front 
foot, (iood elementary schools and a high school afford educational 
facilities. Fraternities are- well established, the Masonic bodies in- 
cluding blue lodge, chapter and Eastern Star. The Odd Fellows and 
Rebekahs have s'olid branches. There are K. of P., W. C). W.. ^^^ (). 
W., A. O. U. W., and F. of A. There are three fraternal halls. A 
bank with a capital of $500,000 does a good business. Hie tax rate 
is about sixty-five cents for municipal purposes. Licjuor licenses are 
M^75 ptM- ([uarter, others being nominal. 

A feature of this section of the county is the telephone systems 
which center in Dixon. Every farm for miles is connected, the 
original lines having been simply liarbed wire fences, llie telephone 
system covers an area of fifty miles and more in extent reaching a 
long distance into Yolo County. 

A pleasing element of life in Dixon is an excellent brass band, 
which gives frecpient air open concerts. The industries of the place 
are extensive and include a canner>', creamery and fiour mill beside 
grain warehouses, machine shops, l)ottling works, and several large 
mercantile establishments. : 

The Foster Cannery has an annual pack of 25,000 cases of 
tomatoes, 15.000 cases of peaches, and 10,000 cases of apricots. The 
management contracts for the planting of at least 200 acres of tomat- 
toes annually and receives cpiantities oi fruit from other sections. 
About 200 hands are emi^loyed for about fi\e months in the season. 
The out]^ut of this cannery is sold to a great extent in ( )regon and 
Washington. 

The Dixon creamery has a yearly ()ut])ut of 300,000 pounds of 
butter, and distributes $60,000 to the dairymen each year. The butter 
is giltedged, and is all handled by one of the largest retail firms in 
San I'rancisco, the creamery always getting above the market price. 
The Inisiness is increasing yearly in every respect. The concern is 
owned by local capital. 

The Dixon flour mill lias a capacity of fifty barrels of flour and 
a carload of crushed barley daily. It supplies the local market for 
a wide area and also ships flour and feed as far as Xewada. 

The shipments from Dixon include a great (piantit}- of earlv 
vegetables and eggs, fifty cases of the latter being sent daily in sea- 
son. There are only half a dozen exclusive poultry farms in the 
\icinit\-, but the large margin of j^rofit has led a number to take it 



up and the l)usiness promises to expand very rapidly. 

Every year there are twenty-five carloads of dried fruit and ten 
carloads of almonds shipped from Dixon. A large portion of the out- 
put of this prolific section is hauled to Winters and Davis, towns 
located just across the liiie in Yolo Comity. The largest almond 
growers iu Tremont township belong to the Davisville Almond As- 
sociation and their product is sold at that point. Fifteen carloads 
of melons raised every year on the bottoms south of Putah Creek, 
are sold in Yolo County. 

CLIMATE. 



The climate of this section is superb. The north winds which 
cause some detriment in the Sacramento Yalley are spent by the 
time they reach Dixon, and have only the beneficial effects of drying 
up moisture that would otherwise cause rank vegetation and malarial 
conditions. The nights arc cool, moist bay breezes insuring an 
equable temperature. In harvest time, the moisture from these 
winds, with the reduction in temperature, forms a heavy dew. so that 
harvesting cannot begin until the sun has been up several hours. 

The Dixon churches include handsome structures of the Baptist, 
Catholic, Lutheran. Methodist and Presbyterian denominations, all 
of which are well sustained. 

In addition to the excellent graded schools of Dixon there are 
ten district schools in Northern Solano, seven being in Silveyville 
and three in Tremont township. 

ELMIRA TOWNSHIP. 



Occupying the central section of the county, Elmira Townshi]) 
has a variety of resoinxes. It comprises forty-five square miles, all 
uplands. The soil varies, that portion adjoining \"acaville being re- 
markably fertile, while the eastern portion of the township is devoted 
to grazing. Splendid crops of barley are raised in this section, while 
the town of Elmira is the great wool center of the county. $75,000 
worth of fleeces being shipped from here annually. Dairying is ex- 
tensive, the cream being sold at Dixon and Benicia. A great amount 
of poultry and eggs are raised in this section and 100 carloads of hogs 
are included in its annual output, i.ooo tons of hay and 3,000 tons 
of barley are shipped from Elmira, while a considerably larger por- 
tion of the crop is moved by water. The town of Elmira is a pros- 
perous little community, being the junction of the A^aca Valley and 
Southern Pacific railroads. It has a good school. Catholic. Christian 
and Methodist churches administer to the needs of the residents. The 
fraternal societies include Masonic. Odd Fellows, and Independent 
Foresters organizations, the membership extending to the farming 
section that is tributary to the town. Elmira Township is not thick- 
1}' settled as some portions of the county, yet four district schools 



are maintained in addition to the scliool at Elmira. 
DENVERTON TOWNSHIP. 



This section of the county, sixty square miles in extent, is a 
vast farming and grazing section, on vvdiat is known as "the plains." 
It is mainly level, though its southern portion is rolling land, the 
borders of the noted Montezuma Hills. Denverton is bound to at- 
tract a larger population, and offers special attractions to the home- 
seeker of limited means. The soil, in a great area, is especially adapt- 
ed to poultry raising, being gravelly with ample water a short dis- 
tance below the surface. There are some very large holdings in the 
township, vast flocks of sheep and large herds of cattle being owned 
here. There is a shipping point on Nurses' Slough at Denverton. 
where is a brick warehouse, in which about 16,000 sacks are stored 
and shipped each year, being hauled from the adjacent ranches. 
Denverton township has ample school facilities, there being four 
schools within its confines. 

MAINE PRAIRIE TOWNSHIP. 



This township, like the other central portion of Solano County, 
is purely a farming section, with large areas devoted to grazing. The 
township has an area of eighty square miles, of which approximate- 
ly one quarter is marsh land capable of reclamation. Montezuma 
Slough, a navigable water way, nnis through the township and af- 
fords shipping facilities at very reasonable rates. There are 10,000 
acres in the township planted each year to barley, the yield running 
as high as twenty sacks to the acre. The shipments from Maine 
Prairie average 12.000 to 16.000 tons of barley yearly and have been 
as high as 20.000 tons, the value approximating half a million dol- 
lars. Of the sheep in the county fully twenty per cent are owned in 
this township, and the output of wool and lambs adds a large amount 
to the income of the owners. The township will gain materially 
from the realization of the reclamation plans, which are now under 
consideration in the county. 

Beside Maine Prairie, which has a shipping point and postoffice, 
the little village of P>inghampton. with a school, church, postoffice 
and stores, is the only settlement in the township. The telephone 
system extends throughout the section and communication is as 
easy as in a large city. The schools in the township are in P>ingham- 
ton and Maine Prairie. 

MONTEZUMA TOWNSHIP. 



The most noted grain section in all California, wdiere the best 
milling wheat in the State is grown, is the Montezuma Hills, whose 
bases are washed on the east bv the Sacramento River, and whose 



slopes on the south merge in the swamp land l^ordering Suisun Bay. 
These hills lie in Montezuma and Rio Vista Townships. The for- 
mer has fifty square miles of area, of which one-fifth is marsh land. 
The balance is wonderfully rich adobe, upon which wheat has been 
raised continually for half a century. These hills produce annually 
50,000 tons of wheat, which is shipped from Bird's Landing, Meehan's 
Landing, Dadahni's Landing and Rio Vista. In addition every farm 
has much stock, cattle and sheep being owned in hundreds, and form- 
ing a substantial revenue in addition to the fortunes derived each 
year from cereals. Sheep do remarkably well. The flocks are graded, 
a large infusion of thoroughbred blood maintaining a standard which 
l^roduces the best results in wool and mutton. 

Montezuma Township has two towns. Bird's Landing is a pros- 
perous community, doing business for a large section. Here is 
located a handsome brick building owned by the local Odd Fellows 
Lodge. It is typical of the rich country surrounding it. Collins- 
ville is the other town, located at the mouth of the Sacramento River. 
It has a school, and Episcopal and Catholic churches. There is a 
Methodist church at Shiloh Landing. Collinsville is the shipping 
point for a large dairy business lying on the mainland, the dairies 
in the vicinitv having 1,500 cows. The output of calves, hogs, poultry 
and eggs is large, of the latter the average being ten cases daily. 
Collinsville is also a fishing center, many boats having headquarters 
here. About 400 tons of salmon, caught in the lower reaches of the 
Sacramento, are shipped during the year, there being two seasons. 
Both lines of steamers running on the Sacramento River make 
Collinsville a regular landing place, afifording communication both 
ways every day. A large acerage of fine bottomland near Collins- 
ville has been planted to asparagus, and quantities of this highly 
profitable grass are shipped during the season. 

RIO VISTA. 



The eastern borders of the county are marked by Rio Arista 
Township, past which the Sacramento River runs. An arm of that 
stream forms Ryer Island, which is a very rich tract of 12,000 acres, 
fully reclaimed, and a great factor in the wealth of the township and 
the county. Rio Vista Township includes a portion of the Monte- 
zuma Hills, and also many thousands of acres of river bottom land, 
which will increase greatly in value when permanentlv protected 
from the overflow of the river. Local levees have been Iniilt, but the 
water from the Yolo Basin, wdiich leaves the river one hundred miles 
to the northward, causes the trouble. The remedy is only a matter 
of time, the L^nited States and State authorities having taken steps 
to rectify the channel of the stream. 

Rio Arista is a great shipping point. The grain and wool from 
the rich surrounding country passes mainly through its three ware- 



Iiouses, The barle}-, boairs, potatoes and other prochicts of Ryer 
Island are shipped directly over the levees saving the expense of haul- 
in l;-. This township has a gross production exceeding two millions 
annuallv, the farmers working their places on the most approved 
lines. ha\'ing grain as a staple, but with thousands of sheep, hogs anrt 




I'UBLIC SCHOOL, RIO VISTA, SOLANO COUNTY 



cattle, gi\'ing a constant source of revenue the year round. Tlie 
river passes their doors, carrying milHons in freight every year from 
the entire Sacramento V^alley. Just across the river are the rich 
islands in Sacramento County — Sherman, Brannan and Grand Islands 
— which are tributary to Rio Vista in business afifairs. This com- 
bined area has a population of at least 10,000 and a value of many 
million dollars. It will make connection with the railroads by a line 
from Rio \^ista through Solano County, which will tend directly to 
the advantage of Rio Msta. 

RIO VISTA. 



The town of Rio Msta, with a population of 850 is one of the 
oldest in California, having been founded prior to the discovery of 
gold. It was originally located above what is now called Newton 
Landing, just north of the present site at the base of the Montezuma 
Hills, where the town was moved to 1862, after a disastrous over- 
flow of the Sacramento River. The municipality is an incorporated 
town, which owns the water system, the water being pumped from 
the river. A high pressure pump gives ample pressure to guard 
against fire. The town has an excellent public school, while St. Ger- 
trude's Academy, a private day and boarding school maintained by 
the Sisters of Mercy, has a State wide reputation. The course of 
study includes elementary and high school subjects, as taught in 
the public schools of the State, with a business college department. 
and special instructions in music, drawing and painting. There are 
thirty-two Sisters in the community, of whom eighteen are engaged 
in teaching. There are no boarders and seventy-five day pupils in 
the Academy, while an auxiliary department, situated a short dis- 
tance from the academy, has fourteen bovs receiving inctructions 
similar to those given the young ladies. The churches at Rio Vista 
are the Catholic, Congregational and I\lethodist. 

Rio Vista is a very prosperous town. Rents for dv-^llings are 
from $16 to $20 per month and store rents are from $10 to $50. Resi- 
dence lots cost from $150 upwards and business lots from $500 up- 
wards. A large lumber yard and planing mill, receiving cargoes 
direct from ocean going vessels, afifords material for ])uilding in a 
wide area both of Solano and Sacramento Counties along the river. 

The industries of Rio V'ista include a cannery operated by local 
capital. It has a gross capacity of i.ooo cases dailv and packs each 
year about ic,ooo cases of fruit, tomatoes, beans, peas and sweet corn 
valued at $250,000. The labor employed is secured from the vicinity 
as far as possible. 

Another industry is a tule factorv, where life preservers, packing 
mats, and cases are made from tule of a peculiar fiber. Iliis business 
is constantlv growing, a hundred men being employed in cutting the 
tule and manipulating it for the market in its various forms. A por- 



tion of the output is shipped to Euroi)e at regular inter\als. 

Rio \'ista has a machine shop capable of doing all ordinary 
machine work, and all the auxiliaries of a prosperous community. 
An excellent weekly paper is published and a bank adds materially 
to the business of the town. Its patrons extending o\'er a wide area. 
The climate is moderate, the heat of summer being modified by cool- 
ing breezes from the bay. Numerous handsome homes, with tropical 
plants growing in profusion, add to the attractiveness of the streets. 

The fraternal societies owning halls are the Masons and Odd 
Fellows in conjunction, the Native Sons of the Golden West and 
the Knights of Pythias. There are organizations of Rebekahs, the 
Rathbone Sisters and Eastern Star, a court of the Ancient (Vder of 
Foresters, and branches of both great Portugese Benoxelent So- 
cieties. The Rio Club has a well appointed club house and is a head- 
quarters for the progressive people of the community. Four district 
schools flourish in the township outside Rio \'ista. 

The water shipping facilities of Rio Arista are unexcelled. Three 
warehouse and wharf firms handls commodities of all kinds, the an- 
nual tonnage of grain being over 10,000, while much hay, flaxseed, 
wool and other products are shipped from these points. The gross 
shipments of fresh fish, mainly salmon, from Rio \ ista are 365 tons 
per year. Game is also shipped in immense quantities during the 
season, Rio Vista being the center for scores of professional hunter-^ 
and many other sportsmen, who get large l)ags in the slcnighs and 
o\-ertiowed lands. 

RYER ISLAND. 



Ryer L^land. one of the richest pieces of land in California, is in 
Rio Vista Township. It consists of 12,000 acres of delta land in the 
Sacramento River, and is protected by strong levees. Barley is grown 
on 7,000 acres, producing from forty to sixty sacks to the acre. Beans 
are ])lanted on 3.000 acres, yielding from thirty to forty-five sacks, 
averaging eighty-five pounds in weight, to the acre. Bartlett pears, 
peach and plum trees number 16,000. Potatoes average 230 sacks to 
the acre on 200 acres. The area planted to asparagus is 400 acres, 
and a cannery is under consideration to pack tlie succulent grass 
directly from the field, so it will lose non(^ of its crispness and flavor. 
The growth of flax and hemp has been carried on for years, the hemp 
growing to a height of sixteen feet and yielding 1,500 pounds of fiber 
to the acre. 'Idiis product is sent to Oakland to be made into baling 
rope, which is thirty to forty-five per cent stronger than ordinarv 
rope. 

The island has cross levees and good roads. It is a remarkable 
section, the land being always kept moist from the river, and a failure 
of crops is unknown. Sheep to the number of 16,000 are fattened on 
the island each year, being turned into the stubble and later into the 

56 



o^rain fields, this means being taken to prevent a too rank growth of 
grain. 

Wood Island, opposite the town of Rio Vista, has a shipyard 
where river steamers are built and repaired, many men being con- 
stantly employed there. 




GROSS VALUE OF THE ANNUAL PRODUCTION OF SOLANO CO. 



l'"niit $5,000,000 

Grain 3.500.000 

Hav 200,000 

W'o-etables 1 50.000 

Beans 250.000 

Canned (Joods 600.000 

Wine 1 25.000 

Live Stock 500.000 

Dressed M eats 1 50.000 

Wool 1 50.000 

Dairy Products 500.000 

* Poultry and Eg-g-s 100.000 

Building- materials 2,000.000 

Leather 2.000.000 

Flour 2.000.000 

( )ther manufactures 3.000.000 

Pickled Fish 200.000 

Fresh Fish 50.000 

Quicksilver 100.000 

Natural ( las 25.000 

Wages etc.. in V. S. Arsenal and Xavv Yard 2.000.000 



$22,600,000 
Estimated 




OCT 33 1205 



LIBRARY OF CONGRESS 



017 168 762 7 



f^^ t^ 



CONCLUSION. 



The facts and fioures set forth in the precetHng- pages have been 
carefnlh' compiled and completely \-erified. The showing- t\)r the 
county is as surprising as it is gratifying-, and will prove instructi\-e 
to our own people as well as to outsiders into whose hands it might 
fall. To these latter we will say that Solano's hospitality fully ecpials 
her wealth, and that every inducement is offered to those who wish 
to come an-iong us and add to our citizenshij). There are numerous 
op])ortunities for those with capital, great and small, and for those 
who can contribute in energy and intelligence to the community. 
The foundation has been well laid, and those who cast their lots 
with us will find a section unrivalled in its natural advantages, and 
fully e(juipped in every way to make prosperous and hapi)y homes. 



t^ t^^ 



FROM THE PRESS OF THE 



VALLEJO EVENING CHRONICLE 



LIBRARY OF CONGRESS 



illlllllll 
017 168 762 7 «