Jackson County is bounded on the north by Douglas, on the east by the Cascades, on the south by California, and on the west by Josephine and Curry.
County Officers.--Sheriff, L. J. C. Duncan; County Clerk, Wm. Hoffman; Treasurer, David Linn; Assessor, John Q. Tabor; Coroner, James Hamlin; County Judge, James G. Tolman; County Commissioners, Frederick Heber, John M. Nichols, and James C. Tolman.
Oregon and Washington Almanac, 1860, page 32
LETTER FROM JACKSON CO.
Jacksonville, Feb. 26, 1860.
FRIEND BUSH: Allow me, through the medium of your paper, to offer to your many readers a few items of interest and notes from the "Sunny South." This part of the country is rather in the downward tendency, with regard to improvements of most every description, and most particularly the circulation of money is very slow. The principal cause of these uncommonly slow times is the remarkably dry winter we are having, the consequence of which is that the placer mines are not being worked, and they are very nearly the only source from which there are any anticipations of the spondulix. The mines are the rich pastures on which the merchants, farmers, gamblers, loafers and men of any occupation graze, and some few get very fat, but seldom the miners who take out the money. There is a constant draining of our county, but no filling up. I do not put this county up as being of much consequence in the future unless the discoveries of gold-bearing quartz [at Gold Hill] prove to be as good as now thought. You have in the Sentinel a very authentic account of the quartz discoveries and excitement in this vicinity.
I would like to awaken the law-abiding portion of people here to a sense of their moral, virtuous and local duty. Our laws are made too much a farce of here. We have too many gamblers, blacklegs and loafers in our midst. There are too many shooting affrays left almost unnoticed, too many murders committed, and the guilty go unpunished. The above-mentioned class of men have too much to say in our courts of pretended justice. No longer ago than last week the deputy sheriff of this county was circulating a petition for the commutation of Bowen's sentence, who was to have been hung on the 10th inst., but his time was prolonged by the Governor, to give them time to get all the signers possible. Bowen, in attempting to rob a Chinaman of his money, killed him, and now a great many say he ought not to be punished for killing a defenseless Chinaman. It seems to me a cowardly act, which he knew he could commit with impunity and run no risk of losing his own life, unless by the execution of the law, which he is about to avoid by the help of many interested friends. I hope, however, that our Gov. will not be blinded on this matter, but let him pull hemp. Everything is ready, the gallows built, the coffin made, the rope purchased and everything in readiness for the execution and interment.
Lamerick is thought to be recovering; if he gets well, I think the affair will pass by without much noise.
Politics run very low here, at this time, with the exception of trouble in regard to electing a Speaker. As there is so much talk about a dissolution, I feel curious to know, like some others, how they are going to do it? I would like to vote on the point myself, for I don't like to trust in Jo. [Lane] and Lansing to vote as my proxies. If it should be dissolved, I would like to know what part of the tunes "Hail Columbia" and "Yankee Doodle" they are going to give the North and what the South, and what part of the fourth of July and many other little things that would spoil to divide them!
Letter dated February 26, 1860, Oregon Statesman, Oregon City, March 27, 1860, page 1
The El Dorado of Southern Oregon.
JACKSONVILLE, OREGON, April 5.I arrived here two or three days ago, and am much pleased with the country generally. Rogue River Valley, in which this town is situated, is one of the most beautiful valleys I ever saw. The climate is remarkably mild, fruit trees being in full blossom--and there is an air of thrift which I have witnessed nowhere since leaving the Atlantic States. The lands are well fenced, many with fine broad fences, such as we see in the East, and the houses are invariably fine large two-story dwellings, and all painted white. This town is bound to become an important point. New quartz discoveries are being made daily in the mountains, at the base of which it is situated.
The Ish, or Gold Hill, claim continues to turn out an astonishing amount of wealth. The company employ but a few men, working eight hours per day. They are waiting for machinery from San Francisco. The claim is situated twelve miles from town. They have two arrastras, and have ground about ten tons of rock, which has yielded $75,000.
On the 2nd and 3rd inst. they took out two tons of rock which, it is estimated, will yield $15,000 per ton--many say $40,000 per ton.
The Hicks lode, two and a half miles from town, pays $50 to $80 per ton.
The Blue lode, two and a half miles from town, is about five feet wide, and prospects same as the Hicks.
There are also some dozen other lodes, which are not thoroughly prospected, but, as far as heard from, yield from $30 to $70 per ton.
The Blackwell lode has been prospected and traced for a long distance, and yields from $40 to $60 per ton.
This place presents an excellent field for capitalists, far better than any in California. The people are rather slow, and lack the enterprise we see exhibited in California towns.
A telegraph company is about being organized, and the prospect is that, within four months, we will be in telegraphic communication with San Francisco,
JIM.Daily Alta California, San Francisco, April 13, 1860, page 4
The Resources of Northern California and Southern Oregon.Within the past six months.new discoveries of gold deposits have been made in the extreme northern section of the state and in Southern Oregon, that far surpass in richness any that have heretofore been made since that memorable day in 1848, when Marshall discovered a few glittering grains in the mill-race at Colima. We have additional reports of wonderful gold discoveries in that quarter--which are published elsewhere in this issue of the Alta--and which go to prove that Northern California and Southern Oregon are marvelously rich in gold deposits, and that these deposits are as yet, in the main, undeveloped and undiscovered. There is a belt of territory bounded by the Umpqua River on the north, and the Klamath on the south, and stretching to an indefinite distance eastward, about which comparatively little is known in regard to its mineral wealth, since a scanty and sparse population is all that it contains, and mining has, ever, by that population, been comparatively neglected. The hostile tribes of Rogue and Pistol rivers, and other northern Indians, have, until within a year or two, held almost supreme control of this section. These, together with the rugged nature of the country, mainly covered, as it is, with the old primeval forests--have kept back the advance of civilization, and made a wild waste of solitude of nearly the whole of that vast section of territory. And the tramp of the lordly elk, the bounding step of the deer, or the whirring wing of the pine grouse, are almost the only sounds that break the repose in which it has slumbered for countless centuries. The explorer may strike a line into these forest-crowned hills, blazing his way as he goes, on the rough stems of the lordly pines, until he comes to some one of the many streams that find their way seaward at frequent intervals of space. Here let him set about prospecting the soil for gold, and he is always sure to find "the color," and often in paying quantity. Or, taking the line of the ocean beach from Trinidad to Coos Bay, and the sands of the beach will be found rich with the precious metal, but so fine in grain as to have baffled the inventive skill of practical miners and others thus far, in every attempt that has been made to devise a method by which it can be saved. If we add to these facts the recent discoveries that have more recently been made, of fabulously rich quartz lodes, within the section alluded to, we surely have enough of outward evidence upon which to base the assertion that this whole section is destined to become a rich mining region, inferior in no respect to any portion of the mineral districts of Central California.
Then, again, we have to add to this the discoveries that have been made eastward of Crescent City, of rich copper deposit. Without knowing, as yet, what the extent or richness of these copper mines may be, they, nevertheless, promise to add materially to the annual metallic product of California, and will probably exercise no small influence in helping to people the northern portion of the state.
All that is wanted to open up this section of the Pacific Coast is population. There is the hidden wealth, waiting only for the energetic and industrious to dig for it, and bring it to light. There, too, are productive valleys and hillsides which invite the agriculturist, while the hills abound with game and the rivers with fish. In fact, taking it as a whole, we know of no other spot on the habitable globe which holds out greater inducements for a hardy and industrious people to emigrate to than that to which we have alluded. And we hail these new gold discoveries with unfeigned pleasure, since they can scarcely fail to prove the magnet which is to draw thither a strong tide of emigration from the Atlantic States, thereby adding to the power and wealth of the Pacific border, which already approaches the majestic proportions of a great empire of civilization, wealth and political importance.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, June 7, 1860, page 2
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OVERLAND TO OREGON--No. 1.
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)
SCOTT'S RIVER, November 21, 1860.
Trip up the Sacramento.The steamer Queen City carried us on the evening of the 12th inst. to Sacramento, from whence following the river to Marysville, the somewhat novel trip of a journey through Northern California to Oregon was commenced. Several gentlemen of note were on board, and to them, as well as to the kindness of the boat's officers, I am indebted for the enjoyment of the first hours out from San Francisco.
The pulse of the "City of Homesteads" did not beat fast enough to satisfy me but a short time, and 7 o'clock a.m. found us slowly, but surely, ascending the Upper Sacramento, on the steamer James Blair. The promenade deck is scarcely high enough to afford a good view of the valley, and the traveler is constantly tantalized with now and than a glimpse out over the banks on either side. If he is so fortunate as to receive an invitation into the pilot house some advantage will be gained.
Scenery of the Valley.A good view of the valley of the Sacramento, on a clear day, is an object of interest to him even who can least admire the works of nature. Stretching, as it does, from the Coast Range to the Sierras, a distance of one hundred and twenty miles, the mountains in each direction, already tipped in their regal white, the blue foothills, rising and falling in their undulations as far as the eye can reach to the north, and the plain, dried and sere after its summer scorching, make up a scene, toto caelo, which is quite refreshing. As we get farther up the river, the banks are so covered with cottonwoods and willows as to entirely shut out the view. Miles away from us, in every direction, are lying the magnificent landscapes and wondrous beauties of California; its thousands of industrious and happy inhabitants are plodding through the daily routine of life; its hillsides and little dales are comforting themselves with flocks and herds, and the mountain gulches are yielding up their hundreds of thousands of almighty dollars, as usual. But the curtain has dropped; the travelers on the James Blair are sleepy, listless, incognizant.
Dinner--An Act of Charity.Turning our attention to the feast of good things which our steward serves up every four hours at a dollar a sit, a new topic commends itself. I had the satisfaction of seeing briskly fed, with knife, fork and fingers, and mainly with their own exertions, a poor lone woman, with five small children, and ne'er a cent of money (after the paying eaters had finished). One of the little girls was keen, and possessed of bright eyes. She said that her papa had died but a few weeks ago, and that now they "didn't live anywheres," but were going to the mines again, where they had formerly resided. Poor, ragged starvelings! I was glad to see them eat: it might have softened the heart of a miser, and it was a credit to the steward, perhaps, even if he should have to tax those who are able to make up the deficit. Back in the mountains, where they have "seen better days," among the big hearts there, may they yet be happy again, Deo volente.
The Stage Route to Oregon.The readers of the Alta everywhere, have, some time ago, known the fact that the California Stage Co. are running a daily line of U.S. mail and passenger coaches between Sacramento and the city of Portland, in Oregon, traversing in their course some hitherto impassable mountain steeps, and over a wild, rough country, little known except to those who have traveled it. By the energy and wealth of said company, roads and bridges have been built where, only a few months ago, it would have been considered impracticable, and the establishing of the line has given a new impetus to business through our whole northern country. It is partly for the purpose of giving the reader a general idea of the route, the towns situated thereon, together with news and incidents of travel, that the first two or three of this series of letters will be written.
The regular Oregon stage leaves Marysville at 2 p.m.; but, upon this occasion, preferring to remain a few hours at Oroville, I took a morning coach by the same line, arriving at the terminus (in prospecto) of the Sacramento Valley Railroad, at 11 a.m. This is a large flourishing town, situated on the Feather River, a locality once celebrated for its rich gold deposits, but, of late, less noted in that respect, yet maintaining its reputation as a commercial inland depot, and with large hopes for the future, as soon as they get a railroad connecting them with Marysville and Sacramento. Butte County is rich enough to carry out this project, and there is reason to suppose it will be much sooner accomplished than people are at present inclined to believe. An agent has already gone east to purchase the iron.
We left this place at 7 p.m., traveling all night. Passed Red Bluffs at six in the morning, arriving at Shasta at noon. The morning trip was over a rolling country, skirted here and there with a stunted growth of scraggy oaks and manzanita, presenting rather a cheerless aspect.
Mount Shasta.Before us, Mount Shasta, ninety miles away, reared its white-capped summit--sufficient in itself to attract all our attention, and grand enough to satisfy the most rhapsodical admirer. The roads were good, and the time made, excellent. By the way, what a queer class of the world's people these stage drivers are: None of your commoners; not exactly belonging to the aristocracy, but, on an average, big men with big hearts, and great favorites with the ladies; they are usually temperate, sedate, and occasionally eccentric, and rarely offer to the traveler anything like uncourteous or impertinent language--a class of men which could illy be spared among the mountainous gulches of California.
Shasta.Shasta is situated among the hills, irregularly constructed, and the center of a large and prosperous mining region. It is possessed of many fine buildings, including residences, stores, hotels, etc.; a climate rather desirable than otherwise, although they do say that it is the warmest place in the state in the summer time. The whole inhabitants possess in a generous degree the affable manners and gentility so acceptable to strangers in transito; and the "Hotel de Empire" is a respectable and comfortable institution. Most all travelers, when they arrive at this point, fancy themselves far enough north, and it requires more than an ordinary desire for seeing the world to prompt them to continue on, unless special business calls. It is here that we leave the coaches and take the familiarly termed mud wagon, they being better adapted to bad roads and sideling hills, and if anybody has ever rode enough in them to form an indissoluble fondness for the like, he must be a curiosity indeed.
A Mining Camp.After a pleasant afternoon's journey we arrived at 6½ p.m. at that world-renowned camp., known as French Gulch, when gold, in quantities, has been, and will for years to come, be the principal commodity. This is one of your genuine ravines, walled with hills which prevent the sun from rising till late in the forenoon, and for a picture of which the reader is referred to the old numbers of Hatchings' Magazine. The town contains a hotel, kept by Mr. Wm. Krepp; a butcher's shop, by Messrs. Hopping & McGuire; a school, by Mrs. Milliman; and a church, kept by the foundation which supports it. Future generations will point with pride back to the time when their fathers lived and mined and voted both the Democratic tickets of 1860, in the town of French Gulch. The manners and customs of the people are perfect ebullitions of good nature, and frankness, "first, last and all the time," and the traveler towards Oregon cannot do better than stop a day. Mr. McClary has a ditch running out of Clear Creek, where he can turn off the water at any time, take out as many bushels of fine fish as he requires, and then, turning on the water again, save those remaining for some other occasion. I noticed here a pair of fine sleighs (with "bobs"), well cushioned and finished; they are marked "C.S. Co.," and intended for the accommodation of travelers over the mountains in time of snows, another evidence that nothing will be left undone to make the transit one of speed and pleasure the year round. Reminding you that we are now in one of the most wealthy mining localities of the North, we bid adieu to the inhabitants of French Gulch.
Trinity Mountain.After a night's drive over Trinity Mountain, upon which the ascent is so gradual, and the road so well improved, that we were not called upon to walk, arrive at four a.m. at Trinity Center, a thriving little town among the pines and mines of Trinity County, and the locale of which has been called into notice, if in no other manner, by the sweet poetry of Mrs. Anne K. H. Lader, who has resided here. The county seat, Weaverville, is situated to the westward some twenty miles or more, and said to be a fast progressing place. They claim the marble statue in this county, having given $550 to the Monument Fund, at the late election. The precinct of Minersville, sixty-six votes, contributing seventy-six dollars; Steiner's Flat, forty-four votes, fifty dollars. This at once gives evidence of the intellectual and patriotic stamina of the people. They are prosperous, happy, and deserving. Judging from the expressed desire of the blacksmith to obtain a wife, his promising, "if he could find one," to furnish her with all the luxuries of this life; and his lack of time to read newspapers, I could not arrive at an accurate opinion whether there was really a scarcity of ladies here or not, but out of sympathy for him will suppose there are none too many of them.
I heard a characteristic joke of a Chinaman here, who wishing to get all the leather he could for his money, bought a pair of boots three inches too long, and then had them cut off to fit.
The people of Trinity Center must not be too particular, but encourage the immigration of all good girls, whether handsome or not, educated or not, and when they have them, train them to their ideas and peculiarities of life. I think, however, without joking, that about twenty young housekeepers could obtain good husbands hereabout, in a abort time.
Ascent of Scott Mountain.At three a.m., left Trinity Center with enlarged ideas of its importance, and a very friendly feeling towards the citizens, and wondering that with what had been said about it, I had not ere this formed a correct idea.
At this point begins a very interesting portion of the journey. After a drive of fourteen miles, we arrived, a little after daylight, at the New York House. How proud the Empire State would feel if it only knew about this rough little namesake. The passengers breakfast here, and by all means they are advised to eat all they can, although their steaks be boiled to the consistency of sole leather, and the bread only is a state of semiperfection, and the price no larger than the dollars at other mountain hotels, because before reaching the summit, they will need to have done so. The stage had a number of ladies, who lingered after the driver's third request to "get aboard," and he was about to start off without them, when they scrambled in like so many sheep. He was compelled to drive very fast to make up the lost time. Four miles on, we changed horses again, and a few moments later, arriving at the foot of the mountain, the driver pleasantly excused the gentlemen passengers from further attendance until he should meet us again five miles ahead. All complied cheerfully, and now commenced the ascent of Scott Mountain, over a gradual, but continuous rise for a distance of five miles, and over which, not a year ago, it was considered almost impossible to ever build a road at all.
We walked up to the top: the road is cut out of the steep hillsides the entire distance, and most of the way the lower side is regularly walled up with large boulders. It inclines first to the left, then to the right, following the sinuosities of the mountain, making some short turns, and passing over swift watercourses, well bridged. The. road is mostly a better one than the valley usually affords, and there is no trouble for loaded teams to pass over it at this season, and probably will remain open most of the winter. The scenery is not remarkable, on account of the dense forests, where are found the usual varieties of pine, fir, spruce, etc. About two and a half miles up, however, glancing back toward the south, the valley has a beautiful blue and picturesque appearance, not unlike the Allegheny, near Cresson, in Pennsylvania. As we advance higher, listening with delight to the waterfalls down below us, and gazing on the hilltops to the left, their snowy crests glistening in the sunshine, we are led to admire, with a feeling of awe, their grandeur, and to thank our stars for so opportunely sending us this way. The California Stage Company deserve great credit for building this road. We have now reached the summit, and, having had a long but pleasant foot-jaunt, take to the coach and commence the descent rapidly. From the county line, at the top, on this side, I understand that the county of Siskiyou, under the direction of its Board of Supervisors, have built the road, to the job having been well performed by the contractor, Mr. Thomas Masterson.
Arrived at Callahan's ranch at 11 a.m. This is an important point, and the surrounding country, on the South Fork of Scott River, is one of the richest localities, for mining, anywhere to be found. The traveler will receive polite attention, good fare, easy beds, etc., at the hotel, kept by Asa White, Esq.
Primitive Mining.I visited the South Fork, and there saw mining in all its primitive phases and interesting details, not excepting the cabins in their primitive style, as in years past; the gray shirts, big boots and mining implements in any quantity. Miners make money here all the year round, and seemed to be a very industrious and contented people. Few of the readers of the Alta who have not been there can form an accurate idea of the South Fork of Scott River.
In my next, I will commence with a description of the Scott River Valley, its fine farms, beautiful scenes, industrious and intellectual population, the towns, etc., all of which is but comparatively little known to the people of California. C.L.G.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, November 29, 1860, page 1
OVERLAND TO OREGON--No. 2.Daily Alta California, San Francisco, December 3, 1860, page 1
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)
KLAMATH RIVER, Nov. 27, 1860.
Scott Valley.The distance from San Francisco to the head of Scott Valley, at or near Callahan's ranch, is about four hundred and thirty miles. This point is near the foot of Scott Mountain, the road over which was mentioned in my last. It is here we first came in sight of the agricultural lands. Perhaps the people of California have never been understandingly made acquainted with the resources of Scott Valley and its surroundings. The oft-made careless remark that it was rich both in agricultural and mineral lands has been discredited by many, and since the early days of the history of the state, no very correct account of things here has gained publicity. A general opinion has prevailed that where the mines yielded well the soil could not be very fertile, and that only the hardy vine, or garden plants, in little patches, could prosper. This erroneous opinion is passing away, and hundreds of little valleys and hillsides, before considered worthless, are now cultivated. The untiring energy which has led on the population, and the struggle for wealth, farther and deeper into the forests and gulches, formerly almost inaccessible, have done much toward bringing these wastes under the subjection of the miner, farmer and stock-grower. To these pioneers future generations will be under lasting obligations, and "our children's children" will treasure up their memory as sacredly as some of us do now the Pilgrims, whose landing at Plymouth Rock we celebrate.
It is thirty miles long, or more, and varying in width from three to eight miles. There are little nooks, or arms, on all sides which are as rich in soil as the main valley, and quite as easily tilled; to these we are probably indebted for a "general average" estimate, that somebody has certified to, giving the valley more length and breadth than above stated.
Fine Farms.Traveling over the public road which leaves most of the farming lands to the left, everything is admirable, and nothing seen to cause regret. While the hills on either side are mantled almost the entire year with snow, the plowman is seen in the dell quietly turning over the rich black loam, preparatory to the fall seeding of wheat. The meadows have been mown of their ample growth of grasses, the gardens, grain fields, and young orchards, have each undergone that same care and cultivation as they would were they nearer a tropical sun, and the separate departments each prove with what praiseworthy husbandry they are provided. Beautiful farms are everywhere seen, stretching out in varied contrast with the lawns, meadows, woodlands, and the streams of water which plentifully supply the whole country. The improvements remind one of the most thrifty Ohio or Michigan farms, and I will venture the assertion that in no other locality in California can so good fences be found. The stage road passes through lanes for miles, having, right and left, the cottages, barns, and other buildings common to the older states, giving us vivid recollections of "away down East," and days of yore. These extend not only over the plain, but close up under the mountains, back where the newcomer has been obliged to take some corner not so valuable, perhaps, but nonetheless romantic, and in some respects equally or better adapted to his wants.
The inhabitants possess, then, in an eminent degree, the elements of progress. We gaze with mingled pride and surprise over their beautiful domain, and express wonder that they could have created so much change and improvement in so few years. Here, too, is a corn field, yonder a huge pile of potatoes; across the way are immense stacks of hay, carefully secured from rains and snows. The crops have been larger this year than ever before, and some have realized fortunes. There are herds of cattle and bands of horses in the distance; the homes are not unlike "lowly" ones, described in the novels, where the doors are hidden by clambering passionflower or twining honeysuckle; and here will grow up future generations, looking back with proud spirits upon the resoluteness of their forefathers.
Timber and Mines.The reader will please contemplate the sober fact that this valley, rich as it is in the production of grain, vegetables, fruit, etc., is surrounded on all sides with inexhaustible pineries, and in the midst of the most productive gold mines. Every gulch, running down the ranges of hills throughout its entire circumference, will pay to work, and hundreds of years must elapse ere they can he exhausted. Instances of daily occurrence might be quoted in proof. Only last week one company took out five hundred ounces, and another, on the South Fork, several ounces to the hand, per diem, for a fortnight or more. These mines are in places where the work constantly goes on, not subject to winter rains, or mercies of exorbitant ditch owners.
Chance for the Hunter and Artist.Those who visit Siskiyou County, to spend a few days in search of health or amusement, or to investigate the various processes of mining, will find not only the picturesque landscapes fit subjects for an artist's skill, to attract their attention, but the chase, with hounds and guns, that exciting sport so much sought after, dolce far niente, so delicious to the active man who may be too lazy to work. Game abounds; there is no end to the quantity or discount upon the quality. Beaver, hundreds and thousands of them, and marten, the furs of which the value is well known, can be caught when some adept at trapping shall undertake the business. The era of gold seems to have caused them all to overlook this source of revenue. The hunter will find silver-grey foxes, coon, mink, otter, deer, elk, antelope, grouse, quail, hare, mountain sheep, grizzly, brown, black and cinnamon bears, in great plenty.
The mountains to the eastward, between Scott and Shasta valleys, are perfect rolling pampas, upon which large numbers of cattle would thrive in summer time; some of them contain white oak, the autumn leaves of which, "sere and yellow," present a striking contrast to the evergreen, intermingled everywhere, and whose scraggy boughs furnish acorns enough to supply a much greater colony of pigs and Indians than at present range and fatten here. The squaws gather their winter stores early in the season, but porkie, without exhibiting any selfishness, only munches what his stomach requires today, trusting to the large supply covering the ground to satisfy him in future.
Fort Jones.Leaving Callahan's ranch at 11 a.m., we had a pleasant ride through the valley, fine roads, fast time, etc., arriving at Fort Jones early in the afternoon. This is situated toward the northern extremity of the valley, and the town has been pretty much all built the last year. Nearby it is an old military post, at present only occupied by families, the buildings being good, and Uncle Sam's men having vacated some two years ago. The village consists of wooden and brick buildings, and situated as it is in this wealthy district, and near the famous mining camps of Oro Fino, Pinery, Mugginsville, Cherry Creek, Indian Creek, McAdams Creek, Lafayette Mills, Scott Bar, &c., bids fair to become of importance. They have stores, blacksmith shops, wagon makers, shoemakers, a hotel, and a printing office, where the Scott Valley Mirror, a little weekly, edited by G. Wing Oliver, Esq., has just been started, and which, in a transport of joy, launches out as follows in the first number:
"A very few more years will realize for us the happy millennium of our earthly existence, when the eye, unmystified by want, will look out from the cottage on as beautiful scenery as the world can present, and will enjoy its beauties; when it shall gaze upon school houses and churches--the nurseries of intelligence and morals, and realize their benefits; when men can look upon their ample homesteads, and with pride contemplate the birthright of their rising offspring; in a word, when they shall command all the reasonable resources of happiness and contentment."
I noticed here as well supplied a country store as can often be found in the state. The store, J. A. Diggles & Bro., young men possessed of the silver ladles which were in their mouths at their birth, undoubtedly have the energy and business qualifications necessary to complete success. Other stores and places of business are being built. Up at the old Fort, Mr. G. A. Dusel supplies some of the farming community with the good things of life. A post office, with a classical name, (Ot-ti-tie-wa) and a jolly postmaster (Thomas) who hates nobody, and whom nobody hates, are among the features of Fort Jones, as is also the funny Chase, of Van Wyck s Express, to whom I am indebted for valuable data, and other favors. The mining camps, far and near, are furnished with their papers, parcels, etc., by these expressmen, to whom also has been awarded the difficult task of carrying the mail over Salmon Mountain, which duty has, during the winter months, to be performed on snowshoes. Money carefully invested in this vicinity ought to bring a generous remuneration; several channels are already visible, one of which would be the erection and occupancy of a larger hotel than at present afforded.
I accepted with pleasure an invitation to dine with John K. Luttrell, Esq., a substantial farmer a mile or two distant, whose fields and meadows tell with unerring certainty of the time and toil bestowed upon them. It is a happy thought to congratulate him upon his prosperity in this new home, and to wish him and all his neighbors a long life to enjoy their blessings. Truly, this is the aurea mediocritas of life. Riches may give power, but no such happiness.
Summing up the natural advantages of Scott Valley and its confines: they have been underrated; by permanency in building, and preparing for life in the old-fashioned way, the inhabitants can cherish their mountain homes so well as to lay up a sweet morsel for old age. C.L.G.
OVERLAND TO OREGON--No. 3.Daily Alta California, San Francisco, December 4, 1860, page 1
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)
City of Yreka.Going to Yreka, it is a romantic country, through cañons and over mountains, where some of that distant, dark-blue scenery so peculiarly interesting meets one's eyes. The roads were smooth though principally up and down, and we were driven at an excellent gait, arriving just at dusk. There being several hotels in town I stopped at the first one I came to, the Metropolitan, and have had so came to regret it; the landlord is very obliging and guests are well cared for.
Yreka, the county seat of Siskiyou, is a thriving town of about fifteen hundred inhabitants ('tis said, I should think more), situated between hills, which encompass it about, immediately upon what is supposed to be rich mineral land, and distant from the northern county and state line about twenty-eight miles. The mines in the vicinity are better than an average, and during seasons when water is plenty, none can excel their productiveness. The town is well laid out, and, considering the ruinous fires which have from time to time destroyed it, built up in a respectable and convenient manner. There are many fireproof and stately edifices of different material and for various uses. All the avocations usually found in California towns are found here, and at some future day it will be a pleasure to me to fully enumerate the different establishments, public buildings, etc., in detail; at present a very few notices must suffice. Through the kindness of Dr. J. W. Reins and other gentlemen I have been shown the place, calling during our stay at the principal emporiums of attraction or interest. It has the elements of a busy inland mart, and its quiet cheerful faces impress the visitor favorably. At the flouring mills a superfine article is made, equaling the best in California. Mr. Burns, one of the proprietors, received the party with much courtesy, and showed them round the premises. The price here of the great staple article is $4.25 per hundred pounds. Similar politeness greeted us at the gas works, where the business manager, C. E. Burrows, Esq., informed us that the gas was manufactured from pinewood, that 3,000 feet of pipe had been laid down, the present requirements of the city being about 7,000 feet of gas per diem, at $10 per M. At the cigar manufactory of S. Alexander we were invited to test the several brands, with an air of satisfaction on his part which seemed to say he was confident of his ability to please. At the corner of Main and Miner streets a new and commodious brick hotel is being built by H. Greathouse, Esq., intended to be first class in all its findings. Among other things are the news depots, bath houses and fruit stands. At the rate we pay for apples, although they are the choicest of Oregon's production, I think citizens of the Willamette can make large profits for some time to come by raising them for a Northern California market.
Yreka has her schools, churches, and halls of justice. Two newspapers also flourish, leaving us, altogether, to draw the conclusion that her people are intellectual and religious. Among the best law and miscellaneous libraries in California, is the one belonging to F. E. Ensign, Esq., District Attorney of Siskiyou County.
Mount Shasta etc.On Wednesday last, I accepted a polite invitation to accompany Fred. Butman, Esq., the artist, out towards Mount Shasta, whither he comes at this opportune season to sketch that towering giant of the Sierras, with all its perpetual snows, and in its majestic grandeur. We went through Shasta Valley, the habitat of stock-raisers, farmers, and dairymen. The natural scenery is magnificent, and the valley has very many pretty little knobs interspersed through it, pure watercourses running from the hills, forming the Little Shasta River, and now and then an improved grain field, which, taken altogether, exhibits a tout de bon at least on the part of the Great Architect of the Universe.
An Attractive Farm House.Within eight miles of the base of Mount Shasta lives E. H. Heard, Esq., upon a large farm and stock ranch. We had a letter of introduction (it being known that Mr. H. was absent from home) to his wife, a perfect lady, and a handsome one, to whom we are under obligations for the genuine hospitality extended us during our stay. Her table was beautifully provided with the luxuries of the season, both in the way of game, which is plenty here, and the products of the farm; and the rich cream that mingled in the cup of old Mocha would have lightened the grief of the most desponding soul in the world; then the general neatness and elegance which pervaded the apartments would be a good lesson for any of our California ladies to learn. There is an extensive and most appropriately arranged dairy house on the premises having a pure cold stream of water carried in wide troughs through it, and an overshot wheel outside, connecting with a small one for churning power. The shelves for the milk pans are arranged in order, and everything is most exquisitely neat and clean. The beds we rested our weary bones upon would have done credit to your merchant princes' household, and the two children were as bright, and as clean, and as pretty as everything else about the house. When we first arrived at this happy "cot in the valley," I really wondered how anybody could be content to live so far away from the noise and bustle of the world; but, alas! when I left, I almost wondered how anybody could live anywhere else.
The most propitious time of year for making an ascent of Shasta would probably be May or June, but November gives the most pleasing views; the imagination could hardly fancy a more delightful subject for painting than is now presented. Mr. Butman has chosen a good season for his sketches of it, and, judging by his great pictures of Lake Bigler, the Yosemite, and other Californian scenes, I doubt not he will produce a work of more than ordinary merit, and one that will be appreciated. The great mountains and rough, deep gulches and commingled and irregular; some of the ridges, far up towards the summit, are bare, and the shapeless masses of rocks thrown in confusion over the sides give variance and awe-inspiring attraction to the still life; the dark blue line where the highest timber grows presents a vivid contrast when the admirer lingers to watch its changing colors in the shadows of the setting sun, dwells with solemn rapture o'er its gloom at eventide, or, enchanted, gazes by moonlight upon the scintillations of its summit, which ages ago was as pure, as white and as cold as now. C.L.G.
OVERLAND TO OREGON--No. 4.
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)
JACKSONVILLE, OREGON, Dec. 4th, 1860.
The Klamath River.It was a clear and cold morning, the 26th ult., we left Yreka for the north. This was not "making hay while the sun shines," but time by moonlight, over smooth roads white and hard with frost. Soon after sunrise we crossed the Klamath River on an excellent bridge, and about 8 o'clock, a.m., arrived at Cottonwood, a flourishing mining camp in the northern part of Siskiyou, and within eight miles of the boundary line between California and Oregon. The country about here is hilly, and has a remarkably picturesque appearance. The Klamath is a dark, rapid stream, rising in a lake of the same name in the Sierra Nevada Range, the water of which, it is said, could easily be turned from its present placid resting to a foaming torrent towards the Sacramento Valley, leaving the Klamath River to derive its supplies from small tributaries which put in below. Whether this could be done to any advantage, either by way of draining the river, the bed of which is rich in gold, or furnishing ditches, in the direction of the Sacramento, with water, I do not pretend to say, but mention it as a subject for the curious to investigate.
Cottonwood.The vicinity of Cottonwood has some rich mines. I stopped for a day and went prospecting into the hills, picking up, during my rambles, at least one piece of "float quartz," in which gold was plainly visible. There is no mistake about it; this country has not been prospected sufficiently to establish the lack of rich quartz leads, and when it is taken into consideration that it is only forty miles south of the famous Ish quartz, near Jacksonville, Oregon, and that all the country between, consisting of the entire range of hills on the western side of the Rogue River Valley, is known to be rich in placer deposits, it seems as though the subject ought to attract the especial attention of miners and capitalists. At Cottonwood the mines always pay remarkably well when they have water, the great scarcity of which, in the dry season, is a matter of regret. The flat or bottom would yield handsomely to work out entire. Rocky Gulch, which, in times gone by, has proved largely remunerative, could be ground-sluiced to advantage; and almost anywhere on the hills a good "prospect" can be panned out; besides, rich quartz is known to exist here.
The village of Cottonwood contains less than a hundred houses, probably, including residences, stores, shops, and the usual apportionment of everything found in Californian mining towns. To Messrs. Davis (of the Union), Lovias Smith, McFarland, and others, I am under obligations for courtesies shown me.
Introduction to Oregon.Just previous to reaching the base of the Siskiyou Mountain, we bade farewell to California, crossing the line into Oregon, and, ascending, find ourselves upon the summit before we are aware of it. The rise is so gradual, and the task so easy, that much sooner than anticipated had we commenced the long and crooked, but rapid, descent, through a winding gorge down, down among the spreading branches of giant conifers, inhaling at every step the fragrance of cedars, firs, laurels and pines.
Rogue River Valley.To descend from Siskiyou into Rogue River Valley is no commonplace event. Imagine a large, triangularly shaped basin, from twenty to fifty miles across, with fertile rolling and bottom lands; a magnificently varied domain of landscape, where flow rapid, limpid streams of water, the timbers which skirt them, the groves and little forests which dot the whole valley and the surrounding hills, the highly cultivated farms spread out in one grand panorama as far as eyesight can reach, the stately residence and quiet cottage, the handsome villa, with its walks and old-fashioned lawns and terraces, the parks, with their lawns and steppes, furnish altogether the most natural planche it was ever my good fortune to look upon. Such is Rogue River Valley.
Bear Creek.Soon after getting down into the valley, we espy the beautiful little stream called Bear Creek, which, in its meandering, waters many fine farms, and does an inestimable amount of good in various ways. Here we can see again, and with pleasure, a neatly constructed mansion by the wayside, partially hid by the groups of trees, perhaps, and surrounded by walks, gardens, and the general appearances of civilization. Every place we pass is not, necessarily, as in California, a "traveler's rest," "halfway inn," with its whole front open to the road and at whose dingy bar every traveler is expected to stop, and invest four bits in minie-rifle whiskey or pots of brown brew.
While everything to the outside gaze is extremely orderly and good to contemplate, it will not be attempted to prove that there are no drawbacks to the country. There are some serious hindrances to its general prosperity, and especially is this the case in the extreme southern portion of the valley. It strikes me the people have some petty laws which hinder their advancement, one of which is the allowing of water to be claimed for other purposes than mining, where that use could be more profitably made of it than any other. For it is a truth, that if water was reasonably plenty, gold mining would, here, far outstrip all the agricultural resources of the country, great as they are. Deprived of this sine qua non, miners are powerless, and the markets for other produce droop.
A Tri-Weekly Saw Mill.Illustrative of the useless monopoly of water alluded to above, I have a good joke to relate, perpetrated by one of the driven of the C.S. Co., Joe Leach, whom everybody in these parts will recognize. I was riding on the box with him; he hadn't opened his head for an hour. Suddenly turning to me, and pointing in an opposite direction, he remarked: "There is a tri-weekly saw mill down yonder!" "Tri-weekly saw mill!" I repeated, with much surprise. "What in the world is that?" "Why," said he, "are you a newspaper man, and don't know what tri-weekly means?" I confessed my ignorance, so far as saw mills were concerned. "Well," be continued, "I'll tell you. We used to run a tri-weekly line of stages over this road, last summer; and, sir, every time we came down that blarsted saw would go up, and whenever we went up, it would come down again!"
Rogue River Gold Country.Not only are all the small mountain streams essential to the use of the miner, bat the great lack of this region, and what is seriously felt by all is a large water ditch, to conduct the waters of Applegate or some other stream along the range of hills which form the western boundary of the valley. And allow me here to call the especial attention of San Francisco and other capitalists to this opening for one of the best paying investments to which they could possibly apply their money. To bring water in by means of a ditch or canal is practicable; in fact, a company has been chartered, and that charter renewed, by Oregon Legislatures, granting certain valuable rights to men who have not the money, or are too selfish or indolent to perpetuate their early resolves. I hope they are liberal enough to dispose of their interests, if an opportunity should offer, to those who could and would push forward the work. At least, the patent holders should go on or withdraw all obstacles in the way of others. I am not aware that there is any exclusiveness about this charter, except as to the waters of Applegate, and it is undoubtedly well established that Applegate is not the only source from which water for this purpose can be obtained. C.L.G.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, December 13, 1860, page 1
OVERLAND TO OREGON--No. 5.
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)
JACKSONVILLE, OREGON, Dec. 5, 1860.
Towns in Rogue River Valley.The first little town we come to is Ashland, situated eight miles from the head of this valley. It contains a post office, flouring mill, hotel, saloon, shops, etc., and is a sort of headquarters for a thriving community of farmers, stock raisers and miners. The waters of Mill Creek--which runs down from the hills and enters Bear Creek a mile below this--are claimed for milling, though no doubt they could be used for mining to more advantage in a year than for milling in a century.
It is proverbial in California that Oregonians hate work, are rather inert in their habits, etc., but Jackson County bears testimony strong as holy writ to the contrary. I have investigated the subject a little, and will venture a bold assertion, but a true one, to wit: that California cannot produce, or has not got within her boundaries, as thrifty and enterprising a set of farmers, even in her most of all exalted and pretentious county of Alameda, or the valley of San Jose, as can be seen right here in Rogue River Valley. The visitor will roam over the farms and climb the best of fences on all sides, and declare himself most agreeably disappointed, after having perused sketches of travel concocted at home, setting off Oregon matters in a most unenviable style. He may, indeed, find labor-saving machines which our people would have never thought of, such as the plow which needs no one to hold it. I saw one the other day for the first time; it is constructed with the beam resting on an axle, with two wooden wheels about twenty-six inches in diameter, one of which travels in the furrow, and the other one to the left, or on the unplowed ground. They hold the plow steady in its place, and cause it to cut an even furrow, both in width and depth.
Phoenix is another town, somewhat larger than Ashland, and situated on the main road leading to Jacksonville. It has similar advantages in many respects, and is a pretty place. On my return I intend to give it a huge puff.
Productions of the Soil.Mr. Emery, at Ashland, has shown me a few specimens of his own, among which are admirable growths of onions, corn, potatoes, etc., and grand squashes. Traveling down the valley, it becomes wider, and such an uninterrupted scene of peace and plenty would satisfy a cormorant. My route led me off the stage road several miles farther towards the central portion, where farms and meadows are spread out in unsurpassed loveliness on either side of the stream. I wandered thither to take a look at things, and good fortune brought me to the door of S. M. Wait, Esq., whose residence and improvements, in a few short years, have received that degree of care and expense seldom seen, and which would be a credit to a country settled fifty years ago. He raises good corn, barley, potatoes and wheat on his poorest lands; say, of the latter, forty bushels to the acre--a fair estimate. It is a superior article, and kept clear of smut by dampening the seed in a solution of blue vitriol. He has 400 grape vines growing, and also a young orchard, keeps a thousand sheep, the profits on wool being considerable, though far away from market. It occurs to me that a woolen factory at Jacksonville would be a good idea.
Mr. W. is certain that there are many places in the hills, on the west side of the valley, where miners could average twenty-five dollars per diem each, if they only had water. As it is, many of them are not even claimed. He also tells me that money is scarce, that men who are worth their $20,000 cannot raise $2,000, and that some of those who now feel this want have brought it on themselves, perhaps, by a little too much extravagance, but a larger portion from the failure of government to pay the war debt. . . .
C.L.G. [C. L. Graves?]Daily Alta California, San Francisco, December 16, 1860, page 1
OVERLAND TO OREGON--No. 6.
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)
JACKSONVILLE, OREGON, Dec. 6th, 1860.
Rogue River Valley has, as yet, few orchards old enough to bear much fruit. In the quantity produced, they will probably always remain behind their neighbors of Willamette, but time will better establish to what extent they will be enabled to compete in this trade. Some fine commencements have been made in the way of young orchards; the trees appear to thrive well, and no doubt is entertained that in a year Jackson County will have fruit to keep and to sell, which now she has to purchase at high prices from her affluent neighbor, the Willamette. I noticed a day or two since a new idea for setting out trees in rows. It consists of a right-angled triangle, made of laths or other light material, and of sufficient length to reach from one row to another. Three men carry it and set the trees by it; this, unlike the Oregon plow, is not a labor-saving machine, the economy consisting entirely in the neatness which perfect geometrical proportions impart to all orchards.
Grain Raising.The lands for wheat are now being plowed and sowed. Some soils require deep and some shallow plowing, according to the variations or depth. The seeding goes on all winter, there being no cessation necessary until everything is finished up in the spring. In this way, the Oregon farmer is relieved of the usual winter idleness which most farmers elsewhere enjoy.
Jacksonville, Oregon.This incorporated city lies in the western corner of the valley [and] is romantically located, with the rising hills on one side and the gentle slope towards the valley on [the] other. There is plenty of lumber and good water in the vicinity, and the scenery is very beautiful in every direction. To the northeast, over the hilltops, is McLoughlin's Butte, presenting a most regular and commanding appearance, being very white and without any seeming rough exterior, but gently rising up, a cone of perfect model and elegance. It is supposed to be at least 1,300 feet above the level of the sea, and was named in honor of Dr. McLoughlin, former chief factor of the Hudson Bay Co., and who died some two years ago at Oregon City, where he had resided for many years. It is a worthy tribute to the memory of that good man that this noble mountain bears his name. In early times it is told of him that when the famished immigrants arrived from the plains, he freely gave them cattle to eat and horses to cultivate the soil with, and to no one who seemed needy was his charity refused. In full view of Jacksonville, Mount McLoughlin peeps over from behind the hills as a bright white monument, seemingly erected there for some remembrance of good deeds.
Jacksonville is a place of considerable importance and destined for a bright future. Its mines only require labor to lift it from its present humble position to the first rank among the interior cities on the coast. It contains twelve or fifteen fine stores, some fireproof buildings, a large number of blacksmiths, shoemakers, gunsmiths and other mechanical shops, two churches with spires (Catholic and Methodist), a straight-out Democratic newspaper, several billiard saloons, and more than the usual average of good residences. Mr. Beekman runs an express to Yreka; Mr. Eddy, of San Francisco, has a dancing schooling prosperous circumstances, &c.
On my return, I intend to "do" Jacksonville handsomely in the way of minute detail of her establishments, her people, their manners and customs, their wealth and public spirit, &c. I shall then dilate upon the advantages that will accrue to them from a Pacific railroad, a ditch from Applegate, and the damages likely to be caused by the failure of the U.S. marshal to more than half take the census of the county, and I shall make known to the world the benefits likely to result or hinge upon the future wranglings of the incorporated ditch company, &c.
During my stay, I have been much pleased with the urbanity of many gentlemen, among whom may be enumerated Messrs. James O'Meara, I. D. Haines, H. Parker, Sachs Bros., H. C. Lessions [and] mine host, Horne of the United States Hotel.
Mining Camps in the Vicinity.There are the following to visit and describe when I return to this portion of the state: Rich Gulch, Poorman's Creek, Sterling, Applegate, Buncom, Jackson Creek, Willow Springs, Gold Hill, Williamsburg and perhaps some others.
C.L.G.Daily Alta California, San Francisco, December 17, 1860, page 1
OVERLAND TO OREGON--No. .
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)
JACKSONVILLE, OREGON, Dec. 13, 1860.
Road and Railroad.
It is a very nice thing to ride seven or eight hundred miles in a stage--to be jolted from one side to the other till you are compelled to get out, and then to run on foot till you are obliged to get in. The Oregon route, in both these respects, much surpasses the Southern Overland. Their road is a plain--ours isn't; their country is champagne--ours is Tom and Jerry, well mixed. The southerners want a railroad over that route; they ought to be ashamed of themselves. With a level road all the way, stages are good enough. The Republicans want a railroad over the central route, with an extension over this way to Oregon that would come over valleys and under mountains, and are in favor of railroads wherever it is too rough for staging, regardless of expense. They "soot" me; on that topic, they're my sort. The people here want it; they are a State, and they voted for Lincoln. Oregon must have a railroad some way, and if the incoming administration, with your Senators and our Senators, does not manage this, it will be a subject for animadversion.
Leaving Jacksonville for the North.It was a cool morning the 4th inst. that, leaving Jacksonville at 4 a.m., we traveled at a fast gait through the "grey rain curtains" and over an excellent road, thirty-two miles before breakfast. Our driver, Mr. Asher Wall, is one of those careful yet expeditious men which the C.S. Company always so judiciously select. This is the first time since leaving Sacramento that I have not been wrapt in the beauties of the morning, and the first time that I have been wrapt in a fog so thick that there has to be cowcatchers on the 'eds of the 'orses. At the station where we breakfasted, they keep a pet deer which actually chews tobacco with avidity. They intend to teach him to drink whiskey.
The country is a succession of hills and dales, densely covered with pines, firs, oaks, etc. On some of the streams where tillable bottom lands appear there have been good beginnings--houses built and fences made, most of which are desolate from Indian wars, and the old palisades look dingy now, and hollow, as if the wind whistled through them at night and spirits of murdered women and children walked there. Farther on we find, occasionally, that work has been resumed, and some few comfortable-looking homes have sprung up again.
As soon as we get through we arrive at Cañonville, north of Jacksonville seventy-five miles. Having reached the place after dark, and departed next morning before light, I can say nothing of the town at present. . . .
C.L.G.Daily Alta California, San Francisco, December 25, 1860, page 1
OVERLAND TO OREGON--No. 8.Daily Alta California, San Francisco, January 6, 1861, page 1
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)
PORTLAND, Dec. 24, 1860.
Portland.The city of Portland is situated on the western branch of the Willamette River, twelve miles above its mouth, and 120 miles, by the course of the Columbia, from the ocean. Built upon bottom lands, where a few years ago was seen nothing but fir trees, it has gradually advanced, and now contains about 3,000 inhabitants. It is regularly laid out in squares, and the streets are at good distances apart. Here is the seaport of Oregon, and will probably continue for some time, although attempts have been made to rival it with parchment plats farther toward the mouth of the Columbia. The final complete success of Portland depends, of course, upon the amount of capital and energy which shall soon be bestowed upon it, and whether it is considered worth the while by those who own the real estate to branch out and make their improvements in the right direction--not in building more wharves or warehouses at present, but in the construction of good fireproof buildings where the ground is now covered with wooden ones, and the finishing of the streets.
Nothing is so strikingly deficient as the streets; they are nothing but mud holes all over town. Pave or macadamize them and real estate would advance very much. The future welfare of the city demands this should be done immediately; it will be one of the mainsprings of its early greatness. Furthermore, the crisis is yet to be passed when it can be said with certainty that Portland will be the great city of this country, although the chances are in its favor. The prize may be more easily won here than elsewhere--it needs only a little less slumber, more work, and more activity. A concert of action on the part of the citizens, a strong pull altogether, would probably place it beyond the reach of contingencies and the pivot upon which its fortunes are now balanced.
Buildings and Improvements.There are four or five churches, a theatre, the state penitentiary, gas works, machine shops, etc. There are three fire engine companies, and one hook and ladder. A steam ferry plies across the river every few minutes; steamers leave twice a day for Oregon City and the Upper Willamette; also, daily or oftener, for Vancouver, Cascades, Dalles, St. Helens, Astoria, and the Cowlitz River. The trade with all these places is improving. All the towns to the north, as far as Fort Colville, and southward to Corvallis and Eugene, look to Portland as their chief trading point.
There are not many very fine buildings in Portland, but a good proportion of average ones. The gas company, consisting of Messrs. Leonard and Green, and H. D. Green, have erected works of the most approved kind; they use Vancouver Island coal and English cannel, mixed; have, two and a half miles of main pipe laid; supply daily ten thousand cubic feet of gas, at $10 per M, and enjoy the reputation of making the best article on the coast.
There is a furrier's establishment here, by Charles Schuch, where robes and ladies' furs are made up from the skins of the marten, fox otter, fisher, lynx, beaver, etc., which are found north and in the Cascade Mountains. Among those exposed for sale, I noticed some very fine.
Manufacturing in wood is carried on extensively, there being good oak for staves, and fine varieties of timber for cabinet ware. Messrs. Cook, Wilcox & Co. deal in the latter, and the above may be proved by calling up town, where they hold forth. Mr. T. C. Malone says that he has the best oak ever found, for any kind of cask.
A First-Class Hotel.Portland glories in one of this kind, the proprietor of which, Mr. Arrigoni, is decidedly an original character, and keeps a house where the cosmopolitan may delight to dwell; can have what he wants, and have it in a remarkably suitable manner. His reading room is furnished with the Daily Alta, the two dailies of Portland, and others.
Manners and Customs.The people of Portland are somewhat like Californians, though they grasp less inordinately for money; do not clutch at the last red a man has with quite the tenacity common with us. They are rather backward in their ideas of freedom or easiness of manner toward strangers, and some of them lack a little of the refinement so much a feature of California. The great West sticks out plain. Anybody will recognize in an Oregonian the rough exterior, but warm heart, of the regular Western man, and their buildings, farms, and implements resemble those of the Western States.
Amusements.Sometimes the citizens have been treated with excellent acting at the theatre, but the amusements mostly consist of social parties, with occasional excursions on the rivers, or into the romantic portions of the country. Less is known of the acute systems of killing time, and the appetites have not been so often satisfied and sharpened anew that they must constantly seek keener and more attractive pleasures.
Oregon Winter Weather.When I mailed my last letter to you, I was very exultant because the weather was so fine, but the steamer had hardly got out of sight before one of those genuine "mists" began to fall. These are not unpleasant; the weather at night is warmer than when the sky is clear, and laborers work out here all winter, and people travel with not so much inconvenience as they would experience from the dust of the San Joaquin or the heat of Sacramento. Really, there is nothing to complain of, unless it be the downward tendency of shirt collars, or the unpolished appearance of boots. The croakings of some fellows about Oregon winters are too ludicrous for jokes, and must be classed among those more earnest expressions which are not truths.
The Rock Creek Mines.I was intending to give you a long article about these new mines, and the amount of business being done up there; the proper route to go, via the Dalles, and all about the country; but it is inconvenient to go up there before spring. The readers of the Alta will undoubtedly be kept posted on that country next summer. I notice, with pleasure, you have been treated to some interesting notes, on that country, by Mr. Mattingly, who resides at Klickitat Prairie, in Washington Territory.
The Steam Navigation Co. of Oregon will put boats on the Coloumbia, above Walla Walla, the coming season, and the freights and passage will be put down to such a figure that the route will be the most desirable, as it is the most pleasant, both for taking goods up and for travel. There are more miners than usual, this winter, staying in the Rock Creek and Pend d'Oreille countries, and, it is supposed, the whole Nez Perces and Spokane region is also rich in mineral.
J. B. Price, Esq., and others, will, if possible, put a good bridge across the Dalles this spring, which will be a convenience, and an additional inducement for trade to come this way. Good mines have been found in various localities up there, and though no cause exists for new excitement, yet there will be a quiet flowing of the popular tide towards that country as soon as spring opens. Myself and others visited Fort Colville several years ago, and were driven away by Indians, but the whole party attested that the country was rich in gold and mineral, and every year since, although Indian troubles have retarded emigration, those who went have been inclined to stay and work.
Nothing is more certain than that there are paying mines there, and that they will be worked; it is a settled thing; while to make a pell-mell rush there, as is usual, without money or provisions, would probably be more or less disastrous.
Walla Walla is about 240 miles above the mouth of the Willamette, on the Columbia, and contains about a thousand inhabitants, who have recently settled there. It bids fair to be quite a place the coming summer. C.L.G.
Last revised September 20, 2022