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who never came. The snows of many winters had begun to leave" their color on her raven locks ere hope faded from her heart, and with it the spirit that had become a burden, leaving behind to greet him on his return a grave only and a broken life, when Ermetinger should seek, as an old man, the bride of his early years."
Mr. Forbes, the Hudson Bay Company's agent, resided in Oakland until his death, in the spring of 1881. Still pursuing his old occupation along the mountain streams of northern California, is the old trapper, Stephen H. Meek, one of the few of those early mountain men'who still cling to this earthly clod.
SETTLEMENT OF THE SACRAMENTO VALLEY.
BY HARRY L. WELLS.
In his History of Yolo County, F. T. Gilbert thus describes the central basin of the state:— "The great valley of California, lying between the Sierra Nevada and the Coast Range mountains, is 400 miles long, averages a trifle less than fifty-one miles in width, and contains 20,394 square miles. Its general course from the south is in a northerly direction, bearing to the west about 13°. Approaching each other, through its center, two large rivers flow; one from its source among the mountains bordering upon Oregon, the other from the south, where the Sierra Nevada and Coast Range lose themselves in the Mohave desert; and, joining from the north and south, their waters mingle and move away into the ocean through the straits of Carquinez and the bays of Suisun, San Pablo and San Francisco. These two rivers are the channels through which flow back to their original fount the waters cast by the winds, in rain and snow, upon 33,574 square miles of mountains, peaks, slopes and canyons, flanking this great valley of California. They are both fed by numerous small streams, the one north being known as the Sacramento, that from the south as the San Joaquin; and their names are given to the country through which they flow. Thus we have the great valley divided by names into lesser ones; starting with Kern on the extreme south, bordering upon the Mohave desert, the Tulare joining on its north, followed by the San Joaquin, until the north line of the county by that name is reached, where the Sacramento—the section in which the majority of our readers are more especially interested—begins, and stretches away to the north, one hundred and fifty miles, to the head of Iron canon. This lastnamed subdivision of the great valley maintains a gradually diminishing width for a distance of ninetyfive miles from its south line, starting with a width of about fifty-five miles and losing but ten in that distance north. Beyond that point, the east and west borders approach each other more rapidly until a point is reached fifty-five miles further up, at the head of Iron carton. The Sacramento river makes its irregular, tortuous course through the valley, approaching nearer the Coast Range than the Sierra Nevada, and in its windings has established a channel 255 miles long through 150 miles of low lands. In this great basin, in various places, have been found the remains of extinct species of animals, among which are those of the hairy elephant that followed upon the track of the receding glaciers, the first of known herbiverous animals to feed upon the primative verdure of the earth—ere man appeared upon the scene—a prehistoric animal that became extinct while the human race was in its infancy. Wm. Cullen Bryant, in referring to our ancestors of that time, describes them as 'Mere naked savages, with an instinct to kill and to eat, to'creep under a rock as a shelter from the cold and the rain; who, in the course of time, learned that fire would burn and cook, that there was warmth in the skin of a beast, that a sharpened stone would kill and would scrape much better than a blunt one. From generation to generation, they lived and died in the caves where they have left the evidences of their existence; and it is a curious and interesting mark of their progress, that some of these troglodytes in the south of France made tolerable carvings in bone and drawings of various animals upon horn and tusks of ivory. Pictures of the long-haired elephant and of groups of reindeer * * * prove that these artists were familiar with the animals they sketched, of which one (the long-haired elephant) is known to the modern world only by its fossil remains.' A portion of the skeleton of one of these hairy monsters was found in sinking a well in Tulare township, San Joaquin county. It was resting upon a bed of water-charged gravel, fifty-one and a half feet below the present surface of the ground. Some of the hair was yet preserved after this lapse of ages, and Hiram Hamilton, an acquaintance of ours, wore for several years a braided watch-chain of the hair. It was a coarse fiber, about eighteen inches in length, and resembled that constituting the mane of a horse.
"The remains of another are said to have been recently discovered about one mile above Yuba city, by parties who were building a levee on the west bank of Feather river. The remains were found imbedded in a hard-pan soil, in a standing position, three feet below the surface. Some of the teeth weighed four and a half pounds each. At the Bank of Woodland is a portion of a tusk of one of that species of animal, which measures six and a half feet in length and twenty-two inches in circumference at the largest point, and in form describes a half circle. A portion from each end of the tusk is gone, and its original length cannot, therefore, be determined. It was found in a wash, in 1874, embedded in a cement, watercharged gravel, on the farm of Messrs. Gable Brothers, eight miles west of Black's station, in Yolo county, and taken out by them. The locality where it was discovered is in the hills, considerably above the level of the valley, a little below where water from a spring coming out of the ground has cut a channel some sixteen feet deep in the soil in its course towards lower ground, thus bringing to light the fossil remains. Overlying the cement in which it was found are four strata of deposit, varying from on« to five feet in thickness. Next above the cement lies one foot of loose gravel and sand supporting a three-foot stratum of yellowish clay, on which rest three feet of adobe overlaid with five feet of sediment surface soil. Within thirty feet of this place, two years earlier, in the same cement stratum, which seems to contain the fossil remains of other contemporaneous animals, was found the under jaw of some prehistoric monster, that most resembled that of an ox. The bone weighed nearly seventy pounds, and its grinder teeth, all perfect, measured each four and a half inches across. The fossil remains of these hairy monsters of the prehistoric time are found in fabulous quantities in the frozen regions of the north, where nature seems to have poured out her vials of wrath upon them, enfolding their bodies often in fields of ice to keep for the inspection of the present generation. Their flesh, embalmed in those frigid tombs, is often so perfectly preserved that, when thawed, dogs eat of the animal possibly ten thousand years dead. It is a long way back that those remains carry the fancy, but they come down to us from a time, perhaps, when the great plan of creation had not developed sufficiently to admit mortals among its results, and because of its ancient date is worthy of a place in the memory of men and among the monuments of the past that are not to be forgotten. It brings a strange, weird sensation of loneliness, a feeling of isolation, as though in this great world you were alone, when the mind comes home with the thought that once, in this now beautiful valley, those animal-monsters roamed at will when man was nowhere to be found upon the earth.
"The bones of these ancient monarchs are not the only relics that come to us out of the past from this great California valley, for near her borders was found the most ancient evidence of earth's occupation by man. A human skull was found imbedded in cement one hundred and fifty feet below the surface of the ground, two miles from Angelos, in Calaveras county. Over it rested five distinct deposits of volcanic matter and four beds or layers of gold-bearing gravel, solid and compact. In this mass of accumulation through the centuries there was not a crack or crevice to have given it access to the place where found. It must have gained the position when that stratum, now turned to cement, was the surface of the earth; since when volcanoes have been born in those mountains, which, ere the hand of time extinguished them, had joined the elements in five separate efforts, with their fiery outbursts of ashes and lava, to cover the remains and evidence that could tell us of the age when this Adam of California lived."
On the thirtieth of March, 1773, four years after the founding of the first mission at San Diego, Father Crespi discovered the San Joaquin river. He was at the head of a Spanish expedition, and had strayed into the great valley near the site of Antioch. No Caucasian eye had ever seen, nor white foot pressed its flowery carpet until this emissary of the cross stood upon its verge. It was in 1813 that a Spanish lieutenant named Marago entered and explored the southern end of the valley, which he called the Valle de lot Tulares. He it was who named the stream, discovered forty years before by Father Crespi, the San Joaquin. By orders of the governor of California, Capt. Louis A. Argtiello passed Hp the Sacramento valley in 1820, and penetrated as far north as the Hudson Bay settlements on the Columbia river. He discovered and named the Marysville Buttes, calling them Picaclws. They were called the Buttes in 1829 by Michael Laframbois, a Hudson Bay Company trapper, and have since been variously denominated Los Tres Pkos, Sutter Buttes and Marysville Buttes.
These curious productions of nature are situated in Sutter county, just west of the Sacramento river and ten miles from Marysville. They consist of three principal peaks, called the North, South, and East Butte, the highest having an altitude of about two thousand feet, with a great number of lesser peaks lying between and around them. The north and east sides are covered with a stunted growth of oak, while the opposite appear bleak and barren. They are undoubtedly of volcanic origin, and form but one line in a chain of volcanic peaks, being distinguished, however, from the others by rising abruptly from the plain, apparently disconnected and alone, standing like ever-wakeful sentinels to guard the slumbering valley. That they are of no recent formation is evident; they bear the same marks, fossils and shells as are found on Mount Diablo and the Coast Range. Large springs are found almost at the summit of the highest peak, welling up through crevices in the rock, perpetually flowing through summer and winter. The source of these is no doubt the distant mountains, probably the Coast Range, with which they must be connected by an under stratum of gravel. Some of these furnish running water during the long dry season, a thing impossible did they depend for their supply upon the rain that falls there in winter. Long arms and ridges of volcanic rocks reach out towards the northwest and southeast, and shorter spurs shoot out from all sides. Between these, and winding in and around the lower hills, are little fertile valleys, in summer yellow with waving grain.
Once the plains around them were covered with a scattered growth of noble oak and sycamore, among whose wreathing branches birds of varied plumage made the air vocal with their songs of joy. Flowers of every hue filled the air with fragrance, and formed a brilliantly-colored carpet for the foot of the wanderer. Far up the rugged sides of the mountain was seen the verdant hue of the live oak, its gnarled and knotted branches wreathed around the sharp edges of the rocks. Clear springs of water formed little foaming rivulets, which met in some secluded spot in the ravines, forming lovely mountain tarns, whose mirror-like waters reflected the trees and rocks that surround and give them shelter. From these larger streams ran down the sloping hills and found their way to the rivers in the valley. These little streams were the home of many varieties of the finny tribe, that leaped and sported in their crystal waters.
From the summit the great ranges of mountains can be seen on either hand enclosing the valley with their rocky walls, until away in the north they meet where the snow-crowned brow of Mount Shasta rears itself far into the heavens. A beautiful sight are these hills in winter, frequently crowned with a fringe of snow, over which play the sunbeams and dark shadows of the clouds, while the valley lies robed in green at their feet; or when the clouds hang low and sullen o'er the valley and the three