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and seven feet to the mile; thus disproving the conjectures previously hazarded, in the want of actual instrumental observation. Its grade throughout compares favorably with other roads. The Central Pacific is understood to have three and one balf miles with a grade of one bundred and sixteen feet, while the bulk of the heavy grading is represented to be one hundred and five. On the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, there are seventeen miles in two stretches of one hundred and sixteen feet to the mile. It would seem that difficulties of grade and curve and distance vanish before the lights of modern engineering.
In the progress of its operations since, this company has had the fortune of many similar undertakings in California and elsewhere, all aiming to secure a sbare in the profits of railway communication between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The splendid triumphs of the Central Pacific have inspired new energy in all other directions. The long cherished Southern route--whether on the thirty-fifth or the thirty-second parallel, or along both-has ceased to be a matter of doubt. With this brightening prospect it should not cause surprise that the citizens of San Diego County are pushing forward in this race for prosperity.
Their company owes nothing: The City of San Diego, holding still a great part of its original eight leagues confirmed to it, is in debt about one thousand dollars; and, although the county obligations reach to ninety thousand dollars, it is believed that the financial arrangements to begin with the legislation of the present year will place our public credit upon a firm basis for the future. Our resources bave been much underrated. The aggregate of Mexican grants confirmed amounts to six hundred and fifty thousand acres. Of a region not yet prospected, it is enough to say that the gold-bearing quartz vein of the rancho of Escondido yields fifty dollars per ton of rock; copper assaying twenty per cent. is traced upon the rancho of Encinitos (five miles from the sea shore), and at innumerable other points; silver, elsewhere. It may serve to remove a mistaken impression with many, to remark further, that the mountain summits and slopes of Cuyamaca, Santa Ysabel, San Felipe and Palomar-all in the immediate vicinity of Warner's Pass—bave an abundance of timber, water and pasturage, with numerous valleys well adapted to the cereals; while the lower ranchos of San José, Santa Maria, El Cajon and Temecula, taken together, with an area of over one hundred thousand acres (not to specify other tracts), will sustain a large farming population. They are all good for grain, as well as cattle and sheep; and the Cajon in particular (in extent of forty-eight thousand acres) is most desirable for the grape, orange and other fruits best suited to the climate; tobacco would be a profitable crop for this rancho. It may satisfy a natural inquiry to add that this last named tract (eleven leagues) bas been offered for sale at twenty thousand dollars, San José (of twenty-two thousand acres) at ten thousand dollars, and Cuyamaca (eleven leagues) at one dollar per acre (probably so high on account of its forests of pine).
From this statement merely, it appears that "the back country” of the barbor of San Diego is not so limited nor of so little value as some have thought who have seen only the rough and comparatively barren coast road.
The people even of the rich valleys of San Bernardino County, according to the latest indications, are looking to San Diego as their probable depot hereafter, in the shipment of their wool and grain and fruits to San Francisco. The distance is but one hundred and ten miles from San Bernardino City, and about one hundred and twenty from the summit of the San Gorgonio Pass. This last point is a most important one, in the published account of General Palmer's survey just concluded, on or near the thirty-fifth parallel; whether from thence be may make a terminus at San Diego, or there connect his main trunk with that wbich the capital of San Francisco, Santa Clara, Monterey and Tulare Counties is like. ly to send down to meet him, during the next two or three years. In any event, there will be no possibility of excluding the Bay of San Diego from a participation in the blessings of the enterprise. She will “ thus tap the great trade of the East,” to use the words of the San Bernardino Guardian of the fifteenth instant. The lateral (modestly speaking) branch would pass entirely over, sometimes around, the low foot-hills of the Coast Range-nererascending any high elevation-from the San Diego River (near the Cajon) through Paguay and San Marcos Ranchos, and Pala, into the Valley of Temecula, and thence over the broad, level plain of Jacinto, to the celebrated San Gorgonio Pass, with the very easiest grade; heading the San Dieguito, San Luis Rey, Santa Margarita and San Jacinto Rivers, thus saving any costly bridges, and always still convenient to heavy bodies of pine and other timber. General Palmer, as the Guardian states, has left instructions with Captain H. Wilkes to survey tbis line immediately. It bas been long known that the Pass of Temecula-although really not bad—can be easily avoided.
Next to San Francisco, the barbor of San Diego, according to the uniform testimony of mariners and travellers, is the best on the coast of Upper or Lower California; in truth, there is none equal to it from San Francisco to the head of the Gulf of California, Guaymas not excepted. This, too, is the result of the official surveys, from that of the United States steamer Massachusetts in eighteen hundred and forty-nine and eighteen hundred and fifty, and of the Coast Survey in eighteen hundred and fifty-one, repeated in eighteen hundred and fifty-seven and eighteen hundred and sixty-two, to the recent observations (last October) of the United States Engineers engaged in making the plans for its fortifications. Professor A. D. Bacho, in Coast Survey Report, eighteen hundred and sixty-two, has given a minute and interesting description of it. Besides the depth of the water, where the largest ships can ride in safety, it is perfectly protected from storms from any quarter, chiefly by that wonderful “ natural breakwater" designated as Ballast Point; “there is not reach enough for the wind to raise a swell, and the holdingground is excellent.” “It is readily distinguished, easily approached.” * About six fathoms may be carried to New Town,” distant six miles from the entrance; the average width, a mile and a half. “Next to that of San Francisco, no harbor on the Pacific coast of the United States approximates in e.cellence that of the Bay of San Diego." From eighteen hundred and fifty till the latter part of eighteen hundred and fifty-four, the Panama steamers regularly entered with the mails, or for coal or other supplies. In eighteen hundred and sixty-six the United States steamer Vanderbilt anchored within, at La Playa, a mile and a balf from the entrance. The depth is ten fathoms in mid-channel, at the entrance off Ballast Point, and from four to ten fathoms at the usual anchorage. The advantage of its relative position to the line of ships bound for China, as well as the inducements it offers for the wbaling business, to say nothing of the interior traffic with the frontiers of Lower California (whose mineral and grazing resources are not to be despised) have not escaped the notice of thoughtful men.
In estimating the probability that this harbor-equal to and somewhat resembling that of Baltimore—will not long remain useless to general
commerce, it is worth while to reflect how vast is the interior bebind it, that must soon seek an outlet for its produce, whether agricultural or mineral, and comprehended within Middle and Southern Arizona and Northern Sonora, even to the banks of the Rio Grande ; to which the tedious (not to say dangerous, as well as expensive) navigation one hundred and sixty miles down the Colorado river, six hundred miles through the Gulf of California, and thence by Cape San Lucas to San Francisco, will hardly be preferable when compared with the short, speedy, cheap land transportation by Fort Yuma, and the Pass either of Warner or of Jacum (a distance by the latter of one hundred and sixty miles) to the Bay of San Diego. This region only awaits the subjugation of the Apaches to fill up with a thriving population; of course, like the people of the remotest sections of our own State, they must find their principal market at San Francisco, the grand centre of all Pacific trade. Nor can we lose sight of the benefits to flow from the navigation of the Colorado river in the direction of the lower settlements of Utab, now so rapidly increasing. The navigability of this river above Fort Yuma, as far as Callville, a distance of four hundred and twenty-three miles, is now a settled ques. tion. The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, October twenty-tirst, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, say:
“A mighty stream, along wbose banks numerous towns and villages have sprung into existence, as the tide of emigration has flown thither, it is the natural outlet for the waters of that portion of the American continent comprising Utah, Southern Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Southern California, and rivals in magnitude and importance the Colum. bia River of the North, and the Missouri River of the East. The climate, from its mouth to the bighest navigable point, is salubrious, and it would appear as if designed by Providence to be the great outlet for the various mineral and agricultural products of that country. Between Caliville and Salt Lake City (four hundred miles), along the line of the road, lie forty-two separate towns, with a prosperous and contented people. There, cotton and tobacco can be produced in abundance, and it is not only fair to presume that their imports may, in a great measure, be derived from San Francisco, but that valuable exports are destined to find their way in good season to our market. The cost of transporting goods from New York to Utah is from twenty-five to thirty cents a pound, currency; the time in transit from sixty to seventy-five days. It is a fact easily demonstrable that goods can be landed in Salt Lake City, by way of the Colorado River and Callville, every month in the year, at a maximum cost for freight of twelve cents per pound, currency, and that the time occupied in the passage need not exceed forty-five to fifty days. It simply remains for the enterprising merchants of San Francisco to decide whether the present anomalous state of things shall continue to exist, or wbether, by opening the navigation of this great artery for business, the traffic of so vast a section of country, populated by ono hundred and twenty-five thousand inhabitants, shall at once be secured.”
There is sufficient evidence that the people of Southern Utab are not indifferent to this proposed policy. The trade of that Territory in eighteen hundred and sixty-four was estimated at three million dollars. The letter of John D. Perry, President of the Kansas Company, dated November fourteenth, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, to Henry H. Haight, Governor of California, demonstrates alike interest in this subject :
“We fully appreciate," he says," the value and importance of the Colorado River to California, with its capabilities for navigation and the immense area wbich can thus be supplied from San Francisco; and as our enterprise is beneficent to both the East and West, we trust that the exploration and consequent traffic of the Colorado are destined at an early day to materially assist us in our work of uniting the Atlantic and Pacific.”
This company, in their late surveys, indicate an intention to cross the Colorado River at or near Fort Mobave, perbaps at the “ Colorado crossing,” twenty-five miles below the Fort; thence it is one hundred and eighty-one miles to the summit of San Gorgonio Pass. The following table of distances was derived from General Palmer:
From St. Louis to Kansas City.
282 miles. .1,375 miles.
It is obvious that this railroad must do nearly all the freighting to and from Utah, which the calculations of the Chamber of Commerce, a few months ago, asssigned to the steamers of the Colorado River.
While giving every just aid and encouragement to the plans contemplating the thirty-fifth parallel, it is not the part of prudence to forget ibat, although at the moment under a shadow (as it were ), great interests belong to the line of the tbirty-second parallel, and there is no reason to believe that ultimately these will not gain the prominence they deserve. When it is considered that from the Mississippi to San Diego the distance is not more that one thousand five hundred and twentyseven miles, according to Lieutenant Parke—there is no snow—the cost of a railway would not, in his day, have exceeded sixty-nine million dollars. In San Diego County alone, there is timber enough to build half of it. The perseverance is not be censured with which this company bas adhered to the original purpose of its charter-its “ first love."
Bridging the Colorado River sometimes excites a doubt. Lieutenant Williamson says:
“At the mouth of the Gila the banks of the Colorado are high, and the river narrower than its average width. Generally there is a wide bottom subject to overflow, but this is not the case at this point, and here it presents advantages for bridging not frequently found.”
" The Colorado River presents no difficulties for bridging."
According to Colonel E. B. Willis, of General Palmer's surveying corps :
“At the crossing at Fort Yuma there will be required a bridge three bundred and eighty feet in length, which can be carried over in a single span. There are good solid banks for the purpose.”
General W. S. Rosecrans, February fifteenth, eighteen hundred and sixty-eight, writes :
“At the crossing of the Colorado, near Fort Yuma, by this route, the road would find two granite abutments on opposite sides of the river, about six hundred feet (?) apart and forty feet high, placed by nature as if expressly for a railway bridge crossing."
The “ Colorado Desert” was formerly apprehended, of which Bartlett says, “it seems almost graded by nature for a railway;" and Lieutenant Williamson, "the desert may be considered the least difficult part of a railway route in California.”
Professor W. P. Blake describes it as follows:
“Instead of the whole plain being composed of loose and sandy materials, as bas been supposed, its basis is a compact blue clay, so hard that the passing of mules and wagons scarcely leave tracks upon it.” Again : “ It is not necessary to carry the road across the sand-bill range. The hills have a direction that would be nearly parallel to the course of a road."
This desert is estimated to contain five thousand square miles, the rest of the County of San Diego being about nine thousand square miles. The report of Professor Blake demonstrates the facility with which large areas, perbaps more than one thousand square miles, can be reclaimed. His own remark is : “the whole of the clay surface of the desert may be considered as capable of supporting a luxuriant growth of vegetation of almost any description,” by irrigation, which "might be accomplished by constructing canals from a point on the Colorado above the moutb of the Gila."
The distance from the Bay, by Warner's Pass, to the mouth of the Gila, is one hundred and eighty nine miles (railway); the greatest elevation, three thousand six hundred and twenty nine feet, to wit, the summit of San Felipe.
Enough bas been said to show the inestimable value of the “back country," within a radius of one hundred and fifty miles from San Diego-all now thinly populated, but promising a different future of wealth to the State. One misfortune is-possibly bereafter to turn out a benefit—that so many large tracts are held by non-residents; these are mostly men of capital. Some of them are projecting the introduction of emigrants upon their extensive ranches," à consumation devoutly to be wished.”* Confirmed Mexican titles (generally surveyed) cover some of the best lands. Still there is much public land, and now being settled up; and through which either of our proposed railway routes must pass. A few miles back, out of the fogs of the coast, wheat bas always been a sure crop, as at San Pascual, Temecula, Santa Ysabel, Milqua-tai, etc., etc. San Jose (or “ Warner's ranch") has four fine streams for saw or flouring mills. There is no redwood. On the ridges of Pauma is the species of oak supplying a desideratum long felt in the wine districts—wood for casks; at Anaheim are several casks, made of this wood, in use now four years, uninjured by worms. A steam grist mill and wbarf (five hundred feet in length) are in progress of erection at New Town. No mention has been made of stock ranchos, such as Otay, Nacional, Guajomo, Santa Margarita, Las Flores, San Bernardo (three