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5. The Northwest and The Great Northwest: A Guide-Book and Itinerary
THE NORTHWEST. Vol. I No. 1 New York and St. Paul, January 15, 1883. The Great Northwest: A Guide-Book and Itinerary, For the Use of Tourists and Travelers, Over the Lines of the Northern Pacific Railroad, the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company and the Oregon and California Railroad (St. Paul, Minn.: Riley Brothers, 1886), 13-15, 350-70.
The Northwest: A Monthly Journal, devoted to the development of the New Northwestern States and Territories.
THE NORTHWEST is published on the 15th day of each month.
Subscription Terms: Single copies, $1 per year; five copies, $4; ten copies, $7; payable in advance
Principal Office: Mills Building, Broad Street, New York
Branch Office: Philadelphia, corner Third and Dock streets.
Joseph Cramer, agent. St. Paul, Northern Pacific Railroad Building. Portland, Oregon Bureau of Immigration.
ADVERTISING RATES—Per line, each insertion, 25 cents; one inch space, each insertion, $3, A reduction allowed on yearly contracts. Address:
Mills Building, New York
New York and St. Paul, January 15th, 1883.
Between Lake Superior and the Pacific Ocean stretches a belt of country 2,000 miles long. Its northern boundary is the British Possessions, and its width may be roughly stated as 400 miles. We call it a belt—not because it is of uniform character as to surface, soil or climate, but because the currents of life and trade run back and forth along its entire length, and because it is traversed by a single central artery of railway communication—the Northern Pacific Railroad. It is generally known as the Northern Pacific Country, from the name of the road which, with its branches and allies, serves its transportation purposes.
This immense region contains the only extensive areas of fertile land in the United States now undeveloped or very sparsely occupied, and offering strong inducements to agricultural settlement. It has a greater variety of scenery and surface than can be found between Maine and Texas, or between New York and Omaha. The climate is temperate, healthy and bracing, and the settler from any of the northern latitudes of America or Europe can, if he choose, find like conditions of scenery and mean temperature to those he has experienced in his old home.
The development of this immense region had gone forward with great rapidity of late; but there is so much room in it for people and enterprise, that for at least ten years to come it will be the most attractive field on the continent for new settlement. Farmers, manufacturers, mechanics, miners of coal, iron, gold, silver and copper, lumbermen, cattle raisers, wool growers and business men of all occupations will find there an outlet of escape from overcrowded communities, and abundant openings for their energy, skill and capital.
We believe that a newspaper devoted to chronicling the growth of this region and describing its characteristic scenery, life and undeveloped resources, has a field of usefulness and profit. In this belief we have started THE NORTHWEST. As a basis for its publication we have purchased The New Northwest, a smaller sheet hitherto issued in Philadelphia, which was in its sixth volume, and always had a large circulation. Subscribers to that paper who have paid in advance will receive THE NORTHWEST in its place, and all its advertising contracts will be carried out by us.
THE NORTHWEST will be published monthly. We mean to make it specially interesting and valuable to three classes of people:
Those who think of going West to better their fortunes and want information about good openings for new settlers.
Those who already live in the Northern Pacific belt and would like to know about the progress of the whole region.
Those who are interested in the bonds and stocks of the Northern Pacific Railroad and its allied lines, and who want prompt and accurate news about the finances of these companies and the growth of the country upon which they depend.
Single subscriptions, $1 per year; five copies, $4; ten copies, $7.
Mills Building, Broad Street, New York.
TO ENGLISH FARMERS.
A large edition of this number of THE NORTHWEST is sent to England for distribution, and copies will doubtless fall into the hands of many tenant farmers who have long been turning over in their minds the question of emigrating to America. With them we want to have a little talk.
Cheap transportation has revolutionized markets and prices. The great fertile plains and valleys of America have only fairly begun sending food products to Europe. Their surplus of grain and cattle, butter, lard, cheese and apples will increase every year. The English farmer, on high-priced land, paying a large sum every year to a landlord, cannot compete with the American farmer on his own land, bought for a few shillings an acre and improved with his own labor.
What, then, is the wise course for the Englishman or Scotchman, in view of his own interests and those of his children? Evidently, to go where grain and cattle can be raised to the best advantage. If he has a few hundred pounds, he can at once become an independent land owner in America. In the old home he must always be in some sort the servant of the landlord. In America he can be a free citizen, and himself lord of the acres he tills, beholden to no man for his home and sharing with no man the fruits of his toil.
Emigration to America seems a terrible ordeal to many. There is nothing difficult about it. You can go all the way from New York to Dakota or Montana in more comfortable railway carriages than can be found in England, making only two changes of line, one at Chicago and one at St. Paul, and both in magnificent passenger stations fitted up with every comfort. You get good meals on the way and good beds in the sleeping cars nights. Arrived at your destination, you will find good hotels, with moderate prices and friendly people ready to give information, show you the country and help you select land. There is less discomfort in going from New York to the Rocky Mountains than in going from London to Rome.
Do you ask to what section of the fast American continent you had better go? Our answer is, to the New Northwest, because there is to be found in that region a larger area of good unoccupied land than anywhere else in the United States, and because it is the best grain country and the best grazing country in America. Go to Dakota or Montana, or still further West to Oregon or Washington Territory. Don’t go to Manitoba, because it is too far North. Three or four hundred miles make a great difference in climate in a northern latitude. Beware of schemes to lease you land. There are millions of acres in the American West which are free to all who will settle on them in compliance with the homestead laws. There are millions of other acres to be bought for from five shillings to one pound per acre, on long credit. Why be a tenant farmer, when you can just as well own the land you occupy?
What is the best time to emigrate to the Northwest? As early in the spring as possible, in order to put in a crop of spring wheat, oats or barley the first year. What about farm animals and implements? You can buy them on favorable terms near your farm. The country is not a wilderness. There are towns, stores, shops, schools and churches clear across the continent. Civilization follows the railway, and in buying land you need not go more than ten or fifteen miles from the railway to get the best locations and the lowest prices.
Are not articles of clothing, furniture, tools, etc., very dear in America? No; that is a prevalent delusion in Europe. American manufacturers are now sending their goods all over the world, and selling them in competition with Manchester and Birmingham. Bring only your ordinary wearing apparel, household linen, books, pictures, and things that can be boxed in small compass.
Do you ask where to go first? We should say, spend no time or money in the East; but go direct to St. Paul, Minnesota. Then visit the Land Office of the Northern Pacific Railroad, and you can learn where you had best settle to find the conditions of soil, water, scenery and climate you seek. It is 2,000 miles from St. Paul to Puget Sound. In that immense belt of country you cannot fail to find a home to please you, whether you like prairies, or rolling uplands, or winding valleys, or mountain nooks, or great forests, or the shores of salt water bays, or the margin of mighty rivers.
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THE BIG BEND COUNTRY.
Development of a New Region in Washington Territory
From the Sprague Herald.
One-half the vast agricultural lands lying adjacent to Sprague and the Big Bend country belong to the Northern Pacific Railroad, and were taken off the market some time ago for appraisement. The commissioners have rated the land according to quality, without reference to locality, the prices ranging from $1 to $7 per acre. The stony, rough lands at $1, and the choice at $7. This action fixes a basis of prices for land which have heretofore been sold at $2.60 per acre without reference to location or quality. The consequence is that Government lands will be rated the same, and those who have land thus enhanced will reap the benefit of this development. There are thousands of acres of choice Government land lying adjacent to Sprague still vacant. No better opportunity was ever offered to those seeking homes. It is a good start for any man to come into possession of a half section of land worth $7 an acre for the nominal sum of less than $50. The climate of Spokane County is unrivaled for health, pure air and good water, although situated at a latitude a good ways to the north. The climate is even and temperate, with more agreeable winters than further south. It is remarkable that snow has never fallen sufficient to blockade our railroads, and cold weather never lasts longer than one week without change. The warm “chinook” winds prevail from the south and seaward, thus moderating the winter to such a degree as to become delightful. Stock graze on the prairies the most of the winter, and need but little feeding. Altogether we have the most desirable country for farming and stock raising this side of the Mississippi River. We say, with no small degree of triumph, that the town of Sprague is so situated as to command all the interests in developing this vast country. Without any “boom” Sprague is growing steadily and surely into a wealthy and progressive city. Real estate is steadily rising in value, and the outlook for the opening of spring is in every respect flattering. There has been no time in the history of our town when investment would be so certain of profit as the present day. And to those seeking business locations or farms, we would say, come to Sprague and Spokane County. There is room and an equal chance for all; and most of the advantages of much older countries with which to make a start.
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The Great Northwest: A Guide-Book and Itinerary, For the Use of Tourists and Travelers Over the Lines of the Northern Pacific Railroad, the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company and the Oregon and California Railroad. (1886)
Introduction. The region which is in process of development by the Northern Pacific Railroad, and the railroad systems with which it is in direct connection, embraces, in whole or in part, no less than seven of the largest States and Territories; viz., Wisconsin, Minnesota, Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon; or, at least a rough estimate, one-sixth of the United States.
The distance between the extreme eastern and western termini of the main line, on Lake Superior and Puget Sound, Ashland, Wis., and Tacoma, Wash. Ter., inclusive of 210 miles of railroad along the Columbia river which belong to the allied Oregon Railway & Navigation Company, is 2,254 miles. By way of the Cascade Branch of the Northern Pacific, it is 1,961 miles.
The Northern Pacific Railroad is connected with the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis by a lateral line 136 miles in length. It has also various other branches, including one to the Yellowstone National Park, which represent a total of 700 miles of track. In addition to these branches, the trunk line has for its immediate tributaries, the extensive systems of the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company, in Oregon and Washington Territory, and the Oregon & California Railroad, in Western Oregon.
This great system of allied railroads has opened to settlement, during the past few years, one of the fairest sections of
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the country,—a region exceeded by no other part of the United States in its wealth of natural resources, and not surpassed in any of the conditions of climate or of soil which are best adapted to the well-being of the human race.
The Great Northwest has already become famous for the prodigality of its cereal productions; the salubrity of its climate is an accepted fact; the extent and variety of its mineral deposits, and the value of its grand forests, are everywhere acknowledged, while the marked diversity and extraordinary attraction of its scenery are recognized as not the least prominent of its features.
Now that the Northern Pacific Railroad is finished, the inviting regions of the Great Northwest, hitherto remote, are made easy of access. The tide of travel flows naturally with a strong current through this new and pleasant channel, and to pilot the wayfarer, this Guide Book has been written.
The aim has been to furnish the tourist and traveler with precisely that information which would seem requisite through the successive stages of the journey. The book embraces facts with reference to the history, present population, productions, resources and natural features of the country traversed by the Northern Pacific Railroad and its branch lines, and by its Western connections, the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company, and the Oregon & California Railroad, with some account of the ocean and river routes of the Pacific Northwest.
The salient features of the States, Territories, cities, towns, and all places of interest along the lines of these vast systems of railroad and water transportation, are described, and such material of local character is interspersed among the pages as may serve to interest the traveler in the course of his journey. In collating the facts which are here given to the public, the author has spared no effort to secure the utmost freshness and accuracy. The growth of the Great Northwest—
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its cities and towns—in population and material prosperity, is, however, so rapid that the figures of to-day may seem far short of the truth a few months afterward. . . .
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BY RIVER TO PORTLAND.
DISTANCE, 110 MILES.
Arriving at The Dalles, the traveler has the choice . . . of remaining on the train, or of proceeding to Portland by steamboat, the distance by water being 110 miles, as against eighty-eight by rail. The river fleet of the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company is composed of first-class, speed and commodious steamers, which are in every respect luxuriously equipped for the passenger service. The trip down the Columbia river is thoroughly enjoyable. From the deck of a steamer there is, of course, a far better opportunity to observe in detail the diversified beauties of the river than from the train. The scenery may be observed on both sides, and all the turns and changes of the stream are noticed.
At the Upper Cascades the steamer discharges her passengers, on the Washington side of the river, and here a short portage of six miles by railroad is made before re-embarking on another steamer to pursue the journey to Portland.
The voyage onward, for a couple of hours, is upon the most romantic portion of the river. Castle Rock lies on the right hand, and on both sides, especially on the left shore, are to be seen foaming cascades pouring down the rugged faces of the mountains. Then comes Cape Horn, after which the river widens and the shores gradually become lower, with long,
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wooded islands in mid-stream, where dairy farming is carried on quite profitably.
Presently the city of Vancouver, W. T., is reached, and here the boat stops to take in fuel. The site of Vancouver is beautiful, and the place shows finely from the river. The east half of the city is devoted to the military; for this is the headquarters of the Department of the Columbia. The storehouses, officers’ quarters and barracks make an imposing appearance. The shores on either side of the river, above and below Vancouver, are well cultivated and very attractive. From this point, looking west and south, Mount Hood (11,025 feet) is seen in perfect majesty. Twelve miles below, the steamer turns from the Columbia into the Willamette; and, looking north, other great mountains of Washington Territory loom up. St. Helens (9,750 feet) is sixty miles away, a vast white pyramid; Mount Adams (9,570 feet), seventy-five miles off, is partly hidden by the ranges; Mount Tacoma (14,360 feet), one hundred miles distant, on Puget Sound, or near it, is too remote to convey the correct impression of its grandeur, but can be plainly seen. There is one place, three miles up the Willamette, where five snow mountains can be seen at once on a clear day,—St. Helen’s, Tacoma, Adams, Hood and Jefferson, the last looking over the ranges for a long distance to the south. The panorama is magnificent, changing and opening at intervals as the steamer follows her course. Looking back, down the Willamette, a perfect picture is revealed where St. Helen’s pyramid of white is framed in by the Willamette shores.
Approaching Portland by river, the traveler soon becomes aware that he is nearing a commercial city. River craft of all sorts and sizes, as well as ocean vessels, are found at the wharves of the city itself, one hundred and twenty-five miles from the ocean, representing the commerce of the world. East Indiamen, that have abandoned their former trade to steamers
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[an illustration of Castle Rock appears on page 352]
and the Suez Canal; ocean steamers, from the magnificent 3,000-ton passenger and freight steamships of the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company, to the business-looking colliers from Puget Sound, and the steam schooner that trades along the coast,—these, and all sorts of river and coasting craft, are at Portland wharves. At the sight of them, the fact is at once recognized that the journey across the continent is ended, and that the metropolis of the Pacific Northwest has been reached.
Portland (213 miles from Wallula; population, 35,000) is the commercial metropolis and railroad centre of the Pacific Northwest. It is a beautiful city, well built in both its business and residence districts, and standing upon a gentle slope stretching from the bank of the Willamette river westward, for a distance of about two miles, to a range of steep, wooded hills. The city extends for about the same distance up and down the river. Its residence streets are shaded with maples and ash, elms, horse-chestnuts and other shade trees, and most of the houses front upon lawns and flower gardens. Indeed, Portland is a city of flowers and foliage, the mildness of the climate and moisture of the atmosphere causing vegetation to flourish. The winter climate is so mild that roses usually bloom until the first of January. . . .
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[an illustration of Cape Horn appears on page 354]
. . . . Portland has many handsome business blocks which would be creditable to any city in the East. It exported about eight million bushels of wheat in 1885, and over 500,000 barrels of flour; the grain fleet of that year sailing from Portland numbered 113 vessels. Portland has a good street-car system, water, gas and electric light works, a public library, four daily newspapers, great wharves and warehouses, numerous handsome churches, and many spacious public school edifices, the largest of which, the high-school building, is the handsomest public school structure on the Pacific coast.
Immediately opposite the city, on the eastern bank of the Willamette, is the populous suburb of East Portland, with 3,000 inhabitants, and Albina, with 1,000 inhabitants. The latter place has the largest wheat warehouse on the Pacific coast, and is also the location of extensive railway shops.
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[an illustration of the glaciers of Mount Tacoma appears on page 356]
PORTLAND TO TACOMA.—DISTANCE, 145 MILES.
The Pacific Division of the Northern Pacific Railroad, from Kalama, on the Columbia river, to Tacoma, on Puget Sound, was built in 1872 and 1873, and was put in operation in 1874. Until 1884, the distance of thirty-eight miles between Kalama and Portland by river was covered by means of the steamboats of the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company. In that year the link from Portland to a point on the Columbia river opposite Kalama was completed. The transfer of trains is effected by means of a large transfer steamboat, called the “Tacoma,” which has three tracks on its deck, and ferries over the longest trains at one passage.
The road from Portland follows for about eight miles the west shore of the Willamette river, and reaches the head of Sauvie's Island. Thence it continues down the west arm of the river to the point at which the stream empties into the Columbia at St. Helen's. Sauvie's Island is nearly twenty miles in length. It is a rich piece of land in the delta, formed by the junction of the rivers.
There are no towns of importance between Portland and the crossing of the Columbia. The station on the south bank of the river, which is the landing place of the transfer steamboat, is called Columbia City.
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Kalama (40 miles from Portland), on the north bank of the river, is the county seat of Cowlitz county, and has 200 inhabitants, an hotel, two stores, two churches, and a court house. At one time this place had the ambition to become the commercial metropolis of the Columbia valley, and town lots were sold in the forests at high prices.
Leaving Kalama, the track follows down the Columbia a few miles, then turns up the valley of the Cowlitz river, and strikes across the country for Puget Sound.
In the Cowlitz valley are rich bottom lands that were taken by settlers at a very early day. These farms are famous for producing hay and dairy products. For 105 miles, from Kalama to Tacoma, the route is through a wooded region that is, for the most part, sparsely populated. The soil of all this area is fertile; but the thick forests are likely to deter settlement to a large extent, until the vast expanses of open and productive country east of the Cascade Mountains are fully occupied and brought under cultivation.
The stations passed on the way are Carroll’s, Monticello, Cowlitz, Olequa and Winlock, distant, respectively, 45, 48, 51, 68 and 77 miles from Portland.
Passing out of the Cowlitz valley, the road reaches the Chehalis river. This stream runs in a northwest direction, and empties into the ocean at Gray's Harbor. Its valley, varying in breadth from fifteen to fifty miles, is the largest and most valuable agricultural region in western Washington.
Chehalis (90 miles from Portland; population, 750).—this is a thriving town, supported by the fine agricultural country of the Chehalis valley. It is the county seat of Lewis county, and has two hotels, a newspaper, three churches and a number of mercantile establishments. A railroad is projected to the mouth of the Chehalis at Gray’s Harbor.
Centralia (94 miles from Portland; population, 400) is an active trading town, doing business with the farmers in the
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[an illustration of the Glaciers of Mount Tacoma appears on page 359]
Chehalis country. The neighboring valley lands produce large crops of all the small grains, Indian corn and potatoes. Apples, plums and pears, and the smaller fruits, flourish.
A fine view of Mount Adams, away to the eastward, on the further side of the Cascade range, is to be obtained at several points, as the train goes northward. It is seen across the wooded valley of the Nisqually, its white mass in bold relief against the sky, its sides seamed in the summer with outcropping rock ridges, the hollows between being filled with never-melting snows.
Tenino (106 miles from Portland).—The Olympia & Chehalis Valley Railroad, a narrow-gauge line, fifteen miles long, owned by an independent corporation, connects Olympia, the capital of Washington Territory, and the county seat of Thurston county, with the track of the Northern Pacific Railroad at Tenino. The road passes through a dense forest, touching the stations Gillmore, Spurlock, Plum, Bush Prairie and Tumwater, the latter a lively manufacturing village, with fine water-power, on the outskirts of Olympia.
Olympia (122 miles from Portland; population, 2,000) is the capital of Washington Territory west of the Cascade Mountains. It is beautifully situated at the head of the crescent-shaped body of water which was originally named Puget Sound by an English explorer named Vancouver. The name is now generally applied to the whole body of water from the Straits of San Juan de Fuca to Olympia. Vancouver called the main body Admiralty Inlet, and gave separate names to the smaller inlets, bays and channels. Olympia is an attractive place, with broad and well-shaded streets, and an abundance of fruit trees and flowers. It has five churches, a good public school, two newspapers, a bank, and several hotels. Steamboats run daily to Tacoma and Seattle. There is also steamboat connection with the saw mill towns and lumbering camps on Hood’s
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Canal. Thurston county, of which Olympia is the county seat, is densely wooded, and lumbering is a leading industry. There is a great extent of prairie and bottom land in the county, adapted to stock-raising and mixed farming. . . .
Tacoma (145 miles from Portland; population, 6,000) was the first point touched by the Northern Pacific Railroad on the waters of the Pacific Ocean. It occupies a commanding position, and has an excellent harbor, capable of receiving the largest ocean-going vessels, which are loaded at the wharves with coal, lumber and other productions of the region. Commencement Bay, on the east, opens upon the fertile valley of the Puyallup; and beyond, in the near distance, rises the grand form of snow-covered Mount Tacoma. The railroad reaches the shores of Commencement Bay, under a steep bluff, the sum-
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[an illustration of “The Tacoma” hotel appears on page 362]
mit of which is crowned with pleasant residence. Views from the bluff are superb, including the Olympic Mountains, on the peninsula between the sound and the ocean; the full sweep of the waters of the inlets near by, the wide expanse of Commencement Bay, and the grand mountain scenery beyond. Tacoma is an important business point and a very attractive resort for tourists. It has the largest and best-equipped hotel on the Pacific Coast north of San Francisco, “The Tacoma,” which stands on a high plateau overlooking Commencement Bay, and in full view of the enormous snow peak of Mount Tacoma. There are in the town nine other hotels, eight churches, a handsome public school building, and an Episcopal seminary for girls. . . . Tacoma is the headquarters of the Western Divisions of the Northern Pacific Railroad, and has extensive car and repair shops. Pacific Avenue, the principal business street, is a broad thoroughfare, with many substantial brick business blocks, and considerable wholesale trade is done here. The town has water-works and gas works, is well drained, and is remarkably healthy. The Cascade Branch of the Northern Pacific Railroad, which terminates here, brings in considerable trade from the hop-growing valleys of the Puyallup, the Stuck and the White rivers, and from the coal mines at the base of the mountains. When completed across the mountains in 1887, it will make Tacoma a great wheat shipping port, and also an important entrepot for foreign trade. There are daily steamboats to Seattle, Port Townsend, Victoria, Olympia, and other places on the sound. There is also regular weekly connection with San Francisco by large ocean steamships. Tacoma has one of the largest saw mills on the sound, and ships
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lumber to China and Australia, and to the Mexican and South American ports. The coal wharves and bunkers are enormous constructions, built out into the bay, upon which the coal trains run, dumping their cargoes into huge bins, from whence they are transferred by force of gravity to the holds of steamers and sailing vessels. Parties are formed in Tacoma during the excursion season for the ascent of Mount Tacoma; guides and outfits can be engaged in the town. An ascent 11,000 feet above the sea can be made without danger or serious fatigue.
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THE SEATTLE BRANCH
PUYALLUP TO SEATTLE.—DISTANCE, 32 MILES.
This branch, built in the summer of 1883 to connect Seattle with the Northern Pacific system, leaves the Cascade Division at Puyallup, ten miles from Tacoma, and runs in a northerly direction through the valleys of the Stuck and White rivers to Seattle, traversing a highly productive agricultural region largely engaged in the raising of hops. Several small towns are located on the line.
Seattle (41 miles from Tacoma, and 2,098 miles from St. Paul via the Cascade Division; population, 10,000).—This is the largest city on Puget Sound, and is charmingly situated on a succession of high terraces which rise from the shores of Elliot Bay. The city is laid out for a distance of three miles from the bay to the shores of Lake Washington, a fine body of fresh water, twenty miles long, by about three miles wide. A similar lake, called Lake Union, connects with Lake Washington, and also with the sound, and the suburbs of the city in a northeastern direction advance to its shores. Seattle is the centre of a remarkably complete system of steam navigation, which embraces all the towns and lumbering camps on the sound, and also the navigable rivers of the region. A fleet of twenty-five steamboats is engaged in the local trade of the
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[an illustration of Mount Tacoma from the distance appears on page 366]
sound, running to Tacoma, Olympia, Hood's Canal, Port Townsend, La Conner, Whatcom, and many minor points, and also up the White, Snohomish, Skagit, and Snoqualmie rivers. Ocean steamers run regularly to San Francisco. Steamboats of large size run to Victoria, B.C. Seattle has fifteen churches; sixteen hotels, four of which are of large size and well appointed; three daily newspapers; four national and two private banks;and an opera house, with a seating capacity of 1,200. Educational facilities are provided by the Territorial University; by the public schools, which occupy large and costly buildings; the Yesler College, an institution for boys; an academy for young ladies; a business college; and several private and denominational schools. There are sixty three manufacturing concerns in the city, most of which are engaged in industries connected with the lumber trade. A street railroad connects the principal wharves with the chief elements which contribute to the prosperity of Seattle. The mines now worked are chiefly in the vicinity of Renton and Newcastle, and are reached by a narrow-guage railroad, twenty miles long. There are extensive coal fields, which have been explored, and are being developed, lying on the Green and Cedar rivers, near the base of the Cascade Mountains. Coal is brought to the wharves in Seattle, and shipped by a line of steam colliers to San Francisco. Both the mining and shipping operations, as well as narrow-guage railroad, are in the hands of the Oregon Improvement Company. There is considerable agricultural land tributary to Seattle in the valleys of White, Green and Snoqualmie rivers.
Other Towns on Puget Sound.—Besides Tacoma, Olympia and Seattle, which have been described in the preceding pages, the important towns on Puget Sound are Port Townsend, La Conner and Whatcom. Port Townsend is some-
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[an illustration of Sitka, Alaska appears on page 368]
times called the “Gate City of the Sound.” It is situated at the entrance of Admiralty Inlet, on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and is the port of entry for the entire Sound district. It has about 2,500 inhabitants, and its principal trade is in supplying the ships which enter and clear at its custom house. An iron furnace in the vicinity manufactures pig iron from hematite ore. There is a military post about three miles distant. The harbor of Port Townsend is an excellent one, being well sheltered from the north and west winds. La Conner, on the eastern shore of the sound, is a lumbering town with considerable agricultural country tributary to it. Whatcom, on the Lower sound, is the last town before the British line is reached. It has a population of about 500, with considerable agricultural country tributary to it, and with large undeveloped fields of deposits of coal and iron. This is the first point on the sound where coal was mined; but the development of the fields back of Seattle and Tacoma has caused the industry to be unprofitable. A railroad is projected from Whatcom to a connection with the Canadian Pacific line.
Victoria (117 miles from Tacoma) has a population of about 10,000, and is the seat of government for the Province of British Columbia. It is situated on the southern extremity of Vancouver’s Island, on a small, landlocked bay which puts in from the waters of the broad Strait of Juan de Fuca. Esquimault Bay, five miles distant, is a station for the British navy, and has a large and extensive dry dock, constructed by the British Government. The climate of Victoria is mild in winter, and cold in summer, and the place is a favorite resort for tourists. Excellent roads lead into the country in every direction, and the scenery, especially along the shores of the strait, from whence the lofty and rugged range of the Olympian Mountains is seen, is strikingly picturesque. Steamers leaving Tacoma in the evening arrive at Victoria
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the next morning. From Victoria, there is steamship connection with San Francisco, and also with Sitka, Alaska, and steamboats run across the Gulf of Georgia to points on the mainland and on the Fraser river.
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