The Project Gutenberg eBook, Two Years in Oregon, by Wallis Nash

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Title: Two Years in Oregon

Author: Wallis Nash

Release Date: February 15, 2011 [eBook #35288]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


E-text prepared by Greg Bergquist
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team
from page images generously made available by
Internet Archive/American Libraries


Note: Images of the original pages are available through Internet Archive/American Libraries. See



Front cover
A ship anchored in a bay

Anchorage in Yaquina Bay.





Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures,

While the landscape round it measures,

Russet lawns, and fallows gray,

Where the nibbling flocks do stray;

Mountains on whose barren breast

The lab'ring clouds do often rest;

Meadows trim with daisies pied;

Shallow brooks, and rivers wide.


Turn, Fortune, turn thy wheel with smile or frown;

With that wild wheel we go not up or down;

Our hoard is little, but our hearts are great;

Smile and we smile, the lords of many lands;

Frown and we smile, the lords of our own hands;

For man is man and master of his fate.



1, 3, and 5 BOND STREET.







It is my grateful task to recognize the marked kindness with which my modest volume has been received by the public and the press. It is rare that a second edition of a work of the kind should be called for within three months of the first issue, and still more rare that, out of a vast number of reviews by the leading journals all over the country, but one newspaper, and that the one I deemed it my duty to the State of Oregon to denounce (on page 216), has found aught but words of commendation.

I desire also to tender my apologies to the esteemed Roman Catholic Archbishop, and to the Sisters of Charity of Portland, for the error on my part in ascribing to Bishop Morris, of the Episcopal Church, the credit of St. Vincent's Hospital.

I ought not to have forgotten to notice the Good Samaritan Hospital and Orphanage founded by Bishop Morris.

A single remark should be added about the price or value given, on page 70, for seed-wheat as an element of the cost of the crop raised from it.

The wheat reserved by the farmer for this purpose, being exempt from the charges and waste incident to hauling, storage, insurance, and sacking, necessary in marketing, is fairly estimated at seventy cents, though the marketed portion of the crop averages eighty-five to ninety cents; the difference being composed, in part, of profit.

W. N.


I send forth this book, as sequel to the sketch published three years ago, with many misgivings—rather as if one who, as a lover, had written poems in praise of his mistress, should, as a two years' husband, give to the world his experience of the fireside charms and household excellences of his wife. Perhaps the latter might more faithfully picture her than when she was seen through the glamour of a first love.

Be that as it may, it is true that the questions put from many lands, as to how we fare in this Western country, demand fuller answers than mere letter-writing can convey. I trust that those correspondents who are yet unanswered personally will find herein the knowledge they are seeking, and will accept the assurance that they are themselves to blame for some of the more solid and tedious chapters; as, if I had not known that such information were needed, I would not have ventured to put in print again that which previous and better authors have given to the world.

While I have striven to write what is really a guide-book to Oregon for the intending emigrant, others may be interested in the picture of a young community shaping the details of their common life, and claiming and taking possession of a heritage in the wilderness.

No one can go farther West than we have done: it is fair, then, to suppose that the purposes of the Western movement will be seen here in their fullest operation.

Since 1877 a vast change has taken place in this, that Oregon now shares with older States the benefits of becoming the theatre for large railroad operations.

No apology to American readers is needed for the endeavor to show things in a fairer light and different color from those chosen by persons interested in causing all men to see with their eyes. Transatlantic readers may not have the same concern; but even from them I bespeak a hearing in matters which may indirectly, if not directly, touch their interests.

But I do not wish to suggest that I write as having only a general feeling that certain things would be the better for a more open discussion than they have hitherto received. My own affairs, and those of many friends, both in Oregon and elsewhere, and, indeed, the successful development of this great Willamette Valley, largely depend on our convincing an unprejudiced public that Nature is on our side in the effort we are making to secure a direct and near outlet to the great world.

I only claim in these particulars to be an advocate, but I add to this a full and honest conviction of the justice of the views for which I contend.

To turn again to more general matters, I have the pleasant duty of thanking several friends who have contributed to the information here collected.

To our shame be it said that there was not, among our English immigrants, one naturalist who could rightly name the birds, beasts, fishes, and insects in our Western home. But I was fortunate in finding an American friend, Mr. O. B. Johnson, of Salem, whose complete and accurate knowledge of these subjects only rendered more easy his kindly endeavors to give me the benefit of all his stores.

I wish to acknowledge also the care with which, ever since our visit in 1877, the professors at the Corvallis Agricultural College have kept the records of climate and rainfall, the results of which are now published.

I trust that, if any sketches in these pages are recognized as portraits, not one grain of offense will be taken by those who have unwittingly served as models in the life-studio.

Or that, if any effect is produced, it may be as good and lasting as that which followed on a fancy picture in the former book, in which many stray touches were collected. Whether the cap fitted, or was pressed on his head by too officious neighbors, I know not; but this I know, that cleared fields, neat fences, new barn, clean house, and fitting furniture, rendered it impossible for me to recognize a tumbledown place which then served to point a warning. These improvements, I am told, the owner lays at my unconscious door.

Wallis Nash.

Corvallis, Oregon, April 14, 1881.


Personal reasons for coming to Oregon—‌Plans of colonizing—‌Who came—‌Who have returned—‌Who remain—‌Bowie-knives and revolvers—‌A sheriff in danger—‌No tragedy—‌Our landing at Corvallis—‌Frail houses—‌Pleasant welcome—‌The barber's shop—‌Its customers—‌Given names—‌New acquaintances—‌Bright dresses—‌Religious denominations. 17
Where we live—‌Snow-peaks and distant prospects—‌Forest-fires—‌The Coast Mountains and Mary's Peak—‌Sunset in Oregon—‌Farmhouses: the log-cabin, the box-house, the frame-house—‌Dinner at the farm—‌Slay and eat—‌A rash chicken—‌Bread-making by amateurs—‌Thrift and unthrift—‌Butter and cheese—‌Products of the "range," farm, and garden—‌Wheat-growing. 26
The land-office; its object and functionaries—‌How to find your land—‌Section 33—‌The great conflagration—‌The survivors of the fire—‌The burnt timber and the brush—‌The clearing-party—‌Chopping by beginners—‌Cooking, amateur and professional—‌The wild-cat—‌Deer and hunting—‌Piling brush—‌Dear and cheap clearing—‌The skillful axeman—‌Clearing by Chinamen—‌Dragging out stumps—‌What profits the farmer may expect on a valley farm—‌On a foot-hills farm. 36
A spring ride in Oregon—‌The start—‌The equipment—‌Horses and saddlery—‌Packs—‌The roadside—‌Bird fellow-travelers—‌Snakes—‌The nearest farm—‌Bees—‌The great pasture—‌The poisonous larkspur—‌ Market-gardening—‌The Cardwell Hill—‌The hill-top—‌The water-shed —‌Mary River—‌Crain's—‌The Yaquina Valley—‌Brush, grass, and fern —‌The young Englishmen's new home—‌A rustic bridge—‌"Chuck-holes"—‌ The road supervisor—‌Trapp's—‌The mill-dam—‌Salmon-pass law—‌Minnows and crawfish—‌The Pacific at rest—‌Yaquina—‌Newport. 48
Hay-harvest—‌Timothy-grass—‌Permanent pasture—‌Hay-making by express—‌The mower and reaper—‌Hay-stacks as novelties—‌ Wheat-harvest—‌Thrashing—‌The "thrashing crowd"—‌"Headers" and "self-binders"—‌Twine-binders and home-grown flax—‌Green food for cows—‌Indian corn, vetches—‌Wild-oats in wheat—‌Tar-weed the new enemy—‌Cost of harvesting—‌By hired machines—‌By purchased machines—‌Cost of wheat-growing in the Willamette Valley. 62
The farmer's sports and pastimes—‌Deer-hunting tales—‌A roadside yarn—‌Still-hunting—‌Hunting with hounds—‌An early morning's sport—‌Elk—‌The pursuit—‌The kill—‌Camp on Beaver Creek—‌ Flounder-spearing by torchlight—‌Flounder-fishing by day—‌In the bay—‌Rock oysters—‌The evening view—‌The general store—‌Skins—‌ Sea-otters—‌Their habits—‌The sea-otter hunters—‌Common otter—‌The mink and his prey. 72
Birds in Oregon—‌‌Lark—‌‌Quail—‌‌Grouse—‌‌Ruffed grouse—‌‌Wild-geese—‌‌ Manœuvres in the air—‌‌Wild-ducks—‌‌Mallard—‌‌Teal—‌‌Pintail—‌‌ Wheat-duck—‌‌Black-duck—‌‌Wood-duck—‌‌Snipe—‌‌Flight-shooting—‌‌ Stewart's Slough—‌‌Bitterns—‌‌Eagles—‌‌Hawks—‌‌Horned owls—‌‌Woodpeckers —‌‌Blue-jays—‌‌Canaries—‌‌The canary that had seen the world—‌‌Blue-birds —‌‌Bullfinches—‌‌Snow-bunting—‌‌Humming-birds at home. 91
Up to the Cascades—‌Farming by happy-go-lucky—‌The foot-hills—‌Sweet Home Valley—‌Its name, and how deserved and proved—‌The road by the Santiam—‌Eastward and upward—‌Timber—‌Lower Soda Springs—‌Different vegetation—‌Upper Soda Springs—‌Mr. Keith—‌Our reception—‌His home and surroundings—‌Emigrants on the road—‌The emigrant's dog—‌Off to the Spokane—‌Whence they came—‌Where they were bound—‌Still eastward—‌ Fish Lake—‌Clear Lake—‌Fly-fishing in still water—‌The down slope east—‌Lava-beds—‌Bunch-grass—‌The valleys in Eastern Oregon—‌Their products—‌Wheat-growing there—‌Cattle-ranchers—‌Their home—‌Their life—‌In the saddle and away—‌Branding-time—‌Hay for the winter—‌The Malheur reservation—‌The Indians' outbreak—‌The building of the road—‌When, how, and by whom built—‌The opening of the pass—‌The history of the road—‌Squatters—‌The special agent from Washington—‌A sham survey. 100
Indian fair at Brownsville—‌Ponies—‌The lasso—‌Breaking-in—‌The purchase—‌"Bucking" extraordinary—‌Sheep-farming in Eastern Oregon—‌ Merinos—‌The sheep-herder—‌Muttons for company—‌A good offer refused—‌Exports of wool from Oregon-Price and value of Oregon wool—‌Grading wool—‌Price of sheep—‌Their food—‌Coyotes—‌The wolf-hunt—‌Shearing—‌Increase of flocks—‌"Corraling" the sheep—‌ Sheep as brush-clearers. 118
The trail to the Siletz Reserve—‌Rock Creek—‌Isolation—‌Getting a road—‌The surveying-party—‌Entrance at last—‌Road-making—‌Hut-building in the wilds—‌What will he do with it?—‌Choice of homestead—‌Fencing wild land—‌Its method and cost—‌Splitting cedar boards and shingles—‌ House-building—‌The China boy and the mules—‌Picnicking in earnest—‌Log-burning—‌Berrying-parties—‌Salting cattle—‌An active cow—‌A year's work—‌Mesquit-grass on the hills. 127
The Indians at home—‌The reservation—‌The Upper Farm—‌Log-cabins—‌ Women must work while men will play—‌The agency—‌The boarding-house —‌Sunday on the reservation—‌Indian Sun day-school—‌Galeese Creek Jem—‌The store-Indian farmers—‌As to the settlement of the Indians —‌Suggestions—‌A crime—‌Its origin—‌Its history—‌The criminals—‌ What became of them—‌Indian teamsters—‌Numbers on the reservation —‌The powers and duties of the agent—‌Special application. 136
The Legislative Assembly—‌The Governor—‌His duties—‌Payment of the members—‌Aspect of the city; the Legislature in session—‌The lobbyist—‌How bills pass—‌How bills do not pass—‌Questions of the day—‌Common carriers—‌Woman's suffrage—‌Some of the acts of 1878—‌Judicial system of the State—‌Taxes—‌Assessments—‌County officers—‌The justice of the peace—‌Quick work. 145
Land laws—‌Homesteads and preëmption—‌How to choose and obtain Government land—‌University land—‌School land—‌Swamp land—‌Railroad and wagon-road grants—‌Lieu lands—‌Acreages owned by the various companies. 157
The "Web-foot State"—‌Average rainfall in various parts—‌The rainy days in 1879 and 1880—‌Temperature—‌Seasons—‌Accounts and figures from three points—‌Afternoon sea-breezes—‌A "cold snap"—‌Winter—‌ Floods—‌Damage to the river-side country—‌Rare thunder—‌Rarer wind-storms—‌The storm of January, 1880. 164
The State Fair of 1880—‌Salem—‌The ladies' pavilion—‌Knock-em-downs à l'Américaine—‌Self-binders—‌Thrashing-machines—‌Rates of speed—‌Cost—‌Workmanship—‌Prize sheep—‌Fleeces—‌Pure versus graded sheep—‌California short-horns—‌Horses—‌American breed or Percheron—‌Comparative measurements—‌The races—‌Runners—‌Trotters—‌ Cricket in public—‌Unruly spectators. 174
History of Oregon—‌First discoverers—‌Changes of government—‌ Recognition as a Territory—‌Entrance as a State—‌Individual histories—‌"Jottings"—‌"Sitting around"—‌A pioneer in Benton County—‌How to serve Indian thieves—‌The white squaw and the chief—‌Immigration in company—‌Rafting on the Columbia—‌The first winter—‌Early settlement—‌Indian friends—‌Indian houses and customs—‌The Presbyterian colony—‌The start—‌Across the plains—‌ Arrival in Oregon—‌The "whaler" settler—‌A rough journey—‌"Ho for the Umpqua!"—‌A backwoodsman—‌Compliments—‌School-teacher provided for—‌Uncle Lazarus—‌Rogue River Cañon—‌Valley of Death—‌Pleasant homes—‌Changed circumstances. 183
State and county elections—‌The Chinese question—‌Chinese house-servants—‌Washermen—‌Laborers—‌A large camp—‌Supper—‌Chinese trading—‌The scissors—‌Cost of Chinese labor—‌Its results—‌Chinese treaties—‌Household servants—‌Chee and his mistress—‌"Heap debble-y in there"—‌The photo album—‌Temptation—‌A sin and its reward—‌Good advice on whipping—‌Chung and the crockery—‌Chinese New Year—‌Gifts—‌ "Hoodlums"—‌Town police—‌Opium. 201
Life in the town—‌Sociables—‌Religious sects—‌Sabbath-schools—‌ Christmas festivities—‌Education, how far compulsory—‌Colleges—‌ Student-life and education—‌Common schools—‌Teachers' institutes—‌ Newspapers—‌Patent outsides-"The Oregonian"—‌Other journals—‌Charities —‌Paupers—‌Secret societies. 209
Industries other than farming—‌Iron-ores—‌Coal—‌Coos Bay mines—‌ Seattle mines—‌Other deposits—‌Lead and copper—‌Limestone—‌Marbles—‌ Gold, where found and worked—‌Silver, where found and worked—‌Gold in sea-sand—‌Timber—‌Its area and distribution—‌Spars—‌Lumber—‌Size of trees—‌Hard woods—‌Cost of production and sale of lumber—‌Tanneries —‌Woolen-mills—‌Flax-works—‌Invitation to Irish—‌Salmon—‌Statistics of the trade—‌Methods—‌Varieties of salmon—‌When and where caught—‌ Salmon-poisoning of dogs—‌Indians fishing—‌Traps—‌Salmon-smoking. 219
Eastern Oregon—‌Going "east of the mountains"—‌Its attractions—‌ Encroaching sheep—‌First experiments in agriculture and planting—‌ General description of Eastern Oregon—‌Boundaries—‌Alkaline plains—‌ Their productions—‌The valleys—‌Powder River Valley—‌Description—‌ The Snake River and its tributaries—‌The Malheur Valley—‌Harney Lake Valley—‌Its size—‌Productions—‌Wild grasses—‌Hay-making—‌The winters in Eastern Oregon—‌Wagon-roads—‌Prineville—‌Silver Creek—‌Grindstone Creek Valley—‌Crooked River—‌Settlers' descriptions and experiences—‌ Ascent of the Cascades going west—‌Eastern Oregon towns—‌Baker City—‌Prineville—‌Warnings to settlers—‌Growing wheat for the railroads to carry. 231
Southern Oregon—‌Its boundaries—‌The western counties—‌Population—‌ Ports—‌Rogue River—‌Coos Bay—‌Coal—‌Lumber—‌Practicable railroad routes—‌The harbor—‌Shifting and blowing sands—‌A quoted description —‌Cost of transportation—‌Harbor improvements—‌Their progress and results—‌The Umpqua—‌Douglas County—‌Jackson County—‌The lake-country —‌Linkville—‌Water-powers—‌Indian reservations—‌The great mountains—‌ Southeastern Oregon—‌General description—‌Industries. 243
The towns—‌Approach to Oregon—‌The steamers—‌The Columbia entrance—‌ Astoria—‌Its situation, industries, development—‌Salmon—‌Shipping—‌ Loading and discharging cargo—‌Up the Columbia and Willamette to Portland—‌Portland, West and East—‌Population—‌Public buildings—‌ United States District Court—‌The judge—‌Public Library—‌The Bishop schools—‌Hospital—‌Churches—‌Stores—‌Chinese quarter—‌Banks—‌Industries —‌The city's prosperity—‌Its causes—‌Its probable future—‌The Oregon Railway and Navigation Company—‌Shipping abuses and exactions—‌ Railroad termini—‌Up the Columbia—‌The Dalles—‌Up the Willamette—‌ Oregon City, its history—‌The falls—‌Salem—‌Its position and development—‌Capitol buildings—‌Flour-mills—‌Oil-mills—‌Buena Vista potteries—‌Albany—‌Its water-power—‌Flour-mills—‌Values of land—‌ Corvallis—‌The line of the Oregon Pacific Railroad—‌Eugene, its university and professors—‌Roseburg—‌The West-side Railroad to Portland—‌Development of the country—‌Prosperity—‌Counties of Oregon —‌Their population—‌Taxable property—‌Average possessions—‌In the Willamette Valley—‌In Eastern Oregon—‌In Eastern Oregon tributary to Columbia and Snake Rivers. 252
The transportation question—‌Its importance—‌Present legal position —‌Oregon Railway and Navigation Committee's general report—‌That company—‌Its ocean-going steamers—‌Their traffic and earnings—‌Its river-boats—‌Their traffic and earnings—‌Its railroads in existence —‌Their traffic and earnings—‌Its new railroads in construction and in prospect—‌Their probable influence—‌The Northern Pacific—‌ Terminus on Puget Sound—‌Its prospects—‌The East and West Side Railroads—‌"Bearing" traffic and earnings—‌How to get "control"—‌ Lands owned by the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company—‌Monopoly —‌How threatened—‌The narrow-gauge railroads—‌Their terminus and working—‌Efforts to consolidate monopoly—‌The "blind pool"—‌Resistance —‌The Oregon Pacific—‌Its causes, possessions, and prospects—‌Land grant and its enemies—‌The traffic of the valley—‌Yaquina Bay—‌Its improvement—‌The farmers take it in hand—‌Contrast and comparisons —‌The two presidents—‌Probable effects of competition—‌Tactics in opposition—‌The Yaquina improvements—‌Description of works—‌The prospects for competition and the farmers' gains. 271
Emigration to Oregon—‌Who should not come—‌Free advice and no fees—‌English emigrants—‌Farmers—‌Haste to be rich—‌Quoted experiences—‌Cost and ways of coming—‌Sea-routes—‌Railroads—‌ Baggage—‌What not to bring—‌What not to forget—‌Heavy property—‌ The Custom-house—‌San Francisco hotels—‌Conclusion. 293
Appendix. 305




Personal reasons for coming to Oregon—‌Plans of colonizing—‌Who came—‌Who have returned—‌Who remain—‌Bowie-knives and revolvers—‌A sheriff in danger—‌No tragedy—‌Our landing at Corvallis—‌Frail houses—‌Pleasant welcome—‌The barber's shop—‌Its customers—‌Given names—‌New acquaintances—‌Bright dresses—‌Religious denominations.

After visiting Oregon in the year 1877, and traveling with three or four companions through its length and breadth, I ventured to publish in England on my return a short account of our seeings and doings.

While the reception of this book by the reviews generally was only too kind and flattering, one paper, the "Athenæum," distinguished me by a long notice, the whole point of which lay in the observation that it would be interesting to know if I, who had been recommending Oregon to others, were prepared to take my own prescription, and emigrate there myself.

Now, although it would not perhaps be fair to make all physicians swallow their own medicines, regardless whether or not they were sick, and although I certainly was not in any position rendering emigration necessary, or in the opinion of any of my friends and acquaintances even desirable, yet I did not like it to be possible to be accused rightly of recommending a course so serious as a change of dwelling-place and even of nationality, without being willing to prove by my own acts the genuineness of the advice I had given.

And this, among other motives and inducements, had a strong influence in overcoming the crowd of hesitations and difficulties which spring up when so great a change begins to be contemplated as possible.

And it is no more than natural that now, having had two years' experience in Oregon, I should desire to have it known if it be necessary to recall the general advice given in the former book, advocating, as undoubtedly I then did advocate, Oregon as a desirable residence.

But, as this involves my putting into some kind of literary shape our experiences for the past two years in this far Western land, it is better to begin by some general relation of our plans.

When I undertook to come out with my wife and children and see to the settlement and disposal of the tract of land we had purchased, as one result of my visit in 1877, I was applied to by a good many fathers to take some superintendence of their sons, who desired to emigrate to Oregon. Next, one or two married couples expressed a wish to join us. Then several acquaintances, who were practical mechanics, had heard a good report of Oregon, and desired to accompany us. And I was busy in answering letters about the place and people to the very moment of sailing.

I was not at all willing to have the company indefinitely numerous, not having graduated in Mr. Cook's school for tourists, and knowing something of the embarrassments likely to attend a crowd of travelers. We found our party of twenty-six fully large enough for comfort. We were kindly and liberally treated by the Allan Steamship Company, the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada, and the Chicago and Northwestern Railway; but our lines did not fall to us in pleasant places when we experienced the tender mercies of the Union and Central Pacific. Our party was broken up into different cars, and our strongest portmanteaus were shattered by the most atrocious handling.

PLANS OF COLONIZING. It was a serious question if we should try to found an English colony here, in the usual sense of the word. That would have involved a separate life from the American residents; it would have fostered jealousy here, and we should have committed numberless mistakes and absurdities. We should have had to buy all our experience, amid the covert ridicule of our neighbors. And I was confident that many members of our party would have played at emigrating, and treated the whole business as picnicking on a large scale. Moreover, I was not sure that, even if we succeeded in transplanting English manners, customs, and institutions, they would take hold in this new soil. The fact was always before my eyes that the country was only thirty years old, in a civilized sense, and I doubted the wisdom of trying to transport thither a little piece of the old country.

I believed the wiser course to be to plant ourselves quietly among the Oregonians with as little parade and fuss as possible, and to let our own experience dictate to others whether to join us or not.

It has been our practice throughout to answer freely, and as fully as possible, the many letters of inquiry as to place and people that we have had, but to offer no advice; leaving those who were thinking of coming out to take the responsibility on themselves of deciding to come or to stay away.

Under this system our numbers have grown to upward of a hundred, and now rarely a month passes without additions. Of course, a process of natural selection goes on all the time. Not every one who comes remains; but we have every reason to be satisfied with the representatives of the mother-country who are making Oregon their permanent home, and the same feeling is shared, as I am confident, by the original residents.

Shall I try to describe what sort of people we live among here, a hundred miles from Portland, the chief city in the State?

A town, surrounding countryside, and two people on horseback riding outside of the town.

Corvallis, 1880.

What the notions of some of our party were you will understand when I mention that all I could say could not prevent the young men of the party from arming themselves, as for a campaign in the hostile Indian country, so that each man stepped ashore from the boat that brought us up the Willamette with a revolver in each pocket, and the hugest and most uncompromising knives that either London, New York, or San Francisco could furnish.

OUR LANDING AT CORVALLIS. As ill luck would have it, just as we arrived, the sheriff had returned to town with an escaped prisoner, and had been set upon by the brother, and a pistol had been actually presented at him. I should say in a whisper that the sheriff, worthy man, had proposed to return the assault in kind, but had failed to get his six-shooter out in time from the depths of a capacious pocket, where the deadly weapon lay in harmless neighborhood, with a long piece of string, a handful or so of seed-wheat, a large chunk of tobacco, a leather strap and buckle, and a big red pocket-handkerchief. So I fancy he had not much idea of shooting when he started out.

But the incident was enough to give a blood-color to all our first letters home, and I dare say caused a good many shiverings and shudders at the thought of the wild men of the woods we had come to neighbor with.

The worst of it was, that it was the only approach to a tragedy, and that we have had no adventures worth speaking of. "Story, God bless you! I have none to tell, sir." Still we did know ourselves to be in a new world when we stepped ashore from the large, white-painted, three-storied structure on the water that they called a stern-wheel river-boat, and in which we had spent two days coming up the great river from Portland. It was the 17th of May, just a month from leaving Liverpool, that we landed. The white houses of the little city of Corvallis were nestled cozily in the bright spring green of the alders and willows and oaks that fringed the river, and the morning sun flashed on the metal cupola of the court-house, and lighted up the deep-blue clear-cut mountains that rose on the right of us but a few miles off.

When we got into the main street the long, low, broken line of booth-like, wooden, one-storied stores and houses, all looking as if one strong man could push them down, and one strong team carry them off, grated a little, I could see, on the feelings of some of the party. The redeeming feature was the trees, lining the street at long intervals, darkening the houses a little, but clothing the town, and giving it an air of age and respectability that was lacking in many of the bare rows of shanties, dignified with the title of town, that we had passed in coming here across the continent.

The New England Hotel invited us in. A pretty plane-tree in front overshadowed the door; and a bright, cheery hostess stood in the doorway to welcome us, shaking hands, and greeting our large party of twenty-six in a fashion of freedom to which we had not been used, but which sounded pleasantly in our travel-worn ears. The house was tumble-down and shabby, and needed the new coat of paint it received soon after—but in the corner of the sitting-room stood a good parlor-organ. The dining-room adjoining had red cloths on the tables, and gave a full view into the kitchen; but the "beefsteak, mutton-chop, pork-chop, and hash" were good and well cooked, and contrasted with, rather than reminded us of, the fare described by Charles Dickens as offered him in the Eastern States when he visited America thirty-nine years ago.

The bedrooms, opening all on to the long passage upstairs, with meager furniture and patchwork quilts, the whole wooden house shaking as we trotted from room to room, were not so interesting, and tempted no long delay in bed after the early breakfast-gong had been sounded soon after six. Breakfast at half-past six, dinner at noon, and supper at half-past five, only set the clock of our lives a couple of hours faster than we had been used to; and bed at nine was soon no novelty to us.

The street in front was a wide sea of slushy mud when we arrived, with an occasional planked crossing, needing a sober head and a good conscience to navigate safely after dark; for, when evening had closed in, the only street-lighting came from the open doors, and through the filled and dressed windows of the stores.

THE BARBER'S SHOP.Saloons were forbidden by solemn agreement to all of us, but the barber's shop was the very pleasant substitute. Two or three big easy-chairs in a row, with a stool in front of each. Generally filled they were by the grave and reverend seigniors of the city—each man reposing calmly, draped in white, while he enjoyed the luxury, under the skillful hands of the barber or his man, of a clean shave. At the far end of the shop stood the round iron stove, with a circle of wooden chairs and an old sofa. And here we enjoyed the parliament of free talk. The circle was a frequently changing one, but the types were constant.

The door opened and in came a man from the country: such a hat on his head! a brim wide enough for an umbrella, the color a dirty white; a scarlet, collarless flannel shirt, the only bit of positive color about him; a coat and trousers of well-worn brown, canvas overall (or, as sometimes spelled, "overhaul"), the trousers tucked into knee-high boots, worn six months and never blacked. His hands were always in his pockets, except when used to feed his mouth with the constant "chaw."—"Hello, Tom," he says slowly, as he makes his way to the back, by the stove. "Hello, Jerry," is the instant response. "How's your health?" "Well; and how do you make it?" "So-so." "Any news out with you?" "Wall, no; things pretty quiet." And he finds a seat and sinks into it as if he intended growing there till next harvest.

We all know each other by our "given" names. I asked one of our politicians how he prepared himself for a canvass in a county where I knew he was a stranger this last summer. "Well, I just learned up all the boys' given names, so I could call them when I met them," was the answer. "I guess knowing 'em was as good as a hundred votes to me in the end." It was a little startling at first to see a rough Oregonian ride up to our house, dismount, hitch his horse to the paling, and stroll casually in, with "Where's Herbert?" as his first and only greeting. But we soon got used to it.

But the barber's shop was, and is, useful to us, as well as amusing. The values and productiveness of farms for sale, the worth and characters of horses, the prices of cattle, the best and most likely and accessible places for fishing, and deer-shooting, and duck-hunting—all such matters, and a hundred other things useful for us to know, we picked up here, or "sitting around" the stoves in one or other of the stores in the town.

Another good gained was, that thus our new neighbors and we got acquainted: they found we were not all the "lords" they set us down for at first, with the exclusiveness and pride they attributed to that maligned race in advance; while we on our side found a vast amount of self-respect, of native and acquired shrewdness, of legitimate pride in country, State, and county, and a fund of kindly wishes to see us prosper, among our roughly dressed but really courteous neighbors.

There was a good deal of feminine curiosity displayed on either side, by the natives and the new-comers. When we went to church the first Sunday after our arrival, there were a good many curious worshipers, more intent on the hats and bonnets of the strangers than on the service in which we united. We heard afterward how disappointed they were that the stranger ladies were so quietly and cheaply dressed. We could not say the same when callers came, which they speedily did after we were settled in our new home—such tight kid gloves, and bright bonnets, and silk mantles! It was a constant wonder to our women-folk how their friends managed to show as such gay butterflies, two thousand miles on the western side of everywhere.

RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS.We found here, in a little town of eleven hundred inhabitants, all kinds of religious denominations represented—Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Methodists North, and Methodists South, Evangelicals, and Baptists—but very little rivalry and no rancor. I shall have something more to say about the religious life later on, but I think I will reserve the description of our home, and of those of some of our neighbors, for a fresh chapter.



Where we live—‌Snow-peaks and distant prospects—‌Forest-fires—‌The Coast Mountains and Mary's Peak—‌Sunset in Oregon—‌Farmhouses: the log-cabin, the box-house, the frame-house—‌Dinner at the farm—‌Slay and eat—‌A rash chicken—‌Bread-making by amateurs—‌Thrift and unthrift—‌Butter and cheese—‌Products of the "range," farm, and garden—‌Wheat-growing.

You might look the world over for a prettier spot than that on which this house stands. Just a mile from Corvallis, on a gently rounded knoll, we look eastward across the town, and the river, and the broad valley beyond, to the Cascade Mountains.

Their lowest range is about thirty miles off, and the rich flat valley between is hidden by the thick line of timber, generally fir, that fringes the farther side of the Willamette. Against the dark line of timber the spires of the churches and the cupola of the court-house stand out clear, and the gray and red shingled roofs of the houses in the town catch early rays of the rising sun.

The first to be lighted up are the great snow-peaks, ninety, seventy, and fifty miles off—a ghostly, pearly gray in the dim morning, while the lower ranges lie in shadow; but, as the sun rises in the heavens, these same lower ranges grow distinct in their broken outlines. The air is so clear that you see plainly the colors of the bare red rocks, and the heavy dark, fir-timber clothing their rugged sides. Ere the sun mounts high the valley often lies covered with a low-lying thin white mist, beyond and over which the mountains stand out clear.

For some weeks in the late summer heavy smoke-clouds from the many forest and clearing fires obscure all distant view. This last summer fires burned for at least fifty miles in length at close intervals of distance, and the dark gray pall overlay the mountains throughout. Behind the house, and in easy view from the windows on either side, are the Coast Mountains, or rather hills.

Mary's Peak rises over four thousand feet, and is snow-crowned for nine months in the year. The outlines of this range are far more gently rounded than the Cascades, and timber-covered to the top. Save for the solid line of the heavy timber, the outlines of the Coast Range constantly remind us of our own Dartmoor; and the illusion is strengthened by the dark-red soil where the plow has invaded the hills, yearly stealing nearer to their crowns. Mary's Peak itself is bare at the top for about a thousand acres, but the firs clothe its sides, and the air is so clear that, in spite of the seventeen miles' distance, their serrated shapes are plainly and individually visible as the sun sinks to rest behind the mountain.

SUNSET IN OREGON.Such sunsets as we have! Last night I was a mile or two on the other side of the river as night fell. Mount Hood was the first to blush, and then Mount Jefferson and the Three Sisters in turn grew rosy red. From the valley I could not see the lower Cascades, but these snowy pyramids towered high into the sky. One little fleecy cloud here and there overhead caught the tinge, but the whole air on the eastern side was luminously pink. Turning westward, the pale-blue sky faded through the rainbow-green into the rich orange surrounding the departing sun; and the westward mountains stood solidly and clearly blue in massive lines.

One great peculiarity of the Oregon landscape, as distinguished from an English rather than a New England scene, is in the number of white farmhouses that catch the eye. We see many from our windows. I suppose it is that the roads are so bad in winter that the farmers must live on the farms, instead of in the English-village fashion. So it is that you may travel by railroad up and down this valley for two hundred miles between farmhouses every quarter or half mile all the way. Nearly every farmhouse has its orchard close by; but one big barn is all the out-buildings they boast, and farm-yard, in the English sense, one never sees.

Our own house is not a fair specimen, because of our large family and its corresponding habitation; but the regular farmhouse is by no means an uncomfortable abode.

There are three kinds: log-cabin, box-house, frame-house.

FARMHOUSES.The first, by far the most picturesque type, is fast becoming obsolete, and on most of the good farms, if not pulled down, is degraded into woodhouse or piggery. But to my eye there is something rarely comfortable in the low, solid, rugged walls of gray logs, with overhanging shingled roof; the open hearth, too, with its great smoldering back-log and wide chimney, invites you to sit down before it and rest. By the side of the fireplace, from two deers' horns fastened to the wall, hangs the owner's rifle—generally an old brown veteran—with bullet-pouch and powder-horn. Over the high mantel-shelf stands the ticking clock, suggesting "Sam Slick, the clock-maker." Curtained off from the main room, with its earthen or roughly-boarded floor, are the low bedsteads of the family, each covered with its patchwork quilt. A corner cupboard or two hold the family stock of cups and plates, and the smell of apples, from the adjoining apple-chamber, pervades the house.

Round the house is the home-field, generally the orchard, sown with timothy-grass, where range four or five young calves, and a sow or two, with their hungry, rooting youngsters. The barn, log-built also, stands near by, with two or three colts, or yearling cattle, grouped around. The spring of cold, clear water runs freely through the orchard, but ten yards from the house-door, hastening to the "creek," whose murmur is never absent, save in the few driest weeks of summertime.

Snake-fences, seven logs high, with top-rail and crossed binders to keep all steady, divide the farm from the road, and a litter of chips from the axe-hewed pile of firewood strew the ground between wood-pile and house. Here and there, even in the home-field, and nearly always in the more distant land, a big black stump disfigures the surface, and betrays the poverty or possibly the carelessness of the owner, who has carved his homestead from the brush.

But as the farmer prospers, be it ever so little, he hastens to pull down his log-cabin and to build his "box" or more expensive "frame" house. In each case the material is "lumber." By this is signified, be it known to the uninitiated, fir boards, one foot wide, sixteen feet long, and one inch thick.

The "box" house is built of boards set upright, and the cracks covered with strips of similar board, three inches wide.

The "frame" house is double throughout, the boards run lengthwise, and there is a covering outside of an outer skin of planking.

With the box or frame house comes the inevitable stove. The cooking and eating of the family go on in a lean-to room, and the living-room is furnished with some pretensions, always with a sewing-machine, and often with a parlor-organ or piano. Muslin curtains drape the windows; a bureau is generally present, and chromos, or very rough engravings, hang on the walls. The political tendencies of the owner betray themselves. General Grant, with tight-buttoned coat and close-cut beard, or President Lincoln and his family, show the Republican. Strangely enough, General Lee, with a genial smile on his attractive face, is affected by the Democrats. The followers of the greenback heresy delight in Brick Pomeroy, with clean-shaven, smug, and satisfied look.

DINNER AT THE FARM.It is not the fashion to carry provisions with you on journeys in Oregon. When meal-time draws near, and hotels are many miles away, you ride boldly up to the nearest farm, dismount, throw your horse's rein over the paling, and walk in. The lady of the house appears, from the cooking department at the rear, and you say: "Good-morning, madam; can I get dinner with you?" Unless there is grave reason to the contrary, she considers a moment, and then answers, "I guess so," with a hospitable smile. The next question is as to your horse, which one of the children leads into the barn, and then fills out a goodly measure of oats, and crams the rack with hay from the pile filling the middle of the barn. While your hostess adds a little to the family meal, you turn over the newspapers in the sitting-room, generally finding a "Detroit Free Press," or a "Toledo Blade," or a New York "World" or "Tribune," or a San Francisco "Bulletin" or "Chronicle," besides the local weekly. If you want books, you must take to the "Pacific Coast Reader," the last school-book, which you are sure to find on the shelf; unless you chance on a "Universal History," or the "History of the Civil War," or the "Life of General Jackson," or the "Life of General Custer," or a collection of poetry in an expensive binding, all of which signify that the book-peddler has been paying a recent visit.

Then your hostess returns, saying, "Will you come and eat?" If you go into the back room—where, generally, the master of the house and you, the visitor, and perhaps a grown-up son, or a farming hand, sit down and dine, while the mistress and her daughter serve—you will not starve.

In front of you is a smoking dish of meat, either pork or mutton, salted, cut into square bits and fried; rarely beef, more often venison, or deer-meat, as it is called here. By it is piled up a dish of mashed potatoes, and a tureen of white, thick sauce. A glass dish of stewed apples, or apple-sauce, and one of preserved pears or peaches, and a smaller dish of blackberry or plum jam, complete the meal, with the constant coffee, and generally a big jug of milk. The bread is brought you in sets of hot, square rolls, fresh from the stove. It is not always that you can get cold bread, and a look of surprise always follows the request for it.

Generally, a good supply of white beans, boiled soft, and with a slice or two of bacon, is an important item. Apples, and the best of them, too, you can have for the asking—too common to be offered to you.

This régime applies to breakfast, dinner, and supper, with but slight variations. I forgot, though, the saucer of green, sharp, vinegary gherkins, which the Oregonians seem not to know how to do without, and also the honey, and trout, which are the frequent and welcome additions to the meal among the hills.

My wife and I dropped in once to a dinner of this kind. We were sitting, cooling ourselves on the veranda, watching some pretty, black Spanish chickens scratching among the scanty rose-bushes in front. The farmer's wife came quickly out and addressed me: "Have you got your revolver?" I stared for a moment, thinking of tramps, and bears, and I know not what. "I never carry one on horseback," I answered. "Oh," said she, "I would have had you shoot the head off one of them chickens, for I've got no fresh meat." Inwardly I congratulated ourselves that our dinner did not altogether depend on my skill with that common, but, to my mind, very unsatisfactory weapon.

One of my friends bought out an Oregonian farmer, and paid him for stock and lot, including some fine fowls. Dropping in to dinner two days afterward, he found a smoking chicken on the board. I suppose he eyed it askance, for the farmer observed: "That's one of your chickens I killed by accident. I saw some wild-geese feeding on the wheat, and fetched the rifle, and that there foolish rooster got right in the way of the bullet."

BREAD-MAKING BY AMATEURS.If any friends of yours think of coming out, send them to the school of cookery, I implore you. It is the greatest possible quandary to be in, to be set down with flour, water, and a tin of saleratus or baking-powder, and to have to make the bread or go without. Then, to convert chickens running about your house into food for man is not so easy as it looks; nor is cooking beans or potatoes a matter of pure instinct, I assure you. Shall I ever forget riding up at nearly three in the afternoon, to one of our Englishmen's farms, to find the proprietor standing, coat off and sleeves turned up, before a huge, round tin of white slush? When he saw me come in, he lifted out his hands and rubbed off the white dripping mess, saying: "I'll be hanged if I'll try any longer; since eleven o'clock have I been after this beastly bread! Can you make it? Is this stuff too thin or too thick, or what?" It is true that he makes fine bread now; but if you could but know the stages of slackness, heaviness, soddenness, flintiness, that he and his friends passed through, you would see that I was giving a useful hint, and one that applies to the feminine emigrant quite as much as to the masculine. Another thing strikes us out here, namely, the waste that pervades an average Oregon farmer's household. Does he kill a deer? He leaves the fore half of the creature, and all the internals, in the wood where he killed it, taking home only the hind-quarters and the hide. If he kills a hog, the head is thrown out, to be rolled round and gnawed at by the dogs; the same with a sheep or a calf.

Half of them will not even take the trouble to have butter, letting the calves get all the milk, but just a little for the meals. You rarely see eggs on the table, though there may be scores of hens about.

You will hardly believe that large quantities of butter and cheese are imported into this valley, both from California and from Washington Territory, and cheese even from the East, though there can not be a finer dairy country than this, if they would but look a little ahead and provide some green food for the cows for the interval between the hay-crop off the timothy-grass and the fresh growth of the same from the autumn rains.

It is still more inexcusable among the hills, where the grass keeps green all the year round. The exclusive devotion to wheat is what will very shortly and most surely impoverish the country; and therefore it is that, in the interests of Oregon, I am so anxious that many farmers should come here who are familiar with mixed farming, and will apply it to our deep, rich, stoneless soil, and will thus avert the inevitable consequences of wheat, wheat, wheat, continuously for fifteen, twenty, ay, and thirty years.

It is not that other crops and other pursuits do not answer here. Sheep, cattle, and horses thrive and multiply. Oregon valley wool ranks among the very best. The Angora goat takes to Western Oregon as if it were his native home, and produces yearly from three to four pounds of hair, worth from sixty to eighty cents a pound. Beans, peas, carrots, parsnips grow as I have never seen them elsewhere. Swedish turnips have succeeded well in this valley, and nearer the coast the white turnips I have seen nearly as big as your head, and good all through. I saw a large heap of potatoes the other day that averaged six inches long, and perfectly clean and free from all taint. Carrots we grew ourselves that weighed from one and a half to two pounds all round. Barley thrives splendidly, with a full, round, clear-skinned berry. Oats I need hardly mention, as the export of this cereal is very large, and the quality is undeniable.

The common red clover grows in a half-acre patch in my neighbor's field waist-high, and he cut it three times last year. We have the humble-bee (or, at any rate, a big fellow just like the English humble-bee—for I never handled one to examine it closely) to fertilize the clover. The white Dutch clover spreads wherever it gets a chance.

WHEAT-GROWING.But the temptation to grow wheat is very strong. It is the staple product of the State, and hardly ever fails in quality. The farmers understand it; their system of life is organized with a view to it. A thousand bushels of wheat in the warehouse is as good as money in the bank, and is in reality a substitute for it. There is a clear understanding of what it costs to plant, harvest, and warehouse, and it involves the lowest amount of trouble and anxiety.

Therefore, Oregon grows wheat, and will grow it; and men will grow nothing else until the consequences are brought home to them.



The land-office; its object and functionaries—‌How to find your land—‌Section 33—‌The great conflagration—‌The survivors of the fire—‌The burnt timber and the brush—‌The clearing-party—‌Chopping by beginners—‌Cooking, amateur and professional—‌The wild-cat—‌Deer and hunting—‌Piling brush—‌Dear and cheap clearing—‌The skillful axeman—‌Clearing by Chinamen—‌Dragging out stumps—‌What profits the farmer may expect on a valley farm—‌On a foot-hills farm.

By the time we had been here about a month and had settled down a little, we set about clearing a tract of wild land called section 33, situated nearly twenty miles away. You will ask, What does section 33 mean? Oregon is divided into several districts. For the Willamette Valley the land-office is at Oregon City, one of the most ancient towns in the State, having a history of forty years, dating from the rule of the Hudson's Bay Company. The chief officer is called the "register." He is supplied with maps of the surveys from the central office at Washington. Each map is of one township, consisting of a square block of thirty-six sections of a square mile or six hundred and forty acres each. Each township is numbered with reference to a baseline and a meridian, fixed by the original survey of the State, thus giving a position of latitude and longitude. From the land-office duplicates of the maps for each county are furnished to the county-seat and are deposited in the county clerk's office for general inspection. Each year a certain sum is set aside for new surveys, and contracts are given by the Surveyor-General of the State to local surveyors for the work.

The corners of each square-mile section are denoted by posts or large stones, and the neighboring trees are blazed or marked so as to direct attention to the corner post or stone.

Thus for years after the surveying-party have passed through wild land, there is but little difficulty in finding the corner-posts, and thence by compass ascertaining the boundary-lines of any section or fraction of a section in question. Surveys being officially made, boundary disputes are avoided, or easily solved and set at rest by reference to the county surveyor, who for a few dollars' fee comes out and "runs the lines" afresh of any particular plot.

Section 33, then, is the section thus numbered in township 10, south of range 7, west of the Willamette meridian. It lay just on the edge of the burned woods country.

THE GREAT CONFLAGRATION.Although forest-fires in Oregon are still of yearly occurrence, since settlement by the white men the range of the devastation has been by degrees narrowed and confined. Formerly the Indians started fires every year to burn the withered grass in the valleys and on the hillsides, and thence fire spread into the woods and ravaged many miles of timber. The "great fire" is said to have occurred about forty years ago, when many Indians perished in the flames, and others had to take refuge in the streams and rivers, till the destroying element had passed them in its resistless fury.

Standing on the top of one of these Coast Mountains, the eye ranges for many miles over hill and dale, dotted everywhere with the huge black trunks, the relics of the great conflagration. Many standing yet, some towering high into the sky, testify of their former gracefulness by the symmetrical tapering of the tall trunk, and the regular positions of the broken limbs and branches. But Nature is busily at work repairing damages; each winter's rains penetrate more deeply into the fabric of the trunk; each winter's gales loosen yet more the roots in which the living sap was long ago destroyed; each spring the wind brings down additions to the graveyard of trees, rotting away into mold; while a few young successors to the former race of firs are showing themselves clothed in living green, and a dense growth of copse-wood, hazel, cherry, vine-maple, arrow-wood, and crab-apple is crowding the hollows of the cañons on the hill-sides.

The brake-fern covers the hills, attaining a growth of five, six, or eight feet, and sheltering an undergrowth of wild-pea and native grass. Section 33 lies between the burned timber and the living forest, but its chief value is in the valley of some three hundred acres of alluvial land forming its center, through which winds here and there the Mary River, at this distance from its mouth scarcely more than a clear and rapid brook.

Eight of us started on the clearing-party with two light wagons, and a good supply of food, blankets, and axes and saws. A squatter had settled on one corner and built himself a hut and a little barn, and had got four or five acres of land cleared and plowed. But he had abandoned his improvements and gone some ten miles off, to clear another homestead among the thick woods.

The first night we camped out in a grassy corner by the wood-side, while the horses were tethered near.

CHOPPING BY BEGINNERS.The next day we began. Two or three of us had some little knowledge of the virtue of an axe, but the rest were new to the art. It was amusing to watch their eager efforts to hit straight and firm. One or two of our Oregonian neighbors came and looked on with rather scoffing faces, but advised us how to lay the brush we cut in windrows, with a view to the future burning.

We cut young firs, up to a foot thick, cherry poles from fifteen to thirty feet high, vine-maple as thick as the cherry but only half as tall, and here and there a tough piece of crab-apple. The brush was so thick that what was cut could only fall one way, so that the patch each man had cut by dinner-time was ridiculously small. Of course, the whole valley was not brush-covered—very far from it; there were great open spaces of clear grass, with here and there a tuft of blue lupin and rose-bushes. The firs once cut off were done with, and the stump would rot out of the ground in a year or two. The cherry-brush was no bad enemy, either; the young shoots would sprout from the root next year, but sheep would bite them off and kill the cherry out in a couple of seasons. But by all accounts the vine-maple was as tough in life as in texture, and that it was tough in texture our poor arms testified when night came.

For a few days we tried to be our own cooks, one of the party in turn being detailed for the purpose; but much good victuals was spoiled. So I sent into town for a Chinaman cook. That too much Chinaman is bad, I am prepared to support my neighbors in believing; but enough Chinaman to have one at call whenever you think fit to send for him is a comfort indeed. So Jem, as he called himself, came out to us. He wore a smile all day long on his broad face; and he was caught reading earnestly in a poetry-book he must have found left out of one of our bags; so I conclude he was a learned Chinaman. But he had strange fancies for his own eating. He cooked a wild-cat that was shot, and we laughed; but he proceeded next to skin and eat a skunk that had fallen a victim to its curiosity to see how white men lived, and had trespassed inside the hut; and that was too much. We tasted, or thought we tasted, skunk in the bread for a day or two, so we sent Jem back.

Turn out at five, breakfast over by soon after six, work till noon; then from one till six; then supper, and camp-fire, and pipes and talk till nine, and then to bed. Such was our regular life, certainly a healthy and not an unpleasant one.

DEER AND HUNTING.We had an excitement one night. The hut stood at the corner of the clearing, with a couple of good-sized firs in front of the door. A wood-covered hill came close to it on the right and rear. We were going to bed, when there was a howl outside, followed by a chorus from our three hounds. Out rushed a couple of us into the starlight with rifles in hand. The dogs had sent whatever creature it was up into one of the fir-trees and bayed fiercely round. Nothing could be seen among the thick branches. One of the party, an enthusiast, though a novice in woodland sport, got right close to the tree-trunk and managed to make out a form against the sky some twenty feet above his head. At once he fired, and down came the creature almost on his head; fortunately for him, the hounds attacked it at once, and a royal fight and scrimmage went on in the dark. Presently the intruder fought its way through the dogs to the rail-fence, but mounting it showed for an instant against the sky, and a second rifle-shot brought it down. Dragged to the light, some called it a catamount, but others more correctly a wild-cat (Lynx fasciatus). A right handsome beast it was, with short tail, and tufted ears, and spotted skin. It was and remains the only one that has been seen. It was attracted, no doubt, by some mutton we had hung up in the fir to be out of the way of the dogs. Fortunate, indeed, was our friend to escape its claws and teeth, as it has the reputation of being the fiercest and hardest to kill of all the cats found in Oregon.

The woods in front of the hut across the valley were a sure find for deer, and we could kill one almost any day by planting a gun or two at points in the valley which the deer would make for, and then turning the hounds into the woods above. It is a poor kind of hunting at the best, this hiding behind a bush and watching, it may be for hours, for the deer. You hear the cry of the hound far away, gradually growing nearer, and presently the deer breaks cover, and either swims or runs and wades down the river toward your stand; occupied solely with the trailing hound, and ignorant of the ambushed danger in front, the shot is generally a sure and easy one at a few paces' distance, often within buck-shot range from an ordinary gun.

THE SKILLFUL AXEMAN.Before the summer had passed, enough brush had been cut to clear some fifty acres of the valley, and we left the cut stuff piled in long rows to dry till next summer, that the burning might be a complete one when we did put fire to it. The fires would need tending for a day or two, and feeding with the butt-ends of the long poles, to finish the work; grass-seed sown on the ashes with the first autumn rains would speedily make excellent pasture in that deep and fertile soil. The fencing of the cleared acreage, and the plowing up and sowing with oats and wheat of some eight or ten acres of land from which the roots and stumps had been carefully grubbed out, would complete a "ranch," according to the Oregon fashion, and section 33 would lose that name and assume that of its first owner. The transformation from wild land to tame would be complete, and my work in connection with it would be done. So much for one way, and that the simplest, of making a home in Oregon. Longer experience taught us cheaper methods. For the large clearing-party with its attendant expense and need of oversight may be substituted clearing by contract; when some one or two of the poorer and more industrious homesteaders will contract to cut and clear at so much the acre or the piece, boarding themselves, and taking their own time and methods of doing the work. Some of the Indians are masters of the axe, and will both make a clearing bargain and stick to it, provided you are careful to keep always a good percentage of their pay in hand till the work is finished: fail to do this, and some rainy day you will find no ringing of the axe amid the trees, and their rough camp will be deserted, its inhabitants gone for good. I like to watch a skillful axeman. Set him to one of the big black trunks, six feet through. Watch how he strolls round it, axe on shoulder, determining which way it shall fall. He fetches or cuts out a plank, six or eight inches wide, and four feet long, and you wonder what he will do with it. A few quick blows of his keen weapon, and a deep notch is cut into the tree four feet from the ground; the plank is driven into it, and he climbs lightly on it. Standing there, another notch is cut four feet still higher from the ground, and a second plank inserted. Then watch him. Standing there on the elastic plank, which seems to give more life and vigor to his blows, it springs to the swing of the axe and the chips fly fast. As you look, he seems to be inspired with eager hurry, and the chips fly in a constant shower. Soon a deep, wedge-like cut is seen eating its way into the heart of the trunk. In an hour or so he has finished on that side, and leaves it. Taking the opposite side of the tree, he is at it again, and a big wound speedily appears. Long before the heart is reached, a loud cracking and rending is heard. The axeman redoubles his efforts. The tree shakes and quivers through all its mass, and then the top moves, slowly at first, then faster, and down it comes, with a crash that wakes the echoes in the hills for miles and shakes the ground. Then send him into the thick brush, where the stems are so crowded that they have shot high up into the sky. Two cuts on one side, and one on the other, an inch or two from the earth, and he drops his axe, and leans all his weight against the stem. It cracks and snaps; he shakes it, and gently it sways, bending its elastic top till it touches the ground before the stem has left its hold on Mother Earth. Before it has had time to fall its neighbor is attacked, and a broad strip of sunlight is soon let into the wood. Hard work? Of course it is: a day's chopping will earn you sore wrists and aching arms, but a fine appetite and the soundest of sleep. Unless a new-comer has had experience in the art and practice of wood-cutting, he will find it too slow work to undertake with his own hands the clearing of wild land to make his homestead. Let him buy a place where some of the rough early work has been already done, and there are plenty to be had, and by all means let him by degrees, and as time serves, enlarge his clearing and extend his fields. Or, let him contract for the clearing at so much the acre. Some of the very best wheat-land in this valley is covered with oak-grubs which have sprung up within the last twenty years to a height of from ten to twenty feet. Chinamen are generally used to clear this land, being engaged at the rate of from eighty to ninety cents a day; that is, from three shillings fourpence to three shillings tenpence English. They want looking after closely to get full value from their work. They come in gangs of any size wanted, and have to be provided with a rough hut to sleep in; they furnish their own food and cooking. The oak-wood is not only cut, but the roots are grubbed out, and the land left ready for the plow. The wood is cut into four-feet lengths and stacked ready for carting away. It is worth almost anywhere in the valley not less than three dollars a cord; that is, a pile eight feet long, four feet wide, and four feet high. Thus the farmer who has a little capital and so can afford the first outlay, need not hesitate to clear this oak-grub land, as the value of the cord-wood and the first year's crop should more than defray the expense of the grubbing.

In England it is usual to bring into farming course gradually woodland that has been cleared, sowing oats first. Here, on the contrary, the farmer may expect a good wheat crop from his cleared woodland the first year.

Yet another method of clearing is very effective and economical, especially at a distance from the haunts of Chinamen. A strong wooden windlass is made and fitted with a long lever for one horse. The windlass is anchored down near the oak-grub or cherry-brush to be got rid of. A strong iron chain is caught round the bush and attached to the windlass. The horse marches round and round, and winds up the windlass-rope; the roots soon crack and tear. The farmer stands by, axe in hand, and one or two strokes sever the toughest roots, and the bush is torn up by main force, root and branch. One man and a horse can thus do the work of six men, and do it effectually too.

PROFITS ON A VALLEY FARM. Before we turn to other subjects let me give some idea of what a newly arrived farmer may expect to get, if he settles on a valley farm.

Suppose the farm to consist of 400 acres, of which 150 acres are plowed land, the remainder being rough pasture, and 30 acres brush. Of the 150 acres, 90 acres would be in wheat and 60 in oats and timothy-grass. The wheat-land would produce 26 bushels to the acre, or 2,340 bushels in all. The value may be taken to be 90 cents the bushel, on an average of years, or $2,106 in all. The farmer would have a flock of 250 sheep, the produce from which in wool and lambs would not be less than $300 a year. He would breed and sell two colts a year, yielding him certainly $125, probably half as much more. He would have ten tons of timothy-hay to sell, producing $75. He should fat not less than a dozen hogs, worth $10 each, or $120. We will say nothing of milk, butter, eggs, fruit, and garden produce; but, from the sources of profit we have enumerated, you will find the return to be $2,726.

The necessary expenses would be the wages of one hired hand, say $300 a year; harvesting, $150, and other expenses, such as repairs to implements, horse-shoeing, and wheat-bags for the grain, $276, leaving a net return of $2,000. Supposing that the cost of the farm was $25 an acre, or $10,000 in all, I think the return is a pretty good one on such a figure, even if another $1,000 or $1,500 has to be added for implements, farm-horses, and sheep, to start with.

The figures I have given are from the actual working of a thoroughly reliable man, but relate to a year slightly above the general average of profit. You will see a large possibility of improvement in bringing more of the unbroken land into cultivation, either in grain or in tame grasses, and better sheep and cattle feed. So much for a valley farm at present prices. Naturally, the figures will alter as time goes on, as I do not imagine that the present prices of land will continue stationary, in the face of new railroads, improved communications, and growing population.

Let us look at the opportunities of an emigrant with less capital and greater willingness to dispense with some of the valley advantages.

PROFITS ON A FOOT-HILLS FARM.His 400 acres would probably give him only 50 acres of farming, cleared land; but adjoining, or at any rate near by, he would find land belonging still to the Government, or untilled and unfenced, for his cattle to range over. He would have, say, 20 acres of wheat, giving him 500 bushels, and 30 acres of oats and timothy-hay, yielding 600 bushels of oats, of which 200 would be for sale, and the rest for use and seed, and 30 tons of hay. He would have, say, 40 cattle, of which 15 would come into market each year. The average value of these would be $18, or $270 in all. Add 20 hogs at $10, or $200 in all. He must also raise and sell three colts a year, giving him $150. Looking to smaller items of profit, the farmer's wife should have ten pounds of butter a week to sell, at any rate, through the summer months, which at 20 cents a pound would give her $2 a week for 25 weeks, or $50 in all. Eggs should yield also not less than $40 in the year. This all totals to $1,240, against an original outlay of $10 an acre, or $4,000 in all for the farm, and $1,500 for implements and stock.

If the farmer is a sportsman, he may add a good many deer in the course of the year to the family larder, and also pheasants and partridges and quail, from August to November. I use the local names, the ruffed grouse and the common grouse being in question.



A spring ride in Oregon—‌The start—‌The equipment—‌Horses and saddlery—‌Packs—‌The roadside—‌Bird fellow-travelers—‌Snakes—‌The nearest farm—‌Bees—‌The great pasture—‌The poisonous larkspur—‌ Market-gardening—‌The Cardwell Hill—‌The hill-top—‌The water-shed—‌Mary River—‌Crain's—‌The Yaquina Valley—‌Brush, grass, and fern—‌The young Englishmen's new home—‌A rustic bridge—‌"Chuck-holes"—‌The road supervisor—‌Trapp's—‌The mill-dam—‌Salmon-pass law—‌Minnows and crawfish—‌The Pacific at rest—‌Yaquina—‌Newport.

Some months ago I noticed an observation in the "Spectator," in a critique of a book of the Duke of Argyll's on Canadian homes, to the effect that what was wanted was such a description of roadside, farm, and woodland as should cause far-away readers to see them in their ordinary, every-day guise.

I have often felt the same need in books of travels, when I little thought it would ever fall to my lot to try to bring a land thousands of miles away before untraveled eyes.

So, take a ride with me, in May, from our town to Yaquina Bay, just sixty-six miles off.

I have already said enough of the valley lying here, in the early morning, calm and quiet, with the light mist tracing out the course of the great river for miles into the soft distance, and the Cascade Range standing out clear above. But we turn our backs on the town and face toward the west.

HORSES AND SADDLERY.One word on mount and equipment. The horse is a light chestnut—sorrel we call it here—about fifteen hands high, compact and active, with flowing mane and tail. He cost a hundred dollars six months back; in England, for a park hack, he would be worth three fourths as many pounds. He has four paces—a walk of about four miles an hour, a jog-trot of five, a lope or canter of six or seven, and a regular gallop. He passes from one pace to another by a mere pressure of the leg against his sides, and the gentlest movement of the reins. To turn him, be it ever so short, carry the bridle-hand toward the side you want to go, but put away all notion of pulling one rein or the other. He will walk unconcernedly through the deepest mud or the quickest flowing brook, and climb a steep hill with hardly quickened breath; if he meets a big log in the trail, he will just lift his fore-legs over it and follow with his hind-legs without touching it, and hardly moving you in the saddle. And he will carry a twelve-stone man, with a saddle weighing nearly twenty pounds, and a pack of fifteen pounds behind the saddle, from eight in the morning till six in the evening, with an hour's rest in the middle of the day, and be ready to do it again to-morrow, and the next day, and the day after that.

The saddle is in the Mexican shape, with a high pommel in front, handy for a rope or gun-sling, and a high cantle behind; it has a deep, smooth seat, and a leather flap behind and attached to the cantle on which the pack rests; huge wooden stirrups, broad enough to give full support to the foot, and wide enough for the foot to slip easily in and out. A horse-hair belt, six inches wide, with an iron ring at each end, through which runs a buckskin strap to attach it to the saddle, and by which it is drawn tight, forms a "sinch," the substitute for girths. The word "sinch" is a good one, and has passed into slang. If your enemy has injured you and you propose to return the compliment in the reverse of Christian fashion, "I'll sinch him," say you. If a poor player has won the first trick by accident, "I guess he'll get sinched soon," says the looker-on.

I advise no Englishman to bring saddlery to Oregon. He will save no money by doing so, and will not be fitted out so well for the hours-long rides he will have. I have only heard one Englishman out of fifty say that he prefers the English saddle, after getting used to the Mexican, and he had brought one out with him and used it out of pride.

Behind the saddle is the pack. Just a clean flannel shirt and a pair of socks, a hair-brush, a comb and tooth-brush, fit us out for a week or two; baggage becomes truly "impedimenta" when you have to carry it on your horse. You need not carry blankets now, for there are good stopping-houses at fit distances apart. But you may, if you wish, bring your Martini carbine, or Winchester rifle, for we may meet a deer by the way. So we start.

The first mile or two is along the open road. A brown, rather dusty track in the center, beaten hard by the travel; on either side a broad band of short grass; and snake-fences, built of logs ten feet long, piled seven high, and interlaced at the ends. In the angles of nearly every panel of the fence grows a rose-bush, now covered with young buds, just showing crimson tips. As we canter by, a meadow-lark gives us a stave of half-finished song from the top of the fence, and flits off to pitch some fifty yards away, in the young green wheat, and try again at his song. The bird is nearly as large as an English thrush, with speckled breast, and a bright-yellow patch under the tail. Just in front of us, on the fence, sits a little hawk, so tame that he moves not till we pass him, and then by turns follows and precedes us along the road, settling again and again upon the tallest rails. He is gayly dressed indeed, with a russet-brown back and head, and a yellow and brown barred and speckled chest, and all the keenness of eye one looks for in his tribe.

SNAKES.Early as it is, here and there in the road is one of the little brown snakes that abound in the valley; seduced from his hole by the warm sun, he is enjoying himself in the dust, and only just has time to glide hastily away as the horse-hoofs threaten his life. Their harmlessness and use in waging war on beetles, worms, and frogs, ought to save their lives; but they are snakes, and that suffices to cause every passer-by to strike at them with his staff.

The face of the country is vivid green, the autumn-sown wheat nearly knee-high, and the oats running the wheat a race in height and thickness. The orchard-trees close to the farmhouse we are approaching stand clothed from head to foot in flower; the pear-trees, whose branches are not now curved and bent with fruit, tower as white pyramids above the heads of the blushing apples.

Close by the orchard-fence the ewes and lambs feed, the little ones leaping high and throwing themselves away with the mere joy of warm sun and young life.

The farmer sees us coming, and scolds back the rough sheep-dog noisily barking at the strangers as he comes to his gate to shake hands. "Won't you hitch your horse and come in?" he says; "I want you to look at these bees—I have got six swarms already." And under the garden-fence stands a long, low-boarded roof, and under it a whole row of boxes and barrels, of all ages and sizes, with a noisy multitude coming and going. Straw hives are unknown, and any old tea-chest is used. Not much refinement about bee-keeping in Oregon; but honey fetches from thirty to fifty cents a pound.

We mount again, and, passing through a couple of loosely made and carelessly hung gates, we enter the big pasture. Not very much grass in it; it is wet, low-lying, undrained land. The wild-rose bushes are scattered here, there, and everywhere in clumps, and the face of the field is strewed with the dull, light-green, thick and hairy leaves of a wild sunflower, whose bright-yellow flowers with a brown center, all hanging as if too heavy for the stalk, have not yet matured. The cattle are very fond of this plant, and do well on it. An enemy of theirs is the lupin, here called the larkspur, one of the earliest of spring plants. Its handsome, dark-blue flowers do not redeem it, for the cattle are deceived by it, eat, and are seized with staggers, and will sink down and die if not seen to and treated. One of our friends tells us that he cures his larkspur-poisoned cattle with fat pork, lumps of which he stuffs down their throats. This information we submit to an unprejudiced public, but we do not guarantee that this remedy will cure. It is generally two-year-old cattle which partake and sicken—perhaps the calves have not enterprise enough, and the older cattle too much sense.

The plant is not so very common, but it has to be watched for and extirpated when found. Between the pasture and the wheat-fields stands another snake-fence and a gate. Alas! by the gate, and to be crossed before we reach it, is the Slough of Despond—a big, deep, uncompromising pool of black, sticky mud. The horses eye it doubtfully, and put down their noses to try if it smells better than it looks, and then step gravely in, girth-high almost, till we open and force back the heavy gate.

Skirting the wheat-field, between it and the creek, hardly seen for the undergrowth of rose-bushes and hazel, with here and there a big oak-tree, the road brings us out into a patch of garden-ground, filled with vegetables for the town housekeepers. Just now there is little to be seen but some rows of early peas and spring cabbage. Later on, the long beds of onions, French beans, cauliflowers, and all the rest, with the melons, squashes, or vegetable marrows, pumpkins, cucumbers, and tomatoes (which were the glory of the gardener), showed the full advantages of the irrigating ditches, fed by the higher spring, which are led here, there, and everywhere through the patch. For, remember, we had almost continuous fine weather, with hot sun and few showers, from the middle of May till the middle of October.

THE CARDWELL HILL.But here is the main road again, which we left to turn across the fields, and we are at the foot of the Cardwell Hill. The wood lies on both sides of us, and we mount rapidly upward. The wild-strawberry creeps everywhere along the ground, its white flower and yellow eye hiding modestly under the leaves. The catkins on the hazel-bushes dangle from each little bough. The purple iris grows thickly in the frequent mossy spots, and the scarlet columbine peers over the heads of the bunches of white flowers we knew not whether to call lilies-of-the-valley or Solomon's seal, for they bear the features of both. The purple crocuses have not yet all gone out of bloom, though their April glory has departed, and the tall spear-grass gives elegance all round to Dame Nature's bouquets.

We have ample time to take in all these homely beauties, for the road is too thickly shaded by the wood for the sun to dry the mud, and our horses painfully plod upward, with a noisy "suck, suck," as each foot in turn is dragged from the sticky mass.

But the undergrowth is thinner as we mount; first oak-scrub and then oak-trees growing here and there, with grass all round, take the place of the copse, and the mountain air blows fresh in our faces as we near the summit. Halting for a moment to let the horses regain their breath, we turn and see the whole broad valley lying bright in sunshine far below. So clear is the air that the firs on the Cascades, forty miles away, are hardly blended into a mass of dark, greenish gray; and the glorious snow-peaks shining away there twenty miles behind those firs, look to be on speaking terms with the Coast Range on which we stand.

But we pursue our westward course along a narrow track following the hill-side near the top, leaving the road to take its way down below, to round the base of the hill which we strike across. This hill is bare of trees, and is covered now with bright, young, green grass, soon to be dried and shriveled into a dusty brown by the summer sun. We wind round the heads of rocky clefts or cañons, down each of which hastens a murmuring stream. There the oaks and alders grow tall, but we look over their heads, so rapid is the descent to the vale below.

The mountains on the distant left of us are Mary's Peak and the Alsea Mountain; the former with smooth white crown of snow above the dark fir timber; and away to the right, among lower, wooded hills, we catch one glimpse of the burned timber, the thick black stems standing out clear on the horizon-line.

Passing down the hill and by the farmhouse at the foot, with its great barn and blooming orchard, we strike the road once more, passing for a mile or two between wheat-fields, with the Mary River on the left closed from our sight by the screen of firs that follow it all the way along; then by a bridge and by other farms, and between fir-woods of thickly standing trees, and up and down hill, with here and there a level valley in between, we strike the Mary River again for the last time, and climb the Summit Hill.

We are twenty-two miles from our starting-point, and claim a meal and rest. We are among old friends as we ride up to Crain's to dine, and the noonday sun is hot enough for us to enjoy the cool breeze among the young firs behind the house, as we stand to wash hands and face by the bench on the side of the dairy built over the stream close by. The horses know their way to the barn, to stand with slackened sinches, and nuzzle into the sweet timothy-hay with which the racks are filled.

THE YAQUINA VALLEY.On our way once more, in half an hour we stand on the edge of the water-shed, and look down far into the Yaquina Valley, lying deep between rugged and broken hills below. As we dip below the crest, the character of the vegetation changes at once.

We have left the thick woods behind. The last of the tall green firs clothes the crest we have passed, and the black burned timber is dotted along the hill-sides.

Last year's brake-fern clothes the hills in dull yellow and brown, except where patches of thimble-berry and salmon-berry bushes have usurped its place. The wild-strawberry has been almost entirely left behind, and instead there is the blackberry-vine trailing everywhere along the rough ground, and casting its purple-tinged tracery over the fallen logs. There is plenty of grass among the fern, and the wild-pea grows erect as yet, not having length enough to bend and creep. The river Yaquina comes down from a wild, rough valley to the right, to be crossed by a wooden bridge close to a farmhouse on rising ground. Two of our recently arrived Englishmen have bought this place, and are well satisfied with their position. About eight hundred acres of their own land, of which quite three hundred are cultivable in grain, though not nearly all now in crop, and really unlimited free range on the hills all round for stock; some valley-land which produces everything it is asked; a garden-patch where potatoes grew this year, one of which was six pounds in weight; a comfortable house and substantial barn; a trout-stream by their doors; a railroad in near prospect to bring them within two hours of a market at either end; and, meanwhile, a demand at home for all the oats and hay they can raise for sale—it would be strange, indeed, I think, if they who had supposed they were coming into a wilderness with everything to make, were not well pleased.

The only things they complain of are the scarcity of neighbors and bad roads—both, we hope, in a fair way to be overcome. They look contented enough, as they stand by their house-door to bid us good-day as we ride by. The valley widens out and narrows again in turn. In each open space stands a farmhouse, or else the site demands one.

As we get nearer to the coast, the river forces its way through quite a narrow gorge, following round the point of a projecting fern-covered slope, and under the shadow of the high hill on the northern side. The great blechnum ferns, with fronds three or four feet long, are interspersed with the thimble-berry bushes, and border the road. Syringa and deutzia plants and two varieties of elder, which bear black and red berries, but are now bright with abundant flowers, clothe the steep bank overhanging the river, which here widens out into calm pools, divided by ripples, and runs over rocks. And see, here is a natural bridge; a huge fir has fallen right across, and the farmer has leveled the ground up to the top of the trunk, some six feet high, and has set up a slender rail on each side of his bridge, and over it he drives his sheep into the less matted and tangled ground on the far side.

"CHUCK-HOLES."The road, cut into the steep hill-side, never gets the sunshine; the mud clogs the horse's feet and fills the "chuck-holes"—traps for the unwary driver. Be it known that oftentimes a great log comes shooting down the hill in winter, and brings up in its downward course on the ledge formed by the road. Notice is sent to the road supervisor by the first passer-by, and this functionary, generally one of the better class of farmers, who has charge of the road district, calls out his neighbors to assist in the clearing of the road. He has legal power to enforce his summons, but it is never disregarded, and the "crowd" fall on with saws, axes, and levers. They soon cut a big "chunk" out of the log, some ten feet long, wide enough to clear the center of the road, and roll it unceremoniously away down the hill, or lodge it lengthwise by the roadside. There they leave matters, deeming spade-and-shovel work beneath them. Next winter's rain lodges and stands in the dint made by the trunk when it fell, and in the depression left by the men who rolled the middle of the log away. Never filled up, or any channel cut to run the water off, a "chuck-hole" is formed, which each wagon enlarges as it is driven round the edge to escape the center. Woe betide the stranger who does not altogether avoid, or boldly "straddle," the "chuck-hole" with his wheels! The side of the wagon whose fore and hind wheels have sunk into the hole dips rapidly down, and he is fortunate who escapes without an upset, and with only showers of liquid mud covering horses, driver, and load, as the team struggles to drag the wagon through. But, pressing through the gorge, we emerge into a more open stretch. On the right of us rises a smooth, round hill, fern-covered to the top; and on the opposite side, next the river, planted on a pretty knoll just where the valley turns sharply to the north, thereby getting a double view, is Mr. Trapp's farmhouse, our resting-place for the night. We have made our forty-four miles in spite of the muddy road and steep grades, and there is yet time before supper to borrow our host's rod and slip down to the river for a salmon-trout. Excellent fare and comfortable beds prepare us for the eighteen miles we have yet before us on the morrow, and we get an early start. Two miles below Trapp's is Eddy's grist-mill, with its rough mill-dam, made on the model of a beaver-dam, and of the same sticks and stones, but not so neatly; the ends of the sticks project over the mill-pool below, and prove the death of numberless salmon, which strike madly against them in their upward leaps, and fall back bruised and beaten into the pool again.

An effort was made to pass a law, this last session of the Legislature, compelling the construction of fish-passes through the mill-dams; but it was too useful and simple a measure to provoke a party fight, and therefore was quietly shelved. Better luck next time.

MINNOWS AND CRAWFISH.Presently we leave the Yaquina River, which, for over twenty miles, we have followed down its course; for never a mile without taking in some little brook, where the minnows are playing in busy schools over the clean gravel, and the crawfish are edging along, and staggering back, as if walking were an unknown art practiced for the first time. The river has grown from the burn we first crossed to a tidal watercourse, with a channel fifteen feet in depth, and, having left its youthful vivacity behind, flows gravely on, bearing now a timber-raft, then a wide-floored scow, and here the steam-launch carrying the mail. But we climb the highest hill we have yet passed, where the aneroid shows us eleven hundred feet above the sea-level, and from its narrow crest catch our first sight of the bay, glittering between the fir-woods in the morning sun.

We leave the copse-woods behind, and canter for miles along a gently sloping, sandy road; the hills are thick in fern and thimble-berry bush, with the polished leaves and waxy-white flowers of the sallal frequently pushing through. We have got used by this time to the black, burned trunks, and somehow they seem appropriate to the view. But the sound of the Pacific waves beating on the rocky coast has been growing louder, and as we get to the top of a long ascent the whole scene lies before us.

That dim blue haze in the distance is the morning fog, which has retreated from the coast and left its outlines clear.

On the right is the rounded massive cape, on the lowest ledge of which stands Foulweather Lighthouse. The bare slopes and steep sea-face tell of its basaltic formation, which gives perpendicular outlines to the jutting rocks against which, some six miles off, the waves are dashing heavily.

Between that distant cape and the Yaquina Lighthouse Point the coast-line is invisible from the height on which we stand, but the ceaseless roar tells of rocky headlands and pebble-strewed beach.

Below us lies the bay, a calm haven, with its narrow entrance right before us, and away off, a mile at sea, a protecting line of reef, with its whole course and its north and south ends distinctly marked by the white breakers spouting up with each long swell of the Pacific waves.

Under the shelter of the lighthouse hill, on the northern side, stands the little town of Newport, its twenty or thirty white houses and boat-frequented beach giving the suggestion of human life and interest to the scene.

Away across the entrance, the broad streak of blue water marking the deep channel is veined with white, betraying the reef below—soon, we trust, to be got rid of in part by the engineers whose scows and barges are strewed along the south beach there in the sun.

Yaquina Bay, Newport, 1880.

Yaquina Bay, Newport, 1880.

NEWPORT.On that south side a broad strip of cool, gray sand borders the harbor, and there stand the ferry-house, and its flag-staff and boats.

Looking to the left, the fir-crowned and fern-covered hills slope down to Ford's Point, jutting out into deep water, which flows up for miles till the turn above the mill shuts in the view.

But we must not wait, if we mean to catch any flounders before the tide turns, and so we hurry down to the beach and along the hard sand bordering the bay under the broken cliffs, and are soon shaking hands with the cheery landlord of the Sea-View Hotel, who has been watching us from his veranda ever since we descended the hill from Diamond Point.



Hay-harvest—‌Timothy-grass—‌Permanent pasture—‌Hay-making by express—‌ The mower and reaper—‌Hay-stacks as novelties—‌Wheat-harvest—‌Thrashing —‌The "thrashing crowd"—‌"Headers" and "self-binders"—‌Twine-binders and home-grown flax—‌Green food for cows—‌Indian corn, vetches—‌Wild-oats in wheat—‌Tar-weed the new enemy—‌Cost of harvesting—‌By hired machines —‌By purchased machines—‌Cost of wheat-growing in the Willamette Valley.

Neither the first nor the second year did hay-harvest begin with us till after the first week in July. We did not shut the cattle off the hay-fields till the end of February, so that there was a great growth of grass to be made in four months and a half.

How different our hay-fields are from those in the old country! I should dearly like to show to some of these farmers a good old-fashioned Devonshire or Worcestershire field, with its thick, solid undergrowth and waving heads. I should like them to see how much feed there was after the crop was cut.

Here timothy-grass is everything to the farmer. Certainly, the old-country man would open his eyes to see a crop waist-high, the heavy heads four to seven inches long, and giving two tons to the acre. And he would revel in laying aside for good and all that anxiety as to weather which has burdened his life ever since he took scythe and pitchfork in hand. We expect nothing else but dewy nights and brilliant sunshine, so that the habit is to cut one day, pile the grass into huge cocks the same day, and carry it to the barn the next. Hay-stacks are unknown; the whole crop is stored away in the barn; and you may see sixty, eighty, or a hundred tons under the one great roof, and no fear of heating or burning before the farmer's eyes.

THE MOWER AND REAPER.The glory of the scythe has departed. Every little farmer has his mower, or mower and reaper combined; or else, if he can not afford to pay two hundred dollars or thereabout for his machine, he hires one from his more fortunate neighbor, and pays him "six bits"—that is, seventy-five cents—per acre for cutting his crop. Wood's, McCormick's, or the Buckeye, are the favorites here.

Our own machine, with one pair of stout horses, cuts from nine to twelve acres a day, according to the thickness of the crop and the level or hilly nature of the ground. It looks easy—just riding up and down the field all day—but try it, and you will find you have to give close attention all the time, to be ready to lift your knives over a lumpy bit of ground or round a stump, and to cut your turns and corners clean; and there are no springs to your seat, and a mower is not the easiest carriage in the world.

Nor is it light work to follow the horse hay-rake all day, lifting the teeth at every swath. Pitching hay is about the same work all the world over, I think; but at home one does not expect to make acquaintance with quite so many snakes, which come slipping down and twisting and writhing about as the hay is pitched into the wagon. It is true they are harmless, but I don't like them, all the same.

We put up a big hay-stack each year, in spite of the most dismal prophecies from our neighbors that the rain would mold the hay, that it would not be fit to use, and that even a "town-cow" would despise it (and they will eat anything from deal boards to sulphur-matches, I declare). But the event justified us, and the whole stack of 1879 was duly eaten to the last mouthful.

Wheat and oats follow close on the heels of the hay. We finished our stack on the 17th of July, and began cutting wheat on the 27th.

There is one harvest, and only one, on record in Oregon, where rain fell on the cut grain and injured it. The rule is to feel absolutely secure of cutting your grain, thrashing it in the field as soon as cut, and carrying it from the thrashing-machine straight to the warehouse.

There is lively competition to get the thrasher as soon as the grain is cut. The "thrashing crowd," of some seven or eight hands, which accompany the thrasher, have a busy time. They get good wages—from the $2.50 for the experienced "feeder" of the machine, to the $1.50 for the man who drives and loads the wagon, or pitches the sheaves. They travel from farm to farm, setting up the thrasher in a central spot, and "hauling" the sheaves to it. The quantity passed through the machine in one long day varies from one thousand to fifteen hundred bushels with horse-power; driven by steam, the quantity will run up to upward of two thousand bushels. These quantities seem very large by the side of those yielded by English machines, but they are too well authenticated to be open to doubt.

"HEADERS" AND "SELF-BINDERS."A great wheat-field of a hundred acres, with headers and thrasher going at once, is a lively scene. The "header" is a huge construction ten feet wide. Revolving frames in front bend the wheat to the knives, where it is cut and delivered in an endless stream into a great header-wagon, driven alongside the cutting-machine. Six horses propel the header in front of them, and move calmly along unterrified by the revolving frames and vibrating knives. As soon as the header-wagon is filled, it is driven off to the thrasher, whirring away in the center of the field, and an empty one takes its place.

Six horses to the header, two each to three header-wagons, eight to the horse-power on the thrasher, and one to the straw-rake, are all going at once. One man driving the header, one each to the three wagons, two feeding and tending the thrasher, one fitting and tying up the wheat-bags as the cleaned and finished grain comes pouring from the machine, and one hand at the straw-rake, are all busily at work. Very speedily the field is cleared, and the just now waving grain lies piled in a stack of wheat-bags in the center, waiting the departure of the "thrashing crowd," to be hauled by the farmer to the warehouse.

A little of the straw is taken to the farmhouse, for use as litter in stable and pig-sty; the rest is set fire to as soon as the wheat is gone, and a great, unsightly, black patch is the last record in the field of the year's crop.

The worst features of the "header" are that the wheat has to be much riper than for the reaper or self-binder, and consequently more is strewed about the field and lost; the machine cuts the wheat higher up also, and consequently leaves more weeds to ripen and leave their seed. Its advantage is the greater breadth of its cut and more rapid rate of work. In more general use is the reaper or self-binder.

Several of our farmers' wives and daughters can take their turns on these machines, and give no despicable help to the hardly-worked men. This year it is expected that twine will be substituted for wire, thus removing one great objection. A twine-binder was exhibited at the State Fair at Salem, in full operation, and worked well. Besides getting rid of the damage and danger of the wire getting into the thrashing-machines, an additional advantage will be the fostering the growth of flax in the State, and its working up into the harvest-twine. Be it known that these counties of the Willamette Valley produce the finest and best of flax, samples of which secured the highest premium at the Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia in 1876.

The culture of flax and its manufacture afford, as far as I can judge, one of the very best of the various openings at present attracting both labor and capital to the State. As a mere experiment I had twenty-two acres of flax sown on the 17th of June, on some land about three miles from Corvallis which unexpectedly came under my control. In seven weeks from that day I gathered a handful, indiscriminately, from an average spot in the field; the fiber of this was seventeen inches long.

The flax that was grown in Linn County, ten miles from here, and used in the twine-factory there, produced fiber from two feet and a half to three feet in length. In January last we saw it hackled, and the workman, a northern Irishman of long experience, told us, as he gave the hank he held in his hand a dexterous and affectionate twist, that he had never handled better in ould Ireland.

I should dearly like to see linen-works established here; not only are linen goods unreasonably dear on the Pacific coast, but it goes against the grain to see a splendid raw material produced and not turned to the best account. Flax is not found here to be an exhausting crop. The farmers who have grown it say, on the contrary, that their best wheat-crop has followed flax; while to neither one crop nor the other is any fertilizing agent used.

GREEN FOOD FOR COWS.One of the great difficulties the farmer finds here is to keep green food going for his cows during the harvest months. One successful expedient is to grow a patch of Indian corn or maize. Well cultivated, and the ground kept stirred and free from weeds, the absence of rain does not prevent its growth, and its succulent green leaves are eagerly munched at milking-time by the sweet-breathed cows.

Another crop just introduced here is the vetch, better known as tares, for the same purpose. Two friends of mine in Marion County, forty miles north of this place, have found the experiment a very successful one; the appearance of the two or three acres I put in this last winter goes far to justify them. Sown in December, about two bushels to the acre, the growth is very vigorous and the produce heavy.

Continuous cropping in wheat for many years has fostered the growth of the wild-oats, now a great disfigurement and drawback to the wheat-crop in this valley. Traveling north to Portland by train, this last harvest, it was sometimes even hard to say whether wheat or wild-oats were intended to be grown. Nothing but summer fallowing, thoroughly applied and regularly followed, can remedy this. I have known a farmer to send his wheat to the mill, and get back half the quantity in wild-oats.

To the timothy-hay fields a noxious plant called "tar-weed" is the great enemy on all damp or low-lying spots. The plant was new to us, but, once seen, is never forgotten. Fortunately, it matures later than the timothy, and so does not get its seeds transferred; but it is almost disgusting to see the skins and noses of the horses and cattle turned into the field when the hay is off, coated with a glutinous, viscid gum, to which every speck of dust, every flying seed of weeds, sticks all too tightly. Plowing up the field, and summer fallowing, are the only remedies when the tar-weed gets too bad to endure. Tar-weed is an annual which grows some eight or ten inches high, one stalk from each seed; short, narrow, hairy leaves of a dingy green and a tiny colorless flower offer no compensation in beauty for the annoyance it occasions as you pass through the field, and find boots and trousers coated with the sticky gum. It is a relief to know that it affects the valley only, and does not mount even the lower hills of the Cascade and Coast Ranges.

Before leaving the subject of harvesting I ought to give the cost.

It is not now the question of the capitalist who can afford to pay from $750 to $1,200 for his thrashing-machine in addition to $320 for his self-binding harvester to cut his grain; but of the struggling farmer, who has to make both ends meet by economy and fore-thought.

We will suppose that he has seventy acres of wheat to harvest, and that it will produce twenty bushels to the acre, a moderate suggestion.

COST OF HARVESTING.The cutting and binding in sheaves of the crop by a neighbor's self-binder will cost him $1.25 per acre, the contractor supplying the wire. The machine will cut and bind nearly ten acres a day; the cost, therefore, for the seventy acres will be $87.50, or say $90, to be safe.

The thrashing will cost him six cents a bushel for his wheat, or $84 for his fourteen hundred bushels; and the farmer has to supply food for the men and horses whose services he hires. This expense will naturally vary according to the liberality and good management of the farmer and his wife. It falls heavily on the hostess to provide for seven or eight hungry men, in addition to her own family; but plentiful food, well cooked, is no bad investment, for it reacts strongly on both the quantity and the quality of the work done.

A fair average cost is fifty cents a day for each man, and the same for each horse. The expense of keep of the cutting and binding, man and three-horse team for seven days, will, therefore, be $15. On a similar basis the keep of the "thrashing crowd" and twelve horses, for a day and a half and something over, will cost just $16.

The total outlay, therefore, on harvesting a wheat-crop of twenty bushels per acre on seventy acres, when all services and all machines have to be hired, will be $205. Or an average of just fourteen and two-thirds cents per bushel.

A glance will show what a good investment the self-binding harvester is, if only well cared for when harvest is over. The farmer who has a machine of his own saves more than six cents a bushel, and, on a crop of fourteen hundred bushels only, would pay for the machine in less than four years.

Let us see, then, what wheat-growing in the Willamette Valley costs—a matter of deep interest to the intending emigrant, and to farmers in other parts of the world who have to compete with Oregon-grown wheat.

We will take the same seventy acres, as a reasonable extent for a small valley farm. Once plowing, at the rate of two acres a day with a three-horse team, or one and a half acre for a two-horse team—that is thirty-five days' labor for man and three horses. Twice harrowing, at the rate of fourteen acres a day—that is ten days' labor for a man and two horses. Sowing, at the rate of twenty-one acres a day, or three and a third days' labor for a man and four horses. The seed will cost $98, at the rate of two bushels per acre and seventy cents a bushel.

The cost, therefore, of growing the crop will be $98 in money, and the labor of one man for forty-eight days and a third, and of a pair of horses for sixty-nine and a quarter days.

Putting the farmer's labor into money at the rate of a dollar a day, and that of his team also at the rate of half a dollar a day for each horse (and these are here the regular rates of wages), the result will be $117.50; add the $98 for the seed, and you arrive at a total of $215.50; or, on seventy acres, an average of three dollars and eight cents an acre; or, on fourteen hundred bushels, of fifteen and four-tenths cents per bushel. To this add the fourteen cents and two-thirds for harvesting and thrashing, and add twelve days' labor for man and one team of horses hauling the grain to the warehouse: this represents an additional cost of one cent and seven tenths per bushel, and the total cost then is thirty-one cents and seven tenths per bushel.

COST OF WHEAT-GROWING.Remember that this wheat is grown on the farmer's own freehold, which may have cost him twenty or twenty-five dollars per acre. Do not forget also a taxation of about fifteen thousandths a year on the total value of the farmer's estate, as arranged between him and the assessor—land, stock, implements, and everything else he has beyond about three hundred dollars' worth of excepted articles. But add no rent or tithe, and recollect that in this calculation the farmer's own labor and that of his team are charged at market price against the crop.

The charge for warehousing the wheat till it is sold is four cents a bushel; and the wheat-sacks, holding two bushels each, will cost from ten to twelve cents each.

Add, therefore, still nine and a half cents a bushel for subsequent charges, and the farmer who kept accounts would find his wheat, in the warehouse and ready for market, represented to him an outlay of forty-one cents and a quarter a bushel.

If he sells at eighty-five cents a bushel, that gives him a profit of $8.75 per acre on the portion of his farm in wheat.



The farmer's sports and pastimes—‌Deer-hunting tales—‌A roadside yarn—‌ Still-hunting—‌Hunting with hounds—‌An early morning's sport—‌Elk—‌The pursuit—‌The kill—‌Camp on Beaver Creek—‌Flounder-spearing by torchlight —‌Flounder-fishing by day—‌In the bay—‌Rock oysters—‌The evening view —‌The general store—‌Skins—‌Sea-otters—‌Their habits—‌The sea-otter hunters—‌Common otter—‌The mink and his prey.

The Oregon farmer has one great advantage over his Eastern or European brother. Starting from the first of January, he has until July comes a good many days wherein he can amuse himself without the detestable feeling that he is wasting his time and robbing his family. The ground may be either too hard or too soft for plowing; or he may have sown a large proportion in the autumn and early winter, and so have little ground to prepare and sow in spring; and he has little, if any, stock-feeding to do as yet.

A good supply of hay is the only addition to the pasture-feed that he need provide; so long, that is, as he is content to work his farm in Oregon fashion.

Many a one is within reach of the hills where range the deer, and shares in the feeling strongly expressed to me the other day, "I would rather work all day for one shot at a deer, than shoot fifty wild-ducks in the swamps."

As I was riding out to the hills not long since, I met an old friend of mine returning from a week's hunt in the regions at the back of Mary's Peak.

A ROADSIDE YARN.His long-bodied farm-wagon held some cooking-utensils, the remains of his store of flour and bacon and coffee, his blankets, his rifle, and the carcasses of his deer. With him were two noble hounds, Nero and Queen—powerful, upstanding dogs; stag-hounds with a dash of bloodhound in them; black and tan, with a fleck of white here and there. "Had a good time, John?" we asked, as we stopped at the top of a long hill for a chat. "Well, pretty good—ran four deer and killed three; got my boots full of snow, and bring home a bad cold," he answered. "Where did you camp?" "Away up above Stillson's, there"—pointing to the mountain-side just where the heavy fir-timber grew scattering and thin, and the clean sweep of the sloping crest came down to meet the wood. "We was there inside of a week, hunting all the time." "See any bear?" "Just lots of sign, but I guess my dogs haven't lost any bear; the old dog got too close to one a bit ago, and came home with a bloody head and a cut on his shoulder a foot long." "Find many deer?" "Had two on foot at once one day: killed one, and hit the other, but he jumped a log just as I shot, and I guess I only barked him; I ran after him to try for another shot before he got clear off down the cañon, but I tumbled over a log myself in the snow, and just got wet through, and my boots all filled with it." "Pretty rough up there, isn't it?" "Well, it wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for the fallen timber; but you can't get through them woods fast when you have to run round the end of one big log one minute and then duck under another, and then scramble on to the next for dear life, and half the time get only just in time to see the last of the deer as he gets into the thick brush." "Better come out with us after the ducks, John." "Blamed if I do!" came out with an unction and energy that startled us. "Can't understand what you fellers can see in that duck-hunting." And, with a cheery good-by, the old boy spoke to his horses, and off they went down the hill, the brake hard held, and the wagon pushing the team before it on the rough corduroy road.

Still-hunting is the more sportsmanlike way; but the deadlier fashion is this hunting with two or three hounds: the slower they run, the more chance for the guns.

One day last summer, returning from the bay, we stopped for the night at a farm by the roadside, among the burned timber. The fern had not grown up yet, but the hillsides were green and thick with salmon-berry and thimble-berry growth.

Two or three hounds—not of the very purest breed, but still hounds—were lounging about the door, and greeted us with a noisy welcome as we dismounted.

The sons of the house were telling, round the fire before we went to bed, of the hundred and thirty deer they had already killed this season. They urged us to have a hunt in the morning, promising to get all done, so that we might be on the journey again by nine instead of seven.

Breakfast was over by a quarter to six, and we started. Four in the party—two farmers' sons and two travelers—and three hounds. The huntsman carried a Henry rifle of the old model; his younger brother a rifle of the old school—long, brown, heavy-barreled, throwing a small, round bullet. Round the huntsman's neck hung an uncouth cow's horn, to recall the hounds if they strayed too far away.

HUNTING WITH HOUNDS.The sun was just driving off the early mist as we tramped along the road by the side of the river, toward the spot where they intended throwing off. But before we reached the place a quick little hound threw up her head, and, with a short, sharp cry, dashed into the brush between us and the river; the other hounds followed, and we heard the plunge and splash as the deer, so suddenly roused from his lair, took to his heels.

The hounds took up in full cry along the opposite cañon, which led high up the hill-side, and the huntsman followed, his jacket changing color at once as he pushed through the dew-laden brush.

Under the guidance of the younger brother, we crossed the river also, and, following the farther bank, soon came to an open, grassy spot, from the upper side of which a view was got of the course of the river as it wound round the lower side in a graceful sweep. The trees, willow and alder, were thick on the bank, but here and there we caught more than a glimpse of the brown water as it hurried along.

One of us being posted here, our guide took the other still higher up the stream.

Sitting down under the lee of a big old log, its blackness hidden under the trailing brambles and bright ferns, we waited and watched.

The cry of the hounds came faint on the air from the hill-side above us, hounds and quarry alike invisible, and, as the sides of the cañon caught the sounds, echo returned them to us from all points in turn—fainter and still fainter, until we thought the chase had gone clear over the mountain into the distant valley beyond; and we sat watching the two little chipmunks, grown hardy by our stillness, which were chasing each other in and out among the brambles, then stopping to watch us with their bright-black, beady eyes.

No sounds at all, and then a far-off music, just audible and no more. But it comes nearer, and we see our guide creeping toward us, rifle in hand, his face white with excitement and suspense. He can not resist the temptation of passing us to get command of the lower reach of the stream, and we have sympathy with his nineteen years, and take no notice. Presently a distant splash in the river, and then a scrambling and splashing along the water's edge, and we catch a glimpse of a bright-yellow body flitting rapidly between the trees. The young hunter's rifle cracks, but the deer only gains in speed and dashes by. There is a clear space of ten or fifteen yards between the tree-trunks on our right, and, as the deer rushes past, we get a quick sight, almost like a rabbit crossing a ride in cover at home, and the Winchester rings out. Whether by luck or wit we will not say, but the splash ceases suddenly, and, running to the bank, there lies the deer, shot through the neck close to the head, drawing his last long breath. He was soon dragged out on to the grassy bank, and a feeling of pity was uppermost as we admired his graceful limbs, neat hoofs, and shapely head. In about ten minutes' time came the hounds, their eager cry ceasing as they caught sight of their quarry, lying motionless before them. The last hunters' rites were speedily paid, and we went a mile higher up the stream, to where a brook joined it, flowing quickly down from the southern hill.

The hounds were again thrown into the brush, and before long were once more in full cry. This time the shot fell to the young huntsman's share, and we saw nothing of the chase till, hearing his rifle, and noticing the ceasing of the voices of the hounds, we pushed our way to the spot, to find the obsequies of a second deer already in progress.

Leaving one deer on a log by the roadside, with a note attached to it, asking the stage-driver to pick it up and bring it for us into Corvallis, when he passed, in a couple of hours' time, we retraced our steps, mounted our horses, and were on our road, according to promise, by very soon after nine o'clock.

STILL-HUNTING.Still-hunting is a more arduous business. The hunter has the work to do of finding the deer; his rifle must slay it; if he wounds it, he must follow it on foot; the only help he can get is that of one steady old dog, which must never stray from his side.

Starting from his camp in the early dawn, he mounts the hill-side, carefully examining each likely spot of brush as he passes it, taking special note of each sheltered patch of fern. Very carefully he climbs the logs, avoiding every dead branch that may crackle under his weight, and parting the brush before he pushes through. When he reaches the crest, he follows it along, scrutinizing every cañon closely, for his prey lies very wisely hidden. At last, he sees a gentle movement in the brush, and the deer rises from his lair, stretches his neck, arches his back, and snuffs round at each point of the compass to try if there be danger in the air. The hunter sees his chance, judges his distance as cleverly as he can, remembering that in this clear mountain air he is almost sure to underestimate the range; the shot rings out, and the deer springs high into the air, to fall crashing down the steep cañon-side.

The common deer of Western Oregon is the black-tailed Cervus Columbianus. In the early spring many of them leave the mountains and traverse the valley-land to the closely timbered sloughs and brush bordering the Willamette River. But, as the valley has been more closely cultivated and the farms spread in a nearly unbroken line, the deer have but a poor chance. Some settler is almost sure to get a glimpse of the visitor as he tops the snake-fence into the oat-field for his morning feed, and the rifle, or worse, the long muzzle-loading shot-gun which carries five buckshot at a charge, hangs by or over the wide fireplace. If not killed outright, the poor beast carries with him a lingering and dangerous wound. But, away in the hills, I do not hear that the number is appreciably diminished; many of the hunters get a deer almost every time they go out. So wasteful are they that they carry off only the hind quarters, which they call the hams, and the hide, leaving the fore quarters and head to taint the air.

The white-tailed deer (Cervus leucurus) is now very rare. He frequents the more open spots; he chooses the bare slopes at the top of Mary's Peak and the Bald Mountain; he is not so shy as his black-tailed brother, and so falls an easier victim to the rifle. He abounds in the Cascade Range on the eastern side of the Willamette Valley, where he is found in the same haunts as the larger mule-deer. The noblest deer we have in Oregon is the wapiti (Cervus Canadensis), invariably known in this country as elk.

A day or two ago I saw a pair of fresh horns standing in front of one of the stores in the town, which were quite four feet six inches long, spread three feet six inches at the tips, and weighed forty pounds by scale.

ELK.As we handled them, a dry-looking, bearded, long-booted fellow joined the group. "Those horns are nothing much," said he; "I killed an elk some time back in the Alseya country, back of Table Mountain, that when we set the horns on the ground, tips downward, a feller could walk upright through them." "Oh, yes," said we; "did you walk through them, stranger?" "Wal, no, I guess not," said he, "but a feller might, you know."

The elk go in bands of from seven to twenty in number, and their tracks through the woods are trampled as though a drove of cows had passed along. To kill an elk you can not go out before breakfast and return to dine. You must secure a good guide, who knows the mountains well; you must take a pack-horse, with food and blankets, as far into the wilds as the last settlement reaches, and there leave him. Then slinging your blankets round your shoulders, and packing some flour, bacon, and coffee, a small frying-pan and coffee-pot, and tin cup, into the smallest possible compass, and taking your rifle in your hand, not forgetting the tobacco, you must strike into the woods.

When night comes on, build your fire, fry your bacon, make some damper in the ashes, smoke the pipe of peace, and lie down under the most sheltering bush. No snakes will harm you, nor will wolf or cougar molest you, and the softness of your bed will not tempt you to delay long between the blankets after the first streak of dawn.

Rise and breakfast, and then on again. All that day, perhaps, you will have to tramp on and on, seeking one mountain-slope after another; here skirting brush too thick to penetrate, there walking easily through the low fern among the massive red and furrowed trunks of the gigantic firs.

Your guide finds "sign," and reports that it is not fresh enough to follow; so pursues his course till, looking back on the devious miles of weary wandering, you can hardly credit it that you have been but eight-and-forty hours on the trail. But your camp is pitched once more, and dawn has again roused you from your ferny bed. Listen! the branches are crackling and rustling close by. You and your guide race for the spot, rifle in hand, too eager almost to duly remember woodland rules of caution. Crouching and crawling as you get closer to the sounds, peering through the fern, you see—what? Six, eight, ten, twelve, seventeen great beasts; one with enormous head, two others with smaller but still imposing antlers; the rest the mothers of the herd. Unconscious of danger, they browse round; both rifles speak together, and the monarch and one of the smaller stags lie prostrate. You stay hidden; the deer group together in a confused crowd, too foolish and excited to think of flight. Again your comrade fires, and another falls, and yet another, till, in disgust at the needless slaughter, you step from your shelter, and the survivors rush madly away, crashing through the wood as if a herd of cattle were in flight.

I have known men, not usually cruel or excitable, get so maddened in a scene like this, that seven great elk lay dead together before they thought of stopping firing; and yet they knew that from the wilderness they stood in it was impossible to carry off the meat of even one!

Many hunters prefer elk-meat to any deer; others think the fawn of the white-tailed deer the best eating in the world.

CAMP ON BEAVER CREEK.One night last summer we camped out on Beaver Creek, nine miles south of the Yaquina, along the beach. We had been trout-fishing all day from a canoe, and were glad to stretch out before the fire limbs that had been somewhat cramped from the need of balancing the rocking craft with every cast of the fly. Before the fire stood roasting a row of trout, held in place over the hot embers by a split willow wand. We heard voices approaching through the wood, and presently a half-breed hunter and two friends of ours came in sight. They had been out two days after elk, but failed to find. On the way back they came across a doe and well-grown fawn; the latter they had killed, and brought it in. It was speedily skinned and cut up, and a loin, shoulder, and leg were skewered on sticks and roasting in the blaze. No bad addition to our fish supper, deer-meat and trout; the coffee was the only contribution of civilization to the meal, and a merry evening, extended far into the night, followed, as the logs were piled on, and the ruddy glow and showers of sparks lighted up the wild but comfortable scene, dancing in the lights and shadows of the overhanging trees.

Did you ever hear of flounder-spearing by torch-light? I have tried it, and do not propose to try it again. Yaquina Bay abounds in flounders—a flat fish resembling the turbot more than the flounder; red-spotted like the plaice, and weighing from one pound up to five or six. After nightfall, when the evening tide has just turned to come in, and the sandy channels and banks are all but bare, away from the main deep-water, channels of the bay, you may see tiny specks of distant lights moving on the black water. These are the Indian canoes. Take a skiff from the beach by the hotel at Newport, and row out to sea. Here are two or three lights near together, under Heddon's Point, on the south shore. Row on till the lights in the hotel are blended into one, and the dark outlines against the sky of the overhanging cliffs are lost to sight. No sound reaches you in the darkness, but the recurring rattle of the sculls in the rowlocks, and the soft lapping of the tide. The lights you are seeking grow brighter, and you distinguish the glare of the fire and the moving, dim form of the fisherman. The canoe, some sixteen feet long, is boarded roughly across amidships, and on a thin layer of sand and wood-ashes burns a pine-knot fire. The Indian stands in the bows, his back to the fire; as you look, he poles himself along by driving the handle of his long spear into the sand underlying the shallow channel. His fire burns dim for a moment, and he turns and with the same spear-handle he trims it; then, stooping, throws on it a fresh lump of the resinous pine. The fire dulls for an instant, then flares with a bright light, and a thick puff of smoke rises into the air, on which the glare falls strongly. The short, athletic form of the Indian, and his swarthy, flattened features, glittering eyes, and bushy hair, stand out for a moment in strong relief. He turns, and again looks keenly into the black water. A moment, and he strikes, the spear making the water flash as it dips swiftly in. Yes, he has it, and the frail boat quivers as he balances it ere he lifts out his struggling prey, and, with a deft, quick motion, throws the fish off, flapping and bouncing on a heap of victims in the stern of the canoe. Without a smile or word, or an instant's respite, he turns again and resumes his keen watch, moving to the shallower waters as the tide makes.

FLOUNDER-SPEARING BY TORCHLIGHT.I had a friend who was an enthusiast in the sport, and he beguiled me to join him. About eight we started, and about two in the morning we returned. Warm as the weather was, I was chilled to the bone; and the worst of it was, I had not succeeded in striking one single fish. My friend armed me with a long spear and a lantern, and deposited me in the stern of the boat; similarly provided, he knelt in the bow and pushed the skiff along from bank to bank of sand and mud. My light did not burn brightly enough to show more than the dimmest outlines of the fish, just off the sandy bottom of the bay. Here scuttled an old crab, scared by the novel light, and hurrying for shelter, crab-fashion, to the nearest bunch of weeds. There was a school of tiny fish, their silver sides glancing as the ray reached them; and there, again, a quick, white flash betrayed the sea-perch, not waiting to be spoken to. Every now and then my friend darted his long spear at what he said were the flounders, but I could see nothing with my untrained eyes but a gray cloud and a gentle stirring of the sand. He did get one fish at last; and I, being too proud to say how bored and tired I was, waited sleepily for the rising tide to drive us home. How glad was I when he announced that the water was now too deep to see distinctly, and how thankfully I stumbled up the slimy steps by the little wharf and in to bed!

FLOUNDER-FISHING BY DAY.Flounder-fishing in the daytime is good sport. Find out the nearest camp of Indians there on the beach, crowded under a shelter of sea-worn planks, a few fir-boughs, and a tattered blanket; the smell of tainted fish pollutes the air, and a heap of flounders, each with the triangular spear-mark, attests the skill of last night's fishermen. "Any fish, muck-a-muck?" say you, blandly. Without turning her head, or raising herself from her crouching posture by the old black kettle, stewing on a tiny fire of sticks in the center of the hut, the old crone grunts out, "Halo" (none). "Want two bit?" you say, nowise discouraged. Money has magic power nowadays, and she rises slowly and shuffles past you to where a rag or two are drying in the sun on a stranded log. From under the clothes she brings out a dirty basket of home make, and in it is a heap of greenish, struggling prawns. She turns out two or three handfuls into the meat-tin you have providently brought, holds out her skinny hand for the little silver pieces, and buries herself in her shanty without another word.

Fit out your fishing-lines and come aboard; the tide has turned, and the wind blows freshly across the bay. The surf keeps up its continuous roar on the rocky reefs outside. On the sand-bank in front of you sits a row of white and gray gulls preening themselves in the morning sun; a couple of ospreys are sailing overhead in long, graceful, hardly-moving sweeps, and away out by the north head hangs an eagle in the air, watching the ospreys, that he may cheat them of the fish he looks to see them catch.

Set the sail and let her go free, and away rushes the little boat, tired of bobbing at her moorings by the pier—away across the bay, to where the south beach sinks in gentle, sandy slope. Take care of that waving weed, or we shall be on the edge of the bank! Here we are, and down goes the kedge in six feet of water, close to but just clear of that same edge.

Now for the bait; tie it on tightly with that white cotton, or the flounders will suck it off so fast that you will have nothing else to do but keep replacing it. Keep your sinkers just off the bottom, and a light hand on the line. A gentle wriggle, a twitch, and you have him; haul him in steadily. Up he comes, a four-pounder, tossing and flopping in the bottom of the boat. Here comes a great crab, holding on to the bait grimly, and suffering you to catch him by one of his lower legs and toss him in. Now for a sea-perch; what a splendid color!—bands of bright scarlet scales, interlaced with silver. But what is this? A stream of water flows from the fish's mouth, and in it come out five or six little ones, the image of their parent. I wonder if it is true (and I think it is) that the little ones take refuge inside their parent in any time of need? The fishermen on this coast call this the "squaw-fish," from this sheltering, maternal instinct.

But we have been here long enough; the water is too deep, the fish have gone off the feed, and we shall have to beat back, lucky if we do in two hours the distance we ran in half an hour on our way.

The tide has run nearly out this evening: a good chance for some rock-oysters. Get your axe and come along. Where? Along the coast toward Foulweather; we shall find those long reefs almost bare. We climb over the big reef on the north head of the harbor, under the lighthouse hill, and wind in and out on the hard sand among the rough rocks, all crusted over their sides with tiny barnacles. There is little kelp or seaweed here. The surf beats too powerfully in this recess, away from the shelter of the great outer reef.

See that group of Indian women and children away out there, barelegged, digging with their axes in the rock. They are after the rock-oysters too.

Now is our chance. Jump on to that rock before the next wave comes in, and climb on to the reef beyond it and get out to low-water mark. Here we are. Do you see that crevice? Chip in and wrench the piece off; the rock is soft enough sandstone to cut with that blunt old axe. Here is the spoil—soft mollusks, are they not, and not pretty to look at? But wait for the soup at dinner to-morrow before you pronounce on them. And we dig, and then venture farther out and farther, till the turn of the water warns us to get back.

The evening is closing in; the sun has set, leaving a hot, red glow, where his copper disk has just sunk beyond the Pacific horizon; and the eye wanders out from the infant waves, at foot just tinged with red, and reflecting the light as they move up in turn to catch it, to the blue and still darker blue water beyond, out to the sharp indigo line where sky and water meet.

No land between us and the Eastern world; the mind can hardly grasp the idea of the vast stretch of sea across which this new world reaches forth to join hands with old China and Japan.

SEA-OTTERS.Before we go to bed, step for a moment into the quaint general store all but adjoining the hotel. What a medley! Flour and axes; bacon and needles and thread; fishing-lines and bullock-hides; writing-paper and beaver-traps; milk-pails and castor-oil; tobacco in plenty, and skins; and a smell compounded of all these and more, but chiefly the product of that batch of skins hanging from that big nail in front of you, and lying piled on the bench by your side. Take them down, and turn them over; Bush won't mind. And we shake hands with the proprietor, coming from the darkness at the back. He has borne an honorable limp ever since the war, and has never yet quite recovered from illness and wounds. He swears by Newport as the best, and healthiest, and most promising place in the world. "Say," he whispers in our ear, "got a sea-otter skin to-day!" "Where did you get it, Bush, and who from, and how much did you have to pay for it?" "Got it from the Indians," he says; "they shot it away up by Salmon River, beyond Foulweather, and had to give more dollars for it than I care to say." "Where did they get it?" "Where they always do, away out in the kelp among the surf." "Don't they ever come to land?" "No," he answers, "they live, and sleep, and breed out in the kelp. But if you want to know all about them, why don't you ask Charlie here? He has been trading this summer, and last winter and spring, up by Gray's Inlet in Washington Territory, where they are plenty." So saying, he calls up the captain of the steam-schooner lying at her moorings by the quay.

From this man, and from hunters and Indians all along the coast, I have gathered many a tale of the habits of the sea-otter, and of the fate of those that have been killed; for the rarity of the beast, and the beauty and value of its skin, interest these men, both from their hunters' instinct and from the mere money business of it. I know also that scientific naturalists desire all the facts they can get, that such facts may be placed on record before this connecting link between the seals and the otters perishes from the earth. I believe that the sea-otter (Enhydra marina) is only met with on this north Pacific coast, along which it is gradually being driven northward by constant hunting. Thirty years ago they were common along the Oregon sea-line; now the killing of a single specimen is noted in the newspapers; and hardly more than one a year is generally met along the coast. They inhabit the belt of tangle and kelp, which is found a few hundred yards from the beach, beyond the shore-line of sand or rock. They are never seen ashore, or even on isolated rocks; when the sea is warm and still, they live much on the surface, playing in the weed; sometimes, supporting their fore-feet on the thickest part of the wavy mass, they raise their head and shoulders above the weed, and gaze around. Parents and children live together in the weed; I have not heard of more than two young ones being seen in the family group. The skeleton is about four feet long: the fore-paws are short, strong, and webbed; almost in the same proportions as a mole's; the hinder extremities are flappers, like the seal's. The hide is twice the size of the common otter's; the fur the most beautiful, soft, thick, and glossy in the world—dark-brown outside, and almost yellow beneath, like the seal's. They are sometimes shot from a steam-schooner, like my friend's, lying-to at a safe distance, but much more commonly from the shore. Along the coast of Gray's Inlet several hunters make a regular business of it. Quite high watch-towers of timber are built just above high-water mark, and on these the hunter climbs with his long-range rifle, and watches. He provides a man on horseback to follow any otter he may be fortunate enough to kill, up or down the coast, and take possession of it when thrown up on the beach by the tide. These men seem to prefer the Sharp rifle for accuracy of long-range fire. That they are no mean proficients may be judged when I mention that one hunter killed upward of sixty last year; the skins, or most of them, my friend the captain bought, at prices, varying with size and condition, of from fifty to one hundred dollars each. I am told that about August the young ones are seen in company with their parents; but that the otters may be met with at almost any time in the year when the sea is calm enough for them to be marked among the tangle.

COMMON OTTER. MINK.The common otter (Lutra Californica) abounds in the tidal portions of the rivers along this coast. Two Indians, whom I know, shot six in an hour or two among the rocks bordering a little cove some eight miles north of the Yaquina, into which a little river empties itself. The skins are not quite so large as those of the English otter, but the fur is valuable. The mink (Putorius vison) resembles the polecat, but is nearly twice as large, with nearly black fur; it frequents the borders of the streams, and takes to the water with the greatest readiness. We have rabbits in Oregon (Lepus Washingtonii) not much more than half the size of the common rabbit of Europe, but similar in habits and place of residence. It is on these that the mink chiefly preys. I was walking my horse along a quiet stretch of sandy road, between thick bushes, returning from the Yaquina one day in summer, when a rabbit darted out before my horse and down the road for a hundred yards as hard as he could go; then into the bushes, then back into the road, and up the other side, close to me, evidently in the greatest fear. I stopped to see. Presently, a mink came out where poor Bunny first appeared—nose to the ground, and hunting like a ferret. He followed the rabbit's track step by step down the road, into the bushes, back again close to me, then into the brush; and then out came poor rabbit again, the heart gone out of him. Stopping an instant, then going on a few steps, stopping again, and at last, trembling, he bunched himself into his smallest compass in the middle of the road, and there awaited his fate. Not losing one twist or turn, patient, fierce, inexorable, the enemy followed, not raising his nose from the trail till he was almost on his prey. Then a quick bound; the rabbit was seized by the head, almost without a struggle, and dragged nearly unresisting into the bushes down toward the river's edge, while I passed on, musing on the points of resemblance between cousins on opposite sides of the world. Fortunately, these rabbits are very scarce. They are hardly seen in the valley; they live solely in the woods, never in or about the cultivated ground.



Birds in Oregon—‌Lark—‌Quail—‌Grouse—‌Ruffed grouse—‌Wild-geese—‌ Manœuvres in the air—‌Wild-ducks—‌Mallard—‌Teal—‌Pintail—‌Wheat-duck —‌Black duck—‌Wood-duck—‌Snipe—‌Flight-shooting—‌Stewart's Slough—‌ Bitterns—‌Eagles—‌Hawks—‌Horned owls—‌Woodpeckers—‌Blue-jays—‌Canaries —‌The canary that had seen the world—‌Blue-birds—‌Bullfinches—‌ Snow-bunting—‌Humming-birds at home.

I have read comments on the scarcity of birds in America. This may be true in some parts; here, in Oregon, we have abundance, except of singing-birds. Of these last the meadow-lark is almost the sole example; and his song, in its fragmentary notes and minor key, does not even remind one distantly of his English cousin, who always seems to express by his gush of complete and perfect melody the joy that fills his being:

"... In a half sleep we dream,

And dreaming hear thee still, O singing lark!

That singest like an angel in the clouds."

The quail (Oreortyx pictus) has one long, sweet whistle, with the peculiarity that it is almost impossible to follow up and find the bird by his note; it sounds so close that you expect the bird is standing on the nearest log, but you look in vain; then it calls you from a hundred yards off, among the brush; again from the other side, and you try to drive him out of the left-hand thicket; but all the while your dog is working in the wood twenty yards ahead. You turn your head just in time to see a dark-brown bird flit like a flash across the road and disappear.

In the shooting-season the quail is one of the hardest birds to kill. They run in front of the dog in the brushwood with the greatest speed, then rise and fly for fifty or a hundred yards like lightning, and then take to their heels again.

In harvest-time the grouse (Tetrao obscurus), here called the partridge, come down from the fir-woods to the grain-fields and give good sport. They frequent the corners of the fields, nearest to the brush, and as the brood rise, ten or a dozen in number, and wing quickly across to shelter in the wood, it reminds one of old times and of partridge-shooting in Norfolk or Suffolk ten years ago.

When the grain is cleared off, the grouse keep to the slips and corners of brush nearest to the field for some weeks. As the season advances, they take to the fir-woods again, and lose their interest to the sportsmen by becoming in the first place almost impossible to find, and next worthless for the table from their turpentine taste. After the grouse have left the harvest-fields and got back into the woods, the shot-gun sportsman must be quick indeed to shoot as the bird rises and makes for the nearest tall fir. There he perches and defies you. The rifle-shot waits till the bird has taken up its place on the bough and peers over to look after the dog; then he shoots and often kills, though the head and neck of a grouse thirty or forty yards off is not a very big mark.

The ruffed grouse (Bonassa Sabinensis), here called the pheasant, is a fourth larger than the common grouse, with beautiful bright-brown plumage, dashed with yellow, and a spreading tail. He frequents the oak-grubs and scattering brush of the foot-hills, and is found all through the less dense portions of the woods of the Coast Range. He gives good sport, rising to the dog and giving a longer flight, and offering the sportsman a fairer chance.

WILD GEESE.As soon as the first half of October has passed by, the cry of the wild-geese is heard far away in the sky, and their V-shaped companies are seen winging their southward course. These first advance-guards do not stay, and scarcely ever descend low enough to tempt even the most sanguine shot. But in a week or so the main army arrives. Following up the general course of the Willamette River, they betake themselves to the sand- and gravel-bars of the river to spend the night, leaving in the early morning for the bare harvest-fields, where, after a vast amount of debate and consideration, and many long, circling flights, they descend to feed. Now every kind of firearms sees the light, and the gun-maker of the town begins to reap his harvest.

As you ride along the country roads in the valley, you see a lurking form behind almost every fence. It is a kind of sport exactly suiting the average Oregonian, who likes his game to come to him, and is great at watching for it.

Following with your eye the line of timber that betokens the river's course, you see six or seven great flocks of geese (Bernicla Canadensis) on the wing at once; some in the far distance, mere specks in the air, others near enough for you to overhear their conversation, which goes on continually. However confused the crowd that rises from the river, it is but a few seconds until order is taken. One flies to the head to guide the band, others take places on either side behind him; regular distances are kept, leaving just enough room for free motion, but no more. Inside the head of the V, and generally on its left side, fly two or three geese in a little independent group. I think it is from these that the officer appears in turn to lead the van.

How many times have I watched their evolutions with delight!—all the keener that the band was coming my way; that the quick, regular beats of the wings had nearly stopped, and the spread pinions showed they were about alighting in the very field under the snake-fence of which I crouched, double-barrel in hand.

The voices grow louder; the conversation and debate is perfectly confusing; they are near enough for you to note the outstretched necks and quick eyes glancing from side to side; the blue-gray colors on the wings, with the black bars, are plain. Waiting till they have passed over, some thirty yards to the right—for it is of no avail to shoot at them coming to you (the thick feathers turn the shot)—here go two barrels at the nearest birds. What a commotion! There is a perfect uproar of voices all declaiming at once, and away they scatter as hard as they can, resuming regular order in a hundred yards, but leaving one poor bird flapping on the ground. My dog runs to pick him up, but can't make out the big bird, and comes inquiringly back to know what on earth I mean by shooting at birds he surely has seen—"Yes, about the home-pond, master—what are you about?"

The geese are sorely destructive to the autumn-sown wheat; the farmer welcomes the sportsman from selfish motives, as well as from his usual hospitality, when he sees him, gun in hand.

The wild-geese are nearly all of one variety (Bernicla Canadensis); a few white ones (Anser hyperboreus) appear now and then, prominent among their gray brethren by their snowy plumage. Wild-ducks come next, and by the end of the first week of November the sportsman's carnival is in full swing. First come the mallard and his mate (Anas boschus), in small bands; next follow the whistling and the common teal (Querquedula cyanoptera and Nettion Carolinensis); then the pintail (Dafila acuta) in great bands; following these, the wheat-duck, or gadwall (Chaulelasmus streperus), in multitudes; then, at a short interval, the redhead (Fuligula Athya Americana) and the black duck (Fulix affinis). These stay with us all the winter, as do also the wood-duck (Dix sponsor), and until the crocuses cover the wild ground once again. We have the snipe (Gallinago Wilsonii) in our marsh-lands, but not in large numbers, and one specimen of the great solitary snipe has been killed.

The snipe have a curious instinct for knowing exactly how many one piece of marsh will support. Near this house is a wet corner, fed by springs and also by ditches. The extent is about an acre; it is covered with rose-bushes and alder-shoots, and with rushes. In this are usually three snipe, never more. Several times each winter we have cleared the three out, but in a week or so successors fill their places.

FLIGHT-SHOOTING.Our favorite sport in winter is "flight-shooting"—killing the geese and ducks as they fly round the swamps at evening, preparing to settle for their night's feed. This comes in after the day's work is pretty nearly done. Mounting our ponies about four o'clock, we canter off to a big swamp about three miles off. Through this flows a little stream, whose water swells with the winter rains into two little lakes. Long grass and sedges cover the ground, and a good many patches of reeds give shelter.

Arriving just as the sun is setting behind the mountain south of Mary's Peak, his departing rays strike in brilliant red and yellow light along the surface of the pools, filling the valley with quivering, purple haze. We post ourselves at long intervals along the marsh, crouching while the light lasts, among the reeds. Just as the red light fades away, a group of black specks is seen against the sky, rising from the fir-timber that bounds the distant river. They grow quickly larger, and presently the rapid beat of wings is heard, as they whistle through the air overhead. The first flight round is high up in the sky, as they take a general view. Circling at the far end of the swamp, back they come, this time nearer to the ground. Just as you are debating if you dare risk the shot, whish! whish! comes the big band of teal close behind you, dashing by with a swoop worthy of the swiftest swallow, and defying all but a chance shot into the thick of them. By this time the big ducks are past, your chance at them is gone, and you hear in a second or two the bang! bang! from lower down the swamp, telling of one of your comrades' luck. Here come some more—right, left, overhead, behind—till an unlucky cartridge sticks in your gun, and the scene falls on an unhappy wretch cursing his luck, and devoting himself, his gun, his powder, the ducks, the swamp, and all Oregon to the infernal deities!

Night has fallen; the pale gold-and-green light has faded from the sky; the dark purple line of mountains has turned into a solid mass of the darkest neutral tint; one star after another has shown out overhead, to be reflected in the still, shallow water in which you stand.

A low voice calls out of the darkness, "Time to go home, I suppose." And a quick canter along the muddy road, possible only because the horses know every step of the way, soon brings us home to a late meal, where all our battles are fought over again, and the spoils, in their various beauty, are proudly shown. Among the game-birds may be included the blue crane, which flies in bands of from ten to twenty, high in the air. But it does not remain here, and is only killed by chance.

The other day a bittern (Ardeidæ minor) was shot—a bird somewhat larger than the European bittern, but exactly resembling it in all essentials.

EAGLES, HAWKS, HORNED OWLS.Eagles and hawks we have in abundance, and of all sizes. The former are destructive to the young lambs even in the valley. How bold they are, too! One flew into a bush the other day as I rode across a wide pasture, and watched me as I came close by him, never taking to flight, though I passed within twenty yards of him—near enough to note the defiant, proud expression of his great black eye. Last summer we lost chicken after chicken. I could not make out the robber, having taken precautions against rats, et id genus omne. One night, about ten o'clock, our English servant burst into the sitting-room with—"Sir, sir, bring your gun; here's a heagle come down on to the roof of the barn!" One of us ran out with a gun, and made out a big bird against the starlit sky. A shot, and down it came on the roof of the stable, making the horses jump and rattle their halter-blocks. It turned out to be a splendid specimen of the great horned owl. After his death the depredations among the chickens ceased for the time. Very often a pair of owls, just like the English barn-owl, are seen beating the swampy ground, I suppose after rats; quartering the ground, and examining every sedgy patch like a setter-dog.

Two kinds of woodpeckers are common; the smaller sort abounds in the burned timber, and again and again in the course of the day's ride you hear the tap, tap, and see the little fellow propping himself against the black trunk with his strong tail. The larger woodpecker is a beautiful bird, with a bright brown-and-gray speckled and barred chest, and a scarlet head and top-knot. These birds are eagerly sought by the Indians, who adorn themselves with the red feathers, and use them also as currency among themselves in various small transactions.

The blue-jays are as noisy in our woods as in other parts of the world, and as inquisitive and impertinent.

In summer we have flights of little yellow-birds just like canaries. One of my boys brought his pet canary from England in a little cage. He cared for and tended it all the long journey, and until we were on board the steamer coming up the Willamette. In the course of the morning he thought he would clean out his bird's cage. The open door was too strong a temptation. Out slipped the captive, and, after a short flight or two in the cabin, away he went into the outer air and perched on the upper rail of the pilot-house. After a moment he caught sight of a flock of little yellow-birds flitting round a big tree by a farmhouse on the bank. Off flew the little traveler to join them, and the last we saw of him was that he was joyfully joining the new company, while his master stood disconsolately watching the escape of his favorite.

Flocks of little bluebirds (Sialia Mexicana) frequent the town, the whole of their plumage a bright metallic blue. Among them is sometimes seen the golden oriole (Icterus Bullockii), making, with his orange jacket and black cap, a brilliant contrast with his blue companions.

Along the fences, and in the clumps of bushes filling their angles, is the favorite haunt of a pretty bird (Pipilo Oregonus), in plumage almost exactly resembling the European bullfinch; like him too in habit, as he accompanies you along the road in little, jerky flights.

HUMMING-BIRDS AT HOME.When the winter day has closed in, and the lamps are lighted, several times the little snow-bunting (Iunco Oregonus) has come tapping at the window, attracted by the light, and seeking refuge in the warmth within from the rough wind and driving rain without. In the honeysuckle, which covers the veranda and climbs over the face of the house, two sets of humming-birds (Selasphorus rufus) made their home. It was pretty to watch them as they poised themselves to suck the honey, and then darted off to one flower after another among the beds, returning every instant to their nests, close to our heads, as we sat out in the cool evening air. We were taken in several times by the humming-bird moths, which imitated exactly the motions of the birds.



Up to the Cascades—‌Farming by happy-go-lucky—‌The foot-hills—‌Sweet Home Valley—‌Its name, and how deserved and proved—‌The road by the Santiam—‌Eastward and upward—‌Timber—‌Lower Soda Springs—‌Different vegetation—‌Upper Soda Springs—‌Mr. Keith—‌Our reception—‌His home and surroundings—‌Emigrants on the road—‌The emigrant's dog—‌Off to the Spokane—‌Whence they came—‌Where they were bound—‌Still eastward—‌Fish Lake—‌Clear Lake—‌Fly-fishing in still water—‌The down slope east—‌ Lava-beds—‌Bunch-grass—‌The valleys in Eastern Oregon—‌Their products —‌Wheat-growing there—‌Cattle-ranchers—‌Their home—‌Their life—‌In the saddle and away—‌Branding-time—‌Hay for the winter—‌The Malheur reservation—‌The Indians' outbreak—‌The building of the road—‌When, how, and by whom built—‌The opening of the pass—‌The history of the road—‌Squatters—‌The special agent from Washington—‌A sham survey.

After recovering from a sharp attack of illness last fall, I was sent away for change of air. I fancied the mountain air would revive me speedily; so we resolved to travel up to the Upper Soda Springs, in the Cascades. It was two days' journey from the valley. The first twenty miles led us across the rich valley portion of Linn County. We had to pass through the little town of Lebanon.

Near here we saw an illustration of farming carelessness that I must mention. The harvest of 1879 was marked by the first recorded instance of rust attacking the spring-sown wheat. The spring was unusually late, and when the rains ceased, about the 25th of May, the summer sun broke forth at once with unclouded warmth and splendor. The lately sown grain sprang up in marvelous vigor, and the crop promised abundantly for the farmer, when, just before the wheat hardened in the ear, the rust seized it, the leaf took a yellow tinge, and the grain shriveled up. The valley portions of Linn, Lane, Marion, and Benton Counties suffered, the first-named the most severely.

In our ride across the valley we passed several fields which were standing abandoned and unreaped; the preparations for next year's crop were in active progress; in one great wheat-field we saw the farmer, with his broad-cast grain-distributor fixed in his wagon, sowing his seed among the untouched, shriveled crop! And the wonder is that the crop of this year, all through this stricken district, was unusually fine for both quality and quantity of wheat.

I do not know that a stronger fact could be adduced in proof of the still wonderful fertility of this Willamette Valley than that it should be possible this year to reap a good crop, grown on ground that was neither reaped, plowed, nor rolled—nothing done but to cast abroad the seed and harrow it lightly in.

Soon after passing Lebanon, eighteen miles from here, we reached the foot-hills of the Cascades; round, swelling, sandy buttes; sometimes covered with short pasture-grass; generally bearing a growth of oak-brush, sprinkled with firs of a moderate size.

SWEET HOME VALLEY.We slept at the first toll-gate, at the other side of Sweet Home Valley. This pretty vale deserved its name. Some five or six miles long by about two in width, there was a good expanse of fertile bottom-land, plowed and cultivated; all round the hills rose, lightly timbered in part, affording pasture for the cattle. We were told that the first five settlers were bachelors, and called the Valley "Sweet Home" to induce their lady-loves to follow them so far into what was then a wilderness. That their invitation succeeded, I judge from the fact that the valley has now three hundred inhabitants; that the settlement was a permanent one, I judge from the fact that a neat schoolhouse, well filled with scholars, is now the chief ornament of the valley.

The road followed on along the course of the Santiam River, now becoming a rapid mountain-stream, with many a rock and ripple. By the side of every farmhouse stood one or two "fish-poles," betokening that the river was of use as well as ornament to the dwellers by its banks.

The road now led us straight eastward to the mountains, whose fir-crowned summits frowned on us from every side. Here and there a little valley nestling among the hills had been reclaimed to the use of man; and many a neat little farm and well-grown orchard, with fenced grain-fields and hay-fields, witnessing to the successful labor of the owner, smiled on us as we passed.

On nearly all appeared the magic words: "Hay and oats sold here. Good accommodation for campers"; betokening that we were on the main road of travel, and that the farmers found a ready market for their produce at their very door.

At one farm stood a set of Fairbanks's scales, for weighing and apportioning the wagon-loads before undertaking the passage of the mountains. The ascent was soon commenced; indeed, we had mounted several hundred feet before we were well aware of it, so good was the engineering of the road.

LOWER SODA SPRINGS.The timber grew larger on either side and ahead; no burned timber here, but massive, heavy growths, extending mile after mile, of spruce, hemlock, and pine, interspersed with many a cedar, tall, straight, and strong. Very little undergrowth of brush; a good deal of brake-fern and of grass; and by the sides and along the edges of the little gullies and cañons that we crossed, the large maidenhair-fern grew in beautiful profusion. We were never far from the Santiam, and now and again the roar and rush of water told us of little falls and rapids in the stream. Always ascending, here with a long, straight stretch of grading cut into the hill-side, there with a winding course to cheat the hill that rose to bar our road; down a short distance, then along the little valley with its farm, then up again, till we gained the brow overlooking the settlement at the Lower Soda Springs. The little wooden houses, with galleries overhanging the rocky stream; the heavy fir-woods clothing the hill-sides; the abundant ferns and creeping plants growing down to the water's edge; the abrupt outlines of the rocks in places too steep for vegetation—all reminded us of Norway, and of happy tours in bygone years. And the welcome we received from the hospitable innkeepers served to strengthen the remembrance.

We went down to drink at the soda-springs. Long, inclined ledges of white and gray rocks lead down to the river's edge; there, within a few feet of the sweet, running water, so near that the rise of one foot in actual level of the stream would overrun the spring, we found the alkaline spring, welling out from a hole six inches across in one of the wide ledges of gray rock. I never yet tasted a mineral water that was nice, and it seems as if the medical value of a spring varied exactly with its nastiness; so judged, I should say that the Lower Soda Springs were very valuable. A few hours more, over broken country, which grew wilder as we advanced, brought us in twelve miles' travel to our destination. The last few miles entered a burned timber-patch, where the black trunks either towered high into the air or lay supine, rotting by degrees into yellow mold. The vegetation had a different aspect from the Coast Range; a great feature in the brush was the abundance of elder-bushes, then covered with blue-gray berries, and the flourishing dogwood-trees, whose branches bore a quantity of large, white flowers and also of scarlet fruit. We had crossed the Santiam several times, here by timber bridges, there by fords.

The excellence of the road, its freedom from rocks and "chuck-holes," alike surprised and pleased us, and my poor bones would have told a sad tale if all the stories of "mere wagon-track" had been founded in even the semblance of fact.

MR. KEITH.We mounted the little rise which brought us in sight of Upper Soda Springs. On the left of the road stood a barn; on the right, three little detached wooden huts, from one of which the thin, blue smoke was rising and betokened the habitation of the owner. A thin, bent, elderly man issued from the barn with a big bundle of hay in his arms, as we drove up, and came across to meet us. "Mr. Keith?" I asked. "I have a letter of introduction from a friend of yours, and we wish to stay with you for a week or ten days." "You read it to me," was the answer; "I haven't got my spectacles." So I read it. "Well, sir, can we stay?" "I don't mind men, but I can't abear women," was the somewhat forbidding response, as my wife smiled across from the back of the carriage. "I don't think you need mind my wife, Mr. Keith; she won't give you any extra trouble." "I don't mind cooking for men—they don't know any better; but, as for the women, they are always thinking how much better they could do it." However, we settled it amicably, and took possession of the third little hut, where the bundle of hay was soon shaken out on to the two standing bed-places on either side. We made great friends with the old gentleman, whose roughness was all on the outside, and who slew his chickens, and cooked his cabbages, and stewed his dried plums and apples for us without stint, and in a manner that no woman could object to.

The situation was most romantic—just under the shadow of a huge body of rugged rocks on one side, while on the other Mr. Keith's little fields, from which all the dogwood and elderberry bushes had not been grubbed out, led to the edge of the bank overhanging the Santiam. The river here is a beautiful stream, rocky and broken, deep and shallow, by turns, with a trout under every stone.

Mr. Keith's garden was a few steps from the house, in a little bottom; although so high up above sea-level (about twenty-five hundred feet, I believe), the vegetables were as fine as I ever saw, and the grape-vines, trained over a trellis in front of the house, were loaded with fruit.

Here, among the hills, trout-rod for me and sketch-book and water-colors for my wife, we spent ten happy days. There was no lack of company, for, besides our old host, all the passers-by stopped at the house. Hardly a day went, even at that late period of the season, without from six to ten wagons passing, on their way from Western and Southern Oregon to the wide plains and fertile valleys of Eastern Oregon and Washington Territory.

The self-reliance, the absolute trusting to the future, of all these good people was impressive. The whole family were together: beds, chairs, stove, blankets, clock, saucepans, and household stores were all packed or piled into the wagon; underneath hung a box or basket with a couple of little pigs or a dozen cocks and hens. A couple of cows were driven along or took their parts as a yoke of oxen in draught; a colt or two and a few young cattle ran by the side, and the family dog, presiding over the cavalcade, seemed to have more of a burden on his mind than the human heads of the expedition. Many stopped to camp for the night, almost all for at least one meal, and all without exception to get a drink from the effervescing soda-spring.

OFF TO THE SPOKANE.One wagon was driven by a pleasant-spoken man; with him were his wife and a sick baby of a year old. They had nothing for the baby but potatoes and flour. Their stores were but scanty. "Where are you going?" said I. "To the Spokane, I guess," was the reply. "Where do you come from?" "Well, I had a valley-farm, and we were doing pretty well, but I hadn't my health good, and I thought we'd try the Spokane." "Do you know where it is you are going?" "No, but they told us to take this road and we'd find our way." "Have you any idea how far it is?" "Not much; a hundred miles or two, isn't it?" "Put five hundred or so on, and you'll get there." "You don't say so! Well, I dare say we shall get through all right." "What do you mean to do?" "Well, I haven't money enough to buy a farm, so I shall just take up a place." "You mean to homestead, then?" "I guess so." "How many miles can you make in a day?" "Not more than ten or fifteen with this old scrub team." "Have you thought that this is the first week in October, and that you can't expect to get there much before January?" "I guess not; but I dare say we shall get on very well." "You told me just now you had not much money; have you thought how long it will last you, spending two dollars a day on the road?" "No, I haven't rightly figured it. I knew we shouldn't have much left when we got there." "What makes you want to go to the Spokane?" "Well, I've heard it's good land up there." "Isn't Oregon good enough for you?" "I don't know but what it is. I didn't know the place was so far off." I fetched him a large scale map, and left him to think it over after supper. They were off in the morning before we were out, and I have no idea whether they reached the Spokane; my only consolation was, that the baby was the better for the care and food it got that night, and for the additional stores they carried away for it.

This conversation was, perhaps, an extreme one; but it is absolutely true to facts. All that we talked to were equally hopeful, and few much better instructed as to their course. Certainly no people in the world could be better qualified to make a little go far, to take cheerily all the inevitable discomforts of both the long journey and the new home, and to make the best use of every advantage they found or made. Only a few were going to this Spokane country, away north in Washington Territory; the rest were bound for Eastern Oregon, which is being settled up marvelously fast, when the difficulties of getting there, and of getting their produce out from there, are taken into account.

The stretch of burned timber country ended about the Upper Soda. All round it, and on from there eastward, grew miles upon miles of magnificent fir, hemlock, spruce, and cedar-trees, averaging three feet through, and, I judged, a hundred and fifty feet in height. I measured several of the dead trees on the ground, which ran from two hundred and twenty to two hundred and fifty feet in length, and the tops of all of them were gone.

A few miles farther on eastward are Fish Lake and Clear Lake. The former merits its name from the abundance of trout from one to three and four pounds in weight. In summer the water shrinks away to little more than a stream in the middle of the depression which forms the lake, and a growth of rich, succulent grass follows the subsidence of the waters. Clear Lake, some four miles off, is vastly different. It evidently occupies the place of a great and sudden depression of timber-covered country, for, looking down into the deep, clear water, the great firs are seen still standing erect on the bottom, far, far below. Fly-fishing on this lake is wonderfully good. Throw the flies on to the still water, oh! so quietly, and there let them lie motionless; in a moment or two a dim form shines deep down, rising with a quick, vibrating motion, and up comes your friend: with a greedy snatch he takes the fly, and bolts downward with it, to be speedily checked and brought to book.

Soon begins the descent, much more gradual than the ascent, and not so prolonged, since all Eastern Oregon is a kind of plateau, elevated from one to two thousand feet above sea-level.

VALLEYS IN EASTERN OREGON.A stretch of lava-bed is soon reached, the acme of desolation, where the road has been painfully worked by crushing down the rugged blocks, or laboriously moving them with levers from the path. Two or three miles carry us across, and then the bunch-grass country begins. Great tussocks of succulent feed for spring and early summer, dried by the hot sun into natural hay for autumn and winter use, afford pasture for countless herds of cattle. Even here there are watercourses and springs a few miles apart. The valleys—namely, Des Chutes, Crooked River Valley, Ochoco, Beaver Creek, Grindstone Creek, Silver Creek, Harney Lake, and Malheur—stretch in a practically unbroken line across the whole of the remainder of Oregon to the eastern boundary of Snake River.

Take Crooked River Valley as a specimen. It varies from one to three miles in width, but is bounded, not by the steep and rugged hills we are used to in the Coast Range, but by gently swelling bluffs, covered with bunch-grass to and over their tops. The valley-land is rich and fertile, and wherever cultivated yields abundantly in potatoes, cereals, vegetables, and small fruits of all kinds. Sixty and eighty bushels of oats to the acre is not an unusual crop. And tame grasses take firm hold of the country wherever opportunity is given them. The bunch-grass slopes, with occasional sagebrush scattered among the grass, are not to be always set apart for such common use as at present.

Precisely the same character of land has been plowed up and put into wheat during the last few years round Walla Walla, just north of the northeast corner of Oregon, and produces forty bushels of wheat to the acre. Indeed, it is from country like this that the great crops of Northeastern Oregon and Washington Territory are produced; crops yielding a magnificent return, if not to the farmer whose enterprise and industry have served to raise them, yet to the recently formed transportation company called the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company, by whose boats plying on the Columbia the wheat is carried to Portland to be shipped.

At present these vast stretches of rolling hill and dale are the home of the cattle-rancher—a strange and wild life. A suitable site is fixed on, commanding ample water privilege, with some valley-land near by to grow sufficient hay, and to raise the desired quantity of oats and vegetables; here the house is built, the lumber being hauled by wagons perhaps fifty or a hundred miles from the mill. The rancher's family consists of his wife and children, and possibly five or six herdsmen. While looking after cattle, these men almost live in the saddle. Horses abound, and form as good a source of revenue as cattle, in proportion to the capital engaged. The Eastern Oregon horse is taller and bigger-boned than the valley horse, but naturally his education is not so well attended to, and he is apt to be "mean" and to buck. Little recks his rider, and after a bout of bucking, in which the horse has not dislodged the man, but has shaken up every bone in his body till he is sore all over with the constant jar, as the horse comes to the ground all four feet at once after a mighty jump, then it is the man's turn. Driving in the heavy Mexican spurs, with their rowels two or three inches across, the rider starts wildly out, and mile after mile the open country is crossed at a hard-gallop. The herd is soon seen and ridden round, and a close lookout is kept to see if any stragglers have joined the band, and if the calves and yearlings are all right. Branding-time comes twice a year, in spring and autumn, when the cattle of a whole "stretch" of country are driven together, separated according to the various ownerships determined by marks and brands.

In spring come in the Eastern buyers, who travel through the country, collecting a huge drove of perhaps from ten to twenty thousand head. The three-year-old steers fetch about fifteen or seventeen dollars a head; no wonder the ranchers prosper, considering that the cost from calfhood was only that of herding.

Some of the provident ones collect one or two hundred tons of natural hay against the severities of winter. It may be that for two or three years the hay will stand unused; then comes the stress. Deep snow will cover the face of the country and lie for weeks, too deep for the cattle to live, as in ordinary winters, on the dry bunch-grass protruding from the snow, or easily reached by scratching a slight covering away. Even an abundant store will not save all, for many of the herd will have taken refuge in distant valleys, or perhaps have retreated far off the whole range in the face of the driving storm. And even those that are found will move very unwillingly from any poor shelter they may have secured toward the life-saving food.

THE MALHEUR RESERVATION.There is a large Indian reservation called the Malheur Reserve; the road crosses its southwest corner. These Indians are quiet enough now, but only three years ago there was an outbreak among them. One rancher had built a fine stone house, just outside the reservation bounds, and there lived in comfort, surrounded by all the necessaries and many of the luxuries of life. He had six or eight thousand head of cattle and some three hundred horses in his band. One morning a friendly Indian rode up in haste, telling him to get away, as the hostiles were coming to kill them all. Mounting their horses, the rancher and his wife took to flight; they looked back from the hill-top to see the flames and smoke rising from their comfortable home, telling how narrow had been their escape. A hurried ride of fifty miles took them to safe refuge; and the speedy repulse of the Indians, and their being driven once again within their own boundaries, enabled the rancher to rebuild his house, and restore once more his household goods.

This road was built by men who were sent out from Albany, and spent years in the work, rifles by their side; for the country fourteen years ago was not the safe domain it has now become. The first idea was to use the pass through the Cascades (which is the lowest and safest in Oregon, so far as I can learn), to build a road to open the plains of Eastern Oregon to the Willamette Valley. After a good deal of the work had been accomplished, a suggestion was made to the owners of the road that if they would undertake to extend it clear across the State to the Idaho boundary, a distance from Albany of some four hundred and fifty miles by the necessary deviations from a straight line, a land grant might probably be procured from Congress to aid the work. Whatever may be said of the general policy of granting the national lands to corporations to aid wagon-road and railroad enterprises, there may surely be cases where the effect is not only to secure the execution of the work, but also to encourage the settling up of a district, and the consequent increase of the population and wealth of a State.

Here was the state of affairs in Eastern Oregon prior to 1866: A vast country, adapted for the gradual settlement and ultimate habitation of a prosperous race, was lying at the mercy of a few roving bands of Indians, who made the lives and property of even casual travelers their speculation and sport. What was the value then of all that country? Could any purchaser for it have been then found, at even a few cents an acre?

BUILDING OF THE ROAD.The projectors of the road took their lives in their hands when they ventured forth to work. They risked themselves, their horses and equipments. Every pound of food consumed had to be brought in wagons from their starting-point. As they progressed, their danger and difficulty increased with every mile they traversed; and the last section of the road was built by men who had suffered themselves to be snowed in and shut off from families and friends, and to give up every chance of succor in distress, that the work might not stand still. And it was no light work, even judged by us who travel the road at ease, and have hardly a passing glance for the rocky grade, the deep cutting, the ponderous lava-block, the huge black trunk. How appalling must the undertaking have appeared to those who had first to face the dangers and difficulties of a mountain-chain, to plan for and survey out the most favorable route among heavy timber and rocky precipice, beside rushing waters and through deep gorges; and then across those wide and then silent plains, where the timid antelope ranged by day, and the skulking wolf by night made solitude hideous with his melancholy howl! No roadside farms to welcome them, no little towns to mark, as now, the stages of their journey, but farther and farther into the wilderness, till four hundred miles lay between the workers and the valley-homes they had left months before.

And this was no wealthy corporation, which has but to announce its readiness to receive, and dollars are poured into its lap by a public hungry for dividends, until it has to cry, "Hold, enough!" Here were no regiments of yellow workmen, trained to labor in many a ditch and grade; but citizens of Oregon, who desired to build up their State; who believed the records of their fellows as to the miles of country that could be forced to contribute their quota of productions if but the way were opened in and out; who, having themselves prospered in the sound and moderate way in which Oregon encourages her children, were ready to risk what they had gained in a cause they knew was good—these men combined their energies to the common end. It was an enterprise which roused and maintained the kindly interest of all. The working parties in the Cascade Range were followed up by the teams of those who desired the first choice of settlement in the promised land beyond.

By the time the last great log that barred the pass was reached, a long string of wagons stood waiting its removal. While the long saws were plied, and then the levers brought, all stood in expectation; willing hands lent their eager aid: the great wooden mass rolled sullenly away, and the tide of settlement poured through the gap. Between that day in 1867 and 1880 upward of five thousand wagons have made the journey, and, to the honor of the original locators be it said, all without accident arising from the road.

The first few years all went merry as a marriage-bell. The road naturally followed the fertile valleys; and small blame to the road-makers if, having the whole country before them, they chose the smoothest and cheapest route. No man will climb a hill and cut his way along its side if he can find good level ground at the bottom.

The road-makers were entitled under their congressional grant to alternate mile-square sections in a wide belt on either side of their road; the intervening sections were, of course, opened to settlement by the construction of the road. The open-valley sections were soon seized on, and a band of settlements justified, even so soon, the principle of the road-grant.

SQUATTERS.But to many men in this world, and Oregon has her share, the descriptive motto is not, "Labor is sweet, and we have toiled," but the antithesis, "Other men have labored: let us enter into the fruits of their labor." So squatters entered with the legitimate settler, or close on his heels, and took possession of many a section of the road company's land, "taking the chances," as they would express it, of something happening to help them to hold. To aid matters, these men fenced across the road near their houses, and carried the road round on the hill-sides above their farms. The settlers were not slow to follow so promising an example, and, to have the benefit of the bottom-land through which the road ran, they also pushed the road away up the hills.

On more than one occasion the road company sent and had these fences removed and opened the original road afresh. But travelers did not aid them; for here came in a trait of American character I have often noticed, namely, unwillingness to insist on strict right against their neighbors, and a readiness to make any shift, or agree to and use any détour, when to keep the old, straight road would involve a question. So the valley road got disused in places, and travel went round by the hills.

Next, the squatters bethought them that they might in time upset the road grant, and get good title to their neighbors' vineyard. So they sent on a petition to Washington, alleging that the road had never been made; that there was no road at all; that there had been a colossal fraud. But the matter was investigated, and discovery made that the United States authorities had ceased to have any jurisdiction so long ago as 1866. Still, those who were agitating thought something might be made of it. So, somehow or other, the Secretary of the Interior, Mr. Carl Schurz, was induced to interfere, not deterred by the knowledge that the land department had declined to act twelve months before; and so, a year after the squatters' complaint had been refused, an agent was sent out to report; he was well armed with the assailants' stories in advance, and he need be a man of superexcellent straightforwardness and hardihood unless he too could "see something in it."

In this case the phœnix was not discovered, and the eyes, ears, and common-sense of hundreds of men who knew the road well were outraged by a report that no road existed or had been made except for about sixty miles at the western end; and that the road, if road it could be called, was a mere wagon-track, capable of use only for a short time and under exceptionally favorable circumstances!

It was of course assumed that, at so great a distance from headquarters, a hostile report would end matters, and that all the advantages hoped for by the squatters, and by any and all who had espoused their cause, would be forthwith enjoyed.

We have yet to learn that the American Congress will consent to be made parties to such an outrageous conspiracy; to cast an infamous slur on the characters of American citizens who ventured much in an undertaking for the public good; in violation of plain and acknowledged principles of law, to hamper and delay an enterprise relying on the title gained in 1871, and quietly enjoyed for ten years.

HARNEY LAKE VALLEY.The largest of the valleys through which this road passes is Harney Lake Valley, only about eighty miles from the eastern boundary of the State, which will receive fuller description farther on.



Indian fair at Brownsville—‌Ponies—‌The lasso—‌Breaking-in—‌The purchase—‌"Bucking" extraordinary—‌Sheep-farming in Eastern Oregon—‌ Merinos—‌The sheep-herder—‌Muttons for company—‌A good offer refused —‌Exports of wool from Oregon—‌Price and value of Oregon wool—‌Grading wool—‌Price of sheep—‌Their food—‌Coyotes—‌The wolf-hunt—‌Shearing—‌ Increase of flocks—‌"Corraling" the sheep—‌Sheep as brush-clearers.

BREAKING-IN.Some of our people wanted to buy ponies this last fall, and heard that the Indian pony fair at Brownsville, about twenty-five miles from here, was the best place. They rode off one fine October morning, and returned the next day but one, with a handsome four-year-old. The scene as they described it was exciting and interesting. I should say that the town of Brownsville is a lively little place, with seven or eight hundred inhabitants, and some fine woolen-mills. It is the nearest valley town to the mountains accessible by the wagon-road to those crossing from Eastern Oregon. Near the town was the fair-ground, a large, fenced inclosure, with from two to three hundred ponies careering about it in a state of wild excitement. Nearly all the Indians were Warm Springs, some few Nez-Percés. Both these tribes are far finer-looking and better grown than our coast Indians. They wear white men's clothes, but deerskin moccasins on their feet. Except for the absolute straightness of the black hair, these men almost exactly resemble the gypsies as seen in Europe; they are very like them too in many habits of mind and life—equally fond of red and yellow handkerchiefs for neck-wear for the men or head-gear for the women. Several of the Indians were on foot, others on horseback in the inclosure where the horses ran. On our friends telling one of the Warm Springs chiefs who was standing there of their wish to buy a horse, he questioned them as to the kind they wanted, and the price they were willing to give. Then, on giving some directions to one of the Indians on horseback, that worthy unslung his lasso from his saddle-horn and rode into the crowd of horses. The whole wild band were kept on a rapid gallop round and round. The Indian soon selected one, and flinging his lasso over its head he turned and stopped his horse abruptly, and the captive was brought to the ground with a shock enough to break every bone in his body. He was quickly secured by another rope or two by other Indians standing near, and was then carefully inspected. Not being altogether approved, he was set free again, and quickly rejoined the band. Another was caught, and another, and at last a trade was arrived at, subject to the breaking-in of the horse in question. The horse, carefully held by lasso-ropes, was quickly saddled, a hide bridle with sharp and cruel curb-bit was slipped over his head, a young Indian mounted, and all the ropes were let go. Away went the horse like an arrow from a bow; then as suddenly he stopped; then buck-jumping began, while the Indian sat firm and unmoved, seemingly immovable. This play lasted till the horse tired of it, and then off he went at a gallop again. Before he got too far away the rider managed to turn him, and he was kept going for an hour and more till he was utterly exhausted, and the white foam lay in ridges on his skin. By this time all the bucking had gone out of him, and he suffered himself to be brought quietly back to the corral, and he was handed over to the purchaser as a broken horse. A long negotiation as to price had ended in sixteen dollars being paid in silver half-dollar pieces (the Indian declined a gold ten-dollar piece), and a red cotton handkerchief which happened to peep from our friend's pocket, which clinched the bargain.

The average size of the ponies was just under fourteen hands; the shape and make were exceedingly good. There was one splendid coal-black stallion, a trifle larger than the rest, whose long mane and tail adorned him; for this the Indians declined all moderate offers, and got as high as fifty dollars, and would hardly have sold at that. There was a considerable proportion of the spotted roan, which is the traditional color for the Indian "cayuse."

THE SHEEP-HERDER.Sheep-farming in Eastern and Northern Oregon has become a very important pursuit; it is also followed largely in the southeastern portion of the State. As sheep advance cattle retire, and many a growl have I listened to from the cattle-men, and most absurd threats as to what they would do to keep back the woolly tide: even to the length of breeding coyotes or prairie-wolves for the special benefit of the mutton. The merinos, French. Spanish, and Australian, thrive better in the drier climate east of the Cascades than in this Willamette Valley. The vast expanse of open country covered thinly with grass involves the herding system. One of our fellows undertook this business near Heppner in Umatilla County. He had entire charge of a flock of 1,700 merinos. There was an old tent for him to sleep in, but he preferred to roll himself in his blankets on the open ground. No company but his dog, and no voices but the eternal "baa, baa" of the sheep, which almost drove him mad. His "boss" came out to him once in three weeks with a supply of coffee, flour, beans, and bacon; and, if meat ran short, there was abundance of live mutton handy. About once in three weeks, on the average, a stray traveler would cross his path, and have a few minutes' talk and smoke a pipe. He had not the relaxation of sport, for the sheep have driven deer and antelope from the country. Early in the morning his sheep were on the move; he had to follow them over the range; about noon they lay down on the hill-side, and he stopped to eat his scanty meal. All the afternoon they wandered on, till evening fell, by which time they were back on the sheltered hill-side, which stood for headquarters, and where the tent was pitched. Day in, day out, the same deadly round of monotonous duty, until he hated the look, the smell, the sound of a sheep, and I think has an incurable dislike to mutton which will last him all his life. Don't you think that his forty dollars a month was earned? When October came, and a few flakes of snow heralded the coming winter, the "boss" came, and warned him that he must now elect whether or not to spend the winter with the sheep, as the way out would shortly close. If he would stay, he could have a share in the flock to secure his interest, and could also take his pay in sheep, which would thus start his own individual flock. The offer was a tempting one; the path was the same that all the successful self-made sheep-men had followed; cold and privation alone had not many terrors to a hardy man; but—one look at the sheep decided him; he could not stand their society for six months longer. So he left, and returned to the valley, like a boy from school.

I know one or two men, who, forced to accept a situation of this sort, have used the time for the study of a language, and, after a few months with the sheep, have come out accomplished Spanish, Italian, or German scholars. But it takes some resolution to overcome the temptation to drift along, day by day, in idleness of mind and body more and more complete.

The Portland Board of Trade reports that, for the year 1879, 766,200 pounds of wool were received at that city from Eastern Oregon, and 2,080,197 pounds from the Willamette Valley, showing in value an increase of about thirty-five per cent. over the previous year. But Messrs. Falkner, Bell & Co., of San Francisco, reported that the receipts at that city of Oregon wool aggregated 7,183,825 pounds for the clip of 1879. The figures for 1876 were only 3,150,000 pounds. It should be noticed also that Oregon wool commands an excellent price in the market, even six cents higher than California, possessing greater strength and evenness, and being free from burs. The valley wool is clearer from sand and grit than that from Eastern Oregon.

But much remains to be done in this valley. Far too many of the farmers are absolutely careless about scab; and sheep, infested with this noxious parasite, are suffered to run at large and poison the neighbors' flocks. It is true that a law intended to extirpate this curse now exists; but neither is legislation as sufficient nor its enforcement so strict as in Australia, though the necessity for both is full as great. There is but little encouragement either to the valley farmer to expend labor and money in improving the quality of his flock, when he sees his neighbors' inferior fleeces command just as high a price, the wool from perhaps ten or twenty farms being "pooled" without regard to quality. The remedy is of course found in grading the wool; steps for this purpose are being talked over by many intelligent farmers, and I expect soon to see them carried out.

The exhibit at Philadelphia of Oregon wool received medals and diplomas from the Commissioners of the Centennial of 1876, with high and deserved praise. And the show at the Paris Exhibition of 1878 was also splendid; the Oregon fleeces equaling the Australian in length, strength, evenness, and beauty of fiber.

PRICE OF SHEEP.I shall have a little more to say as to the breeds of sheep when the State Fair at Salem is described, where the best specimens were supposed to be, and I believe were collected. Sheep in this valley are worth from $1.25 to $1.75 for store-sheep for the flock, and from $2 to $3 for mutton-sheep in winter. The wool of a sheep may be taken to fetch $1 on an average of seasons. The sheep eat grass all the year round; they have never seen a turnip or cole-seed. I know many farmers who have kept sheep successfully for twenty years on nothing whatever but the natural wild grasses. The great enemy of the sheep in these foot-hills, where the pasture is intermixed with brush, and borders on the thicker brush and timber of the mountains behind, is the coyote. Two or three of these little wolves will keep half a county on the alert, destroying far more than they eat. This "varmint" is somewhat larger than a Scottish sheep-dog, and of a tawny color; he has long hair like a colley, and is much more cowardly than fierce. He lives in the thick brush, whence he steals out at dusk on his murderous errand. He hunts generally alone, though one of our friends saw three together one evening this winter. His pace is a long, untiring gallop, and it takes a very good hound to run him down.

The usual plan of the hunt is for several rifles to command the outlets from a piece of woodland, and then to take into the brush a collection of five or six of the best hounds that can be got together. When the scoundrel breaks cover he may go fast, but the rifle-bullet or buckshot goes the faster, and it would not do to miss.

The sheep killed by the coyote is identified by the two little holes on either side of the throat, where the wolf has struck and held to drink the fast-flowing life-blood. The carcass is rarely torn. But the worse and more common coyote is the mongrel hound. Every now and again one of these impostors takes to murdering, and, demure and quiet as he looks by day, slouching around the barn, spends his nights killing the neighbors' sheep. There is not much chance for him if he is but once seen; his life is a very short if a merry one.

When shearing-time comes round there are plenty of applicants for the job. The price is usually five cents a head, the farmer providing food, but the shearer finding his own tools. Some of these fellows will clip a hundred sheep a day, or even more: true, you must look after them to prevent scamping, in the shape of cuts on your sheep, and wool left on in thick ridges, instead of a clean, good shear. We expect an increase of at least one hundred per cent. on the ewes at lambing-time, even though so little cared for; those farmers who are good shepherds too, improve greatly on this average. The lambs must be well looked after, unless the wild-cat, eagle, and coyote are to take their toll. Not half the sheep are kept in this valley that ought to be, and that will be, when change or succession of crops are universally practiced.

"CORRALING" THE SHEEP.The amusing part of sheep-keeping in our coast-hills is "corraling," or gathering them for the night. By day they roam freely over the hill-sides, and you would be surprised to see how they thrive in brushwood and among fern, where the new-comer could hardly detect a blade of grass. These mountain-sheep, too, are more hardy and independent than the valley flocks. But, when the lambs are about, I am sure it is wise to undertake the labor of collecting them in the "corral" for the night. Without your sheep-dog you would be lost, for you would not have a chance on the hill-sides, and over and under the occasional logs, with sheep that jump and run like antelopes. But the dog cures all that, and you can stand in the road and watch Dandy or Jack collect your flock just as well as if he were in the cairns and corries of old Scotland, whence he or his grandfather came. I like to see them march demurely in at the open gate, and then run to the log where you have scattered a handful of salt for them, every grain and taste of which is eagerly licked up. And they are excellent brush-clearers; they love the young shoots of the cherry and vine-maple, and keep them so close down that in one or two seasons at most the stub dies, and can be plowed out and burned. Therefore every settler who takes up land, or buys a partly cleared farm, will find both pleasure and profit in his sheep, and that to him they are a necessity, even more than to the valley farmer. He must expect a percentage of loss from the wild animals, but his vigilance and love of sport together will reduce that percentage to the lowest point.



The trail to the Siletz Reserve—‌Rock Creek—‌Isolation—‌Getting a road—‌The surveying-party—‌Entrance at last—‌Road-making—‌Hut-building in the wilds—‌What will he do with it?—‌Choice of homestead—‌Fencing wild land—‌Its method and cost—‌Splitting cedar boards and shingles—‌ House-building—‌The China boy and the mules—‌Picnicking in earnest —‌Log-burning—‌Berrying-parties—‌Salting cattle—‌An active cow—‌A year's work—‌Mesquit-grass on the hills.

When I traveled through Oregon in 1877, we visited the Siletz Indian reservation. To get there from the district called King's Valley, where we were, we had to take the mountain-trail first cut out by General Sheridan, when, as a young lieutenant, twenty years ago, he was stationed on this coast. The trail went up one mountain and down another, and crossed this river and that creek, till, at the foot of one long descent from a lofty ridge, which we thought then, and which I know now is, the water-shed between two great divisions of this county, we entered a valley entirely shut in. At the southeastern end, where we entered it, it was a narrow gorge, down which a quick stream hurried, with many a twist and turn, and over many a rocky ledge. The hill-sides above were thick with fern and berry-bearing bushes, and the black trunks of the burned timber stood as records of the great fire; but the stream ran through a leafy wilderness, where maple, alder, and cherry shut in the trail, and the maiden-hair and blechnum ferns grew thickly along the banks. The valley widened out as we advanced, and we found it in shape almost like an outspread hand, the palm representing the central level bottom, and the fingers the narrow valleys and cañons between the encompassing hills. The trail led us by turns along the bottom and the lower steps of the hill-sides. We camped to dine, and explored some distance up the side-valleys, coming on old Indian camping-places, with the bones of deer and beaver scattered round.

The isolation of the place, hidden away there among the hills, the fresh abundance of the vegetation, the mellowness of the thick, fat soil shown where we crossed again and again the creek dividing the valley down its entire length, all charmed me; the steep yet rounded outlines of the hills often recurred to me when I was very far away. When I came back to Oregon, in 1879, I took the first chance I had of going over this old ground.

The question was, if it were possible to run in a road out of the main Yaquina road, which I knew lay but some five or six miles off.

So I sent out a surveying-party to ascertain, and a rough time they had. It rained almost incessantly; the brush was thick; they lost their way; it got dark, and they went wandering on till they struck a trail which led them to a river. "Now we're all right," said the leader; "this is the Yaquina; the road is on the other side of the creek." So they struck into the rushing water, then running in flood, and waded across waist-deep. But no road on the other side; only a dark trail leading into thick brush. Presently it was pitch-dark, and the surveyor confessed he did not know where he was; that this was certainly not the Yaquina, and apparently there was no road. The rain still fell heavily, and saturated them and their packs. Then one of the horses, which they were leading along, slipped from the bank into the flooded stream, and nearly dragged his owner after him. At last they determined to camp. Not a dry spot and no dry wood could they find. So they lay down under the shelter of the biggest log, and ate a supper of raw bacon and an odd lump of stale crust. Not even a match would light, and they staid out the weary hours of darkness as best they could, wishing for dawn.

With the earliest light they were on foot once more, and, after wandering a little farther, the leader identified the Rock Creek Valley, and pointed out the Siletz trail. They had found a route, but certainly not the route I wanted.

Next I went out myself and questioned the settlers down the road as to the trails across. At last we struck on what looked from a distance the lowest gap in the encircling mountains, and made up our minds to keep on trying for a road through that till we got it, or were satisfied it was impossible. Perseverance answered, and we struck a trail up the course of the Yaquina River nearly to its source, and then through some thick wood to the foot of the mountain, on the other side of which was the Rock Creek Valley; then up the mountain to the low gap, and thence the way was plain down into Rock Creek.

ROAD-MAKING.Road-making in Oregon is like road-making elsewhere. We had a party of twelve or fourteen men at work, and had to build three huts at intervals before the road got through. The huts only took a few hours to construct. Cut down a dozen cherry poles, straight and long; saw off a cedar log and split it up again and again, till you get planks out of it four feet long and about an inch or so thick. Drive your cherry poles into dug holes, and set up the frame of your hut; build a recess five feet wide and two feet deep at one end for a chimney; board the whole in, and double the boarding on the roof; line the inside of the chimney with damp earth for about two feet up, and then carry that up above the roof of your house also by boards; hang a door on a couple of wooden hinges made by choosing strong forked pieces of crab-apple which will not split; beat down the floor level and hard, and, if you are very luxurious, set up standing bed-places, or bunks, of cherry-pole legs and cedar boards for the beds, and your habitation is complete—as soon, that is, as you have brought in a huge back-log and set a great fire blazing. Cut off a few chunks of wood level for chairs, and fix two or three boards against the walls for shelves, and you have no idea of the comfort you can get out of your house.

We dug, and graded, and moved logs, and built bridges, and laid corduroy crossings over wet places, and in about three months the way into Rock Creek was clear. I confess to a little pride when the first wagon went safely in, and down into the level bottom below. The next question was the hard one, What will he do with it? The wilderness was before us; how were we to civilize it? Gazing down into the valley, with here a ferny slope, there a copse filling acres of bottom, then a deep cañon with green trees, there a beaver-dam flooding the best piece of land at every high water, and everywhere the great black trunks, standing or lying prostrate, in some places heaped together in the wildest confusion—it was a case that called for the "stout heart to the stiff brae."

The first thing was to settle the place for a homestead, supplied with water, but out of the reach of flood. And a rising ground, some hundred yards from the river, along one side of which ran a clear little stream at right angles to the creek, supplying a chain of three beaver-ponds, overhung with trees and shrubs, was chosen.

FENCING WILD LAND.The next thing was to find out the most open spaces, free from logs and brush, and which could be plowed for oats and hay. Three such were soon set apart, lying far distant from each other, and therefore giving three distinct centers from which clearing should spread. Then the plow was set to work to tear up the ferny ground, and what few logs there were had to be cut in pieces and split for burning. Next came the fencing. It takes five thousand rails, ten feet long and five or six inches thick, to make a mile of snake-fence. A man can split from one to two hundred rails a day, according to the soundness and straightness of grain of the timber; and good hands will contract to saw the logs, split the rails, and keep themselves the while, for about a dollar and a quarter the hundred rails. The difficulty was, that not one in forty of the fallen logs was sound, and the rail-splitters had to wander all up and down the valley and far up the hill-sides to get the right material. However, eleven thousand rails were provided and gradually hauled to their places, and the fields and the intervening spaces of wild lands all fenced in.

Meanwhile, as we were too far from a mill to haul lumber to any advantage, we had to rely on the cedar, which splits more evenly and easily than the fir; and some five thousand boards, six inches wide and from four to six feet long, were got ready; while the timbers for the house and barn were split from straight-grained, tough fir. Then came the shingles, and a contract at two and a half dollars a thousand set two excellent workmen going, and first fifty thousand and then twenty thousand more were made on the spot. Then the house-building and barn-raising went on merrily, though with constant grumbling at the expense of time in preparing the rough materials, instead of having ready-sawed lumber from the mill. We sent to the saw- and planing-mill, fifteen miles away, for doors and windows, and one wagon brought in all that were needed for a nine-roomed house, at a cost of just eighty dollars; the doors and door-frames ready, and the windows duly glazed. At last the house was barely habitable, and we moved in in patriarchal procession.

We treated ourselves to one China boy to cook and wash. For his benefit a cooking-stove was sent out, and set up in a handy kitchen, close to but detached from the house. These China boys are well off for sense. The wagon was heavily laden with stores, and the mules were struggling up a muddy hill. "Get out, John, and walk," said the Scotch driver, and John had to obey. Long before the top was reached, John got in again at the rear, and scrambled back into his place. "Get out, John, I tell you!" "Never mind, Kenzie; horsee no see me get in; they know no better."

But a good deal of the cooking went on over a bright fire of logs down on the ground in front of the house, where the tripod of sticks stood, with the black kettle depending. For the children it was a continuous picnic; two or three times a day they were bathing in the river; and whenever they were not tending the fires, which were burning up the logs and brushwood all the time, they were off, fishing down the creek.

There was abundant employment for every hour of the day, and a comfortable assurance that the work once done was done for good; that is, that each patch of ground cleared and sown was so much actual visible gain.

LOG-BURNING.At night the scene was most picturesque—bright stars overhead, and great fires going in twenty places, lighting up the whole valley with a crimson radiance. Some of the huge trunks, fifty or sixty feet high, were lighted by boring two auger-holes so as to meet a couple of feet deep inside the tree; the fire would lay hold of the entire mass, and cataracts of sparks burst out in unexpected places high up the stem, pouring out in a fiery torrent at the top. And then, when the tree had been burning for a day or more, it would fall with a heavy crash, and a great spout of fire would start forth.

And then there were the berrying-parties. All the women and children would start for the hills, and come back, their baskets laden with ripe blackberries, and the crimson thimble-berries, and yellow salmon-berries, and scarlet huckleberries, and later on with the black, sweet sal-lals. And they filled their nut-bags and pockets with the wild hazels.

If it rained too hard, and it did once or twice, the pocket-knives were all in use, and candlesticks, and salt-cellars, and other trifles, were cut out of the ever-useful cherry and crab-apple.

And the cattle had to be salted. This went on near the house, and in the great corral, to get them to recognize their headquarters, a most necessary knowledge for them before the winter set in. They were quick to learn, and, after a time or two, a short excursion down the valley, with a pocketful of salt, and the long-drawn cry of "Suck, su-uck, su-u-uck," would bring a speedy gathering from distant hills and tall patches of valley-fern, and a long procession would follow the caller back to the corral.

These cattle, most of them mountain-bred, do tricks that would make a valley-cow's hair stand on end. We got one fine young heifer into the narrow branding-corral, to milk her. This was shut off from the large corral by a fallen log five feet thick, which looked high enough to keep the idea of scaling it out of any cow's mind. But I saw her make a standing high jump on to the top of the log, and over, as neatly as the best-trained hunter could possibly have done it, even if his rider had the hardihood to put him at it.

Even while getting their own livelihood on the wild feed on the mountain-sides, where you and I could see nothing but fern and thimble-berry bushes, the cows grew fat and yielded abundance of milk, and that very rich. And even through the rainy months of winter the cattle have kept themselves fat and flourishing.

MESQUIT-GRASS ON THE HILLS.The work has now been going on nearly eleven months, and this is the position to-day: The road is made. The house is built, but not quite finished inside. The big barn is finished, with stable attached. The orchard is cleared, plowed, planted with trees, which have now nearly a year's growth, and is in part seeded down into permanent pasture; as to the other part, it is in potatoes and onions. Two fields—one of four, the other of eight acres—are cleared and plowed, and will be in oats this spring. Another field, across the river, is cleared, but not yet plowed. The garden round the house is prepared. Another field, near the house, of about three acres, is cleared, plowed, and now being sowed down in clover. Another clearing, of about two acres, on old beaver-dam land by the river, is planted in cabbages in part, and the rest will be in carrots and beets. About two hundred acres are fenced in for sheep, and about ninety head are on it, helping out the brush-cutting by eating the shoots. About fifteen hundred acres of hill-land were burned and sowed down in mesquit-grass, which is now, at one year old, about three inches high. Some forty head of cattle, chiefly cows and calves, and a few two-year-olds, are in the valley and all doing well; the steers were sold fat to the butcher in December last. The building work has been done by one carpenter and an assistant, and he has had occasional help in preparing boards. The doors and windows came from the mill; and the timbers and boards were got out of the rough logs by separate contract. The outside work has been done by three men, and an occasional fourth. The place will support itself this year, if all goes well, and next year should yield a fair profit. No doubt a more experienced deviser, and more constant supervision, might have shown a speedier profit. But I have given these details by way of example in bringing wild land in, and making a "ranch" of it.



The Indians at home—‌The reservation—‌The Upper Farm—‌Log-cabins—‌ Women must work while men will play—‌The agency—‌The boarding-house —‌Sunday on the reservation—‌Indian Sunday-school—‌Galeese Creek Jem—‌The store—‌Indian farmers—‌As to the settlement of the Indians —‌Suggestions—‌A crime—‌Its origin—‌Its history—‌The criminals—‌ What became of them—‌Indian teamsters—‌Numbers on the reservation —‌The powers and duties of the agent—‌Special application.

At Rock Creek we are only ten miles from the Siletz Indian agency, and I have paid many visits there, and have seen a good deal of the working of the agency, and also know a good many of the Indians pretty well.

THE RESERVATION.First, as to the place itself. There is no question that on the reservation is some of the best land in the country, and the most easily improved. At some not very distant geological date, the valley must have consisted of a series of lakes, connected by rivers. On the sides of the hills are two clearly defined terraces, and the flat bottoms, are not covered with heavy timber, either alive or dead. There must have been one convulsion which let the waters out and reduced the level to the lower terrace, and then a subsequent one which abolished the lakes altogether, leaving the Siletz River for the water-course of the whole district. Entering the reservation from the Rock Creek trail, there is about six miles of rough and tangled country to get through, where the hills are broken, and the river foams and breaks every now and again over rocky ledges. The brush is thick along the river-banks, and the thimble-berries grow so high and strong that, as you ride by, you can pluck the berries from the level of your face.

Mounting a hill, which closes the gorge ahead of you, the whole valley known as the Upper Farm lies before you. At this point Rock Creek joins the Siletz itself, which here is a wide and rushing stream, and divides the valley along its entire length into two unequal parts. The hills fall back on either side of you and lose their broken forms, becoming long slopes, draped thickly with the heavy brake-fern. Here and there stand the houses of the Indians, each with its grain- and hay-fields; while of cattle of all ages, and little groups of ponies, there is no lack.

Except in one or two instances, the houses are log-cabins, and you miss the staring white paint so common in this country. The barns also are log-built.

There is not much show of neatness about the houses, fences, or the inhabitants. As you ride along, you pass an old crone or two, with bare feet, and ragged, dirty petticoats, each with a large basket on her back, supported by a broad band across the forehead, in which she is carrying home the potatoes she has been digging in the field.

Round one or two of the doors you see a group of lazy ones, men and children, lying or squatting on the grass or in the dust of the bare patch in front—the women you see through the open door at work inside the house. The voices cease as you come in sight, but your salutation, either in Chinook or English, is civilly returned, and a quick glance takes in at once your personal appearance and that of your horse, and every detail of your equipment. You see a few men at work in the fields, but only a few. The men are better dressed than the women; torn or ragged clothes are very rare, and nearly every man has a red or red and yellow handkerchief loosely knotted round his head. Here come two cantering after you on their ponies; one carries a rifle, and you recognize him as one of the reservation Indian police. He asks you your destination and business, and, as you are bound straight for the agency, he lets you go on without a pass. They are bound to be strict, and to see that unauthorized visitors do not enter, and, above all, that no whisky comes within the reservation boundaries.

Four miles more along the road, nearly all the way through farms, or by open pasture-fields, where grass and fern dispute possession, but all through fine bottom-land, varying in width from one to two or three miles across, brings you to the agency on the Middle Farm. What timber is left standing are huge firs, splendid specimens of trees. Here is the agency, the central spot of the reservation-life. The prominent building there, two stories high, with overhanging eaves, spick and span in new white paint and red shingles, is the boarding-house. Here some forty or fifty Indian children of all ages are collected from the outlying portions of the reservation, and are clothed, fed, and trained; their actual teaching goes on in the adjoining school-house. The low, gray house in the orchard, behind the boarding-house, is where the agent lives; those other two white houses, each in its garden, are inhabited by the farmer and the builder or head-carpenter and millwright. In front of the boarding-house is a pretty, open grass-field of six or seven acres; and that neat, white structure at the lower corner of it is the store. The Indians' houses are dotted round; the fields are better kept and cultivated than the Upper Farm; there is a notable absence of loafers and stragglers round, and more farming going on; several teams of horses are in sight.

INDIAN SUNDAY-SCHOOL.The agent receives us kindly, and shows us round everywhere with interest in his work and its results. One Sunday I was there, and, hearing the church-bell calling to service, went in. The Sabbath-school was just beginning in the school-room behind the boarding-house. It was a mixed assembly of all ages, some ninety or a hundred in all. The women were better dressed, and the little children had been treated to all the comforts and care in the way of dress their parents could muster. There was a great variety of type apparent, for the remnants of thirteen tribes of the coast and Klamath and Rogue River Indians are collected on this reservation. Nearly all could speak a little, and understand more, English—and I think we could have got on quite as well without the help of the Indian interpreter, who turned our English into fluent Chinook. This man, named Adams, is an excellent fellow, well instructed, capable, civil, and, I believe, an earnest Christian man. The agent asked me to take the Bible-class at the far end of the room, and soon I was the center of the observant eyes of a dozen Indian men of all ages. Certain of them were friends of mine. Old Galeese Creek Jem, a little fellow about five feet high, with a broad face and a pair of twinkling, laughing eyes, had brought us some salmon in Rock Creek a few days before, and was under promise to bring us some more on Monday. Two or three of the others always stopped for a chat as they passed through. All of them, I noticed, were curious to see how King George's man would act in this new capacity. I am bound to say that they showed considerable knowledge and some reflection in the answers they gave. Perhaps this is not to be wondered at, considering the resolute efforts made now for several years past to instruct and Christianize the Indians here.

At the store I found an excellent stock of all things that the Indians need, and marked at prices which enabled them to lay their money out so as to get its fullest value. The assistant told me that they were all keen traders, and alive to minute differences in quality and texture of their purchases.

SUGGESTIONS.The great majority of the men now heads of families on this reservation, engaged in farming a little, and sufficiently instructed in methods of labor to add considerably to their resources by working during a part of the year for the outside farmers, who are very ready to employ them, do not, I consider, either wish or require to be treated any longer as children or wards of the United States Government. In my judgment, the time has come to apply a far different rule. Many to whom I have talked, and others whose opinions I have gathered from trustworthy sources, desire earnestly to be relieved from the restrictions and to abandon the privileges of their present condition. If the lands they now farm, the houses they now dwell in, could become their private property, I believe that they would support themselves and their families in respectability. It may be desirable, it probably is, to prevent their having now the power of free sale and disposal of such lands, so as to guard them at the outset from designing purchasers; but I believe the larger part by far would prize earnestly their separate estate. Why should not an independent officer have power to establish such families on homesteads of their own, on sufficient evidence of character and capacity—such men ceasing thenceforth to have claims for support on the agency as a whole, but still entitled to all the common benefits of the school, the church, and the store? The open land of the reservation would be diminished, of course, but how could it be put to better purpose? I am persuaded that the sight of their neighbors established on homes of their own would operate as a strong stimulus to those growing up and entering on life, to decent and orderly behavior. And as one district of a reservation became thus settled up, I think the boundaries of the open land devoted to general Indian purposes might be proportionately removed and contracted.

Naturally, this plan would be of slow operation, but I think it would be sure. I am aware of the powers given to Indians by the homestead act to obtain land, but the plan differs in important respects from that set out above.

The Indians on the Siletz reservation, of which alone I know anything from personal observation, are not all of the desirable class to whom I have referred. Some mistiness on the moral law yet remains. For instance, a murder was committed by three of them a month or two ago. It took place on the northern and remote part of the reserve, far away from the agency itself.

Here lived one who, being a quack-doctor, claimed the character of a mighty medicine-man, having power to prescribe for both the bodies and souls of his patients. To him resorted many of his neighbors, whose faith in his charms and spells was boundless.

He undertook the cure of the wife of one Charlie, and the poor thing endured his remedies patiently. But the woman grew worse and worse. Charlie and his friends debated the case, and at last concluded that, if the medicine-man could not cure the woman according to his contract, and that she died, it would prove to them that the doctor was a humbug, and deserved to die the death.

The catastrophe arrived, for the woman died. A council was held, and due inquiry made. The decision was fatal to the doctor, and Charlie and two friends undertook to secure that no one else should be misled and defrauded by the quack.

Proceeding to his house, away up north by Salmon River, near the sea-coast, the three fell on the medicine-man with clubs, and, despite threats, prayers, and entreaties, they beat him to death. The news soon spread, and was carried to the ears of the agent.

I can not help confessing to a half sympathy with the murderers, though I am fully aware of the enormity of the crime. It would be a satisfaction to feel justified in conscience in calling for a bodily expiation of the false pretenses and ignorant mummeries that did one's wife to death. And I hear that the Indians in question, while acknowledging that they knew they were sinning against the laws that governed life on the reservation, yet evidently had no consciousness of intrinsic wrong.

However, they were arrested by the agent, and carried off to Fort Vancouver for detention and trial. Hence they escaped, but were pursued by the soldiers. One, being caught, refused to submit, and was shot by the corporal in charge of the party in the act of flight; the others were recaptured, and what their fate is or will be I do not yet know.

But, as one stands on the beach at Newport, and sees a long string of wagons and teams coming down from the reservation for supplies, each in charge of its owner, a respectable-looking Indian, it is impossible not to wish for them the separate life and property they themselves desire.

The number of Indians on the Siletz reserve is most variously stated; the estimates range between twenty-four hundred and four hundred. I should fancy the truth to be nearer the smaller than the larger figures. It is obvious that the conditions of life, the stage of civilization, the state of education, the desire or readiness to acquire or own separate and individual property, must vary in every reservation. It is impossible to apply the same rules to each, and I do not presume even to have an opinion regarding reservations other than the one in our immediate neighborhood.

POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE AGENT.I had no idea till lately of the overwhelming power held by the agent. No Indian can leave the reservation, however well established his good character, and for however temporary a purpose, without the pass of the agent. No one can enter the reservation, even to pass through it, or to stay a night with one of the Indians at his house, without the same leave. Work on the roads or in the fields of the reservation is at the absolute order of the agent; no corvée in ancient France could press more crushingly on the peasant than could the order of a harsh or stern agent on his charge. In the choice and erection of houses, in the furnishing and distribution of stores, in matters of internal police of all sorts, his word is law. If any one desires to study the working of an instructed despotism in a partly civilized community, he can see it carried to its logical extreme on an agency.

So long as the Indians possess the attributes of children it may be right so to treat them. But I presume it was intended by the framers of the existing system that at some date the pupils should put away childish things and emerge from the condition of tutelage. The question is, whether that time has not come already in many instances.

My observations have all had reference to a reservation honestly governed, as I believe, with the best intentions toward its inhabitants. But how the system would lend itself to dishonest measures and arbitrary, even cruel, treatment, it is not hard to imagine.



The Legislative Assembly—‌The Governor—‌His duties—‌Payment of the members—‌Aspect of the city; the Legislature in session—‌The lobbyist —‌How bills pass—‌How bills do not pass—‌Questions of the day—‌Common carriers—‌Woman's suffrage—‌Some of the acts of 1878—‌Judicial system of the State—‌Taxes—‌Assessments—‌County officers—‌The justice of the peace—‌Quick work.

The Legislative Assembly of the State of Oregon meets for a session of forty days once in every two years, at Salem, the capital of the State.

The Assembly consists of a Senate of thirty members and a House of Representatives of sixty members. Senators are elected for four years and Representatives for two years; but half the whole number of Senators go out of office every two years, so that at every biennial election the whole number of Representatives and half the whole number of Senators are chosen.

The proportion of Senators and Representatives pertaining to any county may be varied after each United States or State census, in accordance with the results of that census, as showing the number of white inhabitants in the county or district and their proportion to the total white population of the State.

The executive power of the State rests in the Governor, who is chosen by the white voters in the State every four years. His duties are various and important. They are defined by the Constitution as follows: He is commander-in-chief of the military and naval forces of the State, which forces he may call out to suppress insurrection or to repel invasion. He must take care that the laws be faithfully executed. He must inform the Legislative Assembly as to the condition of the State, and recommend such measures as he deems expedient. He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the Legislative Assembly by proclamation, and must state to both Houses, when assembled, the purpose for which they are convened. He must transact all necessary business with the officers of government, and may require information in writing from the officers of the administrative and military departments upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices. He has power to grant reprieves, commutations of sentences, and pardons for all offenses except treason—this last offense being under the direct control of the Legislative Assembly. He has power to remit fines and forfeitures—subject in all these cases to his reporting to the Legislative Assembly his exercise of such powers, and his reasons therefor. He must sign all bills, and has the power of veto. The Houses of the Legislative Assembly may, on recommittal, pass bills over such veto by votes of two thirds of members present. He has power to fill vacancies occurring in any State office during the recess of the Legislative Assembly. He must issue writs of election to fill vacancies occurring in the Legislative Assembly, and all commissions must issue in the name of the State, signed by the Governor, sealed with the seal of the State, and attested by the Secretary of State.

In case of vacancy in the office of Governor the Secretary of State has to discharge his duties till the next election-time comes round.

Oregon manifests a good deal of pride in her various Governors; the portraits of several of them adorn the Capitol building.

THE LEGISLATURE.Members of the Legislature receive pay at the rate of three dollars a day during the session. The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives receive five dollars a day. In addition, they all get mileage for their journeys to and from Salem.

During the session of the Legislature the capital city is crowded and busy; a strong and intelligent interest is shown in the meetings of this miniature Congress, all of which are open to the public.

The preservation of order, of course, depends largely on the character and influence of the presiding officers; but the members of both Houses appeared to me remarkably amenable to discipline. The debates in the Senate were generally decorous, even to dullness; the House presented a more lively scene, a good many members being sometimes on their feet at once.

The great faults appeared to an outsider to be the tendency to make very unnecessary speeches, and the constant calling for divisions, by name, on the most trivial points. Thus, much time was wasted.

The objectionable feature was the presence of a numerous "lobby." The persons constituting this institution made themselves seen and heard in season and out of season; no man or corporation having any bill to promote could leave it to the uninfluenced consideration of the members, but sent to Salem paid retainers, to attend the sittings, to haunt the members, to study their proclivities and intentions, and to get together and cement such alliances as should secure the passage of the various bills.

Bills may be introduced in either House, but may be amended or rejected in the other; save only that bills for raising revenue must be introduced in the House of Representatives.

It becomes a matter for grave consideration in which House a bill should be introduced, as the prestige of success in one House may help to carry it through the other.

Oregon as a State voted Democratic for some years, and that party commanded a majority in the Legislature. But, prior to the last elections, namely, those held in 1880, various splits or dissensions in the Republican party, or among its managers, were got rid of, and a Republican majority in the Legislature, and the election of a Republican Representative to Congress, followed.

The first struggle when the Legislature meets is over the choice of presiding officers. The chief reason for this interest is that on the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House devolves the duty of nominating the various committees to which bills shall be referred. There are committees on finance, Federal relations, commerce, railroads, and several others. The Houses pay some respect to the report of a committee on a bill—especially if it be unanimous; but the chief province of the committees appeared to me to be to obtain possession of a bill, and then according to the private views of the committee or of a majority of its members to expedite, or hinder, and perhaps entirely prevent, its passage. And thus, again, the power or rather the influence of the presiding officers was felt.

Every kind of parliamentary tactics was practiced; no device that I ever heard of was unknown and unused by these far-Western politicians. One thing was very noticeable, namely, that the great fights of the session were over matters involving, or supposed to involve, private interests.

THE LUNATIC ASYLUM.Thus, for many years it has been the custom in Oregon for the State to let out to a physician the care of the insane, he receiving from the State so many dollars for each patient, the cost to the State being collected from the responsible relatives or from the estate of the insane person. As the population of the State increased, of course, the number of the insane grew also, till about three hundred patients were in the doctor's care.

Not a whisper was heard against the management: there was good supervision; the patients were well and wisely treated, and the percentage of cures quite up to the average of the most successful public asylums. But many persons thought the time had come to have a State asylum, with its buildings, and committee of management, and its staff. So a bill was introduced to this end; the physician who was then contracting, and for many years had contracted, with the State for the care of the insane, objected. Then rushed in the lobbyists, and every stage in the struggle was watched, and wrangled over, and schemed for, as if the whole future of the State depended on the result. In spite of the efforts of the doctor and his following, the State-asylum advocates won the day, and ultimately the bill passed.

Plans for the new asylum have since been prepared, and the building is begun. Another vast question, which divided the Legislature into two hostile camps, was whether or not the narrow-gauge railway company should carry an act giving it the use of a piece of ground at Portland, called the levée, which had been presented to that city a few years ago, but now lay practically unused. The railroad company had marked the ground for its terminal purposes; the city of Portland objected. This fight was most bitter, but ended by the country members joining in support of the bill, and carrying it over the heads of the Portland members by swinging majorities—animated largely by a spirit of resentment at the Portland members having been very active in striving to defeat a bill for preventing unfair discrimination by railroad and steamboat corporations throughout the State.

This was another of the burning questions. The transportation business of the State is now largely controlled by one great corporation, called "The Oregon Railway and Navigation Company," formed by amalgamating divers ocean and river steamboat companies, and purchasing or constructing detached lines of railroad.

The two lines of railroad running north and south up and down the Willamette Valley not being as yet absorbed, a lively competition existed so far as river and railroads ran parallel. Outside the limits of competition the corporations took it out of the people by what they thought were oppressive exactions.

Further, the headquarters of both companies being in the city of Portland, and their course of transportation carrying all the traffic of the State in and out through the Portland gate, the continuance of this state of things, and the support of the Railway and Navigation Company, became the great object of the Portland members of the Legislature, as well as of those members who were for any reason influenced by the corporations. Hence a deep-lying division of interest between them and the country members.

COMMON CARRIERS.These last desired to pass the bill in question, not only to rectify existing unfairness, and to prevent the repetition of former oppressions, but as rendering more easy the task of whoever should propose to create competing lines, which might connect with or intersect those of the present companies. This end was to be gained by providing that all transportation agencies, of whatever kind, should convey, without preference in time, rates, or method of delivery, all passengers and goods presented for transit over the whole or any portion of their lines. It left the hands of all companies entirely unfettered as to what rates they should charge on fares or freights, but insisted that all traffic should be evenly and proportionately charged.

The bill was introduced in the Senate, and passed its earlier stages triumphantly. Then the corporations and the Portland merchants awoke to the possibilities of competition; stimulated also by the knowledge that the passage of the bill was desired by the promoters of the Oregon Pacific Railroad, designed to bisect the State from east to west, and to have its outport at Yaquina Bay. What an outcry arose! Every argument that could be tortured by the lobbyists into a criticism of the bill was openly and secretly brought to bear on the members. Its enemies got it referred to a hostile committee, from which it was with great difficulty recalled. Time was asked to understand a bill which consisted of but twenty-four lines. Motions for adjournment were made, and divided on again and again to waste time. But the most ridiculous scene was reached when after the debate on the third reading had virtually closed, and the final vote to determine the fate of the bill under the "previous question" was just going to be put, the President of the Senate, a stout Jewish gentleman from Portland, of German extraction, descended to the floor of the Senate to deliver a panting, incoherent tirade of abuse, not on the merits of the bill, but against the Oregon Pacific Railroad and every one connected with it; denouncing as a "lie, and a fraud of the first wather, ghentelmen," a statement made by a body of traders and farmers in the valley, and submitted by them to the United States Board of Engineers, that the grain which would seek an outlet over the proposed road would amount to six million bushels annually—which statement had been quoted by the Oregon Pacific Railroad Company in their prospectus. Shall I ever forget the look of blank amazement on the faces of the Senators while the President's five minutes lasted, and he gesticulated and foamed! However, the bill was lost by a vote of 16 to 14; one Senator having "ratted" at the last moment, to the disgust of a large body of the members of the House, who were waiting to seize the bill and carry it up-stairs into their chamber.

SOME LEGISLATIVE ACTS.Among other resolutions carried was one in favor of woman suffrage—a triumph celebrated immediately by a supper and reception given to the members of the Legislature in the Opera-House at Salem by the ladies who had been pressing forward the resolution, and advocating it in some cases by a form of lobbying which, however legitimate, I should fancy some of the members must have found it hard to resist. Heaven forbid that it should ever fall to my lot to hold opposing views and bring forward hostile argument to a group of ladies whose heads were as full of logic and sense as their faces and forms of smiles and attractiveness! To give some general idea of the scope of the State legislation, let me quote the titles of a few of the acts of the session of 1878:

"An act to amend an act entitled 'An Act to provide for the Construction of the Willamette Valley and Coast Railroad.'

"An act to promote medical science.

"An act to protect the stock-growing interests of the State of Oregon.

"An act to regulate salmon-fisheries on the waters of the Columbia River and its tributaries.

"An act to secure creditors a just division of the estates of debtors who convey to assignees for the benefit of creditors.

"An act for the support of the State University.

"An act defining the rights and fixing the liabilities of married women, and the relation between husband and wife.

"An act to authorize foreign corporations to do business and execute their corporate powers within the State of Oregon.

"An act to provide for liens for laborers, common carriers, and other persons on personal property.

"An act to prevent the spread of contagious and infectious diseases among sheep."

Before finishing this chapter I wish to add a few words on the judicial system of the State.

The judicial power of the State is vested in the Supreme Court, circuit courts, and county courts. The Supreme Court sits at Salem, to hear appeals from the circuit courts. It now consists of three judges, elected in 1880 to serve six years, four years, and three years respectively, their successors holding office for six years.

The State is divided, I believe, into five circuits, and for each a judge is elected to serve for six years.

The circuit courts have all judicial power, authority, and jurisdiction not specifically vested in any other court, and have appellate jurisdiction over the county courts.

COUNTY OFFICERS.The county court consists of the county judge, who holds office for four years, and two county commissioners. Together they transact county business, and have a jurisdiction over civil cases where not more than five hundred dollars is in issue, and over the smaller class of criminal offenses where the punishment does not extend to death or to imprisonment in the penitentiary.

The Supreme Court of the United States has a district judge presiding over a court at Portland. That court is the arena for trying all cases where one of the parties is not a citizen of the State, and also all cases in which the Federal laws and Constitution, as distinguished from the State system, are involved.

The police of the State is in the hands of the sheriffs and their deputies, the sheriff being elected by popular vote every two years. The city of Portland has a regular police force of its own. The other towns in the State appoint marshals, who perform police duties within the city limits.

The sheriffs are also tax-collectors. It should be added that the State and county revenue, as distinct from Federal revenue, is collected in one payment by an assessment of so many mills (or thousandths) in the dollar on the total amount of property of every kind owned in the State by the tax-payer. The amount on which each man has to pay is ascertained by the county assessor, in consultation with the tax-payer. No form of property is allowed to escape, but a reasonable valuation is placed on possessions of a doubtful or fluctuating nature; and exemptions are allowed for household furniture and clothes and small possessions to the extent of three hundred dollars.

The county clerks have also to stand the racket of election every two years. In Benton County we are fortunate enough to have the services of a gentleman who has been reëlected eight times. His long experience in the office makes him an absolute dictionary of information on the history of every farm in the county. He is, to my mind, an illustration of the absurdity of this election and reëlection. Every two years he has to waste a month in going over the county, spouting on every stump, to please the electors. He has had to endure several contests, evoked by the sayings, "It's well to have a change now and then," "He's been there long enough; let some one else have a show," etc. But any new-comer into his office would have to spend a year or two in getting up the very information about the county which the experienced official has at his very finger-ends. And his long enjoyment of the office is the only reason I have heard given for a change.

In the county clerk's office are kept the record-books for the county, and also the maps of the various townships, received from the chief office at Oregon City. In the record-books are copied all deeds affecting the title to land in the county. The chief effect of thus recording deeds is to give such public notice of the object of the deed that no man subsequently dealing with a fraudulent vender can he treated as an innocent purchaser without notice, to the injury of the real purchaser. All deeds affecting land have to be executed in the presence of two witnesses, and acknowledged before a county clerk or a notary public. The interest of a wife in her husband's property is carefully guarded; and, in order to give proper title, the wife has to join in conveying land to a purchaser.

In addition to the various judicial officers above described, there are the not-to-be-omitted justices of the peace. Their functions are extensive: among others, they can perform marriages, and at short notice, too. I have heard of one justice, known for his expeditious ways, before whose house a runaway couple halted on their wagon. The man shouted for the justice, who appeared. "Say, judge, can you marry us right away?" "I guess so, my son." "Well, then, let's have it." Whereupon the justice mounted the wagon-wheel, and there stood with his foot on the hub. "What's your name?" "Jehoshaphat Smith." "Well, then, wilt thou have this woman, so help you ——?" "Yes." "My fee's a dollar; drive on." The justice in the city tries for assaults and drunkenness, and administers for the latter seven days in the calaboose—a hole of a place in a back alley—detention there no trifle, especially if, like a tipsy little friend of mine, he finds, on awaking with his customary headache, that his room-mate is a big countryman, very drunk, who has the reputation of "smashing everything up" when he has got what some here call "his dibs."



Land laws—‌Homesteads and preëmption—‌How to choose and obtain Government land—‌University land—‌School land—‌Swamp land—‌Railroad and wagon-road grants—‌Lieu lands—‌Acreages owned by the various companies.

To make this book useful, I must run the risk of making it tedious by some account of the land system relating to the preëmption and homestead laws applicable to the public lands of the State.

It is true that, long since, the prairie-lands of the Willamette Valley have all been taken up and are in private ownership. But there are very large tracts indeed of public lands in the hilly and wooded portions of Western Oregon still open; there is also an abundance of open land in the fine valleys of Eastern and Southern Oregon available. There are still upward of thirty million acres unsurveyed out of the sixty million nine hundred thousand which the State contains.

There are five United States land-offices in Oregon: namely, at Oregon City, for the upper and central parts of the Willamette Valley, including also Northwestern Oregon generally; at Roseburg, for Southwestern Oregon; at Linkville, for the southeastern portion; at La Grande, for Eastern Oregon, strictly so called; and at the Dalles, for the great counties of Wasco and Umatilla—the northern part of the State. At each of the land-offices a register and a receiver are stationed; and the maps of the district are also deposited there for general reference.

When the settler has ascertained that a piece of land is eligible—that is, that it will suit him not only for clearing and farming, but also to build his house on and live there—he goes to the neighbors to find out the nearest corner posts or stones, and thence by compass he can determine roughly the boundary-lines. The land must lie in a compact form, not less than forty acres wide; thus he can take his one hundred and sixty acres in the shape of a clean quarter of a section or of an L, or in a strip across the section of forty acres wide; but he can not pick out forty acres here, and a detached forty there, and so on.

HOMESTEADS AND PREËMPTION.He then goes to the county clerk's office, where duplicates of the land-office maps are kept. He finds out there with sufficient correctness if the piece he wants is open to settlement. The land-office is the only source of quite certain information, because it is possible that a claim may have been put on file at the land-office, particulars of which have not yet reached the county clerk. Being satisfied that the land is open, the intending settler must next determine whether to preëmpt or homestead. If he desires to preëmpt, and by payment to Government of $1.25 per acre for public land outside the limits of railroad and wagon-road grants, or $2.50 per acre for land within those limits, to obtain an immediate title, he must be sure that he does not fall within the two exceptions; for no one can acquire a right of preëmption who is the proprietor of three hundred and twenty acres of land in any State or Territory, nor can any one who quits or abandons his residence on his own land to reside on the public land in the same State or Territory.

But, first of all, he or she must have one of the following personal qualifications: the settler must be the head of a family, or a widow, or a single person; must be over the age of twenty-one years, and a citizen of the United States, or have filed a declaration of intention to become such. Further, the settler must make a settlement on the public land open to preëmption, must inhabit and improve the same, and erect a dwelling thereon.

No person can claim a preëmption right more than once. But the settler on land which has been surveyed, and which he desires to preëmpt, must file his statement as to the fact of his settlement within three months from the date of his settlement, and he must make his proof and pay for his land within thirty-three months from the date of his settlement. The fee of $1.50 is payable to the register, and a similar fee to the receiver at the land-office on filing the declaratory statement above mentioned. It should be added that, if the tract has been offered for sale by the Government, payment must be made for the preëmpted land within thirteen months from the date of settlement. If the settler desires to obtain a homestead, he must come within the following description: the head of a family, or who has arrived at the age of twenty-one years, and is a citizen of the United States, or who has duly filed his declaration of intention to become such.

The quantity of land thus obtainable is 160 acres, which is, at the time his application is made, open to preëmption, whether at $1.25 an acre or at $2.50 an acre. There was until recently a distinction between land within the limits of railroad or wagon-road grants or outside of such limits, only 80 acres of the former class being obtainable, but the distinction is now done away. The applicant has to make affidavit, on entering the desired land, that he possesses the above qualifications, that the application is made for his exclusive use and benefit, and that his entry is made for the purpose of actual settlement and cultivation. He has also to pay fees of $22 for 160 acres when entry is made, and $12 when the certificate issues; and of $11 for 80 acres when entry is made, and $6 when certificate issues. Such fees apply to land of the $2.50 price. They are reduced to totals of $22 for 160 acres and $11 for 80 acres, for land of the $1.25 price.

Before a certificate is given or a patent issued for a homestead, five years must have elapsed from the date of entry. Affidavit has to be made that the applicant has resided upon or cultivated the land for the term of five years immediately succeeding the time of filing the affidavit, and that no part of the land has been alienated. The patent gives an absolute title. In case of the death of the settler before the title to the preëmption or homestead is perfected, the grant will be made to the widow, if she continues residence and complies with the original conditions; if both father and mother die, leaving infant children, they will be entitled to the right and fee in the land, and the guardian or executor may at any time within two years after the death of the surviving parent, and in accordance with the laws of the State, sell the land for the benefit of the children; and the purchaser may obtain the United States patent.

From what has been stated, it will be seen that no title to land can be obtained from prëemptor or homesteader who has not perfected his title. Nothing can be done to carry out such a transaction except for the holder to formally abandon his right, which can be done by a simple proceeding at the land-office, and for the successor to take the chances of commencing an entirely fresh title for the land in question. Another point to be noticed is that the homestead is not liable for the debts of the holder contracted prior to the issuing of the patent. The law allows but one homestead privilege: a settler relinquishing or abandoning his claim can not thereafter make a second homestead entry. If a settler has settled on land and filed his preëmption declaration for the same, he may change his filing into a homestead, if he continues in good faith to comply with the preëmption laws until the change is effected; and the time during which he has been on the land as a preëmptor will be credited to him toward the five years for a homestead.

The above information is obtained from the statutes of the United States, and is generally applicable. The rates of fees given are those which apply to Oregon, and vary slightly in different States.

SCHOOL AND RAILROAD LAND.Besides the public lands open to homestead and preëmption, a settler may purchase school lands, university lands, State lands, or railroad or wagon-grant lands. In each township of thirty-six sections of 640 acres each, the two numbered 16 and 36 are devoted to school purposes, and are sold by the Board of School Commissioners for the State to settlers in quantities not exceeding 320 acres to any one applicant, and at the best prices obtainable; such lands are valued by the county school superintendents for the information of the commissioners, but the minimum price is two dollars an acre. A further number of sections has been granted by the United States to the State of Oregon for the support of the University and of the Agricultural College. The greater part of these lands has been sold; some still remains; the average price of previous sales is somewhat under two dollars an acre. The State also possesses some further lands donated by the United States for various purposes, but the quantity is not extensive—except of lands known as swamp lands. Where the greater portion of a section is properly describable as wet and unfit for cultivation, it is called swamp land. Such lands have been granted by the United States to the State of Oregon, and are not open to preëmption or homesteading. A very free interpretation is put on the words "wet and unfit for cultivation," and a very large acreage is included. The State has given rights of purchase over large bodies of these lands to different parties, and at prices which I have heard bear but a small proportion to their real value. At every session of the Legislature some fresh bills are brought in for dealing with the swamp lands, and a vast amount of "lobbying" goes on, which I suppose some people or other find a profit in. The great bulk of these lands are situated in Southeastern Oregon, in the vicinity of the lakes, such as Klamath Lake and Goose Lake; but a good many acres are scattered throughout Eastern and Southern Oregon.

ACREAGES OWNED BY COMPANIES.The largest land-owners in the State are the railroads and the military wagon-road companies. The great grant to the Oregon and California Railroad extends over the alternate sections within twenty miles on either side of the road, to the extent of 12,800 acres for each mile of railroad. The total estimated amount of this grant is 3,500,000 acres. The West-side Railroad, called properly the Oregon Central, has a grant estimated at 300,000 acres. The prices at which these companies sell these lands do not exceed seven dollars per acre; and the amount may he spread over ten years, carrying seven per cent. interest. The wagon-roads have grants the amounts of which are stated as follows:

Oregon Central Military Road Company 720,000
The Dalles Military Road Company 556,800
Corvallis and Yaquina Bay Wagon-Road Company 76,800
Coos Bay Military Road Company 50,000
The Willamette Valley and Cascade Mountains
    Military Wagon-Road Company

This last grant is attached to the road company described in a previous chapter. The Willamette Valley and Coast Railroad Company also has a grant of all the tide and overflowed lands in Benton County, the amount being estimated at about 100,000 acres of alluvial land. In many cases the companies were unable to obtain the full amount of acreage which their grants give them out of the odd-numbered sections within the belt covered by the grant. The alternative is for them to get what are called "lieu-lands," outside of their declared limits.

So rapid is the tide of settlement, especially in Eastern Oregon, that the land-offices are thronged with applicants. A young Englishman who came out with me wrote from the Dalles to us last spring that on three successive Fridays he had come in from his range to file his homestead application, and after waiting the whole day he had been unable to get the business done, and had to return to his quarters disappointed.



The "Web-foot State"—‌Average rainfall in various parts—‌The rainy days in 1879 and 1880—‌Temperature—‌Seasons—‌Accounts and figures from three points—‌Afternoon sea-breezes—‌A "cold snap"—‌Winter—‌ Floods—‌Damage to the river-side country—‌Rare thunder—‌Rarer wind-storms—‌The storm of January, 1880.

I should think that no State is so much scoffed at as Oregon on the score of wet weather. Our neighbors in California call us "Web-feet," and the State is called "The Web-foot State." Emigrants are warned not to come here unless they want to live like frogs, up to their necks in water, and much more to the like effect. And this question as to the quantity of rain is one always asked in the letters of inquiry we get here from all parts of the world. It is impossible to give a general answer, because the rainfall varies in the State from seventy-two inches at Astoria, at the mouth of the Columbia River, to twelve inches on some of the elevated plains of extreme Eastern Oregon. Western Oregon also varies in its different parts; the rainfall of seventy-two inches at Astoria sinking by pretty regular stages southward to thirty-two inches at Jacksonville.

AVERAGE RAINFALL.The average rainfall for four years reported by the United States Signal-Service Station at Portland is 52-82/100 inches. At Eola near Salem the average of seven years is 371-98/100 inches. At Corvallis the average of the last three years, taken at the Agricultural College by Professor Hawthorne, is 31-62/100 inches; but this last low average is produced by the fact of the months of October and November, 1880, having been unusually dry. The average rainfall for October, in 1878 and 1879, was 2-86/100 inches, and for November 4-12/100 inches; while in 1880 the rainfall for those months was only 80/100 and 50/100 of an inch.

The result of the late setting in of the rains in the fall of 1880 was that the grass was very late in resuming its growth, and consequently feed for stock during the early part of the winter of 1880-'81 was very scanty. But, perhaps, it is better to give the number of snowy and rainy days annually occurring, as that is what at any rate the feminine part of the families of intending emigrants desire to know. During 1879, from May to December, there were at Corvallis thirty-five rainy days and five snowy. During 1880 there were sixty-nine rainy days and nine snowy. In these figures are taken in several days which were only showery at intervals, and there are omitted several days when a slight shower or two fell, with bright sun in between, but which it would not be fair to call rainy days. But the distribution of the rain is of more consequence, both to the farmer and to the mere resident, than the aggregate. So I will set out the rainy and snowy days for the several months, at Corvallis:

1879.—From May 17th to 31st, 5; June, 1; July, 2; August, 3; September, 4; October, 2; November, 7; December, 11, and 5 snowy.

1880.—January, 10, and 3 snowy; February, 5, and 2 snowy; March, 5, and 3 snowy; April, 10; May, 8; June, 2; July, 1; August, 2; September, 4; October, 5; November, 5; December, 12, and 1 snowy.

1881.—January, 9 rainy, and 2 snowy; February, 16, 1 snowy; March, 5 showery, no steady rain.

At Eola, near Salem, about forty miles north of this, the figures differ slightly, as will be seen from the following table. But this is an average of the seven years, from 1871 to 1878:

MONTHS. Number of
rainy days.
Snowy days. Rainfall,
in inches.
January 14·6 1·8   5·1  
February 14·4 ·6   5·7  
March 17·4 ·6   6·1  
April 11·5 ·28 3·1  
May 9·5 0 2·0  
June 5·   0 1·2  
July 1·8 0 ·24
August 2·1 0 ·14
September 3·4 0 ·78
October 7·4 0 2·93
November 12·2 ·58 5·56
December 12·5 1 5·13

TEMPERATURE.The next question is as to temperature. The following figures speak for themselves—the highest and lowest temperature in each month, and the monthly range, reported by the United States Signal-Service Station, Portland, Oregon:

  1874. 1875. 1876.
MONTHS. Highest Lowest Range Highest Lowest Range Highest Lowest Range
January 56° 26° 30° 53° 50° 58° 20° 38°
February 60 31 29 54 24 30 59 32 27
March 65 33 32 55 34 21 59 33 26
April 77 37 40 83 28 55 67 33 34
May 83 43 40 75 40 35 82 36 46
June 82 45 37 82 39 43 99 45 54
July 88 49 39 95·5 46 49·5 90 49 41
August 84 46 38 88 46 42 84 43 51
September 88·5 42 46 86 44 42 90 44 46
October 77 32 45 78 36 42 79 42 37
November 63 27 36 63 28 35 63 34 29
December 57 31 26 63 33 30 56 24 32

For comparison's sake we give a similar table for 1878, 1879, and 1880, kept at the Corvallis Agricultural College:

  1878. 1879. 1880.
MONTHS. Highest Lowest Range Highest Lowest Range Highest Lowest Range
January 55° 20° 35° 46° 20° 26° 50° 24° 26
February 60 34 26 52 25 27 44 25 19
March 67 32 35 66 32 34 54 24 30
April 71 31 40 67 32 35 76 29 47
May 80 34 46 72 36 36 72 32 40
June 92 42 50 73 42 31 85 40 45
July 79 53 26 90 45 45 81 42 39
August 81 52 29 83 43 40 84 38 42
September 73 38 35 84 42 42 80 38 42
October 61 32 29 64 28 36 68 28 40
November 55 30 25 55 18 37 56 12 44
December 54 19 35 56 8 48 56 20 36

The averages of temperature for the four seasons at these three points, Portland, Eola, and Corvallis, are as follows:

POINTS. Spring. Summer. Autumn. Winter.
Portland 51·9° 65·3° 52·8° 40·1°
Eola 48·3 63·7 51·2 38·2
Corvallis 52 67 53 41

The difference between the extremes is therefore for Portland, 25·2°; for Eola, 25·5°; for Corvallis, 26°. Contrast this with similar figures from Davenport, in the State of Iowa. The winter mean there is 19·9°, the summer 75·2°; showing a difference of 55·3°.

At Corvallis, throughout the summer months and till late in the fall, a daily sea-breeze springs up from the west about one o'clock in the afternoon, and continues till night closes in, and then dies off gradually. However pleasant this is to the settler heated in the hay- or harvest-field, it brings its perils too. I give an earnest caution not to be betrayed into sitting down in the shade to cool down, with coat and vest off, while this sea-breeze fans a heated brow, or a sore attack of rheumatism or its near relative, neuralgia, will very likely make you rue the day. Rather put on your warm coat and button it close, and let the cooling process be a very gradual one. But if, by your own forgetfulness of simple precautions, you have taken cold, and rheumatism has you in its grip, do not turn round and abuse a climate which is one of the most delightful in the whole temperate zone, but blame yourself, and yourself only.

In the winter of 1879-'80 we had a "cold snap." The day before Christmas the west wind suddenly veered round northward. What a bitter blast came straight from the icy north! The cattle set up their poor backs, and crowded, sterns to the wind, into the warmest corners of the open fields, and there stood with rough coats and drooping heads, the pictures of passive endurance. In two days the ice bore, and everything that could be called a skate was tied or screwed on to unaccustomed feet; and a beautiful display of fancy skating followed, as all the "hoodlums" of the town sought out the Crystal Lake or Fisher's Lake.

Then came the snow; and every one left off skating and took to sleighing. The livery-stable keepers made fortunes by hiring out the one or two real sleighs; but poor or economical people constructed boxes of all shapes and fastened them on runners, making up in the merriment of the passengers for the uncouthness of the vehicles.

But the snow, too, only lay a few days, and we were glad when our old friend the rain fell and restored to us the familiar prospect. For houses here are not constructed for extremes of temperature in either direction; and hot, dry air in the sitting-room, where the close stove crackles and grows red-hot, is a bad preparation for a bedroom with ten degrees of frost in it, or the outside air with the icy wind bringing a piece of Mount Hood and its glaciers into your very lungs.

The only good thing was, that it lasted so short a time. And during this last winter of 1880-'81 we have had no such experience.

FLOODS.Instead, we have had trial of floods—the highest since 1860-'61, the year of the great flood. After about twenty-four hours' snow, the wind went round to the south, and a soft, warm rain followed for nearly thirty-six hours more. This melted the snow, both on the Cascades and on and round Mary's Peak. The Mackenzie, which is the southeast fork of the Willamette, and comes straight from the Cascades, brought down a raging torrent into the more peaceful Willamette. All the tributary streams followed in their turn. Telegrams brought news from Eugene City, forty miles up the river, every hour, "River rising, six inches an hour." Soon the banks would not hold the water, which spread over the surrounding country.

Corvallis stands high on the river's bank; but looking across over the low-lying lands in Linn County, nothing but a sea of moving, brown water appeared, in which the poor farmhouses and barns stood as islands in the midst. The settlers who were warned in time cleared their families out of their houses, and left their dwellings and furniture to their fate. The horses and cattle that could be reached in time were swum across the river to safety on this side, and an excited crowd lined the river-bank, watching the swimming beasts and helping them to land, while every skiff that could be pressed into the service was engaged in bringing across the women and children and their most valued possessions. One man lost fourteen horses which had been turned out on some swampy land four miles below the city; others cattle, sheep, and pigs; and none within reach of the inundation—that is, within a belt of low land averaging two miles from the river in extent—but had their fences moved or carried away and heaped in wild confusion. The worst case I heard of was of a poor fellow from the East, who had just invested his all in a farm of fat and fertile bottom-land a few miles from Salem. He had repaired his house and furnished it, had stocked his farm, and had written for wife and family to join him. The rain descended, the flood came; higher and higher it rose, sweeping off fences, drowning cattle; it entered the house and spoiled all of its contents. The unlucky owner had to betake himself to a tree, whence he was picked by a passing skiff the next morning, bewailing his fate, and offering his farm as a free gift to any one who would give him enough dollars to return to the Eastern State whence he had just come.

But nearly all the mischief to stock came from neglect of timely warning. No one but could have driven all off to safety, for the water-worn belt was a very narrow one. Some men gained largely by the deposit left by the flood on their land, serving to renew for many years the productive qualities; others were in a sad plight—the soil being washed away, deep gullies plowed, and a thick coating of stones and river-gravel left.

The river rose high enough to flood the lower floors of the wheat warehouses from Rosebury to Portland, and in the river-side towns caused a great deal of discomfort and some loss; but no loss of life resulted. It carried away the new bridges over the Santiam River just built by the narrow-gauge railroad, and washed away several miles of their new track. It also broke through several viaducts on the East-side Railroad, and stopped postal communication for a day or two.

THE "CHINOOK."The winter of 1880-'81 has proved disastrous to stock in Eastern Oregon. As a general rule, the sheep and cattle ranges are covered with bunch-grass, which grows from ten to twenty-four inches high during the summer months, and is dried by the sun into natural hay. When winter comes it brings with it snow from six to eighteen inches deep, and this lies light and powdery over the face of the country. The cattle and sheep scratch the covering off, and feed on the hay beneath. The prevailing winds in the winter there are north and south, and neither melts the snow. But now and again comes the west or southwest "Chinook." It breathes softly on the snow, and a quivering haze rises from the melting mass. When the "Chinook" blows long enough to melt the snow away, all goes well. But this last winter, after blowing for a day or two and melting the surface, it gave place to a biting blast from the north, which froze all hard again. The unfortunate sheep and cattle tried in vain to scratch through the icy crust, and died from starvation within but a few inches of their food.

In speaking of the rainfall of the State it is right to mention a considerable stretch of land lying on the east side of, and directly under the lee of, the Cascade Mountains. Here there falls but six or eight inches of rain in the year. The residents have, therefore, to depend on irrigation for fertility of soil. They have abundant facilities for this, as many streams and creeks flow down from the Cascades. With irrigation, very heavy crops of grain (as much as forty bushels of wheat to the acre) are produced.

Western Oregon enjoys a remarkable immunity from thunder-storms. They are of very rare occurrence, and when the thunder is heard it is rumbling away in the mountains many miles off. We have seen some summer lightning on a few evenings, gleaming away over the hills.

Wind-storms, too, very seldom visit us. In January, 1880, one curiously local storm swept from the south through the valley. It bore most severely on Portland. A friend there told me that he was looking across the river to East Portland, where the Catholic church stood with its spire, a prominent object. As he looked, the blast struck it, and, as he expressed it, the building melted away before his eyes. Riding through the green fir-timber in the hills a few days after the storm, I saw several places where the limbs were torn off, and even great trees blown down in a straight line, their neighbors within but a few feet of them standing unhurt.

PLEASANT SPRING WEATHER.The Government records in twenty-five years only show three winds blowing over the State with a velocity of forty-five miles an hour and a force of ten pounds to the square foot. But what a spring we have had this year—1881! While the papers have been full of snow-storms and floods in other places, here we have had balmy sunshine and mild nights, with occasional showers. The old residents call it real Oregon weather, and say it always was like this till two or three years ago.



The State Fair of 1880—‌Salem—‌The ladies' pavilion—‌Knock-'em-downs à l'Américaine—‌Self-binders—‌Thrashing-machines—‌Rates of speed—‌Cost—‌Workmanship—‌Prize sheep—‌Fleeces—‌Pure versus graded sheep—‌California short-horns—‌Horses—‌American breed or Percheron—‌Comparative measurements—‌The races—‌Runners—‌Trotters—‌ Cricket in public—‌Unruly spectators.

About two miles from the city of Salem, the capital of the State, are the fair-grounds. Round a large inclosure of some fifteen acres of grass-land there runs a belt of oak-wood. Here, inside the boundary-fence, are camping-places without end. Until 1880 the State Fair has been held in October, but it was then changed to July, in the interval between the hay- and the grain-harvest, and so as to take in the great national festival on the 4th of July. Every one goes to the fair, which lasts a week, for every one's tastes are consulted. The ladies have a pavilion with displays of fruit and flowers; of needle-work and pictures; of sewing-machines and musical instruments of all kinds; of household implements and "notions" various. The children delight in an avenue of booths and caravans, where the juggler swallows swords, and a genius in academic costume and mortar-board hat teaches arithmetical puzzles and the art of memory in a stentorian voice. Here is the wild-beast show, and there the American substitute for the Old World knock-'em-downs. A canvas-sided court, five-and-twenty feet across, contains the game. At the farther side, on a continuous ledge, stands a row of hideous life-size heads and shoulders labeled with the names and painted in the supposed likeness of the prominent political characters of the time. A great soft-leather ball supplies the place of the throwing-sticks; and for a quarter (of a dollar) you can have a couple of dozen throws at the pet object of your aversion. As fast as the doll is knocked over his proprietor sticks him up again; while an admiring crowd applaud the hits, or groan, according to their political colors.

Here is a great opening for skill, and also (say it in a whisper) for trifling bets. A man I know was "dead broke" when he went to the knock-'em-down, but by straight throws and cunning he gained a couple of dollars in a quarter of an hour, and so got another day in the fair.

The real business of the fair appeals straight to the farmer and mechanic.

The long rows of lumber-built sheds are filled with choice sheep, cattle, horses, pigs, poultry. The race-track on the farther side of the grounds is crowded also every afternoon, while many a rivalry between the running or trotting horses of the various counties is decided.

SELF-BINDERS.The implements, too, are a fine show. The "self-binders" display their powers by catching up and tying over and over again the same sheaf of grain before a curious crowd, far better instructed than you would suppose in the intricacies of construction and neatness and rapidity of performance of the various machines. Last year the great attraction was the Osborne twine-binder, for every one was interested in getting rid of the wire that has been injuring the thrashers and hurting the digestion of the stock. It was voted a good worker, but complicated, as far as we could judge; and the general verdict seemed to be that greater simplicity of make and fewer parts to get out of order would soon be brought to bear either by these or other makers.

There were two or three thrashing-machines displayed—the Buffalo Pitts, the Minnesota Chief, and one or two others. The great distinctions between these and the machines of English makers, such as Clayton and Shuttleworth, lie in the American drum and cylinder being armed with teeth and driven at a rate of speed from twice to three times that used in the English machine. The straw is, of course, beaten here into shreds between the revolving teeth, and its length and consistency far more completely destroyed than in the Clayton and Shuttleworth, and so loses much of its value for storing and feeding purposes. On the other hand, the grain is better cleaned, and the product per hour in clean grain is double that of the English machine. The American makers authorize as much as fifteen hundred bushels per day with horsepower, and up to three thousand with steam. There were several horse-powers shown, for use with the thrashing-machines; these left nothing to be desired for simplicity and economy of power. The thrashing-machines are of various sizes and prices, ranging from $750 to $1,500 in value.

An idea prevails in some parts that the mowers and reapers of American make are slighter and more fragile than those of English construction. Such is not the result of our observation and experience here. On the contrary, our "Champion" mower and reaper combined did work over rough ground, baked hard with the summer's sun, which demonstrated both strength and excellence of work beyond what we should have expected from any English machine we know of.

There was a very poor show of chaff-cutters and root-pulpers, because our farming friends here have not yet required these indispensable aids to mixed farming and succession of crops. After spending a couple of profitable hours among the machines, now come and inspect the stock.

PRIZE SHEEP.We turn first into the long alley of sheep-pens. The first attraction is the prize lot of Spanish merinos. Huge, heavy sheep clothed with wool almost to their ankles; ungainly to an English eye, from their thick necks, and large heads, and deep folds of skin. The shearer was at work, and fleeces weighing from seventeen to twenty pounds were displayed. We examine eight or ten pens of these merinos, including Spanish, French, and German, mostly in use in Eastern and Southern Oregon, where the dry climate and wide range suit these sheep exactly. There were one or two pens of graded sheep, merinos crossed with Cotswold or Vermont bucks. The crosses maintained the weight in wool and decidedly showed improved mutton, but the quality of the wool, of course, betrayed the admixture of the coarser fiber. There were two or three pens of improved Oxfordshires, the breed of which has been kept pure by a well-known fancier in Marion County, on the uplands east of Salem. The sheep were in many points very pretty, but seemed to us now to require fresh blood, as the wool-bearing surfaces were evidently reduced. Several pens of pure Cotswolds were exceedingly good, both in shape, size, and wool. The Vermont crosses which had been tried in a few instances did not seem to us to have been profitable. One thing pleased us, namely, that the best sheep, as a rule, came from those farmers who bred sheep in inclosed lands and fed them well, as part of a general system of farming, rather than from the huge flocks of the sheep-men who range the wilds.

The only cattle worth looking at were some Durhams brought up by one of the successful California breeders for exhibition and sale. The prices he got must have been very satisfactory to him, and proved that some Oregon farmers at any rate have the pluck and foresight to give full value for good stock.

Next came the horses. The stamp varied from nearly thoroughbred to Clydesdale and Percheron stud-horses, with a fair number of mares and foals. The parade of the horses each day, as they were led round the ring each by its own attendant, was a very pretty sight. Nothing special need be said of the well-bred stock—that is much the same the world over; only the size proved how well adapted Oregon is for the home of horses of a high class. What interested us most were very fine specimens of what are called here heavy horses for farm-work. Standing fully sixteen hands high, with long but compact bodies, good heads, with large, full eyes, and hard, clean legs, fit to draw a light wagon six or seven miles an hour over muddy roads, and to drag a sixteen-inch plow through valley soil, they seemed to us the very models of the horse the valley farmers should breed in any number. We regretted to notice the large number of Clydesdales and Percherons; the latter type of horse especially we deprecate—tall grays, with thick necks, heavy heads, upright shoulders, slim, round bodies, hairy, clumsy legs, huge flat feet covered with the mass of hair depending from the fetlock. Just such you may see any day in the farm-carts in the north of France—a team of four in a string, the shaft-horse overshadowed by the huge cart with wheels six feet high; the carter plodding by the side, in his blue blouse with his long whip. Just to settle a controversy with some Percheron-mad Oregonian friends, we had several horses of the two different types measured then and there. We found the Oregon mare girthed nearly a foot more round the body behind the shoulders than the Percheron horse. The girth of the forearm below the shoulder was greater. The Percheron was the taller at the shoulder, the thicker round the fetlock, and, I should think, carried two extra pounds of horse-hair in mane, tail, and fetlock-tufts. The Oregon mare showed just those points which every horse-lover seeks, to testify to activity, strength, endurance, and intelligence; the Percheron was lacking in such respects, but instead had a certain cart-horse comeliness, looking more suitable for a brewer's van in a big city than for our farms and roads.

THE RACES.Like the rest of the world, we answered to the call of the bell, and crowded through into the grand stand to see the races. A circular track of half a mile, the surface of which was already churned into black mud, did not look promising for the comfort of either drivers or riders. The benches of the grand stand were crowded with eager spectators, ladies predominating—the men were lining the track below, while the judges looked down from a high box opposite. The din of the men selling pools on the impending race was deafening, and each of the little auctioneers' boxes where the sales went on was surrounded by a throng of bidders. The first race was for runners, that is gallopers, ridden by boys thirteen or fourteen years old. It was not a grand display to see three or four horses galloping away, dragging their little riders almost on to their necks, and their finishes showed no great art. Then came the trotting races, and these were worth seeing. Three sulkies came on the track, the driver sitting on a little tray just over his horse's tail, and between two tall, slender wheels. Catching tight hold of his horse's head, and sticking his feet well in front of him, each driver sent his horse at a sharp trot round the track to open his lungs. Then the bell rang again, the course was cleared, and the drivers turned their horses' heads the same way, and tried to come up to the judges' box in line. Once, twice, they tried; but the bell was silent, and back they had to come, the horses fretting at the bit, and getting flecked with foam in anxiety to be off. The third time the three sulkies were abreast as they passed the line, the bell sounded once, and off they tore. The drivers sat still farther back, and the horses laid themselves down to their grand, far-reaching trot. Before two hundred yards was covered one broke into a gallop, and had to be pulled back at once, his adversaries gaining a yard or two before he could be steadied to a trot again. Here they come in the straight run-in, the little black horse slightly in front, the big bay next, but hardly a head between them; the crowd shouts wildly, and the bay breaks trot just at the critical moment, and the black wins the heat, his legs going with the regularity and drive of a steam-engine.

The horses are surrounded by admirers as they are taken out of the sulkies, and led off to be rubbed down and comforted before the next heat comes on. Then follows a running race, and then another heat of the trotting race. This time the bay wins, hard held, and forbidden by a grasp of iron to break into the longed-for gallop. Soon comes the deciding heat, and the excitement grows intense; the pools are selling actively, and speculation is very brisk.

Our sympathies are with the little black; half a hand shorter than his antagonist, and more like a trotting-horse than the tall, thoroughbred bay. But the fates are against him—size and breeding tell, and the bay wins.

Then the band strikes up, and the crowd disperses. Most get back to the city by one of the miscellaneous wagons, or hacks, or omnibuses pressed into the service of the fair; the rest betake themselves to their camping-places among the oak-grubs, after supplying themselves with meat and bread from one or other of the temporary stores set up at one side of the grounds.

CRICKET IN PUBLIC.This year the visitors had a new sensation in seeing cricket played on the fair-ground, to most of them a new sight. Portland is blessed with a cricket club, mostly supported by the emigrants from the old country. Corvallis has a similar advantage. The Portlanders, in the pride of their strength, and heralded by a paragraph in the "Oregonian" newspaper, that the "team selected to beat the Corvallis athletes" had gone up to Corvallis, had come for wool and gone home shorn. So, as a return-match was under discussion, it was determined to accept the invitation of the fair committee and play the return on the fair-grounds for the amusement of the visitors. Accordingly, the game was duly played out, and ended again in a one-innings defeat of proud Portland, to the delight of the spectators from the valley, who are generally a little jealous of the airs and graces of the hustling town which calls herself the metropolis of the Northwest. There was some difficulty in keeping the ground clear; the ladies particularly could not comprehend the terrible solecism they were committing in tripping bravely across, to speak, to "point," and chat with the wicket-keeper. If you could but have seen the horror-stricken faces of one or two of our eleven, accustomed to the rigor of the game at Cambridge, Rugby, or Cheltenham!



History of Oregon—‌First discoverers—‌Changes of government—‌Recognition as a Territory—‌Entrance as a State—‌Individual histories—‌"Jottings"—‌ "Sitting around"—‌A pioneer in Benton County—‌How to serve Indian thieves —‌The white squaw and the chief—‌Immigration in company—‌Rafting on the Columbia—‌The first winter—‌Early settlement—‌Indian friends—‌Indian houses and customs—‌The Presbyterian colony—‌The start—‌Across the plains—‌Arrival in Oregon—‌The "whaler" settler—‌A rough journey—‌"Ho for the Umpqua!"—‌A backwoodsman—‌Compliments—‌School-teacher provided for—‌Uncle Lazarus—‌Rogue River Cañon—‌Valley of Death—‌Pleasant homes —‌Changed circumstances.

Taking note of the civilized and settled condition of so large a part of this State, it is hard to credit that it was only in 1831 that the first attempts at farming in Oregon were made by some of the men in the Hudson Bay Company's service, and that in 1838 the first printing-press arrived. This valued relic is now preserved in a place of honor in the State Capitol building at Salem—more accordant with the spirit of the times than rusty armor or moth-eaten banners.

The early history is somewhat misty, but the following slight sketch is, I believe, accurate:

The coast of Oregon was visited both by British and Spanish navigators in the sixteenth century. In 1778 Captain Cook sailed along the coast. In 1775 Heceta, and in 1792 Vancouver, both suspected the existence of the Columbia River from the appearance of its estuary. But in 1792 Captain Gray, of Boston, and afterward, in the same year, Captain Baker, an Englishman, entered the estuary itself. It was on Captain Gray's discovery that the United States Government afterward rested its claim to the whole country watered by the great river, the mouth of which he had discovered. But Lieutenant Broughton, of the British Navy, in 1792 or 1793, a very few months after Captain Gray's visit, actually ascended the Columbia for one hundred miles, and laid claim to the country in the name of King George III. In 1804 the American Government expedition of Lewis and Clark crossed the Rocky Mountains, descended the Columbia, and passed the winter of 1805-'6 at its mouth; and the records of their discoveries first drew public attention to the country. In 1810 Captain Winship, also from New England, built the first house in Oregon. Astoria was founded in 1811 by John Jacob Astor, of New York, as a trading-port. The British, while the war was raging in 1813, took possession of the post and named it Fort George. Then followed the Hudson Bay Company, who claimed the sovereignty of the country under the terms of their wide charter. They established their headquarters for the North Pacific coast at Vancouver, on the north bank of the Columbia, about one hundred miles from its mouth. There the fort was built, the settlement formed, farming began, and the Governor of the Hudson Bay Territory had his Western home.

In 1832 the first school was opened. Between 1834 and 1837 missionaries of various denominations arrived, bringing cattle with them; and in 1841 Commodore Wilkes visited Oregon on an exploring expedition by order of the United States Government. From 1816 to 1846 the "joint occupancy" of Oregon by the American and British Governments lasted under treaty.

In 1843 the people were for the first time recognized, and united in forming a provisional government, formally accepted at a general election in 1845. By the year 1846 the white population numbered about ten thousand souls, and in that year the Oregon Territory, including both the present State of Oregon and also Washington Territory, was ceded, under the Ashburton Treaty, by the British Government to the United States.

Congress formally recognized the Territory of Oregon in 1848, and in 1849 General Joe Lane entered office as the first Territorial Governor. His portrait now adorns the Capitol building. And the old general, still erect and in full preservation, in spite of his years and services, has been until this spring of 1881 yet seen and respectfully greeted at many a public gathering.

ENTRANCE AS A STATE.In 1859 Oregon was admitted into the Union as a sovereign State; the population was 52,465. In 1880 the census gave a total of 174,767 souls, showing an increase of 122,302 in twenty-one years, and an increase of 74,767 over the State census in 1875. But, after all, the history of a State is the history of its people.

Nowadays we enter Oregon within twenty days from Liverpool, having been speeded on our journey by steamships and railroads in continuous connections. Within two years the State expects to have two direct lines of Eastern communication—one by the Northern Pacific, the other by a line through the southeastern corner of the State to Reno, on the Central Pacific—shortening the twenty to sixteen days. Within two years more it is hoped that the Oregon Pacific will make communication at Boisé City, Idaho, with independent Eastern lines, and open a still more direct course out to the centers of population and enterprise. But in the early days, from 1846 to 1851, when the tide of settlement ran first this way, their experiences were widely different.

Listen to the tales some of these men tell—not old men yet by any means; the vigor and power of life still burn in most of them, for the dates are but thirty years back. But what a different life these pioneers led then!

Let me sketch the scene and its surroundings where these "jottings round the stove" are made. It is rather a dusty old room, and a rusty old stove in the middle, and rather a dusty and rusty company are gathered round it. Winter-time is upon us; the rain falls in a ceaseless drizzle, and the drops from the eaves patter on the fallen leaves of the plane-trees round the house. The time is after the noon dinner-hour; no work presses, for the fall wheat is all in, and there is a sense of warmth and comfort within, which contrasts with the dim scene without, where the rain-mists obscure the hills and fill the valley with their slowly driving masses.

Five or six of us "sit around"—mostly on two legs of the chairs, and our boots are propped up on the ridge round the stove. We don't go much on broadcloth and "biled" shirts, but we prefer stout flannel shirts and brown overalls, with our trousers tucked inside our knee-high boots. Tobacco in one form or the other occupies each one. Carpets we have no use for, and it is good that the arm-chairs are of fir, as the arms are so handy for whittling, there being no loose pieces of soft wood by. But we are all good friends, and I, for one, do not wish for better company for an hour or two "around the stove."

A PIONEER IN BENTON COUNTY."So the old man came into Benton County in 1845, did he?"

"Yes, he and his wife and two young children, and took up a claim there three or four miles from town."

"Was there a town then?"

"Not much—just three log-cabins and a hut or so; they called it Marysville; it did not get the name of Corvallis till years after."

"How about the Indians?"

"Well, there were plenty in the valley, Klick-i-tats and Calapooyas—these last were a mean set at that. The valley was all over bunch-grass waist-high, and the hills were full of elk and deer."

"Had the old man any stock?"

"He had just brought a few with him from Missouri over the Plains, and fine store he set by them. You see the Indians used to come and beg for flour and sugar, and a beef now and then. Some of the neighbors would give them a beef at times, but the old man used to say he hadn't brought no cattle to give to them varmints."

"How did they manage to live at first?"

"Well, the old man used to go off for a week at a time to Oregon City to work on the boats there at his trade of a ship-carpenter. He had to foot it there and back, and pack flour and bacon on his back for his folks, and a tramp of sixty miles at that."

"Did the Indians bother any while he was gone?"

"One time a pack of them came round the cabin and got saucy, finding only the old lady at home. They crowded into the house and began to help themselves, but the old lady she took the axe and soon made them clear out. When the old man came back she told him about it. 'Well,' says he, 'I reckon I shall have to stop at home a day or two and fix these varmints.' So three or four days afterward back they came.

"The old man he kept out of sight, and the buck they called the chief came in and began to lay hold of anything he fancied.

"Then the old man showed himself in the doorway with his old rifle on his arm. He looked the chief up and down, and then he says to his wife: 'Do you see that bunch of twigs over the fireplace? You take them down, and go through that fellow while the twigs hold together!' And he says to the Indian, 'You raise a finger against that woman, and I'll blow the top of your head off!' So the old lady takes down the willow-twigs, and goes for the Indian for all there was in it, and beats him round and round the house till there wasn't a whole twig in the bunch. Lord! You should have seen the whole crowd of twenty or thirty Indians splitting with laughter to see the white squaw go for the chief. I tell you, sir, that Indian made the quickest time on record back to the camp as soon as she let him go, and that crowd never bothered that cabin any more. Now, wasn't that much better than shooting and fighting, and kicking up the worst kind of a muss?"

"Well, I guess so. Did he have any more bother with the Indians?"

"Not a great deal. You see they were a mean lot, and would lay hands on anything they could steal; but there wasn't a great deal of fight in them. One time they had been robbing one of the neighbors of some cattle, and they went and told the old man. He went up all alone to the Indian camp with his rifle, and picked out the man he wanted out of a crowd of fifty of them; and he took him and tied him to a white-oak tree, and laid on to him with a sapling till he thought he'd had enough, and not one of the whole crowd dared raise a hand against him. Now the old gentleman's got three thousand acres of land and all he wants. How's that for an early settler?"

"Why, pretty good. But you came over the Plains yourself, didn't you?"

"Yes; I was but a little shaver then, in 1845. We came by way of the Dalles."

"What sort of a crowd had you?"

RAFTING ON THE COLUMBIA."Well, there was my father, Nahum his name was, and my four brothers, all older than I was, and there was the Watsons and the Chambers and their families in the company. We crossed the Plains all right and got to the Dalles. There were thirteen wagons in the party, and we rafted them and the cattle and all the rest of it down the Columbia."

"How on earth did you make a raft big enough?"

"Well, we just cut the logs in the woods on the edge of the river, and rolled them in and pegged them together with lighter trees laid across. It took us about all the morning to get out into the current, and all the afternoon to get back again. But, after all, we got to the Cascades."

"How did you get past them?"

"We had to just put the wagons together, and cut a road for ourselves, six miles round the portage, till we could take to the river again. Then we got boats and came all right down the Columbia and up the Willamette past where Portland now stands."

"Where was Portland then?"

"There was no Portland, I tell you—just a few houses and cabins. I forget what they called the place. Anyhow, we got pretty soon to the Tualitin Plains, where Forest-grove Station is now, and there we passed that first winter in Oregon."

"Was it rough on you?"

"Well, no—not particularly. All the lot of us crowded into one little cabin; but we lived pretty well."

"What did you live on?"

"Well, there was a little grist-mill near by, and the folks had raised a little wheat and some potatoes and peas. We got no meat at all that winter. The next spring we came on into King's Valley and took up the old place—you know where I showed it you—under the hill."

"Weren't there plenty of Indians there?"

"Indians! I should think so; about two or three hundred Klick-i-tats were camped in that valley then. Good Indians they were, tall, and straight as a dart."

"Who was the chief?"

"A man they called Quarterly. When we came in and camped, that Indian came up to my father and said, 'What do you want here?' My father said, 'We have come here to settle down and farm and make homes for ourselves.' 'Well,' says the Indian, 'you can; if you don't meddle with us, we won't hurt you.' No more they did; we never had a cross word from them."

"Was the country theirs?"

"Well, no; it belonged properly to the Calapooyas, and these Klick-i-tats had rented it off them for some horses and cloths and things for a hunting-ground."

"Plenty of game?"

"Just lots of it; elk and deer plenty, and the bunch-grass waist-high. The Indian ponies were rolling fat; good ponies they were, too."

"What sort of houses had these Indians?"

INDIAN HOUSES AND CUSTOMS."The Klick-i-tats had regular lodges: sticks set in the ground in a circle and tied together at the top, and covered all over with the rush mats they used to make. Good workers they were, too. They and the Calapooyas fell out once. I mind very well one day the Klick-i-tats came running in to our camp to say there was ever such a lot of Calapooyas coming in to attack them. They sent off their women and children to the hills, and then drove all their horses down to our camp. Strange, wasn't it, they should think their stock safer with five or six white men? There must have been several hundred of those Calapooyas."

"Did the fight come off?"

"Not that time; they made it up with some presents of horses and beads and things."

"What's become of those Klick-i-tats?"

"All that's left of them are gone to the reservation away north on the Columbia. They had their big fight with the Calapooyas down there by the Mary River bridge, out by Wrenn's school-house, just before we came into the country. The Calapooyas were too many for them, for they were, I should say, three to one. That was quite a battle, I should say.—But here comes one of the early settlers. Why don't you ask him about it?"

Just then the door had been opened, and in came a slender, gray-haired minister, with black coat and white collar and tie.

"So you were an early settler?"

"Yes, I had some experiences in early days. Did you ever hear of our Presbyterian colony?"

"I think not."

"Well, I was born and raised in Pennsylvania. I had just finished my theological course and got married. I had heard a good deal about Oregon, and took the notion of getting some Presbyterians to go out there. This was in 1851, when the law had been passed giving half a section of land to every settler, and half another section for his wife, if he had one."

"How did you set about getting Presbyterians together?"

"I just put an advertisement in the Pennsylvania papers that a Presbyterian minister intended starting for Oregon in the spring of 1852, and would be glad for any Presbyterians to join him and found a colony there."

"Did you get many answers?"

"About eighty agreed to go, but a good many weakened before the time came, and only about forty of them started; some twenty came in afterward, so that our party was sixty strong. When we left St. Joe, in Missouri, we had twenty wagons. I had a nice carriage with four mules for my wife, and a half-share in a wagon and ox-team. We left St. Joe in May, 1852, and arrived in Oregon four months and a half afterward."

"Did you travel all the time?"

"We laid over for Sundays, and I preached every Sunday on the journey but one, when we were crossing an alkali desert, and had to push on through to water."

"Were there many emigrants on the road, minister?"

"There was the heaviest emigration to Oregon that year that there has ever been. Many times I have climbed a hill just off the great emigrant trail, and counted a hundred wagons and more ahead, and more than a hundred behind us."

"Did you carry any feed for your stock?"

"Not any, and it was terribly hard on stock, as the bunch-grass on and near the trail was eaten down so close. It was harder on the oxen than on the mules. I brought all my mules safe into Oregon, but only one ox out of our team."

"How did you do when the oxen gave out?"

"Oh, a man just cut his wagon in half and hitched what oxen he had left on to the front half, and left the hinder end there in the desert."

"Did you have trouble with the Indians?"

"None at all; all quiet and peaceable. We came into Oregon by way of Boisé City, Idaho, and Umatilla and the Dalles. The last sixty miles my wife and I walked nearly all the way, for the mules gave out crossing the Cascades, and we drove them before us into this valley. The first milk and butter was at Foster's, near Oregon City; but one old lady in the crowd would not eat the butter her son had bought for her: she said it tasted too strong of silver."

THE PRESBYTERIAN COLONY."Where did you settle down?"

"About three miles from Corvallis, or Marysville, as it was called then. Just twelve houses in the place, and two of them stores."

"What did you do for a house?"

"Just set to and built one. I built it round my wife as she camped in the middle. I cut me down a big fir-tree, and split it out into boards and shingles."

"What was this valley like then?"

"All open prairie. A man could drive seventy miles without stopping—from Salem to Eugene. All this oak-brush has grown up since."

"What became of your Presbyterians?"

"Well, we organized the church the next fall, in 1853, with just seven of the sixty persons who had left the East with me the year before. So you see we have grown a good deal in these seven-and-twenty years."

Here the minister got up and left the circle. So we turned to a brown-coated, cheery fellow in the next arm-chair. "You came round the Horn, didn't you, Bush?"

But the cake of tobacco had to be got out of a deep pocket, and a pipeful slowly cut off and the fresh pipe started, before the answer came; and then a great laugh had to expend its force over the merry memories called up by the question.

"We had a pretty rough old time of it, hadn't we, boys?" and a low murmur of assent ran round, and all eyes turned, meditatively, to the stove. Presently the answer to the first question dropped casually out: "Yes, I came round the Horn. I had been whaling in the Pacific, and stopped at 'Frisco; we were all mad for the diggings. One day, as I was strolling round, I saw a great, big placard on the wall, in letters two feet long: 'Ho! for the Umpqua diggings! Lots of gold! Plenty of water! Good grub! Fine country! The well-known schooner Reindeer, Captain Bachelor, will sail for the Umpqua, October the 15th, 1850!' There were four of us in my party, all young and active then, and we made up our minds to go, and weren't long about deciding, either. We were up to roughing it, too; you see, a few years in a whaler will fit you for most anything."

"What was the voyage like?"

"Rough! There were about one hundred and thirty on board the schooner, some for the Umpqua, the rest going on to Portland. After knocking about at sea for a few days, we made the Umpqua and stood in. The old man anchored just under the north beach. As I put my hand on the cable, it was like a bar of iron, and I felt the anchor drag. I told the mate, and he went and called the captain. Up came the old man, and wouldn't believe it at first, but in another minute we should all have been in the breakers, and nothing could have saved us. Just then a little boat came past and they hollered out, 'You'll be on the beach inside of three minutes!' I tell you it was touch and go."

"How did you get off, Bush?"

THE "WHALER" SETTLER."The old man shouted to set all sail, and I ran to the helm. I could see the channel pretty well, and I just steered her by the look of the water. We just shaved a big rock by three feet or so, and ran up the river. Presently we anchored again and landed. Then we got a little Indian canoe and pulled on up the river."

"What was the country like?"

"Pretty rough."

"But the diggings, Bush?"

"Bless you, there weren't any! It was all a plant."

"Didn't you get back to the coast?"

"No, sir, we were in for it, and we calculated to see it out. The country there, in Southern Oregon, pleased us mightily, it looked so fresh and green in the valleys, but the mountains were no joke. Then we heard of this Willamette Valley, and traveled on north to find it. Two of my mates staid down there on Rogue River for the winter, but one came on north with me."

"Any adventures, Bush?"

"Not particular. I mind me, though, when we got up to where Monroe City is now, there was one log-house. Old Dr. Richardson lived there. As we came to the house he came out and stood just outside. I tell you he was a picture."

"What like, Bush?"

"Well, he was a great, big, stout fellow, about fifty, with a jolly red face. He had on a buckskin hunting-shirt with long fringes, and long buckskin leggins, and his old rifle lay ready in the hollow of his arm. When we stepped up to him, 'Well, young men, and what do you want?' says he. 'We should like to stop here and get some dinner,' says I. 'What a beautiful place you have got here, sir!' I went on, 'and, if you'll allow me to say so, I just admire you for a perfect specimen of a backwoodsman.' 'What!' says he, 'what on 'arth do you mean, you young thief of a son-of-a-gun?' says he, stepping up to me, to lay hold of me by the collar. I tell you, sir, I thought we were in for it, and he was big enough to whip the two of us. As good luck would have it, the door opened just then, and the old lady stepped out. She just looked and then she spoke up. 'Old man,' says she, 'just let me speak to these young men.' So, she came and asked us our names and where we came from, and I explained to her that I had no notion of insulting the old gentleman. 'Oh, well,' says she, 'don't mind him; and now what can I do for you? You seem nice, quiet young men.' So she gave us some bread and milk, and the end of it all was, they wanted us to stay all winter with them."

"So the lady helped you out, as usual, Bush?"

UNCLE LAZARUS."They didn't help me always. For the next place we came to was Starr's settlement. There were a lot of ladies, quilting. We went into the house to ask if there were any claims to be had. 'Are you married?' says one of the ladies. 'No, ma'am,' says I. 'Oh, well, then, you can just get on; we have got plenty of bachelors already. Say, are you a school-teacher?' says she. I thought for a moment if an old whaleman dared venture on school-teaching, but I thought, maybe, that was a leetle too strong. 'No, ma'am,' says I, at last, 'I am not, but my friend here is well qualified.' 'Oh, well,' says she, 'he can stay and take up a claim; we have got one here of three hundred and twenty acres, we have been saving up for the school-teacher; but as for you, young man, you can jest go on right up the valley.' So I had to go on to where Corvallis now stands. There were just four or five log-cabins, and a little stock. I took up a claim and built me a house, and as I was a pretty good carpenter I got all the work I wanted.—But here comes Uncle Lazarus."

Just then the door opened, and a quaint figure entered. Let us sketch him. A broad-brimmed, low-crowned, brown beaver hat (and when we say broad-brimmed we mean it—not a trifling article of fifteen inches or so across, but a real, sensible sun-and-rain shade, two feet or thereabout from edge to edge); an old worn blue military great-coat covered him; while a mass of snow-white hair and beard framed in a ruddy face as fresh as a winter apple, and a pair of bright blue eyes twinkled keenly, but with a hidden laugh in them, from under the broad brim.

"Sit down, uncle," cried some one, and the old man came to an anchor with the rest of us round the stove.

"Talking of old times, uncle," we said. "You came in pretty early, didn't you?"

"Well, I guess it was in 1846," said he, in a plaintive, slow voice. "We came over the Plains, the old lady and I, from Illinois. We had a pretty good ox-team, and we got through safe."

"Did you have any fighting, uncle?"

"Well, no; there was too many in the company when we started, and they did get to quarreling, so I jest left them with one or two more—any day rather fight than have a fuss; so I thought we'd jest take our chance with the Injuns, though they was pretty bad then. We were nigh to six months on the road."

"Which way did you come into Oregon?"

"By Klamath Lake and Rogue River. The worst piece on the whole journey was that Rogue River cañon; you know where that is?"

"Yes, uncle, came through it at a sharp run on the California stage a month ago."

"Well, there warn't no stage then—no, nor road either. You know it is about eight miles long, and I calc'late you might go a quarter of a mile at a time on the bodies of the horses and oxen that had died there. No man got through without leaving some of his cattle there. Tell you, sir, when you once got into the place, seemed like there was no end to it, and you jest got to face the music; for there warn't no other way."

"How did this country strike you when you got through?"

"Well, the old lady and me jest thought lots of it. We took up our claims in King's Valley—you know the place—jest the nicest kind of a place, with lots of grass and a nice river. You had all the timber you wanted on the mountains close by, and jest lots of deer and elk."

"Pretty lonely, though, wasn't it?"

"Well, it was kinder lonely, but we had lots to do, and the time passed very quick. The country settled up quick, and we had all the neighbors we wanted."

"Any trouble with Indians, uncle?"

"No; the Calapooyas would thieve a bit, but fifty of them cusses would jest scare from five or six of us settlers with our rifles. And the Klick-i-tats were good Injuns, and never troubled us any. Those were good old times, boys." And the old man rose to go, with a sigh.

CHANGED CIRCUMSTANCES.Think of the change the old gentleman has seen—for he lives there yet! Now, his white farmhouse, with good barn and out-buildings, fronts on a well-traveled road, leading past many a neighbor's house, and to the church and village. The woods on the hill-sides have disappeared, and the ruled furrows of the wheat-fields have replaced the native grass; the elk and deer which found him food as well as sport have retired shyly away into the far-off fastnesses round Mary's Peak and in the "green timber," and the fleecy flocks have usurped their place. The thievish Calapooyas and good Klick-i-tats have lost their tribal connections, and their shrunken remnants have been shifted away north to the Indian reserve. As you stand on the hill above his house, and the vision ranges over the gentle outlines of King's Valley, dotted with farms and lined with fences, it is but the noble forms of the distant mountains that could identify the scene with that which he scanned with wayworn eye as he halted his weary oxen after his six months' journey from distant Illinois.



State and county elections—‌The Chinese question—‌Chinese house-servants—‌Washermen—‌Laborers—‌A large camp-Supper—‌ Chinese trading—‌The scissors—‌Cost of Chinese labor—‌Its results—‌Chinese treaties—‌Household servants—‌Chee and his mistress—‌"Heap debble-y in there"—‌The photo album—‌Temptation —‌A sin and its reward—‌Good advice on whipping—‌Chung and the crockery—‌Chinese New Year—‌Gifts—‌"Hoodlums"—‌Town police—‌Opium.

In the summer of 1880 there occurred an election of Senators and Representatives to the State Legislature, and also to the county offices of clerk, sheriff, assessor, coroner, surveyor, and commissioners.

The whole apparatus of caucuses and canvasses was put in operation, and the candidates nominated on both Republican and Democratic "tickets" perambulated the county, and addressed audiences in every precinct from the "stump."

The Greenbackers had the courage of their opinions and put candidates in the field. Indeed, one of the precincts in the burned-woods country, of which I have already discoursed, enjoyed the proud distinction of casting more votes for the "Greenback" candidate than for either of the two great parties.

I attended some of these meetings and listened to the stump-speeches with much interest. That which caused the current of eloquence on all hands to run fastest was the Chinese question. How vehemently have I heard denounced the yellow-faced, pig-eyed, and tailed Mongolians who were spreading like locusts over the face of the country, and ousting the poor but honest and industrious white laborer from those employments to which he is specially adapted—how they sucked the life-blood of the people in order to carry their ill-gotten gains across the seas; how their barbarous language and filthy social habits "riz the dander" of these orators, while the audience loudly applauded every strong stroke of the brush! At the torch-light processions which closed some of the evening meetings, transparencies were carried about by citizens staggering under their weight, which depicted Chinamen in various conditions of terror flying from the boot-tips of energetic Americans; or, on the opposite back, the poor but honest white man prostrate on the ground, while a fat Chinaman sat heavily on his breast.

Such an obvious current of popular opinion set an on-looker to rub his eyes, and feel if he were dreaming.

For, go into nearly every house inhabited by a family, in or near any town in the State, and you will find one or more Chinamen doing the house-service. Walk through the streets, and you will meet a blue-coated Asiatic with a big clothes-basket of clean linen on his shoulders. Here and there in the streets hangs a sign: "Hop Kee," "Sam Lin," "Lee Chung," "Ah Sin," "Washing," or "Chinese Laundry," and "Labor provided," or "Intelligence-Office," and through the steamy windows you catch a glimpse of white-shirted Chinamen, bending over their ironing, and a mixed gabble of strange "Ahs" and "Yahs" strikes the ear as you pass by.

CHINESE TRADING.I went up the Columbia River to the Dalles the other day. At the Dalles was a camp for the night of about five hundred Chinamen, being transferred by the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company from work higher up the river to some of the heavy rock-cutting and tunneling between the Dalles and the Lower Cascades. I stood and watched them at their suppers. Divided into messes of twelve or fifteen each, they had supplied themselves with beef in the town. Holes were dug in the ground, sticks lighted in them, and large pans set on to boil, and, with plenty of salt and pepper, a savory smell soon arose. Large pans of rice were boiling by the side, and before long each man's portion was ladled out into a real China basin, which he held in one hand close to his mouth, while the chop-sticks moved at a terrible rate in the fingers of the other hand. Such uncouth figures!—bronzed in tint, short and heavy in form, clad in thick blanket-coats, with knee-boots; turbans round most heads made of heavy scarlet woolen comforters, and a few old hats among the crowd; and a constant gabble of voices, nearly deafening in the aggregate. Their little tents were pitched on the river-bank close at hand, and a huge pile of their unmistakable baggage lay heaped, with their shovels and axes, on the deck of the great scow hard by. The town was full of them, buying or bargaining in every store. I marked a group of four who wanted a pair of strong scissors. They were asked fifty cents in a store. They examined the scissors and tried to cheapen them in vain, and then left. They tried four stores in turn, but found no better article, and the same price; then returned to their first love, and strove hard for a reduction in vain. Again they went the round; again they came back: on the fourth visit the patience of the Jewish gentleman behind the counter gave way, and he told them to take it or leave it, they should not see the scissors again. Most unwillingly, and after a vast amount of breathing on the blades to see how quickly the vapor disappeared, the half-dollar came forth and the scissors changed owners. They are the closest buyers in the world. The next morning by seven o'clock the tents were struck, the Chinamen on board the steamer, and in the afternoon we passed them hard at work, spread in a long line on the face of a terrible rock, which looked as if five thousand Chinamen might work at it in vain for a year to make a fit passage for the train.

But without them how would these great works get done? Later on I intend describing some of the undertakings in progress in the State. Delay in them—still worse, the stoppage of them—would be a calamity indeed. After all, the Chinamen work for about eighty or ninety cents a day, and out of this sum the contractor has to find them food. The food, save the rice, is purchased in the State; the material of the clothes they wear is manufactured and sold in the United States; the tools they work with also. So that it is only the profit on their labor's price which goes to China; and some of that goes to pay their passage in the ships which transport them to and fro. And their labor remains—its results felt by every passenger and freighter on the railroads, and every Oregonian directly or indirectly interested in increasing the population of the State.

Naturally, it is easy to have too much Chinaman. I should grieve to see them multiply so as to dominate the State. Excellent servants, but bad masters.

And by all means let us have treaties with China to enable the influx of these Mongolians to be regulated. Already we have laws forbidding the employment of Chinamen on government or municipal public works. And I do not see that there is any economy in the working or superiority in the labors on such undertakings.

For household service on this coast they are simply indispensable. They receive high wages: for a good Chinese cook you must pay from fifteen to twenty-five dollars a month. A laundryman and house-servant can be had for somewhat less. But our experience and observation lead us to the knowledge that two Chinese servants will do well the work of four English servants. Another thing is that, having learned to cook any special dish, you may be sure of having it always thereafter equally good.

If they are a bother sometimes by not comprehending orders, they make up for it by quaint ways. An English neighbor of ours has one Chee, a boy of sixteen, as house-servant, and a very good cook and general servant she has made of him. Chee and his mistress are on the best of terms usually; sometimes they fall out.

"HEAP DEBBLE-Y IN THERE!"The mistress was staying with us for a few days once, while her husband was out hunting in the hills, and she preferred sleeping in her own house. This Chee strongly disapproved, as it involved his going up to make the bed and clean the house, instead of having high-jinks in the China house down in the town. When his mistress went into the house, Chee pointed into her bedroom, and in a mysterious voice warned her thus: "Heap debble-y in there. Some time I make bed, I see four, fi' debble-y go under bed. Some time come catch you in night!"

Another time, his master and mistress being out, Chee amused himself with their photograph-album. They found many of the pictures shifted, and one charming young lady missing. Chee stoutly denied it all, and swore he never saw the picture. So his "boss," Hop Kee, was appealed to. In the afternoon of the same day Hop Kee appeared with a second Chinaman. This man produced the missing photograph for identification, and then Hop Kee disappeared into Chee's kitchen and administered a hearty beating to the culprit. When Hop Kee reappeared, panting, his companion explained and apologized thus: "Chee heap bad boy; but he no steal um; he heap love um picture; he sew um up his bed."

Another time Chee was pottering about in the garden when his mistress called him. He would not answer, so she called him again, and this was the conversation:

"Chee, come here." "Heap tired in foot; can' walk." "Chee, come here directly." Chee comes and gets his orders. "Wha' for you can' talk me there?" "Chee, you must not answer me like that; you speak as if I were a dog." "Well, you allee same likee one dog!" "Chee, how dare you? I tell Hop Kee what you say." "I no care." But Hop Kee comes that afternoon and hears the sad accusation, and this is his advice: "Mrs. ——, you heap takee some poker; you beat him. I heap much obliged. Chee no good; you whip um."

Chee asks for his wages, and even for some in advance. "What for you want money, Chee?" "I want fi'teen dollar." "What for, Chee?" "I want buy one big watch." "How big, Chee?" "Heap big watch; he weigh ha' pound." And I believe it does weigh half a pound.

One of our Chinamen, Chung, was a sad breaker of crockery. We bore it patiently in spite of the loss, for stone-ware is terribly dear here. But one day there was an awful smash, and we ran out to see Chung wringing his hands over a tray on the ground, with broken cups and plates all about. We said nothing; but the next day he went of his own accord, and at his own cost replaced the greater part.

CHINESE NEW YEAR.All the house-servants expect a holiday for a day or two at the Chinese new year, which occurs about the 20th of January. It is a mark of good breeding and condition with them to give presents at that time to every one in the house. A little cabinet of lacquer-work to the lady of the house, a fan in sandal wood or ivory, one or two flowered silk handkerchiefs, a pot of sweetmeats, and two or three boxes of the inevitable Chinese crackers for the children, make up the list.

Each of the China houses in the town collects all the Chinamen that make it their headquarters, and prepares a magnificent supper. They spare no expense on this occasion; all the chickens in the neighborhood are slaughtered, and the sweet Chinese wine flows freely. Even a drunken Chinaman may be met in the street, staggering from one China house to another, and he will very likely be mobbed by all the "hoodlums" in the town, pelting and hustling him.

"Hoodlums"—a fine word this to describe the vagabond, rough hobble-de-hoys that swarm in these Western towns; lads too big for school, too lazy to work, an incumbrance to their families, a nuisance to all their neighbors. I am told that the word originated in San Francisco twenty years ago. There were there gangs of these rough lads who hung about the wharves, ready for riot or plunder as occasion offered. Against them the police of the city waged a constant war. These Arabs had various haunts among the hovels and sheds, the piles of lumber and rubbish, that deface the water-side of every growing and unfinished city. When the police appeared, "Huddle-um!" was the watchword that sent every skulker to cover. But the Irish element pronounced the watchword with a rounder sound, and so "Hoodlum!" caught the ear of the passer-by, and soon was adopted as the label of the tribe.

The police of our town is represented by the city marshal and his deputy, who act under the authority of the mayor and the city council. The "calaboose" is the lock-up for offenders; and work on the streets in irons is also a punishment which may be awarded by the recorder for offenses against the city laws and regulations. Drunkenness and opium-smoking are in this black list. Passers-by were edified, a few days ago, by the spectacle of one white man, for drunkenness, and two Chinamen, for opium-smoking, shoveling away at the mud, and ornamented with iron ball and shackles. It is strange to find that opium-smoking in these dens is not altogether confined to the Chinese, but some degraded white men are occasionally captured by the marshal in a raid on a China house. Such are not only punished, but scouted, and still they repeat the offense, proving the hold the practice gains when once yielded to.



Life in the town—‌Sociables—‌Religious sects—‌Sabbath-schools—‌ Christmas, festivities—‌Education, how far compulsory—‌Colleges—‌ Student-life and education—‌Common schools—‌Teachers' institutes —‌Newspapers—‌Patent outsides—‌"The Oregonian"—‌Other journals—‌ Charities—‌Paupers—‌Secret societies.

Life in these country towns possesses some features strange to a new-comer. Every family, almost without exception, is allied with some church organization. The association of such families in religious matters gives the connecting bond they need. Not contented with worshiping together on Sundays, they often meet in church sociables and in school entertainments and concerts, for which purposes the church-building is very commonly used.

To get up a "sociable" is a pleasant task for the matrons of the church. Having settled on the day, they meet and agree for how many it is likely they must provide. Then each lady undertakes her share, finding so much tea, coffee, and sugar, and so many sandwiches and cakes. It is a delicate compliment for outsiders also to contribute a cake to the common fund. Then, the evening having come, the company begin to meet, generally about seven o'clock, and are received by the ladies of the congregation. Every one is made welcome. The object of the "sociable," so far as money-getting is concerned, is met either by a small charge for refreshments as supplied, or by a charge for admission, making the visitor free of the room.

When the tea or supper is finished, there is a fine flow of talk, as all tongues are loosened. Then follows music, either as solos by such as venture to make so public an appearance, or in duets, glees, or choruses provided by the church choir. Interspersed with the music are recitations, readings, or short lectures. The recitations are as commonly given by young ladies as by the other sex; and the most awful and tragic pieces are decidedly the favorites. A good deal of gesture and action is approved.

Generally, a few words from the minister of the church close the entertainment, and the audience separate about ten o'clock, all the better for the "sociable."

The comparatively trifling differences which serve to keep one sect separate from another, result in a number of small congregations and weak "interests"—and also, I think, react injuriously on the education and condition of the various ministers. And I do not see any progress toward obliterating differences and combining scattered forces against the common foes of indifference, irreligion, and vice; rather, I notice in the meetings or conventions attended by representatives or delegates from the various congregations of a special sect, and held annually in some central place, a disposition to insist on differences, and enforce the teaching of each special set of distinctive doctrines on the young.

Outside of the Episcopal Church, which, of course, possesses and uses its own liturgy, the services of the other Christian sects are almost exactly similar; I except also the Roman Catholics, who are present in the State of Oregon in considerable numbers, and whose organization of archbishop, bishops, priests, and sisters is as perfect as usual. But I have reference to Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Methodists, North and South, Baptists, Evangelicals—the order of their services is about the same, and unless by chance you were present on some occasion for enforcing the special doctrines of the sect, you could not determine to which belonged the particular church in which you might be worshiping.

The institution of the Sabbath-school is not similar to that pursued in England, at any rate. The church is opened at a special hour for Sabbath-school, and the children attend in numbers; the minister of the church holds a service for the special benefit of the young, but adults are also present. There is not the division into classes, and the enlisting of the efforts of teachers for those classes, which we have seen elsewhere.

CHRISTMAS FESTIVITIES.Christmas is chiefly marked by the Christmas-trees which are so commonly provided; the religious significance of the day is hardly enforced at all. But the great Christmas-trees arranged by a congregation, lighted up in the church or school-room, and hung with presents contributed by each family for its own individual members, and only brought to the common tree that the joy of donor and receiver might be alike shared in by friends, are a pretty and a happy sight.

And this is by no means confined to the towns. The various precincts of the county have each their headquarters at the common school-house, and in many of these Christmas-trees are provided; and, if the gifts are less in money cost than those hung round the city Christmas-trees, they are none the less worth if got by so many hours of country work, and brought over many a weary mile of muddy road, and treasured in the old trunk among the Sunday garments till the happy day came round, and the Christmas frost hung the fir-trees with their sparkling load, and glazed the old black logs and gray snake-fences with their glittering covering of ice.

A common notion prevails that education here is compulsory. It is compulsory in the sense that facilities by way of school-houses and trained teachers, and superintendence by committees and clerks, are provided by the State, and paid for by the counties from the county tax. It is not compulsory in the sense that so many hours of school attendance can be enforced against parents or children by the public authority. Much is done; a strong and general interest is shown; expense is not spared, even where expenditure is severely felt; but still many children both in town and country escape the educational net. There is a State Superintendent of Education; there are county superintendents; there are many schools and teachers; and there are universities and colleges, with good staffs of professors, and a very high and wide course of studies in all. But very much remains to be done.

There is far too much effort at variety rather than thoroughness in study. However hard both professors and students may labor, it can not be possible in a four-years' course to fill a lad, who has previously had but a common-school education, with a satisfactory knowledge of Latin, high mathematics, Euclid, history, English grammar and composition, chemistry, organic and inorganic, geography, geology, mechanics, electricity, polarization of light, and various other studies usually required for the master of arts honors examination in a British university. But this is attempted here.

And, moreover, this extensive course is carried on in the State Agricultural College as well as in the universities of the State. It can hardly be said that the name of "agricultural" is earned, since there is nothing in the studies here engaged in to distinguish this from any other high-class college in the State.

TEACHERS' INSTITUTES.The course followed in the common school is open to much the same criticism—too much of the ornamental, too little of the thorough and solid, being instilled. This is hardly to be wondered at when it is considered that the teachers in the common schools are taken principally from the students of the colleges or universities, whose learning is of the class above described. There is a great need of a normal school, where teachers can be specially trained for that work; as it is now, a young fellow is ready to "teach school" for a year or two for want of, or on his way to, his intended niche in life.

The scale of payments at the schools is moderate enough, but a large item of expense is in the school-books: they are dear, their use is compulsory, they have to be purchased by the scholars, and they are frequently changed by the Board of Education.

One great means by which it is sought at once to instruct, amuse, and infuse the school-teachers with common ideas and sympathies is by "teachers' institutes." In each county a time is fixed by the State Superintendent of Education, and for two or three days all, or as many as can be got together of the teachers in the county, are gathered in some central town, and for two or three days have constant meetings. This occurs annually.

The most experienced teachers give illustrations of their favorite methods of instruction in the various subjects, and free discussion on these matters follows.

The days are devoted to this practical work, and in the evenings some more general entertainment is provided in the shape of music, lectures, or readings, and these are thrown open to the public. At one of these the lecturer, who was one of the professors at the Monmouth College, descanted on the high general standard of educational attainments in this Willamette Valley. He pointed out, in proof, that whereas through the United States the population supported one newspaper to each eight hundred, in this valley the proportion was one to three hundred or thereabout.

NEWSPAPERS.I found on inquiry that the figures were about correct. And the fact is, that it is only in the newspapers that the country people find nearly all their literature, and that barely a farmer can be found who does not regularly take three or more papers, and this makes the continued lives of these papers possible. A town of a thousand or twelve hundred inhabitants will support two or even three papers. How is it done? Examine one of these papers and you will find the outside pages better printed than the inside, and filled with a special sort of romantic stories, and short bits of general information; extracts from magazines and from Eastern or English newspapers. The inside pages have the true local color. Here you will see the leader, devoted to the topics of the time and place; descanting on the railroad news of the day; expressing the editor's opinions on the rates of freight or passage, or on the advantages his town offers for establishing new industries; or criticising the recent appointment of postmaster. Then the correspondence from various outlying towns or villages, written very often by the schoolmaster, and abounding in literary allusions and quotations. And then comes the amazing feature of the paper—a column or two are devoted to "locals." This is the style: "Beautiful weather. New York sirup at Thompson's. The spring plowing is nearly done. Use the celebrated XL flour, the best in the market. Mrs. —— has been in ——, attending to the woman-suffrage question, the past week. Our thanks are due to two fair ladies for bouquets of spring flowers, the first of the season. Our young friend Pete M—— called on us yesterday; good boy Pete. Judge Henry was at Salem the past week. Miss Addie Bines is visiting friends in town. Did you see that bonnet at the Presbyterian church on Sunday? The accidental pistol-shot the sheriff got is pretty bad. The rates of board at the Cosmopolitan Hotel are five dollars a week; three meals for a dollar. The Odd-Fellows will give a ball on the 25th. Our vociferous friend Sam N—— is starting for Puget Sound." And so on.

I observe and I hear that these locals are by far the best-read portion of the paper. A variety of items of scraps from the neighborhood, and advertisements, the longest of which relate to patent medicines of all sorts, fill up these two inner pages of the paper. The secret of cheap production lies in obtaining the paper, with the two outside pages ready printed, from an office in Portland, which supplies in this way twenty or thirty of these little newspapers. Thus the cost to the editor is reduced to the getting-up of the two inner pages, and, as will be seen, not a very high level of brain-power is needed.

"The Oregonian" is the only journal in the State giving the latest telegrams. Naturally it is published in Portland, and devoted mainly to the interests of that city. It is connected with the Associated Press, and possesses the practical monopoly of the supply of news, properly so called. Professing to be Republican in politics, it assumes the liberty of advocating doctrines and supporting candidates for office in direct violation of the acknowledged principles of the party and the wishes of the party managers. With a parade of fairness, and willingness to admit to its columns views and communications opposing the ideas it may be advocating at the time, it takes care to color matters in such form as to pervert or weaken all opposing or criticising matter. It is bitterly hostile to every movement in the Willamette Valley tending toward independence of Portland's money power and influence. While professing to desire the development of the State, it reads that to mean solely the aggrandizement of Portland. It enjoys a happy facility of conversion, and will unblushingly advocate to-day the adoption of measures it denounced last week. Unreliable in everything except its telegraphic news, and oftentimes seeking to color them by suggestive head-notes and capital announcements, it is a calamity to the State that its chief journal should be at once the most unpopular at home and the most misleading abroad.

Of course, "The Oregonian" is not the only journal professing to be of and for the State at large. Several are published at Portland claiming the character of general State interest. Such are the "Willamette Farmer," a journal chiefly devoted to the farming interest, and with which "The Oregonian" is very frequently at war; "The New Northwest," edited by Mrs. Duniway, a lady enthusiast in favor of woman's rights and woman's suffrage, but making up with a good deal of ability a paper containing much of general interest; the "Pacific Christian Advocate," a religious paper; and also a number of other papers, Democratic and Republican, of no special note.

Salem, Albany, and Harrisburg possess newspapers above the average of ability and circulation.

I thought there was a good deal of wisdom in the letter of a correspondent of mine in one of the Eastern States, who concluded a letter of general inquiry as to the State of Oregon with a request that I would send him a bundle of local newspapers, "by which," said he, "I can judge better of the present conditions of life in Oregon than by the answers of any one special correspondent."

There are very few poor people in Oregon—so poor, that is, as to need charitable help. Such are taken charge of by the county court, and from the county funds such an allowance is made in the case of families as shall keep them from absolute want. In the case of single persons they are given into the care of such families as are willing to receive them in return for a moderate sum, say three or four dollars a week.

SECRET SOCIETIES.The various societies and orders, namely, the Freemasons, the Foresters, the Odd-Fellows, the Order of United Workmen, the Good Templars, and others, have a large number of adherents in Oregon. I believe the Freemasons number upward of seven thousand brethren; the present Grand Master is the Secretary of State, and a very efficient head he makes. The Freemasons and other orders take charge of the needy brethren with their proverbial charity, and thus relieve to a great extent the public funds.



Industries other than farming—‌Iron-ores—‌Coal—‌Coos Bay mines—‌ Seattle mines—‌Other deposits—‌Lead and copper—‌Limestone—‌Marbles —‌Gold, where found and worked—‌Silver, where found and worked—‌Gold in sea-sand—‌Timber—‌Its area and distribution—‌Spars—‌Lumber—‌Size of trees—‌Hard woods—‌Cost of production and sale of lumber—‌Tanneries —‌Woolen-mills—‌Flax-works—‌Invitation to Irish—‌Salmon—‌Statistics of the trade—‌Methods—‌Varieties of salmon—‌When and where caught—‌ Salmon-poisoning of dogs—‌Indians fishing—‌Traps—‌Salmon-smoking.

It must not be inferred, from the prominence given in these pages to the farming and stock-raising interests of Oregon, that openings can not be found in many directions for new and rising industries.

Oregon is as rich in minerals as in lands for wheat-growing and cattle-raising. In the north of the State, about six miles from Portland, at a place called Oswego, on the Willamette, very rich deposits of brown hematite iron-ore have been discovered, and have for a few years been worked. The pig-iron produced at these smelting-works is now used in a foundry close at hand, to which a rolling-mill is just added. The iron is of the very best Scotch-iron quality, and commands equivalent prices at home and also in San Francisco.

At many other points large deposits of iron-ore are waiting for development. It is reported from Columbia, Tillamook, Marion, Clackamas, Linn, Polk, Jackson, and Coos Counties. In the Cascade Mountains it has been found in many directions, but as yet has not been properly prospected.

Coal abounds. The Coos Bay mines have been opened and worked for some years, and they keep quite a fleet of schooners plying between the mines and San Francisco. Other beds have been found on the Umpqua; and coal is reported from many points in the Coast Range. So far as my own knowledge goes, these mountain discoveries are of no very great value, from the want of continuity and uniformity of level, though it is but little more than the outcrop which has been tested in most places. A different report is given of a recent discovery in Polk County, in this valley, where a thick vein of stone-coal in the basin has been found. The coal I have seen in the hills is anthracite, nearly allied to lignite. The favorable feature is the outcrop at so many points in a northeast and southwest line of what seems to be the same vein.

Recently there has been a very energetic effort made to develop the coal-mines located in the Seattle district of Washington Territory. The presiding genius is Mr. Henry Villard, now so widely known in connection with the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company. The present output of these mines is about one hundred thousand tons per annum; but under the new arrangements it is expected that this will be raised to seven hundred and fifty thousand tons, so as to supply not only the San Francisco market, but also to deliver the coal at a moderate price at the various points, both on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, reached by the steamboats of the above-mentioned company. Three large steam-colliers are to be used for the ocean transport of the coal. Although this enterprise belongs to Washington Territory, I have thought it deserving of mention here, as being likely to have an important bearing on the development of Oregon.

MINERALS.Lead and copper have been discovered in abundance in Jackson, Josephine, and Douglas Counties, on Cow Creek, a tributary of the Umpqua River, and also on the Santiam among the Cascades.

Limestone, sandstone—both brown and gray—and marble quarries have been opened at various points in the State.

Gold is found in paying quantities at many points in Southern Oregon, and also in the gold-bearing black sand of the sea-beach, all along the southern and central portions of the State. The finely comminuted condition in which the gold occurs in the black sand has been a serious obstacle in the way of its profitable working; but the combined chemical and mechanical processes recently adopted bid fair to prove thoroughly successful. The Governor of the State estimated the product of Oregon in gold and silver in the year 1876 at not less than two million dollars.

The gold-mines of Baker County, and the gold and silver mines in Grant County in Eastern Oregon, have also recently been more fully developed, and with great success.

With the inflow of foreign capital, now begun in earnest, those best qualified to judge predict for Oregon a very high place among the gold and silver producing States of the Union.

The mineral district in Grant and Baker Counties will be shortly rendered accessible and profitable by the expected completion, both of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company's line and of that of the Oregon Pacific, having eastward connections at Boisé City in Idaho, some fifty miles eastward of the eastern boundary of Oregon.

The timber of Oregon is of world-wide fame. It will take many years to exhaust the districts even now accessible to river, railroad, or harbor; and the opening up of the various portions of the State to be traversed by the railroads either now or shortly to be put in hand will bring to market the timber from hundreds of square miles of woodland yet untouched.

The following general statement is chiefly extracted from the "Report of the Government Commissioner of Agriculture" for the year 1875:

Baker County has a timber area of five hundred square miles, principally pine and fir. Benton County has a belt of timber-land of one eighth of a mile wide by forty-five miles in length, lying along the Willamette River, and another belt in the Coast Mountains of twenty-five by thirty miles.

This timber is principally pine and fir; there are also large quantities of splendid spruce; alder and white-oak, laurel and maple are also found. Alder grows from twenty-four to thirty inches in diameter, and is worth for cabinet-making purposes from thirty to forty dollars a thousand feet at the factory. There is a belt principally of spruce timber, a mile wide and how many miles long I can not say, heading northward from Depot Slough, a stream running into Yaquina Bay, many of the trees being eight and nine feet in diameter, and two hundred and fifty feet high.

I have seen a hundred and thirty pines cut for ships' spars on one homestead near Yaquina Bay, not one of which snapped in the felling, and which ran from eighty to one hundred and twenty feet in the clear, without a branch, and about as straight and level as a ruler. And this lot were cut from but a very few acres of the wood, and where it was easy to convey them to the tidal stream which floated them to the harbor. It was a pretty sight to watch the team of five or six yokes of oxen hauling the long, white spars from the wooded knoll on which they grew—the red and white colors of the oxen and the voices of the teamsters and lumbermen lending life and cheerfulness to the somber forest.

TIMBER.Clackamas is one of the best timbered counties in the Willamette Valley, fully one half of its area being in heavy timber. Pine, fir, spruce, white cedar, white oak, maple, and ash are found. About two thirds of the area of Curry County is covered with forests of yellow, red, and white fir, sugar-pine, white cedar, spruce, white and other oaks, and madroño. The timber-lands of Douglas are principally covered with the different varieties of evergreens and oaks. There are thousands of acres which would yield from three to six hundred cords to the acre not yet taken up. Not over one third of the area of Lane County is woodland. This embraces the different varieties common to the Pacific coast.

The timber-land of Linn, occupying half its area, is comprised in three belts of dense forest, half of which is red fir. Within the last twenty-four years thousands of acres of woodland have grown up from seed, and are now covered with trees from forty to eighty feet high, with a diameter of from ten inches to two feet. There have been made from one acre of fir-timber six thousand rails ten feet long by at least four inches thick.

Multnomah has a large area of timber-land, mostly yellow and red fir.

Three fourths of the area of Tillamook is in timber, and half of this is fir and hemlock. The forests of Umatilla are confined to the mountains, where they are very dense, and to the belts along the streams. Wasco has immense forests in the mountains, many of them as yet inaccessible. The general result is, that Oregon has in all 15,407,528 acres of woodlands out of a total area of 60,975,360 acres. The timber on the average is worth now about four dollars per thousand cubic feet at the saw-mill in the log, and costs when sawed into inch lumber about eight dollars the thousand feet of such lumber. The price of the lumber to the consumer varies from nine to fourteen dollars per thousand feet, according to the demand. Much of the fir and spruce timber will cut into six or seven logs of sixteen feet in length, the tree being six feet in diameter two feet from the ground.

From one cut out of a fallen fir on my own land we split one hundred and thirty-two rails of fully four inches diameter, and from several trees over six hundred rails each have been split.

A good deal of unauthorized timber-cutting goes on upon the Government land not yet taken up. When the logger is honest, he buys the right to cut from the owner of the land, paying "stumpage" of about fifty cents a tree. I have known many acres to provide over fifty of these big trees, thus returning a good price for the timber, and leaving rich and partly cleared land for pasturing purposes in the hands of the owner.

One of the industries that needs to be established in many parts of the State is tanning. Hides are plentiful, and of excellent quality; bark, both of oak and of hemlock, is easily procurable, and the water-power is abundant almost everywhere. At present the leather used is chiefly imported from California; it has been hastily tanned, and is of poor quality. The drawback to this business is that it absorbs capital before it begins to yield profit; but, the machine once having begun to revolve, the returns are steady, the risks few, the results permanent, and the profits very considerable.

WOOLEN-MILLS.The woolen manufacture in Oregon has already taken good hold. Oregon goods are well known in California, and in Philadelphia and New York also. They received well-deserved praise at the Centennial Exhibition of 1876. There are three woolen-factories in the State: one at Oregon City, one at Brownsville, and one at Ashland, in the south of the State. Their blankets and tweeds are admirable for thickness, solidity, and softness of texture. The Oregon City mills employ a good many Chinamen; they work well and economically. There is every probability of a fourth factory being at once established in or near Albany; and the more the better, considering the ample water-power, and the abundance and excellence of fleeces.

Taking into account the quality of the flax grown in the State and the indefinite power of expansion of the product, seeing that the very edge of the flax-land has hardly yet been touched, while many thousand acres are specially fit for the crop, and considering, also, that linen in its various forms is unnaturally dear on the Pacific coast, it seems a pity that one or more linen-factories should not be established. The present disturbed state of Ireland has, we know, prepared many of its inhabitants for emigration, and among them are many trained in the growth, the preparation, and the manufacture of flax. Any persons familiar with this industry could not do better than transfer themselves, their capital, their machinery, and their staff of workers, to this free land; here they will find a hearty welcome, a fine climate, the very best of raw material, a market at their doors, unlimited opening for expansion of their business, and a habitation free alike from turbulence, riot, and oppression.

No book attempting to deal, in however general terms, with the industrial development of Oregon, can pass the business in canned salmon without notice.

The growth of the business has been marvelous. The following table shows the canning of the Columbia River salmon during the ten years ending with 1880:

Year. Cases.   Year. Cases.
1871 35,000   1876 429,000
1872 44,000   1877 393,000
1873 103,000   1878 412,924
1874 244,000   1879 440,000
1875 291,000   1880 540,000

Each case contains four dozen tins of one pound each, or two dozen of two pounds.

The total output of the Pacific coast for 1880 is estimated at 680,000 cases.

SALMON.Besides the Columbia River, which is the main source of supply, other Oregon rivers are laid under tribute. The Rogue River, the Alsea, Umpqua, Coquille, Nehalem, Siletz, and Yaquina Rivers are all salmon-yielding streams. The system followed is generally known. The proprietor erects his cannery on the edge of the river, generally on piles driven into the mud. The cannery consists of a large warehouse for laying out the fresh salmon as soon as caught. Next comes a building fitted with large knives for cutting up the salmon into the proper length for canning, and boilers in which the cans or tins are boiled. Then come the packing and storing houses. That the undertaking need be on a large scale may be judged from the fact that they may have to deal with three or four thousand salmon at a time, as the produce of one night's take, and these salmon averaging twenty-five pounds in weight.

The canneries make their own tins, one man, by the aid of ingenious machinery, putting together fifteen hundred tins in a day.

The boats and nets belong to the cannery. The fishermen are paid by the fish they bring in: one third belongs to the cannery in right of boat and nets; the other two thirds are bought from the fishermen at fifty cents a fish.

The importance to Oregon of the trade is shown by the proceeds for the year ending August 1, 1879, from the 412,924 cases exported being $1,863,069.

The tin for the salmon, and also for the canned beef which is prepared in several of the canneries, is all imported. The imports for 1879 amounted to 54,520 boxes, costing from $8 to $9 a box.

The number of salmon ascending some of these streams to spawn is almost incredible.

Both the Siletz and the Yaquina Rivers yield two kinds: one a heavy, thick-shouldered, red-tinged, hooknosed fellow, which is never eaten by white men when it has passed up out of tidal waters; the other a slim, graceful, bright-scaled fish, known as the silver salmon. Of this last there are two runs in the year: one in April and May, the other in October and November.

The heavy, red salmon runs in the fall of the year, from August to November, and the heads of all the streams, even to the little brooks among the mountains, are filled with ugly, dark, yellow-and-white spotted fish pushing their way upward, until I have seen five huge fish in a tiny pool too shallow to cover their back-fins. Some get back to the ocean with the autumn floods; the majority are left dying, or dead, on the gravel or along the edges of the streams. Here they are deadly poison to dogs, and to wolves also. It is almost impossible to keep dogs of mature age in the coast district; sooner or later they are almost sure to get "salmoned," and to die.

The only way is to allow the puppies free run at the salmon: two out of three will die; the survivor, having passed the ordeal, will be salmon-proof and live to his full age.

The symptoms of salmon-poisoning are refusal of food, staring coat, running at the eyes, dry and feverish nose, absolute stoppage of digestion, followed by death in about three days after the first appearance of poisoning.

All sorts of remedies have been unsuccessfully tried. A young dog may battle through, if dosed with Epsom salts as soon as his state is observed; for an old dog, I can find nothing of avail. Castor-oil, large doses of mustard, shot in quantities forced down the throat, calomel, aloes, blackberry-tea—all of these I have heard of, but have not the slightest faith in any one.

Therefore, any new-comers into the coast country bringing valuable dogs with them will have to keep them tied up, or else may expect to lose them, as I have unfortunately experienced.

INDIAN SALMON-TRAPS.The repugnance of the white man to the dark and spotted salmon is not shared by the Indians. They had a salmon-camp on Big Elk, the chief tributary of the Yaquina, last year, which I went to see. The river runs between steep hills, covered with the usual brush, and with a narrow trail cut through along the edge of the water. The tide runs up for about four miles above the junction with the Yaquina, and there, in a wide pool into which the little river fell over a ridge of rocks, hardly to be called a fall, the Indians had their dam and traps. Just below the fall they had planted a row of willow and hazel stakes in the bed of the stream close together and tied with withes. In the center was an opening—a little lane of stakes leading into a pocket some six feet wide. The Indian women sat out on the rock by the side of the pocket with dip-nets and ladled out the salmon, which had been beguiled by their instinct of pushing always up the stream into entering the fatal inclosure.

The Indian tyhees or shelters were on the bank close by—miserable hovels made of boughs, and some old boards they had carried up—and hung round with torn and dirty blankets to keep in the smoke. Poles were set across and across, and from these hung the sides and bellies of the salmon, while a little fire of damp wood and grass was kept constantly replenished in the middle of the floor, by a wretched-looking crone who squatted close by.

Newport Pier, 1879.

Newport Pier, 1879.

When we got there, a younger woman was opening and splitting the salmon just caught, pressing the eggs into a great osier basket, where they looked exactly like a pile of red currants. She gave us a handful of eggs for trout-bait; as every one knows, the most deadly and poaching lure for that fish. And we found the benefit of them that same evening at Elk City, four miles below, where the salmon-trout crowd almost in shoals to be caught.



Eastern Oregon—‌Going "east of the mountains"—‌Its attractions—‌ Encroaching sheep—‌First experiments in agriculture and planting —‌General description of Eastern Oregon—‌Boundaries—‌Alkaline plains—‌Their productions—‌The valleys—‌Powder River Valley—‌ Description—‌The Snake River and its tributaries—‌The Malheur Valley—‌Harney Lake Valley—‌Its size—‌Productions—‌Wild grasses —‌Hay-making—‌The winters in Eastern Oregon—‌Wagon-roads—‌Prineville —‌Silver Creek—‌Grindstone Creek Valley—‌Crooked River—‌Settlers' descriptions and experiences—‌Ascent of the Cascades going west—‌ Eastern Oregon towns—‌Baker City—‌Prineville—‌Warnings to settlers —‌Growing wheat for the railroads to carry.

While Western Oregon and the Willamette Valley in particular have been settled up, the valleys, plains, and hill-sides of Eastern Oregon are only just now beginning to attract population.

But the reports of that country have spread far and wide through the valley, and half the young men are burning to try their fortunes "east of the mountains." When a youngster has been brought up in a wide valley, the eastern sky-line of which has been marked out, from his very infancy, by a line of rugged hills, over which the snow-peaks tower; when he has been used to see the mountains stand out clear and majestic, rosy in the glow of the setting sun, and then putting on their winter garments of purity, and shining cold in the clear moonlight of the winter nights; when he has watched them disappear as the mists of the autumn rains filled the valley, to be hidden for weeks from his gaze, and then suddenly revealed as the drying and vigorous west wind dispelled the veil which the warm south wind had only served to thicken—I can sympathize with the longing felt, even if unexpressed, to climb this barrier and find if there be in verity a Canaan beyond.

And then, until lately at all events, to the young and bold there was a strong attraction in the life on horseback, in the gallop after the straggling cattle over those rolling plains; in the bachelor life of freedom, where home was just where night found him, and where his comrades had made their fire and picketed their horses; and, though last not least, where the wealthy stockmen had started from the exact point where he stood, their capital good health, readiness to rough it, and a determination to get on.

But a few years ago this was what life east of the mountains meant. Then men found that sheep paid better than cattle; and the sheep-herder, with his band of merinos, took possession of the rocky hill-sides, on which the thick bunch-grass was already beginning to fail to hold its first vigor and abundance, and his peaceful but not unresisted invasion pushed the cattle-men farther into the wilderness.

The loathing and contempt of the stockmen for these encroaching sheep! Some of them actually encouraged, and refused to permit the slaughter of, the prairie-wolves, which did not molest the cattle, but waged war on the flocks. But the tide would not be turned back, and mile after mile the sheep pushed on.

The bunch-grass which the cattle lived on, and which only overstocking injured, gave way before the sheep; for these eat out the hearts of the young grass, and their range grew wider as the feed became more sparse.

And then the farmer followed the sheep-herder, and the eaten pastures were turned up by the plow. True, the soil was alkaline in many places, and rocky and stony to an extent strange to the eyes of the valley farmer, who hardly ever sees a stone. But there were streams on many a hill-side which only needed a little work to be turned on to and to irrigate the soil below; and many a valley was explored, whose level land gave promise of numberless farms.

Even if the land were bare and desolate-looking to a degree, and the farmhouse stood naked and unattractive, yet it was found that apples and pears would grow, and even that peaches would ripen well in a hotter and drier summer climate than is found elsewhere in Oregon.

And when the results of the first experiments were disclosed, and it was found that wheat yielded thirty, forty, and even fifty bushels to the acre on these very lands, the tide turned.

EASTERN OREGON.Men who had decried Eastern Oregon as a desert, fit only to pasture a few cattle and scattering bands of sheep, suddenly changed their tone, and nothing was heard from them but advice to leave the worn-out lands of the Willamette Valley, and go to this, which was the coming country.

And advantage was at once taken of this state of things to prepare the public mind for, and then to take up vast sums of money to provide, railroad and increased steamboat accommodation to bring the products of these eastern plains within reach of Portland and the seaboard.

What is this country like? The Columbia bounds the north, the Snake River the east of Oregon—the one running east and west, the other north and south. Nearly midway between the Cascade Mountains and the Snake River, the Blue Mountains run, roughly speaking, north and south. This range is much less elevated than the Cascades, but very wide, and rises gradually from far-reaching foot-hills about the center of the State.

Between the Blue Mountains and the Cascades lies a great stretch of open, rolling country—bare, rocky hills, not a tree and hardly a bush to be seen; until lately covered with bunch-grass and some sage-brush. This is some of the country to which the change of purpose applies which I have just described.

The prevailing color of the country is a reddish-brown, except when in spring a tinge of living green spreads with the growing grass.

Near the Cascade Mountains are wide tracts covered with fine volcanic lava-dust. Where there is moisture to be found, this soil supports a good growth of grass, and the pine timber stretches to its edge. But joining it come the bare alkaline plains. Their natural vegetation is the bunch-grass and the sage-brush (Artemisia).

The chief constituents in the alkaline formation are chlorides of sodium and potassium—demanding irrigation as the remedy for the excess of alkali, while beet-root is recommended as a first crop to absorb the surplus salt. Excellent crops are raised in the Ochico Valley, on this land; and there is no doubt that a very large portion of the tracts now being abandoned by the cattle- and sheep-herder will prove of enormous productiveness in wheat.

East of the Blue Mountains is found, among others, the Powder River Valley. This is in the western part of Baker County and partly in Union County. On the north and east a steep hill-side separates it from the Grand Ronde Valley; on the south and west rises the spur of the Blue Mountain range. The valley is about twenty-four miles long by twelve wide, thus covering two hundred and ninety square miles.

The lands in this valley may be taken as a type of similar valleys in Eastern Oregon. They may be divided into three classes. First, the bottom-lands pure and simple. These consist of alluvial soil of abundant depth and richness; the only question an intending settler need ask is whether they are subject to inundation from the overflow of the river, which invariably is found running through the whole length. Above the bottom-lands, and far exceeding them in extent, are the foothills, yielding in this instance fully one hundred and eighty square miles of excellent grain-producing lands, and adapted in all respects to farming purposes. And above these again rise the hills for pasturage, and only useful for grain-growing where facilities for irrigation can be found. The character of bareness does not apply to these hill-sides; the alkaline soil does not extend to them, and a richer vegetation, in which other native grasses and spreading plants come to the aid of the predominating bunch-grass, affords food to sheep and cattle all the summer through.

SNAKE RIVER AND ITS TRIBUTARIES.All the tributaries of the Snake River from the Oregon side run through a country of a somewhat similar character, and each of these streams is the source of life and vegetation. Among these other valleys may be named the Lower Powder River, Eagle Creek, Pine Creek, Upper Burnt River, Upper and Lower Willow Creek, and the Malheur. This last requires separate mention. It runs through the boundaries of the Malheur Indian reservation, now shortly to be thrown open to settlement, and offering about three million acres of fertile and desirable land.

The Malheur River runs from the Harney Lake Valley to the Snake. This last-named valley is about sixty miles long by twenty wide; and this area of twelve hundred square miles is mainly covered with a growth of grass so tall that a man riding through it on horseback in August can tie the heads of the wild-rye together over his head, or, to use another illustration, sufficiently high and dense to hide completely a horseman who diverges from the road or track. With the wild-rye are mixed bunch-grass, blue-joint, and quantities of the wild-pea vine. And the country north and south of it, though bare, is not barren and mountainous; but in the spring and summer, before the grass is up to its full height, a man can ride and even drive his wagon, day in and day out, until he gets out of the boundaries of Oregon.

The preparations which the settlers make for the winter consist mainly in cutting and storing for hay the natural grasses of the country. Fort Harney, which has been until lately a post held by two companies, has stabling for four hundred horses. Five years ago the troops got cut and stacked from the surrounding country nine hundred tons of choice hay.

Neither in this valley are the winters very severe. Until railroad communications are provided, the sparse settlers have to abandon themselves to isolation from the outside world, because the snow lies deep on the plateaus and ridges which extend between them and the haunts of civilized man. But within the limits of the valleys the inhabitants enjoy life in winter. The snow does not lie long or deep; and from so many sources that I am forced to credit it comes the information that no one accustomed to American winter in any of the Middle States need have any apprehension in coming to live in any of the valleys I have named.

Turning westward from the Snake River and traversing the Malheur Valley and the Harney Lake Valley, the traveler may follow one of the military wagon-roads—that one whose fortunes in the violent and scandalous attempts on the title to its granted lands I have before referred to.

From Camp Harney to Prineville, the principal town in the southern portion of Wasco County, the distance is about one hundred and forty-five miles. For between thirty and forty miles the road runs through Silver Creek Valley, or along land watered by its affluent streams. The description I have given of valleys in Eastern Oregon applies to this. The country on either side of the road consists of rolling hills, covered with bunch-grass and sage-brush, and occasionally sparse juniper. Settlement in this valley is very recent. But thirteen families had taken up their residence there previous to and during the fall of 1880, and several more are going in this spring.

GRINDSTONE CREEK VALLEY.Then Grindstone Creek Valley is reached. This is one of the head-waters of Crooked River. A perfect network of creeks and streams is passed before the main Crooked River is reached, and each stream and creek brings fertility to the land on either side of it and through which it runs.

A farmer named Moppin has the credit of growing the first grain on Grindstone Creek; and there, in the harvest of 1880, he raised six hundred bushels of fine oats on nine acres of land, and grew one hundred and fifty bushels of potatoes on less than two thirds of an acre; several of the potatoes weighed two pounds and upward.

Then, following down the course of the Crooked River Valley, we pass through a country which is described in the following terms by a settler of eleven years' experience:

"This Crooked River Valley is about seventy-five miles long, and extends almost due east and west. It is a beautiful valley, with little or no timber in it, with the exception of willows along the river. The average width of the river is about one hundred feet. Now comes the stock country on the south of this river, and along its entire length is one line of hills and plateaus, thickly covered with bunch-grass of the best quality. Every few miles comes in a creek from the highlands back on either side. On these streams, from head to mouth, with but few exceptions, are good farming-lands.

"At this time there are hundreds of thousands of acres of good land lying idle, waiting for the industrious farmer to fence and plow and raise grain on. But what is the use? There is no market for the grain except in limited quantities, as we have no facilities for shipping to the outside world. The consequence is, that if a man does not have money enough to go into the stock-business, he won't come here at all. The one great trouble is to get our supplies. Within a year after the completion of a railroad to this locality the people over in your section will be surprised at the vast amount of grain received from here. As it is now, we have to drive our fat cattle from one to two hundred miles in the winter to find a market, and by the time we get them there they are poor. Give us a railroad, and we can ship our fat stock five hundred miles to market, and afford to sell cheaper than those who live in your (Willamette) valley. We do not have to feed at all. We mark and brand a calf, turn him out on the range, and, when he is four years old, sell him for twenty dollars cash—net profit about seventeen dollars. Does that pay? Give us facilities for getting to a better market, and it will pay better."

Passing still eastward after leaving Prineville along this Crooked River Valley, and then to its junction with the Des Chutes River, the country retains its fertile and promising character.

A FARMER'S OPINION.A farmer of twenty years' experience in Oregon, and who is a thoroughly reliable man, writes thus: "I have known this country well for several years. This fall (1880) I have taken a journey through it right along east, traveling slowly and with a view to settling. What my opinion is you may judge when I tell you that I have made up my mind to settle in the Crooked River Valley, where I shall go with my family in the spring.

"I know no part of Oregon that pleases me better. You have the best of land for wheat, oats, and potatoes. You can get a good garden, and grow all the vegetables you want. You have unlimited range for your stock, where they will get fat on the natural grasses, and where you can put up all the hay you want. Cattle, horses, and sheep do equally well out there. You are going into a healthy climate, away from all fever and ague or any other sickness of that nature; and you are going to a place where the land is bound to be worth four times its present value when the Oregon Pacific Railroad is opened."

Beginning the ascent of the Cascades, you pass through and over some twenty miles of rough lava country, interspersed with strips of scattering timber-land, and then come to Fish Lake and Clear Lake, the paradise of the fisherman, the hunter, and the berry-gatherer and botanist.

Before I leave the description of Eastern Oregon, let me quote from one more letter from a settler of last year out in the Prineville country: "I am located on a ranch on Camp Creek, and eight miles below the famous 'soap-holes' (silver-mines). We can raise almost anything out here, unless it is a mortgage. We have all the potatoes, turnips, onions, carrots, and beets we want; all were raised on our ranch, and, by-the-way, they were immense. I pulled one turnip that measured thirty-four and a half inches in circumference, and quite a number ran as high as thirty inches. Early-rose potatoes do remarkably well here. I have in about five acres of rye, and will sow about twenty acres of wheat and oats in the spring."

I should add that the towns in Eastern Oregon, away from the Columbia, are beginning to assume considerable importance.

Baker City was described in December, 1880, as having about one thousand inhabitants, while the amount of business transacted would average fully $450,000. There were then six substantial fire-proof business structures, and two large school-buildings, namely, "St. Joseph's" and "The Sisters of the Holy Names." The former is said to be a large four-story structure, in brick and stone, of the pure Gothic style of the fourteenth century, with accommodations for about one hundred and fifty boarding and day scholars; it is managed by a Roman Catholic priest named De Roo.

Prineville is a very lively and bustling place, with about the same number of inhabitants. It is growing fast, several fine buildings having been recently erected, among them a convenient and substantial church. There are three large general stores, supplied with heavy stocks of goods; from this, as a distributing center, the stockmen and ranchers for fifty miles and more in every direction fetch the necessaries of life. In the summertime ten or a dozen heavily-loaded wagons may be seen any day starting out along this road (which was called no road!) for their distant homes.

WARNINGS TO SETTLERS.It must not be assumed that all Eastern Oregon could be divided off into farms of the character of these choicer pieces which such men as I have referred to have chosen and settled on. There is many a rough, stony hill-side, where the sparse vegetation struggles for life in the crannies of the rocks. There is many a stretch of sandy, alkaline plain, where the dingy sage-brush grows, with here and there a tuft of bunch-grass; there is many a gully where the thirsty steer would look in vain for water, even in a dirt-hole, to quench his thirst.

But all this is fully consistent with the fertility and attractiveness of the valleys and slopes I have described. For, remember, we are dealing with fifty thousand square miles of country, on which, if the existing farms were marked on a large scale-map, they would be hardly noticeable in the vast expanse of land waiting for settlement and population.

But he would be a short-sighted man who should think of farming in Eastern Oregon, as it now is, save in a few accessible spots, where proximity to a road will provide a market at his door for the produce he has raised. In Northeastern Oregon, where the great crops of wheat are beginning to be grown, the farmer is at the mercy of the Transportation Company, which hitherto has sucked the oyster and left the farmer the shell. For what profit can there be in growing wheat at thirty and thirty-five cents a bushel, that same wheat being worth one hundred cents in Portland, and the difference being absorbed in freight and charges?

And yet, so great is the charm of novelty, so prone are a large number of the emigrants to this State to try a new place, that land up there fetches from five to fifteen dollars an acre, just about the same price for which they could buy a farm in the valley foot-hills, where wheat was worth seventy-five cents against the thirty-five, and where churches, schools, post-offices, and telegraphs are already provided.



Southern Oregon—‌Its boundaries—‌The western counties—‌Population—‌Ports —‌Rogue River—‌Coos Bay—‌Coal—‌Lumber—‌Practicable railroad routes—‌The harbor—‌Shifting and blowing sands—‌A quoted description—‌Cost of transportation—‌Harbor improvements—‌Their progress and results—‌The Umpqua—‌Douglas County—‌Jackson County—‌The lake-country—‌Linkville —‌Water-powers—‌Indian reservations—‌The great mountains—‌Southeastern Oregon—‌General description—‌Industries.

Southern Oregon is defined generally as bounded on the west by the Pacific, and starting from its western boundary is bounded on the north by the Calapooya Mountains, shutting in the Umpqua Valley, and then running eastward, taking in the lake country. In this division are included the western counties of Douglas, Coos, Curry, Josephine, Jackson, Lake, and the southern half of Grant and Baker. A great portion of the last-named counties is yet unsurveyed.

The western counties already possess, according to the census of 1880, a population of 29,081 souls.

The portions of Grant and Baker Counties properly belonging to Southern Oregon have only about two thousand people, the reason being that this country is truly inaccessible, being so far distant from the seaboard, and hardly traversed by a road.

Southern Oregon possesses several rivers and their attendant seaports. The most southerly is the Rogue River, which has a course of about one hundred miles, running through a very fertile but secluded valley. The bar at the entrance is shifting, and the channel very variable; but it is entered by both small steamers and by the coasting schooners which ply along the coast, with San Francisco as their port of delivery.

Coos Bay, some sixty miles to the north of the Rogue River, needs a fuller description, as it is the headquarters of the coal and lumber business of Southern Oregon. Detailed reports of the coal-basin give not less than seventy-five thousand acres of coal-bearing land, estimated to produce from the one vein at present worked not less than four hundred and fifty million tons of coal. As many as six workable seams are, however, known to exist, including one which has been prospected to eleven feet in thickness. Five coal-mines have been opened, which are capable of producing about two thousand tons of coal daily. The working of these mines is of an inexpensive character, much of the mineral being accessible from adits or galleries delivering their produce on the hill-sides.

The lumber shipped at Coos Bay is yielded by four large steam saw-mills, with an aggregate capacity of about one hundred and fifteen thousand feet per day.

There are also four ship-yards, from which between forty and fifty vessels have been launched, even up to two thousand tons burden.

The value of coal and lumber exported from Coos Bay was upward of $445,000 in the year 1877, according to the statistics collected by a committee of residents, when application was about to be made to Congress for an appropriation for the improvement of the harbor. It was then reported that a railroad was found to be practicable from Coos Bay along the Coquille Valley across the Coast Mountains. Such a line would then pass through the Umpqua Valley to Roseburg, with a practicable extension up the North Fork of the Umpqua River and through the Cascade Mountains into Eastern Oregon.

SHIFTING AND BLOWING SANDS.It was ascertained that the chief difficulty in improving the entrance to the port lay in the enormous quantity of movable and shifting sand, driven along the coast southward by the prevalent summer northwest winds, and then returned by the winter southwest gales.

So violent is this action that it is thus described: "Large tracts to the north of Coos Bay and along the rock separating its lower part from the sea, where once stood farms and pine-forests, are now buried to the tops of the highest trees. Immense quantities of this wind-borne sand are constantly going into the bay, and by its swift currents are carried out to form the bar, or be deposited in the bight to the east and north of the cape."

Let me quote a short description of this section of the country, on which before many years the tide of immigration must roll in. The writer is the Hon. B. Hermann, who is doing all in his power to draw public attention to his district:

"Ten-mile and Camas Valleys, being respectively ten and fifteen to twenty-five miles from the terminus of the Oregon and California Railroad at Roseburg, are without any other outlet. The cost of teaming to this point, added to the present exorbitant rates of railway freights, discourages the farmers of those sections in the cultivation of the soil. And yet some of the best and most extensive wheat-fields of the country are within those circuits, while a vast area is left annually to grow brush and weeds, and to remain of comparatively little value, which should otherwise contribute to the harvest of thousands of bushels of the finest grain.

"From Camas Valley, and along the Middle Fork of the Coquille River, until its junction with the main stream is reached, a distance of twenty-eight miles by survey, three fourths of the route is without even a wagon-road communication, travel being by trail, with ox and sled, saddle and pack horse. And yet there is found a goodly population, having substantial improvements, some very good farms in cultivation, with flouring-mills for the local accommodation.

"The land is very fertile, and capable of growing the usual cereals and esculents to perfection, but, owing to the great difficulty of transporting the productions to market, a very small portion only is cultivated, and much remains vacant, subject to homestead and preëmption....

"From the junction with the main river, and following the latter to near Beaver Slough, or Coquille City, the point of diversion of the route toward Coos Bay, an enterprising community is found, owning bottom-lands of rich alluvial soil, a great portion of which is now being cleared of timber, annually placed under cultivation, and large crops of grain garnered. This same remark applies to all the remaining portion of the main Coquille Valley, a distance of forty miles or more to the sea, and also along the North and South Forks, as well as the smaller tributaries. For a distance of seventy-five miles inland the Coquille Valley is capable of extensive agricultural development. Already this distance is closely peopled, all lands on the main stream settled, and improvements slowly made. Much grain is now grown here, a large proportion manufactured into flour by the various mills for home consumption and shipment to Coos Bay, while a considerable quantity of the grain is exported to San Francisco through the mouth of the river.

COST OF TRANSPORTATION."Owing, however, to the condition of the Coquille entrance, only small ships venture in, and even they are often delayed in the river for months at a time, with the shippers' cargo on board....

"Thus the hopeful people of this extensive and unrivaled valley for its soil, its productions, its coals, timber, and other abundant natural resources, are virtually left without an exit to the markets of the world....

"The cost on each bushel of wheat for transportation to Portland from any point in the Umpqua Valley is twenty-three cents, to say nothing of the added expense of one hundred and ten miles to Astoria, thence by sea to San Francisco and elsewhere. From Roseburg to San Francisco by way of Portland and Astoria is about eight hundred and seventy-five miles, and from Roseburg to San Francisco by the way of Coos Bay is only four hundred and sixty-five miles.

"Mr. James Dillard, as we are credibly informed, produced last year on his farm in Douglas County about six thousand bushels of grain. To have transported this only to Portland on its way to market would have cost him $1,380. The saving in transportation to Coos Bay by eighty-five miles of narrow-gauge road would be to this one farmer on one year's crop $780."

No wonder that in this district, as in all others in the State, the transportation question should be the burning one of the day.

The Coos Bay people succeeded in gaining the ear of Congress, and two years ago an appropriation of $60,000 was made for the improvement of the harbor.

The problem was a very difficult one for the engineers to solve, from the conditions above stated of the driven and shifting sand. It would not have been strange if the works first planned had needed alterations as they progressed.

But the success of the breakwater constructed by the United States engineers from cheap material, available on the spot, has been sufficiently marked to encourage the requests for further appropriations until the plans are executed in their entirety, and the opening of the harbor carried still farther out to sea.

It is reported now (in the spring of 1881) that the north sand-spit is being cut through by the current in the direction indicated by the lines of the breakwater, and that deeper and more constant water is found than heretofore—a good augury of success for similar works where the obstructions are not so shifting as sand alone, and where they are free from the influence of the sand tracts to the north, whence so much of the obstruction to Coos Bay entrance came. And this is our happy case at Yaquina.

The Umpqua River is the largest river that, rising in the Cascades, and draining a large and fertile valley in its course, flows directly into the Pacific, after cutting its channel through the Coast Range. There is a wide and very shifting bar at its mouth, through which the usual channel gives twelve or thirteen feet at low water. The river is navigable for all vessels which can cross the bar as far as Gardner City, five miles from the mouth, while smaller vessels can get as far as Scottsburg, twenty-five miles up.

Douglas County, now possessing a population of 9,596, is capable of sustaining a vastly increased number. It lies almost surrounded by mountains, but with a good outlet to the north along the valley lands through which the Oregon and California Railroad runs. It is well watered throughout by the Umpqua and its tributaries, while the northern portion of the county forms the head of the great Willamette, the aggregate of many creeks and streams having here their rise.

The climate of Jackson County is a good deal warmer than its mere geographical relations to the counties on the north and east of it would account for. Indian corn is a staple crop, and peaches and vines flourish exceedingly. The sun seems to have more power; and I have a vivid remembrance of heat and dust along its roads.

THE LAKE COUNTRY.Lake County is well named. Huge depressions in the land are filled with the Upper and Lower Klamath Lakes, the latter crossing the California boundary-line.

North of the Upper Klamath Lake, again, some twenty miles, is the Klamath Marsh, doubtless not long since another lake—now, in summer, the feeding-ground for cattle, in winter the home of innumerable flocks of migratory birds. Between the Upper and Lower Klamath Lakes runs a rapid water-course. The town of Linkville stands on its banks. I am told that there is water-power enough here to drive as many mills as are found at Lowell, Massachusetts. At Linkville is the land-office for Southern Oregon.

It has been proposed to run the California extension of the Oregon and California Railroad through the gap between Upper and Lower Klamath Lakes. Should that long-talked-of project ever be realized, the manufacturing facilities of this splendid water-power will no longer be suffered to lie dead.

Passing eastward, the great Klamath Indian reservation is reached—a tract I only know by hearsay as a land of hills and streams, of gullies and water-courses, of lava-beds and barrenness intermixed with quiet vales and dells of wondrous beauty—a land where Indian superstitions cluster thickly. The Indians are few and scattered, and this country, no doubt, ere long will be thrown open to the white traveler and hunter, to be quickly followed by the herdsman and the settler.

The great snowy pyramids of the Southern Cascades stand on guard. Mount Scott (8,500 feet), Mount Pitt (9,250), and Mount Thielsen (9,250) are placed there, thirty miles apart, forbidding passage between the warm valleys of Jackson County and the open plains east of the mountains.

But here, too, the hardy pioneers have found their way. I have talked with several men who are herding sheep and cattle on these plains. The merino thrives here even better than in Northeastern Oregon, and many thousand pounds of wool are raised. They describe the country as one of open plain and rocky hillside, of scarce water and abundant sage-brush; resembling in general features the tract fifty miles to the north, but, alas! containing scarcely any of the creeks \and streams which give life and fertility to Middle Oregon.

THE IDAHO BOUNDARY.Eastward again of Stein's Mountains you strike the head-waters of the Owyhee, an important tributary of the Snake, and at once recur the common features of fertility and consequent settlement. And thus the Idaho boundary is reached.



The towns—‌Approach to Oregon—‌The steamers—‌The Columbia entrance—‌ Astoria—‌Its situation, industries, development—‌Salmon—‌Shipping—‌ Loading and discharging cargo—‌Up the Columbia and Willamette to Portland—‌Portland, West and East—‌Population—‌Public buildings—‌ United States District Court—‌The judge—‌Public Library—‌The Bishop schools—‌Hospital—‌Churches—‌Stores—‌Chinese quarter—‌Banks—‌ Industries—‌The city's prosperity—‌Its causes—‌Its probable future —‌The Oregon Railway and Navigation Company—‌Shipping abuses and exactions—‌Railroad termini—‌Up the Columbia—‌The Dalles—‌Up the Willamette—‌Oregon City, its history—‌The falls—‌Salem—‌Its position and development—‌Capitol buildings—‌Flour-mills—‌Oil-mills —‌Buena Vista potteries—‌Albany—‌Its water-power—‌Flour-mills—‌Values of land—‌Corvallis—‌The line of the Oregon Pacific Railroad—‌Eugene, its university and professors—‌Roseburg—‌The West-side Railroad to Portland—‌Development of the country—‌Prosperity—‌Counties of Oregon —‌Their population—‌Taxable property—‌Average possessions—‌In the Willamette Valley—‌In Eastern Oregon—‌In Eastern Oregon tributary to Columbia and Snake Rivers.

Having said so much about the country, something needs to be said about the towns. All persons reaching Oregon, save those few who choose to face the three nights and two days of staging that divide Redding (the northern terminus of the California and Oregon Railroad) from Roseburg (the southern terminus of the Oregon and California Railroad), enter Oregon by ship from San Francisco. And here, in passing, a word of praise for the really beautiful and commodious steamers which have now replaced the Ajax and the other monsters which disgraced the traffic they were furnished for, as well as their owners. No better boats ply on any waters than the State of California, the Columbia, and the Oregon. The first two are new ships, with electric lights, and all other appliances to match. All are safe and speedy. The State of California belongs to the Pacific Coast Steamship Company, the others to the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company.

The approach to Oregon is forbidding and stern. There is nothing attractive in the sandy coast, in the muddy water, in the broken but not romantic scenery, where the water is encroaching on the land, and shifting its position and attack from time to time. Here and there along the edge are strewed, or stand in various attitudes of death, the skeletons of the pine-trees, which look like the relics of battle, the perishing remains of the beaten defenders of the coast; and, once over the bar, that terror to sea-worn travelers, the approach to Astoria can hardly be called beautiful.

ASTORIA.But the city of Astoria itself has claims to beauty of position. It lies within the course of the Columbia; though here the estuary is so wide as to give the idea of a lake. Jutting out into the bay above the town rises a little promontory, crowned with firs; and between the eye rests on the unfamiliar outlines of a large cannery, the buildings of gray wood, based on piles sunk into the mud of the bay, and the long, shingled roofs catching the rays of the departing sun.

The city consists of a mass of wooden structures low down by the water's edge—wharves and docks and repairing-yards in front, and a long line of stores and saloons and business-houses behind, broken by the more imposing custom-house, post-office, and churches. On the slopes of the high hills rising from near the water's edge are the scattered white houses of the inhabitants, while the sky-line of the hills is broken through by the cutting by which many tons of stone and sand are being piled into the bay. The city proper mainly stands on piles, the water gurgling and lapping round the barnacles, which cluster thick; the enterprise of the people is fast filling in underneath from the hills behind.

There are large and substantial docks of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company and others adjoining, where are generally lying two or three large ships or barks, going out or returning from their long and weary voyage.

The atmosphere of the place in the salmon-season is fishy, huge stacks of boxed salmon filling the wharves. The principal street is fringed with saloons, mainly looking for custom to the fishermen and seamen.

There is a large lumber-mill, which makes the air resonant with the shriek of the great saws; and a boot-and-shoe factory has been recently established. Other industries exist; but it is as a seaport that Astoria justifies its existence and the foresight of its founders.

Clatsop County has 7,200 inhabitants, of which, I suppose, Astoria claims a third. There is an air of business and life about the place, and there will be, so far as I can see, even though means should be found of ending the present practice of all large ships going to sea from Portland being towed to Astoria, and followed by scows and barges, there to complete their loading for their outward voyage. A similar necessity exists for incoming ships to stay at Astoria to discharge a large portion of their cargo before facing the shallows and mud-banks of the Willamette on the way to Portland as their port of discharge.

PORTLAND.The voyage up the Columbia for a hundred miles, and up the Willamette for twelve, to Portland, has many charms. First, the grand stream of the mighty Columbia, telling in its size and volume of the three thousand miles some of its waters have come from their far-off sources among distant mountains; then the banks, rising generally sheer from the water's edge, crowned with rich and varied vegetation, and here and there the rugged rocks breaking through, to give clearness and strength to outline; and then on either side the more distant hills, clothed with the dark fir-timber to their summits, and behind the mountains proper, with Mount Hood and Mount Saint Helen's showing their snowy heads. Here and there in a niche or angle under the bank lie huddled close the buildings of a cannery, the blue smoke rising from the central chimney, and the white boats tied to the piling which juts out into the deep water of the river.

You are hardly conscious of leaving the Columbia for the Willamette. It looks as if it were an island in mid-stream behind and to the south of which you are about to pass; but soon you find that the supposed island is the opposite bank of the Willamette, and, passing beacons and marks, set to define the channel with the accuracy that is absolutely needed (since a sheer to the east or west of only a yard or two would leave you fast in a mud-bank for hours), you come in sight of Portland.

I ought to have noticed that here and there along the banks coming up, almost on the river's level and exposed to inundation at each high water, you pass dairy-farms, consisting of a shanty, or tumble-down house, and a few acres of rank and muddy pasture, where ague seems to sit brooding on the branches of the trees, whose trunks and limbs yet bear the traces of last season's flood.

But now for the juvenile but audacious Portland, who describes herself as "the commercial metropolis of the Northwest." One considerable suburb, called East Portland, stands on the east bank of the Willamette; but the main part of the town is on the west bank, and now nearly fills all the level land between the river and the hills behind, which seem to be pushing at and resenting the intrusion of the streets along their sides. Extensions are taking place along the northern end, where a considerable stretch of low-lying land is yet available along the banks of the river, and also to some extent at the farther or southern end of the city. The building westward is mounting the hill-sides, already dotted with the somewhat pretentious wooden houses of the more prosperous towns-people.

To one who has seen real cities it is but a little place; but some of its twenty-one or twenty-two thousand inhabitants raise claims to greatness and even supremacy that make it difficult to suppress a smile. In thirty-five years the place has grown from a collection of log-huts, set down as if by chance, to its present dimensions, and, no doubt, could go on growing as fast as Oregon developed, could the same conditions last. The city consists of near a dozen streets running parallel with the Willamette, and about twenty-three at right angles. Front Street and First Street contain some brick buildings, remarkable for so very young a place: the former backs on the Willamette, and on it front the warehouses and wharves, against the backs of which the ships are moored; the latter contains nearly all the city's stores and shops of any consequence.

THE PUBLIC LIBRARY.The United States District and Circuit Courts sit at Portland. The former is and has been for several years presided over by the Hon. Matthew P. Deady. This gentleman's name will be long associated with the jurisprudence of Oregon, having been one of the original compilers of the Code, and reporter of the decisions of the Supreme Court of the State, until, promoted to the bench of the United States Court, he has taken a high place as a conscientious and able judge. To him also Portland mainly owes that which I consider the chief ornament and pride of the city, rather than the ambitious but faulty structures in wood, stone, and iron on which most of the citizens glorify themselves—I mean the Public Library. This institution has its headquarters in spacious rooms over Messrs. Ladd & Tilton's Bank; the shelves are filled with upward of ten thousand well-selected books, and the process of addition is going on under the same careful oversight. Here every evening are groups of readers, and it must be a source of constant satisfaction to the judge to have been the means of organizing and continuing the successful working of an institution which is effecting silent but untold good.

Portland is also the residence of Bishop Morris, of the Episcopal Church. He has resided there for twelve years past; and to him the city is indebted for the St. Vincent's Hospital, where accidents are treated at all times, and which is open for receiving besides a certain number of sick persons. The bishop has also founded and kept going the Bishop Scott Grammar-School. This is a high-school for boys. Last year it had fifty-nine pupils and five teachers, and a sound and solid education is there given. St. Helen's Hall, the best girls' school in the State, was also founded by him. There were here one hundred and sixty pupils and twelve teachers last year. Other churches exert themselves to occupy and hold prominent positions in the city: notably the Roman Catholics, whose archbishop, Seghers, resides in Portland, and who have erected a large red-brick cathedral. It is as yet unfinished, but a further effort by the Roman Catholics in the diocese is about to be made to complete and furnish it.

There is a fair theatre in the city; it is occupied now and again by a traveling troupe from San Francisco, generally consisting of a star, and his or her supports of a more or less wooden consistency.

The building of the Mechanics' Fair, which is used for balls and concerts, one or two Masonic and societies' halls, the rooms of the several fire companies, and those of the Young Men's Christian Association, complete the list. There are a good many expensive stores of all kinds, and all seem prosperous.

The Chinese quarter is, of course, not so large and picturesque as in San Francisco, but it is equally well marked: a complete range of Chinese stores, with doctors' shops and theatre, the usual lanterns hung out over the doors, and the common display of curious edibles. There are several substantial Chinese firms and business-houses; one of their chief sources of revenue is the bringing over and hiring out the large numbers of Chinese laborers required for the railway works now in progress. The census disclosed nineteen hundred Chinamen as residents of Multnomah County; I suppose eighteen hundred of them were found in Portland.

BANKS AND MANUFACTORIES.Four banks do a large general business, and there is also a savings-bank. A mortgage company, having its headquarters in Scotland, at Dundee, takes up cheap money in Scotland, and lends it out to great advantage in Oregon, at the rates prevalent here, with results satisfactory to its manager, Mr. William Reid, as well as to its stockholders.

There are two iron-works, a large sash and door factory, a brewery, and a twine and rope factory, but beyond these scarcely any manufacturing industry.

The prosperity of the city, which has been very great during the last few years, is solely attributable to its character of toll-gate. Situated at the extreme northern boundary of the State, in a position which was not unsuitable when Oregon and Washington Territory were bound together, it is perfectly anomalous to suppose that the capital city of Oregon should have been there placed by deliberate intention. As matters now stand, it is the only port in Oregon, save Astoria, to which the large grain-ships can come, and at which the deep-draught ocean-going steamers can take in and discharge their cargoes; and, very naturally, its business-men seek to perpetuate that state of affairs, regardless of the growing interest of the great country which now pays tribute to their little town. It is not easy to forget how more than one of its leading citizens, when applied to to add their signatures to a petition to Congress in aid of the removal of the reef partially obstructing Yaquina Bay, replied, "Every dollar you get is so much taken directly from our pockets."

A further adventitious help that Portland got was by being made the headquarters of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company, which brought to its wharves the produce of the Columbia River traffic as well as that of the Willamette. It might be natural to bring to and to leave at Portland wharves the wheat of Western Oregon, but there seems little sense in bringing grain down the Columbia, and then up the Willamette, to be deposited in Portland, thence to be transferred partly in ships, partly in barges and river-steamers, to Astoria, where alone the loading of the ships could be completed.

The present style of the Portland and Astoria newspapers is to make very light of the Columbia bar. In fact, they boldly state that to hardly any port is so good an approach vouchsafed as to Portland; they instance London and Philadelphia, Glasgow and New Orleans, as parallel instances in position; and "The Oregonian" is never weary of singing the praises of their Tom Tiddler's ground of a city.

But it has not always been so with them. "The Astorian" stated, on the 30th of January, 1880, that there were thirty vessels off the bar, unable to enter. The same paper, on the 23d of March, 1880, published this item of news: "Pilots on the bar all agree that, unless some measures are adopted for permanent improvement of the channel, it will not be longer considered safe for vessels to enter or cross out with more than eighteen feet draught of water." "The Astorian" in the same issue also informed us that "Captain Flavel has been making personal inspections of bar-soundings, ... and is himself fully satisfied that it is only a question of very brief time, so rapid and broadcast is the shoaling process, when it will be impossible for deep vessels to cross; the North Channel, along Sand Island from the head, is filling up as fast as does the South Channel"; while "The Oregonian" told us as recently as December, 1880, that "the Gatherer, with railroad-iron for the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, was compelled to lighter four times between Baker's Bay and Kalama, at heavy expense. The Chandos, sailing from this port within the past two weeks, lightered thirteen hundred tons. The A. M. Simpson lightered eleven hundred tons; and the last departure, the Edwin Reed, getting off on a winter rain-flood, scraped over the shoals with all but two hundred and eighty tons of her load, the lightest lighterage of a wooden vessel for many months. The report has gone forth that to reach Portland a ship must be dragged up a hundred miles or more of river over four bad bars, and at the shipping season lighterage at enormous cost is necessary. Naturally enough, we now have no large ships."

SHIPPING ABUSES AND EXACTIONS.The abuses of the present system of shipping are many and great, and all on the principle of making hay while the sun shines. Hear a shipmaster who published his experiences in October last:

"On the fourth day we got two tugs and crossed the outer bar and anchored in Baker's Bay, where the ship had to be lightened to twenty feet and six inches draught before she could cross the inner bar and reach Astoria. This lighterage cost two dollars per ton, and had to be paid by the ship. As four other ships arrived about that time which required lightering also before they could proceed farther, we were detained at Baker's Bay for nine days, having the expense of a full crew on board all that time. The distance from outside of the outer bar to Astoria is about fourteen miles, for which the towage is $500, pilotage $192, and that was in the middle of a beautiful day, ship also using her own canvas and hawser. I believe this charge is almost equal to salvage. The pilots are hired by the owner of the tugs, who collects the pilotage, paying the pilots $100 a month for their services.... As the pilots have no boat of their own, they are obliged to go in the tugs, which are all owned by one man. I was just fourteen days from the time I anchored off the bar till I reached the dock where I was to discharge cargo, and for towage and pilotage alone from the bar to the dock, paid $1,009."

Portland is the Oregon headquarters of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company, a corporation formed by the fertile genius of Mr. Henry Villard in June, 1879, by the amalgamation of the Oregon Steamship Company, owning the ocean-going steamers between San Francisco and Portland, and the Oregon Steam Navigation Company, owning the river-boats plying on the Columbia and Willamette. Here are the termini of the East and West Side Railroads (originally formed by Mr. Ben Holladay, a name very familiar to Oregon ears), but until this spring of 1881 owned and worked by the committee of European bondholders, into whose hands the lines in question fell by virtue of the securities they held. And in Portland also are the head offices in Oregon of the Scotch system of narrow-gauge railroads, now being constructed by means of Scotch capital attracted to the State by the successful working of the land-mortgage company referred to above.

It will be seen, therefore, that there are abundant reasons for predicting that a large portion of the business of Oregon will center in Portland, for many years to come, at any rate. The more cause that Portland men should welcome the development of the other portions of the State, with which in the future profitable business is certain to arise, as new industries are started, existing interests widen and strengthen themselves, and new centers of population and business find their places in the growing State. Time will show whether the sanguine hopes of the Portland people that their city will hold the virtual monopoly of the trade of the Northwest are well founded or not. There can, in my mind, be little doubt that she will have a very formidable rival in the city on Puget Sound which will spring up, as by magic, when the Northern Pacific Railroad there receives and discharges passengers and freight. It will be an evil day for Portland when the wharves at Tacoma find the grain-ships alongside, and the cars pouring in the grain of Eastern Oregon and Washington Territory. And some little effect on her tolls will be produced when Yaquina Bay is opened, and the cars of the Oregon Pacific are there delivering the freight of Middle and Southern Oregon.

Portlanders rely on what they call the concentration of capital to pull them through. They have yet to learn the sensitiveness of the movements of their divinity—how prone she is to follow the current of trade to its points of receipt and delivery. And should that day ever dawn, when figures show her "supremacy" to have departed, not one single sigh will escape these valley counties, which Portland has levied tribute on, and done her best to keep in bondage till the end of time.

UP THE COLUMBIA RIVER.Passing eastward from Portland up the Columbia, in one of the large and comfortable boats of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company, a day's journey brings you to the Dalles. I have already mentioned how rapidly this town is growing, as the point of distribution for the greater portion of Northeastern Oregon, and the point of reception for vast quantities of grain, wool, hides, and other productions of that pastoral and agricultural country.

Taking a Willamette River boat, notice in passing the Oswego Iron-Works, seven miles from Portland, and then the village of Milwaukee, with large and well-appointed nurseries, whence many of the orchards of the State have been supplied.

The steamer will then stop at the wharf of Oregon City, just below the great falls of the Willamette. Notice the magnificent river throwing itself over the rocky ridge which shows one or two black points of rock amid the foam of the falls. See the lofty hills on either side, clad with vegetation to their very tops, while the little town is crowded on the narrow strip down by the river on the eastern side. What a water-power is yet running to waste, though lumber-mills, flour-mills, and woolen-mills take their tribute as it passes!

On the west side are the locks. Here the steamer crosses the river from the city, and you get a pretty view of this, one of the earliest settled towns in the State. It dates from the Hudson Bay Company's rule, and the oldest inhabitant can tell you story after story of the early days, when the meetings were held here which virtually determined the allegiance of the infant State.

Iron-ore has been prospected in plenty in these hills above the town, but waits for development.

The Columbia Point below the Dalles.

The Columbia Point below the Dalles.

SALEM.Passing up the river, the next important place we meet is Salem, the capital of the State. The State Capitol stands on elevated ground about a mile back from the river, with a large, green space in front, planted with ornamental trees and shrubs. The scene from the great windows at the back is really grand, Mount Jefferson being in full view, and the line of the Cascades in ridge after ridge displayed in all their beauty. Fronting the Capitol buildings at the other side of the Park are the Court-House and offices of Marion County, also a substantial and handsome pile. On the southern side of the Capitol stand the buildings of the Willamette University.

The town of Salem is now growing. It has the advantage of a splendid water-power, called Mill Creek, which is turned to good account before it reaches the Willamette just below the city. On it are placed the Pioneer Oil-Mills, where linseed-oil and linseed-cake are produced, of excellent quality and moderate price; also a large building now used both as an implement-factory and as a flour-mill; this has lately changed hands, and it is too soon yet to speak of its success. Below this are placed the "Salem Flour-Mills" of Kinney Brothers & Co. Their brand is recognized and approved in all the markets of the world—as it ought to be, if the best of wheat turned into the best of flour, and its sale honestly and intelligently carried out, can command success. The mills are fine buildings, fitted with the most modern and powerful machinery, and stand just on the edge of the Willamette, with a dock where the river-steamers can deliver wheat and receive flour. I believe that this last fall of 1881 they converted 600,000 bushels of wheat into flour. A switch from the Oregon and California Railroad runs from the main line to the mills on the other side, and is proving an immense convenience to the city generally as well as to the mills.

The steamboat pauses on its upward journey at Buena Vista, to take in and deliver freight for the pottery there, already extensive, and which by the excellence of its productions demonstrates that it only needs further capital and enlarged business relations to do an important share of the trade of the coast. The glaze on the ware is very good, made from a mineral earth found in the bank of the Willamette at Corvallis.

After passing the mouth of the Santiam, the most considerable tributary of the Willamette, we stop at Albany. This is one of the best situated and most progressive towns in the State. Although with a little less than two thousand inhabitants at present, it has all the enterprise and "go" of a town in Europe of five times that number. There are here also three large flour-mills, the brands of some of which are known and prized in Liverpool, to which port cargoes are frequently sent.

Albany has a lumber-mill, foundry, twine-mill, and scutching-mill, fruit-drying works, sash and door factory, and soon will have woolen-mills also. The making of the place is the water-power of the Santiam River, brought in a canal for thirteen miles through the level prairie-land, but rushing through the town and supplying the mills and factories with a flow and force of water sufficient for double as many works as at present use it. The town is supplied with water for domestic purposes from the same source, of clearness and purity that it is hard to equal.

Albany has three newspapers, six churches, a very good collegiate school, and excellent common schools. It is a principal station on the Oregon and California Railroad, and also an important station on the Oregon Pacific, now so rapidly building, and its point of crossing the Oregon and California, and a junction for the branch line to Lebanon, away there under the slopes of the Cascades. Land in the neighborhood of the town, and indeed throughout the level portions of Linn County, ranging over an area of nearly twenty miles each way, is worth from twenty-five to sixty dollars an acre—the last sale I heard of, of one hundred and thirty-two acres, about five miles from the town, being at thirty-nine dollars an acre.

CORVALLIS AND EUGENE CITY.The next town we come to is our own Corvallis, appropriately named as the heart of the valley. It is indeed fitly placed as the valley starting-point seaward of the Oregon Pacific Railroad, being on the direct line east and west between Yaquina Bay, the Mount Jefferson Pass through the Cascades, Prineville, in Eastern Oregon, Harney Lake and Valley, the Malheur River and Valley, and Boisé City—the meeting-place in the near future of divers transcontinental lines.

Corvallis has been too fully described in these pages to need further reference here. The commencement of energetic construction of the Oregon Pacific and the assurance of its early completion have given an increased business-life to the place which impresses the visitor strongly with the idea of rapid future growth.

Continuing in our steamboat to the head of the Willamette navigation, we pass the little towns of Peoria and Harrisburg, and at last reach Eugene City. This, which is the chief town of Lane County, is blessed with a university, presided over by excellent professors, one of whom, Professor Condon, has a name and fame as a geologist far beyond the limits of his county and also of the State. I trust the time will soon come when the liberality of the Legislature of Oregon will provide the funds necessary to enable Professor Condon to complete and publish the systematic geology and mineralogy of Oregon, the materials for which are already to a large extent in his possession, the result of years of careful study and journeyings over the State.

Eugene City is a lively, pleasant little town, but has not yet attained any manufacturing or industrial development like some of the other towns in Oregon. This is to come.

Leaving the river for the railroad, we journey up to Roseburg, the capital of Douglas County, and the southern terminus of the Oregon and California line. No town can be more prettily placed, really at the head of the great valley country, with the vast mountain-forms behind frowning on the traveler who dares attempt to thread their passes. As I have said, the Douglas County people trust to get a railroad outlet from Roseburg down to Coos. I hope they will succeed, and so open to ocean-transit the productions of a vast and fertile country.

Turning north again as far as Corvallis, we may there take the West-side Railroad and journey along the western side of the Willamette Valley and River.

The towns of Independence, Dallas, Sheridan, Amity, Lafayette, McMinnville, Forest Grove, and Hillsboro' lie in the district between Corvallis and Portland. Each and all are thriving, but I can do no more than mention them, though I fear so short a reference will be considered scant courtesy to the active, pushing people who are laboring with such success at the development of Polk, Yam Hill, and Washington Counties. The land is almost uniformly good; large quantities are being yearly grubbed and put under the plow, and several of my recently arrived English friends prefer the undulating land and gentle slopes of this side of the valley to any other part of Oregon, and have proved their preference by their actions. Land in these counties varies from ten to twenty-five dollars an acre in price.

COUNTIES: POPULATION, ETC.I think I will close this somewhat tedious chapter by setting out the counties of Oregon, their population, and the statement of their taxable property, furnished by the Secretary of State:

COUNTIES. Population. Taxable property
of 1880.
Baker 4,615 $931,139
Benton 6,403 1,766,282
Clackamas 9,260 1,886,916
Clatsop 7,222 1,136,099
Columbia 2,042 305,283
Coos 4,834 832,335
Curry 1,208 219,333
Douglas 9,596 2,248,985
Grant 4,303 1,088,097
Jackson 8,154 1,449,623
Josephine 2,485 253,594
Lake 2,804 708,517
Lane 9,411 3,078,756
Linn 12,675 4,334,479
Marion 14,576 3,983,170
Multnomah 25,204 11,511,058
Polk 6,601 1,751,211
Tillamook 970 92,912
Umatilla 9,607 2,094,723
Union 6,650 1,265,603
Wasco 11,120 2,870,645
Washington 7,082 2,137,630
Yam Hill 7,945 2,547,833
    Total of the State 174,767 $48,494,223
        Increase over 1879 —— 2,071,406

The proportion of taxable property held by each man, woman, and child in Oregon is therefore $277.47.

The population of the valley counties, properly so called, is 83,549—this leaves Portland and Multnomah County entirely out. The taxable property of these valley counties is $23,735,262.

The population of the whole of Eastern Oregon east of the Cascades is but 39,099. The value of its taxable property is only $8,958,724.

The population of that part of Eastern and Northeastern Oregon which is in any sense tributary to the Columbia or Snake Rivers is 28,180. The value of their taxable property is $6,256,547.

The average taxable property of the population of the valley counties is $282.68; that of the population of Eastern Oregon, $228.96.

The Columbia Cascades Landing (Looking up stream).

The Columbia Cascades Landing (Looking up stream).

These figures will be seen to have an important hearing on the subject of the next chapter.



The transportation question—‌Its importance—‌Present legal position—‌ Oregon Railway and Navigation Committee's general report—‌That company —‌Its ocean-going steamers—‌Their traffic and earnings—‌Its river-boats —‌Their traffic and earnings—‌Its railroads in existence—‌Their traffic and earnings—‌Its new railroads in construction and in prospect—‌Their probable influence—‌The Northern Pacific—‌Terminus on Puget Sound—‌Its prospects—‌The East and West Side Railroads—‌"Bearing" traffic and earnings—‌How to get "control"—‌Lands owned by the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company—‌Monopoly—‌How threatened—‌The narrow-gauge railroads —‌Their terminus and working—‌Efforts to consolidate monopoly—‌The "blind pool"—‌Resistance—‌The Oregon Pacific—‌Its causes, possessions, and prospects—‌Land grant and its enemies—‌The traffic of the valley—‌ Yaquina Bay—‌Its improvement—‌The farmers take it in hand—‌Contrast and comparisons—‌The two presidents—‌Probable effects of competition —‌Tactics in opposition—‌The Yaquina improvements—‌Description of works—‌The prospects for competition and the farmers' gains.

From all that has gone before, the deduction is plain that on the solution of the transportation question in the interests of the fixed and industrious population of the State depends absolutely the growth and prosperity of Oregon. Nature has done her part.

The words of Messrs. George M. Pullman, of Chicago, and William Endicott, Jr., of Boston, in their report of August 1, 1880, to the stockholders of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company, will be echoed by every man who is now or has been in Oregon with eyes to see. They wrote as follows:

"Our observations afforded, in the first place, ample confirmation of all we had previously heard and read of the propitious climate, great attractions of scenery, and wonderful agricultural resources of Western and Eastern Oregon, and Eastern Washington Territory. We believe that in these respects those regions are not surpassed, if equaled, by any other portion of the United States. It can, indeed, be safely said that nowhere else in this country do rich soil and mild climate combine to the same degree in insuring such extraordinary results of almost every agricultural pursuit as regards quantity, quality, and regularity of yield.... The striking evidence of past and present growth which we found everywhere, forced at the same time the irresistible conclusion upon us that we were beholding but the beginning of the sure and rapid progress in population, productiveness, and prosperity which will be witnessed in the immediate future within the vast stretch of country watered by the great river Columbia and its numerous tributaries."

The reader of this book will, I think, admit that the facts herein detailed go far to justify the conclusions summed up in these few but carefully chosen words.

How does this transportation question now stand, and what (if any) matters are in progress or contemplation to affect it?

In the first place, the companies are all free to manage their own business in their own way; they charge what they like, favor what persons and places they choose, and load on others burdens heavy to be borne.

I have before indicated what was the purpose of the bill introduced in the Legislature of 1880, to prevent discrimination by common carriers. "The Oregonian" commented on the loss of the measure in these terms: "We present to-day the report of the (hostile) Senate committee on this bill. The report shows why the proposed measure was both an unjust and an impracticable one. It should be apparent to every one that railways never can be operated in this way. The confusion and disorder would be endless; besides, every railroad which is undertaken and constructed as an actual business enterprise is entitled to make fair earnings. Instead of being annoyed by straw railroads got up for speculative purposes, it ought to have protection from such annoyance."

OREGON RAILWAY AND NAVIGATION CO.In further illustration of the working of the present system, I would instance the fact that from Corvallis to Portland for about a year the freight on wheat by the river steamboats of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company has been one dollar a ton, and of this fifty cents had to be paid for passing the locks at Oregon City; the rate immediately previous to this was three dollars and a half. This ridiculously low rate was put on in order to destroy the traffic of the East and West Side Railroads, and is in strong contrast with the rate from Corvallis to Junction City, some twenty miles up the river, where no such reasons existed, and which stood through this period at about tenfold the one-dollar rate.

No sooner did the President of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company think he had secured "control" of the two railroads, than steps were prepared to quadruple the previous rate. The question of "control" stood adjourned, and the one-dollar rate was confirmed. But, having seen reason to think his acquisition secure, the rates from Portland to Corvallis (ninety-seven miles by railroad), both by railroads and steamboats, have just now (April, 1881) been raised to six dollars per ton—a rate equal to that charged in the infancy of the business, twenty years ago.

The lion's share of the carrying business of the State is in the hands of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company, and with them are closely identified the hopes of the city of Portland. This company owns two of the steamers plying between Portland and San Francisco—the Oregon and the Columbia. With these two steamers, or with the George W. Elder as the predecessor of the Columbia, they carried from the 1st of July, 1879, to the 30th of June, 1880, 17,333 passengers, and 101,661 tons of freight. The gross receipts were $636,888; the net profits, $286,459. As we know from the published circular of Mr. Villard, the president, that the cost of the Columbia was $400,000, and the Oregon is a smaller and decidedly less expensive ship, the proportion of net earnings of the vessels in question to their total cost will be seen to be about enough to pay ten per cent. per annum on their cost, and to buy the vessels out and out in three years and a half. The fare from Portland to San Francisco, even while these earnings were being made, stood at twenty dollars the first-class passenger. News has just arrived that these fares are to be raised to thirty dollars a head. If the same rate of expense is maintained as during last year, the earnings at the higher figure now put on will be increased by about $100,000, and enough will be realized to pay for the fleet in about two years and a half.

With twenty-five steamboats (stern-wheelers) navigating the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, and twelve barges and two scows (several of the boats being old, and laid up in ordinary much of the time, reducing thus materially the fleet in real service), the company earned $1,992,836 gross, and $1,101,766 net profit. If $50,000 is deducted for the earnings of the barges, it will be seen that the average net earnings of the twenty-five river-steamers are positively $44,070 each. The fleet could be replaced for less than the sum of the net profit of one year. Like Oliver, "asking for more," they are positively raising these freights also!

RAILROAD ALONG THE COLUMBIA.The railroad possessions of the company for the year in question consisted of but forty-eight miles, and of these the line from Walla Walla to Wallula on the upper Columbia, a distance of about thirty miles, was the longest; the other two being short strips of portage railroad round the Cascades or rapids on the Columbia. The passengers carried were 12,588; the tons of freight, 72,149; and the net profits, $269,004, or $5,604 a mile.

The company is engaged in constructing a line of railroad along the south bank of the Columbia; the portion from Celilo (the upper end of the rapids, at the lower end of which the town of the Dalles is situated) to Wallula, just over the Washington Territory border, a distance of one hundred and fifteen miles, is just completed. The line is being extended to the city of Portland, the works between the Dalles and the western end of the pass through the Cascade Mountains being of the most severe and expensive character. At least two tunnels and mile after mile of blasting and cutting through solid rock, where the mountains tower perpendicular above, would inspire dismay in the soul of any ordinary railroad-man.

But the word has gone forth that the road has to follow what is facetiously called the pass of the Columbia through the Cascades, and doubtless it will be done. Several thousand Chinamen are at work; steam-drills are busy perforating the rocks; scows have to be moored alongside in the river (there not being even room for the track between mountain and water), while the perpendicular faces of the cliffs are being tormented and torn. And thus about seventy miles of construction of this nature have to be got through. When completed, of course, the result will be at once to transfer nearly all of as many of the 117,000 passengers as traveled in the company's boats on the Columbia, to the cars; and a vast quantity of the freight must follow the same route.

Columbia, above the Lower Cascade.

Columbia, above the Lower Cascade.

But another factor is intended shortly to come into play. The Northern Pacific Railroad is vigorously at work, and in a year or two will compete with the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company for the Washington Territory and extreme Eastern Oregon trade. The passengers and freight intrusted to the Northern Pacific line will be carried from Wallula, the Columbia River point above referred to, to Tacoma, on Puget Sound. By this route a saving of one hundred and fifty-one miles in actual distance will be effected, and the traffic will reach the deep and still waters of Puget Sound, far away from the troubles and stickings of the Willamette and Columbia mouths, and the delays, dangers, and expenses of the Columbia bar. It is true that before this result is gained the line must cross the Cascade Mountains, but it is well known that a pass at less than thirty-four hundred feet exists, and the engineers have no doubt whatever that this piece of road will keep pace with the rest to the port.

HOW TO GET "CONTROL."Mark now another feature in the case. The East and West Side Railroads on either side of the Willamette River compete with the boats of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company for the trade of the Willamette Valley. The railroads naturally divert the passenger traffic almost entirely, and carry a large quantity of freight. They would carry more and earn a fair profit for their owners, the German and English bondholders, but, instead of a fair competition, the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company, as I have said, put down the freights from Corvallis downward to Portland on grain to one dollar per ton—of course, an impossible rate for either river or railroad to profit by.

Why is this? Because what Mr. Villard calls the "control" of these railroads is vitally necessary to the future continuance of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company's stocks in their exalted dividends and consequent enormous market value. Therefore, it is sought now to destroy the earning powers of these railroads, to force the owners into succumbing to the "policy of control."

One more step. The Oregon Railway and Navigation Company owns practically no land—that is to say, it is interested speculatively in the rise of value in property in Portland by having invested a large sum (I believe $199,000) in the purchase of 484 acres of land in and near the city. But, outside this and its railroad-track, the company owns altogether about 3,055 acres of land in scattered pieces, only about 850 acres of which lie in Oregon; the rest in Washington Territory, and a bit or two in Idaho. We will not omit to mention its wharves at the various stopping-places of the boats, as they represent the expenditure of a considerable sum. Once again: if anything at all is clear, it is that the inflated value of this company's securities depends solely on the continuance of their monopoly. I have shown that on the Columbia River this is threatened by the Northern Pacific, and also by themselves in effect, by the substitution of the costly railroad line for the inexpensive boats, and the consequent devotion of both investments, namely, that in the boats and that in the railroad, to the same traffic, which the competition of the Northern Pacific is certain to reduce in gross volume.

Now turn to the Willamette Valley traffic, and scrutinize the position there. Not only is there the existing competition of the railroads, which is fatal, so long as it is genuine, to the earning of large profits from the north and south traffic of the valley, both in passengers and goods, but here come in two competitors more.

The Scotch narrow-gauge system also centers everything in Portland, and has succeeded, after a hard fight with the city authorities, in securing a large tract of land for depot or terminal purposes. It had the audacity to claim a right of way right through the tract purchased by the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company, and, under the law of eminent domain as it exists in Oregon, it would have got it, ay, and used it, too, with but scant regard for the feelings of the high and mighty corporation which had marked it for their own. But a working arrangement was with much difficulty made, by which the Scotch line runs, free of charge, alongside the other, right through its land, to the terminus of the narrow-gauge.

This Scotch line has put boats on the Willamette also. They ply between Ray's Landing, about seventeen miles up the Willamette, and Portland. The narrow-gauge also has an East-side and a West-side line through the Willamette Valley. The East-side line runs north and south a short distance from the foothills of the Cascades, and has now got as far as Brownsville, about one hundred and twenty miles from Portland. Their West-side line runs through the rich farming country in Polk County by Dallas to Sheridan, and a junction with the Western Oregon broad-gauge near by. This is also an ambitious company, who are pushing surveys across the Cascade Range.

The narrow-gauge system is yet by no means complete, but, when it is, it will become at once a very dangerous rival both to the East and West Side roads, and also to the boats of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company on the Willamette.

So seriously did Mr. Villard feel the impending danger that it is no secret in Oregon that a confidential agent was dispatched by him to Scotland, to endeavor to put the Scotch investors out of conceit with their property, and, failing that, he attempted to secure some of their stock, so as to gain a footing inside their camp. But there also he failed.

THE "BLIND POOL."Shortly before these pages were written, occurred the episode of what is known in financial circles in America as "the blind pool." Mr. Villard caused it to be known among his circle of followers that he desired the use of eight million dollars. According to statements made on his authority, he not only secured it, but in all fifteen millions were offered him. Quietly and secretly he used the eight millions in buying up stock of the Northern Pacific Railroad in the New York market, nor did he show his hand until he had thus secured twenty-seven millions par value of the stock of that road. When his great gun was thus loaded, he discharged it full at the head of Mr. Billings, the president of the Northern Pacific, and those directors who had loyally coöperated with him in the reorganization of the company and the redemption of its securities from the chaos into which they had fallen following the Jay Cooke failure. And the invader boldly claimed that he had secured the "control" of that company too, and proposed to oust the president, to install a representative of the "blind pool."

But an unexpected check was met. It seems that part of the reconstituted stock of the company, amounting to eighteen million dollars, was as yet in the treasury of the company, but was the property of divers persons who had coöperated in or assented to the reconstruction. This being issued, as Mr. Billings and his friends claim, in fulfillment of engagements long since entered into, displaced the center of gravity, and caused it to incline heavily toward the Billings section. A vociferous outcry was of course heard; the courts were appealed to; and the result of what promises to be a long and costly litigation remains to be seen.

Even without the entrance on the field of the new forces I am about to describe, the position of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company appears to be a very perilous one.

Under the chieftainship of Mr. Villard, who was no novice at the art of playing with railroad companies as counters in the game of "beggar-my-neighbor," a vast amount of Eastern capital was taken up by the aid of the enormous profits earned by the previously existing Oregon Steamship and Oregon Steam Navigation Company. Then followed naturally an era of really delusive prosperity, while the expenditure of this capital in substituting the new lamps of costly railroads for the magical old lamps of stern-wheel steamboats was going on.

But, in order to secure this capital, it was necessary to publish to the world the enormous profits the earlier companies were making. The effects were twofold and immediate. One was to open the eyes of the farmers of Oregon to the fact that they were paying for the transport to market of their crops sums utterly disproportionate to the cost and risk of the services rendered. And thus it was certain that ere long measures would be taken in the Legislature of Oregon, similar in purport to those adopted in other States, to check and curb the power of discrimination, which was the engine used to force the traffic on to the boats and trains of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company. The measure to that end introduced in the session of the Legislature of 1880 was, it is true, defeated by the strenuous efforts of the company, aided by their Portland friends. But that success was dearly bought, and the process was so patent as to awaken the farmers, with whom the real power dwells, in a fashion that will soon be felt.

YAQUINA BAY.The other result, equally inevitable, was to call into active life plans, long in preparation, for constructing an east and west line across the State, relying on Yaquina Bay as the outport, and on the trade of the Willamette Valley as the mainstay of the road.

But the enterprise had other features to recommend it. The Willamette Valley and Coast Railroad Company had been originated four or five years back by the farmers of the valley to construct a railroad between Corvallis and Yaquina Bay. It had obtained a charter from the Legislature giving it authority to extend its line across the State to the eastern boundary, at a point directly en route to Boisé City, Idaho.

This had been long ago marked out as the probable limit where connection either with a branch from the Union Pacific Railroad, or with some other road pushing westward to the ocean, might be made.

The Willamette Valley and Coast Railroad received in its charter from the State immunity from taxation for twenty years, and also a grant of all the rich tide and overflowed lands in Benton County, amounting to probably upward of one hundred thousand acres.

Not content with this, the framer of this scheme had obtained the right of purchase, on the basis of value of land in Eastern Oregon ten years ago, of the grant of lands in aid of the construction of the Willamette Valley and Cascade Mountains Military Wagon-road, amounting to eight hundred and fifty thousand acres. A sketch of the history of this road has been given before in these pages, and of the character of the country through which it runs.

The vital force of the Oregon Pacific Company, which was formed and brought before the world in the autumn of 1880 to complete and operate the Willamette Valley and Coast Railroad, lay in the advantage of position in its central line, cutting Oregon in half, and thereby attracting traffic to it from both sides, and also in the solid backing of about nine hundred and fifty thousand acres of land, stretching across the State from east to west, and which was certain to rise four-fold at least in value by the construction of the railroad through it.

The first hundred and thirty miles of the road pass through Benton and Linn Counties, which together produce about one half, and, with the adjoining counties of Polk and Marion on the north and the county of Lane on the south, fully three quarters of the wheat-crop of Oregon.

It was estimated by a committee formed in these counties, who investigated the subject thoroughly, that not less than one hundred and eighty thousand tons of grain, and other freight to the amount of fifty thousand tons or more, would seek an outlet over this road, from these valley counties, on the basis of the crop of 1878. The subsequent increase in acreage under crops would give not less than three hundred thousand acres instead of two hundred and fifty thousand, at a very moderate estimate. The inward freight may be taken at one half of the outward bound, thus giving four hundred and fourteen thousand tons which the new road would be called on to transport.

These figures raised the ire of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company and of some of its Portland friends, and their abuse called forth a reinvestigation of the whole subject, which resulted in thorough confirmation of the estimates.

OREGON PACIFIC RAILROAD.The Oregon Pacific proposed, as soon as open for business, to lower the seven dollars a ton, the previous average charge of the other company on valley freight to San Francisco, to three dollars and a half, and the twenty-four dollars for first-class passengers and fourteen dollars for emigrant passengers to one half of those figures. And it showed a very large probable dividend on its capital, on those reduced figures. The reasonableness of this will be seen by reference to the enormous earnings of the other company.

The whole question turned, of course, on the practicability of so improving the entrance to Yaquina Bay that heavy-laden ships of deep draught could enter to deliver and receive cargo.

The valley farmers and traders, to the number of thirty-four hundred, petitioned Congress to appropriate $240,000 for these works. Strenuous efforts in support of this petition at Washington, in the session of 1880, sufficed to overcome the opposition of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company, and the prayer was granted in principle, but only in extent to $40,000, after the fashion in such cases.

But the careful surveys and investigations of the United States engineers, which were at once undertaken, justified the hopes of the people and of those interested in the railroad, and very early in 1881 the works for the improvement were begun.

Application was made to Congress in the winter session of 1880-'81 to appropriate $200,000 more for the works; but only $10,000 were granted, although the Legislature of Oregon had, in their session of 1880, by formal resolution, unanimously supported the application for $200,000.

But the farmers of the valley counties were at last roused to vigorous action, and, under the presidency of the Linn County Grange and its officers, are raising a large fund by subscription, to continue without interruption the harbor-works until additional appropriations are made by Congress. The subscription will not only serve to keep the harbor-works in vigorous progress, but demonstrates the subscribers' conviction of the success of the efforts made for the completion of the Oregon Pacific Railroad, and their active and personal interest in such success.

PROBABLE EFFECTS OF COMPETITION.And now the full force of the figures given in the last chapter is seen. So far as the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company depends on Oregon for its support, it must come from counties the population of which is but 28,180, and the value of their taxable property, in 1880, only $6,256,547; the proportion of property for each inhabitant being $228.96, or nearly twenty per cent. below the average for the State.

The Oregon Pacific will draw its present support from the valley counties, with a population of 83,549, and taxable property of $23,735,262, each about four-fold greater. Their average property is $282.68 per head, or about two per cent. above the rate for the whole State.

If it be argued that the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company bases its hopes for maintaining its high dividends on its enlarged capital; on the development of Eastern Oregon in population and productions, which is in rapid progress—I reply that the same considerations apply with vastly increased force to the district served by the Oregon Pacific. The latter relies not only on the fertile lands on the western side of the Cascades, unequaled in the whole United States for attractiveness to immigrants of the better class, but it also asserts its undoubted claim to profit from the settlement of the broad stretch of country, also in Eastern Oregon, through which its line runs in its eastward course.

If stress is laid on the advantage of the established position of Portland for the headquarters of the one road, the scale kicks the beam when the one hundred and ten miles of towage and pilotage, the probable delays in the rivers, the certain dangers and difficulties of the Columbia bar, are weighed against the saving of two hundred and twenty-one miles in actual distance, and the short course of but three miles from the ocean to the wharves at Yaquina.

TACTICS IN OPPOSITION.If Mr. Villard has displayed his cleverness in laying hold of established profits and turning them to the enormous gain of himself and of those friends of his who have followed his lead, I can here do but partial justice to the foresight and energy of Colonel T. Egenton Hogg, whose clear judgment realized the necessity and the many advantages of the Yaquina route ten years ago, who has fought through unnumbered difficulties and a bitter and envenomed opposition toward its attainment, and who has secured in so doing the hearty support of the backbone and sinew of Oregon life, which trust to the Oregon Pacific to set free the commerce of the State.

Let it not be supposed that the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company is foredoomed to failure, or to immediately explode and go out like a rocket. According to my ideas, it may have a moderately prosperous future, bringing down to Portland a certain quantity of freight and passengers from the upper country, and an increasing quantity as that country develops. But to suppose that on its enlarged capital it will be allowed to go on earning dividends at the same preposterous rate as heretofore its boats have made for it, is to insult the common-sense alike of the Oregon farmer and of the capitalist looking now more eagerly than ever for profitable and safe investment.

One other point deserves attention. The Oregon Railway and Navigation Company owns practically no land (except its building-land speculation in Portland); therefore, when these competing lines come into play, and traffic rates are consequently reduced over all the State, its dividend-producing power is gone.

The other lines can follow it down and down in any war of rates so far as the Oregon Railway and Navigation lines see fit to venture. Such tactics would be absolute madness in California, as by its new Constitution rates once lowered can not be raised again. But suppose the war of rates is begun in Oregon. The Northern Pacific, when completed according to law, will save one hundred and fifty-one miles in distance, and deliver freight and passengers at deep water on Puget Sound. The narrow-gauge roads and boats together can carry more cheaply than the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company. The valley standard-gauge railroads and the Oregon Pacific share with the Northern Pacific this tremendous advantage, that every dollar they lose on transportation is only invested at enormous profit in the rise and value of their lands. It is the cost of transportation that keeps down value on their lands; lower this, and land rises at once.

Nor is it to be supposed for an instant that the same tactics by which it has been attempted to prevent, hamper, or delay the building of the Oregon Pacific Railroad will long succeed.

Shortly after the prospectus of that railroad was issued, there appeared in "The Oregonian," of Portland, three columns of abuse over the signature of "Examiner." The writer described himself as a citizen of Oregon, anxious to avoid delusion and disaster to the Eastern public.

The whole was telegraphed or mailed long in advance back to New York, and appeared in a garbled and still more contemptible form as a circular, professing to be reprinted from "The Oregonian," as if from the editor's chair of that paper. New York was flooded with the copies. Fortunately, it was easy enough to repel the attack, since the chief points were that the Eastern Oregon lands were worthless, and the statements of the Willamette Valley trade exaggerated. And on both points ample, even overwhelming, evidence was at hand.

THE CASCADE MOUNTAINS ROAD.Then, by what hidden influences it is of course impossible to say, the Secretary of the Interior, Mr. Schurz, was set in motion on the allegation that the Cascade Mountains road had never been made, and that consequently the United States had been imposed upon fourteen years ago when Congress granted the lands to the State of Oregon, and that State defrauded in turn ten years ago when, on certificates of due completion satisfactory to the then officials of the State, the lands were duly confirmed to the wagon-road company.

Thereupon, without inquiry as to the facts from the State officials of Oregon, or from the road company or their representatives, who had all the evidence in their possession—without one word of notice to any of the parties concerned—a man named Prosser, then residing at Seattle, and occupied in repressing unwarranted timber-cutting on Government lands in that neighborhood, was dispatched to professedly examine into the condition of things. His journey; the narrative of his duplicity; of his inducing the president of the road company, in the innocence of his heart, to fit him out and to lend him all the money for his expenses; of his return and interviews with the citizens of Albany; of his subsequent report that no road existed where upward of five thousand wagons and innumerable droves of cattle and of passengers on foot and horseback had passed without accident for ten years; of his allegations of the trivial cost of the works, met by the evidence of the outlay of about $100,000 on the construction and repairs of the road; of the storm of indignation which swept through Linn County, and found expression wherever the facts were known—all these things form an amusing chapter in the history of this transaction.

The Congressional committee, to whom the matter was referred, reported, as might be expected, that Congress had no jurisdiction; that, so far as they could see, the present owners, being innocent purchasers, had good title to the lands; and that, if there were to be any attempt made to disturb them, it must be a judicial and not a legislative matter.

Meanwhile an action of ejectment had been brought by the purchasers from the road company of the land grant, in the United States District Court at Portland, against a squatter on the land, whose letters of old date to the Commissioner of the Land-Office had been made the pretext for the course taken by the Secretary of the Interior. Every opportunity was given for raising in court the question of no road; but the defendant dared not accept the challenge, and Judge Deady rendered judgment for the owners of the land grant, and so settled the question for good and all, so far as I can see. His judgment was masterly and exhaustive, and I should think would convince any candid mind.

Thus ends this act in the drama, with the position of the Oregon Pacific confirmed at every point, and the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company with a very pretty quarrel on their hands with the Northern Pacific, and an impending competition, at which the farmers of the State rejoice.

And so the transportation question in Oregon is in a fair way to be settled in a manner consonant with justice and honesty, so that produce will be charged only what is commensurate in fair measure with the cost and risk of the service rendered, and not in the opposite direction of what the producer can bear.

THE YAQUINA IMPROVEMENTS.Before I close this subject, let me describe very shortly the principle and method of the harbor improvement at Yaquina.

The problem is this: In the harbor is a sheet of tidal water running up more than twenty miles inland, and in the bay or harbor proper expanding into a width of about three miles. To the tidal water has to be added that brought down by the Yaquina River and its tributaries in a course of fifty miles or thereabout. The deep-water channel to the ocean through which this inflow and outflow are repeated twice every twenty-four hours is deep and narrow, and the current very swift. Thus, this channel of a quarter of a mile wide between the headlands on either side of the mouth does not vary appreciably in width or depth, and requires no attention.

Just where the mouth opens to the ocean is the reef, of soft sandstone rock, rising in intervals of separate rocks to within ten or eleven feet of low-water mark—that is to say, each of the three channels through the reef, north, middle, and south, gives this depth of water. But here the water, which has kept clear and deep the channel of a quarter of a mile wide or thereabout, expands to a width of about two miles. Consequently, the current is not sufficiently strong in any one of the three channels to prevent the piling of the sand against the rock outside and in, in a gentle rise from the forty-feet depth outside to the height of the rocky reef, and similarly from the thirty feet inside the reef.

The engineers propose, by a jetty from the south beach to a group of rocks forming the south side of the middle channel, to extend the narrow deep channel inside, and the consequent force of concentrated tidal and river water, up to the rocky reef itself. They judge that the tidal force is ample to scour away clean all the sand deposited both in and outside the reef. They propose, then, to blast away the rock itself from the middle channel, which, as the obstruction is both soft and narrow, will be neither a difficult nor costly operation, and they intend thus to open to the commerce of the world the calm and deep waters of the harbor, which will suffice to receive all the fleet of vessels trading to this coast.

The construction of the jetty is proceeding rapidly by means of large mattresses of brushwood sunk in the destined position, loaded with rock and attracting and retaining the sand, and covered in, when the needed breadth and height are gained, with larger rocks brought down from a quarry of hard stone about eight miles up the harbor.

No one who, like the present writer, has often tried to stem the tidal current sweeping out to sea, can doubt the force and velocity it will bring to bear; and no one familiar with Yaquina doubts the anticipated success of the improvement. Once gained, it will be permanent, and then half an hour will suffice to tug the arriving vessel from the deep waters of the Pacific to her station alongside her wharf, and the same time will dispatch her, fully loaded, on her voyage.

To sum up this matter: At present a very large portion of the profits of farming and of other industries in Oregon goes into the pockets of the transportation company. The rates of freight bear no proportion to the benefits obtained, but are fixed simply on the principle of sitting down to pencil out a list to see how much the farmers can possibly pay. If this state of things were to be indefinitely perpetuated, the outlook would be dreary. That a radical change is impending is to me clear. The country is too rich in productive powers, the citizens are too fully awake to the needs of their position, the knowledge of what Oregon is and what she wants is too widely spread, and the president of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company has trumpeted forth the enormous profits of his corporation too loudly, for the failure of the efforts now in progress to introduce competition in the carrying-trade. So that I, for one, am at rest as to the result. Oregon will take her own part in the general movement, now current throughout the United States, to regulate, if not to curtail, the powers of the corporations.

But I have confidence in the steady and peaceful character of her population not to carry this matter here to extremes, which might unduly burden associated capital, and check the flow of its full current to our State.



Emigration to Oregon—‌Who should not come—‌Free advice and no fees—‌ English emigrants—‌Farmers—‌Haste to be rich—‌Quoted experiences—‌Cost and ways of coming—‌Sea-routes—‌Railroads—‌Baggage—‌What not to bring —‌What not to forget—‌Heavy property—‌The Custom-house—‌San Francisco hotels—‌Conclusion.

The question most often asked and most difficult to answer is, "Do you advise me to come out to Oregon?" It is easy to say who should not come. We want no waifs and strays of civilization, enervated with excesses, or depressed with failure; men who can find no niche for themselves, who have neither the habit, the disposition, nor the education for work. We want none of those youngsters who have tried this, have failed in that, until their friends say in disgust, "Oh, ship them to Oregon, and let them take their chances!" We desire no younger sons of English or Eastern parents without energy or capital to start them. High birth, aristocratic connections, we value not at all, unless they carry with them the sense of responsibility to honored forefathers—the determination that the stigma of failure shall not stain a proud name. Nor do we desire those young men whose first thought is, "How shall we amuse ourselves?" and whose first aim is the cricket, or base-ball, or lawn-tennis ground, and whose chief luggage is bat, fishing-rod, and shot-gun.

And, on the other hand, we do not want those who, having qualified themselves, as they suppose, for life in Oregon by six months or a year with some scientific farmer, consider that they know everything, despise instruction, neglect advice, are wiser than their elders, and then throw up in disgust as soon as they find that they have sunk their money, that their theories will not work, and that they must here as elsewhere begin at the beginning.

Nor do we propose (and we are certain it is in no way necessary) to charge new-comers an initiation fee of two hundred and fifty dollars, or any other sum, for the privilege of joining our society in Oregon, and profiting by our experience.

And, as I began by saying, the English who have come here have established no colony, in the usual sense, set up no separate society, and claim no common corporate life.

WHO SHOULD COME.Society we have, association we have, common amusements and pursuits we have, but in all these we invite our American neighbors to take their part, and see no reason to regret our course.

True it is that the costume of knickerbockers and gaiters and heather-suit and pot-hat is a very common object in our town, and that we meet in considerable force at the Episcopal church on Sunday to join in the familiar service. But we adhere to our original plan that the newcomer shall settle where he pleases in these counties, shall have the best advice we can bestow in the choice of land, the purchase of stock and implements, and of the other necessaries for a farmer's start in life; and shall have this free of charge. We offer the right hand of friendship; we will do our part to keep up association and kindly relations of all kinds.

But we are more anxious that Oregon should be built up by the gradual incoming of men of serious purpose, possessed of moderate capital, who shall disperse over the face of the country as they would at home, and strengthen the State by the force of attraction each will exercise over the friends and acquaintances he has left behind, than we are to create here a bit of interjected foreign life.

Therefore let the farmer, above all, tried and worried at home by fickle seasons, heavy rent, burdensome tithe and taxes, labor-troubles, low prices, and gradually fading capital—let him bring his wife and children and come. His few hundred pounds will make a good many dollars, and he will be amazed to find himself owning productive land for about the sum he would have paid for two years' rent at home.

If his means do not permit him to pay down the whole purchase price, he is one of the very few who can be safely advised to begin to some extent in debt; for, remember, land in Oregon is expected to pay for itself from its own productions in five years' time.

Even if the new-comer has had no previous practical experience, that need not of itself deter him. One of our best farmers told me the other day that when he began he did not know which end of a plow went first! But in such case the wisest thing is either to hire himself out to work for an Oregonian farmer for, at any rate, a few months, or, if he takes an opportunity of buying land for himself, let him reverse the operation and hire an Oregonian to work for him for a time.

I read a short article in the "Portland Evening Telegram," the other day, which seemed to me very much in point; so I shall quote it:

"Seven years ago two men, dissatisfied with the sluggishness with which their fortunes grew in Portland, determined to better their condition.

"The wonderful resources of the Willamette Valley as an agricultural country attracted one of them to Washington County, where he purchased a farm, and stocked it with teams and farming implements, and started on his road to independence and wealth.

"He told his neighbors, who had been in the farming business for years, that he proposed to show them how to succeed.

"He was industrious; he studied the books on farming, and pursued his occupation on scientific principles, joined the Grangers, became an active member of farmers' clubs, was bitter in his denunciation of monopolies.

"Disliking the looks of the old-fashioned worm-fence, he divided his fields by building nice plank partitions, and even asked permission of an old fogy neighbor to build the whole of a partition fence of plank, that the old one might not offend his fastidious taste. Here was mistake number one. The rail-fence answered the purpose well enough, and he ought to have avoided the expense of the costlier one at least until a new one was necessary. He was from Indiana, and thought corn a good crop to grow; so he prepared ten acres of his best land and planted them to corn: the squirrels came and took it all up; he replanted, and again the squirrels took the seed before it sprouted; he planted it once more, and succeeded in getting a small crop of poor corn which did not mature, and it profited him nothing.

QUOTED EXPERIENCES."This was another blunder, as any man who had made any inquiry ought to have known that the raising of corn in this valley was never a paying business. A small patch for roasting-ears for family use is all any wise farmer will ever attempt to raise.

"Again, our progressive farmer had been so impressed with the idea that the climate of Oregon was an exceedingly mild one, that he thought his apples and potatoes were in no danger of freezing; so he put his apples upstairs, and left his potatoes uncovered. Consequently, they were all frozen and lost.

"This was an inexcusable blunder, for any man who would look at a map and see that he was located above the forty-fifth degree of latitude, should have known that any winter was liable to be cold enough to freeze unprotected fruits and vegetables.

"Our friend became discouraged, and gave more attention to wheat, but found that he could not raise that commodity for less than seventy-five cents a bushel, although other farmers have asserted that the cost did not exceed fifty cents.

"With his experience of seven years' farming in Oregon, he is perfectly satisfied that it will not pay, and hence he is back in Portland, intending to stay. The corn, apple, and potato business fixed him as far as farming is concerned, though he ought to have known that his course in regard to them would have resulted just as it did.

"Our second young man did not like the slowness of farming as a means of getting rich, so he put his money in sheep, and took up a ranch in Wasco County.

"For a few years he was encouraged: as the grass grew, his stock increased; the winters were mild, and wool brought a good price.

"He raised some feed, and for three years had no use for it, as the sheep made their own living off the range.

"He thought when the cold snap set in last winter that he had enough feed to last through any winter that could reasonably be expected. But the cold winds continued to blow, the snow fell and froze, and continued to fall and freeze.

"Two months passed; his feed was exhausted, and his sheep began to die. Out of 4,300 head 3,000 died, and though a neighbor who started in with about the same number had only six head left, our young friend thought his own condition bad enough, and so concluded to quit the business and come back to Portland. He says a man can take a thousand head of sheep, build sheds, provide food, and have a sure thing to clear a few hundred dollars every year, but he did not want that kind of a sure thing.

"He made the mistake of him who 'makes haste to be rich,' and hence he retires from the contest on that line no better off than when he started in.

"Both these men are now in Portland, and each is hopelessly disgusted with the attempt he has made.

"One thinks that farming in Oregon will never pay, though there are hundreds of farmers all over the State who started with less than he did, and are now well situated and independent.

"The other thinks the whole of Eastern Oregon, so called, a failure, though he virtually admits that his lack of providence, and his desire to make a large sum of money in a short time, were the causes of his losses."

Since we have been in Oregon we have seen several cases like these examples. Let the intending emigrant weigh this well—that farming in the Willamette Valley is not the road to large fortune, though it is to comfort and prosperity.

COST AND WAYS OF COMING.Let no young man, brought up in a comfortable Eastern home, come to Oregon to farm, unless he can be assured that at the end of a year or two's probation and apprenticeship he can have provided for him some small sum of money, enough for a start on his own land. The life of the agricultural laborer in almost every farmer's family here is a very hard and uncomfortable one; the lodging is rough, the living, though plentiful, is often coarse, the hours of labor very long, and the employments on the farm miscellaneous indeed.

The better thing is for two friends or relatives to come together; they may separate for their apprenticeship, but their purchase may easily be made together; and, indeed, out here two are better than one.

And now for some hints as to the ways of coming, and what should and should not be brought.

For the English emigrant there is a large choice. He may come by any of the New York lines, and thence across the continent to San Francisco, and on by steamer to Portland. If he comes first class throughout, he will find the expense nearly £60 sterling, or about $300. By choosing the cheaper cabin on the steamer, and reconciling himself to doing without the comforts of the Pullman car, and economizing in meals on the journey across by providing himself with a provision-basket, to be replenished at intervals, he may save about £15, or $75. The time is short; three weeks will bring him from Liverpool to Oregon, unless he delays needlessly in New York, Chicago, or San Francisco.

In New York let him beware of cabs or carriages. He is likely to be charged five dollars for a ride he will get in London for one shilling. The proper course is for him, after his baggage has passed the custom-house, to intrust it to a transfer agent, who will have it conveyed to the hotel, and the emigrant can take the elevated railway or get a tram-car ride for a few cents. The same course should be followed on leaving the hotel for the railway terminus to come West.

So far as I know, he can make no mistake in following his fancy in choosing his route.

The Erie or the New York Central will carry him to Chicago, by way of Buffalo and Niagara; and, if any pause on the journey at all is made, let the opportunity be seized of seeing the most glorious of waterfalls, the remembrance of which will never die.

The Baltimore and Ohio passes through Maryland and West Virginia, and the Pennsylvania Railroad through New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and each shows him some of the finest scenery on the Atlantic slope.

From Chicago he will have a choice again. There is no difference in cost, time, or comfort between the Chicago and Northwestern, the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy, and the Chicago and Rock Island. I have traveled by all three; perhaps the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy runs through the most interesting scenery.

Up to Omaha the first-class traveler is allowed one hundred and fifty pounds of baggage free, and so far it will be properly handled and cared for by the baggage-men.

BAGGAGE-SMASHING.At Omaha things change for the worse. Only one hundred pounds of baggage is allowed by the Union Pacific and Central Pacific roads; and on all excess the rate to San Francisco is fifteen cents a pound. And, if the traveler has any regard for his possessions, let him see to it that they are closely packed in the very strongest and roughest trunks that he can procure. Oh, those baggage-smashers at Omaha! When we crossed last I stood by to see a baggage-car brought up alongside the stone platform, piled with trunks and other baggage to the roof, the doors thrown open, and the contents literally tumbled out pell-mell. Trunks were smashed open, locks broken, straps burst, contents ruined. And the baggage-men seemed to take a horrid pleasure in tilting heavy trunks on to their corners, and so bundling them across at a rapid rate to the other car; dislocation of the strongest joints was the result.

If the passenger be incautious enough to burden himself with needless weight from Omaha, he should dispatch it to San Francisco by freight-train addressed to his hotel; the rates are thus so moderated that he will not have the chagrin of paying to the railroad companies about as much as most of his baggage is worth.

Another route from England is by Southampton and Panama to San Francisco. The charge for a first-class passage is £50, and the traveler will not be bothered about his baggage save on the Isthmus Railway. He may lose no time in catching the Pacific mail-steamer on the Pacific side, but he is more likely to have three or four days to wait at Panama, in a town where there is nothing to see or do, and where he will be charged not less than three dollars a day at the hotel. The lovely scenery and gorgeous vegetation of the tropics will be a pleasant picture in memory, whatever draw-backs the five weeks occupied on this route may discover.

San Francisco is the city of comfortable and moderately charging hotels. The most expensive are the Palace and the Baldwin. The Lick House and the Russ House are comfortable and more moderate; and the International is cheap but comfortable.

From San Francisco to Portland the steamers Oregon, Columbia, or State of California, sail every five days, and are each safe, speedy, and excellent boats. The cost of the journey is twenty dollars, and the time usually three days or more, including a detention of some hours at Astoria. As soon as the Yaquina route is opened, it is expected that this time will be reduced by one half.

And now, what should the emigrant bring to Oregon? So far as household furniture and fittings are concerned, the best and cheapest way is to send them by Royal Mail from Southampton by way of Panama. The freight was £4 10s. per ton of forty cubic feet. I do not know if any change has been made.

It is wise for any family to bring bedding (but not beds), knives and forks and electro-plate, books, pictures, and the little ornaments and trifles which go so far to transfer the home feeling to whatever room they may at once furnish and adorn. And do not forget the crockery. It is foolish to bring furniture, pianos, or such heavy and cumbersome property. All these used articles will come in duty free. If they are sent to San Francisco direct from England, they will have to be examined at the custom-house there.

The traveler will find it a great waste of time and temper to pass his goods through the custom-house himself. There are many respectable agents, whose trifling fee is well spent in getting their services for this work.

As for clothes. New clothes will be charged with a duty of sixty per cent. of their value, and cause trouble also. Worn clothes and boots come in duty free. The strongest and most durable woolen garments are those best adapted for the Oregon climate. English ankle-boots are treasures not to be obtained for love or money in Oregon. The field-boot, of porpoise-skin, will be infinitely valuable in our muddy winters; but such are too hot for summer wear. English saddlery should all be left at home.

If the emigrant is the happy owner of a good breech-loader, let him bring it, with as many of Eley's green cases as he can pack. Ammunition is expensive here. English rifles are a nuisance. The Winchester, Sharp, or Ballard, I think superior to any sporting rifles we have—as much so as the American shot-guns are inferior to the English makers'.

ATTRACTIONS WHICH OREGON OFFERS.Let us see, then, in a few words, why we expect that immigrants will continue to arrive. What are the attractions which Oregon offers?

  1. A healthy and temperate climate, whether residence in the Willamette Valley or in Southern or Eastern Oregon is chosen.

  2. A fertile and not exhausted soil, adapted to the continuous raising of all cereals, to the growth of the best kinds of pasture, and to the ripening of all temperate fruits in profusion and excellence.

  3. A climate and range unusually suited to cattle, sheep, and horses of the best breeds.

  4. The ocean boundary on the west, giving free access to shipping for the cheap transport of all productions.

  5. Mineral wealth of almost every description, most of which is yet unworked.

  6. Industrial openings of many kinds, with special facilities by way of abundant water-power.

  7. Beautiful scenery, whatever portion of the State may be selected by the new-comer.

  8. Sport and pastime in moderation, with a notable absence of dangerous animals, and reptiles, and noxious insects.

  9. A modern and liberal Constitution, affording special advantages and securities to foreigners and aliens.

10. A quiet and orderly population, ready to welcome strangers.

11. Good facilities for education, remarkable in so young a country.

12. A railroad and river system of transportation, only now in process of development, and which is certain to effect a great rise in the value of lands.

And now my work is done. I have endeavored to give, in as concise and short a form as I could contrive, a faithful picture of life as it is in Oregon to-day. I have extenuated nothing, nor set down aught in malice.

If, in reviewing what I have written, I feel conscious of a special weakness, it is that I have brought too strongly into view the difficulties the immigrant will have to encounter; for I feel sure that no one, on full knowledge, will accuse me of drawing in too fair and flattering colors the attractions of our beautiful State.

May Oregon flourish by receiving constant additions to her vigorous and industrious people, whose efforts, in scarcely any other place in the wide world so certain of a due return, may make her waste places plain, and cause her wildernesses to rejoice and blossom as the rose!



Since the foregoing pages were finished, a period of six months has passed. Nothing has transpired which should affect the opinions formed and expressed by the author in favor of the attractions which Oregon offers to the energetic and industrious. The past half-year has been one of successful development for the State as a whole. A bountiful harvest, which has been vouchsafed to Oregon while many Eastern States and many European countries have had to mourn because of drought or excessive rain and consequent scarcity, has again proved how highly favored by position and climate is this Western nook. And now, in the early days of October, we have had a week's rain to soften the clods and prepare the ground for tillage, but the sun of the Indian summer is shining with soft brilliancy, and we look for crisp nights and mornings, and lovely days, for from six to ten weeks to come.

During the six months, Eastern capital has been prodigally turned into Oregon and Washington Territory by Mr. H. Villard and his associates. New lines of railway designed as feeders to the Columbia River route are being pushed to completion regardless of cost, while the trunk-line, along the side of the Columbia River, is being still urged forward by the united forces of over three thousand Chinamen and all the white laborers that can be picked up. Time alone will show how far a line, which winds and twists along the banks of the mighty Columbia in devious curves, overhung by mountain-sides loaded with loose rocks at the mercy of every winter's storms, can be trusted to carry the enormous traffic predicated for it; and, granted that this slender reed has the necessary strength, at what kind of port is the hoped-for mass of grain for export to be delivered? The following article appeared in the "Daily Oregonian," of Portland, on the 10th of this last September. The newspaper in question claims to be the leading journal of the State, and is in fact the only one publishing full daily telegraphic dispatches. It is also the organ of the Villard interest, and it may be taken that it is not likely to overstate the disadvantages attaching to the city of its publication:


"The water in the rivers between Portland and the ocean is at about the usual September stage, but, owing to the absence of any means whatever of dredging the bars, the depth at the three or four shoal places is less than in former seasons. Steamers drawing seventeen or even seventeen and a half feet come up by plowing through a few inches of mud at certain points, but ships have not the force to go through, nor, in many instances, the iron bottoms to stand the rub. It is not safe to load a vessel which must pass down the river more than sixteen feet. The result is, that grain-ships can only be partly loaded here, and must take a large proportion of their cargoes down the river. The American ship Palmyra went down Thursday with 900 tons of a total wheat cargo of 2,200. The bulk of her load—1,300 tons—must be carried down by barges and taken in at Baker's Bay. The Zamora, now taking wheat here, can only be half loaded at her Portland dock. Lighterage costs $1.25 per short ton, or six cents per cental. Thus the Palmyra must pay $1,625 extra because the river is not properly dredged. The average of lighterage this season will be about three cents per cental on all wheat that goes out of the Columbia River."

It is not far from the fact that, although from sixty to sixty-five shillings is a well-paying freight for ships from Portland to the United Kingdom, and although abundance of sailing-ships are available from the substitution of steamers in so many parts of the world, yet the actual freight charged has ranged from eighty to eighty-five shillings, this resulting from a combination of causes, of which the charges for pilotage, towage, and lighterage are among the chief.

Of course, all these charges come out of the pocket of the producer, and, unless some radical change can be effected, there is no apparent reason why these sums should not be cumulated to such a height as to place the valley farmer on the level of his Eastern Oregon and Eastern Washington Territory neighbor, who does not realize for his wheat much over thirty-five cents a bushel on an average market price of seventy-five cents.

Nor would there be much hope of a reduction in the inland transportation charges, were matters to progress as they have been doing during the past six months. Everything pointed toward the centralization of the control of every railroad and steamboat line in this State and the adjacent Territory in the hands of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company, presided over by Mr. Villard. The narrow-gauge system of railroads in this valley, owned and operated by the Scotch company, with headquarters at Dundee, was six months back the sole hope of the valley farmers as an honest competitor with its huge rival. But a few months ago announcement was made that Mr. Villard had secured the Scotch company, by a series of astute operations in Scotland; and now, under the ninety-nine years' lease which he obtained, the narrow-gauge company has ceased its independent existence, and its traffic is being assimilated as to rates with that of its former competitor, while it is so conducted as to stifle its growth as a separate organization, and throw all its vitality into the other roads.

But the anticipations, expressed in the earlier pages of this book, of an active rivalry to the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company, through the Oregon Pacific Railroad and its outlet at Yaquina Bay, are being realized as rapidly as men and money can do it.

Early in July last the news came through the wires that the financial battle had been won by Colonel Hogg, and that construction was to be pushed forward immediately. Short as the time is, much has been done, and more is being done. Engineering parties were organized and fitted out, and their work is nearly complete in all its parts. A good line of easy grades is located through from Corvallis to Yaquina Bay, presenting no extraordinary difficulties of construction. On this, as I write, a large force of both white and Chinese labor is employed, with the full expectation that the line will be surveyed, built, equipped, and running within four or five months from the time the first spadeful of earth was dug. Difficulties in starting a great enterprise like the Oregon Pacific Railroad, of course, abound, but so far have been successfully met. Meanwhile the goodwill of the valley farmers has been maintained throughout, and the new road will open with abundance of customers. Therefore, all interested in the undertaking are well satisfied with the prospect of having to operate a line which shall save the valley farmers two hundred and twenty-one miles in actual distance, and save them half the present charges for transportation between the valley and San Francisco, and which gives also an early prospect of ocean-going ships loading direct from an Oregon port, with wharves within three miles from the ocean, for the European or Eastern market.

It does not seem, then, an unreasonable augury that the day of exorbitant freights, excessive pilotage and towage charges, half-cargo lighterage, and also of traffic discrimination, will have passed away for ever, so far as Oregon is concerned, when the Oregon Pacific is opened. And I think every reader of this book will admit that it is a matter of just pride to see projects formed years back, and adhered to through much evil speaking, slander, and belittling, come to their full strength and fulfillment.

The last time I visited Yaquina Bay was during the closing days of September. The afternoon sun shone on the little dancing waves as we rowed across from Newport to the South Beach, where the harbor-works are going on. A heavy equinoctial storm had raged for two days before, and it would have been no surprise had the incomplete works suffered. But we found the men busily employed in piling large blocks of rock on the mattresses made of large, long bundles of brushwood, secured with cords, and deposited carefully in the line of the breakwater. Many of the hands were Indians, who were working very intelligently and quickly under the direction of our old friend Kit Abbey. No damage whatever had been done, but, on the contrary, the storm had piled the sand in even layers, five or six feet deep, on each side of the breakwater, solidifying and strengthening the work. Already the channel nearest to the beach, which had robbed the main channel of some of the tidal water, had been permanently closed. And the increase of the tidal in-and-out flow thus caused had proved to the satisfaction of the United States engineer officer in charge the correctness of the theory on which the works were designed. So that all tends in the one direction of opening this harbor, on which so many hopes are fixed, to ocean-going ships of deep draught.

Fortunately, the facts are being daily ascertained, tabulated, and certified by the independent authority of the United States engineers; they have minute surveys of the channel, and the changes operated by the new breakwater will be observed and recorded. Thus, as soon as the time comes to invite the shipping sailing to the Northwest coast to enter the port, there will be no further room for question as to depth of water and ease of access; but the facts will be so patent and plain to the world, that no one need be longer blinded by the persistent misrepresentations of interested parties.

Entrance to Yaquina Bay (Looking seaward).

Entrance to Yaquina Bay (Looking seaward).

The effect of the opening of the Oregon Pacific Railroad, which in two, or at most three years from now, will meet at or near Boisé City, Idaho, the lines rapidly pushing westward to that point, will be manifold:

First, it will open the new port at Yaquina to commerce, and so give the Willamette Valley its independent outlet, unaffected by terror-dealing bars, winter ice, and exorbitant charges. Second, it will in its eastward progress open up to settlement a broad belt of fertile and well-watered country, at present well-nigh untenanted. Third, it will operate as a check to the pretensions of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company to entire monopoly of the transportation of the State, and its boasted consequent ability to fix fares and freights at its own sweet will.



By Wallis Nash, author of "Oregon There and Back
in 1877." Second edition. With Illustrations.
12mo, cloth, $1.50.

The following are a few out of a very large number of press notices:

From the New York Sun.

"Under the title of 'Two Years in Oregon,' by Wallis Nash, we have an authentic and exhaustive guide-book, written for the benefit of those persons who intend to settle there. There is nothing in this volume to recall the superficial observations of the ordinary tourist; yet, although the author has confined himself to collecting information of real value to the emigrant, he has set it forth in a distinct, unpretentious, and attractive way."

From the Springfield Republican.

"For the best picture of Oregon as it is to-day, we are indebted to an Englishman. 'Two Years in Oregon' is the title of the book, written by Wallis Nash, and published by D. Appleton & Co., of New York. Mr. Nash conducted a colony of his countrymen some time since to the neighborhood of Corvallis, a thriving town a hundred or more miles south of Portland. He did not attempt to set up a New Jerusalem of his own after the example of unlucky Tom Hughes in the Rugby venture, but mingled all his interests with the settlers already on the ground, and good success has evidently attended his efforts. Mr. Nash has made a thorough study of the State and its resources. He has considerable literary skill, and while his book contains the practical facts and statistics needful to the posting of the would-be immigrant, it has besides enough racy descriptive writing to make it attractive to the general reader. Oregon has two distinct climates. The Cascade Range, cutting the State in halves, is the dividing line. On the Pacific side of the mountains, where most of the settlements are located, there are milder winters, cooler summers, and a heavier rain-fall than upon the plains stretching to the eastward of the range. There, too, are the heavy forests for which the State is noted. Wheat is the staple crop of the Oregon farmers, and last year there was a surplus of over one hundred thousand tons sent to market. Sheep husbandry is considerably followed, and the climate appears admirably adapted to the profitable raising of all kinds of livestock, while all the fruits and vegetables of the temperate zone yield remarkably. With better transportation facilities, a mixed agriculture is likely to be pursued in the future. The State has suffered much at the hands of transportation monopolists. The Villard combination have so far had almost complete control of the railways and waterways, and the rates charged have been enormous. A Portland merchant's freight bill on some goods shipped recently from New York, showed that one third of the whole amount was charged for the water-carriage of seven hundred miles from San Francisco. The company's railroad charges are still heavier. According to a new schedule of reduced rates from Portland to Walla Walla, two hundred and seventy miles, twenty-four cents is the rate for a bushel of wheat, against two to four cents a bushel for greater distances on Eastern roads. Mr. Nash devotes a chapter to the iniquities of the Villard monopoly which bears so heavily upon the farming community. There is prospect, however, that the burden may be lightened when the railway now building eastward from Yaquina Bay to a connection through Southwestern Idaho with the Union Pacific is completed."

From the Portland Standard (Oregon).

"Mr. Nash's experiences and observations as set forth in this book are correct representations of Oregon life. His opinions are not biased and warped by long residence, so as to give everything a color beyond the truth in favor of the beauties and facilities of the State for persons desiring homes, and which would be found to be untrue by strangers seeking farms and residences, and consequently bring disappointment to them after the trouble and expense of going there. Mr. Nash represents the State as it is, and his book is calculated to do far more good as an advertising medium for bringing immigration within her boundaries than the many pamphlets issued by immigration bureaus, painting in high colors beyond the truth the many advantages which Oregon presents. This book should be widely circulated and read. It will attract immigration and capital to the State with an impetus not heretofore felt."

From the Corvallis Gazette (Oregon).

This journal gives a large number of commendatory extracts, and concludes its notice as follows: "Many others are equally complimentary, and we are glad that Oregon, and especially the Willamette Valley, are being so well advertised. We understand the book is having a large sale."

From the Albany Register (Oregon).

"'Two Years in Oregon,' by Wallis Nash, is the title of a very neat work just issued from the press of the Appletons, New York. It is the impressions made and the experience gained by the writer after a two years' residence in Oregon, written in a most entertaining and attractive style. It will be read everywhere with pleasure, as it is a most faithful description of things and scenes as the writer beheld them. The picture, to our mind, is nowhere overdrawn. Portland is faithfully pictured, and 'The Oregonian' so faithfully portrayed that its poor editor will never forgive the writer."

From the Philadelphia Press.

"Mr. Nash's book describes the State in the most practical manner. It describes the scenery, the society, the legislative peculiarities, the economical advantages and disadvantages, the state of the industries, the transportation question, and all the various points which a possible emigrant might wish to know before he took the decisive step. It is written in a pleasant, vivacious style, and can be read with much profit by any one who takes an interest in our own great West."

From the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent (England).

"Mr. Nash's 'Two Years in Oregon' is one of the most charming books we have lately come across. He is a shrewd and careful observer, and writes with grace and ease. The illustrations, also, of the book are more than ordinarily clever. Mr. Nash evidently feels a warm interest in Oregon, and his book will go a long way to attract public interest in that direction. Few men can tell a story better, or enable readers to realize more vividly the appearance of a country and people they have never seen. The emigrant, the politician, the student of men and manners, the naturalist and the political economist, will all enjoy this book, which we hope will soon be followed by a fresh work from its author's pen."

From the University Press.

"This book has for its author an Englishman who visited Oregon in 1877, and who then traveled 'its length and breadth.' He moved his family there in 1879. He now sends out this interesting and instructive volume in answer to the many letters received by him asking for information. He is an easy, simple, unostentatious writer. We believe, as he says, that he has endeavored to give 'a faithful picture of life as it is in Oregon to-day.' He has good descriptive powers, and has enlivened his book with several amusing incidents."

From the Chicago Times.

"This book is the work of a man who has lived two years in the State, with an observant eye, an apparently judicial and impartial mind, and a ready and fluent pen. It embraces pretty much everything in the way of information about the region which any emigrant would like to know on pretty much all of its natural, social, and political features. It is, indeed, almost a guide-book to the region, but is one quite out of the usual sort, enlivened with a great fund of personal and local anecdote and incident, which serves to make it very interesting reading. It offers to the public a more complete compendium of information about one of the most interesting, at least, of American localities, than can elsewhere be found in the same space; and as one of the chief final centers around which American civilization promises to reach its ultimate development, everything connected with it is of interest, not only to Americans, but to people abroad also."

From the New York Evening Mail and Express.

"It would be impossible in a brief notice to state even the substance of this book, which is packed with information of all sorts, information procured and conned by himself, which neglects nothing that a would-be emigrant ought to inquire into, which is close in observation, terse in deduction, good-tempered, warm-hearted, hard-headed, and, what is more than all this, thoroughly amusing."

From the Utica Observer.

"A book like this is especially timely. The author, Wallis Nash, is an English settler in the great Willamette Valley, and discourses of his adopted home with the tone of an avowed advocate of its soil and climate. He combats with his own observations and the official weather reports the wide-spread belief that Oregon is a land of perpetual rains, and presents altogether the most comprehensive sketch of the existing industries and possible development of the State which has yet been published."

From the Chicago Inter-Ocean.

"Mr. Nash narrates his own experiences, and gives a detailed account of the agricultural, business, and social resources of the State in an obviously impartial manner."

From the Chicago Journal.

"In the year 1877 the author of this volume visited Oregon, traveled through its length and breadth, and, on returning to his home in England, published a book giving a short account of his journey, and recommending the country as a desirable one in which to settle. A few months afterward he left England at the head of a party of twenty-six persons, and, upon arriving in Oregon, settled at Corvallis, a pleasant little village on the banks of the Willamette River. After a continuous residence of two years in that far Western State, Mr. Nash again gives the result of his experience, as a guide to the emigrant who may intend to make Oregon his future home. He presents in a favorable view the agricultural and business prospects of the country; the social and political life of the people, and while he does not claim that a competence can be secured without persevering industry, he maintains that the inducements offered to the enterprising and energetic are such that in a few years the emigrant of moderate means and some experience will be able to acquire a home and pecuniary independence. The book contains a vast amount of information useful to the emigrant, and it is written in a pleasant, chatty style. The descriptions of the varied scenery, the character sketches of the settlers, and the laughable incidents recounted, give an additional pleasure to the volume, which is enriched by several illustrations of Oregon scenery."

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Minnesota).

"Any thorough description of Oregon, its resources, and the people who settle in it, must win many eager and interested readers. But, to do full justice to Mr. Nash, he has taken but little advantage of this fact. His book, which he modestly styles 'a guide-book to Oregon for the intending emigrant,' is far more than this. It is a pains-taking description of the natural features of a great Pacific State; of its soil, climate, and productive qualities; of its past development and future promise; of its leading industries and its adaptation to others; in short, of all that a man who has lived in Oregon with his eyes open might be expected to find out, and all about which one who has not lived there might be expected to wish information. There are in existence very few works which tell in such short compass as much about any State east of the Rocky Mountains. There are very many points in this hand-book which it would be interesting to present in detail, but nothing less than a careful reading will suffice. The story told by the writer about the outrageous swindling out of their land grant of the men who constructed, at great sacrifice, the greatest wagon highway in Oregon, deserves investigation. If Mr. Nash is correct, the farmers of Oregon have no reason to love Mr. Villard or his transportation company. The greatest drawback to the settling up of the State is the iron grip and remorseless extortions of the railways. This book is from beginning to end thoroughly readable. It furnishes more information than whole folios of statistics, or any number of glowing descriptions by hasty, prejudiced, and uninformed correspondents."

From the Chicago Evening Herald.

"Mr. Nash's data were gathered during a two years' residence, and are so well digested and so thoroughly re-enforced by the practical and personal experiences of the writer and his friends, that the most captious critic can not reasonably pick many flaws therein. Mr. Nash is evidently not only a close observer, but an eminently practical man, and in describing the advantages and disadvantages of Oregon, keeps constantly in view the information which other practical men, seeking a location, would be likely to need and appreciate. A great many chatty and amusing pages are devoted to anecdotes of early and later life in Oregon, and to the fortunes and misfortunes of those who sought first to subdue the virgin soil of that State. Some of the concluding chapters of the book are devoted to a very intelligent discussion of the existing transportation problems in Oregon. All in all, the work is not only readable, but has an intrinsic value which those who wish to know all about the terra incognita of which it treats will thoroughly appreciate."

From the Janesville Gazette.

"The book contains a vast amount of information useful to the emigrant, and it is written in a pleasant, chatty style. The descriptions of the varied scenery, the character sketches of the settlers, and the laughable incidents recounted, give an additional pleasure to the volume, which is enriched by several illustrations of Oregon scenery."

From the Detroit Evening News.

"Mr. Nash has just written for the benefit of his old friends and neighbors in England a little book relating his observations and experiences during his first two years of frontier life. It contains much interesting information about Oregon and its people, and coming from a disinterested source will be especially acceptable to those contemplating removal to that State."

From the Columbus Dispatch (Wisconsin).

"It is a compendium of information, and will be an addition to any library."

From the Boston Journal.

"Mr. Nash writes especially for the benefit of emigrants and intending settlers, but the book will have an interest for all readers who like to trace the developments of social and political institutions in a swiftly growing State. The author writes with enthusiasm, but frankly and sometimes critically; and he has collected a good deal of valuable information, which, together with the results of his own experience, he presents in an animated and pleasant manner."

From the Christian at Work.

"It is a capital book."

From the Ann Arbor Chronicle.

"To read the book is like making a trip to Oregon without the tediousness and expense of the journey."

From the Milwaukee Sentinel.

"The reader instinctively feels that here is a careful, temperate guide, who can be absolutely trusted."

From the Springfield Union (Massachusetts).

"A valuable book."

From the New York World.

"It is a description of the country and of life in Oregon that is worth reading by anybody who may for any reason be interested in the subject."

From the Cincinnati Commercial.

"A fascinating book."

From the San José Mercury (California).

"A highly interesting and instructive volume, marked by fairness of statement and honesty of opinion."

From the Omaha Republican (Nebraska).

"Mr. Nash has written a most interesting volume. His powers of description are simply magnificent, and, with such an expansive theme before him, he has wrought out a book that will no doubt have ready sale, and do a great measure of good in placing the advantages of Oregon most entertainingly before a large and choice number of readers."

From the Philadelphia North American.

"It is a very good report which Mr. Nash has to make of the State, and of the people by whom it is inhabited; and as he tells his tale in the plain, straightforward way of a man who is relating facts, and nothing but facts, and who simply desires to make known the truth, it can not fail to make a favorable impression."

Cordial commendatory notices of the work have appeared also in the following journals:

Albany (Oregon) Herald. Albany Argus.
Benton (Oregon) Leader. Cincinnati Gazette.
State Rights Democrat (Albany, Oregon). Boston Post.
San Francisco Argonaut. Montreal Gazette.
San Francisco Chronicle. Boston Gazette.
San Francisco Bulletin. Philadelphia Times.
Montreal Daily Star. New York Observer.
New York Herald. Philadelphia Inquirer.
Kansas City Times. Harrisburg (Pennsylvania) Patriot.
Buffalo Courier. Boston Times.
Kansas City Journal. Portland (Maine) Argus.
Worcester Daily Spy. Petersburg (Virginia) Index and Appeal.
Philadelphia Business Advocate. Davenport (Iowa) Gazette.
Holyoke Paper World. Albany Country Gentleman.
Albany (New York) Evening Journal. Cincinnati Times.
Akron (Ohio) Gazette. Boston Commonwealth.
Syracuse Daily Journal. Boston Courier.
Pittsburg Gazette. Pittsburg Telegram.
Syracuse Herald. Brooklyn Times.
Charleston (South Carolina) News and Courier. Indianapolis Sentinel.
Chicago Tribune. Boston Journal.
Providence Press.

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