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Minnesota; Its Character and Climate by Ledyard Bill

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is a favorite place with all classes. Its shores are thickly wooded and
the fishing rivals that of Minnetonka. There are a score of boats
anchored on the shore of this lake awaiting visitors; and the two hotels
provide for the needful rest and comfort of guests. This point is
second in interest only to that of Minnetonka Lake for both invalids and
pleasure-seekers during the summer and fall months.

Up the Minnesota valley, while it is the most attractive in scenery and
most fertile in crops, is not quite as desirable for the invalid as the
places already named. Though Shakopee, Le Sueur, St. Peter's, and
Madelia are not very objectionable in a sanitary point of view.

Still the valley is sloping, and its villages and towns are, for the
most part, situated on the low lands, and cannot have as dry or
desirable an atmosphere for patients as some other places. Yet the
exceptions noted above are, perhaps, above the average in health so far
as location is concerned. If, however, any invalid has relatives or
friends living in the State and can find a home among them, then, even
if the location was not as good as other points, this would be
counterbalanced by other advantages such as come from being among them.

The principle town of this valley is Mankato. This is destined to
outstrip many of those places which at present outrank it. It must
become the most important railroad centre in the State outside of the
capital. Situate in the very heart of the most fertile district, and
possessing a population both industrious and enterprising, its future is
bright and promising to a high degree. Its location is unfavorable for
invalids, and should, as a rule, be avoided by them. Fogs occur here,
and the place is low, and soil too rich, and of a generally too wet
character to insure the highest health to delicate and enfeebled

The Falls of Minneopa are near here and are worth a visit from the
tourist. Some esteem them as excelling in attractiveness any and all
others in the State.

The prairies beyond Mankato, along the St. Paul and Sioux City Railway,
afford the best "chicken" shooting that we know of, and much of the
hunting for this game is done along the line of this road.

The southeastern section of the State, in which are situated Rochester,
Owatonna, and Austin, and other budding cities, is, at present, with the
valley of the Minnesota, the great wheat-growing region. But it is not
alone in the cultivation of serials that the farmers may become
"fore-handed." The climate is favorable to nearly all of the products of
the middle and northern portions of the Union, with some kinds of fruit
excepted. Indeed, we found growing in the garden of Horace Thompson, in
St. Paul, the southern cotton-plant, which (while the seed had not been
planted by ten days as early as it might have been in the spring) was in
bloom in August, and by September it had begun to boll, and another
fortnight would have easily matured portions of the same. This
illustrates in a general way the length and power of the growing season
in this State. The climate, so far as crops are concerned, is perhaps a
counterpart of New England.

Here, in this southeast section, are the handsome homes and well-filled
barns of an industrious and thrifty people. The traveller through this
beautiful portion of the State can scarce keep from breaking one of the
ten commandments as he witnesses a people so well to do and so happy in
the possession of their productive acres.

Here, all immigrants may, by following out to the terminus of the
penetrating railways, find cheap and good lands awaiting them, and where
just as beautiful homes may be made as in that portion nearer the
river--now teeming with life and industries--but which, a few brief
years since, was as desolate and untenanted as are the unbroken prairies
to the westward. The prices vary, according to location and character,
from five to fifteen dollars per acre, though a majority of the wild
lands can be had at from six to eight dollars. The "St. Paul and Sioux
City Road" have thousands of acres along their line which they are ready
and anxious to dispose of to settlers. The value of these lands is
usually doubled the moment they are broken and occupied even with but
inferior buildings--only so that shelter is obtained. For "new comers,"
wishing new lands, this road and that of the "St. Paul and Pacific Main
Line Railway," at Wilmar, and on to the fertile valley of the Red
River, afford, in our judgment, the best lands. This latter road, now
that it is under the control of the Northern Pacific Railway Company, is
destined to play an important part in the settlement and development of
that vast region--so rich in agricultural wealth--lying along the Red,
Saskatchawan, and Assiniboine Rivers. It must indeed prove the link
which some day, in the near future, will bind the new province of
Manitoba and the adjacent country to the northwest of it.

It is, indeed, the intention of the Northern Pacific Road to construct
from the point of junction of the St. Paul and Duluth arms, on the Red
River, a branch road, northward to Pembina, and it cannot be long ere it
will be continued to Hudson's Bay.

The trade and travel between British America and the States, overland
from the present terminal points of the arms from St. Paul of the
N.P.R., is quite considerable, giving constant employment, during the
summer and fall, to about one thousand ox-teams. Goods from all parts of
Europe and the States are obliged for the most part to take this route.
The distance overland is about four hundred and fifty miles. It is a
singular and picturesque sight to witness one of these trains, whether
coming in or departing. They sometimes number a hundred teams, though
oftener much less. They are all single ox-teams, the vehicles being
two-wheeled. A convenient sort of harness is used on the oxen, not
unlike, in style, that on our truck horses. One driver--a half-breed
usually--manages a half-dozen teams by tying the heads of the five to
the rear of each cart and then leading the sixth or foremost team by
means of a raw-hide rope attached to the animal's head. One thousand
pounds constitutes a load for a strong ox. Thus stoves, flour,
implements of agriculture, bales of goods, and even boxes of choice
wines from France, marked "For the Bishop of Prince Rupert's Land, via
St. Paul, U.S.A." Either the body of the church or that of the bishop
must be large, judging from the quantity of these wet goods which we saw
moving to the frontier.

There is a freshness in Western life that charms one, especially at the
first. New scenes, new faces, new customs, new methods of speech,
combine to give a delight to this experience of novelty. There is a
mental exhilaration that tones the mind to a high pitch of enthusiasm
and rich enjoyment, just as there is a marvellous quality in the air to
brace the system and strengthen the nervous centres. Who that has gone
through this double process of acclimation, as one might call it, does
not retain a good impression of their experience in memory, and likewise
in physique?

The dialect of the West differs from that of the East in many of the
non-essentials, yet, perhaps, enough of variance is observed to make it
noticeable and altogether piquant to the wide-awake Yankee, who, in
turn, balances the Western "reckoning" by his unique "kalkilations." But
neither are as absurd as the Cockney, who gets off his ridiculous
nonsense, as, for example, the following: "Ho Lord, help us to take hold
of the horns of the haltar," etc.

The observant mind can, by keeping eyes and ears open, extract much of
information and amusement when travelling anywhere--especially through
the West--where vigorous thought and action are at all times



Its location and rapid growth.--Who named for.--Enterprise of its
people.--Its fine harbor.--Duluth Bay.--The steamship connection with
eastern cities.--Pleasure travel up the lakes.--The Lake Superior and
Mississippi Railroad.--The shortest route East for grain.--Public
improvements.--The fishing, lumber, and mining interests.

Away at the head of our lake system stands a most marvellous
illustration of the rapid growth, in population and power, of the
American people.

It is less than ten years since the nearly impenetrable forest was
levelled to make way for the infant city of Duluth, which, under the
inspiring hand of genius and capital, has grown to the importance of
chartered rights and privileges more quickly than any other city with
which we are familiar.

It is situated on the immediate shore of the lake, and across the
shoulder of what is known as Minnesota Point,--a long scythe-shaped
sand-bar, six miles in length, caused by the action of the waves,
separating the waters of Duluth Bay from those of the lake,--and
extending along the shore of said Duluth Bay.

From the lake back to the top of the bluff, a mile distant, the ascent
is easy and regular, affording one of the loveliest sites for the
foundation of a great and beautiful city.

Duluth was named for Daniel Greyson Duluth, a native of France, who was
the first white man to explore the head-waters of Lake Superior. He
landed here in 1679, and advanced far into the interior, westward,
toward the Mississippi, cultivating friendly relations with the tribes
inhabiting this portion of the country. From his time to the present
little or nothing has been done toward the founding, at this point, of a
place suitable to the great possibilities of trade and commerce. Thus
the spell which seemed to shut from view this key-point of a vast
interior country remained till the prophetic eye of capital discovered
and possessed it.

That this wilderness, heretofore so wrapt in mystery, should now blossom
into life, seems quite plain to the commonest observer of us all.

How faith is given us when success walks hand-in-hand with enterprise.

Though the city of Duluth is only ten years old, it boasts a population
of over three thousand, with many of the conveniences of older
settlements. Its streets are laid out with great regularity, and the
principal one, next the lake, full a mile in length, is lined along
nearly its whole extent with stores and warehouses of every kind and
description. The sound of the hammer and saw may be heard on every side.

Buildings so crowd upon the forest that the woodman is hard pressed to
clear the way; and thus the brave work goes on of transforming this
wilderness into gardens where roses in their season bloom abundantly.

We counted not less than five handsome churches, all erected the past
year, representing as many different denominations, and, in point of
style and interior finish, quite up to the requirements of the most
enlightened taste. Two convenient and comfortable hotels give rest and
refreshment. Ample provision is being made for public schools; and the
projectors of the town have, in their wisdom, set apart one entire
square on which a ladies' seminary is to be erected; in short,
everything is being done in a most determined and energetic manner.
There is no place for idlers here. Such a wide-awake community naturally
weeds itself of them; and, consequently, the society is industrious and
moral, if not always elegant and pretentious.

Duluth will in time possess a completely landlocked harbor, and indeed
has it already, but not at present as accessible as it will soon be made
to the commerce seeking her wharves. The work of cutting a ship channel
across the shoulder of the sand-bar before referred to is in progress,
the distance being but a few hundred feet of loose earth, which, when
completed, will open communication to an immense bay, where all the
commerce of the lakes might ride at anchor in perfect safety, were some
slight dredging done to increase the present depth of water. This bay is
now reached by a circuit of half-dozen miles around the end of this
sand-bar, known as Minnesota Point. The Bay of Duluth must eventually,
we think, be the great harbor, though a breakwater is in course of
construction, which, when completed and made permanent, will give ample
shelter to all immediate necessities. Costly wharves have been
constructed on the lake side of the Point, and there vessels load and
unload almost constantly.

Since it is the established policy of the government to improve the
rivers and harbors of the country, surely the small needs of this place
ought not to be overlooked. While private enterprise can and does do
much, yet it is a sound theory for the general government, which derives
its revenues from the people, to aid them in removing or building such
obstructions or guards as the merits of the case and the public

Already the trade and commerce of the town employs about a dozen
steamships, and numerous sailing vessels are also kept in motion,
transporting supplies for the great railway enterprise which has its
eastern base at this point.

There are three lines of propellers plying between this port and
Buffalo, Cleveland, and Detroit, each employing three ships, while there
is an additional line to and from Chicago. They together average four
arrivals weekly. The trip from Buffalo is performed in little less than
a week, that being the most distant of the respective places. These
steamers have accommodations for over half a hundred cabin passengers,
as a rule, and both invalids and pleasure travellers will find this, in
every respect, the most interesting and comfortable means of access to
Minnesota during the summer season. Formerly many availed themselves of
such facilities as there then was to make, during the summer, the grand
tour of the lakes, but were obliged to return by the route they came.
Now, however, the tourist is not compelled to turn back from the head of
Lake Superior, as in former days, since the completion of the railway
from Duluth to St. Paul, connecting the head of the great lakes with the
navigable head of the great river, permits a sweep of travel through the
interior of the continent such as is not enjoyed elsewhere on the globe,
either in distance, interest, or variety. Each year must give added fame
to this route.

Duluth is at the extreme western limit of all the great lakes of the
interior, and must eventually become the commercial centre for the
Northwest. It is already reaching out its arms to grasp the trade and
commerce of that region, which, once in its control, must ever remain
tributary to it. The Lake Superior and Mississippi Railway--one hundred
and fifty-four miles in length--above referred to, inaugurates a new era
in the agricultural interests of the State, and opens an entirely new
line of travel. By means of this road the products of Central and
Southern Minnesota are placed three hundred miles nearer lake
transportation eastward than heretofore, since the distance to
Chicago--the present point of destination for these things--by rail is
that much greater. This new outlet connects at St. Paul with all of the
interior lines of railroad in the State, likewise with the navigation of
the Mississippi, and on the completion of the St. Paul and Sioux City
Road, will drain one of the most fertile valleys, in wealth of exports,
to be found in any portion of the West.

The great staple of all this region of country is wheat, and the
question of its rapid and cheap transportation is a most important one,
both to the producer and consumer. Combinations have been formed in the
past whereby the carriage and price was subject to the control of a few,
to the great detriment of the producer; but this wheat oligarchy is now
likely to receive its quietus in view of this new and competing outlet
to eastern markets by way of Duluth.

The water transportation eastward from the latter city is at as low a
rate as from Chicago, while the time is by a day in favor of Duluth,
owing to the less favorable winds over Lake Michigan.

It is assumed by some that in view of the lower latitude of Chicago, the
advantage of that city must ever remain pre-eminent, since the ice
obstruction would be less, giving to commerce a much longer season than
it could enjoy at any other of the great ports on either of the two
westernmost lakes. This seems plausible at first view, but is hardly
justified by actual facts. The difference, though slight, is not
sufficient to hold any valid claim to a monopoly in the carrying trade
of these inland seas. While the ice disappears earlier by a few days at
Chicago than at Duluth, in consequence of its geographical position, it
will be observed that the course of its lake commerce is due northward,
and before that of the two rival lakes meet in the common waters of
Huron, they must both pass through narrow and contiguous straits, in
both of which the ice obstructions leave about the same time. Hence the
advantages of the one port over that of the other, to the shipper, are
not of any great moment, and are more than counterbalanced by the less
time occupied in reaching the Lake Erie ports from Duluth, over that
consumed by vessels from Chicago, growing out of the more favorable
winds blowing over Superior, as before mentioned.

The advantage, then, by this new route to the East (_via_ Duluth for a
portion of Northern Iowa and Southern and Central Minnesota) is a saving
of the three hundred miles of extra rail transportation incurred by way
of Lake Michigan; to say nothing of avoiding the exorbitant tolls and
inexplicable delays of the latter route. The difference inhering to the
benefit of the public, between the two routes, has been estimated,
amounts to about one dollar per barrel in favor of this new outlet. If
this can be proved true by practical experience, it must inevitably turn
the golden stream of grain into the lap of Duluth, since destiny itself
is not more certain than that the speediest and cheapest lines will do
the world's marketing.

Anticipating the wants of this route, there has been erected at Duluth,
during the past season, an immense elevator, with a present capacity of
over a third of a million of bushels, which, with a small additional
expenditure, can be increased to a half million. Its proximity to the
docks and railway is such that grain can be taken from the cars upon one
side, and loaded directly into vessels upon the other, or stored, as the
case may be.

The elements of future prosperity surround this new city and lie at her
very doors. The north shores of Superior are rich in iron, copper, and
silver; while the southern already supply the markets of the Union with
the most of its copper, which has grown from small beginnings (of twenty
years ago) to be one of the great interests in all our many valuable
mining arts.

The fishing interest, which already gives employment to a great number
of people, is in the first stages of development. They are now taken
chiefly at the straits, but the business may be made extremely
profitable at Duluth, since the head of the lake is their natural
feeding-ground, and thousands swarm these waters. We all have eaten of
the lake trout and white-fish, which may be had in the most of our
cities and towns, and know how successfully they compete with the best
of our salt-water article. It is already an important and growing trade,
and highly profitable.

Each morning during our stay in Duluth the tables of the "Clark House"
were served with both of these delicacies; and these fish certainly
surpass, when taken fresh, any fish it was ever our fortune to eat. The
cost of living is much cheapened in consequence of their abundance, and
surely nothing more wholesome can be placed on the table.

If Duluth had but the one interest, that of lumber, its prosperity would
be assured. It lies in the very heart of a vast district abounding in
pine-forests, and which have scarcely been explored, and we believe much
of it remains unsurveyed by the general government up to the present
time. The St. Louis River, which empties into Duluth and Superior Bays,
courses, with its branches, a thousand miles among the dense forests of
pine; and yet this is but a fraction of the immense tract of valuable
timber to the north and west of this young and nourishing city.

There is no lack of water-power to reduce the raw material to a
marketable condition, since the river above named can turn all the
wheels of every mill in the country, could they be planted beside it.
The point of contact by the river with the outlying rim of the basin of
the great lake is at the village of Thompson, some twenty miles distant
from Duluth, on the St. Paul Railroad.[D] Here the waters of the St.
Louis River struggle by and over this rim of rocks, downward and onward,
roaring and surging in their tumultuous ways, to the level below. These
rapids are known as the "Dalles of the St. Louis," and extend some four
and a half miles in an elbow direction. If a canal were cut across this
elbow, this splendid water-power could be utilized beyond that of any
other in the country.

What a field for enterprise is presented to lumbermen! A vast forest, a
river furnishing transportation and unlimited power for manufacturing,
and, finally, an open sea, with almost countless markets!

Besides this, there lies among the cliffs and high lands adjoining the
rapids of this river inexhaustible quarries of slate, surpassing, we are
informed, those of England in quality and quantity, and which must ere
long receive that attention they seem to demand at the hands of capital.

The now rude village of Thompson--named for J. Edgar Thompson, of
Philadelphia--with its half dozen extemporized buildings, in the quiet
of the woods, will ere long resound with the hum of many industries, and
already has considerable importance as being the point of junction of
the two great railways entering Duluth--the St. Paul and the Puget Sound
(Northern Pacific) Roads; the latter traversing a vast territory
abounding in everything which contributes to the growth of an
agricultural and manufacturing people.

The city of Duluth, seated at the eastern gate way of this new and
splendid domain, holds in her golden horn the destinies of many populous
and powerful States.


[D] Known as the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad.



The Northwest.--Its great extent and character.--Jay Cooke, Esq.--The
Northern Pacific Railroad and its advantages.--The general line of the
road.--The shortest route to Asia.--The Red River valley.--Puget
Sound.--The future of our country.

The vast reach of country lying between the Bed River and the Cascade
range of mountains possesses, to some extent, a climate little inferior
in healthfulness to that of Minnesota itself. The same dry, westerly
winds sweep over it, and are even more marked in their continental
character. Invalids will undoubtedly find as great advantages arising
from a residence there as in any other part of the Union, yet for the
present there are no means of easy access to any portion of this immense
district. By-and-by this will be changed.

The many natural curiosities abounding in this little-explored region
would alone prove sufficient to attract thither great numbers of our
people, but when the almost unparalleled attractions of the climate are
added, the travel and immigration must eventually become enormous.

The Northern Pacific Railroad,--the power which is destined to
transform these Territories into States,--is being pushed rapidly
westward, with the promise of an early completion.

To the energy of Jay Cooke, of Philadelphia, the distinguished banker
and philanthropist, will belong, perhaps, the chief honor of its
completion. Not that this great enterprise might not be begun and
carried to a triumphal close by others,--since the government subsidies
would, in time, together with the demand for this additional highway
across the continent, enlist men of resolute character and ample
means,--yet, withal, every new and great undertaking has somewhere a
correspondingly great spirit, impelling self and co-workers to the
contest and achievement of the desired ends, and we recognize in this
vast enterprise the hand of this indefatigable man. Of course the able
and influential associates in the board of directors must share in the
honor of this national work, and their names will go down in history as
among the benefactors of the country in which they lived.[E]

How lightly we speak now of continental roads since one is a veritable
fact. Novelties, to Americans, pass rapidly away.

How few realized, in 1860, that the coming decade would witness the
completion of one and the beginning of another iron road across the
continent. Ah! those brief years brought revolution in many things. The
social fabric of half the Union was not less overturned in this brief
period than were the accustomed avenues along which ran the world's
trade and commerce.

The Northern Pacific Railroad was chartered by Congress in 1864, and was
approved by President Lincoln on the second of July of that year. It has
no government aid beyond a right of way and cession of the public lands
along its line; each alternate section for a width of twenty miles in
the States and forty miles in the territories. This, as is estimated,
will give, according to the survey of Gen. W.M. Roberts, about fifty
millions of acres,[F] large portions of which are known to be very
fertile, while much will lie in the rich mining districts of Montana

This generous donation of public lands by the people is well deserved by
this second great national enterprise. It is the only method whereby the
isolated and distant portions of the interior can become utilized. The
value of the remaining lands of the government will become tenfold what
the whole would be if left to time and private enterprise for their
development. The work was actively begun in 1870 on the Duluth end of
this road; and it is expected that the present year (1871) will see it
completed to the Red River, a distance of about two hundred and
thirty-three miles from the above-named city. Quite a number of miles of
iron had been laid at the time of our late visit, and as many more miles
graded; with half a thousand men actively engaged in forwarding the vast

The road is already completed to the Mississippi above Crow Wing, and
from there will follow in nearly a straight line to Fort Abercrombie,
the head of navigation on the Bed River. Here it will unite with the St.
Paul and Pacific Railroad (owned and operated by the Northern Pacific
Railway, a branch of which it now is), already in running order half the
distance from St. Paul. This line, with all its rights and franchises,
has been recently purchased by the Northern Pacific, and will greatly
aid in supporting the main trunk when completed.

In addition to the force on the eastern end of this road, there has been
assembled at the Pacific terminus an able corps of engineers and
contractors, who have already commenced the construction there, and thus
the great road across the continent will be pushed to final completion,
probably within five years from the first commencement of the

The road, as located by Engineer Roberts in his report, is laid from
the head-waters of Lake Superior in a nearly due westerly line across
the State of Minnesota to Red River, near Fort Abercrombie; thence
"across the Dakota and Missouri Rivers to the valley of the Yellow
Stone, and along that valley to Bozeman's Pass, through the Belt range
of mountains; thence down the Gallatin Valley, crossing the Madison
River, and over to the Jefferson Valley, and along that to the Deer
Lodge Pass of the Rocky Mountains; thence along Clarke's Valley to Lake
Pend d'Oreille, and from this lake across the Columbia plain to Lewis or
Snake River; down that to its junction with the Columbia; along the
Columbia to the Cowlitz, and over the portage to Puget Sound, along its
southern extremity, to any part which may be selected."

A branch road is to follow the Columbia River to the vicinity of
Portland, together with a link connecting the two western arms.

By this route, which may be materially departed from in the final
location, the distance will swell to near two thousand miles between the
two grand termini, and it is estimated will cost, with its equipments,
from seventy-five to one hundred millions of dollars.

The route of this road is known to be more feasible than was that of the
present line to California. Its elevations are much less, and the
natural obstructions of the mountain ranges more easily surmounted,
while the climate invites, on account of its high sanitary character,
both the immigrant and invalid.

The line from Omaha to California shows that for nine hundred miles the
road has an average height above the sea of over five thousand feet, the
lowest point in that stretch being over four thousand; while the
corresponding distance, embracing the mountain ranges, along this
Northern Pacific line, is near two thousand feet lower than the other,
giving, in this difference in elevation, according to the usual
estimate, over nine degrees advantage in temperature. This becomes
important in an agricultural view, as well as in the immediate and
constant benefit in the increased facility for operating a railway.

In addition, the curvature of the thermal lines of the continent bear
away to the northward of the surveyed route of this great enterprise,
insuring almost entire freedom from snow obstructions other than is
common to any of the principal railway lines in the States themselves.

The extent of country tributary to this road is entirely unparalleled by
that of any other. Along the present finished continental line an
uninhabitable alkaline desert stands across and along its pathway for
many miles, while the Northern line leaps from valley to valley, all
more or less productive, and in which large supplies of coal and timber
are found sufficient for ages to come.

Of this region, and the general line of this road, the Hon. Schuyler
Colfax writes as follows:--

"Along the line of the Northern Pacific Railroad, as it follows up the
water-courses, the Missouri and the Yellowstone on this side, and
descends by the Valley of the Columbia on the other, a vast body of
agricultural land is waiting for the plow, with a climate almost exactly
the same as that of New York, except that, with less snow, cattle in the
larger portion of it can subsist on the open range in winter. Here, if
climate and fertility of soil produce their natural result, when
railroad facilities open this now isolated region to settlement, will
soon be seen waving grain-fields, and happy homes, and growing towns,
while ultimately a cordon of prosperous States, teeming with population,
and rich in industry and consequent wealth, will occupy that now
undeveloped and almost inaccessible portion of our continental area.

"But this road is also fortunate in its pathway across the two ranges of
mountains which tested so severely the Pacific Railroads built on the
central line, and the overcoming of which reflected such well-deserved
honor on their energetic builders. At the Deer Lodge Pass, in Montana,
where it crosses the Rocky Mountains, its altitude above the sea is
three thousand five hundred feet less than the Union Pacific Railroad at
Sherman, which is said to be the highest point at which a locomotive can
be found in the world. And on the Pacific side of the continent it is
even more fortunate. From Arizona up to the Arctic Circle the Columbia
is the only river which, has torn its way through that mighty range, the
Andes of North America, which in California is known as the Sierras, but
which in Oregon changes its name to the Cascades. Nature has thus
provided a pathway for the Northern Pacific Road through these
mountains, the scaling of which, on the other line, at an elevation of
over seven thousand feet (a most wonderful triumph of engineering), cost
the Central Pacific millions of dollars, and compelled them for seventy
miles to maintain a grade of over one hundred feet to the mile--twice
the maximum of the Northern Pacific at the most difficult points on its
entire route.

"It is fortunate, also, in its terminus on the Pacific coast. No one who
has not been there can realize the beauty of Puget's Sound and its
surroundings. One hundred miles long, but so full of inlets and straits
that its navigable shore line measures one thousand seven hundred and
sixty miles, dotted with lovely islets, with gigantic trees almost to
the water's edge, with safe anchorage everywhere, and stretching
southward, without shoals or bars, from the Straits of Fuca to the
capital and centre of Washington Territory, it will be a magnificent
_entrepot_ for the commerce of that grandest ocean of the world, the

One of the chief districts to be opened to trade and commerce by the
construction of this road is that known as Prince Rupert's Land, in
British America. This region of country has been recently organized
under the name of Manitoba, and embraces the rich and extensive valleys
of the Red, Assiniboine, and Saskatchewan Rivers. A population of
several thousands already inhabit this section, and a branch railway is
to be constructed along the valley of the Red River from the point of
crossing by the Northern Pacific Road, and under its immediate auspices.
The influence on this people, whose interests will then be almost wholly
identified with those of our own, cannot be doubtful. It requires no
prophecy to determine their ultimate destiny. The time is not distant
when all of British America must become "one and indivisible" with us,
and the knell of parting government is likely to be sooner sounded in
the region of the Red River than elsewhere along the line of our

An additional advantage inheres in this Northern Pacific line of prime
importance, and that is in the fact of its offering to commerce a
shorter route by several hundred miles to the Pacific coast than that
which now exists. To Japan and China, from Puget Sound, is likewise, by
more than half a thousand miles, less than from the port of San
Francisco. This difference is sufficient to give, eventually, to this
route the carrying trade of those countries.

Who can question the greatness and power which lies slumbering along
the line of this royal road, through which, as through a great, pulsing
artery, the life,--even now already dawning,--will soon throb with a
force which shall vitalize this Territory, vast as an empire, and richer
than the fabled realms of an Arabian tale.


[E] _Board of Directors_.--Messrs. J. Gregory Smith, R.D. Rice, Thomas
H. Canfield, W.B. Ogden, William G. Morehead, W.G. Fargo, B.P. Cheney,
Geo. W. Cass, Frederick Billings, William Windom, James Stinson, Samuel
M. Felton, Charles B. Wright. _Trustees_,--Messrs. Jay Cooke and J.
Edgar Thompson.

[F] The line, it is now judged, will give about sixty millions of acres.



Sketches of other climates and localities favorable to
invalids.--California.--Mortuary statistics of San Francisco.--The wet
and dry seasons.--San Diego the best place.--Florida and its
reputation.--Nassau as a resort.--Fayal and its climate,--English and
American visitors.--Means of access.

Other climates and localities than Minnesota have for many years enjoyed
more or less of a high reputation as healthful resorts for the
consumptive, and while the chief purpose of this volume has been the
consideration of the character and climate of our Northwest, yet it
seems not inappropriate that some mention at least should be given to
these other places, even though it be extremely brief. Beyond a general
outlining of some of the prevailing characteristics appertaining to each
locality, we do not deem it desirable or necessary to go, since all who
contemplate journeys to any one of them will, of course, consult such
writers as have considered in detail the various merits or demerits of
the several climates.

Considerable attention has been called the last few years to the
reputed healthfulness of the State of


The first years of its occupation by Americans very trifling
consideration was given by any one to any data whereby the true
character of the climate could be judged. It was a new experience
altogether for people of the old States to encounter a region possessing
many characteristics of a semi-tropical country in combination with
those with which they were familiar in the latitude of their own homes.
To see roses blooming in the gardens of San Francisco during the winter
months, and experiencing in summer cool, restful nights, was quite
calculated to call forth much of earnest and cordial compliment, whether
any real virtue inhered in the climate of this particular locality or
not. While this flattering state of things existed at San Francisco,
back among the Sierras the poor miners had many and doubtful struggles
in trying to ward off the severe and frequent storms which prevail
throughout the long and tedious winters.

The peculiar geographical position of this State, in conjunction with
its elevated mountain ranges, gives to it nearly every climate, from
that of the equator up to the limit of the temperate zone; and while the
atmosphere of one neighborhood is bland and delightful, that of another
is quite disagreeable and trying. No general character obtains for that
of the whole State. The eastern sides of the mountains are everywhere
more dry and elastic than are the western, and for tubercular cases are
preferable to the sea-coast, though the vicinity of San Francisco would,
for simple bronchial affections, be best,--yet we do not regard either
of these points as specially desirable as places of resort.

An examination of the mortuary statistics of San Francisco for 1870, as
given by the _Pacific Medical and Surgical Journal_, in the February
number of this year, discloses an alarming percentage of deaths by
consumption. For instance, the population of the city is one hundred and
fifty thousand, while the deaths by consumption were five hundred for
the year (round numbers), which gives one death to every three hundred
inhabitants, being but a shade more favorable than is that of New
England for this particular disease. Still this is not, perhaps, a fair
test of the climate, since a number of the decedents are among those,
probably, who came from other portions of the country seeking a
restoration on this coast.

The general health, however, of San Francisco is shown to be, by the
same authority, better than that of the average of large cities in the
older States.

While the temperature in winter at San Francisco is maintained at a
comparatively high point,--allowing the outdoor cultivation of some of
the hardier varieties of flowering shrubs,--the atmosphere, meanwhile,
is damp and chilling, and extremely detrimental to most cases of lung

The climate of California is, in the neighborhood of San Francisco, and
northward, divided into two distinct seasons,--that of the wet and dry.
The wet season begins usually in November, and terminates in May, while
the dry season embraces the remaining portion of the year. Of course the
length of either varies considerably, as do all our seasons everywhere
in the temperate latitudes. The quantity of rain falling in this wet
season equals that of the entire fall for New England,[G] and coming in
the cooler portion of the year has just those demerits, to a
considerable, though modified degree, which inhere in the climate of the
Atlantic coast, of which we have spoken elsewhere in detail.

The southern portion of California, however, presents a radical dry
climate, and is quite free from those wet and dry seasons which obtain
in central and northern California. The amount of annual rain-fall is,
in the region of


about ten inches, and while it is true that this precipitation is in
sympathy with, and indeed is distributed over a portion of what is known
as the "wet season," in Upper California, yet it does not amount to
enough in quantity to establish a wet season. The balance of the year
the air is dry and elastic, and highly favorable, so far as we are able
to judge, to all cases of pulmonary troubles.

San Diego is an old Spanish town, and for many years has been neglected,
and not till recently has it shown much signs of recuperation. But, now
that some Yankee pioneers have settled in the town and neighborhood, its
prospects brighten.

Fruits of all kinds, such as peaches, oranges, figs, and plums flourish
in the neighborhood, and in time must form one of the chief articles of
commerce. Few places offer so good an opportunity for stock-grazing as
does this fertile region.

This old city is, ere long, to become the terminus of one of our great
continental lines of railway, namely, the Southern Pacific.

Access is had, at the present time, either overland from San Jose, or by
a monthly steamer from San Francisco, the distance being, by water, over
three hundred and-fifty miles.


is certainly the only State among all of those lying east of the
Mississippi River to which invalids may resort with advantage, so far as
the climate is concerned. There are points in others of the Southern
States, such as Aikin, where two years out of three, perhaps,
consumptives, in certain stages, may go with benefit; yet there is no
Atlantic or Gulf State with a climate and soil adapted to aid in the
cure of bronchial and catarrh troubles and nervous prostration at all
comparable to Florida in the winter season.

In cases of lung difficulties, where tubercles have begun to form, such
would find a cool, dry, elastic air best, except when the disease has
been induced by some mental or emotional shock: such are benefitted most
by a mild, sunny atmosphere, since the depressed spirits are, under
these favoring circumstances, more easily rallied.

The St. John River is the section most visited, together with St.
Augustine, on the Atlantic sea-coast; yet so soon as Tampa Bay and Key
West possess accommodations, they will be found more favorable, since
the equability is somewhat greater.[H]

There are several islands in the Atlantic Ocean to the south and
eastward of us which have become somewhat celebrated as places of
temporary residence for the consumptive.

That of


the nearest to our coast, has some claims upon our attention. The
temperature does not greatly vary from that of Southern Florida, except
that it may have a shade more of equability.

The island of New Providence, of which Nassau is the capital, is one of
the group constituting the Bahama Islands, lying directly east of the
Florida coast, and about three hundred and fifty miles distant from it.
The town is regularly and well built, and during our "late
unpleasantness" was the principal rendezvous of the scores of
blockade-runners. Since the war the place has resumed its calm and
peaceful habits, and is again frequented, during the winter, by many
invalids from the North and others who seek a temporary home in a genial

San Domingo, should it be annexed, will probably become a place of
resort for many people, but at present, while its climate in winter is
charming, and the country in the vicinity of Samana Bay beautiful, yet
its accommodations are wretched, and likely to remain so for some time
to come.

The benefits arising from the climate of these two islands is
practically the same as in Florida, while the accommodations are not as
extensive, though in Nassau are quite acceptable, though limited.
Regular communication is had by steamer to and from New York once each


two thousand miles eastward and near the coast of Spain, is little known
to the American public, yet it has held a high character among the
Europeans for several generations in the matter of its climate. This
island forms one of the Azorean group, and possesses the finest harbor
of them all. Horta, its capital, is located at the head of this harbor,
and is quite a handsome town, situated on the southeastern side of the

The climate is mild, and, to a high degree, healthful; and invalids
derive great benefit from a residence there. England is the most largely
represented among them, though a few Americans are nearly always to be
found, chiefly from Boston and vicinity, from which place occasional
sailing-packets may be had to the island, though the most direct route
is by way of England, whence the steamers of the West India Mail Company
call regularly at Horta.

The island is of volcanic origin, and its principal elevation is some
three thousand feet, while the remaining portion is of a somewhat rugged
character, though of the twenty-seven thousand five hundred and twenty
acres comprising it, about one-half is under cultivation, and much of
this is extremely fertile. The chief products are wheat, corn, potatoes;
while wine and oranges are raised in large quantities for exportation.

In former times, when the whaling interest of the country was in a
flourishing condition, between one and two hundred whale-ships touched,
in their outward passage, at this island; and even now many American
vessels call here for water and supplies.

Some years ago, shortly after the conclusion of the trial of Dr.
Webster, his wife and daughters visited Fayal, where they remained some
considerable time, and where they doubtless hoped to and did for a while
escape from all obtrusive notice and observation. However, they were
soon known, and the sympathies of the people of Horta were much enlisted
in their behalf. The daughters were highly cultivated and quite
beautiful, and attracted considerable attention, out of sympathy at
their distressed situation.

Visitors will find at Horta very comfortable accommodations, and the
many curious and interesting features peculiar to the island and its
people will serve to interest and instruct them while they remain.

Nearer home, the


region has been greatly extolled by many as possessing a highly
salubrious climate for consumptives, and indeed for all who are
suffering from general debility and over-work.

There is no doubt that a trip to this mountain region of northern New
York, during the latter part of the summer and early fall, would prove
of great benefit to many invalids, as indeed a rough camp-life would
prove in any high and dry section, especially of interior and northern
Vermont, or New Hampshire, which lie contiguous to the Adirondack

There is, however, an advantage in a district in which pine timber
abounds, and all who resolve on camping out for health should not fail
to select such localities. There is a subtle and positive balm to weak
nerves and sore lungs inhering in the atmosphere of pine forests, wholly
unknown to that of any other. Invalids should be very cautious about
giving too much credence to the benefit to be derived by a residence in
any climate. They are apt to expect too much, and the fault is perhaps
more theirs than those who extoll various localities, in that they
build, unjustifiably, too great expectations on what they hear or read.

Scores of people go each season into the Adirondacks with impaired
health, and after a few weeks of roughing it come out immensely
improved, both in health and spirit, while, on the other hand, others go
who are too feeble for such a journey; and again, others who know
nothing how to take care of themselves, whether in the woods or out,
and, of course, such must return in disappointment.


[_Approximately Determined_.]

_From_ DUBUQUE, _or_ DUNLEITH, _to_ ST. PAUL, _by river_:

To Cassville 33 33
" Guttenburg 10 43
" Clayton 12 55
" McGregor 11 66
" Prairie du Chien 4 70
" Lynxville 24 94
" La Fayette 13 107
" Lansing 3 110
" De Soto 6 116
" Victory 10 126
" Bad Axe 10 136
" Warners 6 142
" Brownsville 10 152
" La Crosse 12 164
" Richmond 19 183
" Trempeleau 4 187
" Homer 8 195
" Winona 9 204
" Fountain City 12 216
" Minneiska 18 234
" Buffalo City 7 241
" Alma 7 248
" Wabasha 10 258
" Reed's Landing 6 264
" North Pepin 8 272
" Lake City 7 279
" Florence 5 284
" Frontenac 6 290
" Waconta 12 302
" Red Wing 6 308
" Drummond Bluff 15 323
" Prescott 13 336
" Hastings 4 340
" Pine Bend 16 356
" ST. PAUL 16 372

_From_ ST. PAUL _to_ DULUTH.

To White Bear Lake 12 13
" Forest Lake 13 25
" Hush City 29 54
" Kettle River 40 94
" Moose Lake 19 113
" Thompson 19 132
" Fond du Lac 9 141
" Oneota 9 150
" Duluth 4 154

_From_ ST. PAUL _to_ ST. CLOUD.

To St. Anthony 10 10
" Anoka 18 28
" Itasca 7 35
" Elk River 5 40
" St. Cloud 34 74

_From_ ST. PAUL to WILMAR.

To St. Anthony 10 10
" Minneapolis -- 10
" Cedar Lake 4 14
" Minnetonka City 6 20
" Wayzata 4 24
" Delano 15 39
" Dassel 27 66
" Litchfield 10 76
" Wilmar 38 104

_From_ ST. PAUL _to_ MANKATO.

To Mendota 6 6
" Shakopee 23 28
" Belle Plain 19 47
" Blakely 5 52
" Le Sueur 11 63
" St. Peter 12 75
" Mankato 11 86

_From_ WINONA. _to_ ST. PETER.

To St. Charles 28 28
" Rochester 22 50
" Owatouna 47 97
" St. Peter 53 150

* * * * *


[G] For exactness, see chapters on Climate.

[H] For particulars relating to Florida, see _A Winter in Florida_,
published by Wood & Holbrook, New York.

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