Atlantis Arisen/Chapter 23
THE CITY OF DESTINY.
Returning over the route by which we came to Kamilche and Olympia, only touching at the capital long enough to take on passengers for down the Sound, we find the same fair picture of blue water, wooded headlands, distant mountains, and summer skies which we enjoyed on the previous trip. Steilacoom is the first place of any importance we come to, and is really in a beautiful location on a high gravelly prairie, diversified wiih groves of fine timber, gemmed here and there with small clear lakes bordered by deciduous trees. It is said there is no finer view of the Cascade snow-peaks, from Rainier to Hood, than is to be seen here, while the Olympics are also in full view across the Sound.
The harbor at Steilacoom is good, and there is plenty of waterpower in Steilacoom Creek which comes in at this place, some of which is already utilized for milling purposes, the head of the creek being in a lake four miles distant and two hundred feet higher. About a mile east of the harbor is the site of old Fort Steilacoom, the buildings of which were turned over to the Territory for an insane hospital. The territorial penitentiary on McXeil Island, opposite Steilacoom, is a fine building, and standing so prominently on these lonety shores reminds one of Hawthorne: "The founders of a new colony, whatever Utopia of virtue and happiness they might originally project, have invariably recognized it among their earliest practical necessities, to allot a portion of the virgin soil as a cemetery, and another as a site for a prison."
Steilacoom has long been a quiet and dull town of a few hundred inhabitants,—for it is one of the oldest in Washington, having been founded in 1850 by Lafayette Balch, who owned a brig and brought a cargo of goods to this port, where he built a house and laid out a town. Since the admission of the State, and even before, Steilacoom had started on a new career of progress, and, being now connected with Tacoma, Olympia, and
other points by rail, is becoming a popular resort, owing to its fine situation and the delightful drives in its vicinity.
About five miles below Steilacoom the steamer enters The Narrows," a passage six miles long and one mile wide, through which the water runs with great force at the ebb and flow of the tide. This strait is the only passage between Puget Sound proper and Admiralty Inlet. Along it the government has several reservations for defensive or other purposes. The steamer route down the Sound is another narrow water-way directly north of the Narrows, named by Vancouver Colvo's Passage; but to reach Tacoma we turn Point Defiance on our right, leaving Gig Harbor on our left, and take a southeast course into Commencement Bay, at the south end of Admiralty Inlet, which is separated from Colvo's Passage by Vashon Island for about twelve miles. The bay is five or six miles long by about two and a half wide, and is well protected by Vashon Island. We steam along past old Tacoma, a milling town, and, finding some friends, are carried off to make acquaintance with the City of Destiny at our leisure.
To begin at the beginning, the old town of Tacoma was founded by Morton M. McCarver, a Kentuckian, an immigrant of 1843 to Oregon, from Iowa, where he laid out the town of Burlington, but, being of a restless and adventurous turn of mind, migrated to the Pacific Coast, where he figured in Oregon, and afterwards in California, legislation. In 1868 he went to Puget Sound with the intention of locating, in his own opinion, the terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad. He made a good guess, as it subsequently proved. The land which he, with two associates, purchased belonged to Job Carr. Here he erected a residence, and induced Hanson and Ackerson to locate a sawmill on the point where the old town stands. When the railroad company in 1873 came looking for their terminus, he was not in their way; he gave them two hundred or three hundred acres, and helped them to acquire several thousand more. But they put their terminus where Tacoma City now stands, and he died two years later. If he could have lived until now the disappointment would have been softened to him, for the old and new tow T ns are practically one.
I find a good deal said about the name Tacoma, which is
variously spelled with a k in place of the c, or with an h at the end. It is generally believed to be an Indian word. The first time it appears in literature is in Theodore Winthrop's "Canoe and Saddle," where he professes to have been told that the Indian name of Mount Rainier was Tacoma; but the word is not found in the Indian tongue, and probably, as in the case of Jonathan Carver with the word "Origan," he partly misunderstood and partly invented. It is a very good word, however, with as much right to be as other arbitrary names, and was chosen, I have been told, by Mr. Ackerson as the name of McCarver's town, and the railroad people, with very good taste, everything considered, called their town the same, and soon there will be no difference between the old and the new.
The first thing that struck me about Tacoma was its appearance of not being an accidental town. It was evidently designed. No one could stand on these sloping heights and observe the scene carefully without seeing its intention. The natural features are quickly enumerated. The elevated plateau on which the city is built, the mouth of the rich Puyallup Valley, producing enormously in coal as well.as in lumber and agricultural products, with tide lands worth millions lying just on the right of the city front, with the Narrows on the west where there could be no other town, and a country back of it suited to the eye and to homebuilding rather than to farming, while the whole great inland sea opens its water-ways about it, all plainly say, "Here was destined to be a great commercial metropolis"
These were the natural gifts to the City of Destiny. But look how men have taken advantage of them. Look at the harbor, the railways, the Sound and ocean docks, coal bunkers, wheat-elevators, mills, dry-dock, canneries, shingle-mills, brickyards, Ryan Smelter, and Great Pacific Mills along the front, and the St. Paul and Tacoma Lumber Company's milling plant and factory. Commencement Bay Improvement Company's ocean docks, warehouses, and manufacturing centre, and other large mills being erected at the east end of the bay. These things did not come there like the accretions on an oyster-shell: they were put there by design of men of brain and foresight, and the end has justified the beginning.
The Puyallup Indian Reservation comes down to Commen Commencement Bay, but already there is an East Tacoma laid out on it, fronting the harbor, and the East Tacoma Land Company's
water front and site of proposed improvements, facing Admiralty Inlet, is the projected seat of the terminal improvements of the Union Pacific Railroad when it shall need them. Directly north of the city is North Tacoma, on Maury's Island, which is not quite an island although it bears that name, an inlet called Quartermaster Bay running across the southeast portion of Vashon Island, and nearly cutting off this insular fragment. I am not at present able to see why North Tacoma exists, but have no doubt the projector of this town has an object in view.
The evident intent visible along the water-front is equally recognizable in the plan of the city, with its wide avenues, handsome business houses, tasteful dwellings, and excellent street-railway service. Nothing has been left to chance, but as one takes in the whole view its design is as conspicuous as the city itself, which being set on a hill cannot be hid. At the head of the bay the slope of the ground is such as to offer facilities for railroad, manufacturing, and other business improvements, and there we find them. Further along towards the west and under the high bluff are the wharves, to which ships can sail.
The authors of the design of Tacoma are to be found in the Tacoma Land Company, a corporation formed of certain of the preferred stockholders of the Northern Pacific Railroad after the selection of Tacoma for a terminus. This company purchased three thousand acres already secured b} T the railroad company, and thirteen thousand more. The railroad company secured a majority of the stock of the land company, and reserved enough ground for its terminal facilities, which comprise many miles of track in the yards, freight and wheat warehouses, coal-bunkers, freight and passenger depots and offices. The land company, besides laying off and improving the townsite, has looked after its embellishment, healthfulness, and convenience in many ways. A reservation was made of thirty acres in the midst of the city for a public park, which has been partially improved by the city government. Tacoma is, in fact, unusually well provided with pleasure-grounds. The six hundred acres reserved by the United States Government at Point Defiance has been recently dedicated to the city for a public park, and the city council had secured a lease of two school sections adjoining the city on the south and on the northwest (which lands could not be purchased before the admission of the State), to be devoted to the public use as parks. Taking these reserves in connection with several smaller ones, and with the beautiful park-like country extending south of Tacoma to and beyond Steilacoom, it might be thought that for so busy a town its preparations for play were too elaborate, if it were not perceived that they are in keeping with everything else about us.
WHERE SHIPS ARE LOADED.
What surprises me more, if possible, than anything else is the extent of the Tacoman suburbs. You take a street car on Pacific Avenue and run out to the eastern end of the city. It seems a long way, but when you get there you take another line which goes somewhere, and find it takes you half a dozen miles out into the country, or into the woods, for the half-cleared land is laid out in lots and built up all along the line with comfortable houses. Then you come back and try another line which branches off into the Puyallup Talley, running straight through the thick woods for several miles, and designed to go to the town of Puyallup, nine miles east from Tacoma.
You are told that it is the intention to give this still uncleared country a chance to supply not only Tacoma, but other cities, with small fruits and garden products as well as to afford facilities for rapid transit to those desiring to establish suburban homes. It is the intention to adopt a time-schedule for the accommodation of business men and clerks whose interests are in the city as well as for the eight- and ten-hour workingmen. Trains will be run to carry school-children to the city and back at the proper hours, and theatre-trains as demanded. Think of it, ye metropolitan dwellers in your two-hundred-year-old cities, who after a day down-town sink into your cushioned-seats for an hour's ride to the suburbs with a sigh of contentment that your lot is cast in the midst of civilization,—think how close upon your heels come some of these Western cities which have not yet seen their second decade!
Next day I explore the west end of the city, and ride by electric railway seven miles in that direction. It is the same thing. Lots are staked out all the way, and here and there a house is going up. The ground along the edge of the plain which tops the bluff has some defects in the way of ravines which cut into it and will have to be filled or bridged, but in a scenic point of view these deep steep gorges are worth looking at. Narrow, with tall trees and a variety of shrubbery growing up their sides, they stretch away down, down, until the brain whirls in following the descent to the line of the Sound. But how lovingly the eye rests on that tranquil sea with its hither shore, the "white wings" floating above, the energetic steamboat defiantly crossing their track, the asthmatic tug pulling at something it has picked up at some little port down the Sound, and a few oar-boats rippling the water near shore. The air comes fresh from the northwest with an odor of the sea in it, a little cool, us if it had touched in passing the silvery snowline of the Olympics. There are but few persons in the car, for it is an early hour of the morning to be going out of town.
"I should be perfectly satisfied to live here. I have always wished to have a home where I could look on a view like this," says a lady to her husband.
"I shouldn't be satisfied," replied her consort, with contempt in his tone. "Look at these town-lots staked off out here in
the woods. Do you suppose any but a fool would buy them? Tacoma is not going to grow much more, but Seattle probably will. / am going to Seattle."
A smile crept over my face, I suppose, for the lady turned to me to get my opinion.
" Of one thing I can assure you," I said, evasively, "you will find this same beautiful view of the Sound at Seattle—it is everywhere here—and your husband will find the woods around Seattle laid out in town-lots."
Then she told me they were from Helena, Montana, which explained her ignorance of this country; they had only arrived on the last train from the mountains.
We went to the end of the uncompleted road and walked about in the woods while the car ran off a little way to a mill on a side track. IIow very new and unfinished it all is! But I must be careful about putting it down in my book as being unfinished, or by the time it gets to the reader the public will not be able to recognize it. And when people are trying to do so much, and are rather proud of succeeding so well, one must not lessen the wind in their sails by so much as a pin's prick.
The Ryan smelter is in this neighborhood, and the railroad will run to it shortly. It is said to be the largest on the Pacific Coast, and cost nearly half a million, being built by a syndicate in St. Paul. It will smelt gold, silver, lead, and copper ores; and its capacity will be five hundred and sixty tons daily, employing one thousand men. It is expected to smelt Alaskan ores, silver ores from South America brought as ballast in vessels, and ores from the mines of the Okanogan country east of the Cascades, as soon as transportation for them can be obtained.
But to return to street and suburban railways: the system is only about one year old, and yet here is another twelve-mile road to American Lake just opened (it runs to Steilacoom now, and is going on to Nisqually City, more than half-way to Olympia). This is the popular resort for pleasure-seekers. The drive to it, over the level prairie carpeted with a short fine grass and wild flowers, is a charming one. The lake itself is only about three miles long and of irregular width, with some pretty wooded islands in it. A steam-launch, sail- and row-boats have
been placed upon the lake, with rustic seats and tables around the margin, a band-stand, and other attractions. Gravelly Lake is a small associate of American, besides which there are several others within a few miles, and a speed-track in the neighborhood. A fine view of Mount Eainier from this locality is one of its features.
American Lake was so named b}^ Lieutenant Wilkes, who celebrated the Fourth of July on its borders in 1841, and was confirmed by the settlement on its border of a Methodist mission party in 1842, during the occupancy of the Hudson's Bay Company, the Eev. J. P. Eichmond being the settler. It is always interesting to know even a little about the origin of things.
Nisqually City (very recently platted for sale) is situated about where the old fort stood, which once represented as much as there was of civilization in all this region,—and a onesided civilization at that. The fort was very nearly taken by the Nisqually Indians, at which time an American settler was shot down at its gate, which event was the occasion of the holding of the first court north of the Columbia Eiver by an Oregon judge. Two Indians were hung for the murder, and after that there was peace for a time.
All these points to which run suburban railroads, and indeed all points to which the Northern Pacific main line runs, are counted as the "suburbs" of Tacoma and tributary to it. It is the policy of this railroad company to build up one large city, with a good many minor ones to support it. I should myself have noticed this had not a former president of the road given utterance to such a statement. For some time, he says, these new towns do not benefit the central city, but in due course the best business ability and most capital will seek it, for people will go where they find superior advantages for whatever business they prefer to follow. It is then this crop of suburban towns yields a large profit. From which it seems that not only Tacoma itself, but many other places are designed by the same brains.I ask myself is there any reasonable objection to these methods? There would not be—for these new places have important help in starting—if no false inducements were held
out. Where there are several hundred people together they should find something to do to make business, and they will if they have energy and a little capital. But there are instances. I find, of grievous disappointment, where land companies with nothing to back them have induced people to purchase their property by misrepresenting its advantages, and leaving them in the lurch when their lots were disposed of. Should a railroad company be wilfully guilty of such falsehood, an earthquake ought to swallow it up. All that the central town would gain in that case would be, possibly, some discontented laborers, driven to it by distress. In the majority of Northern Pacific towns there is some real merit, and their avowed policy benefits the country by filling it up .and connecting the settlements with a market. Therefore I am not inimical to railroad "monopoly" in this country, which would be a half-century behind the times without their aid; nor do I blame any community for resenting an abuse of power. Let them try to hold the scales even.
It is the large number of towns laid out wherever any real or pretended reason can be put forward for offering it which bewilders and sometimes distresses the disinterested observer. Suppose we glance at a few of these, beginning with Detroit, situated on an isthmus at the head of Case Inlet and the lower arm of Hood's Canal. It belongs to the Detroit Land and Improvement Company, composed of Portland, Seattle, and Spokane capitalists, who recently purchased five thousand acres of fine timber-land, and proceeded to lay out a city, grade streets, build a large hotel, erect water-works, and advertise. There is no doubt of the merits of the location as to timber, water, or harborage. A good milling-town might be built here, and railroads be induced to come. Indeed, plans are already on foot for connecting Tacoma by a line twenty-eight miles long across Kitsap County to Grig Harbor opposite Point Defiance, for extending such a line to Gray's Harbor, and another to Port Orchard. The Lnion Pacific is expected to come here from Centralia on its way to Port Orchard, Port Gamble, and to a point opposite Port Townsend, thus tapping the United States Navy Yard recently located at Port Orchard, and one of the other great milling establishments of the Sound, as well as the Straits of
Fuca. These are visible advantages which cannot be gainsaid.
But not twenty miles away, where Hood's Canal makes its great bend, is Union City, under the management of the Oregon Improvement Company. This is not a new town, having had an existence for several years, but its pretensions are similar to those of Detroit. The Port Townsend and Southern will come here without doubt, and the Union Pacific also. Lots are selling at from one hundred to one thousand dollars. If you demur to the latter price for lots lately carved out of the forest, you will be told that it has cost something to do the carving, and that you get certain improvements in addition which you have no right to expect in a new country, all of which is true.
Then, again, there is Puget City, situated a little more than half-way from Tacoma to Olympia in a straight line, on the east shore of the Sound. It is advertised by the Puget City Company as possessing a beautiful situation, besides which no commerce from any of the seven inlets at the head of Puget Sound can reach the lower Sound "without passing before this rising young metropolis." Its "unexcelled deep water facilities and the railroads, Union and Northern Pacific," are among its advantages; and "the song of the saw-mill is heard all day long," building being active.
And here is Des Moines, twelve miles from Tacoma, and about an equal distance from Seattle. It was laid out in 1889 by the Des Moines Improvement Company, of Tacoma, who erected a saw-mill, the output of which, twenty thousand feet per diem, was applied to the erection of business houses and residences. A brick-yard, a pottery-factory, shingle-mill, and other industries were at once inaugurated, and the work went bravely on until the company's means were exhausted. Now, I understand, the population, which consisted principally of the company's employees, is daily diminishing, and that those who remain are in want.
Perhaps these reverses came from bad management, for there is nothing to be said against the country that does not apply to almost every portion of the Puget Sound region,—namely, that it requires labor and capital for its development; and what new
country does not? We say, glibly, that there are too many towns for the population, and too large a part of the population in towns; therefore, let us place the people all on farms, each settler to work out his own salvation. The result would be a generation spent in lonely toil, and no market provided for the products of farming. Is not the modern way of letting capital do the work of development, of building up cities to furnish a thousand employments for the one of agriculture, and of furnishing buyers of the farm productions of the country at good prices, a better one? Quien sabe f
But, let us get back to Tacoma and her other tributary territory, indulging in some reminiscences by the way. At a meeting of the board of directors of the Northern Pacific Bailroad Company held September 10, 1873, Judge R. D. Rice, of Maine, vice-president, and Captain J. C. Ainsworth, of Portland, Oregon, managing director of the Pacific Coast, commissioners to examine the eastern shore line of Puget Sound, throughout its entire extent, for a suitable terminus, made a report, in accordance with which the company passed a resolution to locate and construct its main road to the southerly side of Commencement Bay, "and within the limits of the city of Tacoma," from which it would appear that the fact of Tacoma's existence had been already determined, as indeed it was in the month of June prior to this report. Some transactions in real estate had taken place previous to the failure of Jay Cooke & Co., and continued to take place in a doubting way, and without any excitement.
When the railroad had recovered from this failure, and was straining every nerve under Villard's management to make connection with Portland, and thence to reach the Sound by this branch and avoid the expenditure of many millions in crossing the Cascades, came the second—Yillard's—failure, ten years after the first. Public confidence was unsettled, not only by these financial difficulties, but by fears that the management would not, after all, cross the mountains, or, if it did. that it might make the terminus at Seattle. Thus fourteen years slipped away, during which the Tacoma Land Company laid out the first streets and made considerable improvements, C. B. Wright, of Philadelphia, being very active in directing these. Under his management the Hotel Tacoma was completed in 1884. He
built a handsome church, and endowed the Annie Wright Seminary for girls, and Washington College for boys, with fifty thousand dollars each.
Gas- and water-works were erected, wharves built, and with these things the value of real estate increased. But it again declined, and from 1884 to 1887, while there was a doubt of the final settlement of the question of terminus, there was a continual depression. But when on the 1st of July, 1887, the road was opened to Tacoma the reaction was like the rebound of a bent bow. Sales of real estate were quadrupled in six months, and in another twelve months had quadrupled again, after which they increased by about four million dollars annually. In 1887 the population was about nine thousand; in 1889, thirty thousand j in 1890, forty thousand one hundred and sixty-five, and Pierce County, until recently sparsely settled, contained fifty thousand and sixty-five inhabitants.
Without stopping to inquire what brought all these people together here in so short a space, or whence they came, let us consider what they have done. They have covered the land as far as the view extends and for some distance back from the bay with tasteful homes on cleanly, sidewalked, and sewered streets. To do this at the rate of thousands of houses a year implies an enormous amount of material and an incalculable amount of labor in putting it in shape. The city's expenses for street improvements in 1889 were three hundred and fiftythree thousand seven hundred and eighteen dollars and ninetysix cents.
In its infancy the city was compelled to import all kinds of manufactures with the exception of lumber, coal, wheat, hops, and hides, but the tide is turning, and already there are machineshops, locomotive-works, iron- and brass-founderies, furniturefactories, sewer-pipe, tile, and pottery works, brick-yards, flourmills, shingle-mills, sash- and door-factories, with many minor industries, the number of which is daily increasing.
Tacoma's public school property is valued at two hundred thousand dollars. A Methodist university is being erected, which has been endowed by a gift of seventy-five thousand dollars from citizens of Tacoma. The Pacific Lutheran University is to be here. There is also a business college, a Catholic
academy, the Tacoma Academy (Protestant), Tacoma Kindergarten, and other private schools.
Of churches there are twenty-three, divided among the various sects as follows: Presbyterian, Protestant Episcopal, Congregational, Baptist, and Lutheran, three each; Methodist, four; Unitarian, Free Evangelical, Christian, and Catholic, one each, having their own edifices; while other organizations are not yet provided for.
Of charitable societies there are a number. The Fannie C. Paddock Hospital was first established when Tacoma was a small town by Bishop Paddock, of this city, in memory of his wife. With the growth of the town it has been enlarged by frequent contributions until it is at present a noble institution. The Tacoma Hospital is a private one. The Seamen's Friend Society, the White Shield Society, Humane Society and Union Belief Association, and Young Men's Christian Association, all do good work. There are besides these the usual secret benevolent societies with a large membership.
The last want to be recognized is the intellectual or literary need, because, forsooth, it scarcely exists during the rush and whirr of the wheels of rapid material progress, but, as leisure comes and quietude, it makes itself felt. Tacoma has no public library commensurate with its means, although the Young Men's Christian Association Library and the Tacoma Mercantile Library Association supply the place of one to a considerable extent, or rather they fill their places well while they leave room for the other. The Young Men's Christian Association has a handsome building, and does a good work.
Of newspapers Tacoma has three dailies, the Tacoma Daily Ledger, an eight-page morning paper; the Globe, also a morning sheet; and the News, an afternoon daily. The Sunday Times is an illustrated eight-page journal, giving the society news of the week; besides which the Baptist Sentinel, Northwest Horticultural and Stock Journal, and the Real Estate Journal are weeklies. Of monthlies there are the Real Estate and Investment Journal, the Bulletin, and Washington Magazine, a literary venture. A Daily Hotel Reporter and the Puget Sound Guide are weekly publications to inform the public of changes occurring in the facilities for travel and hotel accommodations. The Puget Sound Printing Company is an institution of Tacoma.
The most conspicuous public buildings in Tacoma are the Northern Pacific Headquarters, the Hotel Tacoma, Hotel Rochester, Tacoma Theatre, Fannie Paddock Hospital (new), Annie Wright Seminary, St. Luke's Church, New Presbyterian Church, Swedish Lutheran Church, the Germania Hall, and Chamber of Commerce. But just at this day and hour the Tacoma Land Company have under consideration the plans for a new hotel to surpass the "Tacoma," and to cost half a million. They are also looking for the source of a future water-supply, the result of which will be something fine in the way of waterworks. Every morning's paper tell us of some projected improvement involving a great expenditure of money.
All this is nothing when compared with—let us say Chicago; but it is pretty well for Tacoma, whose real growth began four years ago. The money to do these things, we suggest, was drawn from the East. Yes, from the Eastern United States largely, but also from the Orient, from Great Britain, from South America, and from nearer home.Take an example of the introduction of capital from St. Paul. The St. Paul and Tacoma Lumber Company purchased from the land department of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company a tract of timbered land comprising the odd sections in fourteen townships lying southeast of Tacoma and south of Wilkeson and Orting in the Puyallup Yalley, comprising eighty thousand acres covered with a heavy growth of fir, cedar, and spruce, estimated to amount to three billion feet. One of the conditions of the sale to the St. Paul and Tacoma Lumber Company of this immense tract of valuable timber was the construction by them of a railroad of standard gauge and equipment from the town of Orting, on the line of the Northern Pacific, in a southerly course to the Nisqually River, and thence eastward into the coal fields of the Cascade Mountains, to serve the double purpose of bringing out timber and coal and opening up the country to settlement. The St. Paul company also bound itself to cut a certain amount of timber per year on these lands, which should be shipped to Tacoma, where they were to build mills with a capacity of one hundred
million feet annually. Forty acres were purchased at the head of Commencement Bay, and costly improvements made, thereby setting the example of utilizing the tide-flats for business purposes, an example which was quickly followed by other companies. The St. Paul mill now furnishes employment to four hundred men, besides three hundred in the logging-camps and as many more on contract work in the city. It manufactures about five million feet of lumber per month, nearly half of which is sold in Tacoma, the other half going east by rail or being shipped by vessels for a sea-voyage.
The Commencement Bay Land and Improvement Company is a local one, which, seeing the value of the flats in the east end of the Bay, have purchased and are constructing upon them wharves, warehouses, and manufactories,—so quickly does one act of development inaugurate a second.
But I had begun to say that not all the money expended here in building up a model city comes from the East, and these improvements in the harbor remind me to go back to my theme. It is, after all, only by taking account of Tacoma's exports that we begin to understand how the money is to come back which is expended here.
Lumber has always been and must remain one of the principal articles of export from Puget Sound ports. The St. Paul and Tacoma, Pacific Mill, Tacoma Mill (at old town), and the Gig Harbor Mill, together manufacture two hundred million feet of lumber annually, the exported portion of which output is valued at nearly nine hundred thousand dollars. The export of coal from this port is yet in its infancy, but in 1888, during a coal famine in California owing to an avoidance of the port of San Francisco by vessels which usually bring coal in ballast, there were shipped from Tacoma seventy eight cargoes, or two hundred and sixty-eight thousand tons, of coal, valued at one million four hundred and seventy-four thousand dollars. Fifty of these cargoes were Carbon Hill coal, which mine is the property of the Southern Pacific Eailroad of California, while the South Prairie Mines in the Puyallup Valley and the Bucoda Mines of Thurston County furnished the remainder, with the exception of one cargo of Durham coal.
The Eoslyn Mines, on the line of the Northern Pacific, which
furnish fuel for this road, have not exported coal until the past year, when the output from them was one hundred and sixty thousand tons, and since the improvement in the facilities for handling coal on the water front; but whether exported or consumed at home, when the demand increases with the population, this contributes to the wealth of Tacoma.
The export from Tacoma of shingles by the train-load to the East is a new item of commerce which has already become important. The old-fashioned shingle which was made with a drawing-knife and shaving-horse was some years ago superseded by the portable shingle-mill, and the making of shingles, instead of being a haphazard, rainy-day occupation for the settler or lumberman, became a manufacture employing a good deal of capital.
There were about eighty-five of these mills in West Washington, some of which had no regular agencies or market for their manufactures. In 1889 a combination of forty of them was effected by the organization of the North Pacific Consolidated Shingle Company, with a capital invested in its various mills of one million dollars.
The shingles are made from red cedar, which neither shrinks nor warps and is exceedingly durable, and are graded into "extra" and "standard" lots. Special sizes and fancy butts are furnished as ordered. One sees many of these used for siding, on Tacoma houses, with a very pretty effect, the lower edges being rounded. They are only used on the second story and on houses of the cottage order and of fanciful designs.
The Washington shingle is absolutely perfect, being cut from timber without a knot or flaw, and of regulation size. Hence, with their other good qualities they are much desired by builders. The North Pacific Consolidated Company shipped in 1889—its first year of business—fifteen hundred car-loads, valued at four hundred and ten thousand dollars. The first train left Tacoma on the 12th of August, with colors flying and amid the cheering of spectators. It reached Chicago on the 21st. Denver alone took five hundred car-loads, the other two-thirds being taken in the Middle States,—New York and New England. Special cars, it is thought, will have to be provided for them, and the demand is already greater than the supply.
The only mills which manufacture flour for export are located at Tacoma, one already turning out two hundred barrels daily, and another with a capacity of six hundred barrels about to be erected.
The value of wheat shipped from Tacoma in 1889 was estimated to exceed six million dollars, and it was believed that this amount would be more than doubled in 1890, which it has been, without doubt, but, owing to the overproduction of East Washington this year, and the confusion ensuing upon the crowded condition of warehouses, and lack of vessels to take it away, the wheat export is still an unknown quantity.
Few in number as are the exports of Tacoma, they are the same as those of the older Puget Sound towns. The time is hastening, but has not yet arrived, when manufactures shall be carried on upon a scale to exceed the local demand or even to reach it. In the mean time imports are large. The only cargoes going East besides lumber, shingles, and coal are ship-loads of tea from the Orient, five of which in 1888 aggregated eleven million eight hundred and ninety-six thousand six hundred and eighty pounds.
The various small industries of the city employ an aggregate capital of over five million dollars, and employ more than three thousand persons.
The commercial banks of Tacoma are nine in number, with two savings-banks, six of the commercial banks being national and three private. The aggregate capital of the nine is one million one hundred and ninety thousand dollars, and of the two, one hundred and thirtj^ thousand dollars. The deposits of seven of the nine amounted in September, 1889, to four million one hundred and ten thousand and thirteen dollars, an increase of over a million in three months. The city's finances are reported in a sound condition, and its debt small for the amount of territory covered, showing good management.
The Chamber of Commerce of Tacoma was organized in February, 1884, its first president being General J. W. Sprague; vice-presidents, J. M. Buckley and W. J. Thompson; treasurer, Byron Barlow; secretary, Edmund Bice. It has played an important part in the development of the city and its most important industries. Its first building was erected several years
ago on Pacific Avenue and Twelfth Street; but there is a new and elegant building going up on Pacific Avenue and Seventh Street better suited to the tastes and necessities of this august body. It is six stories in height, built of stone, with carvings and niches for statuary, and surmounted by a clock-tower one hundred and ninety-five feet above the ground. The interior is designed to correspond with the outside, and the "chamber" alone will seat, with its galleries, one thousand persons.
Tacoma has a wholesale as well as an active retail trade, nearly all lines of goods being represented. I am told that a conservative estimate of its wholesale business in 1889 would be from eight million to ten million dollars aside from those productions sold wholesale already mentioned, and this trade has but very recently been attempted.
Groceries, always an important branch of trade, are sold wholesale by a number of houses, three of which are confined exclusively to this business. The largest of these is the Tacoma Grocery Company, organized near the close of 1888, Charles E. Hale, president, which sold goods to the amount of one million dollars the first year. /
Paints, oils, and glass sell enormously in Tacoma, besides which hardware and farming implements is another good jobbing trade in a new country, and Tacoma has several houses which sell from seventy-five thousand dollars' to two hundred thousand dollars' worth of goods annually. Farm-produce is also jobbed at the rate of from seventy-five thousand dollars to two hundred and fifty* thousand dollars yearly. Dairy products, canned goods, dried fruit, grain, and flour, each constitute a wholesale business for several firms. One house deals exclusively in tea, coffee, and spices, with sales amounting to fifty thousand dollars per annum; and besides, some of the retail firms do a business of ten thousand dollars a year in special lines of goods.
The Tacoma Mill Company sells two hundred and fifty thousand dollars' worth of general merchandise every year, at jobbing rates; the Skagit River Railway and Logging Company, a Tacoma corporation, as much; and the St. Paul and Tacoma Lumber Company, three hundred thousand dollars annually.
One jobbing house in Tacoma sells one million dollars' worth of dry-goods and clothing every year, and carries a stock worth
a quarter of a million. Furniture and house-furnishing goods may be purchased wholesale in Tacoma, and of every description, from the most elegant to the plainest, from two or three furniture companies.
The Tacoma Trading Company deals in building-material, coal, hay, grain, and lime, has a capital of fifty thousand dollars, and sells three hundred and fifty thousand dollars' worth of goods to dealers in Washington and British Columbia. The YakimaTacoma Trading Company is in the same business. When I say that drugs, liquors, books, boots and shoes, leather, carriages, and dressed meats for logging-camps are sold wholesale in this young city, I have nearly covered the ground occupied by jobbers in any city; and I have perhaps wearied the reader to show him how these western towns commence life,—near the top of the ladder, instead of at the bottom.
Let us now take a ride to old Tacoma, and explore a little .further into the already almost forgotten beginnings of things. This is a really pretty site for a settlement, being near the water's edge, with a view of the bay in front, and sheltering hills at the back. It has a rural air quite in contrast to the ambitious look of the newer city. I have the curiosity to call on Mrs. McCarver, who occupies a modest home in the place where her husband died. We talk a little about him, and what local historians have said of him, and then I go to see the famous belltower of St. Peter's little pioneer church round the corner. The church is plain to dreariness, and the tower is simply a cedartree sawed off fifty feet from the ground and wreathed around with ivy. A bell is hung above it in a frame-work, which is topped with a roof like an extinguisher, surmounted by a cross. It is a pretty conceit, and the only object at all picturesque in the sleepy old place.
I breathe more freely when I regain the heights of the new city, and rest my gaze on the roofs of Pacific Avenue where I know brainy men are planning more railroads, a steamship line to China, and other ways to coptrol the trade of the Occident and the Orient. My eyes wander further eastward, over the head of the bay, the Puyallup flats, the Indian reservation, and the distant mountains, to Mount Eainier itself, where they rest while I question whether I should yield to a local whim and call the grand old peak Mount Tacoma. Rainier it has been for a hundred years. It does not belong to one part of the Sound country more than another, and all other communities except this one honor the old "lord of the admiralty." Olympia and Seattle cry out against the change, and, since Tacoma does not hold any realty on the majestic mountain, the majority must prevail,—must it not?
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OLD TACOMA'S BELL-TOWER.
If you desire to get away from Tacoma, you have the Northern Pacific Railroad to carry you east, south, or north by rail, and steamboats to any part of the Sound. The lines controlled by railroads are the Union Pacific (O. R. and N.) boats, which ply between Tacoma, Olympia, and Kamilche; between Tacoma, Seattle, Port Townsend, and Victoria; and between Tacoma and the towns on Bellingham Bay, calling at Seattle.
The Canadian Pacific Railroad runs a fine boat between Tacoma and Vancouver, British Columbia, calling at Seattle,
Port Townsend, Anacortes, Fairhaven, Sehome, and Whatcom. The Pacific Navigation Company, a Tacoma corporation, runs its steamers from Tacoma to Whatcom, stopping at Seattle, Utsalady, Anacortes, Samish, Fairhaven, and Sehome; and also on other routes coastwise, and among the islands in the San Juan Archipelago.
The Whatcom, Sehome, and Fairhaven Company has a fleet of seven boats which run on the several routes between Tacoma and Whatcom; besides which there are forty other steamboats, including tugs, which ply on the Sound in and out of Tacoma and to every place where business is.
But as I wished to see the country tributary to Tacoma, namely, the Puyallup Yalley, 1 took the train for Seattle which runs up the Yalley as far as the town of Puyallup, where the Seattle branch comes in.
I have it from Hon. Elwood Evans, who came to Washington in 1853 with Governor I. I. Stevens, and who has ever been a careful observer and student of Northwest history, that the meaning of the Indian word Puyallup is shadow or gloom. They attached it to the river from the obscurity of its waters, which ran darkling between banks overhung with the densest of forest shrubbery, and shadowed by tall trees which covered the Yalley everywhere except where there occurred those singular small prairies referred to in my remarks on the Chehalis Yalley. These prairies were early fixed upon by settlers, and still bear the names of pioneers who as early as 1855 had extended their improvements from Commencement Bay to South Prairie.
Then fell the blow which has so often fallen upon frontier communities, and the gloom which hung over the valleys on the east side of Puget Sound was not only that of the forest, but that which had made a "dark and bloody ground" of almost every State in its turn, from Massachusetts to Washington. In 1856, to satisfy the Indians, the reservation first allowed them by Governor Stevens was enlarged, and extended up the river on both sides until it embraced a dozen claims of settlers who were already driven from them by massacre or flight. Not a family dared return to the Yalley until 1859, when a few ventured again to reside upon their former claims or take new ones.
One of these few was J. P. Stewart, who took for his claim the land on which the town of Puyallup now stands, and in 1861 the post-office of Franklin was established there. Such was the beginning.
Puyallup, which name seems to have superseded Franklin, is situated on the south side of the river, and just beyond the Indian reservation. It is a town of two thousand inhabitants, neatly built, with a good hotel and a general air of' thrift. Everything is on one level at Puyallup, and for a change from the diversity my eyes have lately beheld, I am pleased with it.
This Yalley was once an arm of the Sound, as is plainly evident from the nature and direction of the water-courses on the east of Admiralty Inlet. Look at the map. There is the Puyallup River coming down from Mount Rainier, and falling quite abruptly into the Yalley. There is White River coming down from another peak on the north of Nachess Pass, a counterpart of the Puyallup, only half a dozen miles from it, and connected with it by the Stuck, a sluggish stream that flows through marshy ground north or south indifferently, according to the state of the two. rivers. Two or three miles north of the Stuck junction with the White comes in Green River, a branch heading on the north side of the Stampede Pass. About twelve miles north of Green River Junction the White River unites with the Dwamish, which comes out of Lake Washington and flows northwest into the Sound at Seattle. But the Dwamish is only another stretch of Cedar River, which comes down from the mountains also and flows into Lake Washington, to flow out again by the same mouth and become the Dwamish.
Lake Washington, twenty miles long, is connected with Sammamish Lake, six miles east of it, by Sammamish River, which resembles the Stuck for sluggishness, but which has seven smaller streams coming into it from the north and east. Besides, Lake Washington is connected with the Sound through Union Lake and a natural outlet into Salmon Bay. Green Lake is also connected with Lake Washington, and there are a dozen smaller ones between Puyallup River and the larger lake, which is in the centre apparently of a basin once occupied by the waters of the Sound. This is the coal basin whence both Tacoma and Seattle derive their present and prospective wealth;
but only the southern portion of it is immediately tributary to Tacoma.
The soil of the Puyallup Yalley is in general an alluvial deposit of great depth. About Puyallup it is sandy, and especially adapted to hops, which is the chief production of the fields in this vicinity. Nothing could be prettier than these hop-fields about harvest time, and few crops are so satisfactory as to income. There were raised this year between Tacoma and Seattle, including one hop-farm at Snoqualmie, forty thousand bales of two hundred pounds each, or eight million pounds. As the price was very good this year, the money realized, above the cost of raiding the crop, was one million six hundred and eighty thousand dollars. About ten thousand bales were raised in other parts of the State, which brings the year's returns on this one product of the valleys about the Sound up to two million dollars. I might say here, also, that the hop-crop of Oregon this year netted about one million dollars. And yet the extent of territory covered by hop-farms is comparatively small. The acre value of hops in a good year is about three hundred and fifty dollars; this year it was more, on account of a poor crop abroad. The Northern Pacific carried its first solid hop-train from the Puyallup in September, 1890. It consisted of twentyfive cars carrying fifteen thousand pounds each, or one hundred and eighty-seven tons. They were shipped to Baltimore to go to London. I hear it said that hop-vines are to be used in making paper and twine. If this is so, there need be no waste on the off years.
It is a great feature in favor of Puyallup that its transportation facilities are so good with the Northern Pacific, a transcontinental road, at its doors, a road to Seattle and Tacoma, and its special local road to the latter, making it a suburb of that city. The Yalley is prolific of vegetables and small fruits, as it must be of orchard fruits when they come into bearing more generally. Apples, pears, peaches, prunes, and apricots are said to yield large crops. Thus, with so favorable a soil and climate, and a market within seven miles by rail, the farmers of this favored region should become rich.
Continuing up the Yalley, Alderton is the next station we come to, a small place, but with the same general and natural
advantages enjoyed by its neighbors, and just beyond is Meeker, the junction of the Seattle branch. Lime-Kiln is what its name implies, and then w T e have Orting,—" the Queen of the Puyallup Valley,"—" an agricultural, business, and railroad centre." It is quite that, unless appearances deceive us. I have already spoken of the railroad being built by the St. Paul and Tacoma Lumber Company south from Orting. A few miles beyond are roads branching off from the mainline of the Northern Pacific to Carbondale and Wilkeson. All these roads bring business to Orting, and so do the logging-camps and the farms round about. It has, besides, a saw-mill, chair-factory, and railroad shops, and, in short, seems likely to take care of its future, although but an infant in years.
At the head of the Valley is Wilkeson, where the first coalmines of the Northern Pacific were opened. I have spoken in a general manner of the coal deposits of Washington, but wfill quote a paragraph or two from W. H. Ruffner, LL.D., on the Puyallup Mines: 11 There are, however, only three collieries at work in this group. One is called the Carbonado Mines, which are on Carbon River. Three miles north, a little east, are the famous Wilkeson Mines; and two miles northwest of Wilkeson are the South Prairie Mines, on South Prairie Creek.
"There are some differences in the coal at the three mines. That at South Prairie was sold chiefly for making gas. The best of the Wilkeson coal is made into coke, and is in demand beyond the supply. The price is seven dollars a ton at the ovens. The entire product of the Carbonado Mines is said to go to the Central Pacific Railway."
Ruffner's opinion of this group of mines is rather unfavorable, on the whole. "To all appearance the amount of coal here is not large, and the beds are sadly faulted, and pitch deep into the ground." It is comforting to know that, so large an area as the whole eastern shore of the Sound and the Chehalis Valley being underlaid w T ith coal, there will be some left when this group fails.Wilkeson is a pretty nook at the very extremity of the Valley, where I fared well and had a pleasant chat with the superintendent of the mine, after which I returned to Puyallup to take the train for Seattle.