Page:Atlantis Arisen.djvu/41

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33
ABOUT THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA.

have been well performed, for here are the names of half a dozen vessels of different sorts which have been rendered service in their hour of peril.

There is annually great loss of life among the fishermen at the mouth of the Columbia, and it is here principally that the life-saving station is most useful. The number of men rescued during some seasons has reached half a hundred. The fishermen have recognized this service by presenting the captain of the crew with a powerful glass, and the men wear medals of which they are very proud. Having inspected the well-kept boats, ropes, and buoys, we take a look at the fishing-tackle, with which the light-house keeper goes out to troll for salmon. Glorious sport! The great, delicious fellows, to be caught by a fly! But we, humans, need not sermonize about being taken by small bait.

Baker's Bay is not without its little history; albeit, it is nothing romantic. In 1850 a company conceived the plan of building up a city, under shelter of the cape, and expended a hundred thousand dollars, more or less, before they became aware of the fruitlessness of their undertaking. By mistake, portions of their improvements were placed on the Government Reserve, to which, of course, they could have no title. Yet this error, although a hinderance, was not the real cause of the company's failure, which was founded in the ineligibility of the situation for a town of importance. The buildings went to decay, and the site was finally overgrown with a young forest of alders, spruce, and hemlock. But after many years the title to the land was confirmed to the early speculator, and the town of Ilwaco, a summer resort, has grown up on the site of obsolete "Pacific City."

There is a fine beach-drive of twenty miles from the cape up to the entrance of Shoal water Bay, and several seaside resorts are scattered along it. From Ilwaco to Sea-Land is sixteen miles, this distance being traversed by the Ilwaco and Shoal water Bay Railroad, which has several stations, namely, Stout's, Centreville, Tinker's, Loomis, Ocean Park, and Sea-Land, the present terminus. The cottages of summer residents are scattered along for two miles from Ilwaco, after which the road runs past waving fields of grass and grain, and thrifty vegetable gardens. For a part of the distance the ocean is in full view, its long