Page:Mexico, California and Arizona - 1900.djvu/328

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308
OLD MEXICO AND HER LOST PROVINCES.

greatest shrinkage of all was in "California." This unhappy stock shrank from $84,000,000 to $351,000.

These figures explain a depression the vestiges of which, though the ruinous crisis has long passed, still remain. The stock-gambling mania possessed the community without distinction of station, and hardly of age or sex, and when the bubble broke there was reason enough for gloom with all who had laid up their treasure in such unstable form.

Some of the earlier buildings, now flat, thin, and unornamental, were obtained at expense quite out of proportion. The stone for the old City Hall was brought expressly from Australia; that of the Wells-Fargo building, and the Union Club, from China. The granite of the Branch Mint, a fine, classic design, was dressed in Oregon. The newer structures exhibit all the varieties of form and color in which the modern decorative taste delights. The material for most is procured in the State itself.

The idea of being in a remote part of the world is kept before you in many ways. Here is a sign of the "New Zealand Insurance Company." Fancy New Zealand, where a cannibal population was lately eating missionaries, sending us over its insurance companies! Here is the Alaska Commercial Company, the Bank of British Columbia; and here, its inscription gilded in Chinese as well as English, the Hong-Kong and Shanghai Banking Company. An occasional building is without the usual entrance-doors, its staircase, in the comparative mildness of the climate, left as open as the street.

A system of alleys passes among the colossal structures, and these abound in refreshment resorts—"The Dividend Saloon," "Our Jacob," "The Comstock Exchange," and "The New Idea"—to which the hastening business men.