Atlantis Arisen/Chapter 11


about Oregon's inland empire.

The whole extent of country, lying east of the Cascades in Oregon, consists of immense plateaux, crossed from the northeast to the southwest by the Blue Mountains, from which numerous spurs put out in various directions. The best land in East Oregon lies along near the base of this transverse chain of mountains, and in the valleys of the streams flowing from it on either side, the upper portion of these valleys being invariably the best. All the timber of the country—fir, pine, cedar, spruce, and larch—grows on the high mountain ridges, except the mere fringes of cotton-wood and willow which border the streams. The Blue Mountains constitute a wall between the Columbia River Basin, to the north, and the Klamath Basin to the south; hence all the rivers of East Oregon head in these mountains, and flow into the Columbia and Snake Rivers, only excepting those in the Klamath Basin, which run south and empty into marshy lakes or sinks. Along these rivers and about the lakes there are large tracts of excellent land suitable for farming. Subtracting from the whole area of East Oregon what may be called the valley lands, the remainder is high, rolling prairie, with a considerable portion of waste, volcanic country in the central and western divisions. The country may be considered well watered throughout, as the streams are numerous, and water is to be found by stock at all seasons of the year. Owing, however, to the elevation of the plains above the beds of the principal streams, irrigation cannot be effected over a large portion of it, unless by artesian wells or by conducting water from the mountains. Such are the general features of that portion of Oregon lying east of the Cascade Mountains.

Attention was first drawn to the fertility of East Oregon by the population that rushed to the mines in 1861 and the three years immediately following. It became necessary to provide for the consumption of a large class of persons who dealt only in gold. The high prices they paid, and were willing to pay, for the necessary articles of subsistence, stimulated others to attempt the raising of grain and vegetables. The success which attended their efforts soon led to the taking up and cultivating of all the valley lands in the neighborhood of mines, and finally to experiments with grain-crops on the uplands, where also the farmers met with unexpected success. The nature of the soils on the south side of the Columbia is light, ashen, and often strongly alkaline on the plains, sandy and clay-loam at the base of the mountains, and richly alluvial in the bottoms, where it is often, too, mixed with alkali. It is discovered that on the highest uplands and tops of ridges there is a mixture of clay with loam, which accounts for the manner in which wheat crops endure the natural dryness of the climate in the growing season.

It would be difficult to generalize about East Oregon. The tourist who enters the State by the usually travelled routes would almost certainly receive a bad impression, because the longer railroad lines, in order to shorten their routes, avoid the better sections of the country and run through the worse ones. It is only by taking the branch lines, constructed later, that the traveller learns to reverse his first judgment in regard to this portion of the State. It might be added, it is only by actual experiment that an Eastern farmer acquires confidence in the possibilities of a country so different in appearance from any with which he is acquainted.

All along the Columbia, from The Dalles to the boundary between Oregon and Washington, there is a strip of sandy land, from five to ten miles in width, which is not cultivable,—at least, not without an abundance of water,—and which is a torment to the traveller and a serious trial to the railroad company, whose track it covers with drifts in many places.

For convenience the country may be said to be divided into sandy land, agricultural land, and mountain land, and still there remains the necessity of more special description, and to include desert land. The mountainous portions furnish timber—pine,

fir, spruce, cedar, tamarack, and juniper—for lumber and fuel, and in summer pasturage for cattle and sheep. There are probably half a million sheep in the Blue Mountains every year, from June to November. There are the saw-mills which manufacture lumber, which, with shingles, fencing, and fire-wood, is shipped by railroad or hauled by teams to the prairies. Unlike the mountains of West Oregon, these are traversable almost anywhere, besides affording game, fish, and pure, ice-cold water, features which make them a pleasant retreat in summer from the heat of the open country.

The so-called desert is that high, rocky portion lying along the base of the Blue Mountains in the central part of East Oregon, covered with sage, and blotched with frequent dark piles of basalt, where for miles and miles no water is found. Yet it is a fact that wherever the artemisia grows ranklj* other vegetation will flourish if water be applied. Water is the one great want of the “deserts” of the Northwest. The scenery of this rugged portion of the State is peculiar. Beginning with this “ scabby”—a new word for basaltic out-croppings—land, the country rises into ridges of loosely piled rock, gray with lichens, and crowned with stunted junipers. Now and then occurs a lake of alkaline waters, but more frequently the thirsty traveller is deceived by the mirage, w T hich is a feature of this high and dry atmosphere, into thinking he sees in the distance what nature calls out for, and hastens towards it only to be disappointed. Beyond all is the mountain mass, in which rise the rivers flowing north through the canons of such a depth as to preclude the possibility of diverting them to the uses of cultivation. Frost, too, comes early in this elevated' region, which the Creator has reserved to keep pure the air we breathe and the thoughts we think.

Everywhere one goes in this middle land, between the Cascade and the Blue Banges, the impression is received of newness,—I do not mean of men’s work, but of God’s work. The country is not finished. The soil is still being formed upon the bed-rock of the Columbia Basin, which in some places is yet uncovered. In other localities it is from five to twenty feet deep. Wherever it has such depth it is remarkably productive, for there is no better soil than that formed by the disintegration of the basalt and refinement of the other volcanic matter poured out over this country in the distant ages. One may still discover evidences that it was at one time a sea-bed; that later it was ground by monstrous icebergs; and that later still it was overflowed with lava. Here stalked the mammoth beside lakes now dried up, whose sands yet sepulchre his bones, with those of other extinct animals. It is a country full of wonders, which should never be heedlessly passed over, but should be the favorite study-ground of science.

East Oregon contains fifty-eight thousand square miles, and is divided into counties, fourteen in number, which often comprise the valley of a river. Union County, for instance, occupies the Grand Rond Valley, a circular grassy plain, long celebrated for its beauty and fertility. Here, in the early times of overland immigration by wagons, the traveller found food for cattle and rest for himself in these delightful meadows, after the long, exhausting march over the hot, sterile sands of Snake River. This valley is thirty miles in diameter, well watered, and very productive in all the cereals, fruits, and vegetables of the temperate zone. A considerable amount of the land is subject to overflow, which makes it greatly esteemed as grass-producing. Timber is also conveniently near on the encircling mountains, where mills are working up the fir, pine, spruce, and tamarack forest into lumber.

Union City, the county-seat, was settled in 1862 during the mining excitement in East Oregon and Idaho, but is not now as large as it was at that period. La Grande is the principal town, with two thousand inhabitants. It also dates back to the sixties; but when the O. R. and N. Railroad approached to within a mile without touching it, the sleepy old town arose and shook itself, and removed its business houses to the line of the railroad, where its growth finally reunited it to the older portion. There are a dozen saw-mills within a few miles of the town, the lumber being floated down by means of flumes to the shipping points, this method being found to be more economical and safer than driving down the logs to be sawed here, although in some localities this can be done. A part of the car-shops of the O. R. and N. Company have been removed from The Dalles to La Grande. A sash-and-door-factory, a creamery, two brick kilns, a brewery, and a grain-elevator are among the industrial resources of the place. There were shipped from this point in 1888 one thousand car-loads of lumber and railroad supplies, and one thousand car-loads of live-stock. The mineral region of Baker County is supplied chiefly from this direction.

La Grande has a bank, with a capital of sixty thousand dollars and deposits averaging seventy-five thousand dollars. It has water-works, and an electric-light plant. The public schools are good, and a large brick college building is standing idle for want of an endowment,—the Blue Mountain University,—but the Methodists are about assuming charge. The Union Pacific has completed a branch from La Grande to Elgin, twenty-two miles northeast of here. It is to be extended to Wallowa.

Wallowa County is comprised in the Wallowa Valley, this river being a branch of the Grand Bond River, which bounds the county on the northwest, and having several branches of its own, with small fertile valleys. This region is known as the Tyrol of the Northwest, its average elevation being two thousand five hundred feet, and some of its lesser plateaux reaching four thousand. This is the valley for the possession of which Chief Joseph went upon the war-path in 1877. Its principal town and county-seat is named Joseph, in honor of this chief. It has already put on civilization, and is prepared, with newspaper, hotels, and churches, to utilize its resources, agricultural and mineral, and its abundance of water-power.

Umatilla is another county contained in the valley of that name. The reservation of the Cayuse, Walla Walla, and Umatilla Indians occupies a considerable portion of this county, probably one-third, which altogether has an area of about six thousand square miles. Of the remaining two thirds, about half is reckoned as agricultural land, and the balance as grazing land of the very best quality. Water is plenty and excellent; but timber, as already indicated, is found only on the mountains. It is bounded on the east by the Blue Mountains, in which the Walla Walla and Umatilla Rivers have their sources. The wheat output of this county in some years is as much as sixty thousand tons.

Pendleton, the county-town, on the river, and on the O. R. and N. Railway, is also the terminus of a branch of the Oregon

and Washington Territory Railroad, or of what is known as the “ Hunt System,” which connects it with the Northern Pacific System, giving it access by two trans-continental roads.

It has a population of four thousand, good public buildings, and the best hotel in Oregon out of Portland,—the Hotel Pendleton,—besides several others of less proportions. There are two flouring-mills, foundry and machine-shops, sash- and door- factory and planing-mill, city water-works, telephone connection with every part of East Oregon, three banks, seven churches, good common school, a Protestant and a Catholic academy, and numerous substantial and costly business houses, not the least imposing of which is the office of the East Oregonian newspaper.

The Umatilla Reservation will soon be open for settlement, and will add one hundred and thirty-five thousand acres of the best land in East Oregon to the area of Umatilla County cultivable lands, and will greatly increase the wealth of Pendleton, which lies just on the boundary.

This prosperous town was founded in 1868, and named after George H. Pendleton. Here resides a descendant of that Alexander McKay who was on board Astor’s vessel, the “ Tonquin,” which was destroyed by the Indians of the Washington coast, in 1812, and every soul with her murdered. His son Thomas, then about fourteen years of age, was left at Astoria when the “Tonquin” sailed on this expedition, and so escaped the fate of his father. Subsequently he came under the guardianship of Hr. McLoughlin, who married his mother, the widow of Alexander McKay. Thomas McKay was a noted man among the fur companies of the Northwest—a brave man, and a witty one. He married, first, a Chinook woman, and had three sons ; married again, and had a son and daughter. The eldest of these children was William C. McKay, who was educated in the East and studied medicine. He is the physician on the Umatilla Reservation. His half-brother, Donald McKay, distinguished himself as a leader of scouts in the Snake and Modoc Indian wars, and both men have rendered important service in the struggles of the early settlers of the country with savagery.

Weston, Centreville, Adams, Milton, and several other small but thriving towns are in Umatilla County. The old town of Umatilla Landing, on the Columbia, was in the days of mining

excitement in Boise and Owyhee a lively place, but its glory has departed with the boats of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company.

Morrow County, bordering Umatilla on the west, is drained by Willow Creek and branches. It has the reputation of being the banner county for stock, and a great wool-producing district. Even the sandy belt along the Columbia is said to furnish excellent range for cattle in the winter season, the grass growing- well among the sage brush. The county was named after J. L. Morrow, a member of the Legislature when it was organized in 1885.

Heppner is the county-seat of Morrow, and was named in honor of Henry Heppner, who served the county in its infancy by securing mail connections and postal service. A railroad connects it with the O. R. and N. line. It has four churches, a public-school building, a newspaper, a bank, a flouring-mill, and various business firms. The wool-clip of 1890 delivered at Heppner will, it is said, exceed three million pounds.

Gilliam County, next west of Morrow, is a small district, watered by several small affluents of John Hay River. It embraces a variety of surface, and has a greater variety of resources than some larger counties. The basaltic formation, so universal elsewhere, disappears in the southern portion of Gilliam County, and, instead of lava, sandstone conglomerates, shales, and other formations of the carboniferous era take its place. Beds of coal have been discovered which promise to be of great value; also eoal-oil and iron.

Arlington, on the Columbia River, was the county-seat, which has been removed to Condon. Fossil, situated on the head of a small stream south of the basalt, as mentioned above, is so named on account of the remarkable fossils found in the neighborhood by Professor Condon.

The other towns in the county are Contention, Fleits, Clem, Matney, Lone Rock, Olex, Idea, Rockville, Blalock, and Willows. This county was named in remembrance of the pioneer, Colonel Gilliam, who was killed near Willow Creek by the accidental discharge of a gun while going to the relief of the volunteers, in the Cay use Indian war of 1847.

Wasco County was organized in 1854, when it compri sed the

whole of Eastern Oregon. It has been divided and subdivided until it is now contained between Des Chutes Biver on the east and the Cascade Mountains on the west, with a length from north to south of about sixty miles. A great number of streams rising in Mount Hood make this elevated region one of the choicest portions of East Oregon for grazing, as it is for fruitraising and agriculture. Water-power is abundant, and timber and wool also, which should suggest factories in this region.

The Dalles, which is the county-seat, has been spoken of in another place. Hood Biver, also on the Columbia, and the O. B. and N. Bailroad, is one of the popular resorts of the people from the west side. A Portland company has recently purchased a tract overlooking the Columbia, with a grand view of Mount Adams and White Salmon Biver, on the Washington side, with a lake in the immediate neighborhood, and other charms, including pure air and good fishing, and here is to be erected a comfortable hotel for visitors. The name of the new resort is Idlewilde. There are a dozen other towns and post-offices in the county.

The latest division of Wasco County was in 1889, when that part lying between Des Chutes and John Day Bivers was cut off to make Sherman County, which honors General Sherman. It consists of high rolling land, on which excellent crops are raised, including the cereals, sorghum, fruit, and vegetables. It has a number of towns and about two thousand inhabitants.

Crook County, south of Wasco, was named in honor of General Crook, and shares with Wasco the trade of the Warm Springs Indian Beservation, where reside the warriors who aided the general in his campaign against their old enemies, the Snakes, and who took part in the Modoc troubles. Crook County was organize! in 1882. It is divided, like Wasco, by Des Chutes Biver, and watered amply by Crooked Biver and its affluents. It contains a good deal of broken basaltic land, but is nevertheless a good stock country, with many small agricultural valleys. Prineville, the county-seat, enjoys a good trade. A wagon-road to Eugene runs down the McKenzie fork of the Wallamet.

Although not on the main line of the Oregon Pacific, it will have a branch. This road is laid out on the lands of the Willamette Valley and Cascade Mountain Military Wagon-Boad

Company, which secured an immense grant upon the pretence of constructing a public highway across the central portion of East Oregon, but which forfeited its franchise. The two companies are contesting their claims in the courts, and meanwhile the land in question is withheld from sale. There have been three of these military road projects across East Oregon, the other two being The Dalles Military Road and the Oregon Central Military Road, in the southern part of the State, neither having any just claim to the lands obtained from the government by misrepresentation and political jugglery. The Oregon Pacific will, it is expected, obtain title to the lands in dispute, when no doubt its affairs will brighten. The road passes southeast through Crook and Harney Counties, and makes its way to Snake River through the canon of Malheur River, which, being very rocky and very tortuous, has demanded a heavy outlay in labor and capital. When completed it will work a wonderful transformation in this now remote region.

Grant County, occupying the central portion of East Oregon, and consisting of a series of high plateaux, is chiefly given over to sheep and cattle ranges. There are considerable tracts of pine, fir, and tamarack, and numerous small valleys where grain and fruit yield abundantly. This county formerly contained a greater area than any other in Oregon, being two hundred miles in length and ninety in breadth, but has recently been divided so as to include only the country drained by John Day River. Canyon City is the county-seat. It was first settled in 1862, and incorporated in 1864, when it had two thousand five hundred inhabitants and was the centre of great mining activity. It has to-day a population of eight hundred, having suffered the decline to which mining towns are subject, and having been devastated by fire. It is, however, having a revival of progress, to which it has been stimulated by the prospect of railroad connection with the O. R. and N. line.

Harney County, the territory cut off from Grant, is one hundred and thirty-five miles in extent from north to south, and ninety from west to east. It contains the Harney and Malheur Lakes, and the Christmas or Warner Lakes, of which we have all read in Fremont’s explorations and other government reports. All are more or less impregnated with alkali. Geologically they

are supposed to be the last vestiges of that ancient sea which once covered this inter-montane region, around whose shores and in whose sands are found the fossil remains of prehistoric fauna and flora. Their modern history is closely connected with campaigns against the marauding tribes of Northern Nevada, whom General Crook finally vanquished.

Harney Valley contains about two hundred thousand acres of excellent land, of which forty thousand is a natural meadow, which is dotted over with numberless cattle and horses. The entrance to this valley is a surprise, after the ruggedness of the Blue Mountains. It is oval in shape, and lies encircled by ranges, some near, some distant, which enclose it like the rim of a bowl. The population is eighteen hundred and fifty, of whom about two hundred are Indians and Chinese.

Harney City, on the north side, near the site of old Camp Harney, was formerly the county-seat. This has been removed to Burns, fourteen miles south, on Silvie’s River, near the crossing of the Oregon Pacific, a new and growing town of five hundred inhabitants, and the most promising at present of any in this region. Saddle Butte and Silver City are two other embryo towns, with little to support them at present.

East of Harney is Malheur County, which is in the same category as to Isolation,—only a wagon-road connecting it with Grant or Harney. It is about one hundred and forty-four by sixty miles in extent, with but a small portion populated, in the fork of the Malheur and Snake Rivers. It is watered in the southern part by the Owyhee River, and has Snake River on its eastern boundary.

The Oregon Short Line (Union Pacific) through Idaho crosses the Snake River near the northern boundary, and thus affords a means of transportation for this end of the county. The Oregon Pacific follows the course of the Malheur River to or near its mouth, where it crosses into Idaho, and when completed will run to Boise City. The county was named from the river, which received its name (meaning unfortunate) from the early French explorers, who met with disaster of some kind upon its banks. The surface of the country is high, and the soil dry, but it is a good grazing region. The largest horse-farm in the United States is located at Ontario, on the Snake River, one company

owning ten thousand horses of improved blood. Yale is the county-seat, besides which there are several other settlements.

Immediately north of Malheur is Baker County, named after General E. D. Baker, who fell at Ball’s Bluff. It embraces the valley of Burnt River, and shares with Union County the valley of Powder River, whose soil, according to a miner from that region, is so fertile that, if a crowbar should be left sticking in the ground overnight, it would be found in the morning to have sprouted tenpenny nails.”

But Baker County is more celebrated for its mineral than its agricultural products, about half its population being engaged in mining. There are several large lumber-mills in the county, and the exports are chiefly lumber, wool, and live stock, although marble, limestone, and granite are abundant, and fruit is marketed to some extent.

Baker City, on the O. R. and N. line, and having connection with the Northern Pacific, is the county-seat and chief town. It is, in fact, rapidly developing into a city of considerable importance, having a population of four thousand five hundred. It calls itself the Gateway of the Inland Empire, or at least the Southern Gateway of the same, and is earning its honors by a legitimate course of improvement. A stock company with a capital of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars has been formed for the purpose of bringing the waters of Powder River in irrigating ditches to Baker City and surrounding country. A railroad is being constructed forty or fifty miles west into the mining districts at the head of the John Day River, which will not only facilitate mining operations, but will open up a white-pine belt of great value, where a large mill is about to be erected. A project not quite so far advanced is that of building a railroad twenty-five miles east into the Seven Devils country in Idaho, where smelting ores of gold, silver, and copper are found,—copper predominating. The traffic on the upper Snake River is at present supported by these mines, which Baker City desires to make tributary to itself. The Union Pacific also contemplates a branch line to the Pine Creek mines, sixty-five miles northeast of this city.

There is no doubt of the enviable position of Baker. Colonel J. W. Virtue, owner of the well-known Virtue Mine, and the

pioneer mining man of this region, places the output of the placer mines at one million five hundred thousand dollars annually, and of the quartz mines at two million dollars. A company is being organized to bring water upon a dead river channel, or lead similar to the Blue Lead of California, from which it is expected to derive one million five hundred thousand dollars annually, and which will be tributary to Baker City. This channel has yielded nuggets weighing from eight hundred dollars to three thousand two hundred dollars. “ Six miles from Baker,” says Colonel Virtue, “ there are farms upon one end of which the owner harvests forty, fifty, or sixty bushels of wheat per acre, and on the other end takes out gold dust at fifty cents a pan from his placers.”

Baker City has a highly picturesque situation, being upon a level plateau of three thousand feet elevation, surrounded by cones and peaks of a variety of forms, some wooded, others bare, and still others rising to the snow-line. The city is supplied with excellent water from three artesian wells, the water being pumped into a reservoir at the rate of sixty thousand gallons per hour. The religious sentiment of the population is represented by five church-edifices, well filled on the Sabbath. A thirty-thousand-dollar public-school building gives evidence of the value set upon educational facilities, as well as of the wealth of the community. The Catholics also have a school for young ladies. There are three newspapers, two of them dailies and weeklies. An electric-light plant furnishes illumination to the streets; and a street-car line runs from the railroad depot through the heart of the city. A new brick hotel—the War- shauer—is being completed, at a cost of one hundred thousand dollars. The foundation is laid by the Geroux Amalgamating and Manufacturing Company, with a capital of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, for an amalgamator, and in connection with it a found^ and general machine-works. The present manufactures are confined to planing-mills, flouring-mills, brickyards, etc. The Warm Mineral Springs of Baker are much resorted to. A national bank, assay offices, and a building and loan association facilitate business operations.

Baker City is the largest distributing point east of the mountains in Oregon, and in 1863 it was a stage station on the road

to Boise. As the placer mines in Idaho and in East Oregon were worked out, many gold-hunters turned farmers and settled the fertile Powder Elver Valley, finally founding a city here, which has grown and prospered, while Auburn, a mining town eleven miles away which once boasted ten thousand inhabitants, is left like Goldsmith’s Auburn,—a “ deserted village.”

Lake County, which lies south of Crook and west of Grant, belongs to that division of Oregon which is drained by streams not running in any general direction, but either sinking in the earth or flowing into some of the alkaline lakes frequent in this region. Salt marshes also are found, one on Silver Lake and another on Warner Lake, which produce salt of good quality. The soil is warm and productive, but, owing to the entire absence of railroads, stock-raising and wool-growing are the chief industries. The timber of the hilly portions is pine, juniper, and mahogany, which, with the facilities afforded for milling by the lakes, makes lumbering also an important business. It is expected that a railroad branching off from the Southern Pacific will cross this county some time in the near future. Whenever this section is made accessible to travel it is sure to be much sought by invalids, for the air is the most delightful that can be imagined,—so bright and sparkling, so warm and dry. The summer’s heat is not oppressive, although the mercury runs up pretty well. The winters are cold, owing to the elevation, but are not long.

Lakeview is the county-seat and principal town. It is situated near the northern end of Goose Lake, at the foot of a range of wooded hills, and has tributary to it the whole Goose Lake Valley. The population is about eight hundred. It has a good court-house, two or three churches, a handsome public-school building, a bank, a newspaper, and several substantial business houses, and is, in fact, a representative new town of the West,—rather surprisingly modern and thrifty, considering its remoteness.

Klamath Count} T , lying at the base of the Cascade Mountains on the east, is an elevated region with a diversified surface: the northern part being of a broken or “desert” character; the middle part, devoted to the Klamath Indian Keservation, containing a variety of land,—marsh, woodland, river -bottoms, and

plains; and in the southern portion the grassy valleys of Lost River and Link River, and of the TJpper Klamath, Lower Klamath, Modoc, and other smaller lakes. Klamath County is well watered by Williamson, Sprague, and Lost Rivers, besides its many lakes. There is also a canal for irrigation purposes, starting from the head of Link River and running southeasterly forty miles to Lost River; another taking water out of Klamath Lake to float logs to a saw-mill twelve miles from the lake; and a third taking water to a large roller flouring-mill.

Klamath County has been devoted to stock-raising, as it had no means of moving crops. Yet it was wheat raised in this county which took the premium at the National Exposition of 1884, at New Orleans. Both Lake and Klamath Counties raise fine wheat at an elevation of four thousand and five thousand feet, and grow excellent fruit and vegetables.

The water-power of Link River is very inviting, there being a fall of sixty-four feet in a mile and a quarter, the average breadth of the stream being three hundred and ten feet; but only one saw- and one flouring-mill have been erected upon it. I have referred in another place to the peculiar features of the Klamath basin, which make it a wonderland,—namely, Crater Lake, the volcanic deposits, hot springs and cold springs, and rivers that start from nothing and after running some distance disappear.

Klamath County was long under the protection of Fort Klamath, established on the border of the Indian Reservation in 1864. It was the scene in 1872-3 of the Modoc War, and of many bloody battles and massacres, the story of which will long furnish material for the novelist as well as the historian.

Linkville, situated on Link River, which unites the Upper and Lower Klamath Lakes, is the county-seat and metropolis of this district. It has a population of about seven hundred, a handsome court-house, supports a newspaper, a church, and a graded public school, has several factories, and is a resort for health-seekers, who use the hot and cold baths furnished by nature in the immediate vicinity. The town suffered greath’ by fire in September, 1889, but is being rebuilt in an improved style and with many fine structures. Linkville was founded in 1871 by George Nourse, who planted a nursery on the river- bank at the foot of the upper lake, which is still growing there,

furnishing fruit-trees to settlers. There are about a dozen other hamlets in this district, which are waiting for transportation facilities.

In this county resides, with his sons, the aged Lindsay Apple- gate, brother of the “ Sage of Yoncalla,” and a historic character. His father was Daniel Applegate, who fought in the Revolutionary War, and who married a daughter of John Lindsay, one of Daniel Boone’s associates in the settlement of Kentucky. In the year 1823 Lindsay Applegate accompanied General Ashley in an expedition up the Missouri,—the first American company that fitted out for fur-hunting in the Rocky Mountains. Twenty years later he helped break the first wagon-road into Oregon, where he has borne his part in building up a prosperous commonwealth. Soon the last of this class of Amerian State-builders will have passed away with the times which called them forth, but the coming generations should not be permitted to consign them to oblivion. The noblest thing that the Oregon poet, Joaquin Miller, has written refers to

“ Those brave men buffeting the West With lifted faces. Tull were they Of great endeavor. Brave and true As stern crusader. . . .

Made strong with hope they dared to do.

What brave endeavor to endure !

What patient hope, when hope was past!

What still surrender at the last A thousand leagues from hope! How pure They lived, how proud they died !”

A drawback to the settlement of East Oregon has been the large amount of land held by wagon-road companies, who in the past, under a pretence of building a needed highway to the Idaho or Oregon mines, secured grants from Congress upon terms never honorably complied with. These grants, which will eventually be declared forfeited, are still unsettled. Another class of idle lands is that fraudulently taken up under the Swamp Land Act, large tracts of which are being restored to the government and opened for settlement along with the other government lands. There are, however, good tracts free to e ntry, and de-

sirable for homes, in every part of East Oregon, but chiefly in the central and southern portions. As the country settles up the cattle-raisers will be restricted to narrower limits, and agriculture force from the earth the wealth now lying unrecognized.

The following is a comparative statement of the counties of East Oregon at the beginning of the year 1890.

Acres of Improved Laud.

Value of


I Value of Town


Value of



Gross Valua tion of all Property.



Tax Equalized

by County









Baker . .









Crook . .









Gilliam. .









Harney .









Grant . .








Klamath .









Lake . . .








Malheur .









Morrow .









Sherman .

Umatilla .









Union . .









Wallowa .


. . »






Wasco . .









The amount of mortgages recorded against property in Baker County is $88,191; G-illiam, $159,207 ; Klamath, $80,223 ; Lake, $192,194.

Wagon-road land, not included in the above, is valued in Lake County at $92,406 ; in Wasco the number of acres is estimated at 68,609 ; in Crook County at 229,969. Railroad land in Morrow County is valued at $272,000.

Travel in Eastern Oregon is often not very agreeable, unless one could choose his route, his season, and his conveyance. Early spring gives the greater chances of comfort; by which I mean a more agreeable temperature than either summer or winter, and less dust and drought than autumn. The few railway lines, excepting the O. R. and N., are not fitted up for tourist travel, but only for the short trips between local points. From The Dalles to Umatilla the road runs along the sandy belt near the Columbia, with only the sullen river and the bare hills to which to turn your eyes. From Umatilla it whirls you across six or eight miles of sage-brush, when it strikes the narrow

valley of the river of that name, which is cultivated and pretty with its gardens, cotton-wood groves, and thickets of birch, alder, sumach, and wild roses in the sharp bends of the stream. Proceeding up the valley you are constantly kept on the alert by the dodging of the train from one green vista to another, and from the shelter of bare hills on one side to the shadow of overhanging rocks on the opposite side of some promontory, or making a straight run for some distance under the perpendicular wall of a basaltic upheaval, to leap suddenly into a cottonwood copse with a little farm home-place close by.

But all this is strictly local, and below the general level. The road from Pendleton to Snake River, running across the Blue Mountains and through the Grand Rond and Powder River Valleys, has more extensive views, and a greater variety of features. Prom Wallula Junction to Pendleton the road lies the greater part of the distance through a canon between hills so high that only their sides are seen, bristling with rock or tufts of dry grass, for miles. But when we have crossed the sand-belt, we observe that for other miles and miles towards Pendleton a green blanket of growing wheat hangs over the rounded tops of these high hills, giving promise of freight for this line after harvest.

Leaving Pendleton for Lewiston, our route takes in a better country than that nearer the Columbia, skirting the Umatilla Indian Reservation, than which there is no finer body of land in East Oregon. The road follows the sinuous course of Wild- Horse Creek to the top of the ridge dividing the waters of the Umatilla from those of the Walla Walla River, and from which there is an extensive view of the surrounding country, which is one vast wheat-field as far as the eye can reach. From this point the Walla Walla Valley appears spread out as on a chart, with the city of Walla Walla set in its midst and embowered in trees.

From this ridge, after making a long circuit to head a small side valley, and to gain distance for the train in descending, steam is withheld from the locomotive, and this becomes a gravity railroad until we again strike a level, where the train shoots ahead through fields of wheat, barley, and corn to Walla From this point to Snake River two similar ridges are crossed in a similar manner, the ascent and descent being made through narrow and crooked canons entirely shutting out the view, which is seen only on top of the divides; but from each of these there


is the same grand spectacle of boundless wheat-fields rolling off into billowy hills in all directions. The railroad strikes the Snake Fiver at Riparia, in the Palouse country. There the traveller is transferred to a steamboat for Lewiston, where he is landed after a twelve hours' struggle with the rapid current of the reptilian river. The distance is eighty miles; and when you come down it you make the voyage in four hours.

The scenery along the Snake is the same as along the Columbia above Celilo,—a strong, swift river between bare hills or columnar cliffs of basalt,—the difference being that every here and there along the Snake there are narrow shelves of warm sandy loam at the foot of the cliffs which are taken up by fruit-farmers. As the steamer comes down, it being July, she gathers up thousands of boxes of berries, peaches, and early apples, to be shipped by rail to Walla Walla and Spokane Falls. These small farms are irrigated by water led on to them from springs, or pumped up from the river by steam-power.

Lewiston, although an Idaho town, was built up by Oregon capital as an outfitting place for the Florence and Salmon River mines, in 1862. It is located on the point of land between the Snake and Clearwater Rivers, which form a junction here. It was on the latter stream, some twelve miles above here, that Lewis and Clarke encamped with the Nez Perces, with whom they left their horses to be cared for while they visited the coast, in 1805; and the town was named in honor of the explorer, Merriwether Lewis.

The site of Lewiston is a particularly pleasing one, the land sloping gradually up to the beautiful undulating country back of it, and having a water-front on both sides of the point bounded by the rivers. North of the Clearwater the land rises abruptly to a great height. It is over beyond this bluff and on this elevated plateau that the famous grain lands about Moscow and Genesee are located, which are tributary to Washington, being reached by the O. R. and N. and Spokane Falls and Palouse Railroads.

Lewiston has a charming climate, albeit rather warm in summer. It has about twelve hundred inhabitants, who are waiting for a railroad to infuse new life into its business system. It has gone ahead very little since the days when it had a transient population of several thousands, the chief improvement being in shade-trees. Both the Northern and the Union Pacific Railroads are making preliminary movements towards giving Lewiston the outlet it needs.

Between Lewiston and Mt. Idaho is a good farming country, to see which one must travel by stage, passing the beautiful Nez Perce Indian Reservation, and climbing toilsomely to the second plateau above Snake River, where is a pleasant lake resort,—or what would be a pleasant resort were the Lake House anything but a board shanty,—the fare being excellent.

Thirty miles beyond, the traveller comes to a rolling plateau,

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four thousand feet above sea-level, scatteringly covered with lofty pines, underneath which grows the short, thick grass known as "pine-grass," giving, with the groups of cattle here and there, a park-like aspect to the woodland. Beyond this twenty miles, and five hundred feet lower, is the valley resembling Grand Bond, and known as Camas Prairie, with the town of Mt. Idaho in the southeast corner.

Here let us stop, for we are off our prescribed territory; but this pan-handle of Idaho naturally belongs to the State of Washington, and has been repeatedly claimed by it. It contains, besides a good deal of superior farming land, the Coeur d'Alene mines, all of which territory is at present tributary to Washington, and must in a great measure ever remain so, being shut off by natural barriers from Southern Idaho. On the other hand, the southern counties of this new State could ill spare the best of its farming territory, and, being now a State, will not.



If there is anything of which an Oregonian is more proud than another, it is of his mountains, for every one exhibits that personal interest in them which amounts to a sense of proprietorship. Portland shop-windows are full of bad pictures of Mount Hood, which, notwithstanding their deficiencies from an artistic point of view, are yet pleasingly suggestive. That they sell is certain, for the production never ceases.

I may as well confess right here that I am myself responsible for starting this particular fad. Years ago, on my first visit to Oregon, I was delighted with the charming cloud-effects so noticeably lacking in the drier climate of California, as well as with the woods and the snow-peaks. My enthusiasm in my correspondence with the well-known California artist, F. A. Butman, "slopped over" to such an extent that he came up here and made a good many sketches. On returning he painted a "Mount Hood" on a large canvas, with a beautiful foreground,