Atlantis Arisen/Chapter 20
FROM OLYMPIA TO GRAY'S HARBOR.
After a few days spent in Olympia, my impressions of which remain most agreeable, I took steamer for Kamilche, the port on Little Skookum Bay, where one is transferred to a railroad. The weather was charming; the Olympic Range, with Mount Olympus draped in yet unmelted snow, on one hand, and Mount Rainier on the other, towering over the dark range of the Cascades, grand and speckless, drew the eyes away from the too dazzling expanse of the quiet waters through which we were speeding, and the delightful air inspired one with a feeling of overflowing vitality.
Little Skookum is one of half a dozen inlets similar to Budd's which radiate from a common centre on Puget Sound, like a cluster of small tubers on one large one. As we go down Budd Inlet, Mount Rainier is on our right; as we go up Skookum it is on our left, and, the course of the steamer being unnoticed while I study the shores, now being dismantled in many places of their forest dress, my ideas of locality become much disturbed.
Kamilche is found to be a small new settlement in the edge of the woods, with a wharf and warehouse where passengers wait three-quarters of an hour while the train backs down a sharp grade to take us on. This railroad from Kamilche to Montesano, called the Satsop Railroad, is an accident, or a necessity, or both. It was commenced as a logging tramway to bring timber out of the Chehalis Valley to tide-water, for towing to the great mills down the Sound. The people of Chehalis Valley, having no facilities for travel, persisted in riding on the logging-trucks until the owners were forced to put on a box-car. This concession so increased travel that a better track was laid, and a comfortable passenger-car added to the equipment. At the time I took passage there were two cars quite well filled. The distance from Kamilche to Montesano is thirty-five miles, and the same company own eleven other miles of road, from Shelton to the timbered lands west of the Sound. The Kamilche and Montesano portion has recently been acquired by the Northern Pacific, as a part of the Tacoma, Olympia, and Gray's Harbor Railroad, now in progress.
The ride through the forest was very pleasant, the road winding in and out to accommodate itself to the variations of surface. The various tints of green with the light falling through made a lovely study in color, and the woodsy vistas looked invitingly cool, yet with dashes of sunlight across them which relieved them from gloom.
A feature of these forests, and particularly of the Chehalis Valley, is the occurrence here and thereof prairie spots with not a tree upon them. These prairies were early taken up, and are known by the names of their first settlers, like those at the head of the Sound. I counted eight of these openings in the forest provided by nature to encourage settlement. On one of these, twelve miles above Montesano, is the town of Elma, surrounded by hop-fields. It has also a flouring-mill,—the only one in this region, where the mills are all lumber establishments. Its position in the valley ought to insure its growth, which is already quite promising. On the last and largest prairie the town of Montesano is situated. It is well chosen for a town,
being at the head of tide-water navigation on the Chehalis River, where we are transferred to a small steamer to continue our journey. We had encountered a number of stations along the railroad, and now found a great frequency in towns along the river.
Montesano is the county-seat of Chehalis County, although it is only since 1886 that it has enjoyed that honor. Formerly Montesano and the county-seat were on the south side of the river two miles below the new town, at a place now called Wynooche, which has about two hundred inhabitants and is said to be a prosperous little settlement. But it is quite overshadowed by the more modern town, which boasts a population of over two thousand, good public and private schools, is lighted by electricity, has two saw-mills, several manufactories, a good country trade, well-stocked stores, and banks. Its county buildings are good ; it has an “ elaborate system” of water-works, and is about to construct an electric railway. At least so said my informant, and the town had a thrifty look which bore out the statement, besides supporting a daily and weekly newspaper.
A little way below Wynooche we passed Melbourne, a trading- post and post-office. I could not sufficiently admire the winding river and the overhanging shrubbery,—the vine maple, with its delicate spring tones, the glossy gray-white catkins of the willows, the dark-green of the crab-apple and alder, the silver boughs of the hemlock, and the varnished whorls of the spruce, beyond all of which was the dark background of cedar- and fir- trees. This wealth of arboreal beauty reminded me of the rich foliage of the Florida bayous, the comparison being strengthened by the narrowness of the stream and its frequent turnings, cutting off the views, so that we seemed at the end of our voyage, which unexpectedly recommenced a moment later.
But soon the river widened, and behold another town, very prettily situated, on the south side of the river, and looking bright and new, although in fact the oldest in the Gray’s Harbor country, having been settled in 1860. This is Cosmopolis. Like all the other places of consequence, it has a large saw-mill, which furnishes employment to a good many men. The town has all the modern features of a good hotel, good schools, public reading-room, and church organizations, besides a healthy trade
with the surrounding country. Its population is about four hundred.
Three or four miles below Cosmopolis, and on the north side of the river, is Aberdeen. It is situated at the mouth of the Wishkah, a tributary of the Chehalis, and just inside the mouth of the latter river, where it broadens out into an inlet of Gray’s Harbor. This point was settled, I am told, by Samuel Benn, in 1866, but no town was founded until 1884. As the little steamer swung alongside the wharf, I was reminded of Astoria, so much of the town is built upon wharves extending over tide-land. The whole of the business part of the town is planked, and most of the residences are on the higher ground. Four large saw-mills are located here, a salmon-cannery, a foundry and machine shop, a brickyard, and a shipyard. It has an electric- light plant, good hotels, schools, churches, banks, a population of between two and three thousand, and two newspapers, the Herald and Bulletin. Early in 1890 a company purchased land on the south side of the river, laying it out in town lots, and calling it South Aberdeen. The first sale of any consequence was made just before I saw it, to a Michigan company, who bought seven hundred feet of the water-front for the purpose of erecting a shingle-mill and box-factory of large capacity.
I was now in sight of my destination,—Hoquiam, on Gray’s Harbor,—to which we steamed on after disembarking a large number of passengers at Aberdeen. A few minutes brought us alongside a wharf at the head of the north channel, and to the little maritime city with an Indian name, which faces the south, and lies at the mouth of the Hoquiam Biver. Like Aberdeen, it requires much planking, being laid out on land which Vancouver, in 1792, described as “low and apparently swampy, the soil thin over a bed of stones and pebbles,” and the country at a small distance covered with wood, “principally pine of an inferior growth.” A hundred years may have elevated the land somewhat, and have increased the size of the trees, for there is only the marsh grass and rushes of any tide-flat to liken it to a swamp, and the trees are not at present of an inferior growth. The beach, like most of these northern waters, is rough and shingly; the flats and shallows being unsightly with the driftbrought down by the rivers. And the mention of this feature
reminds me that the meaning of the word Hoquiam is “ hungry for wood.”
The growth and business of Cosmopolis and the two Aber- deens was incited by Hoquiam, which is the father of them all. The history of this section is interesting.
Gray’s Harbor extends inland fifteen miles, and has a width for half that distance of twelve miles, gradually narrowing towards the east until it forms a rather sharp point at the mouth of the Chehalis River. The tout ensemble is not very different from an arrow-head. The entrance is between two sand spits, Point Brown, on the north, and Point Hanson (Chehalis, or Petersen’s Point), on the south, and is a mile and a quarter wide, with a nearly straight channel a little north of east to the mouth of the river; the water in the channel being for the greater part of the distance twenty-two feet at mean low water, and thirty-one feet and upwards at mean high water. North Bay and South Bay are north and south of the entrance, and separated from the sea only by long and narrow necks of low land. Channels from the main one ramify into these bays, also one to the mouth of John’s River, which enters on the south side, another to Jones’s Point, a little further east, which continues on to the niouth of the Chehalis, and is known as the South Channel. There is also a channel running north from the main one to the mouth of the Humptulips River, an important stream, and to two other streams flowing into North Bay, besides some cross-channels; and there is an anchorage of fully six thousand acres in the harbor where twenty-five feet at low tide is to be found. Nothing has ever been done to improve Gray’s Harbor. Its commerce has been created by private enterprise alone; but there is a petition before Congress asking for surveys and improvements, and to have it made a port of entry. A very favorable feature of this harbor is the absence of the destructive teredo, so active in the waters of the Sound. So many fresh-water streams come into it that the teredo cannot live in it, and a ship’s bottom covered with barnacles is thoroughly cleaned in forty-eight hours.
Gray’s Harbor was discovered by the same doughty Captain Gray who discovered the Columbia, but he modestly named it Bulfmch Harbor, after one of the owners of his vessel. He
spent three days in it with his vessel, trading with the natives, who probably came out to him in canoes, as he makes no mention of any rivers or the appearance of the shores. Gray pronounced the entrance a good one. Vancouver’s lieutenant, Whidby, was ordered to survey it, but, after doing so,—very imperfectly, it seems,—pronounced it “ a port of little importance,” which afforded “ but two or three situations where boats could approach sufficiently near to effect a landing.” He also declared the water on the bar to be so shallow that it was impracticable for vessels even of a very moderate size to pass it except near high water, and then “with the utmost caution,” because he believed it a shifting bar. Whether in compliment or not, he renamed it Gray’s Harbor.
So doctors disagree. But it happened, as it so often has, that the professional was wrong and the non-professional right. The bar is quite straight and well defined by breakers on each side, with a channel through it a third of a mile in width, and a depth of water at low tide of twenty-two feet, and at high tide of from eight to fourteen more. Vessels go in and out all the time with perfect safety; but a new survey is in progress, which will have the result—no doubt desired—of calling attention to the actual merits of the harbor.
Whether it was the doubtful reputation of this port or other inscrutable cause which prevented it, no commerce sought its waters. It is true that in 1850-51 a town-site was laid out by John B. Chapman, and named Chehalis City; but nothing ever came of it, and Chapman went to the Sound. In 1852 J. L. Scammon and four others took claims where Montesano now stands, on the Chehalis; but the only man who resided at the mouth of the river was James A. Karr, who settled on the east side of the Hoquiam River in 1858, and who still resides there.
But one settler does not make a commercial port any more than one swallow makes a summer, and Karr remained solitary with all Asia in front of him until some lumber-dealers bethought themselves of the fine timber in the Chehalis Valley and determined to get it to market. In 1882 the Hoquiam Mill Company was organized, with Mr. George H. Emerson, manager, and a new era was inaugurated.
The saw-mill of to-day is very unlike the saw-mill of the past.
It means steam-power, a vast amount of machinery, possibly a railroad, a large force of men both in the logging-camp and at the mill, with capital to set all in motion. No attempt was made at first, or at any time, by the mill company, to found a town at Hoquiam ; but the activity imparted to the lower Che- halis Valley by the company’s business led Mr. Benn, before mentioned, to lay out a town on the Chehalis and invite other lumbering establishments to locate in it by offering them a generous portion of his land. These offers were at once accepted, and the town of Aberdeen was making rapid strides before the Hoquiam Land Company was formed, which is a separate concern from the Northwestern Lumber Company which owns the Hoquiam mills.
It was organized in 1889 by John G. McMillan and J. L. Whitney. Lots were readily disposed of to residents, and newcomers were attracted to this location, which had a greater depth of water along its front and looked out on the fine expanse of the harbor. The town was a little more than a year old when I paid my respects to it with the purpose of verifying the reports of it which I had received, and had then about fifteen hundred inhabitants. I found the Northwestern Lumber Company to own thirteen hundred acres of fine timber, which would yield from two hundred thousand to five hundred thousand feet per acre. Their mill turned out from thirty-five thousand to one hundred thousand feet daily, which was used in building and street improvements with no need to export any. The company also carried on a general merchandising business amounting to two hundred and twenty thousand dollars per annum. A second milling establishment had just commenced operations. The town boasted an opera-house, gas- and waterworks, a bank, a newspaper, the Washingtonian , and a board of trade. It was just completing a hotel of metropolitan size and elegance. The chief drawback appeared to be the lack of transportation, steamship and sailing lines having not yet arranged regular schedules, and the steamboat and railroad line to the Sound being inadequate to the needs of this and all the other communities in the Gray’s Harbor country. Great improvements rapidly followed, the traveller of to-day finding increased facilities of all kinds, and a town of a growth which has called
for several additions to the original town site. As a lesson in town-making Hoquiam might be studied with profit.
Although the original business men of Hoquiam took no part at first in founding cities, Aberdeen and Hoquiam had demonstrated the resources of Chehalis Yalley and the importance of Gray’s Harbor as an outlet to them.
Mr. Emerson was the possessor of a tract lying three miles west of Hoquiam, and directly facing the main channel, but not on it. It would require long wharves to reach out to deep water, but did not commerce build a Yenice in the midst of the sea? and would it not more easil}’ call into.being a city which required only some expensive harbor improvements ? He answered this question by forming the Gray’s Harbor Company, composed chiefly of eastern capitalists who were seeking a location. That company put money to his land, constructed a forty- thousand-dollar wharf, cleared and improved the site of Gray’s Harbor City, all of which was paid for out of the sale of lots in the first six months, and pointed out to railroads the short cut to the seaboard, which they at once proceeded to take.
The work of laying out the city began in the spring of 1889, at which time the ground was covered with a heavy growth of timber. By emplojdng hundreds of laborers this was removed, streets opened and improved, and at the end of a year elegant buildings were going up where late the plumy fir and spruce tossed in the sea-breeze. It is an oft-quoted saying that “ Home was not made in a da}’;” but we do things better now, and a year or two suffices to establish a city. Two railroads are at this writing striving to reach Gray’s Harbor before the close of 1890, and they will very nearly do it. There is no longer any doubt, if ever there was one, about the future of Gray’s Harbor. Additions are being laid out, which with the additions to Hoquiam and Aberdeen will some time compel a consolidation. Already their several city governments are proposing to have one Chamber of Commerce.
The site of Gray’s Harbor resembles that of Tacoma in being upon a high bluff with railroad tracks and wharves in front erf it on the beach, and also in having a grand view. Mr. Emerson kindly explained to me the plan of the company to extend several of the streets out to the channel. This will be done by
piling and cribbing and filling in with the material taken up by dredgers. Between these “ fills” will be channels kept open by dredging. One of the “ fills” will be used for milling purposes, basins being provided for them made by confining the water by tide-gates. This will be an expensive but a very convenient arrangement, and, as the numerous streams coming into the Chehalis and the harbor will float the logs to the basins, the expense of railroads into the forest will be obviated. The other channels will furnish room for shipping in the most compact shape possible, where it will be safe from the most violent winds that blow on the Pacific.
One advantage of Gray’s Harbor is an abundance of excellent water on the bluff, obtained without going to any great depth. Whenever extensive water-works are required, there are streams and lakes in the high lands bordering the Chehalis Valley, the water from which can be brought down at comparatively small cost.
A feature common to all new cities where the people are drawn together from older towns is the ease with which they conglomerate. A common interest levels for the time the usual distinctions. I found in Hoquiam and Gray’s Harbor, however, sufficient of an intellectual society to form a class, and enjoyed its variety, for it was made up of all professions. Among the most interesting men one meets in anew country are surveyors and engineers. Their profession makes them accurate ; they have more or less the poetical temperament, being close observers of nature; and they have had real adventures, which they tell with becoming modesty. I cannot swell the pages of this book by describing the people I have met, though I would like to do so, but the reader will get the benefit, if benefit it is esteemed, of some things I have learned from them, in the course of these chapters.
One of my excursions from Hoquiam was to a logging-camp several miles from town, the journey being performed in a small boat propelled by oars in the hands'of the owner of the camp, who treated our party most politely, and by his exploits showed himself a thorough lumberman. Our boating ended, we walked a mile or more through the woods, over a very rough trail, really performing a portage around the dam constructed for
“ chuting” logs into the stream below. Having been refreshed with an excellent dinner in a comfortable mess-house, we were taken to where the woodmen were felling trees, standing on tiny platforms made by inserting a short board in a cut in the tree, five, ten, or fifteen feet from the ground. I had supposed that this was necessary, either on account of the size of some trees at the butt, or because of the pitch contained in them; but our host assured me the great height at which some of the choppers or sawyers stood was simply an exhibition of bravado —the common ambition to excel one’s neighbor in skill or daring.
In felling a tree the foreman takes pains to direct its fall so as not to injure any other valuable tree in its descent, and they do this to a nicety by inserting wedges on the side opposite to the direction in which it is to fall which give it the necessary tilt,— for so straight are these great firs and cedars that, frequently, they will stand erect after they have been cut to the centre all round, and wait for a breeze to- sway them to a fall.
It was evident there was an immense waste, ten or twenty feet of a tree at the thickest part, and then the reckless destruction of all that are unfit for the finest lumber. I was regretting this to our host. “ The timber grows as fast or faster than it is consumed,” was the reply. Admitting that this is true where young timber is left undisturbed, the forest lands when cleared by axe and fire are put under cultivation, except on the mountains, and thus the amount must be rapidly lessening.
Having seen a few trees fall, we were shown the manner of hauling them to the stream, six or eight yokes of oxen being hitched to a single log. The lower side of the log has been peeled before being placed on the skid, which is well greased. The oxen are then driven by experienced men, who receive better wages than any but the foreman and cook. This latter exception made me smile, but I find that cooks are important personages in camps everywhere. These western lumbermen do not feed their men, as the Michigan lumbermen do, but give them a variety of fresh and canned foods.
Having watched the hauling of logs, and their skilful management to prevent them from slipping forward on the cattle, and their descent into the basin above the dam wi th a deep
dive, or a splash and a glide, we walked down to the dam to witness a c - shoot” of the chute when the gate was raised. This operation requires quickness and nerve, and was superintended by our host. The water rushing out of the basin carries with it a great weight of logs, which must not be allowed to make a “jam” against the dam. The men are on the logs with pikes directing them so as to head them for the opening and send them endwise down the slide below the dam, when they take a header into the stream with a mighty splash, and go floating tumultuously down the agitated water to be arrested by a boom at the creek’s mouth, and made into a raft for Gray’s Harbor.
The wages paid to men in this camp is from forty dollars to sixty dollars, the foreman getting one hundred and forty. The price of logs is three dollars and fifty cents per thousand feet in the water. The price paid to the owner of the land is fifty cents per thousand. The average per acre is fifty thousand feet of fir and spruce. The cost of putting in a dam is from three thousand dollars to ten thousand dollars; the skidded road costs one thousand dollars per mile; the teams for hauling, one thousand dollars; the mess-house and dormitory, two hundred dollars or three hundred dollars. Nine or ten men at the wages named above, with their board, cost per month about six hundred dollars, and the supplies for the oxen eighty dollars. These figures make this camp cost for its first outfit, being very conveniently located, about five thousand dollars, and its expenses for a season of six months five thousand dollars more. Its profits depend, of course, on the amount gotten into the water ready for the mills. A good deal of money is disbursed in the towns of Washington, every winter, by loggers.
As I shall have occasion to speak again of the lumber interest, I will leave it here for the present and return to the subject of towns and settlements.
Facing the south channel, an-d almost directly opposite the city of Gray’s Harbor is Gray’s Harbor City, whichvhas not yet become formidable as a rival to the towns on the north side. A little distance beyond or west of it is South Harbor, another small place, which has the advantage of being at a point where the south channel approaches closely to the shore with a crosschannel almost due north to the Gray’s Harbor wharf.At the mouth of Johns River is the Markham post-office, and still farther west is Bay City, at the head of South Bay. A milling establishment—Laidlow's—has just thought of starting a sale of town lots on the neck of land between South Bay and the ocean. Thus the success of one point stimulates ambition in others to compete with it.
About half-way between Markham and Bay City is the point selected by the Northern Pacific Railroad for a terminus on the harbor, and its name is Ocosta. This terminal city was founded on the first of May, 1890; therefore I was almost at its christening. Over three hundred lots were sold on this occasion, but the company have exhibited but little interest since, and some observers have expressed the opinion that it was the company's intention to extend its line to Shoalwater Bay, about fifteen miles south of Ocosta. But whether or not that is the company's present intention, it can do so whenever there is a motive for it.
The situation of Ocosta with reference to the channel is somewhat similar to that of Gray's Harbor; that is, long wharves will have to be built out to it, if not as long as those on the north side. It has a tide-flat in front, and the main part of the town plat on a level bench thirty-five to fifty feet above the flat. There is good anchorage in South Bay, and a belt of timber shelters the site of the town from the strong ocean winds which blow up and down the coast not more than four miles west of Ocosta. These are the main features of the new Northern Pacific Terminus.
[I have learned authentically, since writing the above, that the population of Ocosta now numbers (January 1, 1891) three hundred, and about fifty buildings have been erected. A wharf and warehouse have been built, and a saw-mill with a capacity of seventy-five thousand feet per diem, a sash- and door-factory about completed, and three shingle-mills have been added to the substantial improvements of the town. A bank has been doing business for two months. Two hotels entertain guests, and a third is in course of construction, while the land company and railroad company are planning one of those modern caravansaries which are the corner-stones of new western cities. Ocosta, like Hoquiam and Aberdeen, has resorted to planking
for improving its main business street. The railroad company's shops and round-house will be here, and trains will be running from Tacoma to Ocosta on the 1st of March, 1891. About the same time, if not sooner, trains will be running from Tacoma to the city of Gray's Harbor, over the Tacoma, Olympia and Gray's Harbor Railroad, or, as people here call it, c: Hunt's road." The developments to follow on both sides of the harbor will probably far outdo the progress of the previous year.]
It is evident, from the superficial observations here recorded, that the State of Washington has a good possession in the valley of the Chehalis, from its eastern end, where it includes the coalfields and lumber-tracts in the vicinity of Chehalis City and Centralia, to the Pacific Ocean. Its destiny will be given shape when the two railroads now nearing completion reach the harbor and have settled down to transportation business.
It may not be uninteresting to know that Hoquiam and Gray's Harbor gave Hunt a bonus of one hundred and sixty thousand dollars: Aberdeen, one hundred and thirty thousand dollars; and Montesano, twenty-five thousand dollars. That is not the way pioneers used to begin life.
The resources of this valley, which includes the whole of Chehalis, a corner of Thurston, and the western end of Lewis Counties, are prodigious. In the first place, the coal-fields at its eastern end embrace one hundred and fifty thousand acres. The quality and reputation of lignite which attached to the Chehalis coal-fields for a long time militated against their development/, but enterprises of a few recent years have established the existence of a practically exhaustless body of clean bituminous coal in these fields, containing from ninety to ninety-five per cent, of carbon, in veins of a thickness of six feet, with a dip favorable to mining. Hence these railroads rivalling each other to cover this territory. And these coal-mines lie beneath a forest of merchantable timber. It will, no doubt, be a casus belli between the railroads,—the control of the transportation of coal and lumber from this favored section. But as the Pacific Ocean is only from eighty to one hundred and thirty miles from any of the coal-fields here referred to, Cray's Harbor has a great advantage over the Sound or Columbia River towns as a direct route to the sea, there being a saving in distance over the
former of several hundred miles, and over the latter of about eighty. It is claimed here that vessels loading or discharging in Gray's Harbor save seven hundred miles in going and returning to Puget Sound ports, from eight to ten days of time, and from six hundred dollars to one thousand dollars in towage,— only ten miles of towing being required to take a ship out of the harbor,—and that the} 7 decrease their rates of insurance by avoiding the stormy coast of Cape Flattery, at the entrance to the Strait of Fuca.
The arguments in favor of Gray's Harbor reach further, and say that wheat from East Washington once loaded onto cars could more cheaply roll right on to Gray's Harbor over the Northern Pacific or Hunt's road, and be transferred to vessels there, than to sail the additional distance from Tacoma out through the Straits. Certainly the dikes projected in front of the city of Gray's Harbor will afford admirable sites for grainelevators, to be used in loading ships. With some comparatively cheap improvement upon the bar it is contended that this port is equal, if not greatly superior in its facilities for commerce, to any on the Northwest coast. And it seems as if nature should have provided such an outlet as this is claimed to be for the wealth within easy reach of it.
The timber which is tributary to the Chehalis Valley is not only that which covers so large an area in the valley proper, and its tributary valleys, which is estimated at ninety billions of feet, but there is an equal amount on the south and west of the Olympic Mountains which can only be brought out in this direction, and which is the largest and best timber in the State, unsurveyed and untouched by the axe of the logger. Great as are the well-known timber resources of Washington, it appears that more than a third of the whole must find its outlet at Gray's Harbor. A glance at the map shows a stream every few miles falling into Gray's Harbor or the Chehalis, which seem to have been designed for "driving" logs out of this immense forest. Many of these are navigable for considerable distances where not choked up with a "jam" of fallen timber, some of them having a depth of forty feet and over.
The largest of the streams emptying into tide-water are the Humptulips, Hoquiam, Wishkah, and Wynooche, all on t he
north, showing their sources to be in the Olympic Eange. There are many lesser streams on the same side, and also many coming from highlands south of the mouth of the Chehalis. Above Montesano the Chehalis receives the Satsop from the Olympics, and Black Eiver from the Cascades. The aggregate length of streams available for logging purposes is two thousand miles. Such figures stagger comprehension, standing on the shore of this broad, bright, but lonely bay, its townlets crowded for room in the edge of those "continuous woods" which are their dependence and their glory.
As to agriculture, its day has hardly begun. The lands of the Chehalis raise cereal and root crops, fruit, and hops equally well. There is a ready market in the towns for everything produced. The country near the coast, on account of its moist and cool climate, is an excellent one for grasses and dairying. The valleys of the streams named above are rich and fertile. In the Humptulips are about thirty townships of excellent land, little of which is occupied. Other valleys are almost unexplored.
The industries of the county are not yet shaped, if we except lumbering, ship-building, and fish-canning. The only one I heard spoken as about to be commenced was brickmaking, there being a quality of clay near the city of Gray's Harbor which it was believed would make a brick which could be vitrified, and which was desired for the construction of a grand hotel. I also heard it mentioned that the hemlock growing so abundantly near the coast offered inducements for tanneries to be located, in this region.
There are banks of cod and halibut off the coast for deepsea fishing; salmon ("Columbia Eiver turkey," I have heard it called) in abundance in the harbor and rivers tributary, and trout in the mountain-streams. There are in the harbor porgies, tom-cods, rock-trout, flounders, herring, smelt, sardines, and salmon-trout, while the tide-flats abound in clams and softshell crabs.
Some idea of the commerce of the lower Chehalis Yalley may be gathered from the fact that for one year, ending July 1, 1890, there was imported seventy thousand tons of merchandise. This trade was carried on with San Francisco and Portland. It remains to be seen what effect the completion of rail roads from the Sound will produce, and whether Gray's Harbor will not set up jobbing-houses of its own. In 1889 there was but one steamer a month from San Francisco; in 1890 there was one every twelve days. When the railroads are opened to travel, that will of course be too slow, with such marvellous quickness do affairs move in this wondrous wilderness.