Open Collections

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

A two months' tour in Canada and the United States, in the autumn of 1889 Edwards, Henry, Sir, 1820-1897 1889

Item Metadata


JSON: bcbooks-1.0222383.json
JSON-LD: bcbooks-1.0222383-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): bcbooks-1.0222383-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: bcbooks-1.0222383-rdf.json
Turtle: bcbooks-1.0222383-turtle.txt
N-Triples: bcbooks-1.0222383-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: bcbooks-1.0222383-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

Array A Two Months' Tour 
1889.  mmm
We left London on Friday, 30th August,
1889, at two p.m., by London and Northwestern Railway, in a comfortable front
coupe"—bright, sunny afternoon—and we saw
energetic harvest operations going on all
along the line, and arrived at Liverpool at
6.45. Luckily, quarters had been secured
for us at North-Western Hotel. Every
room was engaged, much to the annoyance
and vexation of many who were obliged to TWO MONTHS' TOUR IN
put up with very second-rate accommodation, and who will in future remember the
necessity of securing rooms for the night
prior to the departure of the mail steamer.
All was bustle and confusion at the hotel.
Such crowds of people, and such piles of
luggage! It is, indeed, a sight to see American ladies returning home after \ doing'
Europe—such huge boxes, five and six feet
long, and three to four feet deep, and many
of them. I was in light marching order—
two moderate-sized portmanteaus and dressing-bag. The head porter of the hotel
labelled them and gave me a voucher promising safe delivery in my cabin, where I
found them when I went on board the
Cunard steamer Etruria at twelve o'clock.
It is, indeed, an exciting scene to see 620 IT        I 	
passengers crowding on board ship, and the
overwhelming amount of luggage taken home
by the Americans. Luckily for me, I was
free from anxiety, and could look on with
complacency at the worry and excitement of
so many hundreds stowing themselves and
their worldly goods away. And then came
the anxiety of getting comfortable seats at
table. Luckily the captain invited me to sit
at his table at the second dinner, served at
seven o'clock. The 620 were all saloon
passengers, and it seemed wonderful how
they were all provided for. One half had
breakfast at eight, lunch at twelve, and
dinner at 5.30; the second, breakfast at
nine, luncheon at one, and dinner at seven,
and it is surprising how quickly all get
settled down.
We left Liverpool at one p.m., weather
fine, smooth sea, but no sunshine. We
arrived at Queenstown on Sunday morning
at six o'clock. Many passengers went on
shore. It was a grey morning, with a cool
breeze. Passengers and mails came alongside at one p.m., and we at once got under
way; the sun shone, and every one settled
down for the voyage.
Out of the 620 passengers, I think the
odd twenty were English, all the rest Americans, and almost every one had a large cane
reclining chair, enabling them to recline at
full length. The whole of the upper deck
was lined with these chairs on both sides,
and any number of pillows, cushions, and
rugs—only a small passage to pass between
them, and I could not but think it looked
like a vast hospital. I must confess I would
never even dream of taking a trip across the
Atlantic for pleasure in a popular Cunard
steamer with 600 homeward-bound Americans. I certainly should prefer a less popular
ship and fewer passengers. There was no
getting free of the smell of cooking in the
saloon, as meals were going all day long; the
smoking-room was inconveniently crowded.
I had a good-sized, comfortable cabin, but
it was below the saloon, and like an oven,
well-nigh suffocating, and the ports had to be
kept closed. However, we made a quick
passage. On Monday, at twelve o'clock, we
had run 457 miles; Tuesday, 461 ; Wednesday, 470; Thursday, 462 ; Friday, 501 ; and
we arrived at the landing-stage in New
York harbour at eleven o'clock on Saturday
morning. We had hardly any sunshine
throughout the voyage, and the latter part
we had occasional fog, and the screeching
fog-horn startled us at intervals, but we had
comparatively a smooth sea. I came to the
conclusion that a journey across the Atlantic
is all very well as means to an end ; but to
take a sea-trip for pleasure I infinitely prefer
the Mediterranean.
I landed, and was free of the Custom
House with my luggage at one o'clock, and,
as New York has no charms for me, I drove
direct to the Central Station—a long drive
through a busy part of the city—and secured
a section in the Pullman sleeping-car for
Montreal. I then felt myself free for three
or four hours, and drove through Broadway
and round Central Park.    I was much struck
w iga&as»*~«™»~.*y»»*»-     ,,^wi niwim imflirtiiiniinit iftilirrnnn
K~*^^^&jrf«j^|^SS^^tegSfe^^^^^ CANADA AND THE UNITED STA TES.
with the material improvement and signs of
wealth in the city—all the old crude buildings
cleared away, and magnificent offices, stores,
and hotels erected, giving unmistakable signs
of great prosperity; but the racket and noise
was well-nigh unbearable. Since my last visit
a new tramway has been laid through the
very centre of Broadway, from end to end,
and one company alone runs a car every
minute throughout the day. This is in addi-
itaoii to the other trams and the numerous
carts, waggons, and private vehicles. The
great noise and confusion can be more easily
imagined than described. The granite paving-stones don't add to its serenity. I dined
at the Union Hotel, close to Central Station,
at six o'clock, and at 7.30 started for Montreal, and passed a comparatively comfortable
night in the train, and arrived at eight a.m.
Sunday morning.
Sir Donald Smith kindly sent to the
station for me, and on arrival gave me a
hearty welcome. I found he had visitors
staying with him—Lady Shrewsbury and
Lady Selkirk—who were making a tour of
America and Canada, simply with their two
maids. They only arrived the evening before my arrival. We all met at breakfast,
then went to church and had a very good
service. After luncheon we devoted ourselves in admiration of the art treasures in
Sir Donald's picture gallery and museum.
There are very fine pictures, and a large
collection of very choice, valuable Japanese
bronzes, and all sorts of curios. There is a
banquetting-room, in addition to the ordinary
[ Vh*r"
room. Our host is most hospitable; we had
dinner parties every day, except Tuesday,
when we all dined with Sir George and Lady
We visited all the places of interest in
and around Montreal, of which there are
very many; the drive round the mountain
and the commanding views from the summit
are very charming, also the steamboat excursion down the Lachine Rapids. The
population is 250,000, and rapidly increasing; bricks and mortar abound in all
I left Montreal at 8.40 p.m. on Friday,
the 13th of September. Luckily I had the
drawing-room of the car appropriated to me,
and found it most comfortable, and it mitigated the weariness of three nights and three IO
days in the train. I must say the Canadian
Pacific Railway is admirable In all respects—the line runs easy and smooth, the
dining cars are luxurious, and the cuisine
very good, and very superior to anything I
ever met with on the Grand Trunk Railway.
I cannot say the country between Montreal
and Winnipeg is very picturesque.
We stopped at Sudbury, where there is a
branch railway to St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Sudbury is a considerable copper - mining
district, and is extending rapidly. Smelting
furnaces are in course of erection. We pass
through hills, forests, and lakes, and on the
second morning after leaving Montreal we
catch glimpses of Lake Superior, and soon
we are running along its precipitous shore;
on the right are tree-clad mountains, mostly CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES.      ir
the green pine, and there are rocks all around.
For many hours we continue along the lake,
hour after hour we glide through tunnels and
deep rock cuttings, over immense embankments, bridges, and viaducts, everywhere
amazed at the great difficulties that had to be
encountered in making the line.
We crossed the Nepigon River, famous
for its trout, ran down the shore of Thunders
Bay, and stopped at Port Arthur, a thousand
miles from Montreal, a beautifully situated
city, but quite a mushroom. Eight years
since it was a mere landing-place, and now it
is a flourishing town with a population of
5,000, apparently carrying on a prosperous
trade, and the country around is getting
rapidly cultivated. Only four miles further we
came to Fort William, where there is con-
\ lif
siderable trade carried on. Long piers and
wharves and a considerable amount of shipping ; and the great railway grain elevator,
looming above all, is a monster, holding
twelve hundred thousand bushels; and everything is new—the creation of two years.
The country between Fort William and
Winnipeg is a wild, broken region, with rapid
rivers and lakes, and contains nothing of
interest—poor soil, with poplar and small
spruce-trees; and we hardly saw a living
thing for very many miles, until our near
approach to Winnipeg. Wolseley led his
army from Fort William to Winnipeg in
1870, using the more or less connected rivers
and lakes much of the way; at that time it
was called Fort Garry, and there were but a
few wooden huts, and now there is a hand-
some city, capital of the province of Manitoba,
of over 35,000 people, and is growing rapidly,
and has street railways, electric lights, handsome schools and colleges, a fine hospital,
great flour mills and grain elevators. Since
the great boom of 1880 and 1883 there has
been a comparative quietness over the place,
but there are now signs of revival, a few good
harvests are wanted to set all alive again ;
the cost of living is dear, and house-rent very
high. Winnipeg has become what it always
must be—the commercial focus of the North-
West; situated where the forest ends and
the vast prairies begin, with thousands of
miles of river navigation to the North, South,
and West, and railways radiating in every
Winnipeg is on a broad  plain, and  for
1 14
many miles is as green and level as a bilKard-
table, not a bit of rising ground to be seen ;
there are numerous well-tilled farms and
comfortable farmhouses, with a quantity of
cattle half hidden in the grass, but there are
very few trees. About six miles out of
Winnipeg Sir D. Smith has a charming farm
residence, replete with every comfort; which
is always kept in readiness for his friends,
and all repaired there, including the Ladies
Shrewsbury and Selkirk: we went over the
yards and saw some very choice cattle and
sheep, and five buffaloes, which are most
interesting objects since their almost extermination.
Fifty-five miles from Winnipeg is Portage
la Prairie, another city of a day's growth, with
grain  elevators  and  flour  mills, with busy
— -— i^2£^» CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES.      15
streets and substantial houses; and eighty
miles further we reach Brandon, a prosperous
town of 5,000, with large grain elevators or
warehouses at the station.
Leaving Brandon we reach the great
Prairie Steppes leading to the Rocky Mountains, a most prolific soil: the horizon only
limits the view, and as far as the eye can
reach the prairie is dotted with newly made
farms — here is produced in the greatest
perfection the most famous wheat, known as
Hard Fyfe wheat of Manitoba.
Three hundred miles from Winnipeg we
passed through the famous Bell Farm, embracing 100 square miles of land, 64,000 acres,
the largest arable farm in the world. It was
bought of the Government at five shillings
per acre.    About 1500 acres are now under
I   fa
\ i6
cultivation; the produce on an average is
twenty bushels per acre. There is a
church, school, hotel, flour mills, making
quite a village, and neat square cottages of
die  labourers dot the  plain.
The great wheat belt of Manitoba is
about 500 miles long and 250 wide, capable
of producing sixteen hundred million bushels
of wheat if it were all under cultivation.
We reached Regina, the headquarters of
the North-West Mounted Police, a magnificent body of men engaged in keeping the
Indians in order. They are young, picked
men, thoroughly drilled, and governed by
strict military discipline. We then had a
dull, dreary country to pass through; for
over 200 miles the prairie was covered with
burnt grass.    We had  a  hot sun, and the
carriages were stuffy and anything but
agreeable; there was not a tree to be seen.
We then pass through what is said to be
a very paradise for sportsmen; the lakes
become more frequent. Some are salt, some
are alkaline, but most of them are clear and
fresh; it is said wild geese, cranes, ducks,
—a dozen varieties—snipe and curlew are
found here in myriads. Prairie chickens are
abundant on the high ground, and antelope
are common on the hills. We have crossed
the high broken country, and far away we
see the Cypress Hills appearing as a deep
blue line, and for want of anything else we
watch these gradually rising as we draw near
to them; the railway skirts their base for
many miles.
At Maple Creek, a little town with exten-
sive yards for the shipment of cattle, some of
which are driven here from Montana, feeding
and fattening on the way, we see the red
coats of the Mounted Police, who are looking
after a large encampment of Indians near
by; there are many Indians on the station
platform, of high and low degree, and squaws,
mostly bent on trading—a picturesque-looking
lot, but very dirty withal. Leaving the station, we catch sight of their encampment—
many of them in blankets of brilliant colours—
hundreds of ponies feeding on the rich
grasses; a line of trees in the background,
seeming more beautiful because of their
rarity, making, with the Cypress Hills in
the distance, a picture novel and striking.
In about two hours we arrived at Medicine
Hut, a finely situated and rapidly growing
lis:   ♦
 —^-— **m
■ ■_!■■■ IN   »!■■■ !! i'
town, a thousand miles from Lake Superior;
there are extensive coal mines in the district.
Some time after we approach Crowfoot Station, and we are all alive for the first view
of the Rocky Mountains, yet more than a
hundred miles away. Soon we see them,
a glorious line of snowy peaks, seemingly
an impenetrable barrier. Peak rises behind
peak, then dark bands of forest that reach
up to the snow-line come into view ; the
snow-fields and glaciers glisten in the sunlight, and the passes are seen deep in the
heart of the mountains.
We have been running by the tree-
lined banks of the Bow River, and crossing
over we find ourselves on a plateau where
stands the new city of Calgary, at the base
of the Rocky Mountains, 2262 miles from
1 :■
ii 20
Montreal, and 3416 feet above the sea.
Calgary is an infant of three years old,
with a population of 2500, the most important as well as handsomest town between
Brandon and Vancouver. It is charmingly
situated on a hill-girt plateau; it is the centre
of the trade of the great ranching country,
and said to be the finest ranching country;
the area is about 4,000,000 acres, well
watered by streams from the Rocky Mountains. Cattle and horses graze at will all
over the countryj summer and winter alike.
In the spring and autumn all the ranchmen
join in a ' round up,' to collect and sort out
the animals according to the brands of the
different owners, and it is then the cowboy
appears in all his glory. Calgary is growing
fast into a big place.    There  is no gas; CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES.      21
electric light lights up the whole place : it
is the centre of the great cattle, horse, and
sheep trade, and an important station of the
Mounted Police.
Our next resting-place was Banff, the
station of the National Park of Canada,
and we were told it was the summit of the
Rocky Mountains ; but it is the summit only
In an engineering sense, for the mountains
still lift their white heads five to seven
thousand feet above us. We arrived at
five o'clock in the morning ; it was dark,
but, as the dawn began to break, we soon
became aware of the magnificent scenery
in the heart of the Rockies, and when
the sun rose and lit up the snowy peaks
of the impressive mountains it was a scene
never    to    be    forgotten.     The    railway
X32Z&&L.-- 22
company have built a grand hotel, capable
of accommodating 300 guests, in a situation commanding most lovely views.
The first thing I did when I reached the
hotel was to have a sulphur bath, for which
Banff is famous. The two principal springs
which are being utilised flow from the central
spur of Sulphur Mountain, 700 feet above the
level of Bow River. The main spring gives
at the rate of one and a half millions of
gallons daily, at a temperature of 1150; on
the left of the mountain is a cave and a large
pool of about thirty feet wide and three to
six feet deep, in which hot springs bubble,
making the atmosphere well-nigh unbearable
with the fumes of the sulphur. Some wonderful cures have been made by persons
suffering from rheumatism bathing in this CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES.
cave.    A crutch hangs on the wall with this
label, ' Owner has gone home.'
Banff will doubtless become celebrated by
the sulphur baths, but quite independent of
them the exquisite scenery and the bracing
air will be attraction enough for hosts of
visitors. The entire Banff Valley and adjacent mountains, amounting to 100,000 acres,
have been set apart by the Dominion Government as a national park for ever; it is twenty-
four miles long and nine wide, and it embraces
fifteen miles of the Bow River, of which nine
miles are navigable for small steamers, six
,miles of the Spray River flowing through a
forest. The park also contains the Devil
Lake, twelve miles long and two wide, and
the Vermillion Lakes; they are deep and clear,
and mountain ranges on each side, rising thou-
']' 1
X sands of feet, present scenery of the greatest
beauty, and just at this season it is surpassingly lovely—the bright green pine, the bright
yellow of the fading poplar, and the brilliant
red of the dying maple, whilst the Bow River
winds through the whole, a bright blue, and
the mountain range of eternal snow forming
a panorama of mountains ten to eleven thousand feet high, which cannot be surpassed in
beauty and grandeur.
It is, indeed, a place to remember, and I
should have much liked to prolong my stay.
We stayed two entire days, and were aroused
at four o'clock in the morning' to catch the
train leaving Banff at five. The railway rejoins the Bow River, and follows it up through
a forested valley. The view backward is
very fine; the Vermillion Lakes are skirted, CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES.
and ahead a magnificent view is had of Mount
Massive, and the snow-peaks and a small
glacier between Mount Hector and Goal
Mountain both over 10,000 feet. Then the
highest point of the railway is reached, 5300
feet above the sea; at the summit is a lake,
marshy and shallow, from which trickles a
stream at each end, one of which travels 2000
miles to the Atlantic, and the other 1500 to
the Pacific Ocean. And now we bid adieu to
Bow River. Ten miles below the summit we
round the base of Mount Stephen—a stupendous mountain rising directly from the railway to a height of more than 8000 feet,
holding on its shoulders, almost above our
heads, a glacier whose shining green ice, 500
feet thick, is over a precipice of dizzy height;
it is so near that we can imagine we hear the ■v»^^^
crackling of the ice. The scenery is now
sublime and almost terrible; the line clings to
the mountain side on the left, and the valley
on the right rapidly deepens until the river is
seen as a gleaming thread a thousand feet
below. The train, with two powerful engines
reversed, and every break screwed to its
tightest, slides down a gradient of 1250 feet
in less than ten miles. Every now and then
we crawl over a trestle bridge two or three
hundred feet above some gorge torn out of
the mountain side by a rushing torrent.
Two hours from the summit, and 3000
feet below it, the gorge suddenly expands,
and we see before us, high up against the
sky, a jagged line of snowy peaks of new
forms and colours. A wide, deep, forest-
covered valley intervenes, holding a broad CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES.      27-
and rapid river. This is the Columbia. The
new mountains before us are the Selkirks,
and we have now crossed the Rockies.
Sweeping round into the Columbia Valley
we have a glorious mountain view. To the
north and south, as far as the eye can reach,
we have the Rockies on the one hand and
the Selkirks on the other, widely differing in
aspect, but each indescribably grand. Descending, we reach in a few minutes the
Glacier House—a delightful hotel situated
almost facing the Great Glacier, and at the
foot of the grandest of all the peaks of the
Selkirks—Sir Donald, an acute pyramid of
naked rock, shooting up nearly 8000 feet
above us. In the dark valley below we see
the glacier-fed river glistening through the
tree-tops, and everywhere the mountains rise
j 28
in majesty and immensity beyond all comparison. We are now confronted by the
Gold range—another grand, snow-clad series
of mountains. The deep and narrow pass
takes us forty miles through this range of
almost vertical cliffs and lovely lakes; and
then the Valley of Thompson River—a wide,
almost treeless valley, occupied by farms and
cattle ranches—and here for the first time irrigating ditches are seen. Flocks and horses
are grazing everywhere.
We then pass through tunnel after tunnel,
emerging into a narrow valley, and the rugged
mountains frown upon us again, and for hours
we wind along their sides, looking down upon
a river. We suddenly cross the deep, black
gorge of the Fraser River on a massive
bridge of steel, seemingly constructed in mid- CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES.      29
air, plunge through a tunnel, and enter the
famous canyon of the Fraser. The view
here changes from the grand to the terrible.
Through this gorge, so deep and narrow in
many places that the rays of the sun hardly
enter, the black and ferocious waters of the
great river force their way. We are in the
heart of the cascade range, and above the
walls of the canyon we occasionally see the
mountain peaks gleaming against the sky.
Hundreds of feet above the river is the
railway, notched into the face of the cliffs,
now and then crossing a great chasm by a
tall viaduct, or disappearing in a tunnel
through a projecting spur of rock. For
hours we are deafened by the roar of waters
below, and we are glad when we see the
bright sunshine once more.    The scene  is
;. j JO
fascinating in its terror, and we finally leave
it gladly yet regretfully. At the end of the
canyon the river widens out, and we see the
villages of the Indians and herds of cattle.
In the far distance we see Mount Baker,
.14,000 feet above us.
As the valley widens out, farms and
orchards become more frequent; we cross
large rivers, flowing into the Fraser, and see
shoals of salmon; the river was literally alive
with them. I was credibly informed that
the quantity of salmon taken out of the
Fraser River this season was valued at three
million dollars, and a gentleman, a partner in
two canneries, told me himself that they had
captured 30,000 salmon in one day; there
was such a large quantity tinned this season
they were afraid markets would be glutted CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES.      31
and prices reduced. There are three separate
runs of salmon every year. Passing through
a forest of mammoth trees, some of them
twelve feet in diameter and nearly three
hundred feet high, we find ourselves on
.the tide waters of the Pacific. Following
down the shore for half-an-hour, we arrived
at Vancouver on Sunday afternoon, the 22nd
September, the terminus of the Canadian
Pacific Railway, having had nine days and
nights' travel from Montreal. We took up
our quarters at the Vancouver Hotel, belonging to the Canadian Pacific Company,
and a most charming hotel we found it, replete with every comfort and beautifully
furnished. Vancouver is the youngest town
in Canada; it was commenced four years
ago,  when it was a  forest.     It was burnt
I wmmm
down two years ago. It is now called a
city. It seems to have grown by magic.
There are fine schools and four large churches,
and I saw the design for a very pretty opera-
house that is to be erected next spring.
There is a beautiful natural park reserved.
We drove through it and admired the fine
trees for at least nine miles over a good road.
I think there is a great future for Vancouver; it is beautifully situated, commanding
charming views. Rising directly from the sea
is a beautiful group of the Cascade Mountains, and there is a fine harbour, suitable for
ocean steamers, and will be the highway to
Japan and China. During my stay at Vancouver, I received much kind attention and
hospitality from Mr. Abbot, the representative
of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. if
On Wednesday, the 24th, I started with
my friend, Mr. Symons, by steamer to Victoria, British Columbia, a journey of six
hours. We had a delightful passage through
the Gulf of Georgia, with rugged coast scenery,
through islands, quite a picturesque coasting
voyage, and arrived at Victoria at eight p.m.,
and went to Driard's Hotel, where quarters
had been secured for us. I visited Victoria
in 1883, when it was comparatively a mere
country village. On my return now I find it
a considerable commercial city, with a population of 12,000, and rapidly increasing, bricks
and mortar in all directions, and a vast
amount of labour employed. At night the
streets are lighted by electric lamps on masts
two hundred feet high, looking like so many
moons.    The effect is striking and light per-
%m 34
fection. The country around is pretty; there
is a comfortable club, and a fair amount of
society. We drove out to Esquimalt, to pay
a visit to Admiral Henage on board the
Swiftsure. Unfortunately for us he was on
shore at a lawn-tennis gathering. We had
luncheon, went over the ship, the weathe
was lovely, and we enjoyed our visit. The
harbour is very pretty, and abounds with
We left Victoria for San Francisco on
board the City of Pueblo steamer. We resolved on taking • the long sea route, having
had so much railway travelling. Most persons take the short sea route by Paget Sound
to Seattle and Tacoma; but as I visited those
places in 1883, when I was at the opening of
the Northern Pacific Railway, I was content CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES.      35
to take the long sea route. We had large,
roomy deck cabins. The sea was calm,
weather fine, but very little sunshine. We
had a comfortable passage, and arrived within
the Golden Gate in the beautiful harbour of
San Francisco at 5.30 p.m., just fifty-four
hours from the time of our leaving Victoria.
We had the fog-horn going part of the day.
Luckily, the mist cleared away, and we had
a lovely view of the harbour, with the
setting sun lighting up the fortified island
of Alcatraz,  and all around.
Our friends were awaiting us on shore,
and drove us off to the Palace Hotel—
an enormous hotel, admirably arranged; on
one side the European style of paying for
rooms without meals, and the other the
American style, five dollars a-day, including
~rj ssass
meals. I had capital quarters, with bath and
dressing-rooms a VAmericaine. The cuisine
was excellent. We stayed nearly a week,
and did the city from end to end. It is indeed a wonderful place, considering its youth
and marvellous growth. The streets literally
swarm with people; fine broad thoroughfares,
and the most perfect cable tram-cars going in
all directions, uphill and downhill, travelling
as smooth as glass. I cannot say I am as
enamoured of the city as I am of the harbour.
There are but few really fine houses, but
there are a vast number of very pretty houses
nearly all built of wood. In one of our drives
we saw a house of three storeys being removed from one avenue to another. The
country all around was parched and brown,
owing to the dryness of the season, but I can m
i   1 1
imagine it is very beautiful in the spring of
the year. September is the hottest month.
There is a fine park of great extent, with
magnificent roads. We drove through Golden
Gate Park to Cliff House and Seal Rocks,
covered with seals. Unfortunately, there is
always a great deal of mist or fog hanging
about, almost daily coming and going, in an
extraordinary way. Not a day passed without misty hours, and it is only now and then
we can see the beauties of the place. I was
made a member of the Union Pacific Club,
and when moving about the elegant and commodious rooms I could hardly realise the fact
that I was so far away from Pall Mall and
Piccadilly. I went to two theatres, and
although I cannot say much of the performances, I must confess the theatres are much Wl:
better than we have in London. Sir
Julian and Lady Goldsmid, with two of their
daughters, arrived at the Palace Hotel, and I
had the pleasure of joining them in doing
one of the great sights of San Francisco, that
of going through ' China Town.' There are
some 30,000 to 40,000 Chinese, and they are
packed in a quarter of the city in the smallest
possible space. They have joss-houses, curio
shops, restaurants, saloons, and all kinds of
Chinese work going on. Our visit was between eight and nine in the evening, and the
narrow streets were crowded with people, and
in narrower passages, where the people were
packed almost like herrings in a barrel, the
atmosphere was far from being the purest.
We were taken to a theatre, and such a scene
I  never witnessed  in my life before.    We CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES.      39
could not gain admittance at the entrance
owing to its being crowded, but, by way of
favour, and to oblige our guide, who was a
gentleman of influence, we were passed in in
single file at the back, through a very circuitous narrow passage. Mounting two or
three steps, then another narrow passage, and
more steps, all dimly lighted by oil lamps, at
length we arrived on the platform, and it was
with difficulty we could even find standing-
room. And the sight before us I can never
forget. The place was simply a mass of
"human beings welded together. Where we
were we could hardly move hand or foot, but
they were literally jammed; and thinking, as
I did, of the very narrow, circuitous, wooden
passage we had passed through, and the mere
possibility of fire, I made my exit as quick as I'
I could, and was glad when I breathed fresh
air again, and resolved if I ever revisited San
Francisco I should give China Town a very
wide berth. We passed a very pleasant
morning at the wholesale fruit market, and
saw very large quantities of fruit of all kinds,
and we were not a little surprised at the
extremely low prices, large boxes of good
grapes selling, by the box, at the rate of a cent,
or halfpenny, per pound. Melons, peaches,
figs, strawberries, apples, pears, all in great
abundance. I saw a gentleman from Los
Angeles, who told me he had a vineyard of
eighteen acres bearing good fruit, but they
would not pay the cost of picking and carriage
to market.
We left Frisco on Thursday evening, the
•3rd of October, for Salt Lake City, and I CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES.      41
must confess I did not feel very gay at the
prospect of the long railway journey. We
crossed the Pacific, and took the train at
Oakland ; this is a suburb of San Francisco,,
with a large population. We started at 6.30,
and passed two nights and one day travelling
through the State of Nevada—a great mining
country and nothing picturesque; it was a
wearying journey. We stopped at Reno,
where a fair was held ; the stock exhibit was
fine ; this is in close proximity to Virginia
City, where there are many mines.
I was glad to leave the train on our
reaching Salt Lake City on Saturday
morning. I felt I wanted refreshing. We
drove to the Walker House Hotel, and,
having settled our quarters, we at once went
off to bathe in the Great Salt Lake at Gar-
m Ik
field Beach, eighteen miles by rail from the
city, on a branch of the Union Pacific.
Commodious bath-houses and a fine pavilion,
accommodating 400 people, with restaurant,
&c, and is very much resorted to in the
bathing season. We enjoyed it immensely;
the water is marvellously buoyant—it seems
impossible to sink : it requires skill to keep
one's body in position. The lake is 4280 feet
above sea level, and so salt, no living thing
exists in it. It is 100 miles long and forty
miles wide, and contains twenty per cent.*
of salt. That which struck me as the most
extraordinary was an island on the lake, called
Church Island, sixteen miles long and seven
miles broad, where 10,000 sheep graze and a
* Ordinary sea water is three to seven per cent. CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES.      43
quantity of cattle. There are farms on the
island, and several springs of the purest
water.    It is four miles from the shore.
We attended a fair, at which we saw a
baby show. There were only twenty-nine
competitors: there were five prizes. One
lady exhibited twins, and got third prize.
We felt much refreshed by our salt bath,
and returned, and found the City en grande
file, it being the annual conference of the
Mormons; the place was swarming with the
Mormon community from all parts. The
Tabernacle was the great place of assembly.
Lectures were delivered in succession throughout the day. We went morning and afternoon for a short time ; the crowd was so
great it was difficult to find room. The
building  is  250 ft. long,   150 ft. wide, and
80 ft. high ; the roof is a single oval span,
joined on a strong lattice work of timbers,
resting on forty-six pillars of red sandstone ;
it will seat 13,452 persons—the largest roof
in the world unsupported by columns, and
built entirely of wood. It can be cleared in
seven minutes; there are eight large doorways opening outways. The organ is one of
the finest, and has 3000 pipes; the acoustic
properties are perfect, the voice, not very
loudly delivered, being audible all over the
There is a Grand Temple in close proximity, but it is not yet finished. It was commenced thirty-five years ago, and has.already
cost three-and-a-half million dollars; it is
200 ft. long and 100 ft. wide ; the towers will
range from 175 to 200ft. in height;  it   is CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES.      45
constructed of granite, from a solid mountain, twenty miles from the city. The Temple
is near completion, and will doubtless be
finished; but Mormonism is no longer in
the ascendant; polygamy, from being open
and blatant, has been reduced to the status
of a common crime ; the generation of fanatics
who believed in it as a divine revelation is
passing away, and the new generation of
Mormons, and more especially those who are
themselves the children of plural marriages,
have seen too many of its evils, and had
too bitter an experience of its cursing and
blighting effect, to desire its continuance.
Of course this applies only to those who
are ordinarily decent and well-intentioned;
there are still many polygamists, but they
are deprived of civil rights; they have no m
longer the power of voting if they have
more than one wife. The Mormons have
always had the ruling of the Council Chamber, but now there is every appearance of
a change; the Gentiles express great confidence in carrying the elections in February
next, and should they succeed, I expect
there will be great changes for the better
in the city and its surroundings. The
climate is well-nigh perfection—never extreme heat or cold. We went to the
theatre, a very fine, spacious building, and
witnessed a performance of I Youth' by
Mormon amateurs ; the building was crammed to overflowing. On Sunday we went
to the Tabernacle; it was well-nigh im-
possible to get one's nose in ; it was full
to overflowing, morning, noon, and evening; CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES.      47
they have a choir of about 100 male and
female singers. Every one remains seated
whilst singing.
We left Salt Lake City for Denver at
nine a.m. on Monday, the 7th of October, a
journey of 735 miles, by the Rio Grande
Railway, one of the wonders of the world.
On leaving Salt Lake City we pass
through the beautiful and very productive
valleys of Jordan and Utah. We saw abundance of cattle, and a large number of homesteads and neat-looking agricultural labourers'
houses. On one side the Wasatch range
towers up against the sky, and on the other
the Oquerrh mountains have spires that seem
to pierce the clouds—most charming scenery
as we ascend the western slope; and we had
two powerful engines attached to our train,
1 4*
ft. *
one of which broke down before we reached
the summit of the Wasatch range, and we
were detained nearly three hours. There is
an old saying, 'It is an ill wind that blows
nobody good.' The accident to the engine
and delay of our journey enabled us to
stretch our legs and enjoy the grandeur of
the scene ; and the three hours' delay
enabled us to arrive in the early morning in
grand scenery, which we should have missed
in the day.
We passed a tolerably comfortable night
in the train. Onward the road ascends, and
arrives at Soldier Divide, the summit of
Wasatch range. Descending the Divide
we come upon the varied beauties of Castle
Gate and Prince River Canyon. Castle
Gate is at the extreme end of Prince River CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES.      49
Canyon, through which the railroad runs
into the very heart of the range. Garden
Gate is formed of two huge pillars of rock,
the offshoots of the cliffs behind; they are
of different heights, one measuring 500, the
other 450 feet from the tracks to the top.
Between the two there is only a very narrow
space, and the river and the railway both run
closely pressing each other. The scener)
constantly changes; then comes some uninteresting country, which, owing to our accident, we passed in the night. Ascending
the valley, beyond Montrose we entered the
Black Canyon, and we were enraptured with
the scenery; and we were more especially
so knowing we should have missed it had
it not been for the accident to our engine.
At times the Canyon narrows, and then
opens out into wide stretches, which enabled
us to see the steep crags that tower heavenward two or three thousand feet. After the
grandeur of the Black Canyon, which impressed us so much, we pass into the great
valley of the Garrison River, and then the
ascent of the Continental Divide begins, and
the bewildering and sinuous defiles demand
our attention.
Looking up at the distant summit, there
is seen a narrow rim of earth, and a line
of snow-sheds, one far above the others.
These mark the line of our upward and
onward route. Soon we forget to notice
anything but the ponderous engines mounting the steep grades, and I must confess
I breathed very freely when, emerging from
a long  snow-shed, the train stopped at the CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES.      51
summit, and the view was replete with grandeur. To the eastward, and separated by
countless summits which press their heads
up at us from below, are the Sangre de
Cristo range. Mount Ouray towers above
all, and around it lies a sea of granite billows
tumbled wildly together, holding in their
embrace green valleys and sparkling streams.
This is the backbone of the Rocky Mountains. On the west are the springs, brooks,
and rivers that makes the Gunnison River,
which empties into the Colorado and the
Gulf of California, while the rivulets and
streams on the east side, within a mile of
the others, form the head-waters of the
tributaries of the Arkansas River, which
eventually forms part of the Mississippi,
and empties into the Gulf of Mexico.    We 52
descend by a circuitous route, through and
around the sides of the mountain, until we
reach the town or city of Salida, in the
Valley of the Arkans, a fine open plain,
with beautiful surrounding scenery -— fine
houses, busy streets, large schools, and
several churches. Soon after leaving Salida we came into the glories and grandeurs of the Royal Gorge—the wonders
and transcendant magnificence of the Grand
Canyon of the Arkansas. It is impossible
for me to describe its magnificence. Engineering has wrought miracles; it would
seem an impossibility to construct a railway. There was scarcely room for the
river alone, and granite ledges blocked the
way with their mighty bulk. These obstructions were blasted away, and a road-bed CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES.      53
made,   following  the  contour  of  the  cliffs,
and a very awfully grand road it is.
After entering its depth, the train moves
slowly along the sides of the Arkansas, and
around projecting shoulders of dark granite,
deeper and deeper into the heart of the
range. The way becomes a mere fissure.
Far above the road the sky forms a deep
blue arch of light, but in the gorge hang
dark and sombre shades, which the sun's
rays have never penetrated. The place is
a measureless gulf, with solid walls on
either side. Here the granite cliffs are a
thousand feet high, smooth and unbroken,
and there is a pinnacle soars upwards thrice
as high. The river, sombre and swift,
breaks the awful stillness with its roar.
We  rode  through  the  gorge on  an  open
***- I
car, which is added to the train to enable
the passengers to witness the grandeur. I
must say I was glad when the perilous
journey was over. I heard it said, that
any one having the opportunity of going
over this road would be a fool not to go
over it once, but that he would be a bigger
fool to go over it twice. I can never
forget its awful grandeur.
Our next stoppage was at Florence
Station, where we saw the numerous oil
wells sending forth their thousands of barrels
of oil, and in the immediate neighbourhood
are also coal mines. We then proceeded
to Pueblo, a fine city and increasing rapidly,
a great mining district, principally lead and
silver. There are large smelting works.
We continued our journey, and stopped at CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES.      5$
Colorado Springs, and went to the Antlers
Hotel, and most comfortable we found it.
Seventeen years ago this was the home of
the deer, not a house existed, and now a fine,
flourishing city stands, and within an hour's
drive is a most lovely place called Manitou.
I don't know that I ever saw a more
charming, health-giving place. There are
sulphur, iron, and soda springs, with
thoroughly established medicinal qualities,
several very fine hotels, which, I was told,
are crowded during the season. The scenery
around is simply lovely. I feel sure Colorado
Springs will, ere long, join Manitou. It is
growing rapidly, and will be the home of
the wealthy. There are magnificent avenues,
120 feet wide, lined with fine trees, and
many  large  houses,  costing  ten  to twelve ■=*=»=
thousand pounds each. An English Doctor
Solly occupies one. There is also a really
fine theatre.
We left Colorado regretting we could
not prolong our stay, and proceeded to
Denver, and stayed at the Windsor Hotel.
America is full of wonderful cities, and
Denver is undoubtedly one of them. Only
ten years since the population was 30,000,
and it is now 130,000, and is growing hourly.
The suburbs are admirably laid out on a
great scale. The value of real estate is
simply fabulous. There is certainly a great
future for Denver.
We left Denver for Omaha. The River
Platte runs through a fine agricultural
country, especially Grand Island, where we
saw hundreds of small houses dotted about, CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES.      57
and fine school buildings, a thriving place.
We stopped at North Platte City, and we
saw the farm and residence of the celebrated
Buffalo Bill: he has a large cattle ranche.
The whole district is one vast plain of
rich agricultural country. At Fremont we
saw one cattle store with 3,016 stalls. We
arrived at Omaha, a thriving city, handsomely built, of 125,000. We drove round
the suburbs and saw a number of pretty
residences, then by electric tram-car we
crossed the Missouri River to Castle Bluffs,
a town of 40,000, a distance of seven miles,
from whence we took the train for Chicago
at 9.30 p.m., and passed the night in the
train, and arrived at Davenport, a substantial-
built town of 4,000. We then crossed the
Mississippi River over a bridge three-quarters TWO MONTHS' TOUR IN
of a mile in length to Rock Island, Illinois,
where we had delicious Lake Michigan trout
for breakfast. We passed through thousands
of acres of Indian corn ready for harvest, and
forests of trees with lovely autumnal tints of
brilliant colours.
We stopped at Joliet, a wide-spread, well-
built city, and saw the State Prison and a
very fine Court House.
We arrived at Chicago at two p.m. I
won't attempt to describe this organized
Babel—it beggars all description. An American said to me : I1 feel afraid every time I
go to that city; she grows so all the time,
days and nights, and Sundays—the smoke of
her-magic expansion ascendeth for ever and
We stayed at the Palmer House Hotel; CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES.
there were seven hundred and eighty guests
staying in the hotel; it is a huge place. As
we were only staying two nights we were
amused seeing the crowds of extraordinary
people coming and going. In 1831 Chicago
was a village of twelve houses, without post
route or a post office; in 1841 it was an
incorporated city with a population of about
6,000. In 1870 the population was 306,000.
The following year the great fire destroyed
17,500 buildings ; the burnt district covered
three and a half square miles. Notwithstanding this terrible set-back, Chicago is now a
magnificent city and active business mart,
covering, with the recently annexed district,
175 square miles, with a population of
1,100,000; the total area of her parks is
more than 2,000 acres. E~a
We left Chicago at three in the afternoon,
and had sixteen hours in the train, arriving at Niagara Falls at seven o'clock in the
morning. We at once proceeded to Clifton
House, and, after a delicious bath and good
breakfast, we revelled the whole day about
the Falls. Every visit, and I have made
many to Niagara Falls, increases my adoration. No place I have ever seen charms me so
much. We had lovely, bright, sunny weather,
and we devoted a second day, and left at
nine a.m. for Toronto, and arrived in three
hours, calling at Hamilton en route, a busy,
flourishing city of 40,000, on Lake Ontario.
Toronto is the second largest city in
Canada. There are fine streets and good
shops. I was made a member of the New
Toronto Club, which I found convenient. CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES.      61
Left Toronto at 8.45 a.m., and arrived at
Montreal at eight p.m., stopping at Peterborough en route, a very pretty, thriving place.
After again partaking the kind hospitality of
Sir Donald and Lady Smith, I left Montreal
on Thursday evening, the 24th October, for
New York. Arrived in New York at seven
a.m. on Friday. Met Mr. and Mrs. Kendal at
Delmonico's, at luncheon. Congratulated
them on their great success. Dined at the
Union Club, and at eleven p.m. went on board
the fimbria, to be ready for sailing at 6.30
a.m. on Saturday, but fog delayed us until
four p.m. We had a tolerably fair passage,
arriving at Liverpool on Sunday at four p.m.,
and I stayed at the Adelphi Hotel. Arrived in
London on Monday, 4th November.
Thus,    having    travelled   about   15,000
; sam
miles through countries which fifty years
ago were as inaccessible as Central Africa
is to-day, who can say that Victoria Nyanza
will not be as get-at-able as the Rocky
Mountains ?
Printed by Sx&uraxwirs and Sons, Towor Street, Cambridge Circus, W.O      


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items