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About The west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1875-1891 | View Entire Issue (Jan. 1, 1876)
VOL. 1-No. 6.
PORTLAND, OREGON, JANUARY, 1870.
i rim aknto, ti n
J. H. LYON, CHIEF ENGINEER P. P. D.
REMARKS ABOUT. OREGON.
BV DAVID NKW90HE. ".
There are many tilings of vital importance to persons
emigrating to Oregon which they do not or cannot suf
ficient know before coming here. In the first place,
there u really but little correctly known abroad of this
State, I have a pretty fair chance to know this from the
multitude of leuers which I receive from persons in "the
.-States" and from questions propounded to me by immi
grants on their arrival amongst us. :,..
; There is another matter of serious detriment to our
country here. Many persons soar into the re- ,
gions of fancy, draw upon their fertile imagina . '
lions, and give sketches and descrintions nf flu. " '' '
egon highly wrought. They represent Oregon
as paradise, and most of us as angels. Others ;
come here with inflated ideas of acquiring quick
fortunes, whether they have capital or brains to
begin with or not. Some, again, suppose that if
they can only reach here O K, they tan look
for and c.Tpcct more from us than, in fact, we '
can bestow.' It is true that, to persons in actual
distress, there are none kinder, more feeling and
generous than the Oregonians. But in the com
mon affairs of busi-ncss each one is expected
to " paddle his own canoe."
Again, the geotrranhv and tonoeraiiliv of thin
Slate seem to be but little known abroad! If persons will
examine the map of the United Slates, they will see that
Oregon contains 96,250 square miles, or 61,000,000 acres
of land. If this surface was, like Illinois, section bv sec
lion, rich, level land, then there could be a great many
farms made upon it. But we must consider thai it is
greatly uivcrsihed. Yv e have valleys, little hills, big hills,
and cloud-capped, snow-capped mountains; sage plains,
some barrens, some canons (pronounced "kanyons ), and
some gravel lands that are of not much account Amin
we have vast grassy plains in Eastern Oregon, good for
sheep, cattle and horses, but a vert- large portion of it not
,uncu lor larming. 1 et, in mining, stock-raising, fruit
raising and gardening a hundred thousand rsons could
live well in Eastern Oregon by industry and proper econ
omy. It is true that the very best portions of Oregon for
extensive farming are in the great Willamette valley
timber and prairies alternate and present much of the
appearance of the fine sections of Illinois. Here, farming
can be done to profit and on a large scale. But it is true
that all the available farm lands, and much of the farm
lands for timber, have been taken up. The two valley
railroad grants from Congress includes a large amount of
lands on both sides of them in alternate sections. But
before these grants were made ncarlv all the good lands
were taken up under the old Donaiion Act of Sept. 27,
1850. The first principal settlement here was made by
the Methodist missionaries in Salem in 1834. From that
point the settlements have radiated till all the good sites
are taken up.
Immigrants have come to me here and wished me to
show them farm lands, with good limber and prairie ad
joining, near the railroad or the Willamette river, vacant
and ready to be taken up at Congress price; and if I could
not comply with their requests, they would become dis
pleased. Upon the maps at the land offices much of the
lands in Oregon arc yet vacant. True; but this surface
comprises our mountain lands, covered with tall timber,
and in their bowels lie gold, silver, copper, lead. iron.
cinnabar, marble, limestone and gypsum. Water-power
abounds everywhere in all these mountain districts.
There are yet some lands in such districts that might be
utilized for grain, fruits and gardens. But as we ascend
in altitude we coin into colder regions. It is more in
altitude than in latitude that the cold predominates.
From the point where these lines are penned I sec, first,
the earth covered wilh a carpet of green and some hardy
flowers in bloom; next, the fo&j; lulls, covered with snow
three inches deep; and next, the tarthest settlements up
the western slope of the Cascades, covered with anow two
feet deep only twentv-fivc uiilee oft. And on the sum
mit of the lofty Cascades ihc Sierras of Oregon Mount
-1," J 1 WilKlaBrrW!l's?"js 'If .UIHftr-JfmMHiiy
MASONIC TBHTLE, PORTLAND.
Hood, monarch of mountains, whose top is covered wilh
eternal snows, rears its head in majestic grandeur, 1 2,600
feet above the bosom of the Pacific Ocean.
Upon the western slope of the Coast Mountains, and
along the ocean for over 100 miles, are large boundaries
of timber and brush lands, very rich, well watered and
productive ; healthy, and cajable of being utilized in
many ways. The timber is excellent; vast coal mines
abound; there are oyster, salmon and cod fisheries; and
upon the marsh or tide lands fine wild grasses for hay
Now, we see that the most valuable, and in every way
the most desirable portions of the rural districts of Oregon
are taken up, and now owned by the pioneers of this
coast Persona, therefore, coming now must go back
into interior districts and endure the privations and toils
of pioneer life, or buy second-hand land. And here let
me remark that all original land titles here are good.
We have no Sanish grants and contested land titles.
The United States have been, or are now, the sole, origi
nal proprietors of lands here. Buyers of second-hand
lands can trace up titles, and can see from the records
whether there be mortgages, liens or any local incum
brances upon any lands in question. Taken altogether,
there is a great diversity of ways and means by which
persons can acquire comfortable livings here and enjoy it
Really, the resources of Oregon arc almost bonndless.
It would require a book of 500 quarto pages to go into
minute details of all our diversified resources. Hut the
paramount object should be with all persons here now or
coming here, to follow some honest calling for a living.
I know of no section of the United Slates where frugal,
industrious persons can live easier or beuer than they can
live here. But loafers, gamblers, pickpockets, drunkards,
and idlers generally, we have no use for, nor will we wel
come or show countenance to them.
Lands in the farming districts of Oregon can be had
at very low rates. Persons of means can do belter to
buy improved or unimproved lands f.n the settlements
VIEW ON THE WALLA WALLA RIVER, W. T.
where towns, mills, schools, navigation, railroads, good
markets and good society abound, than to pass to the
districts not having these advantages. In the south
western counties of Oregon ast coal fields, limber, fish
eries, gold, silver, Iron, copper, marble and cinnabar
abound. A very large amount of vacant lands are there,
subject to homestead or pre-emption claims. We have
only about one person to every 400 acres of land In our
Our fisheries are an endless source of wealth; and all
the great valleys of Western Oregon and Washington .
Territory are underlaid with a thick vein of superior coal.
Discoveries constantly being made prove this
assertion. The great source of wealth here, but
little appreciated as yet, are our immense bodicm
01 nr, spruce, cedar and pine timber. Our water-powers
are a wonder to all discerning per
sona. Capital and brains are needed to ulillzc
them, and erect factories, machine shoiw, foun
dries, fisheries, ship yards, rolling mills, nail
factories, woollen mills, etc., and to push ow
commerce to foreign lands.
One evening the subject of noses and their
cliaracleristici was under consideration, and the
discussion assumed an earnest aspect. In the
midst of it. Will P , whose nose was not e-. '
actly Roman in structure, said, "I wonder what
makes my nose so flat at lis end " Sticking It
in other folk's business 1" promptly replied Charley T
The discussion closed for thai evening.
Coleridge was acknowledged to be a bad rider. One
day, riding through a street, he was accosted by would-be-wit:
"I say, do you know what happened to Balaam i"
Came the answer sharp and quick: " The same as hap
pened to me. An ass spoke to him I"
"The tailor makes the man?" emphatically declared k
village philosopher. " No, Sir," replied a by-stander, " It
is dress lliat makes the man." " Then what does the
tailor make )" " Well, perliaps from ten to fifteen dollars
profit on a suit."
odp nuovr tuna witlud oimm.