The west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1875-1891, May 01, 1878, Page 132, Image 4

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After an absence
of five years, we
once more visited
the scenes of our
youth, and where
wc first entered the
field of journalism ;
the city of Sacra
mento, California.
Five years have
wrought many a
change; and, not
withstanding all the
deviating floodb
anil fires that she has
had to cope with,
Sacramento stands,
to-day, more beauti
ful thfltl ever..i Her
pftlatlal residences,
beautiful drl vcb,
public parks, libra
ries, etc., stamp her
at once as a city
when capital is lav
ishly Ipent In order
to procure the comforts and enjoyments
of life. Thechief building here is the
Capitol, a massive and imposing struc
ture of stone, brick and iron. Us beau
tiful grounds, ornamented with the
rarest shrubs and trees from the tropics,
make an agreeable resort for the weary
to pass a pleasant hour in the cool sum
mer evenings after the day's labor is
over. Another beautiful "breathing
place" is the Plaza, located in the heart
of the city. The rooling spray from
the magnificent fountain in the center
of it, walled through the fragrant
shrubs almost into the stores and resi
dences which line it on all sides, oilers
n reproaching contrast to our neglected
public squares here. Our city fathers
WOtlld profit by taking a second glance
nt the beautiful picture on our first page
ami sec what can be done in the way
of beautifying n city, at a comparatively
small expense
The (joldcn Eagle, Orleans, and I'nion,
are the leuiling ones.
The schools will compare favorably
with any city of its size in the United
States, and they are under the efficient
superintendency of A. C Hlllkson, a
gentleman and scholar in the true sense
of the word.
Of newspapers, the city has several;
the leading ones being the Record
Union and the Bee the latter a house
hold pet in every family in Sacramento,
we have hardly missed reading a
single issue of it in eighteen years, and
find that, like wine, it improves with
age, and is, to-day, although over 21
years old, more sparkling than the day
it was first issued.
The population of Sacramento is
if,ooo, and it enjoys all the modem
improvements, such as an excellent
system of water W -rks, gas works,
street railways, steam fire engines, lire
One of the features of Sacramento , aim in telegraph, district telegraph and,
is the Crocker Art Gallery, the prop- to fact, everything that tends to make
ci ty of the heirs of the late Judge! a city,
Crocker. We knew him in life a be- From a business point of view, Sac-
nOVOlent, whole-souled gentleman ol ramento possesses many advantages;
the old schooleven in death he is not some respects, even superior to San
forgotten. His (iallerv, which i- iftun Francisco, being located in the midst
thrown open to the public, the pr uedl of a net-work of railroads reaching to
of which are devoted to benev 'lent all sections of the State and Nevada,
purposes, Is a lasting monument 1 Litn . ad having direct railroad communica
To attempt a description of it would tlon with all parts of tlte Eastern States,
in almost an impossibility in a Bhort and nearer to them by 1 40 mites than
newspaper article. 11 is we largusi cui aan rrancisco, she naturally enjoy
lower freights and fares; and to the
puchaser from Central and Northern
California, Nevada, Idaho, and South
ern Oregon, Sacramento offers a mart
lection of paintings on the Coast am",
contains many of the old matter,
Nearly all our Pacific Coast artitrta
AM'' represented, whilst the Continent
and Europe have contributed mime:- CXLTncu no c;t. on ,nc oast
OUIJ pictures. Hy
Special invitation,
we w ere afforded a
private view of this
rare collection of
gem, and it was
somewhat gratify
ing b find that dear
Oregon had not
been t'oi gotten, sev
eral of our most
beautiful scenes be
ing truthAllly rep
resented there.
Itisiiles the Ctp
itol, Sacramento has
numerous tine pub
lic buildings, among
which the Court
House and Odd Pt
Iowa1 Hail deserve
special mention.
The hotel buildings
me nearly all sub
stantially bulUof
brick, and conduct
vdin first-class tyle.
The object of supporting schools by
general taxation is to educate and en
lighten the masses, that a higher order
of citizenship may be secured, and thus
1 advance the interests of our people,
and elevate and strengthen our gov
ernment. The American people seem
to believe that " knowledge is power,"
I hence their willingness to be taxed for
! the support of common schools.
: That the greatest amount of good
may be done to the greatest number,
with the least possible expense to the
property holders, it is necessary to re
duce public education, as nearly as pos
sible, to a complete system hence, the
State enacts laws for the government
of the schools, prescribes a course of
study, and designates a uniform series
of text-books to be used. It provides
for the examination of teachers and es
tablishes a standard of proficiency
winch they must attain before they can
be employed in the schools and receive
the money appropriated for that pur
pose. A public school system must grow.
It cannot be made like a boot or a
wagon. The seed must be planted.
It must put down a root and send up a
germ. It must be cultivated, pruned,
and guided until it develops into a
shapely and beautiful tree. Its sur
roundings must be clean, the seasons
propitious, the pruning and grafting
judicious, the soil suitably Cultivated
and enriched, when, in the course of
time, it wdl put forth healthy buds,
bloom in luxuriance, and bear abund
ant golden fruit. Like a plant, it must
advance according to natural laws. The
root must be provided with strength
ening nourishment or the stalk will die.
The graft or bud will perish if the soil
is impoverished.-.
T h e nurseryman
must be skillful, not
a bungling expert
mentalist. The mas
who would graft a
well developed hud
or branch, from an
old tree, into a del
icate seedling often
der growth, or with
draw the soil from
the root and bind it
around the bud ex
pecting it to flour
ish, would at once
be pronounced in
sane, or a lamenta
ble ignoramus.
Common primary
schools throughout
our sparsely settled
country in evtry
district among our
hills and vales, may
be likened to the
root and germ; the
more advanced de
partinentsin ourcil
ies, towns and ham
lets, to the stalk; the
few high schools in
the State, to the
buds; our State School Fund, the
money raised by taxation, and ap
propiiations by the legislature, to the
soil; the teachers in our primary, inter
mediate and high schools, to the nur
serymen; and the tax-payers through
out the State, to them who cultivate
and prepare the soil.
In examining the surroundings and
condition of our public school plant,
we find that only a small proportion of
our nurserymen are skillful. That the
"encral impression seems to be any
body who can answer a few simple
questions regarding this business, is
qualified to care for this delicate plant,
whether he has ever naa any experi
ence in this field of labor or not. That
an immense State University bud, and
another unwicldly Agricultural Col
lege bud, have been grafted into this
young and delicate plant. That the
soil is being withdrawn from the roots
and bound in large quantities nround
these absorbing buds, to the great
disparagement of the public sprout.
That the soil about the root and germ
of our plant does not afford sustenance
sufficient to nourish them more than
three months out of the year, and
finally, that the bottom of the plant is
dying; the untrained nurserymen are
becoming careless ; the few skillful one
are becoming discouraged; and that,
unless relief is soon provided, the plant
must wither and fall to decay under the
enormous weight of those untimely
The primary schools should be sup
plied with able, well-trained teachers.
To secure able teachers, they must be
assured of steady employment at a sal
ary sufficient to afford them a decent
and independent living. It is certainly
a self-evident truth that the principal
factor in the work of improving the
common schools and strengthening the
system, is the teacher; that it is the
teacher that makes the school;
crpnpral rule, the
m I
careful, spcci
training that mikes
the teacher. While
we arc accustomed
to regard the com
mon school as the
corner-stone of on:
civil and religion
liberty, we must not
fail to remember
that the teacher I
the corner-stone
the common school.
If, therefore, the
teacher be a failure
the school must be
failure. That
may have compe
tent teachers, (
must furnish them
with facilities for
obtaining that train
ing which thcyoeei
If wc expect or de
sire to educate ev
erv child, we muj
have laws that
secure it, and pr
vide schools 1"
which to place tho
who cannot be f
milled to the puN