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About The west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1875-1891 | View Entire Issue (Feb. 1, 1884)
THE WEST SHOEE.
INDUSTRIES AND RESOURCES.
The oowpUiuu of fcutoouutiuontol railroads to this
region opera the question of its power to support them,
and this leads to the deeper question whether this sec
tion can sustain itnolf in competition with the thriving
industries of the East and of the vast interior. The
problem cannot bo solved by the transfer of raw materials
across the continent to bo returned in finished goods.
This M.Iicy proves suicidal to every country which merely
supplies raw materials for the manufactories of England
mid New England When the South raised cotton chiefly
and bought food and clothing it became poor. Its lands
were worn out Its planters were compelled to find new
fields west of the Mississippi. India, Africa, South
America and Russia make little progress barely exist
while shipping their coarse natural productions to the
mart of Great Britain and the United States, to receive
back cargoes of manufactured goods.
When tho Central l'acifio Railroad was completed to
Kim Francisco, and the last spike driven in Utah connect
ing it with the Union Pacific Railroad and all Eastern
lines, it was seeu that those roads would flood California
willi merchandise and drain off all its gold and silver,
leaving tho State full of pauper lalwrers. To avert this
calamity William C. Ralsten, among other wealthy citi
tens, rallied ull whom he could enlist to establish and
extend manufactories, start now industries and develop
resources hitherto untouched. Bold in adventure, as he
was over-sanguine of success, he Bunk his own fortune,
111 i ... ... 1
involved ins memi-t ami sacrificed hnnsolf. But the
many productive industries of that State have turned the
tula of prosperity in its favor. This experience is a valu-
... ivnmii.Miy w our region, wnicli borders the same vast
ocean and lias more natural advontagOB. Gentlemen have
come among us to inquire what industries are in progress
here, and what can bo profitably increased and what new
one wisely commenced.
Tl,n .,),:. ..f ii.:. ...
. .... ,. v i imn wen oi aruclos is to answer such
mqinnes as far as siblo, and to cite some specially
favorable conditions. 3
ri. i- ... ....
un indies .mi ltae Ingld hftve faa . , ,
important liuliiKtnna T,u
..!.! ! i i . .. . '"""w ueai or
I in uiinuiUlllUl
either varied or
le. But the. eliiiinri W.. 'n.
linn proved eminently immitionn Ti, a.i....i- F
Ym ,Ih summers and winters. The Pacific on a
wdubrious bv oooim n...l . . ... mue anke
. . . " ' currents. Work can ha
men, ,d ., d . b
mhuw uis work UirouKU the vnr . in wa'
TUui i:.:..-. .. . Jw ,Ul '"creased viti,Uf
w Iinpjut vlgor
under them thrives a luxuriant vegetation which supplies,
unfailing resources for many important industries.
The rich and abundant food supply of a country is
wentinl to its most numerous and vftlnnhVindtrici
We have the advantage of soil and climate, prolific in
cereal, vegetable and fruit power, often and widely tested
and assured by unfailing harvests, with areas sufficient
for tenfold our present population. Added to that from
the land is the fish food from rivers, bays and ocean,
abundant and within the means of the poorest Demand
will create supply for multitudes larger than we may ex. :
pect to see. The laborer on this Northwest Coast has
always been well fed. It is a sign that he need never
suffer in this respect or be stinted like his fellow work
man in Western Europe, unless he wastes and destroys
himself by evil habits.
Our resources have been found more and more
numerous and valuable in the qualities required for in
dustrial pursuits. Grander forests, more extensive coal,
iron and lime beds, and new mines of gold, silver and
copper, will invite capital and labor during the centuries
to come. Millions of acres wait for the plow. Herds
and flocks will have their pastures on the mountains.
The wilderness can be made a garden.
I desire to speak of a few of our leading industries
in detail, to show what they have become and to point
out their needs and possibilities for the future, and will
begin with one of the most important .
Every stream and bay on the coast of Oregon, Wash
ington, British Columbia and Alaska is thronged at cer-
tain seasons of year with that great food fish, the salmon,
and on many of .them are establishments, employing
thousands of hands in the aggregate, engaged in canning,
salting and drying these and other food fishes for market
This industry has grown in twenty years to large propor
tiona The success of one salmon, cannery on the Colum
bia River, with a few nets and an output of a few hundred
cases, has caused the erection of more than fifty on this
and other streams, bays and sounds, requiring over 600
miles of nets, from 18 to 24 feet deep. The catch of over
2,000,000 fish, as estimated, furnished last year an
output of not less than 800,000 cases, 634,000 cases being
irom the Columbia Biver alone. This product, at $460
per case, gives a value of $3,600,000, one-half of which,
at least ($1,800,000), is paid for labor.
Failure of this industry is not to be feared or ex-
pected except by the destruction of salmon. The rivers
of New England, formerly stocked with them, now have
none, unless recently replenished. No doubt the Colum
bia can also be deprived of them, yet a few hatcheries on
its upper streams would supply it permanently. These
have been successful in the Sacramento. Much more
they can be in this grander stream.
This industry, at first an experiment continues and
grows. Over-supply, with some loss to the producer,
has made it in some seasons a little uncertain. But its
trade marks are known and new home markets have been
opened, while foreign ones have been held firmly. Th"