The west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1875-1891, October 25, 1890, Page 171, Image 10

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The royal Chinook salmon which is esteemed so highly as a food fish in
Oregon and Washington, has of late been shipped in considerable quantities
to Chicago and other eastern cities, where it has also been accorded a flat
tering reception. The main, and in fact the only, difficulty in the way of its
general use in the eastern markets is the high price at which it must be
told. By the time a salmon is placed in the market stall for sale the price
has reached a point about ten times the amount of the original investment
This is caused by heavy express charges and the expense of packing and
handling in quantities of less than carload lots. A number of Chicago fish
dealers were visiting Oregon and Washington recently looking into the
salmon business, and the probabilities are that Chicagoans will Boon be en
abled to get the royal Chinook from the markets of their city at as reason
able figures as they can now procure the fish from the great lakes. Io an
interview on the subject, one of the dealers said: " Anybody who so far
has ordered salmon from Portland, Tacoraa, or Seattle has had to pay 8.50
in express charges for every 100 pounds of fish. Bought of the fisherman,
the price was from three to four cents a pound, so that the cost of transport
tation from Puget sound or the Columbia river to the point of consumption
alone amounted to almost three times the original price of the fish. Add to
this two or three cents a pound profit that was made by middlemen in hand
ling the fish and it will be seen that the salmon had cost the dealer fifteen
cents a pound when laid down here in Chicago, of which eleven or twelve
cents were outside of the price of the fish in the first place. Add to this
fifteen cents of expenditure for the ice for preserving it, the risk taken and
the ordinary profit necessary for the retail dealer in conducting a successful
business, and it will be readily understood why it is that the salmon has
hitherto not been sold for less than twenty-five cents a pound. During my
recent tour of investigation along the coast of Oregon and Washington,
where the salmon is caught in enormous quantities thousands and thou
sands of tons, in fact I became convinced it was quite feasible to change
all this. My plan is to buy direct from the fisherman, and ship the fish
here in carload lots by refrigerator cars, of course. Thus I will do away
with middlemen's profits for one thing ; but the largest saving effected will
be by the greatly reduced cost of transportation, for on that item alone I
shall save about $0 for every 100 pounds of fish. These refrigerator cars
will bring the fish here just as quickly as it has ever been brought, for the
cars will be attached to the express trains and brought right through. The
difficulty, of course, is getting carloads together." Heretofore the greater
part of the expense of shipping salmon has been caused by the large amount
of ice necessary (or preserving the fish on its long journey, the io weighing
as much, or more, than the fish itself. Usually the shipment has to be re
packed before reaching its destination, which causes an additional charge
by the transportation companies. By the use of refrigerator cars and the
shipment of large quantities at one time the same amount of ice required for
a single 100 pound box when shipped alone will serve t) preserve a much
larger quantity of fish, aud the rates of transportation will bs changed from
express to freight charges, which will also make a very considerable differ
ence. Should arrangements be made for carrying out the project of large
shipments, there is no doubt but a lively demand will be created for this
choice article of food. The season for the genuine Chinook has now closed,
and in its stead the silver side salmon is being shipped. This fish is not so
desirable as the royal Chinook, though It is perfectly healthful and a good
table fish. Many complaints have been made recently by eastern parties
that they have been imposed upon by some unscrupulous shippers, in that
they have had an inferior article palmed off on them as the genuine Chinook
salmon. This is much to bs regretted, as the fame of the fish has traversed
the entire globe, and any deception practiced by shippers can only result in
curtailing or destroying what might otherwise grow into a business of im
mense proportions. The dog salmon, which it Is claimed has been substi
tuted for the Chinook, Is a flBh utterly worthless for any purpose, and is
dangerous to the health of any person ming It, Immense numbers of this
kind of fish line the banks of the tributaries of the Columbia at this time of
year, where they have been thrown by the action of the water after having
exhausted their vitality, lost their color, become covered with sores, and are
only waiting for death to end their miserable existence. The flesh of this
fish is soft and flabby, tasteless, and of a pale pink color, while the genuine
Chinook in its season is a deep, bright reddish color, and its fluh is firm,
oily and rich. Persons who have never seen or used the genuine article
and know nothing of the fish seasons are easily imposed upon, and as the
dog salmon does not meet their expectations in any particular they become
prejudiced against the entire salmon family. From a business uoiot of view
alone this practice Is reprehensible, and unless it is stopped some action
will necessarily need to be taken by the legislatures of the two states to
prevent it. The salmon Industry is one of the largest and most important
in the northwest, and the fact of the product being BUlrior to any other
has established Its reputation throughout the world; and it ,nlJ
very short-sighted policy for anyone dealing in salmon to send out ! se
worthless fish disguised under the name of the royal Chinook, even though
they do secure a few cents more profit on their shipments. Their gam is
only temporary, while the damage they do is lasting and tends to break up
the business entirely.
The city council of Chehalis, Washington, Is considering a proposition
from a local company for supplying the city with water and electrio light.
The water company asks for a thirty-year franchise, and twenty years are
asked for the light company.
The water supply is to be taken from the Newaukum river, mains to be
laid through the most populous streets, with pipes leading therefrom to dis
tribute the water through the entire settled portion of the city. Not less
than twenty fire hydrants are to be furnished by the company, at a rental
of (100 each per annum for the first twenty and $75 for each additional
hydrant. The company agrees to furnish water free of charge (or the use of
the city hall, city fountains, city parks and squares, (or hydrants for publlo
drinking purposes, for public schools and for flushing sewers.
Electric light poles shall not be less than thirty feet high above the
ground, and ten or more lights of not less than 2,000 candle power each are
to be erected within three months, a rental of (12 per month for each light
to be paid. Incandescent electric lights are also to be furnished, and the
company agrees to furnish gas within twelve months after a written demand
being made for it by the council. With the introduction of these enter
prises Cbehalis can lay claim to being one of the foremost cities in the state.
The Falrhaven 4 Southern railroad, up the Skagit, has been graded five
miles above Sedro, and the work of grading and tracking thirty miles more
will begin soon. Three miles above Sedro the coal mine branch starts,
and a large force has been at work on that for some time. Within the past
few days 100 additional men have been placed on the work, and about 200
more are needed. This spur is about four miles in length, and will be com
pleted in about fifty days so that trains may run over It, and then the pro
duct of the coal mines will begin to come out In vast quantities. This work
and that of tlis thirty additional miles up the Skagit, with the building of
the branch to Seattle, will employ several thousand men, and when the
connection with the Canadian Pacifio at New Westminster is completed,
which will be within a few weeks, there will be lively times in and about
It is estimated that the total output of logs on the Elokomln river, In
Wahkiakum county, Washington, this season, will amount to about 15,000,
000 feet. The timber is of excellent quality, a large proportion ol the lum
ber being clear and free from knots. There are five logging camps on the
creek employing about eighty men and sixty-six cattle. The capital invest
ed in the business is over (40,000. This has been an exceptionally good
season for logging. From the first of July np to the first of October, work
has progressed almost uninterruptedly. Logs are in steady demand at from
(5 to (0 per thousand feet, Portland and Astoria mills taking the bulk of
The prospects of the Seattle, Like Shore A Eastern railroad being com
pleted into Anacortes within the next month are very fl altering. The work
is being pushed as rapidly as the labor at command will pjrralt, and shoutd
the rails arrive from the east on time the road will undoubtedly reach Its
terminus in Novemlier. The superintendent of the line has Issued Invita
tions to railroad officials and prominent capitalists to acoompany him on
the first train running from Seattle to Anacortes, and the chamber of com
merce of the latter place proposes to make the day memorable in the his
tory of the town by celebrating Die event In splendid style.
The largest shipment of bridge timber ever sent out of the state of
Washington by rail was recently shipped over the Northern raclflo railroad
by the St. Paul A Tacoma Lumber Company to the Keokuk A Hamilton
Bridge Company, of Keokuk, Iowa. The shipment consisted ol between
175,000 and 200,000 feet of timber and filled twenty cars. The timbers were
of unusual length, two cars being required lor their proper storage.
Work has been commenced on grading the sit lor a large foundry and
machine shop at Falrhaven, Washington. The works will occupy an entire
block of ground, and will be capable ol turning out all classes ol work. Ta
coma parties are Inaugurating the enterprise.
Polk county, Oregon, will pay taxes lor lHttO on property valued at (2,.
KS2 080. Indebtedness and exemptions loot np (1,505,800.
Steps are being taken In Yamhill county for the purchase and mainte
nance ol a county poor farm.