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Title: Wonderland; or Alaska and the Inside Passage - With a Description of the Country Traversed by the Northern - Pacific Railroad
Author: Schwatka, Lieut. Frederick, Hyde, John
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                       ALASKA AND THE INLAND PASSAGE


                        LIEUT. FREDERICK SCHWATKA.


               A Description of the Country Traversed by the
                        Northern Pacific Railroad.


                                JOHN HYDE,

      Author of "The Wonderland Route to the Pacific Coast," "Alice's
               Adventures in the New Wonderland," etc., etc.

        Copyrighted, 1886, by CHAS. S. FEE, General Passenger Agent
                   Northern Pacific Railroad, St. Paul.

[Illustration: Rand McNally & Co.]



"Multi discurrent, et augebitur _stultitia_." Thus did one of the
profoundest of modern thinkers parody the prediction of the Hebrew
prophet who foretold the time when, with increased facilities for travel
and intercommunication, there should come a great enlargement of the
bounds of knowledge, and a corresponding amelioration of the condition
of humanity.

It would, however, be strange indeed, if the complex process of social
evolution, even in its present stage, were not marked by some of the
indications of a retrograde movement. The age in which we live has
undoubtedly its peculiar follies and foibles, which are but thrown into
relief by the qualities that more generally distinguish it.

But many are running to and fro, and knowledge is being increased.
Nature is revealing herself to the traveler in new forms and aspects,
and disclosing to his wondering gaze mysterious pages of her great book
hitherto hidden from him.

And while extensive tracts of country, presenting physical features to
which the entire known world furnishes no parallel, have been brought by
railroad enterprise within reach alike of the curious sight-seer and the
inquiring student, a vast region, of almost unexampled wealth-producing
capabilities, has, by the same agency, been thrown open to that
advancing tide of civilization which is rapidly overspreading the world.

Hence the traveler journeying to Wonderland--to that enchanted realm
where the most extravagant creations of the fancy appear trivial and
commonplace beside the more extraordinary works of Nature--sees also, in
process of solution, some of the hitherto most perplexing problems of
economics; observes, as he can not do with like facility anywhere else
in the world, the well-ordered plan upon which the bounty of Nature is
distributed; and witnesses the unlocking of vast storehouses of good, to
supply the increasing needs of the human race.

It may be doubted whether the world affords another tour at once so
delightful and so instructive as that which, beginning at the head of
the Mississippi valley, and crossing the great wheat fields of Dakota
and Eastern Washington, the stock ranges of Montana, and the gold and
silver ribbed mountains of Montana and Idaho, embraces also the wonders
of the Yellowstone National Park, and the incomparable scenery of the
Columbia river, to crown all with the stupendous sights of that Great
Land whose unique natural features have earned for it the well-deserved
title of "Wonderland." No longer one of peril and hardship, but, on the
contrary, one of absolute luxury, this tour has, within the last two
years, attracted thousands of pilgrims from all parts of the civilized
world. To them, as well as to all other lovers of the sublime and
beautiful, and to the students of the mysteries of Nature in all lands,
who may have the good fortune to visit the far Northwest in 1886, the
following pages are respectfully inscribed.


  The Advantages of Travel--Introductory                                  3
  The Development of the Northwest--St. Paul and Minneapolis           7, 8
  Minnesota Lakes and their Attractions for the Angler                 8-10
  Brainerd, Duluth, Superior and Ashland                                 10
  Red River Valley                                                       12
  The Changes of a Half Century                                          13
  Great Wheat Farms of Dakota, and the Capital of the Territory          14
  "Bad Lands" of the Little Missouri                                 15, 16
  Yellowstone River                                                   16-19
  Yellowstone National Park                                           20-22
  Helena and the Romance of Mining                                    23-26
  Main Range of the Rocky Mountains                                  26, 27
  Butte City, the greatest Mining Camp in the World                   27-30
  The Flathead Country                                               30, 31
  Clark's Fork and Lake Pend d'Oreille                                31-34
  Spokane Falls                                                          35
  Palouse and Walla Walla Wheat Countries                            36, 37
  The Columbia River                                                  37-40
  Portland                                                           40, 41
  The Willamette Valley and Southern Oregon                          42, 43
  The Lower Columbia and City of Astoria, with Fisheries              43-46
  Western Washington: its Scenery and Resources                          46
  The Sovereign Mountain: Tacoma                                         47
  Puget Sound                                                         48-54
  Victoria, British Columbia                                         55, 56
  Discovery Passage                                                      58
  Queen Charlotte Sound                                                  60
  Varieties of Fish found in Inland Passage                              62
  Wrangell, Alaska                                                   63, 64
  Indian Life, Facilities for Studying                                67-71
  Sitka, Alaska                                                       73-77
  Hot Springs Bay, Alaska                                                77
  Climate of Sitka                                                       79
  Land of the Chilkats                                                81-84
  Juneau, Alaska, and the Mines of Douglas Island                     84-86
  Glacier Bay                                                         86-92
  Glaciers of Alaska                                                  93-95
  Mount St. Elias                                                    95, 96

                          INDEX TO ILLUSTRATIONS.

  Alaska's Thousand Islands, as seen from Sitka                          78
  An Alaska Indian House, with Totem Poles                               66
  Chancel of the Greek Church, Sitka                                     75
  Chilkat Blanket                                                        81
  Columbia River, looking Eastward from Rock Bluff             Frontispiece
  Detroit Lake and Hotel Minnesota, Detroit, Minn.                       11
  Falls of the Gibbon River, National Park                               29
  Floating Fish Wheel, Columbia River                                    42
  Hotel Tacoma, Tacoma, W. T.                                            47
  Lake Pend d'Oreille, Idaho                                             33
  Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, National Park                               21
  Mount Hood, from the Head of the Dalles, Columbia River                38
  Mount Tacoma, W. T.                                                    44
  Old Faithful Geyser, National Park                                     18
  Scenes among the Alaskan Glaciers                                      89
  Scenes in the Inland Passage                                           59
  Sitka, Alaska                                                          72
  T'linket Basket Work                                                   68
  T'linket Carved Spoons                                                 85
  T'linket War Canoe                                                     83
  Yellowstone River, National Park                                       25


                   "=To the doorways of the West-Wind,
                     To the portals of the Sunset.="

While, in the old world, armies have been contending for the possession
of narrow strips of territory, in kingdoms themselves smaller than many
single American States, and venerable _savants_ have been predicting
the near approach of the time when the population of the world shall have
outstripped the means of subsistence, there has arisen, between the
headwaters of the Mississippi and the mouth of the stately Columbia, an
imperial domain, more than three times the size of the German empire,
and capable of sustaining upon its own soil one hundred millions of
people. What little has been done--for it is but little,
comparatively--toward the development of its amazing resources, has
called into existence, on its eastern border, two great and beautiful
cities, which have sprung up side by side on the banks of the great
Father of Waters.

It is there, at St. Paul and Minneapolis, that the traveler's journey to
Wonderland may be said to begin. And what could be more fitting? for are
they not wonders in themselves, presenting, as they do, the most
astonishing picture of rapid expansion the world has ever seen?

But it is not their magnitude that excites the greatest surprise. If
there is a single newspaper reader in ignorance of the fact that the
State census of 1885 found them with a population of 240,597? or that
the 23,994 buildings erected within their limits since the beginning of
1882, represent a frontage of over 100 miles and an expenditure of
$69,895,390, or that their banking capital considerably exceeds that of
either San Francisco, New Orleans, Cincinnati or St. Louis, it is
through no fault of the cities themselves. But the visitor may bring
with him a just appreciation of their size and commercial importance,
and yet have had no conception of their beauty, nor of the abounding
evidences of public spirit and private enterprise that will confront him
at every turn.

The position of St. Paul, at the head of navigation, and as the focus of
the railway activity of the Northwest, commands for it an extensive
wholesale trade, its sales aggregating, in 1885, the large sum of
$81,420,000. The surprise with which the visitor views the stately piles
that are the outward and visible signs of the vast commercial and
financial interests of the city, the creation of a few brief seasons, is
no greater than the astonishment with which he realizes the absence of
all appearance of immaturity. In no city in the Union are the business
quarters more solid and substantial; in none is the domestic
architecture more attractive. Nothing is crude, nothing tentative,
nothing transitional.

Clustered around the great Falls of St. Anthony, stand those colossal
flouring mills that have been more than ever the pride and glory of
Minneapolis, since they enabled her to pluck from Chicago's crown one of
the brightest of its jewels. It is a startling commentary upon the much
vaunted supremacy of the great metropolis of the West, that, while the
wheat attracted to its market fell gradually from 34,106,109 bushels in
1879, to 13,265,223 bushels in 1885, the amount handled by the millers
of Minneapolis increased, within the same period, from 7,514,364 bushels
to 32,112,840 bushels. The mills have a total flour-manufacturing
capacity of 33,973 barrels per day, an amount equal to the necessities
of the three most populous States of the Union, or of one-half the
population of Great Britain.

But to turn from the romance of figures to that of song and story.
Should the traveler have any desire to visit the far-famed falls of
Minnehaha, it is now he should gratify it. Situated almost midway
between the two cities, they can be easily reached, either by train,
carriage or river steamboat. The poetic interest with which they have
been invested by their association with the legend of Hiawatha
constitutes but the least of their claims upon the traveler's notice;
and, should he turn aside to visit them, not even the sublime scenery of
Wonderland will entirely efface the memory of their laughing waters.

The residents of St. Paul and Minneapolis are fortunate in having,
within easy access, two of the most beautiful of Minnesota's ten
thousand lakes, White Bear and Minnetonka. Justly celebrated for the
beauty of their scenery and the excellence of their hotel and other
accommodations, they are resorted to annually by thousands of visitors
from far and near. Minnetonka is not inappropriately called the Saratoga
of the Northwest; but no designation, however high-sounding or
significant, can do justice to the exquisite beauty of its scenery or
the sumptuousness of its hotels.

It is time, however, that we were directing our steps toward that
scarcely less luxurious hotel which is waiting to convey us to the
fir-clad slopes of Puget Sound! While holding in honorable remembrance
the names of Watt and Stephenson, surely posterity ought not altogether
to forget those of the inventors of the sleeping car and dining car; for
the railway train of early days was hardly a greater advance upon the
old stage-coach than is the completely equipped train of to-day over its
predecessor of even twenty-five years ago.

The journey from St. Paul to Puget Sound may be said to fall into eight
geographical divisions, with well-marked natural boundaries, and
corresponding in the main to the divisions into which the line has been
formed for operating purposes. The first extends to the Red River of the
North, a distance of 275 miles, lying wholly in the State of Minnesota.

The great attractions of this State are its pine forests, covering
nearly one-half of its entire area, and its numerous beautiful lakes. Of
the latter, there are no fewer than 215 within twenty-five miles of St.
Paul, and they extend right through the central part of the State, on
both sides of the railroad, to the prairie region bordering upon the Red
River. Many of them are of exceeding beauty, especially in the district
known as the

                             LAKE PARK REGION,

a richly diversified section of country, presenting the most charming

Among the most famous, are Lake Minnewaska, on the Little Falls and
Dakota division of the road, fifty-nine miles from its junction with the
main line; Clitherall and Battle Lakes, on the Fergus Falls and Black
Hills branch; and Detroit Lake, on the direct line to the West, 230
miles from St. Paul. All these have fine pebbly beaches, lined with
beautiful borders of timber, and their accommodations for all classes of
visitors--anglers, sportsmen and families--are exceptionally good.

Like all the waters of Minnesota, they teem with fine, gamey fish of
many varieties. The accomplished editor of the _American Angler_,
writing in his well-known journal, after a visit to the Northwest in the
summer of 1885, stated, that, during a life of nearly a quarter of a
century as an angler, no experience with a rod had equaled in variety
and weight the two days' fishing he had had on Detroit Lake. Nor was Mr.
Harris' success exceptional. A score of one hundred pounds per day on
two rods, is, as he goes on to state, considered quite a modest record.

For what is locally regarded as a good catch, we must turn to that of
the three gentlemen who, on the afternoon of June 1st, 1885, brought in,
as the result of less than three days' work, 603 pike, 138 black bass,
178 rock bass, 28 cat-fish and 25 pickerel; the entire catch weighing
2,321 pounds. This "fish story" is well authenticated. Eastern anglers
can have no conception how full of fine fish, of many varieties, these
Minnesota lakes are. For black and rock bass, maskalonge, pickerel,
wall-eyed pike, and an infinite variety of smaller fish, a recent writer
in the _American Angler_ pronounces Detroit Lake the finest fishing
ground on the continent. Nor need any angler or sportsman--for prairie
chickens, ducks and deer are abundant--expect to have to look to sport
to make up for the deficiencies of accommodation; for the Hotel
Minnesota is said, on the highest authority, to be a gem of a hostelry
for anglers, every facility and convenience they could wish for being
obtainable at moderate charges.

The scenic attractions, also, are of a high order, the natural features
of the surrounding country being of the most diversified character. The
air is pure and invigorating, and hay fever and malarial diseases are
absolutely unknown.

Lake Park is another delightful resort in this region, having good
fishing and boating within easy distance, and a first-class hotel
adjoining the depot.

Before arriving at Detroit, the traveler from St. Paul passes through
Brainerd, the "City of the Pines." The selection of this city for the
location of the machine shops of the railroad has given a great impetus
to its growth; nevertheless, for deer and bear hunting, it is still one
of the best localities in the State. There is fine fishing, too, in its
immediate vicinity, and its hotel accommodations also are very good.
Here it is, also, that travelers from the East, coming by way of the
Great Lakes, join the west-bound train.

The distance to Brainerd from Duluth, the point of debarkation, at the
west end of Lake Superior, is 114 miles.

The traveler, who, in 1886, visits Mr. Proctor Knott's "Zenith City of
the Unsalted Seas," will find the straggling village of five years ago a
busy city of 20,000 inhabitants, with abounding evidences of the
commercial importance it has attained. By reason of the advantages
afforded by the great waterway of the continent, for the direct shipment
of wheat to the Eastern States or to Europe, Duluth has become almost as
formidable a rival of Minneapolis as that city is of Chicago. It handled
last year no fewer than 15,819,462 bushels of wheat, while its saw mills
cut up 125,000,000 feet of lumber, and an extensive trade was also
carried on in coal, salt and lime.

A few miles distant, and connected with it by a railway whose
construction involved the building of an exceedingly fine iron bridge,
is the city of Superior, also with excellent terminal facilities. The
eastern terminus of this, the Wisconsin division of the railroad, is
Ashland, an important town and favorite summer resort on Lake Superior.
Midway between this town and Duluth the line crosses the Brule river,
whose excellent fishing grounds its recent opening has, for the first
time, rendered accessible.

The Brule river proper is a large stream, averaging 100 feet in width,
of clear, cold water, flowing, its entire length, through one of the
great forests of Wisconsin. With high banks, and free from low or marshy
ground, it is an ideal trout stream. The best fishing on the river is to
be had in a stretch of fourteen miles, extending six miles above, and
eight miles below, the crossing of the Northern Pacific Railroad. The
trout attain a large size, catches of three and four pound fish being an
everyday occurrence. In the surrounding forest, game, including moose,
deer, beaver and pheasant, is found in great abundance. Large quantities
of venison were shipped hence by rail during the winter of 1885-86, the
shipments from November 1st to December 15th alone exceeding 13,000


Almost equal to the exciting pleasures of the chase is that of shooting
the Brule river rapids in a canoe. Accompanied by an experienced guide,
the visitor performs this feat without danger; let him attempt it alone,
and he is sure of a ducking. For the angler and sportsman, the Brule
possesses an additional attraction in the fact, that, while most
excellent accommodations are to be had at the railroad crossing,
including boats, fishing tackle and guides, there is no settlement of
any kind within a considerable distance.

The line from Duluth to Brainerd follows, for many miles, the winding
valley of the St. Louis river, through scenery for the most part stern
and wild, yet not without an occasional suggestion of the gentler beauty
of the far-off Youghiogheny. Between Fond du Lac and Thompson the river
has a descent of 500 feet in a distance of twelve miles, tearing its way
with terrific force through a tortuous, rock-bound channel. The best
point for observing the fine effect of these impetuous rapids and
cascades, known locally as the Dalles of the St. Louis, is near the
twentieth mile post westward from Duluth.

Pursuing its way in the direction of Brainerd, the train traverses a
country comparatively little known. Its scanty population is engaged
almost entirely in logging, lumber manufacturing, and hunting, the
immense forest covering the face of the country abounding with deer,
bear, wolves, foxes and other game.

Emerging from the deep recesses of the forest, and passing swiftly
through the lake region already referred to, we find ourselves in a
level prairie country, and can dimly descry, in the far distance, the
thin, dark line which another hour's ride will show to be the narrow
fringe of timber that marks the course of the famous Red River of the
North, that true Arimaspes, with whose golden sands thousands and tens
of thousands have been made rich.

This, then, is the renowned Red River valley, the story of whose amazing
fertility has attracted, from older States and still older countries,
one hundred and fifty thousand people. The greatest influx has taken
place since 1880, the increase in population between the census of that
year and that in the spring of 1885 being 38,719 on the Minnesota side
of the river, and 54,918 on the Dakota side.

Although there are vast tracts of land still uncultivated, the general
appearance of the valley is that of a well-settled agricultural country.
But this will occasion no surprise to those who remember that its annual
wheat crop has now reached 25,000,000 bushels, and its crop of other
cereals 15,000,000 bushels.

Not a little surprise, however, is occasioned by the discovery that the
"valley" of which the traveler has heard so much is not a valley at all,
but a great plain, whose slope toward the river is so slight as to be
wholly imperceptible.

Where the railroad crosses the river, have sprung up the cities of
Moorhead and Fargo, the former in Minnesota, the latter in Dakota. With
such advantages of situation as they possess, and with the days of
booms, with all their unhealthy excitement and fictitious values, gone,
never, it is to be hoped, to return, these cities must continue to
increase in commercial importance, with the development of the rich
country surrounding them.

Fargo is, indeed, the largest city in the entire Territory of Dakota,
and will probably retain its position as such for many years to come.

It is needless to repeat here the oft-told story of Dakota's marvelous
growth. Time was when it was capable of being wrought up into a mosaic
of wondrous interest and beauty; but, with the multiplication of
agencies for giving it publicity, its charm, for the present generation
at least, has passed away. It will, nevertheless, afford the historian
of the nineteenth century material for one of the most interesting and
instructive chapters of his work.

Writing, in 1828, his "Principles of Population," the great historian of
Europe said: "The gradual and continuous progress of the European race
toward the Rocky Mountains has the solemnity of a providential event: it
is like a deluge of men rising unabatedly, and daily driven onward by
the hand of God." But at that time the State of Illinois, but half way
toward the Rocky Mountains and one-third of the way to the Pacific
Ocean, was almost the limit of its mighty flow. Wisconsin, with no
noteworthy settlements of its own, formed part of the Territory of
Michigan; Iowa was an altogether vacant region, without any form of
organized government; while other great States of to-day were still
either mere parts of the Louisiana purchase, with as yet no separate
identity, or were comprised within the then far-extending territory of
the republic of Mexico.

The traveler to the Northwest, by the Northern Pacific Railroad,
traverses that section of the far-extending dominion of the American
people that was the last to be overspread by that great tide of
civilization. He sees its evidences in the happy and prosperous
homesteads that dot the fertile plains of Dakota, and nestle under the
sheltering bluffs of the winding valleys of Montana; he is able to bear
witness, also, to its having penetrated the fastnesses of the Rocky
Mountains, and converted the hillsides of Eastern Washington and the
fair lands of Oregon into smiling wheat fields and fruitful orchards.

But, notwithstanding the hundreds of flourishing settlements scattered
along the great highway of travel, with here and there a goodly town or
city, he can not but wonder at the apparent sparseness of population
when he remembers that one and a half millions of people have their
homes between the Great Lakes and Puget Sound.

But let him consider the vast extent of the country; let him call to
mind that Dakota, with her 415,664 inhabitants, has yet 230 acres of
land to every man, woman and child within her borders, her population
averaging less than three to the square mile; that the density of
population in Oregon and Washington is but two and one-half and two to
the square mile, respectively; while both Montana and Idaho have
considerably more square miles than they have inhabitants.

The county of Cass, which stretches westward from Fargo, is one of the
best settled sections of the Northwest, there being no land whatever
subject to entry. It contains some of the largest wheat farms in the
world, and it has produced more than one wheat crop of 5,000,000
bushels. This county has an actual wealth of over $20,000,000, and, with
its 120 school houses and numberless churches, it may be taken as
admirably illustrating both the capabilities of the country and the
character of the people who are building it up.

At Dalrymple, eighteen miles from Fargo, and at Casselton, two miles
farther west, are the

                            GREAT WHEAT FARMS

of Mr. Oliver Dalrymple, comprising some 50,000 acres. Continuing
westward, we pass, in rapid succession, various flourishing settlements,
among them being Valley City, on the Sheyenne river, the judicial seat
of Barnes county.

Presently the train descends into the valley of the James, or Dakota,
river, and the prosperous city of Jamestown is reached.

From this point a branch line extends northward, ninety miles, to
Minnewaukan, at the west end of Devil's Lake. This remarkable body of
salt water, with its deeply indented and richly wooded shores, where the
briny odor of the ocean mingles with the fragrance of the prairie
flower, is surrounded by some of the best farming lands in Dakota. Its
attractions for the tourist, angler and sportsman have obtained wide
recognition, fish and game being very plentiful, the climate highly
salubrious, the scenery picturesque, and the hotel accommodations good.
The James river is said to be the longest unnavigable river on the
continent, if not in the world, its flow, for hundreds of miles, being
distinguished by scarcely any perceptible increase of volume.

Crossing a high table land, 1,850 feet above sea-level, and 950 feet
higher than the Red river at Fargo, and known geographically as the
Coteaux de Missouri, the train rapidly pursues its way past various
large and well-managed farms to Bismarck, the capital of the Territory.

This city has long commanded an important trade with various settlements
on the Upper Missouri, the steamboats employed having transported as
much as 45,000,000 pounds of freight within a single brief period of
navigation. It is the shipping and distributing point of a vast area
whose only railroad facilities are those afforded by the great
transcontinental line that here crosses the Missouri river. With the
various important settlements that have been established in that great
tract of country, Bismarck has either stage or steamboat communication.
While, however, river navigation is limited to a comparatively short
season, the stages run regularly all the year round, having even been
known not to miss a single trip, or to be more than a few hours late,
during an entire winter.

But it is not the Fargos, the Jamestowns or the Bismarcks with which the
tourist chiefly concerns himself. They attract his attention only
because of the evidence they afford of the development and stability of
the country, and the enterprise of the people, and he is far more
interested in the crossing of the Missouri river, than in either of the
two cities that frown at each other across its turbid waters.

The bridge, by which the railroad is carried across the great river,
here 2,800 feet in breadth, although 3,500 miles from the Gulf of
Mexico, is a structure of immense strength, and not more substantial
than it is graceful. It consists of three spans, each of 400 feet, and
two approach spans, each of 113 feet, with a long stretch of strongly
built trestle work over the gently sloping west bank of the river.

Here the train runs into Mandan, a pleasant little city, nestling under
low ranges of hills which encompass it on three sides. This is the
terminus of the Missouri and Dakota divisions of the road. The change
from Central to Mountain time is made at this point, and the west-bound
traveler sets his watch back one hour.

The country west of the Missouri river presents an entirely different
appearance from that through which the tourist has been traveling since
he entered the Territory at Fargo. It is more diversified; its numerous
streams, with handsome groves of cottonwood upon their banks, meandering
through pleasant valleys, clothed, where still uncultivated, with that
nutritious bunch grass, which, but a few short years ago, made them the
favorite feeding grounds of the buffalo. The vast beds of lignite coal
that underlie this portion of the Territory crop out at various points,
twelve car loads being mined daily at Sims, 35 miles west of Mandan, for
shipment by rail. The most important settlements on this division of the
road are Gladstone and Dickinson.

Twenty miles west of the latter town, the line enters the singular and
picturesque region known as the Bad Lands of the Little Missouri. For a
full hour the train pursues its way through scenery of which the whole
world is not known to afford any counterpart.

The product of natural forces, still working to the same end, the
picture that meets the astonished gaze of the traveler, suggests, where
it does not utterly bewilder, either supernatural agency or the
operation of laws whose reign has ceased. Reasonable hypotheses all
failing, one's imagination connects the weird and mysterious scene with
some early geologic epoch when, perchance under the brooding darkness of
night, the yet plastic earth was tortured by some wild spirit of Caprice
into the fantastic forms in which we see it to-day. But evidences of
intelligent design are not altogether wanting, and we turn from mounds
of wonderful regularity and symmetry of form, standing like Egyptian
pyramids, to reproductions of the frowning battlements of Gibraltar or
Ehrenbreitstein, or the dome and towers of some great cathedral.

Marvelous as they are, however, these forms and outlines excite even
less astonishment than the wealth of coloring in which they are arrayed.
Composed largely of clay, solidified by pressure, and converted into
terra-cotta by the slow combustion of underlying masses of lignite, each
dome and pyramid and mimic castle is encircled with chromatic bands
presenting vivid and startling contrasts. Huge petrifactions and vast
masses of scoria contribute to the weirdness of the scene, and, as if to
complete its plutonic appearance, smoke goes up unceasingly from
unquenchable subterranean fires.

It is a mistake to suppose that these lands are worthless for
agricultural or stock-raising purposes. The valleys and ravines are
covered with nutritious grasses, and thousands of cattle may be seen
grazing where the buffalo and other herbivorous wild animals were wont
to roam in days gone by. The term "Bad Lands" is a careless and
incomplete translation of the designation bestowed upon the country by
the early French _voyageurs_, who described it as "_mauvaises terres
pour traverser_."

At the crossing of the Little Missouri, the Marquis de Mores, a wealthy
young French nobleman, has established the headquarters of an extensive
stock raising and dressed meat shipping business.

From this point, Medora, excursions may be made to Cedar Cañon, one of
the most interesting localities in the Bad Lands; or to the burning
mine, where may be seen, raging, perhaps the most extensive of the
subterranean fires of the entire region. It is also a good point from
which to start out on hunting expeditions, large game being by no means

Sixteen miles beyond the Little Missouri, the train passes Sentinel
Butte, a lofty peak rising precipitously from the plain on the south
side of the railroad. One mile more and the Montana boundary is crossed,
at an elevation of 2,840 feet above sea-level.

In crossing the great Territory of Dakota, the tourist has traveled 367
miles; in traversing that of Montana, he performs a journey of no less
than 800 miles, almost equivalent to the distance from New York to
Indianapolis. Fortunately, the luxurious appointments of the train
render weariness well nigh impossible, and the trip hourly becomes more
interesting and enjoyable.

At Glendive, 692 miles from St. Paul, the road enters the valley of the
Yellowstone, the windings of which famous river it follows, more or less
closely, for 340 miles.

The valley, from five to ten miles in width, is inclosed by high bluffs
of clay and sandstone, their curious formations occasionally reminding
the traveler of the Bad Lands, though they have but little variety of

If the Red River of the North may justly be regarded as the true
Arimaspes, the Yellowstone may, with equal propriety, be designated the
modern Amphrysus. It is upon its banks and those of its tributaries that
there has been developed, since the opening of the Northern Pacific
Railroad, that vast grazing interest which has given Montana as great a
reputation for its stock as Dakota has for its wheat.

For many years,--up to and including the winter of 1881-82,--this was
the finest buffalo hunting country on the continent. But the slaughter
that season was enormous, 250,000 hides being shipped East, principally
from Miles City. Few have been seen since that time. There are hunters
who believe that small herds might still be found north of the
international boundary; but, so far as the United States is concerned,
the buffalo is practically extinct. There is, however, a small herd in
the National Park. Safe from the hunter's deadly repeater, they will
probably multiply rapidly, as it may be supposed that they will soon
know instinctively the limits within which they are unmolested.

Miles City, a few years ago the principal rendezvous of the hunter, is
now the great resort of the grazier and cowboy, it being the metropolis
of the stock interest of the Territory.

The development of this interest within recent years has been as rapid
as that of wheat raising in Dakota, and the economist who should turn to
the United States census reports for 1880 for the present condition of
any considerable section of the Northwest would be led seriously astray.

In 1880, Montana contained 490,000 cattle and 520,000 sheep. According
to a recent report of the Governor of the Territory, it contains, at the
present time, 900,000 cattle, 1,200,000 sheep, and 120,000 horses. The
grazing interests of the West are moving steadily toward Eastern
Montana; for, so rapidly do cattle thrive on the nutritious grasses of
these northern valleys, that a yearling steer is worth $10 more in
Montana than in Texas.

Glendive, already mentioned as the point at which the railroad enters
the Yellowstone valley, is second only to Miles City in importance as a
shipping and distributing point. It is also a divisional terminus of the

Two miles west of Miles City is Fort Keogh, one of the largest and most
beautiful military posts in the United States. It was established in
1877 by Gen. Nelson A. Miles, as a means of holding in check the warlike
Sioux. There are but few Indians to be seen now along the line of the
railroad, and those are engaged in agricultural and industrial pursuits.
The extinction of the buffalo has rendered the Indian much more amenable
to the civilizing influences brought to bear upon him than he formerly
was, and very fair crops of grain are now being raised at the various
agencies. At the Devil's Lake Agency, 60,000 bushels of wheat were
raised in 1885, and purchased by the United States Government at $1 per
hundred pounds. The Crows, along the northern border of whose
reservation--nearly as large as the State of Massachusetts--the road
runs for two hundred miles, are said to be the richest nation in the
world, in proportion to their numbers, their wealth aggregating $3,500
per head. This, however, is due to the natural increase of their live
stock, chiefly ponies, rather than to their own industry and thrift.

Out amid the solitudes of the far Northwest--for it must not be supposed
that the entire country is a succession of settlements--it is wonderful
with what interest the traveler regards that trivial event of daily
occurrence, the meeting of the east-bound train. But, as he peers
through the car window, or stands out on the platform, in critical
survey of its passengers, it probably does not occur to him that he is
as much an object of curiosity to them as they are, each of them, to
him. He represents the far East of this great continent, they the far
West. He, perchance, is making his first trip to the Pacific slope, they
theirs to the Great Lakes or the Atlantic coast. Among them, however,
may be distinguished merry groups of returning tourists, while,
reclining in a luxurious Pullman car, or tempting dyspepsia with the
rich and varied dainties of the dining car, may be seen one of the early
settlers of California, a weather-beaten pioneer, who reached the
Pacific slope by way of the Horn, twenty years ahead of the first
transcontinental railway, and now goes east, by the Wonderland route, to
revisit the scenes of his childhood.


Twenty-nine miles east of Billings, the next divisional terminus and
important trading point on the line of the road, the traveler will
observe, rising from the right bank of the river, a huge mass of
sandstone, interesting as bearing upon its face the name of William
Clarke, cut in the rock by the veteran explorer himself, when he visited
the locality in 1806. He will, about the same time, be able dimly to
descry the peaks of the Big Snow Mountains, which, at first scarcely
distinguishable from the fleecy clouds that hang around them,
subsequently loom up grandly, constituting one of the most beautiful
pieces of scenery in the Northwest.

The disciple of Izaak Walton will not have traveled 225 miles along the
banks of the Yellowstone without having seen many an inviting spot for
indulgence in what his great master called the most calm, quiet and
innocent of all recreations. His arrival, therefore, at Billings, the
largest town on the upper river, and the metropolis--notwithstanding
that it has a population of only 2,000--of a region larger than Maine,
South Carolina, West Virginia or Indiana, affords a not unfitting
opportunity for a brief reference to the incomparable trout fishing
afforded by the numerous streams accessible from points on the Montana
and Yellowstone divisions of the road.

The Yellowstone river itself, west of Billings, has no superior as a
trout stream. It contains trout of four distinct varieties, and fishing
is so easy as at times to be in danger of losing its charm. The
individual scores of various tourists, reported in the _American Angler_
during the summer and fall of 1885, and not containing any that were
phenomenally large, averaged twenty-five trout per hour for each rod, a
record with which the most ardent angler ought surely to be satisfied. A
majority of these scores were made in the vicinity of Livingston, near
which town another visitor is reported to have caught twenty-one fine,
large trout "after supper," while two others are stated to have brought
in 160 as the result of "a day's sport." The Yellowstone also contains a
gamey fish known to local anglers as grayling, but pronounced by Mr. W.
C. Harris to be the whitefish (_Corregonus tullibee_). That gentleman
refers, in a recent article, to the abundance, in these waters, of the
celebrated "cut-throat" trout, whose size and abundance, in conjunction
with the picturesqueness of its habitat, will, he adds, when generally
known, "make a visit to the Yellowstone imperative to the angler who
aspires to a well-rounded life as a rodster." Among other waters,
mention may be made of Rosebud Lake, a beautiful spot reached by wagon
from Billings, where the trout fishing is declared to be splendid;
Little Rosebud Creek, near Stillwater, where eighty-seven trout are
reported to have been caught in four hours with a single rod; Prior
Creek, near Huntley; Mission Creek, twelve miles east of Livingston; and
Sixteen-Mile Creek, sixteen miles from Townsend, all of which are said
by visitors to afford excellent sport.

It must not, however, be supposed that the angler enjoys a monopoly of
sport in this country of varied attractions; for grouse and ducks are
plentiful, as are also, on the mountain ranges, deer, elk and antelope.

Passing Springdale, where the traveler will observe hacks in readiness
to convey visitors to Hunter's Hot Springs, two and one-half miles
distant, the train approaches, amid scenery increasing in grandeur, the
little city of Livingston. Whatever interest may, in the near future,
attach to this place as a resort of the gentle brotherhood from all
parts of the continent, it will certainly fall short of that which will
belong to it as the gateway of that world-renowned region, the

                        YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK.

"Situated," to quote the distinguished geologist, Professor John Muir,
of California, who recently visited it, "in the heart of the Rocky
Mountains, on the broad, rugged summit of the continent, amid snow and
ice, and dark, shaggy forests, where the great rivers take their rise,
it surpasses in wakeful, exciting interest any other region yet
discovered on the face of the globe." While it contains the most
beautiful and sublime of mountain, lake and forest scenery, its fame
rests, not upon that, but upon the extraordinary assemblage of the
curious products of Nature's caprice, and the infinitely wonderful
manifestations of almost extinct forms of her energy that are found
within its borders. Approached by a branch of the Northern Pacific
Railroad, extending southward from Livingston to its northern boundary,
and the only railroad within one hundred miles, this remarkable region
has, by a judicious expenditure of public money and by admirable
individual and corporate enterprise, been rendered so easy of
exploration that the tourist may within the brief period of five days
visit all its most interesting points.

So majestically do the snow-capped mountains tower above the lesser
hills that inclose the charming valley whose various windings the
railroad follows, from Livingston to Cinnabar, that the traveler can
scarcely believe that still more magnificent scenery lies beyond. And
truly the cloud-piercing Emigrant's Peak, with its famous mining gulch;
the yet loftier Electric Peak; the colossal Sphinx; and that most
singular formation, the Devil's Slide, form the most fitting
introduction that the human mind can conceive to the wonders of the
National Park.

Conveyed by an excellently equipped Concord coach from the terminus of
the railroad to the hotel at Mammoth Hot Springs, six miles distant, the
tourist finds himself surrounded by all the conveniences of modern hotel

And within full view of the hotel, from which they are distant but a few
hundred yards, are the exquisitely filigreed and richly colored terraces
formed by the Mammoth Hot Springs, not the least of the wonders of this
famous region. Here one hardly knows whether to admire more the
delicacy of the formation or that of the coloring, the former not being
excelled by that of the finest lace, while the latter surpasses, both in
brilliancy, harmony, and subtle gradations, any chromatic effects known
to exist beyond the limits of this enchanted ground.

The keenest interest of the newly arrived tourist, however, usually
centres in those constantly recurring evidences of tremendous force, the
geysers. With few and unimportant exceptions, these are found within the
limits of certain distinctly marked areas, known as the upper, middle,
lower and Norris basins, to which one or two days' time is devoted,
according to circumstances. The most celebrated of the geysers--those
with whose names the world has been made familiar by the pen, brush or
camera of author or artist--are in the upper basin. Here are found the
Giant and Giantess, the Castle and Grotto, the Bee Hive, the Splendid
and the Grand. Here, too, is Old Faithful, the constancy of whose hourly
eruption makes it impossible for even the most hurried visitor to the
upper basin to leave without witnessing at least one display of its
tremendous energy.


The reader, who, not having visited the National Park, has yet gazed
into some of the profound gorges to be found in the great mountain
ranges of the far West, will read with astonishment, if not with
incredulity, that there is but one cañon in the world,--the Grand Cañon
of the Yellowstone. Perhaps slightly exceeded in depth, as it certainly
is in gloom, it is yet made to stand pre-eminent among the natural
wonders of the world by the majesty of its cataract and the gorgeous
blazonry of its walls. To say that the former--no mere silver ribbon of
spray, but a fall of great volume--is a little more than twice the
height of Niagara, would, by means of a familiar comparison, enable
almost any one to form a not altogether inadequate conception of its
grandeur. But for the matchless adornment of its walls, we have no
available comparison; naught but itself can be its parallel. One great
writer describes it as being hung with rainbows, like glorious banners.
Another, borrowing from Mr. Ruskin, likens it to a great cathedral,
with painted windows, and full of treasures of illuminated manuscript.
But, as we take our stand on the brink of the Falls, with twelve miles
of sculptured rock spread out before us, rising from 1,500 to 2,000 feet
in height, and all aflame with glowing color, we have to acknowledge,
with a distinguished writer and a no less celebrated artist, that,
neither by the most cunningly wrought fabric of language, nor the most
skillful manipulation of color, is it possible to create in the mind a
conception answering to this sublime reality. For countless ages, frost
and snow, heat and vapor, lightning and rain, torrent and glacier, have
wrought upon that mysterious rock, evolving from its iron, its sulphur,
its arsenic, its lime and its lava, the glorious apparel in which it
stands arrayed. And the wondrous fabrication is still going on. The
bewildered traveler would scarcely be surprised to see the gorgeous
spectacle fade from his vision like a dream: but its texture is
continually being renewed; the giant forces are ever at work; still do

            "=Sit at the busy loom of time and ply,
              Weaving for God the garment thou seest Him by.="

For the minor wonders of this world of marvels, the formations of
geyserite and the petrified forests, Tower and Gibbon Falls and the
cliffs of volcanic glass, the caldrons of boiling mud and transparent
pools of sapphire blue, the reader is referred to special guides to the

It only remains to be stated that there is regularly established
transportation daily between all the principal points, that the
distances are not fatiguing, that the charges are reasonable, and the
equipment everything that could be desired.

The angler need scarcely be reminded that this is the far-famed region
where the juxtaposition of streams of hot and cold water enables him to
cook his fish as fast as he can catch them, without moving from his seat
or taking them off the hook!

                              WESTWARD STILL.

Resuming his westward journey at Livingston, the traveler finds himself
ascending the first of the two great mountain barriers that had to be
surmounted by the engineers of the Northern Pacific Railroad. By a grade
of 116 feet to the mile, the line reaches, twelve miles from Livingston,
an elevation of 5,565 feet above sea-level. Here it is carried under the
crest of the range by a tunnel 3,610 feet in length, from which it
emerges into a fine, rocky cañon, at the western portal of which is the
military post of Fort Ellis. A few minutes more, and the train runs into
Bozeman, a beautifully situated and flourishing little city of twenty
years' growth. Few cities can boast of more magnificent scenery,
majestic snow-capped ranges standing out against the sky on every side.

Westward for thirty miles extends the rich and fertile Gallatin valley.
It is no uncommon thing to get forty bushels of hard spring wheat, or
sixty bushels of fall wheat, to the acre in this valley, and its barley
is of such superior excellence as to be in great demand for malting
purposes at Milwaukee and other Eastern cities.

Twenty-nine miles west of Bozeman, are Gallatin City, and the bright
little town of Three Forks, commanding the valleys of the Madison and
Jefferson, the agricultural lands of which, now being brought under
cultivation, are not inferior to those of the older settled valley of
the Gallatin.

Four miles more, and the tourist comes upon a point of considerable
geographical interest, the three mountain streams just mentioned pouring
their waters into a common channel, to form the Missouri river. It is
through a rocky cañon, abounding in wild and magnificent scenery, that
the greatest river on the continent enters upon its long course of 4,450
miles. For nearly fifty miles, the line follows its various windings,
until finally the river runs away northward through that profound chasm
known as the Grand Cañon of the Missouri, or the Gates of the Rocky
Mountains. Visitors to Helena will find an excursion to the Grand Cañon,
occupying not necessarily more than two days' time, one of the most
delightful experiences of their transcontinental journey.

The most important town between Bozeman and Helena, is Townsend, the
shipping and distributing point for no inconsiderable portion of one of
the best counties in Montana. It has daily communication by coach with
White Sulphur Springs, a health resort of great local repute. This
coming rival of older and hitherto more famous spas, lies in a beautiful
valley, 5,070 feet above sea-level, and surrounded by the grandest of
Rocky Mountain scenery. Its accommodations for visitors of all classes
are most excellent, including, as they do, one of the best hotels in the
Territory. Six miles distant are Castle Mountain and Crystal Cave, the
latter a cavern of great extent, having twenty-three separate chambers,
full of curious and beautiful stalactitic and stalagmitic formations.
The town, mountain and cavern were all fully described and admirably
illustrated in the _West Shore Magazine_ for July, 1885.

Not so much by way of tribute, either to its own beauty or that of its
situation, as in recognition of its wealth, its commercial importance
and the commanding position it has so long occupied in the mining world,
Helena, the capital of the Territory, is called the Queen of the
Mountains. Situated on the eastern slope of the continental divide,
1,155 miles from St. Paul, it became a great distributing point and
financial centre, even when hundreds of miles of mountain and prairie
separated it from the nearest railroad. Dependent upon the Missouri
river for its commercial intercourse with the world, it was in a state
of well-nigh complete isolation during the greater part of every year.
Under other conditions, this comparative isolation would have stunted
its growth and cramped the energies of its people. But with the assured
product of their labor such a commodity as gold, with its universality
of demand and stability of value, the sturdy settlers in Last Chance
Gulch had always the most powerful of incentives to restless energy.
With the steadily increasing production of the precious metals, if not
in its own immediate vicinity, at least in the country it dominated,
Helena grew rich, until now it claims to be the wealthiest city of its
size in the United States.

It was on the afternoon of the 15th of July, 1864, that a party of four
miners, weary and sick at heart, pitched their tents in that
desolate-looking gulch where now stands this flourishing city.
Disappointed at not being able to secure claims in the then prosperous
camp of Virginia City, and reduced to great extremity, they regarded the
little gulch on the Prickly Pear as their "last chance." Finding gold in
paying quantities, they resolved to settle down; and it is said, that,
before two years had elapsed, each of them was worth $50,000.

In the meantime, the little camp in what was thenceforward known as Last
Chance Gulch had attracted miners from all parts of the Rocky Mountains.
It is stated, in a recent official publication of the Territory, that
the gulch yielded $30,000,000 during the first three seasons it was
worked; but these figures so far exceed the popular estimate, that they
are repeated only under reserve. The present annual production is said
to be about $50,000. It would seem to the visitor as though every square
foot of ground had been dug up, and, if it be his first experience of a
placer mining district, its appearance will strike him as singularly

The romance of mining is well illustrated by the story of the citizen of
Helena who was digging out a cellar to his house, when a passing
stranger offered to remove the pile of earth that was being heaped up in
the roadway, and promised to return with one-half of whatever dust he
might obtain by the washing to which he proposed to submit it.
Permission granted and the earth removed, the citizen thought no more of
the matter. Great, therefore, was his astonishment when, a few days
later, the half-forgotten face of the stranger appeared at the door, and
he was handed, as his share of the yield of that unpromising dirt, the
equivalent of $650.

Possibly, however, a story involving only a paltry sum of three figures,
may not answer to the reader's conception of the romantic. It does not
excite his imagination. He expects to read of millions. If so, let us
turn to the story of the miner, who, confident that he was the possessor
of a valuable claim, held on to it in spite of the most adverse
circumstances, hiring himself out in winter that he might have a little
money wherewith to work upon his claim in summer, until, at last, after
eight years of indomitable perseverance and patient toil, he was able to
sell his property for $2,250,000; or that of the weary and penniless
wanderer, who, having tramped all the way from Nevada, began a toilsome
search, to be continued through much suffering and privation for several
years, but destined to be rewarded at last by the discovery of one of
the richest veins of gold in the Territory, a vein that has yielded, up
to the present time, $4,000,000 worth of gold.

The tourist will find an hour's chat with an old-timer an interesting
and not altogether unprofitable exercise, albeit he may find it hard to
discriminate between statements that he may venture to repeat and those
made for his especial benefit as a tenderfoot.

He need not, however, discredit such stories as that a four-mule team
once hauled to Fort Benton, for transportation down the Missouri river,
two and one-half tons of gold, valued at $1,500,000; nor yet, that in
the early days potatoes were worth fifty cents per pound, and flour one
dollar, or that oranges were sold at a dollar each, and small pineapples
at seven dollars. These are facts not more startling than many others
that might be quoted. In the mining world, at least, truth is positively
stranger than fiction.


The annual production of the precious metals in Montana has increased
enormously within recent years, doubling itself between 1880 and 1882,
and trebling between 1882 and 1884. The annual output now approaches
$30,000,000, and the Territory stands at the head of the gold-producing
regions of the world, notwithstanding that upward of $200,000,000 worth
has been extracted from its soil.

Among the many famous mines on the eastern slope of the mountains are
the Drum Lumon, shipping $80,000 worth of bullion per month, of which
fully one-half may be set down as profit; the Gloster, shipping $50,000
worth per month; the Whitlach Union, long the most celebrated gold mine
in the Territory; those of Red Mountain, said to be the most important
undeveloped mineral field in the United States; the Clark's Fork,
bordering on the National Park, and now yielding, and with no railroad
facilities, 855 tons of ore per day; those of the Helena Mining and
Reduction Company at Wickes, reached by a branch of the Northern Pacific
Railroad from Prickly Pear Junction, and known to have shipped as much
as $125,000 worth of ore in a single month; and the Lexington, which has
produced silver ore averaging in assay value from $15,000 to $20,000 per
ton. Visitors to the New Orleans Exposition of 1884-85 will remember the
magnificent exhibits from the last-mentioned mine, as also those from
the Cable and Drum Lumon mines, the latter including one solid chunk of
high-grade ore weighing 1,715 pounds.

The most valuable gold nugget ever found in Montana is said to have been
worth about $3,200. There is a nugget in the vault of the First National
Bank at Helena, weighing 47.7 ounces, and valued at $945.80. But the
most interesting sight in the city is, undoubtedly, the process of
assaying at the United States Assay Office, where may also be seen those
marvelously adjusted and delicately graduated scales, by which the
weight of even an eye-lash can be exactly determined.

The next stage of the traveler's journey westward from Helena lies


It is by way of the Mullan Pass--so named from the fact of Lieut. John
Mullan, U. S. A., having built a wagon road through it in 1867, to
connect Fort Benton, Mont., with Fort Walla Walla, W. T.,--that the
railroad is carried over the continental divide. The highest elevation
of the pass itself is 5,855 feet; but, by the construction of a tunnel
3,850 feet in length, the line was made to reach the western slope
without attaining a higher elevation than 5,547 feet.

It is not until Butler is reached, thirteen miles from Helena, that
either the scenery or the construction of the road calls for special
notice. But at that point the scenery becomes exceedingly picturesque,
the rocks towering above the pines and spruce like the ruins of some
ancient stronghold. From now on, too, the tourist will find constant
employment in observing how the gigantic barriers, which seem to forbid
all further progress, are, one after another, overcome.

Amid scenery increasing in wildness and grandeur, the train pursues its
tortuous course; through Iron Ridge Tunnel, near which the track forms
an almost perfect letter S; across innumerable ravines; along rocky
shelves and through deep cuttings, until at last it enters the eastern
portal of the Mullan Tunnel. A few minutes later the traveler is looking
out upon the grassy hills and pleasant valleys of the Pacific slope, the
approach to the tunnel from the west presenting a singular contrast to
the savage grandeur that distinguishes the approach from the east.

Following the valley of the Little Blackfoot, the train presently
arrives at Garrison, where passengers desirous of visiting the most
flourishing mining city on the American continent, if not in the world,
must change cars.

"The most flourishing mining city on the American continent, if not in
the world!" exclaims the reader. Even so; and yet we are not in Nevada,
nor yet in Colorado; and, besides, the former is about played out; and,
as for Leadville, every one remembers the disasters that overtook her,
culminating, as they did, in the failure of all her four banks. The city
is Butte, that, at the last United States census, had a population of
only 3,363, but now claims six times that number, and has a monthly
mining pay-roll of $620,000.

The line from Garrison runs through the beautiful Deer Lodge valley, in
which are many fine farms. Deer Lodge City, the judicial seat of the
county, is pleasantly situated 4,546 feet above sea-level. Being well
laid out, it presents, with its wide streets and handsome public
buildings, an exceedingly attractive appearance.

It is at the head of this valley, on the western slope of the main range
of the Rocky Mountains, and fifteen miles from the Pipestone Pass, that
there has been witnessed, during the last three or four years, that
rapid growth of population and wealth that is without parallel, even in
the marvelous annals of mining. Here, encompassed on three sides by
lofty ranges of mountains, Butte pours forth the smoke of its
innumerable furnaces; for not only is its production of silver so great
that it has come to be designated the "Silver City," but its copper
mines are such as to give employment to the most extensive smelting
works in the United States. Its total production during 1885, valued at
$15,000,000, viz., $5,000,000 worth of bullion and $10,000,000 worth of
copper matte, was twice that of Utah, and three times that of Nevada. It
also exceeded that of the whole of California, or the combined
production of Idaho, New Mexico and Arizona.

The leading silver mines of the district are the Alice, Moulton,
Lexington and Silver Bow, which alone employ 210 stamps and produce 230
tons of ore daily. The magnificent appliances of the Alice mine,
including the great Cornish pump that cost $40,000, are the wonder of
every visitor. The process of reduction, here as elsewhere, is somewhat
complex, especially in the case of the baser ores, being in part
chemical and in part mechanical. It involves the crushing of the ore to
powder, under the pressure of enormous bars of iron, weighing 900 pounds
each, and known as "stamps," and its subsequent roasting in large,
hollow cylinders, salt being largely employed in the former, and
quicksilver in the latter, stage of the operation. The roasting mills of
the Alice mines treat 100 tons of ore per day, and their bullion
product approaches $100,000 per month.

The great Lexington property, which has produced $1,000,000 per annum
for four years, is owned by a French company. It claims to be the most
complete mine in the entire West, and it is certainly one of the richest
and most extensive.

The Moulton and Silver Bow have a daily capacity of forty and thirty
tons of ore respectively. They are magnificent properties, well
developed and exceedingly productive. The former makes the proud boast
of working its ore to a higher percentage of its value than any other
mill in the district.

But it is the copper mines and smelters that represent the largest
capital; give employment to the greatest number of men; have the largest
production, both in tonnage and aggregate value; and, it may be added,
make the most smoke.

At the head of the rich and powerful companies engaged in this industry,
stands the Anaconda,--its mine at Butte, the greatest copper property in
America; its smelting works, at the neighboring town of Anaconda, the
largest of their kind in the world. Sold, five years ago, for an amount
that would not now be more than sufficient to pay its employés a week's
wages, its property is roughly estimated to be worth $15,000,000. With
certain contemplated additions to its smelting capacity, it will handle
daily 1,200 tons of ore, yielding 180 tons of matte, or 108 tons of pure
copper. Its entire machinery run by water-power, it yet requires for its
furnaces no less than 180 cords of wood per day; in view of which
enormous consumption it is stated to have recently let a contract for
300,000 cords, representing upward of $1,000,000. Second only to this
gigantic concern, is the Parrott Company, whose total matte output for
1884 was 14,856,323 pounds, containing 9,324,805 pounds of pure copper,
valued, including its silver contents, at about $1,250,000. With largely
increased capacity, its production of pure copper will probably have
reached 15,000,000 pounds in the year just drawing to a close. Among
other leading companies, may be mentioned the Montana, owning some of
the richest and most steadily productive mining property in process of
development; Clark's Colusa, said to have in sight, above the 300-foot
level, at least 150,000 tons of valuable ore; and the Bell and Colorado,
two of the richest copper-silver mines in the district.

So much for the mines and smelting works of Butte. What of the city
itself? Briefly, it may be said to be a typical Western town, as seen in
flush times; nothing too big for it, nothing too good; its quivering
energy finding expression, now in the erection of a $150,000 court
house, and now in that of the finest opera house on the Pacific slope,
outside of San Francisco; its business enterprise filling magnificent
stores with costly goods, suited to the tastes, pocket-books and
spending proclivities of a community that on last Christmas eve spent
$6,000 in presents in a single one of its stores.


There are several good trout streams in the vicinity of Butte, and it is
pleasant to know that, in a city whose amusements are mainly of a very
different character, there are those who know how to handle the rod.

Proceeding westward from Garrison, the traveler will have some fine
views of mountain scenery, including the snow-clad peaks of Mount
Powell. Drummond, twenty-one miles west, is the station for the rich
mining districts of New Chicago and Phillipsburg. Granite Mountain mine,
near the latter place, is exceedingly rich. A vein of ore, six feet
wide, and assaying from 125 to 2,000 ounces of silver to the ton, is now
being worked, the output reaching $120,000 per month.

Soon the train enters Hell Gate Cañon, at first a beautiful valley, from
two to three miles in width, but narrowing as we go westward, until from
between its stupendous walls we suddenly emerge upon a broad plateau,
where stands the city of Missoula. Formerly a remote and isolated
frontier post, Missoula is now a place of considerable importance.
Extending southward for ninety miles is the valley of the Bitter Root
river, well watered, exceedingly fertile and thickly settled. Here are
raised fine crops of wheat and oats, as well as vegetables, apples and

The tourist has now entered the finest game country in the Northwest. At
any point along the line, for a distance of nearly three hundred miles,
he will find deer, elk and bear in great abundance. Let him but place
himself on their trail, and he will certainly soon have them within
gunshot. Even in the vicinity of Missoula there is excellent sport, one
local trapper obtaining $160 bounty for bear last season. Ducks and
prairie chickens are also plentiful, and various species of trout abound
in the mountain streams.

The most interesting, as it is the most accessible, of the Indian
reservations contiguous to the line of the Northern Pacific Railroad, is
that of the Flathead tribe, through which the line runs for many miles
in the course of its north-westward sweep from Missoula. At Arlee
station, the visitor is within five miles of the agency, and at Ravalli
a like distance from St. Ignatius mission. For a full account of the
excellent work carried on among the Indians by the Jesuit Fathers,
together with an exceedingly interesting description of the Flathead
country generally, the reader is referred to an article in the _Century
Magazine_ for October, 1882, from the accomplished pen of Mr. E. V.
Smalley, as well as to sundry articles in that gentleman's own magazine,
_The Northwest_. From a point about 500 feet from the summit of
Macdonald's Peak, a few miles north of Ravalli, there is a remarkable
view of a deep mountain gorge known as Pumpelly Cañon, which has many of
the striking features of the Yosemite valley, in California. Two
waterfalls, having an apparent height of about 800 feet, leap into this
profound rocky cañon, and form a small circular lake of a dark blue
color. This lake falls, by another cataract, into a second lake of
exactly the same size and shape as the first, while still another
cataract leaps from the lower lake into a deep ravine filled with
magnificent forest trees. An excursion to Macdonald's Peak may be made
from the mission in a single day. Tourists are, however, recommended to
take blankets and provisions, and encamp upon the crest of the mountain
to witness the sunrise. Saddle horses are obtainable at the mission, and
there is a good trail all the way.

Thompson Falls, 101 miles west of Missoula, is the starting point for
the C[oe]ur d'Alène mines. The distress that followed the arrival in
this district, in 1883, of several thousand half-starving adventurers,
who, expecting to pick up in a few hours' time nuggets enough to make
them rich for life, brought neither blankets to protect them from the
cold of winter, nor the means of returning to their far-distant homes,
or even of reaching less remote centres where work could be obtained,
gave the C[oe]ur d'Alène mines a blow from which they were slow to
recover. The development that has since taken place, especially since
the introduction of hydraulics, has, however, abundantly demonstrated
that former claims as to the richness and permanence of the mines were
well founded, and we shall probably soon see here the richest placer
mining camp in the world.

The matchless river scenery that has done so much toward placing the
Northern Pacific Railroad system in the proud position it occupies
to-day at the head of the scenic railways of America, is not alone that
of the peerless Columbia. For 140 miles of its course, in Western
Montana and the Panhandle of Idaho, it follows the windings of a stream
that for grand and imposing scenery is second only to that renowned
river itself. Should the traveler wake up in the morning, anywhere
between the point at which the waters of the Missoula empty themselves
into the bright green flood of the Pend d'Oreille river and the head of
Pend d'Oreille Lake, he will almost certainly suppose that it is in the
current of the far-famed Columbia that he sees reflected, perhaps
hundreds of feet beneath him, the varying forms of those stately
mountains that soar thousands of feet above. But he is as yet almost a
day's journey from the classic regions of the Columbia, albeit the
lordly stream, whose scenery will be, hour after hour, a succession of
surprises and delights to him, is one of the principal forks of that
mighty river, whose still grander scenery it may be said to foreshadow
in miniature.

Between the Yellowstone National Park, on the one hand, and the Columbia
river, on the other, Clark's Fork and the beautiful lake into which it
widens out before turning northward to the British possessions, have
been almost completely overshadowed. But their ten thousand beauties
will assert themselves. They have not to be sought for in out-of-the-way
places, nor are they so localized that a mere passing glimpse is the
only reward of strained attention as the train flies onward. On the
contrary, from an early hour in the morning until long past noon, there
is a continuous unfolding of scenes in which are combined, with Nature's
inimitable skill and infinite variety, all that is grandest in mountain,
all that is most graceful in woodland and stream. So evenly distributed
are the beauties of this long stretch of river scenery, that it is not
easy to single out particular points as calling for special notice.
There are, however, two that must arrest the attention and command the
admiration of every traveler. The first, one mile east of Cabinet, where
the river, which has been flowing for some distance considerably below
the level of the railroad, enters a magnificent rocky gorge; and the
other, about the same distance east of Clark's Fork, where it flows,
without a ripple, through a forest of stately pines, whose forms are,
with singular fidelity, reflected in its clear and tranquil waters. Soon
it is lost to view, but only to reappear, after a short interval, in the
form of the lovely

                           LAKE PEND D'OREILLE.

One of the largest sheets of fresh water in the West, Lake Pend
d'Oreille will certainly yield to none in the beauty and variety of its
scenery. Fifty-five miles in extreme length, and from three to twelve
miles in width, it has an irregular shore line of probably 250 miles,
richly diversified with rock and foliage, and surmounted by lofty ranges
of hills. The railroad follows the north shore of the lake for about
twenty-five miles, passing several little settlements, among which are
Hope, Kootenai and Sand Point. Such accommodations as have hitherto been
available to the visitor have been provided by respectable residents of
Sand Point; but for the season of 1886 arrangements will be made that
will constitute Hope the more convenient halting place. That, also, will
be the point of arrival and departure for steamers making the tour of
the lake.

While the view from the car windows is not to be compared with the
scenery at the southern end of the lake, it must, nevertheless, be
pronounced superb. In the immediate foreground, the green waters break
soothingly upon a pebbly beach, or fall in crested waves. On the right
and left recede into distance the deeply indented shores, here clothed
with luxuriant forests, there bare and precipitous. Yonder, nineteen
miles away, is Granite Point, rising perpendicularly from the water 724
feet, with Granite Mountain behind it, towering 5,300 feet above the
level of the lake, itself surmounted by the snowy peaks of Pack Saddle
Mountain, and they, in turn, by the great purple range of the C[oe]ur

Not a few Eastern travelers passing over the Northern Pacific Railroad
have remarked upon the resemblance borne by the scenery of Lake Pend
d'Oreille to that of their own famous Lake George. It is, however, if
possible, even finer, the mountains being loftier, and the forests more
luxuriant, than those inclosing the hitherto unrivaled lake in Northern
New York.

To fully set forth the attractions of this region for the sportsman, or
to do anything like justice to its waters as fishing grounds, would
require more space than is devoted in this pamphlet to the entire
country between the Great Lakes and Puget Sound. Nowhere, probably, in
the United States, is there such an abundance of large game as in the
forests of Northwestern Montana and Northern Idaho. Within a few miles
of any of the stations on Lake Pend d'Oreille may be found mule deer,
white-tailed deer, elk, caribou and moose, black and cinnamon bear, and
mountain sheep. Of winged game, geese, ducks and partridge are
plentiful, and they may be shot at any season of the year. Various
applications have been made to the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, by
local hunters, for special rates for the shipment of game East; but the
Company has steadfastly refused to encourage the wholesale destruction
of game for commercial purposes, preferring that it should be reserved
for legitimate sport.


The true sportsman will immensely enjoy an excursion into the Kootenai
country. The best route is from Kootenai station to Bonner's Ferry, on
the Kootenai river, a distance of thirty-three miles by wagon road, and
thence by boat, either down to the lake, a further distance of ninety
miles, or up into the mountains. Complete camping outfits may be
obtained from Spokane Falls, the nearest town on the line of the

That the waters of Clark's Fork and Lake Pend d'Oreille are full of fine
fish of many varieties, is established by overwhelming testimony. The
want of a common nomenclature, however, is somewhat embarrassing to one
whose opportunities for personal observation have been limited. Perhaps,
therefore, it will be best to allow the local anglers to tell their own
stories. Beginning with the town of Thompson's Falls, to which reference
has already been made, we find a recent correspondent of the _American
Angler_ claiming for Clark's Fork an abundance of salmon trout, of a
species of large lake trout, and a species of whitefish, known locally
as "squaw fish." Salmon trout are, he says, caught at all times of the
year, except in midwinter and during high water in the month of June.
They average from one-half to two pounds each, and the fishing is best
during early spring and late fall. Lake trout have been caught weighing
as much as eighteen pounds each; but the average is about six pounds.
The "squaw fish" is said to be gamey, but of comparatively little value
for the table. The same correspondent says that the mountain streams
emptying into Clark's Fork in the vicinity of Thompson's Falls, afford
excellent mountain trout fishing, and he quotes large scores made by
local anglers. At Heron, which, by the way, is a divisional terminus of
the railroad, with a first-class hotel operated in connection with the
dining car department, trout is said to be so abundant as to be thought
nothing of; "grayling," sometimes reaching ten pounds in weight, are
almost as plentiful; and it is said to be no uncommon thing to see them
jumping out of the water, pursued by large whitefish. Bull River, eight
miles distant, yields salmon trout weighing up to twelve pounds. The
waters of Lake Pend d'Oreille contain, in addition to the common lake
trout, a species weighing from five to ten pounds each, and occasionally
caught weighing as much as twenty pounds, speckled on both back and
sides, and generally resembling Mackinac trout. They are a fine table
fish, being much superior to lake trout. The "squaw fish" of this lake
are said to resemble the pike. They weigh from one pound to five pounds
each. From about the middle of August until the snow flies, the trout
fishing is "the best in the world." There is also a fish resembling the
herring, found in one part of the lake in immense shoals.

Soon after leaving Lake Pend d'Oreille, the line enters a dense forest
containing few settlements, and little that is interesting or
picturesque, beyond the beautiful Lake Cocolala, a long but narrow sheet
of water on the north side of the track. On the borders of the forest
the train pauses a moment at Rathdrum, the nearest point on the railroad
to Fort C[oe]ur d'Alène, on the lake of the same name. This lake even
rivals, in the beauty of its waters and the grandeur of its mountain
scenery, its more accessible neighbor, Lake Pend d'Oreille, while its
conveniences for boating and fishing are equally good.

At the station of Idaho Line, the train enters the Territory of
Washington, pursuing its way in a southwesterly direction across the
great Spokane Plain.

A short run, and we are at Spokane Falls, a bright and busy little city,
charmingly situated on the Spokane river, near the celebrated falls from
which it takes its name. Built upon a gravelly plateau, sloping gently
toward the river, overlooked by beautiful pine-clad hills, and with
lofty mountain ranges in the far distance, Spokane Falls can not but
produce a favorable impression upon the passing traveler. Its falls,
which are its chief natural attraction, and will be the secret of the
great commercial and manufacturing importance that undoubtedly awaits
it, are situated on the north side of the town. The river is divided by
basaltic islands into three great streams, curving toward each other,
and pouring their floods into a common basin, from which the united
waters come surging and foaming to make their final plunge of sixty-five
feet into the deep chasm below. The tremendous force with which the
river tears through its rocky channels, and hurls itself over the falls,
is perhaps best illustrated by a comparison with the Falls of St.
Anthony, at Minneapolis. While the latter represent a force of 135,000
horse power, the former represents one of 216,000 horse power,
utilizable with equal facility. Several extensive flouring mills, as
well as saw mills, are already in operation; and there is no doubt that,
with the development of the rich wheat country of Eastern Washington,
there will come an immense extension of the manufacturing industries of
Spokane Falls.

It is probable that the town will soon have two important feeders in
branch lines of railway, extending, the one northward to the Colville
mining region,--the other southward to the Palouse wheat country. These
lines will open railway communication with two of the richest sections
of country west of the Rocky Mountains.

Until within the last year or two, the settlements of the Colville
valley have been confined to the scattered homes of ranchmen. But
recently the tide of immigration that has been flowing into the
Territory has reached this remote region, and agricultural operations of
a general character are being engaged in. The valley is as fertile as it
is beautiful, and not only fine wheat, but fruit of excellent quality,
is being raised there.

In the Chewelah district there have recently been found so many rich
veins of silver that Mr. E. V. Smalley, who visited it in November,
1885, declares that it is almost certain to become, within a few years,
the greatest silver camp on the continent.

Sixteen and forty-one miles respectively westward from Spokane Falls,
are Cheney and Sprague, in a good agricultural country, whose rapid
development is building them up as solid and substantial towns. Cheney
has a large hotel, and is, moreover, the nearest railway station to
Medical Lake, a large sheet of water possessing remarkable curative
properties, and situated nine miles west. Good hotels and bathing
establishments having been erected, Medical Lake is now an exceedingly
pleasant resort, the surrounding country being very attractive.

From Palouse Junction, sixty-nine miles west of Sprague, a line extends
eastward into the Palouse country. So far as regards scenery, a ride
over this line to Colfax and Moscow is as uninteresting a railroad
journey as could well be found, the line following a series of valleys
that have the appearance of having once formed the rocky bed of some
considerable stream.

Colfax is a busy little city in the Palouse river valley, hemmed in so
closely on both sides that one of its rivals recently suggested that it
might find it an advantage to be roofed over. But it does a considerable
business for so small a place, shipping a large proportion of the
agricultural produce of the valley, estimated, in 1885, at two million
bushels of grain. The agricultural methods of Eastern Washington will
strike most visitors as somewhat peculiar. It is not in every State of
the Union, nor in every Territory, that the farmer can plow and sow
"just when he gets ready." But here plowing and seeding may be seen in
progress ten months out of every twelve, and instances have even been
known of winter wheat being sown every month in the year, and all coming
to harvest in its proper turn. And such crops! Thirty, forty and fifty
bushels to the acre are raised so easily, that, had the farmer a nearer
market, he would soon get rich. The construction of the proposed branch
southward from Spokane Falls will, however, give him facilities for
shipping east over the Northern Pacific Railroad that will certainly pay
him better than exporting to England by way of Portland, as he does at
present. The self-binding harvester, so familiar an object in many other
parts of the country, is here unknown, the grain being cut by immense
"headers," propelled by from four to eight horses each. This
strange-looking machine, an exemplification of the old saying, "the cart
before the horse," is better adapted than any other to the peculiar
conditions of the country, straw being of no value, and threshing
usually going on simultaneously with the cutting of the grain, although
the wheat may, after cutting, lie in the fields for many weeks without

The climate of Eastern Washington, to which alone this remarkable state
of things is due, differs entirely from that of the western half of the
Territory, from which it is divided by the Cascade range of mountains.
It is a mistake to suppose that the humidity which characterizes that
portion of the Territory bordering on the Pacific Ocean, distinguishes
it as a whole. On the contrary, the eastern half is remarkably dry, and
that, too, without those extremes of temperature that usually accompany
a dry climate. Should there be a spell of severe cold during the brief
winter season, it is invariably cut short by the "Kuro-Siwo," or
Japanese current, which, striking the coasts of British Columbia and
Washington Territory, sends a warm wave over the entire Northwestern
country, sometimes extending even to the valleys of Montana.

Continuing westward from Palouse Junction, a run of little more than an
hour brings us to Pasco, the eastern terminus of the Cascade division of
the railroad. This important division, intended to establish direct
communication between the magnificent harbors on Puget Sound and the
Eastern States, is already operated to the extent of 122 miles, or
ninety miles westward from Pasco, and thirty-two miles eastward from
Tacoma. Its eastern section has given a great impetus to the development
of the agricultural capabilities of the Yakima, Klickitat and Kittitas
valleys, which are well adapted, not only to stock raising, but also to
the cultivation of fruits and cereals. In this section wool growing is
also engaged in with great success. This industry is one of considerable
importance both in Washington and Oregon, the entire clip for 1885 being
no less than 13,000,000 pounds.

There are few revelations more surprising to an Eastern tourist than
that of the magnitude of some of the great Western rivers. The Snake
river, for example, is known to him, if at all, merely as one of the
various tributaries of the Columbia; and, when he finds himself crossing
its mighty flood by a bridge 1,672 feet in length, and learns that its
force and volume are such that it drives itself like a solid wedge into
the waters of the Columbia, he is apt to wonder that he knows so little
about it. Future tourists will not regard this tributary stream with any
the less interest for being told beforehand that it is longer than the
Rhine, more than three times the length of the Hudson, and that,
straightened out, it would reach from the Missouri valley to the
Atlantic ocean. It is, moreover, a great commercial highway, being
navigated by steamers of considerable tonnage for 150 miles. It flows
for a long distance in a deep cañon, the sides of which are so
precipitous as to render the river almost inaccessible. Immense shutes
have therefore been constructed for the transfer of the wheat that forms
the staple product of the country from the warehouses on the high banks
to the boats and barges anchored below.

Another section of the famous wheat country of Southeastern Washington,
identified with the unmusical name of Walla Walla, borne by the oldest
and best town east of the Cascade Mountains, is reached by a branch line
extending from Wallula Junction. With 100,000 acres of land cultivated
to cereals, with 800,000 apple trees, 100,000 pear, plum and peach
trees, 25,000 grape-vines, large herds of cattle, and still larger
flocks of sheep, the county of which Walla Walla is the judicial seat
may be taken as fairly illustrating the varied capabilities of Eastern
Washington. Scarcely less prosperous is the adjoining county of
Columbia. These counties, however, being well settled, reference is made
to them only as foreshadowing the future condition of those younger
counties, adjacent to the Northern Pacific Railroad, which are now in
course of settlement. In many of the latter the cultivation of the soil
presents even fewer difficulties than in these older settled regions, in
many parts of which there is scarcely an acre of level land to be found.

Returning to Wallula Junction, and there resuming our westward journey,
we at once enter a region of surpassing interest, none other than the
famous land--

                         "=Where rolls the Oregon.="

Its navigable waters within 450 miles of those of the Missouri river,
the great Columbia drains an area almost equal in extent to the united
area of France and Germany. Excluding the portages at the Cascades and
Dalles, with several less important rapids, the river is navigable to
Kettle Falls, 725 miles from its mouth. These falls, on the upper river,
are not accessible by rail, being a considerable distance above the
point at which the railroad enters its valley. They are said to be more
impressive even than the famous Cascades on the lower river, there being
a perpendicular fall of twenty feet, and then swift rapids between rocky
banks of quartz and porphyry. It is on the upper river, also, that there
occur the Little Dalles, where the waters tear through a contracted
channel with terrific force, constituting, at least at high water, an
impassable barrier to navigation.


From Wallula to within a few miles of Portland, a twelve hours' ride,
the tourist enjoys an uninterrupted succession of views of that superb
scenery which has given the Columbia river its world-wide reputation.
Never for more than a few moments does he lose sight of its mighty
flood,--now flowing onward with all the majesty of the lower
Mississippi, and now surging through the rocky barriers that impede its
course; here confined within lofty basaltic walls, there inclosing
numerous beautifully wooded islands; and here again marked by long
stretches of bare white sand driven continually by the unceasing winds.
For some miles west of Wallula the banks of the river are low, and
possess no special object of interest. It is not, indeed, until he
reaches the Great Dalles that the tourist sees any indication of the
magnificent scenery he is approaching. There, however, he has his first
glimpse of the queenly Mount Hood, whose snowy peak, soaring 11,225 feet
above the sea, stands out sharply against the sky at a distance of
thirty-five miles. The Dalles themselves, scarcely noticeable, except
when the river is at flood, constitute one of the most curious and
interesting sights in the world,--nothing less than that of the mighty
Columbia turned on edge. Here, within a gorge so narrow that a child may
fling a pebble from bank to bank, is confined the greatest river of the
Northwest. The chasm through which it flows has never been fathomed, and
can only be approximately determined by an inversion of the grand
proportions of the river where it flows through its ordinary channel.

At Dalles City, the eastern terminus of navigation on the middle river,
the tourist finds himself in an attractive town of nearly forty years'
growth. Here he may with advantage make a brief stay, resuming his
journey either by train or by steamer, the fine boats of the Oregon
Railway & Navigation Company plying daily between this city and
Portland. From the heights commanding the town, magnificent views are to
be obtained, Mount Hood looming up in the southwest, and Mount Adams,
another of the great peaks of the Cascade Range, in the north.

We have now left behind the low-lying shores that extend for so many
miles between the Dalles and Wallula. Henceforward the scenery increases
in interest every mile, the mountains becoming loftier and more
precipitous, the rocky shores more rugged, and the intervening foliage
more luxuriant.

It should be stated that the scenery, especially on the south side of
the river, appears to much greater advantage when viewed from the deck
of a steamer than when seen from the train. In consideration of this
fact, railway tickets are available by steamer without extra charge. The
boat leaving the Dalles early in the morning, there is a loss of one day
involved in taking the steamer on the westward journey; but, returning
from Portland, the tourist is able to reach the Dalles in time for that
day's east-bound train.

Forty-three miles from the Dalles are the Cascades, where the river
changes from a placid lake to swift rapids and a foaming torrent. Before
the completion of the railroad every pound of freight had to be
transferred, at this point, from a steamer navigating the river above
this insurmountable barrier to one navigating it below, or _vice versa_.
The railway portage of six miles on the Washington side of the river is
still operated, and the transfer of such passengers as choose to
complete their journey by water is made so speedily and conveniently as
to enhance, rather than otherwise, the pleasure and interest of the
river trip.

In view of the importance of the river as a free commercial highway,
Congress has made several appropriations for the construction, at the
Cascades, of a system of locks. It is certainly a gigantic undertaking,
and many years will probably elapse before its completion.

To a great convulsion of nature, of whose occurrence there is abundant
evidence, may be traced a singular Indian tradition, that Mount Hood and
Mount Adams formerly stood close to the river, connected by a natural
bridge. The mountains, so goes the story, becoming angry with each
other, threw out fire, ashes and stones, and so demolished the bridge,
choking the river, which had previously been navigable. The present
remoteness of the mountains is attributed to the anger of the Great
Spirit, who hurled them thus far asunder. Both, in common with other
peaks of the Cascade Range, are extinct volcanoes; and the Indian
tradition may have its origin either in some great eruption, or in some
sudden movement of what is known as the sliding mountain, an immense
mass of basaltic rock gradually wearing its way toward the river.

After gazing in admiration at the fine scenery surrounding the Cascades,
the tourist will scarcely be prepared for the announcement that the
grandest of all is yet to come. But, after leaving Bonneville, not only
is the general effect grander and more imposing, but the objects of
special interest are more numerous. Here it is that the advantage of
making the trip by steamer is most apparent; for, let the train travel
ever so slowly, it is impossible for even the most quick-sighted
traveler to take in all the points of interest that crowd one upon

On the north side is Castle Rock, rising abruptly from the water's edge
a thousand feet or more. Farther down the river, also on the north side,
is Cape Horn, an imposing basaltic cliff projecting into the water. On
the south side there descend from the lofty perpendicular walls that
frown upon the river for many miles, numerous waterfalls, of
indescribable beauty. Here is the lovely Oneonta, 600 feet of silver
ribbon, floating from the dizzy height. A few moments more, and we are
opposite the still more beautiful Multnomah Fall, which has a descent of
no less than 820 feet. At this point the train stops fifteen minutes to
enable passengers to ascend to the rustic bridge, there to enjoy the
best possible view of this incomparable fall, and its wondrously
beautiful setting, contrasting so strikingly with the wild scenery
around it.

At the Pillars of Hercules, two gigantic columns of rock, one on either
side the track, and forming, as it were, the western gateway to this
marvelous region, the railroad leaves the river, and runs right on to
Portland. The steamer continues its course, past the beautiful city of
Vancouver, to the mouth of the Willamette river, by which great
tributary of the Columbia, it soon reaches


Its phenomenal growth, its commanding position on one of the great
waterways of the continent, its wealth, commerce and enterprise, and the
singular natural beauty of its situation, render the capital of the
Pacific Northwest one of the most attractive cities on the American

Fifteen years ago Portland contained a population of 1,103. By 1880 the
construction of the western section of the Northern Pacific Railroad,
and the approaching completion of the great transcontinental system, had
so stimulated the growth of the city that its population had increased
to 17,577. To-day it is estimated at 30,000, or, including the suburbs
of East Portland and Albina, at 40,000, and a handsomer city of its size
can not be found in the United States.

In everything that distinguishes a great metropolitan city, the progress
of Portland has been even more remarkable than the rapid growth of its
population. The handsome business blocks that line its principal streets
bear witness to the magnitude of its trade and commerce, while its
churches, schools and other public buildings testify to the high moral
tone and refined taste of its citizens.

Although one hundred miles from the coast, Portland, like London,
Rotterdam and Antwerp, is virtually a seaport, and its growth and
progress are based upon the solid foundations of its natural advantages.
Loading at its wharves, or riding at anchor on the broad bosom of the
river, may be seen, not only river craft of all sorts and sizes, but
ocean-going vessels of 3,000 tons. When the great wheat crop of Oregon
is in course of shipment to Europe, there may be seen a fleet of as fine
merchantmen as can be found in the world. The salmon exports alone, for
the year ending August 1, 1885, required 120 large vessels, having a
total capacity of about as many thousand tons. The total value of the
exports to foreign countries for the year just mentioned, was
$5,857,057, and that of domestic exports $6,699,776, making a grand
total of $12,556,833. In addition to several hundred thousand tons of
wheat, and the 120 ship loads of salmon already mentioned, the exports
from the Columbia river included over eleven million pounds of wool,
over two million pounds of hides, nearly five and one-half million
pounds of hops, and twenty-nine million pounds of potatoes.

Portland is said to number among its merchant princes twenty-one
millionaires, and certainly there are few cities whose private
residences are more strikingly indicative of wealth and refinement. The
picturesque surroundings of the city render it an exceedingly desirable
place of residence. From the summit of Robinson's Hill a view that it is
no extravagance to pronounce one of the finest in the world may be
obtained. At one's feet lies the city, nestled in rich foliage.
Stretching away, for many miles, from where their waters unite in one
common flood, may be seen the Columbia and Willamette rivers. But above
all, bounded only by the limits of the horizon, is the great Cascade
Range, with all its glittering peaks. On the extreme right,
seventy-eight miles distant, as the crow flies, is seen the snowy crown
of Mount Jefferson; across the river, fifty-one miles distant, rises
Mount Hood, one of the most beautiful mountains on the coast, and the
pride and glory of Oregon; to the northeast stand out the crests of
Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens, and in the same direction, but one
hundred miles away, may be descried the great Tacoma, the grandest
mountain on the Pacific slope. All these five peaks are radiant with
eternal snow, and it may well be imagined that the effect of the
uplifting of their giant forms against the clear blue sky is grand in
the extreme.

Tourists coming northward from San Francisco have the choice of two
routes and two modes of travel. They may either take one of the fine
steamers of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company, sailing every
five days, and performing the voyage in from sixty to seventy-two hours,
or they may travel overland by the Oregon & California Railroad, a line
that traverses not only the most fruitful plains, but also the most
beautiful valleys, of this rich State.

For the benefit of such travelers, and also in view of the possibility
of there being those who, both coming and returning by the Northern
Pacific Railroad, would like to visit the garden of Oregon, and, if
possible, obtain a glimpse of Mount Shasta, it may not be out of place
to give a brief description of the line extending southward from
Portland to the southern boundary of the State.

For upward of one hundred miles our route lies along the Willamette
valley. This is the largest valley in the State, being 150 miles in
length, with an average width of fifty miles. Inclosed on the east side
by the Cascade Mountains, and on the west by the Coast Range, it
contains an area of about four and one-half million acres of rich and
beautiful land. Some of the pleasantest towns in the Northwest are to be
found in this valley.


First comes Oregon City, sixteen miles from Portland; this is the oldest
town in Oregon. It is situated just below the beautiful falls of the
Willamette, amid highly picturesque scenery. Its chief interest for the
tourist centres in the falls, which represent a force of over a million
horse power, or about eight times that of the Falls of St. Anthony. They
may be seen a few hundred yards south of the station, on the west side
of the track. Hitherto there has been seen no considerable extent of
fertile country; but in Barlow's prairie there appears a fine tract of
agricultural land inclosed by tributaries of the Willamette. Others
succeed it, and soon good homesteads, surrounded by shade trees and
orchards, are seen in every direction. The next town of importance is
Salem, the State capital, beautifully situated on the sloping banks of
the river. The capitol, and other State buildings, may be seen from the
train; and the entire city, with its broad streets and fine oak groves,
presents a pleasing appearance.

The twenty-eight miles intervening between Salem and Albany afford some
fine views of the Cascade Range, Mount Hood being visible at a distance
of seventy miles, and the nearer southern peaks in still bolder
outline. Eugene City, 123 miles from Portland, is also charmingly
situated and finely laid out on the edge of a broad, rich prairie
overlooked by a ridge of low hills. Its geographical position, at the
head of navigation, commands for it the trade of a large section of
country. It is also the seat of the State University, and is otherwise
an educational centre of great importance.

In the course of the next seventy-four miles the railroad ascends about
2,000 feet to Roseburg, the judicial seat of Douglas county, traversed
by another of the famous valleys of Oregon, that of the Umpqua. This was
formerly a great stock country; but its pastures have gradually
disappeared before the plow, and cattle have given way to grain. It is,
moreover, a fine fruit growing region. The tourist is now approaching
those intricate valleys which have made this line of railway from
Roseburg to its terminus at Ashland at once so costly and so

Cow Creek Cañon, so winding that thirty-five miles of track had to be
laid to attain twelve miles of actual distance, abounds with wild and
beautiful scenery. From the valley of the Umpqua, the railroad passes
into that of the Rogue river, in Josephine county. This county is
equally famed for its natural beauty, its healthful climate and the
wonderful productiveness of its soil. Grains, fruits and vegetables of
every description, yield prodigiously, and their quality is not to be

The great attractions of the county for the tourist are the two
limestone caves situated thirty miles south of Grant's Pass, and fifteen
miles east of Kerbyville. There is said to be a good wagon road from the
latter place to within five miles of these caves, and arrangements are
in progress for the early completion of the road. According to an
official publication of the county, there is another route, _viâ_
Williams Creek, by wagon road, to within eight miles of the caves, and
thence, by a mountain trail, on horseback. The scenery along this route
is stated to be grand beyond description, embracing many of the lovely
valleys of this charming county, and, in the distance, the snow-capped
mountains of the Cascade Range, terminating in the tremendous peak of
Mount Shasta. The caves themselves consist each of a series of chambers,
adorned with beautiful stalactites of prismatic colors, and other
curious and delicate formations, presenting exquisite patterns, and
sparkling with the lustre of diamonds.

At Ashland, 341 miles from Portland, the tourist arrives at the southern
terminus of the road. Connection is made with the California and Oregon
Railroad, at Delta, California, by stage. This is an exceedingly
enjoyable stage ride, the first twenty miles of the journey being over
the Siskiyou Mountains, from whose summits the long Sierra Nevada and
Cascade Range can be traced for nearly 200 miles.

No tourist should return East without first taking a trip down the

                              LOWER COLUMBIA

to Astoria, that city of most interesting historical associations, and
no little actual importance in these stirring days of trade and
manufactures. Admirably appointed steamers, making fast time, run daily
between Portland and Astoria. The trip need not, therefore, occupy more
than two days. The distance from Portland to the point at which the
Willamette discharges itself into the Columbia, is twelve miles, in the
course of which opportunity is afforded for observing the progress being
made by the city in its manufacturing and other enterprises. The busy
wharves are also passed, and the stately ships riding at anchor.

[Illustration: MOUNT TACOMA.]

After the first few miles of the Columbia the tourist may be surprised
to find that the scenery of the lower river is far from being tame or
monotonous. The river itself winds considerably for so great a body of
water; the forest, too, is luxuriant, and the hillsides are covered with
heavy fir; numerous islands occur at intervals, wooded and exceedingly
pretty. Where the river has worked its way through the Coast Mountains,
the scenery, though not so abrupt, stern or impressive as that of the
middle Columbia, presents many fine effects, the lofty walls of the
river being surmounted by hills of considerable altitude.

Not far from Columbia City, on the north or Washington bank of the
stream, is an island rock known as Mount Coffin, and formerly an Indian
place of sepulture. Here the tribes deposited the bodies of their noted
chiefs and warriors. In his canoe, previously rendered useless, and
with his bow and arrows, the dead hero was here laid to rest.

After passing Kalama, the tourist comes upon some of the great canning
establishments, which before long are passed at such short intervals
that they seem to line the north bank, on which most of them are

The fisheries of the Columbia river are almost as famous as its scenery.
The canning industry, which was first established in 1866, has within
the last few years attained great importance. Producing the first year
some 4,000 cases, representing, at the high price they commanded, $16
per case, a total value of $64,000, it has steadily increased its
product, until now it has reached upward of half a million cases. The
catch of 1885, which was 524,530 cases, fell short of that of 1884 by
132,000 cases, in consequence of the markets of the world being
temporarily overstocked. It is remarkable that the supply should at all
exceed the demand, when the gigantic extent of the industry is taken
into consideration. The great perfection to which the methods employed
in capturing the salmon have been brought, is probably accountable for
the recent glut in the market. Among the most effective contrivances for
the purpose, is the floating fish-wheel, by means of which the fish are
literally scooped up out of the water in shoals. The industry gives
employment to 1,500 boats, 3,000 fishermen, and 1,000 factory hands, the
latter principally Chinese. The canning season is from April 1st to July
31st, when the lower Columbia is alive with fishing boats, and the
canneries are in full operation.

As we approach Astoria, the river widens out into a broad estuary, some
seven miles across. Here is Tongue Point, a bold headland running out
into the river from the Oregon shore.

In a beautiful bay between this point and Point Adams, is Astoria, built
partly on piles, and partly on the shelving hills. For the story of its
early history, of the arrival of John Jacob Astor's trading ship,
"Tonquin," and of its subsequent British occupancy, the reader is
referred to Washington Irving's delightful volume. It is sufficient to
say that it is to-day an exceedingly interesting city to visit, not more
on account of its being the oldest British settlement in the Northwest,
and the central figure in the salmon fishing of the Columbia river, than
for the novelty of its construction.

Its busy wharves and abundant shipping proclaim it a seaport of
considerable importance, requiring only a railroad or the removal of the
barriers to the navigation of the middle Columbia, to make it a great

Opposite Point Adams is Cape Hancock, formerly known as Cape
Disappointment. On the sea-coast, both on the Washington side, north of
Cape Hancock, and on the Oregon side, south of Point Adams, are various
summer resorts attracting crowds of visitors during the season. On the
Washington shore is Ilwaco, beautifully situated on the north shore of
Baker's Bay, with a long, crescent-shaped beach of fine, white sand
sloping to the water, and heavily wooded hills in the rear. This growing
place, with its hotels, stores, church and school house, is rapidly
growing in popularity. Steamers meet the Portland boat at Astoria,
where passengers are transferred without inconvenience or delay. They
call, both going and returning, at Cape Hancock, affording tourists an
opportunity of visiting Fort Canby, and the great lighthouse, from which
there is one of the most extensive and magnificent views on the entire
Pacific coast. On the Oregon shore of the ocean are Clatsop Beach, where
there are good hotel accommodations and excellent hunting and fishing,
and a popular resort known as Seaside, boasting a multitude of
attractions, including a fine ocean beach and a trout creek. Should the
tourist be unable to make a long stay at any of these places, he ought
at least to pay them a brief visit, if only to cross the great bar of
the river, and to see where its mighty flood discharges itself into the
ocean at the rate of 1,000,000 gallons per second.

The climate of this section is exceedingly humid; but its summers are
delightful. Its rainfall is mostly in winter, when it is both heavy and
continuous. It is said, that, if a barrel, with the two ends taken out,
be placed upon its side with the bung-hole uppermost, the rain will
enter by that small aperture faster than it can run out at the two ends.
For this story, however, the writer can not vouch, any more than for
that of the recent visitor to the National Park, who is said to have
caught, in one of the lakes of that remarkable region, a fish so large
that, upon his dragging it ashore, the water of the lake fell six

                              TO PUGET SOUND.

The tourist has now become more or less familiar with the natural
features and resources of that great country lying between the Snake
river and the Pacific Ocean, and between the Columbia river and the
Siskiyou Mountains.

There remains only Western Washington, with its extensive forests, its
rich coal mines, its hop gardens, and its far-famed inland sea, on which
he is to embark on his voyage to the great land of the far North. The
Pacific division of the Northern Pacific Railroad follows the Willamette
river from Portland to its confluence with the Columbia, and the latter
river from that point to Kalama, where trains are conveyed across the
river by the finest transfer boat in the world, built expressly for the
railroad company, and constructed to carry thirty cars at one time. From
Kalama the track strikes almost directly northward for Puget Sound,
passing through long stretches of dense forest, but also intersecting a
tract of country containing a larger area of fertile agricultural land
than is contained in any other county in Western Washington.

The chief towns of this region are Chehalis and Centralia, and they give
evidence of thrift and prosperity. But the attention of the tourist as
he travels onward is largely occupied with the magnificent peaks of the
Cascade Range, whose forms of dazzling whiteness constitute, with their
background of deepest blue and the dark forests which clothe their base,
a picture of marvelous beauty. For more than one hundred miles after we
leave Portland, there looms up behind us the graceful contour of Mount
Hood, while to the east are seen at intervals the majestic forms of
Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams.

But the grandest scene of all is yet to come. After leaving Tenino,
there is a revelation of almost unequaled grandeur in the view of Mount
Tacoma, the loftiest peak of the entire range. If Mount Hood can claim
to be considered, as is generally admitted, the most graceful and
beautiful mountain on the Pacific coast, Mount Tacoma can certainly
claim to be the most majestic and sublime. Towering 14,444 feet above
sea-level, and thus exceeding by more than 3,000 feet the height of any
other mountain in Washington or Oregon, it seems to rear its massive
head close to the very battlements of heaven. No other mountain, even in
the Yellowstone National Park or in the main range of the Rockies, will
have produced so great an impression upon the traveler as will the
mighty Tacoma. As he gazes at its majestic form, he is inclined to doubt
whether there is in the whole world one that could establish a better
claim to universal sovereignty. In lines that will live as long as the
English language itself, Byron declared Mont Blanc the monarch of
mountains. But Byron never saw the matchless Tacoma. It, too, has its
throne of rocks, its diadem of snow, and, though less frequently than
Mont Blanc, its robe of clouds, an adjunct of doubtful advantage except
in the exigencies of versification.

[Illustration: "THE TACOMA" TACOMA. W. T.]

Mount Tacoma has, embedded in its mighty bosom, no fewer than fifteen
glaciers, three of which have been rendered accessible to visitors.
Comparing them with the glaciers of the Alps, Senator Edmunds, of
Vermont, declares that the finest effects he witnessed during the course
of a long tour in Switzerland, fell far short of what he saw on his
visit to Mount Tacoma. At the great hotel, at Tacoma City, guides and
camping outfits are always obtainable. Excursion parties are frequently
made up during the summer season, the trip being entirely free from
difficulty or danger, even to ladies.

It is at the city of Tacoma that the tourist first looks over the blue
waters of Puget Sound. This is the western terminus of the Northern
Pacific Railroad. Occupying a commanding position upon a high plateau
overlooking Admiralty Inlet, Tacoma has an excellent harbor, capable of
receiving the largest ocean-going vessels. It has also some fine public
buildings, among them being the Anna Wright Seminary for girls, a
monument of the beneficence of Mr. C. B. Wright, of Philadelphia. Its
luxuriously furnished hotel, the Tacoma, erected at a cost of $200,000,
occupies one of the finest sites in the world, overlooking, as it does,
the picturesque shores of the bay, and commanding a magnificent view of
the imperial mountain.

A few miles northward is Seattle, also with an excellent harbor, and the
promise of becoming a city of great importance, an extensive section of
rich country being naturally tributary to it.

There is no more delightful climate than that of Puget Sound. The
summers are cool, the maximum temperature at Tacoma in the summer of
1884 being eighty-nine degrees, and in that of 1885, eighty-five degrees

The Cascade division of the railroad, extending eastward from Tacoma, is
developing a very rich bituminous coal country, and great quantities of
the mineral are being shipped from Tacoma, where immense bunkers have
been erected to facilitate its exportation. This line also reaches the
fine hop growing country of the Puyallup valley, whose product has
steadily risen in Eastern markets, until now it commands as high a price
as that of the State of New York.

But never was the tourist less disposed than now to concern himself with
agricultural or commercial statistics. With eager expectation, impatient
of delay, he is hastening toward that veritable Wonderland of the World
that constitutes the Mecca of his pilgrimage. He is about to enter upon
the final stage of his long journey, in that far-famed Inland Passage,
whose incomparable scenery, extending in one unbroken chain for more
than a thousand miles, alone surpasses those stupendous works of Nature
upon which he has so recently gazed.

                                                              JOHN HYDE.

                     ALASKA AND THE INLAND PASSAGE.

Man travels for business and pleasure. The former can be easily
described, by a slight interpolation in a well-known mathematical
definition, as "the shortest distance and quickest time between two
points." The latter bears to this mathematical rectilinear exactness the
relation of the curves,--Hogarth's "line of beauty," the rotund circle
and graceful sweep of the Archimedean spiral, and bends of beauty beyond
computation; and, as any of these are more pleasing to the eye than the
stiff straight line, so any tourist's jaunt is more pleasing to all the
senses than the business man's travels. But, as all straight lines are
alike, and all curves are different, so are their equivalents in travel,
to which we have alluded. One tourist, as a Nimrod, dons his hunting
shirt and high-topped boots, and, seeking the solemn recesses of the
Rockies, slays the grizzly and mountain lion, and thus has his "good
time;" another drives through the grand old gorges of the Yellowstone
Park, and the deep impressions left by a lofty nature are his ample
rewards; and yet again, where physical exertion is to be avoided by
delicate ones or those averse to its peculiarities, one may float down
the distant Columbia, with its colossal contours, and, without even
lifting a finger to aid one's progress, view as vast and stupendous
scenery as the world can produce. Thus each place suits each varying
disposition, from the most roystering "roughing it," developing the
muscles in mighty knots, to where the most ponderous panorama of nature
may be enjoyed from a moving mansion, as it were. Could we conceive a
place where all these advantages would be united into one, or where one
after the other might be indulged at pleasure, we would certainly have a
tourists' paradise, an ever-to-be-sought and never-to-be-forgotten nook
of creation. Such a tour is to be encountered on "the inland passage to
Alaska," as it is called by those knowing it best.

In this rough, rocky region, Nature has been prodigal of both land and
water,--making the former high and picturesque, and the latter deep and
navigable, and running in all directions through the other, apparently
for the purpose that it might be easily viewed. From the northwest
corner of Washington Territory, through all of the coast line of British
Columbia, and along Alaska's shores to the long-cast shadows of Mount
St. Elias, stretches for nearly two thousand miles a picturesque
panorama that seems as if the Yellowstone, the Yosemite, Colorado, and
Switzerland and the Alps, were passing in review before the spectator;
and, when the greatest northing is gained, Greenland and Norway have
added their glacier-crowned and iceberg-bearing vistas to the view. It
looks as if the Yellowstone National Park had sunk into the sea until
the valleys were waterways, and the feet of the high mountains had been
converted into shores. A grand salt-water river it is that stretches
from Puget Sound, itself a beautiful sheet of water, to our distant
colony of Alaska, a good round thousand miles, and whose waters are as
quiet as an Alpine lake, even though a fierce gale rage on the broad
Pacific outside.

Beyond the parallel of Sitka, though the grand scenery may be no more
imposing than that through which the tourist will have passed in coming
from Washington Territory, he will find some of the curiosities of
nature which are to be found only in the dreaded frigid zones,--icebergs
and glaciers. Before the waters of Northwestern Washington Territory are
out of sight, great patches of snow are to be seen on the highest of the
grand mountains bordering the inland passage. These little white
blotches in the northern gullies become larger and larger as the
excursion steamer wends her way northward, until the loftiest peaks are
crowned with snow. Then, across connecting ridges, they join their white
mantles; and, in a few more miles, the blue ice of glaciers peeps from
out the lower edges of the deep snow. Lower and lower they descend as
the steamer crawls northward, until the upper parts of the passage are
essayed, when they have come to the ocean's level, and, plunging into
the sea, snap off at intervals, and float away as icebergs, some of them
higher than the masts of the large, commodious steamers that bear
tourists to this fairy-land of the frigid zones, if one can be allowed
such an expression. Glacier Bay, which the excursion steamers visit on
their summer trips, has a great number of these frozen rivers of ice
debouching into it; and its clear, quiet waters, reflecting the Alpine
scenery of its shores, are ruffled only by the breaking of the icebergs
from the terminal fronts of the glacier, that send waves across its
whole breadth, and with a noise like the firing of a sea-coast cannon.
Muir Glacier is the greatest of this grand group, and surpasses anything
nearer than the polar zones themselves. There is no use in going into
mathematical measurements,--its two and three hundred feet in height and
its breadth of several miles; for they but feebly represent its
grandeur, the deep impressions that figures can not measure when viewing
this frozen Niagara of the North. Not until the blue Adriatic has
pierced its way into the heart of the high Alps, or some ocean inlet has
invaded the valleys of the vast Yellowstone Park, will we ever have an
equivalent to this display of Nature's noblest efforts in scenic
effects. Were the other scenery as monotonous as the ceaseless plains, a
visit to the Alaskan glaciers and icebergs would well repay any one's
time and effort; but, when the tourist travels through the greatest
Wonderland of the wide West to reach these curious sights, he or she
will be paid over and over tenfold.

So far everything may be seen from the decks of an elegant steamer; but,
should the tourist want a little "roughing it," let him stop over in
Glacier Bay, from one steamer's visit to another, two weeks to a month
apart, and clamber over the glaciers and row around among the icebergs
to his heart's content, and until he almost imagines he is an arctic
explorer. He will descend from the tumbled surface of the frozen seas of
ice on the glacier's surface, only to wade through grass up to his
waist, that waves in the light winds like the pretty pampas fields of
South America. In these fields of grasses he may pitch his tent, which,
with a cook stove and a month's rations for each person, is all that is
needed, beyond the baggage of the other tourists. Hunting is found in
the mountains back of the bay, fish in the waters, and small game in the
woods near by.

Or, if longer and rougher jaunts are wanted, ascend the Lynn Channel,
and then the Chilkat, or Chilkoot, Inlet, hiring two or three Indians to
carry one's camping effects on their backs to the lakes at the source of
the great Yukon river of the British Northwest Territory and
Alaska,--the third river of America. Going by the Chilkoot trail, over
the Alaskan coast range of mountains, which will furnish Alpine climbing
enough to suit the most eager, on snow and glacier ice, one comes to a
series of lakes aggregating 150 miles in extent; and along these he may
paddle and return, shooting an occasional brown or black bear, moose,
caribou or mountain goat, while aquatic life is everywhere on these
pretty Alpine lakes.

Throughout the whole inland passage, one is passing now and then some
Indian village, of more or less imposing appearance and numbers. In
Alaska they all belong to a single great tribe, the T'linkit, bound
together by a common language, but by no stronger ties, for each
village, or cluster of villages, makes a sub-tribe, having no sympathies
with the other, and they often war against one another.

It is not often that one would want to call a tourist's attention to an
Indian village, for the average encampment or habitation of the "noble
red man" is not the most attractive sight or study; but, in the T'linkit
towns, we have no such hesitation, for, in the curiosities to be seen in
their houses and surroundings, they are certainly one of the strangest
people on earth. They are the artistic savages of the world. In front of
each log house, and often rearing its head much higher than it by two or
three fold, are one or two posts, called "totem poles," which are merely
logs on end; but, on the seaward face, the savage sculptor has exhausted
all the resources of his barbaric imagination in cutting in hideous
faces and figures, that, with a hundred or so such terrible "totems" in
front of a village, makes one think of some nightmare of his childish
days. The houses, too, are carved inside and out. Every utensil they
have is sculptured deep with diabolical but well executed designs, and
their spoons of mountain sheep and goat horn are marvels of savage work.
All these are for sale to tourists, and every excursion steamer brings
numbers of these romantic remembrances of a yet more romantic journey
back to civilization.

But the inland passage to Alaska is not the only grand and picturesque
part of that great territory visited by the excursion steamers; for
beyond and as far as Mount St. Elias, they often sail to this the
greatest cluster of high mountains on the Western Continent,--Lituya
Peak, 10,000 feet high; and Fairweather and Crillon, a third taller;
then beyond, Cook and Vancouver cluster near sublime St. Elias, nearly
20,000 feet above the ocean that thunders at its base, and whose jagged
top may be seen a hundred and fifty miles to sea. How disappointing are
the Colorado peaks of 12,000 and 14,000 feet to one, for the simple
reason that they spring from a plain already 6,000 to 8,000 feet above
sea-level, and seem, as they are, but high hills on a high plateau. How
like pygmies they appear to Hood, Tacoma, Shasta, and others not so high
above the ocean base line, but whose nearly every foot above sea-level
is in mountain slope. How grand, then, must be hoary-headed St. Elias,
whose waist is the waters of the wide sea, and whose 20,000 feet above
sea-level springs from the Pacific Ocean, from whose calm waters we view
its majestic height.

But let us commence at the starting point of our journey, and take our
readers step by step over the whole route.

For many years the people of our great Northwest country, Oregon,
Washington and Idaho Territories, have spoken familiarly of "the Sound"
as one of their great geographical features,--in much the same way as
the people of Southern Connecticut or Long Island speak of "the
Sound,"--referring thereby to Puget Sound, that cuts deep into the
northwestern corner of Washington Territory. Many have visited it, and
sailed on its beautiful waters; beautiful enough in themselves or their
own immediate surroundings, but thrice grand and gorgeous in their
silver framing of snow-clad peaks and mountain ranges, surrounding them
on all sides. The long, narrow, picturesque sound, that looked not
unlike a Greenland fjord, or close-walled bay at the mouth of some grand
river,--one of those bays so slowly converging that a person can hardly
define where it ceases and the river commences,--was considered one of
the most beautiful and scenic places of the Northwest; and its people
delighted to show it to strangers, with its enhancing surroundings,
reaching from the prettily situated capital of the Territory, Olympia,
at the head of "the sound," to where the broad Juan de Fuca Strait leads
to the great Pacific Sea. Then Alaska was known only as Russian America,
when it was spoken of at all, so seldom was it heard, and seemed to be
as far away from the United States on that side of the continent, and as
little thought of, as Greenland or Iceland is to-day with our people of
the Atlantic coast. An occasional Hudson's Bay Company trading boat
steamed out of Victoria harbor, and disappeared northward, crawling
through a maze of intricate inland channels and Alpine-like waterways to
some distant and seemingly half-mythical trading post of that lonesome
land; but, as to anything definite as to where she was going, as little
was known by the people as if an arctic expedition was leaving the
harbor of New York or Boston, and not one hundredth of the _furor_ was
made about the departure, if, in fact, any notice was taken of it at
all. With the accession of Alaska, through the efforts of Secretary
Seward and Senator Sumner, the discovery of the Cassiar mines, in
British Columbia, but which must be reached through Alaska, and a few
other minor incentives, set many people to looking northward; they then
found that they could continue their trips on a long inland salt-water
river, of which the well-known Puget Sound was but a small part,--hardly
the equivalent of Narragansett Bay taken from Long Island Sound, or
Green Bay from Lake Michigan. Not that these were the first explorations
and discoveries of importance in the inland passage and its surrounding
woods and waters, by any manner of means. Cook and Clerke, as early as
1776; Dixon, from 1785 to 1788; Langsdorff, in 1803-8; La Perouse, in
1785-88; Lisianski, from 1803 to 1806; Meares, of the Royal navy, from
1788 to 1789; and especially Vancouver, from 1790 to 1795,--had all
peeped into this part of the country, and many of the explorations and
surveys were of the most extended nature; but, at about the time of
which I speak, the knowledge of the inland passage to the bulk of the
people, even in these parts so near to it, was nearly as musty as the
old volumes on the library shelves that gave the most information. In
fact, but little knowledge or interest was to be found regarding these
parts. Their history of development from that embryonic state where
everything told is regarded as bordering on the mythical, to where a
line of ocean steamers visits them with crowded passenger lists, is the
usual history of such developments.

The inland passage to Alaska may be said to practically extend from
Tacoma, in Washington Territory, at the head of Puget Sound, to Chilkat,
Alaska, at the head of Lynn Channel, a distance of nearly 1,100 miles,
where the tourist taking a sea voyage has high shores in close proximity
on either side of him, except a few places here and there, where a short
communication with the ocean outside is to be had. But this "inland
passage," so called, is not the only one leading between the points
named. It is, rather, a Broadway in New York City, a Pennsylvania avenue
in Washington, State street in Chicago,--i. e., the main way; but every
few miles a vessel could turn off down another passage as readily as a
pedestrian or vehicle could down a side street, and, continuing a short
way, return to the main thoroughfare again. Probably all the channels
and straits and sounds and inlets in this part of Alaska, British
Columbia and Washington Territory, susceptible of navigation by
fair-sized ocean and river steamers, and all of them connecting with
each other in a perfect network of waterways, would, if placed end to
end, reach from a quarter to a third of the way around the world. Many
of them are so illy charted--or not charted at all--that no craft of
value would trust herself to follow their courses, while some of the
smaller ways, but probably none the less picturesque, have yet to bear
the first white man on their bosom. The most picturesque of all the ways
through this intricacy of picturesque channels has been selected,
carefully surveyed, and experienced pilots conduct the vessels to and
from Alaska on its waters. The whole length of the passage is heavily
timbered with various kinds of pine, fir, hemlock, cedar and spruce.
Here and there avalanches from the mountain tops have swept through the
dense timber, like a sickle through so much grain; and, although in a
few years the growth is restored, yet the varying shades of green in the
old and new growth of trees, running in perpendicular stripes up the
steep hillsides, plainly show the ancient and recent devastations.
Prettily situated Indian villages dot the narrow, shelving shores at
rare intervals along the passage; and, when these nomads of the
Northwest are seen, which is not infrequent, the chances are more than
likely that it will be in a canoe, where they spend two-thirds of their
out-of-door life.

Says the "American Cyclopædia," speaking of this interesting part of
Washington Territory, the southern part of the inland passage:
"Washington Territory possesses a great multitude of harbors, perhaps
more than any other country of equal extent on the globe. Puget Sound,
which has an average width of two miles, never less than one nor more
than four, and a depth never less than eight fathoms, runs 100 miles
inland in a southward direction from the Straits of Fuca; and Hood's
Canal, twelve miles further west, with half the width, runs in the same
general direction about 60 miles. These two great estuaries, or arms of
tidewater, have depth sufficient for the largest vessels, and numerous
bends and corners where the most perfect protection may be found against
the winds." Captain Wilkes, in the report of his famous exploring
expedition, writes of Puget Sound: "I venture nothing in saying there is
no country in the world that possesses waters equal to these." The Coast
Range and Cascade Range of mountains are plainly visible from the sound.
Near the Columbia river the Coast Range is not very high; but west of
Hood's Canal it rises, in abrupt, beetling ridges, 7,000 to 9,000 feet
high, called the Olympian Mountains, many of the peaks being
snow-crowned throughout the year. The Cascade Range fairly bristles with
snow-clad peaks from 8,000 to over 14,000 feet in height, and in every
direction, almost, may be seen the grandest Alpine scenery in the

Steaming northward through Puget Sound from Tacoma, with Seattle and
other towns upon our right, and Port Townsend, the port of entry to the
sound, upon our left, we come to Juan de Fuca Strait, which would lead
us to the Pacific Ocean were we to follow it out. It is the most
southern of all the waterways that connect the great sea with the
network of channels inside, and formerly was much used as a part of the
route to Alaska or Puget Sound from Portland, Oregon, or San Francisco,
California; the steamer putting out to sea for a day if from the former
port, and for four or five if from the latter, the passengers having all
the discomforts of a sea voyage for that time. Where Magellan sailed
over the Pacific Ocean it well deserved the name; but along the rough
northern coast the amount of stormy weather increases, and a voyage on
this part of the Pacific is not always calculated to impress one with
the appropriateness of the great ocean's name. The construction of the
Northern Pacific Railroad from the Columbia river to Puget Sound has
made these sea voyages unnecessary to reach a port on the inland
passage; and, unless a person's stomach is built on "nautical lines," so
that he really enjoys an ocean trip, he can save this discomfort by a
cut across lots on a railroad train. In fact, it must be kept in mind,
that, while the trip on the inland passage is an ocean voyage, equal to
one from New York City to Havana and return, it is, as far as
sea-sickness is concerned, as if the Hudson river was turned around in
the opposite direction, and we sailed on its waters from New York to
Havana and return; while the inland passage, in its southern part, is as
accessible by railroad travel, to the people of the United States and
Canada, as any point on the Hudson river. Therefore, broad Juan de Fuca
Strait, where the pulsations of the ocean's life outside are even felt
to its eastern end, in much diminished waves, however, carries fewer
persons than formerly, and especially of that reluctant class who look
uncomplainingly at the terrors of the sea, from the basis of dire

Crossing this strait, which has led to so many controversies as to
whether the old Greek from whom it is named actually discovered this
beautiful body of water, or only made a lucky guess in publishing to the
world a mythical journey of his, we sight and bear down on the beautiful
British island of Vancouver, whose metropolis is Victoria, and alongside
of whose docks we shall soon be made fast.

Victoria, the city, was built on the site of old Fort Victoria, a Hudson
Bay Company trading post of that great British monopoly that held nearly
all British America under its control for two hundred years, and,
although broken as a monopoly, has yet an influence to assist or retard
the development of the country which is incalculable. The Fraser river
gold mine excitement in the '50's did much to build up Victoria, and
send it forward into the front rank of Pacific coast cities, a position
which she has held with varying fortunes, though now, in common with the
whole Northwest, once more on the ascending wave.

Cities, like individuals, have their "hobbies," although seldom so
prominently marked; and the municipal "hobby" of Victoria is her
splendidly constructed roads, leading through the town and far beyond
the suburbs, and in which she has no superior on the Pacific coast of
North America, and but few in the world. If the steamer remains long
enough in the harbor,--and during excursion times in the summer months
they always do,--a drive should be taken on the Victoria roads, and
especially the one leading to Esquimalt harbor and return, some two or
three miles in all. It is but one, however, of the many beautiful
drives; but it is only necessary to mention them in a general way for
any one who would desire to test them, so readily can all needed
information be found on the spot.

In quaint little smoke-stained and dingy-looking stores in
out-of-the-way nooks and corners of the streets are to be found the
Victorian curiosity shops, crowded with relics of the fast-disappearing
Indian tribes that once formed a much denser population in this part of
the country than at present. Pretty little mats and baskets are made
from the sea-grass, dyed with the juices from berries and other natural
dyes, and sold for the merest trifles. Curiously carved steatite houses,
in miniature imitation of the Indian dwellings, and "totem poles" made
by the Hydah or Haïda Indians, are to be seen for sale. Sometimes they
carve plaques with spread-eagles and other fanciful designs upon them;
rude but serviceable mats from the inner bark of the cedar tree, and all
the known--and unknown--knick-knacks that can come from the barbaric
ingenuity of Indian art, and which would require a pamphlet larger than
the one in the reader's hands to chronicle half. This is the beginning
of such curious wares that will be temptingly displayed before the
tourist at every town and stopping place on the route, and from which
may be selected such mementoes of the journey as will please the
individual fancy.

Says a writer in the _Overland Monthly_, the _Century Magazine_ of the
Pacific coast: "Victoria, in a rock-bound and land-protected cove, is
the most attractive and the largest city on Vancouver's Island. During
the days of the Fraser river excitement, Victoria was a much more
energetic city than it is to-day. There were exciting times there then,
and, because of the great expectations which everybody indulged in, land
was bid up to an enormously high figure, and the town's prospects were
considered wonderfully brilliant. But the Fraser was a fraud,
comparatively, and its mines were quickly exhausted, so that Victoria
received a setback, from which it is only just recovering. It is a
picturesque town, thoroughly English, staid and conservative, and its
location is an enviable one. In the distance rise the blue-hued heights
of the Vancouver ranges, and nearer at hand lie the waters of Fuca
Straits; beyond which there can be seen the snowy peaks of the
Washington Territory mountains. Rounding the long point of land which
juts out into the sea to form Victoria harbor, the town lay all revealed
to us at last. In one direction were red painted shops set upon a high
bluff overlooking the bay, and eastward there were green fields and
trimly built cottages.

"'Coming ashore?' we were asked at length.

"'Not to-day,' the artist said.

"'Then, don't judge Victoria until you see the place,' came the word
from the dock.

"We promised, and said that when homeward bound we would make a call."

Returning, the narrator continues, "On the wharf at Victoria stood our
friend of a month ago.

"'Coming ashore?' he said, when he saw us.


"'Good, we can show you a pretty town. Disappointed in Alaska?'

"'No; it's the grandest country for scenery I--' began the artist.

"'Yes, yes, I know,' said our friend, interrupting him. 'Big glaciers,
fine sailing, curious sights, no sea-sickness. Same old story; hear it
every trip.'

"Victoria is picturesque in every detail," continues the narrator. "The
land faces a land-locked bay, and behind the place stretch dense
forests, through which roadways extend to the various suburbs. During
our stay the frosts of early fall began to color the leaves, and at
night the air grew sharp and chill. But still the air was clear, and
down in the harbor white-winged yachts still moved over the bluish

Vancouver Island, which forms the outlying barrier to, or seaward side
of, the inland passage from Juan de Fuca Strait to Queen Charlotte
Sound, is one of the largest islands in that vast archipelago which
forms the passage, and is the largest under British dominion. It was
called Quadra Island by the Spaniards, who held it by descent from
Mexico (then a Spanish colony) until the latter part of the eighteenth
century, when Vancouver, of the Royal navy, was sent from England to
receive its surrender from the Spanish; it having been ordered by the
home government at Madrid,--which he did from the Castilian governor,
Quadra. Vancouver called it Quadra and Vancouver's Island; but the
Spanish title has slowly disappeared under British rule. Vancouver
pushed his discoveries from here to Cook's Inlet during his two or three
years' cruise on this coast, and many of the names in the inland passage
and adjacent lands and waters are due to his explorations made nearly a
hundred years ago.

Leaving Victoria and its picturesque surroundings behind us, we swing in
a huge circle around the southeastern coast of Vancouver Island, until
we are pointed northward once more.

Strictly speaking, "the inland passage to Alaska, as defined by nautical
men, now begins, Puget Sound only belonging to it in a geographical
sense, but as similar thereto as 'peas in a pod.'" We shortly after pass
through a congerie of pretty islands, like the Thousand Islands of the
St Lawrence on a greatly magnified scale, when we come to the Gulf of
Georgia, one of the widest portions of the inland passage. The islands
we have left to the right (although it may change by the pilot not
taking the usual route, so many are they to choose from) are the San
Juan Islands, of far more importance than one would believe, looking at
the unpopulated shores; at least, they were so in 1856, when the United
States and Great Britain came very near coming to national blows about
their possession. The matter was finally left to arbitration in the
hands of the Emperor of Brazil, and then transferred to the present
Emperor of Germany, who awarded them to the United States. The British
troops then withdrew, a post of them having been on one end of the large
island, with an American post on the other.

As we steam through the Gulf of Georgia we leave the highest point
(Point Roberts) of the United States off to our right, in the distance,
on the forty-ninth parallel.

Some forty or fifty miles farther on, and we enter the first typical
waters of the inland passage,--Discovery Passage,--a narrow waterway
between high, mountainous banks; a great salt-water, river-like channel,
about a mile in breadth, and twenty-three and a half miles long by the
British Admiralty charts. A huge yellow bluff, projecting into the sea,
greets the eye as the passage is approached, and the great, wide channel
to the east is the one the tourist has selected as a matter of course
for the steamer to pursue; but she agreeably disappoints him, and enters
the narrow, picturesque way. This Discovery Passage is a Yankee "find,"
having first been entered by a Boston sloop, the "Washington," in 1789.
The broad right-hand passage could have been taken, as the land to our
right is an island (of which the yellow clay bluff is the southern
cape), called Valdez Island after an ancient mariner who visited this
part of the world in 1792, in the Spanish galleon "Mexicana." At first
one is slightly nonplused at the frequency of Spanish names in these
quarters; but, as the early history of the country is closely searched,
the conclusion is forced on one more and more that these old Castilian
navigators have not even got their dues, and, where their names once
formed an honorable majority, they have slowly disappeared before the
constant revisions of the geographers and hydrographers of another
people, who have since acquired possession. We will come to many such
changes of nomenclature on our interesting trip.

About two miles from the entrance to Discovery Passage we come to the
Indian Village of Yaculta, on Valdez Island. It is the first of many we
will see before we return to Victoria again, and, like most of them, it
is on one of the narrow, level places between the high hills and the
deep sea that happens here and there in this Alpine country; or its
inhabitants would have to live in the trees on the steep hillsides, or
in their canoes on the water. The large river coming in from the
Vancouver Island side, some five or six miles from the entrance to the
passage, is Campbell river, and is navigable for some distance inland by
boats and canoes.

About half way through Discovery Passage we come to the Seymour Narrows,
a contracted channel of the passage, about two miles long, and not much
over one-fourth the previous width, where the tides rush through with
the velocity of the swiftest rivers (said to be nine knots at
spring-tides), a current which is so strong that it is generally
calculated upon in departing from Victoria so as to reach this point
about slack water. In the narrows is a submerged rock, with the
pretty-sounding alliterative title of Ripple Rock, on which the United
States man-of-war "Saranac" was lost in the summer of 1875. Ripple Rock
is now so well marked that it is no longer dangerous to navigation.
Northward from the narrows the hills rise in bold gradients, making the
change quite noticeable, and more picturesque.

Chatham Point marks the northern entrance to Discovery Passage, and here
the tourist apparently sees the inland passage bearing off slightly to
the east from this cape, when, with a sudden swerve to the westward, the
ship swings around at full right angles to her original course, and
enters a channel which a minute before seemed to be but a bay on the
west side of the original water-way. The new channel is Johnstone
Strait, and is over twice as long as Discovery Passage, that we have
just left; or, to be more exact, about fifty-five miles in length. The
shores are now getting truly mountainous in character, ridges and peaks
on the south side bearing snow throughout the summer on their summits,
4,000 to 5,000 feet high, and the pilot will tell you that the waters on
which you are sailing correspond in their dimensions, in many places 100
to 150 fathoms of line failing to reach bottom. The rough and rugged
islands which we pass to our right, about three or four miles beyond
Chatham Point, are the Pender Islands. The high mountains to the left
and front are the Prince of Wales range. About fifteen to twenty miles
after entering Johnstone Strait, a conspicuous valley is seen on
Vancouver Island, the only break in the high mountain range on that
side. It is the valley of a stream called Salmon river, named from that
delicious fish, which here abound, and in the pursuit of which the
Indians have shown this stream to be navigable for canoes for a number
of miles inland. A conspicuous conical hill, probably a thousand feet
high, rises in the valley and marks it to the traveler. Just beyond
Salmon river's mouth, some three miles, the strait widens, another
joining it from the north. The mountains to our left are now the New
Castle range, Mount Palmerston attaining the height of 5,000 feet. At
the northern end of Johnstone Strait we have a number of channels to
choose from,--Blackfish Sound, Weynton Passage, Race Passage and
Broughton Strait, the longest of all, and only fifteen miles in length,
which we take. All these channels simply indicate that there is a
cluster of islands where Johnstone Strait swells out into Queen
Charlotte Sound, which we enter as Broughton Strait is left behind, and
that as we select between different islands we take a different-named
channel. These particular islands are the Malcolm Islands, sometimes
confined in its application to the largest island. About half way
through the Broughton Strait comes in the Nimpkish river from the
Vancouver side. Mount Holdsworth is the high, conical peak we see to the
south from here. At the mouth of the river is the Indian village of
Cheslakee. It is said that an ascent of this river reveals the most
picturesque scenery in lakes and falls, a saying to which all the
surroundings in the inland passage itself, at this point, would give the
most ample corroboration. Directly north from the river's mouth is
Cormorant Island, which we leave to our right; and the bay in its side
is Alert Bay, where exist a salmon cannery, an Indian mission, a wharf
at which ships can land, and other signs of civilization.


From Schwatka's "Along Alaska's Great River," Cassell & Co. New York.

Queen Charlotte Sound is one of the few openings to the Pacific Ocean.
It is about fifty miles long, and, in some places, nearly half as wide,
and looks like getting out to sea after having passed through the narrow
channels just left behind. It was entered and named by Wedgeborough in
the summer of 1786; so those visitors of 1886 to its grand waters may
celebrate its centennial, and drink a toast to Queen Charlotte, the
queen of King George III., and queen for fifty-seven years. About nine
or ten miles on its waters, and to our left, is Fort Rupert, a Hudson
Bay Company's trading post, with a large Indian village clustered around
it. Here fruits and vegetables are grown for the local demand. About
half way through Queen Charlotte Sound, and we pass through a narrow
channel, twenty-two miles long, named Goletas Channel. Emerging from it,
we leave Cape Commerell on our left side, and bid good-bye to Vancouver
Island, for this is its northernmost cape. Near the exit from Goletas
Channel, but by another passage, now seldom used, is where the United
States man-of-war "Suwanee" was wrecked, on a submerged rock, in July,
1869, when the inland passage was not so well known by pilots as it is
now. We can now look out to sea toward the Pacific Ocean; but a short
journey plunges us into one of the many passages ahead of us, the
smallest, or one nearest the mainland, being taken, called Fitzhugh
Sound. It was named in 1786 by Captain Hanna, is about forty miles long,
and with a width of about three miles. The first island to our left on
entering is Calvert Island. About ten miles from its southern cape is an
indentation in the island, called Safety Cove or Port Safety, probably a
mile deep. It was while delayed in this picturesque little harbor, in
1885, that Mr. Charles Hallock, the well-known author on piscatorial
pursuits, penned the following lines, descriptive of the inland passage,
which we find in the _American Angler_ of September, 1885:

"The mainland is flanked throughout nearly its entire extent by a belt
of islands, of which the majority are sea-girt mountains. Of course,
throughout this extended coast-line there are many islands of many
different phases,--some of them mere rocks, to which the kelps cling for
dear life, like stranded sailors in a storm; while others are gently
rounded mounds, wooded with fir; and others, still, precipitous cliffs
standing breast deep in the waves. Most aptly has this wave-washed
region been termed an archipelago of mountains and land-locked seas.
Steaming through the labyrinths of straits and channels which seem to
have no outlets; straining the neck to scan the tops of snow-capped
peaks which rise abruptly from the basin where you ride at anchor;
watching the gambols of great whales, thresher-sharks and herds of
sea-lions, which seem as if penned up in an aquarium, so completely are
they enclosed by the shadowy hills,--one seems, indeed, in a new
creation, and watches the strange forms around him with an intensity of
interest which almost amounts to awe.

"In this weird region of bottomless depths, there are no sand beaches or
gravelly shores. All the margins of mainland and islands drop down plump
into inky fathoms of water, and the fall of the tide only exposes the
rank yellow weeds which cling to the damp crags and slippery rocks, and
the mussels and barnacles which crackle and hiss when the lapping waves
recede. * * * * * When the tide sets in, great rafts of algæ, with stems
fifty feet long, career along the surface; millions of jelly-fish and
anemones crowded as closely as the stars in the firmament; great
air-bulbs, with streamers floating like the long hair of female corpses;
schools of porpoises and fin-back whale rolling and plunging headlong
through the boiling foam; all sorts of marine and Mediterranean fauna
pour in a ceaseless surge, like an irresistible army. Hosts of gulls
scream overhead, or whiten the ledges, where they squat content or run
about feeding.

"Here and there along the almost perpendicular cliffs the outflow of the
melting snow in the pockets of the mountains leaps down in dizzy
waterfalls from heights that are higher than the Yosemite. From the
cañons which divide the foot-hills, cascades pour out into the brine,
and all their channels are choked with salmon crowding toward the upper
waters. I could catch them with my hands as long as my strength endured,
so helpless and infatuated are these creatures of predestination. At the
heads of many of these rivulets there are lakes in which dwell salmon
trout, spotted with crimson spots as large as a pea; and the rainbow
trout, with his iridescent lateral stripe; and his cousin germain, the
'cut-throat trout,' slashed with carmine under the gills. And there is
another trout, most familiar to the eye in Eastern waters, and doubly
welcome to the sight in this far-off region--the _Salvelinus
Canadensis_, or 'sea-trout,' which I have recognized these many years as
a separate species. * * * Here he is in his garniture of crimson, blue
and gold, just like his up-stream neighbors of New England and the
Provinces. * *

"The seas are full of strange species. Here the family _Percidæ_ is
regnant and supreme among the food fishes. The number of species and
varieties is remarkable. Here are the _Embiotocidæ_, or _viviparous_
perch, which bring forth their young in litters, like cats or dogs, to
the number of eight to forty at a time. There are no less than seventeen
known varieties of them. Here, also, are at least fifteen varieties of
_Scorpænidæ_, all fine table fish, which are locally known as rock-cod,
groupers and snappers, but having no close relations at all to the
family of _Gadidæ_. I send herewith the differential characteristics of
four of them taken near our present berth, in latitude 51 degrees 30
minutes. The scarlet snapper seems very closely allied to the _Lutjanus
Blackfordi_ of Eastern Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, from which he
could scarcely be distinguished in appearance. The others are all fish
of brilliant colors. No. 2 can scarcely be distinguished from the
fresh-water bass of the lakes lying west of the Mississippi,--the
_Micropterus_,--either in form, fin system or color. At Sitka I found a
fish of exactly the same shape, but black as a sea-bass of the Atlantic
(_Centropristis atrarius_). No. 4 belongs, I believe, to the family of
_Chiridæ_, and is locally known as a sea-trout. * * * These fish take
salmon roe, clams, sand-worms, crabs, meat and cut-fish bait. The black
bass of Sitka is taken alongshore with a trolling spoon. * * * The other
fish were taken chiefly in thirty fathoms of water on the young flood

"Besides these fish, we have taken halibut, two kinds of flounder,
skates, dogfish of several kinds and strange shapes, sharks, sculpins,
etc.; some of the sculpins were beautifully marked in blue, red and
brown. * * I have had several of the species painted in oil, and will
forward them to the Smithsonian, with descriptions."

But let us leave this piscatorial paradise, as painted by one who is an
artist in his line, and wend our way through the forty miles of Fitzhugh
Sound. Then comes Lama Passage, contracted, winding and picturesque,
about fourteen or fifteen miles long. About half way through we pass
very near the Indian village of Bella-Bella, and which is also a Hudson
Bay Company trading post. The Bella-Bellas were once a large tribe
living in these parts; but the little village, of about twenty Indian
houses, that the tourist passes on his left, represents the greater
portion of the tribe at present, and gives one a practical and forcible
illustration of the disappearance of "the noble red man." A mission
residence and a church, with the cattle on the cleared hills, give the
place quite a civilized aspect. After Lama Passage comes Seaforth
Channel, just as winding and pretty; the swingings to the right and
left, in places where the passage is apparently right ahead, increase
your respect for the pilot, and you wonder, in all these intricacies,
like Goldsmith's village schoolmaster, "how one small head could carry
all he knew." At Milbank Sound we look out to sea for a brief half-hour,
and then plunge into Finlayson Channel, a typical waterway of the inland
passage, like a great river. The sides are very high mountains, densely
timbered nearly to the top, where snow exists the year round, forming a
base of supplies for the beautiful waterfalls that dash down the
precipitous heights, like silvery columns, on a deep green background.
It is said that all the little streams of this region swarm with salmon,
giving the Indians a most bountiful supply. Then comes Graham Reach,
about twenty miles long; then Fraser Reach, of ten miles; and McKay
Reach, of seven,--that could all have been given a single name, and much
trouble have been saved. A little, irregular sheet of water, called
Wright Sound, and Grenville Channel, "as straight as an arrow," gives us
nearly fifty miles of rectilinear sailing.

We are now getting far enough north to make the sight of snow a familiar
one, and the dense timber is striped with perpendicular windrows, where
large avalanches have cut their way through them in the winter, when the
snow falls heavily in these parts. Chatham Sound is the last channel we
essay in British domain, and a royal old sheet of water it is, with a
width of nearly ten miles, and about three or four times as long. After
about three hours on its bosom a great channel is opened east and west
before us, on which the swells from the broad Pacific enter. This is
Dixon Entrance, and the boundary between British Columbia and Alaska
beyond, whose blue mountains we see in the distance. The islands still
continue; and the number, in this part of Alaska alone, has been
estimated at eleven hundred, and this, too, excludes the rocks and
islets. Clarence Strait is the main channel as soon as Alaskan waters
are entered; but there are others on both sides of it which may be
taken. It is a little over a hundred miles long, and somewhat variable
in its width. It was named by Vancouver, nearly a hundred years ago,
after the Duke of Clarence. From Clarence Strait we enter Stickeen
Strait; for most of the steamers call at Wrangell, and this bends us off
of our course.

Wrangell is a tumble-down, dilapidated-looking town, in a most
beautifully picturesque situation, and the first impression is to make
one ashamed of the displays of the human race compared with those of
nature. It is the port to the Cassiar mines; or, better speaking, it
was, for they have seen their palmiest days, a fact which is quite
evident on looking at their dependency, the town of Wrangell. The
Cassiar mines are in British Columbia, and to reach them the Stickeen
river, emptying near Wrangell, must be ascended, itself a most
picturesque stream, and one well worth visiting if the tourist can catch
one of the little boats that yet occasionally depart from Wrangell to
ascend the rushing, impetuous river. Says one writer of it, in the
Philadelphia _Dispatch_: "The Stickeen is navigable for small steamers
to Glenora, one hundred and fifty miles, flowing first in a general
westerly direction, through grassy, undulating plains, darkened here and
there with patches of evergreens; then, curving southward, and receiving
numerous tributaries from the north, it enters the Coast Range, and
sweeps across it to the sea through a Yosemite valley more than a
hundred miles long, and one to three miles wide at the bottom, and from
five thousand to eight thousand feet deep, marvelously beautiful and
inspiring from end to end. To the appreciative tourist, sailing up the
river through the midst of it all, the cañon, for a distance of one
hundred and ten miles, is a gallery of sublime pictures,--an unbroken
series of majestic mountains, glaciers, falls, cascades, forests,
groves, flowery garden spots, grassy meadows in endless variety of form
and composition,--furniture enough for a dozen Yosemites! while, back of
the walls, and thousands of feet above them, innumerable peaks and
spires and domes of ice and snow tower grandly into the sky. About
fifteen miles above the mouth of the river you come to the first of the
great glaciers, pouring down through the forest in a shattered
ice-cascade nearly to the level of the river. Twelve miles above this
point a noble view is opened along the Skoot river cañon--a group of
glacier-laden Alps, from ten thousand to twelve thousand feet high.
Thirty-five miles above the mouth of the river the most striking object
of all comes in sight; this is the lower expansion of the great glacier,
measuring about six miles around the 'snout,' pushed boldly forward into
the middle of the valley among the trees, while its sources are mostly
hidden. It takes its rise in the heart of the range, some thirty or
forty miles away. Compared with this, the Swiss _mer de glace_ is a
small thing. It is called the 'Ice Mountain.' The front of the snout is
three hundred feet high, but rises rapidly back for a few miles to a
height of about one thousand feet. Seen through gaps in the trees
growing on one of its terminal moraines, as one sails slowly along
against the current, the marvelous beauty of the chasms and clustered
pinnacles shows to fine advantage in the sunshine."

Wrangell's log-cabin backwoods stores are good places to search for
Indian relics, the Stickeen Indians living in the vicinity being the
most prolific in the manufacture of these savage curios. Leaving
Wrangell, a westward-trending strait (Sumner Strait, after Senator
Sumner) of forty or fifty miles carries us directly out to the Pacific
Ocean; but an hour's run finds us turning into another passage,--Chatham
Strait,--one of the largest of the almost innumerable channels of the
inland passage, and which points squarely to the north. It is nearly one
hundred and fifty miles long, and about five or six miles wide. It was
named by Vancouver, about the end of last century, after the then Earl
of Chatham, and is a most noble sheet of water.

Formerly the pilots used to go around Cape Ommaney, and put out to sea
in order to reach Sitka, although there was a channel leading from
Chatham Strait thereto which saved the roughness of a sea voyage. It was
shunned, however, by most of them, and, in getting the ominous name of
Peril Strait, certain supposed dangers were thought to be lurking in it.
Captain Carroll, who has spent half an ordinary lifetime in these
waters, and done much toward practically determining their navigability,
found that most of the peril was in the name,--at least to ships under
his management,--and Peril Straits[A] are used nearly altogether now,
making Sitka, though facing the Pacific Ocean, practically on the inland

    [A] The Russian name is Destruction or Pernicious Straits
    (the reason for which appears further on), and, in its improper
    translation to Peril Straits, many people supposed the name was
    given on account of its dangerous navigation.

Just before entering Peril Straits,--by the way, one of the most
charming of the many channels described,--we stop at a little place
ensconced in a narrow inlet of Chatham Strait, called Killisnoo. At
Killisnoo the Northwest Trading Company, of Portland, Oregon, have
erected quite extensive works for the capture and curing of cod-fish,
which has made this something of a port, at least for Alaska. There is
also a phosphate factory here, where phosphates are made from herring,
after the oil is extracted. This company formerly caught whales in this
strait; but I understand the enterprise has been partially, or wholly,
given up as not paying; or, at least, in proportion to the new
enterprises they have more recently opened. Around this part of
Admiralty Island are the Kootznahoo Indians, who have been quite a
warlike band of savages in the past, but have been quite mollified by an
incident in their troubles, which I will give in the language of a
correspondent to the New York _Times_, of November 23, 1884:

"The Kootznahoo village, near the fishing station of Killisnoo, was the
scene of the latest naval battle and bombardment on the coast, two years
ago. A medicine man of the tribe who went out in a whale-boat was killed
by the explosion of a bomb harpoon, and the Indians demanded money or a
life as an equivalent for their loss. The Killisnoo traders did not
respect this Indian law of atonement, and the Indians seized a white man
for hostage. Finding that the hostage had only one eye, they declared
him _cultus_ (bad), and sent word that they must have a whole and sound
man, or his equivalent in blankets, to make up for their lost medicine
man. They threatened the massacre of the settlement, and word was sent
to Sitka for help. Captain Merriman, United States navy, went over with
the revenue cutter 'Corwin' and the steamer 'Favorite,' and made a
counter demand for blankets as a guarantee for their future peace and
quiet. Failing to respond, he carried out his threat of shelling their
village, the Indians having improved their hours of delay by removing
their canoes, valuables and provisions. Most of the houses were
destroyed, and the humbled Indians came to terms, and have been the most
penitent and reliable friends of the whites ever since. They have built
their houses now around the Killisnoo settlement; and, although Captain
Merriman left the Territory some time ago, they all speak of him as the
best of _tyees_, and the settlers say that the naval battle of Killisnoo
has made life and property more secure throughout the Territory."


At present the inland passage in the Territory and British Columbia is
as safe from Indians as Broadway, in New York City, or State street,
Chicago. In no place in the world of which I know, or have ever heard,
are the facilities for studying Indian life so good for those who only
spend a tourist's jaunt among them. Many people along the far Western
railroads will remember seeing here and there a dirty group of assorted
Indians, begging for alms, and taking full advantage of all the
silver-plated sympathy showered upon them in that metal; for they were
parts of the curious scenes to behold. Generally they were a slim
delegation from some far-away agency, and a person living in Washington,
where the Indian chiefs occasionally visit in their full regalia, would
have a better chance to see typical Indians than the tourist, unless he
left the road and visited their agencies, a journey of toil and trouble,
and less welcome if the agent be a stranger. Alaska is widely different.
From its mountainous, Alpine nature, living inland is out of the
question; and the Indians seek the few narrow beaches and low points
scattered here and there through the inland passage as the places
whereon to build their little villages, and these are in as full view to
the passing steamer as New York and Brooklyn are to a boat going up or
down the East river channel. At rarer intervals more extensive plats of
level or rolling land have been found; and at some of these, in
proximity to certain places where business pursuits are carried on,
white men have erected their little towns; and around these, again, the
Indians have clustered their curious cabins in the most friendly way,
giving the greatest access to tourists during even the short time that
vessels stop at the ports to load and unload their freight. At Wrangell,
Sitka, Pyramid Harbor, etc., are to be seen villages of Stickeens,
Sitkas, Chilkats, Kootznahoos, etc., in close juxtaposition. In the
_Polaris_, of Portland, Oregon, under date of November 19, 1881, I find
the following description of the old Stickeen village, just below
Wrangell, from the pen of the Rev. Dr. Lindsley, a well-known divine and
missionary of the Northwest:

"The next day we went to the site of the old Stickeen town. It was a
beautiful situation, looking out upon the sea, sheltered and with sunny
exposure. In the bay were several islands. One of them was kept sacred
as a burial place. The tombs were visible at a distance. These were
strong boxes raised above the ground for protection, built in the shape
of houses, sometimes painted, and within which the remains are
deposited. We could not but admire the rude taste, as well as the
sentiments which were thus conveyed. The buildings were falling into
decay; but enough remained to impress us with the fact that their
mechanical skill was of no recent origin. The Stickeens have occupied
the site for generations past; and here were immense wooden houses that
might have been standing a century ago, judging from the condition of
the wooden buildings which I had examined on the Atlantic coast, and
which are known to have been erected before the Revolutionary War. Those
buildings were frail; these, built of massive timbers and posts of from
two to three feet in diameter, some round, and others squared. The
planks for the floors were several inches thick. The mortise and tenon
work in the frames joined with accuracy, and other mechanical
contrivances appeared in these structures. All were large, and some
immense. I measured one house sixty by eighty feet.

[Illustration: T'LINKET BASKET WORK.

(Made by the Indians of the Inland Passage.)]

"The domestic life is patriarchal, several families being gathered under
one roof. Genealogies were kept for ages, and honors and distinctions
made hereditary. To mark these, insignia, like a coat-of-arms, were
adopted, and in rude carvings they strove to represent them. I could
decipher, also, the paintings that once figured these upon the posts and
sides of houses. The eagle, the whale, the bear and the otter, and other
animals of sea and land, were the favorites, ofttimes coupled with a
warrior in the attitude of triumph. Gigantic representations of these
family emblems were erected near the house, on posts, twenty to thirty
feet high, covered with carvings of animals, and the devices stained
with permanent pigments of black, red and blue. [See illustration on
page 66, which is the front of a chief's house at Kaigan village.]
Imaginary creatures resembling griffins or dragons, and reminding you of
the mammoth animals that flourished in a distant geological period, were
carved on the posts or pictured on the walls. Raised figures resembling
hieroglyphics and Asiatic alphabets were carved on the inside wall. Some
of the posts containing the family coat-of-arms, thus highly carved and
decorated according to the native taste, were used as receptacles for
the remains of the dead, gathered up after cremation. Great sacredness
was attached to them. To injure one was to insult the family to which it
belonged; to cut one down was an unpardonable offense.

"The description which I have now given will answer, with some
unimportant differences, for the native houses as they are found

Of the readiness of these Indians to give exhibitions of their savage
manners and customs for their visitors,--and which one will seldom see
elsewhere, and never with so little trouble and effort on the
spectator's part,--Dr. Lindsley says: "By previous invitation, the
missionaries and their guests assembled at the house of Tow-ah-att, a
_tyee_, or chief of the Stickeen tribe. An exhibition of manners and
customs had been prepared for us, to show us what Indian life had been.
* * * The insignia on Tow-ah-att's house were the eagle and wolf,
marking the union of two families. A brief address of welcome introduced
the entertainment. Among the customs shown to us by the dramatic
representation, were a warrior with blackened face, with spear and
helmet, and with belt containing a two-edged knife, or dagger; a chief
in full dress made of skins and a robe made of the wool of a mountain
sheep. [For this robe see the illustration on page 81.] Each of these
presented an imposing appearance. After these, masks and effigies
appeared; next, a _potlatch_ dance, in which a large number of the
natives of both sexes engaged. This was followed by dances which were
used only upon notable occasions which might be called sacred or
religious. These dances and the chants were regarded by the natives with
a species of veneration. We were struck with the comparative excellence
of the singing which accompanied these dances, displaying a considerable
amount of culture. Evidently much practice had been bestowed upon the
art, as the large number, young and old, who engaged in them, observed
the musical rests and parts with great precision. A large number of
whites and Indians were present at this entertainment, and the house was
not crowded. Our entertainers observed some formalities which could do
no discredit to the most enlightened assemblies. After an address of
welcome, and short speeches from visitors, one of the chiefs,
Tow-ah-att, delivered a formal discourse."

Mr. Ivan Petroff, a Russian, of Alaska, who was deputized by the
Superintendent of the United States Census of 1880 to collect statistics
for his report regarding Alaska Territory, finds the following
interesting items regarding the Indian tribes which the tourist will
encounter in his trip to Southeastern Alaska:

"The outward characteristics of the T'linkit tribe may be enumerated as
follows: The coarse, stiff, coal-black hair, dark eyebrows, but faintly
delineated over the large black eyes full of expression; protruding
cheek bones; thick, full lips (the under lips of the women disfigured by
the custom of inserting round or oval pieces of wood or bone), and the
septum of the men pierced for the purpose of inserting ornaments;
beautiful white teeth; ears pierced not only in the lobes, but all
around the rim. To these may be added the dark color of the skin, a
medium stature, and a proud, erect bearing (this only applies to the
men). The hands of the women are very small, and large feet are rarely
met with.

"Before their acquaintance with the Russians, the only clothing of the
T'linkits consisted of skins sewed together, which they threw around
their naked bodies without regard to custom or fashion. In addition to
this, they wore, on festive occasions, blankets woven out of the fleeces
of mountain goats. From time immemorial they have possessed the art of
dyeing this material black and yellow by means of charcoal and a kind of
moss called _sekhone_. The patterns of these blankets, wrought in
colors, exhibit an astonishing degree of skill and industry; the hat,
plaited of roots, is also ornamented with figures and representations of

"Both men and women paint their faces black and red with charcoal or
soot, and vermilion (cinnabar), which are their favorite colors. They
are mixed with seal oil, and rubbed well into the cuticle; subsequently,
figures and patterns are scratched upon this surface with sticks of
wood. The wealthy T'linkits paint their faces every day, while the
plebeians indulge in this luxury only occasionally. As a rule, the
T'linkits of both sexes go barefooted.

"The men pierce the partition of the nose, the operation being performed
in early childhood, frequently within a few weeks after birth. In the
aperture thus made a silver ring is sometimes inserted large enough to
cover the mouth; but the poorer individuals insert other articles, such
as feathers, etc. They also pierce the lobes of the ear for the purpose
of inserting shark's teeth, shells, and other ornaments, while through
the holes around the rim of the ear they draw bits of red worsted or
small feathers. Veniaminoff states that each hole in the ear was pierced
in memory of some event or deed.

"The ornamentation of the under lip of a female (now almost obsolete)
marked an epoch in her life. As long as she remained single she wore
this; but, as soon as she was married, a larger piece of wood or bone
was pressed into the opening, and annually replaced by a still larger
one, the inner side being hollowed out. It was, of course, impossible
for these individuals to close their mouths, the under lip protruding,
distended by the disk of wood or bone.

"Veniaminoff states that among the T'linkits the married women are
permitted to have what are called 'assistant husbands,' who are
maintained by the wives. Among the T'linkits the office of vice-husband
can only be filled by a brother or near relative of the husband.

"The T'linkits burn their dead upon funeral pyres, with the exception of
the bodies of shamans, or sorcerers, which are deposited in boxes
elevated on posts. The dead slave is not considered worthy of any
ceremony whatever; his corpse is thrown into the sea like the carcass of
a dog. When a T'linkit dies his relatives prepare a great feast,
inviting a multitude of guests, especially if the deceased has been a
chief or a wealthy member of a clan. The guests are chosen only from a
strange clan; for instance, if the deceased belonged to the Raven clan,
the guests must be from the Wolf clan, and _vice versa_. No certain
time is set for the cremation or for the festivities; this depends
altogether upon the magnitude of the preparations. Poor people who are
unable to defray the cost of such ceremonies, take their dead to some
distant cove or bay, and burn them without any display. When the guests
have assembled and the pyre has been erected, the corpse is carried out
of the village by invited guests, and placed upon the fagots. The pyre
is then ignited in the presence of the relatives; but these latter take
no active part, confining themselves to crying, weeping and howling. On
such occasions many burn their hair, placing the head in the flames;
others cut the hair short, and smear the face with the ashes of the
deceased. When the cremation of the body has been accomplished, the
guests return to the dwelling of the deceased, and seat themselves with
the widow, who belongs to their clan, around the walls of the hut; the
relatives of the deceased then appear with hair burned and cropped,
faces blackened and disfigured, and place themselves within the circle
of guests, sadly leaning upon sticks with bowed heads, and then begin
their funeral dirges with weeping and howling. The guests take up the
song when the relatives are exhausted, and thus the howling is kept up
for four nights in succession, with only a brief interruption for
refreshment. During this period of mourning, if the deceased had been a
chief, or wealthy, the relatives formerly killed one or two slaves,
according to the rank of the dead, in order to give him service in the
other world. At the end of the period of mourning, or on the fourth day
following the cremation, the relatives wash their blackened faces and
paint them with gay colors, at the same time making presents to all the
guests, chiefly to those who assisted in burning the corpse. Then the
guests are feasted again, and the ceremony is at an end. The heir of the
deceased is his sister's son, or, if he has no such relative, a younger
brother. The heir was compelled to marry the widow."

While I was at Chilkat the chief of the Crow clan was cremated with most
savage ceremonials, no doubt well worth seeing, to which I was invited;
but my preparations for my expedition kept me from accepting the

[Illustration: SITKA, ALASKA.]

Leaving Killisnoo, we cross Chatham Strait almost at right angles to its
course (or due west), here about ten miles wide, and enter Peril
Straits, about thirty-five miles long. They sweep boldly to the north in
a great arc, and, like all winding and rapidly and alternately widening
and narrowing of the inland channels, they are extremely picturesque,
more from the contrast of different scenes so swiftly changed before
one's eyes, than from anything radically new so presented. The old
Russian name for them was Paboogni (meaning "pernicious") Strait, and
they got this title rather from an incident of appetite than bad
navigation. In the latter part of last century the Russians used to
import the poor Aleuts of the Aleutian Islands, far to the westward, as
mercenaries to fight their battles for them against the T'linkit Indians
of this region; and, while encamped here, they partook of a large number
of mussels, which proved poisonous, killing some, and putting many on
the sick list for that particular campaign. In some of the very
contracted places the tides run with great velocity; but, by taking
advantage of the proper times (which the nearness of Killisnoo on one
side and Sitka on the other makes easy) and a more thorough knowledge of
the few impediments, the dangers to navigation here are now about _nil_.
Once through Peril Straits, we can look out on the Pacific Ocean through
Salisbury Sound for a few minutes before turning southward through a
series of short straits and channels "too numerous to mention;" and
then, after twenty to twenty-five miles of sailing, we come to Sitka,
the capital of the Territory. It is most picturesquely located at the
head of Sitka Sound, through which, looking in a southwest direction,
the Pacific Ocean is plainly visible. Looking in this way, its bay seems
full of pretty little islets, sprinkled all over it, that are almost
invisible as seen from the ocean when approaching, so densely are they
covered with timber, and so exactly like the timbered hills of the
mainland, against which they are thrown. The steamer, after winding its
way through a tortuous channel, finally brings to at a commodious wharf,
with the city before you, which is in strange contrast with the wild,
rugged scenery through which the tourist has been sailing. To our left,
as we pass on to the wharf, is the Indian village of the Sitkas, one of
the largest among the islands of the inland passage. To our front and
right stretch the white settlements of the town. At the large Indian
village, which is near--or, really, part of--Sitka, there are estimated
to gather fully a thousand Indians in the winter time, the summer
finding them partially dispersed over a greater area to gain their
sustenance. These houses are like those described as being near
Wrangell. In one way they have somewhat patterned after white men, in
partitioning off the ends and sides of these large rooms into sleeping
apartments by canvas and cloth drapery. It is said that the most
fiendish ceremonies and diabolical cruelties were practiced at their
"house-warmings," so to speak. Before the white men put a stop to these
ceremonies, a slave was killed, with the greatest cruelties, under each
of the corner uprights; and, as a house could not have less than four of
these, and sometimes had more, by its irregularities, one may
contemplate the suffering with which a large village like that at Sitka
has been baptized.

In the town proper the Greek Church is the most conspicuous and
interesting object to the tourist, and especially those who have never
seen one of this religion. It is built in the form of a Greek cross, in
plan, and is surmounted by an Oriental dome over the centre, which has
been painted an emerald green color. One wing is used as a chapel, and
contains, besides a curious font, an exquisite painting of the Virgin
and Child, copied from the celebrated picture at Moscow. All the drapery
is of silver, and the halo of gold; so, of the painting itself, nothing
is seen but the faces and background. The chancel, which is raised above
the body of the church, is approached by three broad steps leading to
four doors, two of which are handsomely carved and richly gilded, and
contain four oval and two square _bas reliefs_. Above is a large picture
of the Last Supper, covered, like that of the Madonna, with silver, as
are two others, one on each side of the altar. Across the threshold of
these doors no woman may set her foot, and across the inner ones to the
innermost sanctuary none but the priest himself, or his superiors in the
general Greek Church, or the white Czar, can enter. The doors, however,
usually stand open; and the priest in residence, Father Metropaulski, is
exceedingly courteous to visitors, showing them the costly and
magnificent vestments and the bishop's crown, almost covered with pearls
and amethysts. The ornaments and the candelabra are all of silver, the
walls are hung with portraits of princes and prelates, and the general
effect is rich in the extreme.

Next to the church in interest--with some visitors, probably, ranking
before it--is the old Muscovite castle on the hill. Here, in days gone
by, the stern Romanoff ruled this land, and Baron Wrangell, one of
Russia's many celebrated Polar explorers, held sway. It is said that it
has been twice destroyed, once by fire and then by an earthquake, but
was again erected with such staunch belongings that it will probably
stand for ages much as it is to-day. It is now used as an office for
United States Government officials, and it has a ball-room and theatre,
with the same old brass chandeliers and huge bronze hinges that adorned
it in its glory. The whole building has a semi-deserted and melancholy
appearance; but it is of exceeding interest, speaking to us as it does
of a grander history, when Sitka was the metropolis of the Pacific coast
of North America, and it was the centre from which such power emanated.
To sentimental tourists I will relate a tradition that has been
published concerning the stern old castle; and, whether it fits the
truth or not, it fits the sombre surroundings of the ancient pile. It
runs, that, when Baron Romanoff was governor, he had living with him an
orphan niece and ward, who, like all orphan nieces in feudal castles,
especially those who figure in tradition, was very beautiful. But, when
the baron commanded her to marry a beautiful prince, who was a guest at
the castle, she refused, having given her heart to a handsome young
lieutenant of the household. The old baron, who, like the rest of his
race in traditional accounts, was an accomplished diplomate, feigning an
interest in the young lieutenant which he did not feel, sent him away on
a short expedition, and in the mean time hurried on the preparations for
the marriage of the unhappy girl to the prince. Deprived of the support
of her lover's counsels and presence, she yielded to the threats of her
uncle, and the ceremony was solemnized. Half an hour after the marriage,
while the rejoicing and the gayety were at their height, the young
lieutenant strode into the ball-room, his travel-stained dress and
haggard appearance contrasting strangely with the glittering costumes
and gay faces of the revelers; and, during the silence which followed
his ominous appearance, he stepped up to the hapless girl, and took her
hand. After gazing for a few moments on the ring the prince had placed
there, he, without a word, and before any one could interfere, drew a
dagger from his belt, and stabbed her to the heart. In the wild
confusion that followed, he escaped from the castle; and, overcome with
grief, unable to live without the one he so fondly loved, yet ruthlessly
murdered, he threw himself into the sea. And now her spirit is seen on
the anniversary of her wedding night, her slender form robed in heavy
silk brocade, pressing her hands on the wound in her heart, the tears
streaming from her eyes. Sometimes, before a severe storm, she makes her
appearance in the little tower at the top of the building once used as a
lighthouse. There she burns a light until dawn for the spirit of her
lover at sea.


Almost directly west from Sitka, about fifteen miles distant, is Mount
Edgecumbe, so named by Cook, it having previously been called Mount San
Jacinto by Bodega in 1775, and Mount St. Hyacinth again by La Perouse.
Tchirikov, before all others, I believe, got it chronicled as Mount St.
Lazarus; and it looked as if it would go through the whole calendar of
the saints, and their different national changes, if it had not gotten
pretty firmly rooted as Mount Edgecumbe. It is nearly 3,000 feet above
the level of the sea, and looks like a peak of 5,000 feet cut off by a
huge shaving plane at its present height. This truncated apex is a
crater, said to be, by those who have visited it, some 2,000 feet in
diameter by one-tenth as deep. In the early and middle summer time, the
snow from its table-like crown has partially disappeared, and the bright
red volcanic rock projects in radiating ridges from the white covering
that is disappearing, making a most beautiful crest to a mountain
already picturesque by its singular isolation. When in this condition,
with the western setting sun directly over it, and its golden beams
radiating upward, and the royal red ridges radiating downward, both
thrown against their background of blue sky and water and white snow, it
makes a superb picture that the brush of a Turner could hardly copy, let
alone a feeble pen describe.

Lieutenant C. E. S. Wood, who visited this portion of Alaska in 1877,
and gave a graphic description of his travels in the _Century Magazine_
of July, 1882, gives therein the following interesting Indian legend
concerning Mount Edgecumbe:

"One drowsy eve we saw the peak of Edgecumbe for the last time. The
great truncated cone caught the hues of the sunset, and we could note
the gloom gathering deeper and deeper in the hollow of the crater. Our
Indians were stolidly smoking the tobacco we had given them, and were
resting after the labors of the day with bovine contentment.
Tah-ah-nah-kléck related to us the T'linkit legend of Edgecumbe.

"A long time ago the earth sank beneath the water, and the water rose
and covered the highest places, so that no man could live. It rained so
hard that it was as if the sea fell from the sky. All was black, and it
became so dark, that no man knew another. Then a few people ran here and
there and made a raft of cedar logs; but nothing could stand against the
white waves, and the raft was broken in two.

"On one part floated the ancestors of the T'linkits; on the other, the
parents of all other nations. The waters tore them apart, and they never
saw each other again. Now their children are all different, and do not
understand each other. In the black tempest, Chethl was torn from his
sister Ah-gish-áhn-ahkon [The-woman-who-supports-the-earth], Chethl
[symbolized in the osprey] called aloud to her, 'You will never see me
again; but you will hear my voice forever!' Then he became an enormous
bird, and flew to southwest, till no eye could follow him.
Ah-gish-áhn-ahkon climbed above the waters, and reached the summit of
Edgecumbe. The mountain opened, and received her into the bosom of the
earth. That hole [the crater] is where she went down. Ever since that
time she has held the earth above the water. The earth is shaped like
the back of a turtle, and rests on a pillar; Ah-gish-áhn-ahkon holds the
pillar. Evil spirits that wish to destroy mankind seek to overthrow her
and drive her away. The terrible battles are long and fierce in the
lower darkness. Often the pillar rocks and sways in the struggle, and
the earth trembles and seems like to fall; but Ah-gish-áhn-ahkon is good
and strong, so the earth is safe. Chethl lives in the bird
Kunna-Káht-eth; his nest is in the top of the mountain, in the hole
through which his sister disappeared.

"He carries whales in his claws to this eyrie, and there devours them.
He swoops from his hiding-place, and rides on the edge of the coming
storm. The roaring of the tempest is his voice calling to his sister. He
claps his wings in the peals of thunder, and its rumbling is the
rustling of his pinions. The lightning is the flashing of his eyes."

Looking inland are the glacier-clad summits of the interior mountains,
Vostovia predominating, where few people, even among the Indians of the
country, have ever been. Taking all its surroundings, it may be well
said, as has been written, that Sitka Bay rivals in scenic beauty its
nearest counterpart, the far-famed Bay of Naples. Near Sitka comes in a
beautiful mountain stream called the Indian river. A most picturesque
road leads out to this rambling brook, and a less frequented trail winds
up its valley; but, if the steamer stops long enough to warrant the
tramp, no one should fail to stroll along its two or three miles of
winding way, embowered in absolutely tropical foliage, so dense and deep
is it. It is the only road worthy of the name in Alaska; and, if one
wends his way through it, and then combines his information acquired
thereby with a view of the Alpine country of this part of the Territory,
he will plainly comprehend why there are no more roads than this
particular one, and feel willing to give full credit to its makers. It
is near the half-way point of the journey, also; and this warrants a
little inshore exercise that can be had at no other stopping place so

About ten or eleven miles south of Sitka, on the mainland, but protected
seaward by a breakwater of (Necker) islands, is Hot Springs Bay, on
whose shores are springs which give it its name. About six or seven
years before we obtained the Territory, the Russian American Fur
Company, whose headquarters were at Sitka (since Baron Wrangell
established them there in 1832), built a hospital at Hot Springs, which
was said to have had wonderful remedial powers in skin and rheumatic
diseases; but, for some reasons, the place has been abandoned (probably
the lack of government by the United States), and the buildings are
reported to be in a state of decay. The Indians used the waters for
illness, and thus called the attention of the Russians thereto. The
temperature of the water is from 120 to 125 degrees, and it contains a
number of elements held in solution, as sulphur, chlorine, manganese,
sodium and iron, besides combinations of these, and with other elements.
It is worth a visit to see these hot springs, with the thermometer
soaring up above the hundreds; for, in a day or two, by way of strange
contrast, you will be among glaciers and icebergs towering as far in
feet above your head.


The only way out of Sitka harbor, without putting to sea, is back
through Peril Straits again; and, passing back, one can hardly realize
that it is the same waterway, so radically different are the views
presented. In the harbor of Sitka is Japonskoi (Japanese) Island, which
may be identified by the captain's chart of the harbor, and which has a
curious history. Here, about eighty years ago, an old Japanese junk,
that had drifted across the sea on the Kuro-Siwo, or Japanese current,
was stranded, and the Russians kindly cared for the castaway sailors who
had survived the dreadful drift, and returned them to their country,
after an experience that is seldom equaled, even in the romantic
accounts of maritime misfortunes. The drifting of Japanese junks, and
those of adjacent countries, is not so infrequent as one would suppose,
and this fact might set the reflective man to thinking as to the
ethnical possibilities accruing therefrom, the settlement of North
America, etc.

This Kuro-Siwo, or Japanese current,--sometimes called black current, or
Japanese black current, from its hue,--corresponds in many ways to the
Gulf Stream of the Atlantic: like it, its waters are warmed in the
equatorial regions under a vertical sun; and, like it, a great portion
of these waters are carried northward in its flow, and their heat poured
upon the eastern shores of its ocean, till their climate is phenomenally
temperate compared with the western shores in the same parallels. Sitka
is said to have, as a result of facing this current, a mean winter
temperature of a point half way between Baltimore and Washington, or
slightly milder than the winter temperature of Baltimore. It is said to
be no unusual thing to suffer from an ice famine in Sitka. A short way
inland the winters are not so temperate, more snow falling at that
season, while rain characterizes the coast face; but during the summer,
or excursion season, these rains are not unpleasantly frequent. I take
the following from a letter from Sitka, and published in the San
Francisco _Bulletin_ of January 9, 1882, before this country was really
opened to excursionists, although the subject was being discussed, so
much had been heard of this wonderland:

"The climate, as shown by the meteorological data collected by the
signal service observers, is not of such a disagreeable character as
some would have us believe. The scientific data collected and tabulated
for the year 1881, as shown by the records at Sitka, Chilkoot, Juneau
and Killisnoo, disprove most emphatically the seemingly malicious
assertions in reference to its climate.

                      |April.|May.|June.|July.|Aug. |Sept.|Oct. |Nov.| Dec.
  Mean Temperature    | 42.5 |45.4|51.2 | 54.2|56.7 |54.  |46.3 |41.8|34.8
  Max. Temperature    | 56.5 |61. |65.  | 67. |79.  |63.8 |57.8 |52.8|44.9
  Min. Temperature    | 31.  |31. |41.  | 43. |43.9 |40.5 |32.  |22.5|14.
  Total rainfall,     |      |    |     |     |     |     |     |    |
  inches              |  4.21| 3.1| 1.54|  4.4| 1.98|12.11| 5.04|13.5|10.52

"A study of the above data, combined with an actual experience, compels
the writer to admit that the summer weather of Southeastern Alaska is
the most delightful that can be enjoyed throughout the length and
breadth of this vast territory, and throws in the shade all the boasted
claims of many, if not most, of the famous summer resorts in the
'States.' There were only two days during the long, pleasant summer,
that were rendered disagreeable by that feeling of oppressiveness caused
by heat. The nights were cool and pleasant; the days always warm enough
for open windows, through which the invigorating breezes from the
snow-capped mountains or the broad Pacific, would blow at will; the
long, bright days, when the sun disappeared only for a few hours, when
twilight, after sunset, seemed to mingle with the rays of early dawn;
the nights beautified by the dancing beams of the _aurora borealis_, and
the myriad stars that seemed as if hung on invisible threads in the deep
blue firmament. * * In regard to the summer weather, I reiterate that no
one could possibly choose a more delightful place in which to spend a
portion of the heated term than in making a trip through this portion of
the Territory."

"In Alaska, in midsummer," according to a late letter, "the almost
continuous light of day shines upon bright green slopes, shaded here and
there with dark timber belts, rising up from the deep blue waters. An
endless variety of bright-hued flowers, the hum of insects, and
melodious song of birds, * * * would cause a stranger, suddenly
translated there, to think himself in any country but Alaska."--_Chicago
Herald, 1885._

When we are some five or six miles back on our northward way to Peril
Straits, a pretty little bay, on Baronoff Island, is pointed out to us,
on our starboard (by this time all the passengers are able seamen) side,
called Old Harbor, or Starri-Gaven, in Russian. It was there that
Baronoff built his first fort, called the Archangel Gabriel, in 1799,
which, after a number of rapidly recurring vicissitudes, was
annihilated, and its garrison massacred, by the Sitka Indians, three
years later. Baronoff re-established his power at the present site of
Sitka, calling the new place Archangel Michael,--Archangel Gabriel
having failed in his duty as a protector; and from this name it was
called New Archangel, which changed to Sitka with the change of flags in
1867, although American maps had dubbed it Sitka before this.

Once more in Chatham Strait, with the ship's head pointed northward, we
are on our way to the northernmost recesses of the inland passage, and
with the greatest wonders of our wonderland ahead of us. At its northern
end, Chatham Strait divides into two narrow waterways, Icy Strait
leading off to the west, to the land and waters of glaciers and
icebergs, while Lynn Canal continues broad Chatham to the north. Lynn
Canal is a double-headed inlet, the western arm at its head being called
the Chilkat Inlet, and the eastern arm the Chilkoot Inlet, after two
tribes of T'linkit Indians living on these respective channels. It is a
beautiful sheet of water, more Alpine in character than any yet entered.
Glaciers of blue and emerald ice can be seen almost everywhere, peeping
from underneath the snow-capped mountains and ranges that closely
enclose this well-protected canal, and render it picturesque in the
extreme. Here is the Eagle Glacier on the right, and dozens that have
never been named, and a most massive one (Davison's) on our left, just
as we enter Chilkat Inlet. At the head of Chilkat Inlet is Pyramid
Harbor, so named after an island of pyramidal profile in its waters. It
marks the highest point you will probably reach in the inland passage,
unless Chilkoot Inlet is entered, which is occasionally done.

[Illustration: CHILKAT BLANKET.]

We are now in the land of the Chilkats, one of the most aggressive and
arrogant, yet withal industrious and wealthy, Indian tribes of the
T'linkits. It should be remembered that all the Alaskan Indians of the
inland passage (except the Hy-dahs of Dixon Entrance) are bound together
by a common language, called the T'linkit; but having so little else in
sympathy that the sub-tribes often war against each other, these
sub-tribes having separate chiefs, medicine men and countries, in fact,
and being known by different names. We have already spoken of the
Stickeens, Kootznahoos, Sitkas, etc.; and by these names they are known
among the whites of this portion of the Territory, the title T'linkit
being seldom heard. At the salmon cannery, on the west shore, a small
but recently built village of Chilkats is clustered; but, to see them in
"all their glory," the Chilkat river should be ascended to their
principal village of Klukwan.

Of this country,--the Chilkat and Chilkoot,--Mrs. Eugene S. Willard, the
wife of the missionary presiding at Haines Mission, in Chilkoot Inlet,
and who has resided here a number of years, writes in the _Century
Magazine_, of October, 1885:

"From Portage Bay (of Chilkoot Inlet) west to the Chilkat river and
southward to the point, lies the largest tract of arable land, so far as
my knowledge goes, in Southeastern Alaska, while the climate does not
differ greatly from that of Pennsylvania * * * Here summer reaches
perfection, never sultry, rarely chilling. * * * In May the world and
the sun wake up together. In his new zeal, we find old Sol up before us
at 2:15 A. M., and he urges us on until 9:45 at night. Even then the
light is only turned down; for the darkest hour is like early summer
twilight, not too dark for reading.

"From our front door to the pebbly beach below, the wild sweet pea runs
rampant; while under and in and through it spring the luxuriant phlox,
Indian rice, the white-blossomed 'yun-ate,' and wild roses which make
redolent every breath from the bay. Passing out the back door, a few
steps lead us into the dense pine woods, whose solitudes are peopled
with great bears, and owls, and--T'linkit ghosts! while eagles and
ravens soar without number. On one tree alone we counted thirty bald
eagles. These trees are heavily draped with moss, hanging in rich
festoons from every limb; and into the rich carpeting underneath, one's
foot may sink for inches. Here the ferns reach mammoth size, though many
of fairy daintiness are found among the moss; and the devil's walking
stick stands in royal beauty at every turn, with its broad, graceful
leaves, and waxen, red berries.

"Out again into the sunshine, and we discover meadows of grass and
clover, through which run bright little streams, grown over with
willows, just as at home. And here and there are clumps of trees, so
like the peach and apple, that a lump comes into your throat. But you
lift your eyes, and there beyond is the broad shining of the river, and
above it the ever-present, dream-dispelling peaks of snow, with their
blue ice sliding down and down. * *

"The Chilkat people long ago gained for themselves the reputation of
being the most fierce and warlike tribe in the Archipelago. Certain it
is, that, between themselves and southern Hy-dah, there is not another
which can compare with them in strength, either as to numbers,
intelligence, physical perfection, or wealth. * * * The children always
belong to their mother, and are of her to-tem. This to-temic relation
is considered closer than that of blood. If the father's and mother's
tribes be at war, the children must take the maternal side, even if
against their father. * * * In very rare cases a woman has two husbands;
oftener we find a man with two wives, even three; but more frequently
met than either is the consecutive wife.

"The Chilkats are comparatively an industrious people. On the mainland
we have none of the deer which so densely populate the islands, owing,
it is said, to the presence of bears and wolves; but we have the white
mountain goat, which, while it is lamb, is delicious meat. From its
black horns the finest carved spoons are made, and its pelt, when washed
and combed, forms a necessary part of the Indian's bedding and household
furniture. The combings are made by the women into rolls similar to
those made by machinery at home. Then, with a great basket of these
white rolls on one side, and a basket on the other to receive the yarn,
a woman sits on the floor, and, on her bared knee, with her palm, rolls
it into cord. This they dye in most brilliant colors made of roots,
grasses and moss, and of different kinds of bark.

[Illustration: T'LINKET WAR CANOE.]

"It is of this yarn that the famous Chilkat dancing-blanket is made.
This is done by the women with great nicety and care. The warp, all
white, is hung from a handsomely carved upright frame. Into it the
bright colors are wrought by means of ivory shuttles. The work is
protected during the tedious course of its manufacture by a covering
resembling oiled silk, made from the dressed intestines of the bear.
Bright striped stockings of this yarn are also knitted on little needles
whittled from wood."

An illustration of a dancing-blanket is given on page 81. These are made
by several of the T'linkit tribes; but the Chilkats so predominate in
the manufacture, both in numbers and excellence, that you seldom hear
them mentioned in Alaska, except as Chilkat blankets. Nearly all of the
T'linkit tribes, as the tourist will have seen by this time, spend most
of their out-of-door time in the water, in their canoes; and this
constant semi-aquatic life has told on their physical development to the
extent of giving them very dwarfed and illy developed lower limbs,
although the trunk and arms are well developed. When walking, they seem
to shamble along more like an aquatic fowl on land than a human being.
The Chilkats are noticeable exceptions. Although their country is much
more mountainous in appearance than others lower down, yet here are some
of the most accessible of the few mountain passes by which the interior,
a rich fur-bearing district, can be gained. The Chilkats have yearly
taken trading goods from the white men, lashed them into packs of about
a hundred pounds, and carried them on their backs through these
glacier-clad passes, and traded them for furs, bringing them out in the
same way. They monopolized the trade by the simple process of
prohibiting the interior Indians from coming to the sea-coast to trade.
The Chilkats therefore are probably the richest tribe of Indians in the
Northwest, the chief having two houses full of blankets, their standard
of value, at the village of Kluk-wan.

To those who find their greatest pleasure in a rough, out-of-door life,
let them leave the steamer at this point, hire three or four Indians to
carry their company effects on their backs, and make an Alpine journey
to the head of the Yukon river, where lakes aggregating 150 miles in
length can be passed over in a canoe. The route leads up the Dayay
river, over the Perrier Pass in the Kotusk Mountains. The trip could be
made between visiting steamers, and I will guarantee the persons will
come back with more muscle than they took in.

Bidding good-bye to the picturesque country of the Chilkats, the
steamer's head is turned south again; and, when just about ready to
leave Lynn Canal, we entered an intricate series of channels bearing
eastward, and which bring us to the great mining town of Juneau, where
many Alaskan hopes are centred. This is what a correspondent of the
Chicago _Times_, under date of February 23, 1885, says of this Alaskan
town and its curious history:

"The centre from which radiates whatever of excitement and interest
there is in Alaskan mines is Douglas Island. The history of the
discovery of ore near this island, which eventually led to the location
of the present much-talked-of property, is similar to that attending the
finding of most of the large mines in the West. It seems that some
half-dozen years ago two needy and seedy prospectors named Juneau and
Harris arrived at an Indian village that still remains visible on the
shore across the bay from Douglas Island, in search of ore. They
prospected the country as thoroughly as they could, with but little
success, and were about to return home when an Indian said that he knew
where gold existed, and that he would reveal the place for a certain sum
of money. Hardly believing, but yet curious, Harris and Juneau accepted
the offer, and, with their guide, set out on a pilgrimage into the
interior to a spot now known as 'The Basin.' After a long tramp through
the forests, and up a deep valley, the Indian showed them a place where
there were nuggets of free gold and dirt, which, when panned, yielded a
handsome return. Claims were immediately staked out, and the adventurers
began their work in earnest. Later, the fact of the discovery became
known, and other miners entered the valley, and the region gained no
little celebrity, and became the scene of much animation. Four years the
work progressed, and a town, which to-day is of respectable size and
great expectations, was founded, and christened Juneau.

"The Douglas Island mine is located within fifty yards of the waters of
Juneau Bay, and was discovered by a man named Treadwell, who sold his
claim a year or two ago to a San Francisco company. The new owners set
up a fine stamp-mill to begin with, and made thorough tests of the ore.
It is a 120-stamp mill, the largest in the world, and the company has
refused, it is said, $16,000,000 for the mine."


(Made from the Horns of Mountain Goats.)]

Since the above was written, and as late as last August, reports from
there gave the astonishing showing of enough ore in sight to keep the
120-stamp mill "running for a lifetime." The uninitiated in mining
mills, ledges and lodes, may grasp the value of the mine by saying its
output for a twenty-days run of the stamp-mill was $100,000 in gold, or
at the rate of $1,800,000 per year; which, estimating its value on an
income of five per cent. annually, would make the mine worth
$36,000,000, or just five times the amount we paid for the whole
Territory. There is no doubt whatever in the minds of many experts, that
there are a number of such places as the Treadwell mine yet to be found,
the great difficulty of prospecting in the dense, deep mass of fallen
timber covered with wet moss and thick underbrush on the steepest
mountain sides, coupled with the little probability of the Treadwell
being an isolated case in such a uniformly Alpine country, amply
justifying them in coming to such conclusions. A visit to the mines is
one the tourists can readily make. At Juneau we find the Takoo band of
T'linkits in a village near by, where nearly all that has been said
regarding Alaskan Indians may be here repeated. The very curious spoons
they carve from the horns of the mountain goat, which are figured on
page 85, and beautifully woven mats, and the baskets shown on page 68,
may be purchased; and, in leaving a few pieces of silver among them for
their own handiwork, little as it is that we have thus done for them, it
is far more than the extremists of either side in the Indian question
have done, those who would exterminate, or those who would
sentimentalize in print over their wrongs.

Bidding the mining metropolis of Alaska farewell, our bowsprit is once
more pointed for the Pacific Sea; but, before we reach it, or get quite
to it, we turn northward and enter Glacier Bay, its name signifying its
main attractions. Glaciers, which are great rivers or sheets of ice made
from compacted snows, are functions as much of altitude as of high
latitude; and both unite here, with an air charged with moisture from
the warm Pacific waters, to make the grand glaciers which are to be seen
in this bay. In the immediate vicinity are the Mount St. Elias Alps, a
snowy range which culminates in the well-known peak from which it
derives its name; and, radiating from their flanks, come down these
rivers of ice, reaching the sea-level in the greatest perfection in
Glacier Bay, the largest one of the grand group being the Muir Glacier,
after Professor John Muir, the scientist, of California, who is said to
be the first to discover it. I will give the language of the man who
claims to be the second to arrive upon the scene, and who gives his
account in the St. Louis _Globe-Democrat_, writing from Glacier Bay,
July 14, 1883:

"When Dick Willoughby told of the great glacier, thirty miles up the
bay, the thud of whose falling ice could be heard and felt at his house,
the captain of the 'Idaho' said he would go there, and took this Dick
Willoughby along to find the place and prove the tale. Away we went
coursing up Glacier Bay, a fleet of 112 little icebergs gayly sailing
out to meet us as we left our anchorage the next morning. Entering into
these unknown and unsurveyed waters, the lead was cast through miles of
bottomless channels; and, when the pilot neared a green and mountainous
little island, he made me an unconditional present of the domain, and
duly entered its bearings on the ship's log. For a summer resort my
island possesses unusual advantages, and I hereby invite all suffering
and perspiring St. Louis to come to that emerald spot in latitude 58
degrees 29 minutes north, and longitude 135 degrees 52 minutes west from
Greenwich, and enjoy the July temperature of 42 degrees, the whale
fishing, the duck hunting, and a sight of the grandest glacier in the

"But one white man had ever visited the glacier before us, and he was
the irrepressible geologist and scientist, John Muir, who started out in
an Indian canoe, with a few blankets and some hard-tack, and spent days
scrambling over the icy wastes. Feeling our way along carefully, we cast
anchor beside a grounded iceberg, and the photographers were rowed off
to a small island to take the view of the ship in the midst of that
arctic scenery. Mount Crillon showed his hoary head to us in glimpses
between the clouds; and then, rounding Willoughby Island, which the
owner declares is solid marble of a quality to rival that of Pentelicus
and Carrara, we saw the full front of the great Muir Glacier, where it
dips down and breaks into the sea. At the first breathless glance at
that glorious ice-world, all fancies and dreams were surpassed: the
marvelous beauty of those shining, silvery pinnacles and spires, the
deep blue buttresses, the arches and aisles of that fretted front,
struck one with awe. In all Switzerland there is nothing comparable to
these Alaskan glaciers, where the frozen wastes rise straight from the
sea, and a steamer can go up within an eighth of a mile, and cruise
beside them. Add to the picture of high mountains and snowy glaciers a
sapphire bay scattered over with glittering little icebergs, and nature
can supply nothing more to stir one's soul, to rouse the fancy and
imagination, and enchant the senses. The vastness of this Muir Glacier
is enough alone to overpower one with a sense of the might and strength
of these forces of nature. Dry figures can give one little idea of the
great, desolate stretches of gray ice and snow that slope out of sight
behind the jutting mountains, and the tumbled and broken front forced
down to and into the sea. Although not half of the glacier has been
explored, it is said to extend back 40 miles.

"What we could know accurately was, that the front of the glacier was
two miles across, and that the ice-wall rose 500 and 1,000 feet from the
water. The lead cast at the point nearest to the icy front gave eighty
fathoms, or 240 feet, of water; and, in the midst of those deep
soundings, icebergs filled with boulders lay grounded with forty feet of
their summits visible above water. At very low tide, there is a
continual crash of falling ice; and, for the half-day we spent beside
this glacier, there was a roar as of artillery every few minutes, when
tons of ice would go thundering down into the water. After the prosaic
matter of lunch had been settled, and we had watched the
practical-minded steward order his men down on the iceberg to cut off a
week's supply with their axes, we embarked in the life-boats, and landed
in a ravine beside the glacier. * * * We wandered at will over the
seamed and ragged surface, the ice cracked under our feet with a
pleasant midwinter sound, and the wind blew keenly from over those
hundreds of miles of glacier fields; but there were the gurgle and
hollow roar of the water heard in every deep crevasse, and trickling
streams spread a silver network in the sunshine. Reluctantly we obeyed
the steamer's whistle, and started back to the boats.

"A magnificent sunset flooded the sky that night, and filled every icy
ravine with rose and orange lights. At the last view of the glacier, as
we steamed away from it, the whole brow was glorified and transfigured
with the fires of sunset; the blue and silvery pinnacles, the white and
shining front floating dreamlike on a roseate and amber sea, and the
range and circle of dull violet mountains lighting their glowing summits
into a sky flecked with crimson and gold."

Since the above was written, in July, 1883, Glacier Bay has been one of
the constant visiting points of the excursion steamer, and the
experience of two or three years has shown the company how to exhibit
this great panorama of nature to its patrons to the best advantage, and
one will now be astonished at the ease with which the whole field may
be surveyed in this the most wonderful bay on a line of steamboat

Our same correspondent speaks of an unknown passage down which they
traveled in a way that will delight the heart of a Nimrod; but he should
have added that almost half the inland passage is of that character so
far as the general world is wiser concerning it, and half of this,
again, may be wholly unknown, offering one of the finest fields for
short explorations without any of the dangers and difficulties which so
often beset greater undertakings, and rob them of all pleasure while
they are being prosecuted, and only compensating the explorer in the
results attained. Here is what he has to say:

"For the twenty miles that we had come down the beautiful inlet, the
coast survey charts showed an unbroken stretch of dry land. To the
sportsman that unknown inlet is the dreamed-of paradise. When we went
out in the small boats, salmon and flounders could be seen darting in
schools through the water; and, as we approached the mouth of a creek,
the freshening current was alive with the fish. The stewards who went to
the shore with the tank-boats for fresh water, startled seven deer as
they pushed their way to the foot of a cascade, and the young men caught
thirteen great salmon with their own inexperienced spearing. The captain
of the ship took his rifle, and was rowed away to shallow waters, where
he shot a salmon, waded in, and threw it ashore. While wandering along
after some huge bear tracks, he saw an eagle at work on his salmon, and
another fine shot laid the bird of freedom low. When the captain
returned to the ship he threw the eagle and salmon on deck, and, at the
size of the former, every one marveled. The outspread wings measured the
traditional six feet from tip to tip, and the beak, the claws, and the
huge, stiff feathers were rapidly seized upon as trophies and souvenirs
of the day. A broad double rainbow arched over us as we left the lovely
niche between the mountains, and then we swept back to Icy Straits, and
started out to the open ocean."

But we will not confine ourselves to the description of one person in
considering this the most fascinating and curious scene presented to the
Alaskan tourists. Grand, even to the extent of being almost appalling,
as are the Alaskan fjords, they are but the Yosemite or Colorado Parks,
with navigable valleys, as they would appear greatly enlarged; much as
we are awestruck at the feet of Mount St. Elias, it is but Tacoma or
Shasta in grander proportions, and so on through the list of scenes we
view: but in the glaciers we have no counterpart that can be viewed from
a steamer's deck, unless the polar zones themselves be invaded; and
here, in fact, we view the grandest sight to be seen in that dreary
zone, without any of its many dangers. Says Professor Denman, of San
Francisco, who has devoted much of his attention to glaciers, and
especially these of Alaska, compared with which he pronounces those to
be seen in Switzerland and other parts of Europe to be "babies:"

"Muir Glacier is a spectacle whose grandeur can not be described,--a
vast frozen river of ice, ever slowly moving to the sea, and piling the
enormous masses higher between the mountain banks, until their summit
towers hundreds of feet in the air. Where the point of the glacier
pushes out into and overhangs the water, vast fragments breaking apart
every few moments of their own weight, and falling with a thundering
crash into the sea, to float away as enormous icebergs, it affords a
spectacle which can only be understood and appreciated by one who
beholds it with his own eyes. From the summit of Muir Glacier no less
than twenty-nine others are to be seen in various directions, all
grinding and crowding their huge masses toward the sea, a sight which
must certainly be one which few other scenes can equal."

[Illustration: SCENES AMONG THE ALASKAN GLACIERS. (From Photographs.)

No. 1 (Top). A Near View of the Terminal Front of the Muir Glacier. No.
2. Looking Seaward from the Surface of the Glacier. No 3. The Excursion
Steamer at the Front of the Glacier. No. 4 (Bottom). On the Great Frozen
Sea; a Near View of the Surface of the Glacier.]

Says a writer, Mr. Edward Roberts, in the _Overland Monthly_: "I do not
know how wide, nor how long, nor how deep Glacier Bay is. One does not
think of figures and facts when sailing over its waters and enjoying the
novel features. Flood Switzerland, and sail up some of its cañons toward
Mont Blanc, and you will have there another Glacier Bay. But until the
sea-waves wash the feet of that Swiss peak, and until one can sail past
the glaciers of that country, there will never be found a companion bay
to this of Alaska. Norway, with all its ruggedness, has nothing to equal
it; and there is not a mountain in all the ranges of the Rockies which
has the majestic gracefulness of Fairweather Peak, which looks down upon
the bay.

"Imagine the view we had as we turned out of Lynn Canal and moved into
the ice-strewn waters of the strange place. Above hung the sun, warm and
clear, and lighting up the wide waste of waters till they glistened like
flashing brilliants. Away to the left and right ran sombre forests, and
long stretches of yellow-colored stone, and rocky cliffs that now ran
out into the bay, and, again, rose high and straight from out it. No
villages were in sight; no canoes dotted the waters; but all was
desolate, neglected, still; and cakes of ice, white in the distance and
highly colored nearer to, floated about our ship. And there, in the
northwest, rising so high above the intervening hills that all its
pinnacles, all its gorges, and its deep ravines of moving ice were
visible, was Fairweather, loftiest, whitest, most delicately moulded
peak of all the snowy crests in this north land. From a central spur,
topping all its fellows, lesser heights helped form a range which
stretched for miles across the country, and on whose massive shoulders
lay a mantle of such pure whiteness that the sky above was bluer still
by contrast, and the forests grew doubly dark and drear. All through the
afternoon we sailed toward the glorious beacon, while the air grew
colder every hour, and the ice cakes, hundreds of tons in weight, grew
more numerous as the daylight began to wane. The glaciers of Glacier Bay
are the largest in Alaska. Formed among the highest crags of the
Fairweather range, they gradually deepen and widen as they near the sea,
and end, at last, in massive cliffs of solid ice, often measuring three
hundred feet high, and having a width of several miles. The surface of
the glaciers is rough and billowy, resembling the waves of a troubled
sea frozen into solid blocks of ice at the moment of their wildest
gambols. Constantly pressed forward by the heavy blocks that gradually
slide down the mountain ravines, the great frozen river keeps pressing
seaward, until the action of the waves crumbles away gigantic cakes,
that fall into the waters with a noise like the booming of cannon, and
with a force that sends columns of water high into the air. The scene
was one of arctic splendor,--white, ghostly and cheerless; while the
light was that so often described by visitors to the polar
sea,--uncertain, bluish, and strongly resembling a November twilight in
New England, when the sky is overcast, the trees are bare, and the
clouds are full of snow. Gaining at last a point barely three hundred
yards from the glacier, the ship was stopped short. Before us rose the
towers and solid walls, forming an embankment higher than our mast-head,
and towering upward in dense masses against the leaden sky. Taken to
Switzerland, the glacier of Alaska would cover that country three times
over; for the frozen rivers of our largest purchase are not only fifty
miles in length and three in width, but often twice that distance long
and ten times that distance wide."

Lieutenant Wood, whom we have quoted before, in speaking of the T'linkit
Indians in the ice, says: "I noticed that, when journeying through the
floating ice in good weather, our Indians would carefully avoid striking
pieces of ice, lest they should offend the Ice Spirit. But, when the Ice
Spirit beset us with peril, they did not hesitate to retaliate by
banging his subjects. After picking our way through the ice for three
days, we came upon a small, temporary camp of Hoonahs, who were seal
hunting. We found little camps of a family or two scattered along both
shores. One of the largest glaciers from Fairweather comes into the bay,
and thus keeps its waters filled with the largest icebergs, even in the
summer season, for which reason the bay is a favorite place for seal
hunting. The seal is the native's meat, drink (the oil is like melted
butter) and clothing. I went seal hunting to learn the art, which
requires care and patience. The hunter, whether on an ice floe or in a
canoe, never moves when the seal is aroused. When the animal is asleep,
or has dived, the hunter darts forward. The spear has a barbed,
detachable head, fastened to the shaft by a plaited line made from
sinew. The line has attached to it a marking buoy, which is merely an
inflated seal's bladder. The young seals are the victims of the T'linkit
boys, who kill them with bow and arrow. These seal hunters used a little
moss and seal oil and some driftwood for fuel. * * * After about forty
miles' travel, we came to a small village of Asónques. They received us
with great hospitality, and, as our canoe had been too small to carry
any shelter, the head man gave me a bed in his own cabin. He had a great
many wives, who busied themselves making me comfortable. The buckskin
re-enforcement of my riding trousers excited childish wonder. I drew
pictures of horses and men separate, and then of men mounted on horses.
Their astonishment over the wonderful animal was greater than their
delight at comprehending the utility of the trousers. The Alaskan women
are childish and pleasant, yet quick-witted, and capable of heartless
vindictiveness. Their authority in all matters is unquestioned. No
bargain is made, no expedition set on foot, without first consulting
the women. Their veto is never disregarded. I bought a silver-fox skin
from Tsatate; but his wife made him return the articles of trade and
recover the skin. In the same way I was perpetually being annoyed by
having to undo bargains because his wife said '_clekh_;' that is, 'no.'
I hired a fellow to take me about thirty miles in his canoe, when my own
crew was tired. He agreed. I paid him the tobacco, and we were about to
start, when his wife came to the beach and stopped him. He quietly
unloaded the canoe and handed me back the tobacco. The whole people are
curious in the matter of trade. I was never sure that I had done with a
bargain; for they claimed and exercised the right to undo a contract at
any time, provided they could return the consideration received. This is
their code among themselves. For example: I met, at the mouth of the
Chilkat, a native trader who had been to Fort Simpson, about six hundred
miles away, and, failing to get as much as he gave in the interior of
Alaska for the skins, was now returning to the interior to find the
first vender, and revoke the whole transaction.

"From the Asónque village I went, with a party of mountain goat hunters,
up into the Mount St. Elias Alps back of Mount Fairweather,--that is, to
the northeast of that mountain. For this trip our party made elaborate
preparations. We donned belted shirts made of squirrel skins, fur
head-dresses (generally conical), sealskin bootees, fitting very
closely, and laced half way to the knee. We carried spears for
alpenstocks, bows and arrows, raw-hide ropes, and one or two old Hudson
Bay rifles. Ptarmigan were seen on the lower levels where the ground was
bare. The goats kept well up toward the summit, amid the snow fields,
and fed on the grass which sprouted along the edges of melting drifts.
The animal is like a large, white goat, with long, coarse hair and a
heavy coat of silky underfleece. We found a bear that, so far as I know,
is peculiar to this country. It is of a beautiful bluish under-color,
with the tips of the long hairs silvery white. The traders call it 'St.
Elias silver bear.' The skins are not uncommon." This little mountain
trip of Lieutenant Wood's is especially spread before the attention of
those who find in this form of exercise their best recreation from their
regular duties.

But, however much the tourists may want to dwell amidst the curious and
marvelous scenes of Glacier Bay (and so great has been this demand that
it is contemplated building a summer resort near by, that passengers may
remain over one steamer), yet a time must come when we will have to bid
good-bye to this polar part of our wonderland, and pass on to the next
grand panorama in view. Southeastward out of Glacier Bay into Icy
Straits, and we turn southwestward into Cross Sound, headed for the
Pacific Ocean, and for the first time enter its limitless waters. Cross
Sound was named by Vancouver, in 1778, in honor of the day on which it
was discovered, and is about fifty-five miles long. It corresponds on
the north to the Strait of Juan de Fuca on the south, these two
waterways being the limiting channels north and south of the inland
passage as it connects with the Pacific Ocean. As the Puget Sound
projects much farther to the south from Fuca Strait into the mainland,
hemmed in by snowy peaks, so Lynn Canal, "the Puget Sound of the North,"
continues the Sound of the Holy Cross far to the northward, embayed by
glaciers, icebergs, and fields of snow.

Recently, a trip out of Cross Sound, and northwestward about two hundred
miles along the Pacific coast, has been occasionally added to the scenes
of the inland passage, the new views presented being the Mount St. Elias
Alps, directly facing the Pacific, for the distance noted, and
containing within those limits the greatest number of high and imposing
peaks to be found in any range in the world. The inland passage (by the
use of Peril Straits to Sitka) became so perfect a river-like journey,
absolutely free from sea-sickness, that no one felt like breaking this
delightful trip by a sea journey, in any of its parts, however tempting
the display might be. A trip or two, however, soon convinced the company
that the mildness of the sea during the excursion season would warrant
them in taking it as a part of the journey; and since, as I have said,
it is taken occasionally, I think a short description of it would be
appropriate here. Should the hotel in Glacier Bay, or near vicinity, be
completed soon, it would be a good stopping-point for those who are sure
to feel sea-sick with the least motion of the waves; while, to all
others, the chances for good weather on the Fairweather Grounds, as they
are not inappropriately termed, are very good, and, conjoined with the
grand mountain scenery, should not be missed. Rounding Cape Spencer
(_Punta de Villaluenga_ of old Spanish charts), the northern point of
the Pacific entrance to Cross Sound, the journey out to sea is
commenced; a view about ten to fifteen miles off shore being the best,
or on what is known to the fishermen who here used to pursue the right
whale, "the Fairweather Grounds," being so named, it is said, from
Fairweather peak being in sight of most of it; and this, again, was
named by the indomitable Cook, in 1778, as a monument to the fair
weather he had cruising in sight of the grand old chain, a name which
most tourists may congratulate themselves is well bestowed.

Almost as soon as Cape Spencer is doubled, the southern spurs of the
Mount St. Elias Alps burst into view, Crillon and Fairweather being
prominent, and the latter easily recognized from our acquaintance with
it from the waters of Glacier Bay. A trip of an hour or two takes us
along a comparatively uninteresting coast, as viewed from "square off
our starboard beam;" but all this time the mind is fixed by the grand
Alpine views we have ahead of us that are slowly developing in plainer
outline here and there as we speed toward them. Soon we are abreast of
Icy Point: while, just beyond it, comes down a glacier to the ocean that
gives about three miles of solid sea-wall of ice, while its source is
lost in the heights covering the bases of the snowy peaks just behind.
The high peak to the right, as we steam by the glacier front, is Mount
La Perouse, named for one of the most daring of France's long list of
explorers, and who lost his life in the interest of geographical
science. His eyes rested on this range of Alpine peaks in 1786, just a
century ago. Its highest point reaches well above 10,000 feet, and its
sides are furrowed with glaciers, one of which is the ice-wall before
our eyes, and which is generally known as the La Perouse Glacier. The
highest peak of all, and on the left of this noble range, is Mount
Crillon, named by La Perouse, in 1786, after the French Minister of the
Marine; while between Crillon and La Perouse is Mount D'Agelet, the
astronomer of that celebrated expedition. Crillon cleaves the air for
16,000 feet above the sea on which we rest, and can be seen for over a
hundred miles to sea. It, too, is surrounded with glaciers, in all
directions from its crown. Crillon and La Perouse are about seven miles
apart, nearly north and south of each other. About fifteen miles
northwest from Crillon is Lituya Peak, 10,000 feet high; and the little
bay opening that we pass, between the two, is the entrance to Lituya
Bay, a sheet of water which La Perouse has pronounced as one of the most
extraordinary in the world for grand scenery, with its glaciers and
Alpine shores. Our steamer will not enter, however; for the passage is
dangerous to even small boats,--one island bearing a monument to the
officers and men of La Perouse's expedition, lost in the tidal wave
which sweeps through the contracted passage like a breaker over a
treacherous bar. Some ten or twelve miles northwest from Lituya Peak is
Mount Fairweather, which bears abreast us after a little over an hour's
run from Lituya Bay. It was named by Cook in 1778, and is generally
considered to be a few hundred feet shorter than Mount Crillon. It is in
every way, by its peculiar isolation from near ridges almost as high as
itself, a much grander peak than Crillon, whose surroundings are not so
good for a fine Alpine display. Fairweather, too, has its frozen rivers
flowing down its sides; but none of them reach the sea, for a low,
wooded country, some three or four miles in width, lies like a glacis at
the seaward side of the St. Elias Alps, for a short distance along this
part of the coast. The sombre, deep green forests add an impressive
feature to the scene, however, lying between the dancing waves below and
the white and blue glacier ice above. Rounding Cape Fairweather, the
coast trends northward; and, as our bowsprit is pointed in the same
direction, directly before us are seen immense glaciers reaching to the
sea. From Cape Fairweather (abreast of Mount Fairweather) to Yakutat Bay
(abreast of Mount Vancouver), no conspicuous peak rears its head above
the grand mountain chain which for nearly a hundred miles lies between
these two Alpine bastions; but nevertheless every hour reveals a new
mountain of 5,000 to 8,000 feet in height, which, if placed anywhere
else, would be held up with national or State pride as a grand
acquisition. Here they are only dwarfed by grander peaks. The glacier
which we are approaching from Cape Fairweather was named, by La Perouse,
_La Grande Plateau_. It is a very low lying glacier, its grade as it
fades away inland being very slight, more like a frozen river than the
precipitous masses of ice which we have been used to seeing. Little is
known of it, beyond the seaward aspect; but it is probably the largest
glacier in Alaska, and the largest in the world, south of the polar
regions themselves.

Wherever these glaciers reach the sea, or connect with it by draining
rivers,--and all large glaciers, at least, do this,--there is seen a
milky sediment floating in the water, which these "mills of the gods"
grind from the mountain flanks in their slow but rasping course down
their sides. Wherever they find calcareous strata to abrade, the water
is almost milklike in hue for miles around. The glacier of the Grand
Plateau is the last one facing the Pacific itself, as we move northward;
but, where little bays cut back through the flat lands at the foot of
the range, they may reach the glaciers which exist everywhere on the
mountain sides.

Off the Bay of Yakutat,--a name given it by the resident T'linkit
tribes,--we have our best view of imperial St. Elias, the crowning peak
of this noble range, and the highest mountain in all North
America,--nearly 20,000 feet above the sea-level, and all of this vast
height seemingly springing from the very sea itself. No good picture has
ever been given of it, and no words have ever fully described it. All of
the superlatives of our language have clothed so many lesser peaks that
they fall flat and mentally tasteless in the presence of this Alpine
Titan, rearing his crest among the clouds as if defying description.
This want of words has been felt by so many who have visited the grand
scenery of Alaska, who saw that, in illustrating a fjord here or a
glacier there, they have but duplicated the word-painting of some other
writer describing a puny antagonist, compared with their subject, that I
will give it in the words of one who expresses the idea more closely
than I. It is from the pen of a correspondent in the Kansas City
_Journal_, under date of September 14, 1885.

"The difficult thing for the tourist to do in regard to Alaska is to
describe what is seen for the general reader. Everything is on such an
immense and massive scale that words are diminutives for expression,
rather than--as travelers have been credited with using them--for
exaggerated descriptions. For example, people cross the continent to
sail for an hour or two among the Thousand Islands of the St. Lawrence,
and word-painting has been exhausted in exaltation of their beauties.
But here is a thousand miles of islands, ranging in size from an acre to
the proportions of a State, covered with evergreen forests of tropical
luxuriance, yet so arctic in their character as to be new to the eye,
and in regard to which botanical nomenclature but confuses and
dissatisfies. And in all this vast extent of mountain scenery, with
summits ranging from one thousand to fifteen thousand feet in height,
there is not enough level land visible to aggregate one prairie county
in Western Missouri or Kansas. Day after day there is a continuous and
unbroken chain of mountain scenery. I can not better impress the
character of the landscape, as seen from a vessel's deck, than to ask
the reader to imagine the parks, valleys, cañons, gorges and depressions
of the Rocky Mountains to be filled with water to the base of the snowy
range, and then take a sail through them from Santa Fé to the northern
line of Montana. Just about what could be seen on such an imaginary
voyage is actually passed through in the sail now completed by our party
of enthusiastic tourists for the past ten days. You may divide the
scenery into parts by the days, and just as it was successively passed
through, and any one of the subdivisions will furnish more grand
combination of mountain and sea than can be seen anywhere on the globe.
It is this vast profusion of scenery, this daily and hourly unrolling of
the panorama, that overwhelms and confuses the observer. It is too great
to be separated into details, and everything is platted on such a
gigantic scale that all former experiences are dwarfed, and the
imagination rejects the adjectives that have heretofore served for other
scenes: to employ them here is only to mislead."

"As one gentleman, a veteran traveler, remarked to me, as we stood
looking north at the entrance to Glacier Bay, with the St. Elias Alps in
full view, and Mounts Crillon and Fairweather overtopping the
snow-covered peaks of that remarkable range:

"'You can take just what we see here, and put it down on Switzerland,
and it will hide all there is of mountain scenery in Europe.' And then
he added: 'I have been all over the world; but you are now looking at a
scene that has not its parallel elsewhere on the globe.'

"I cite this incident, as it is more descriptive, and gives a better
idea of contrast than anything of my own could do, giving, as it does,
to the reader, a conception of the vastness and immensity of the
topographical aspect of the shores of the inland seas through whose
labyrinthine passages we have for ten days past, and for ten days more
to come will be lost to the outside world, where nature reigns
undisturbed and unfretted by the hand of civilization."

Here, under the solemn influence of Mount St. Elias, and in the
northernmost waters of the greatest ocean of our planet, we turn
southward to repeat in inverse order the things we have seen; or
perchance, as often happens, down a number of new channels, with their
varied scenery, before home is reached again.

I have given a certain order in which the few ports of Alaska are
visited; but the reader must not for a moment think that this is always
rigidly followed. Sometimes some of them are left for the return
journey, and much depends on the amount of freight, and the number and
character of passengers. In the winter the trips are made wholly with
reference to mails, freight, and the few passengers; but in the spring,
summer, and fall these are wholly subordinate, and the trips are
converted into excursions in the broadest sense of the word. While
thousands of little channels remain almost wholly unexplored, which
probably would make the fortune of excursion companies if transported
elsewhere, yet it is evident that the greater attractions of the great
inland passage have been discovered, and are now shown to the tourists
to the Wonderland of the World.

                                                        FRED'K SCHWATKA.

                     *       *       *       *       *

The table below lists all corrections applied to the original text.

  p 5: Glaciers of Alaska -> shift after Glacier Bay
  p 9: rock bass, mascalonge -> maskalonge
  p 34: Bull river -> Bull River
  p 39: it below, or vice versâ -> versa
  P 46: and the great light-house -> lighthouse
  p 72: SITKA, ALASKA. -> period added
  p 85: running for a life-time -> lifetime
  p 87: with a pleasant mid-winter -> midwinter

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