THE EVENING NEWS
ALF. DOTEN, : : Editor and Proprietor.
GOLD HILL. : SATURDAY, AUG. 15, 1874
ABOUT LAKE TAHOE.
GETTING THERE--UP AND DOWN THE FLUME--GLENBROOK--LAKE NAVIGATION, AND THE CENTER OF IT--SUGAR PINE POINT AND GOLD HILL--McKINNEYSVILLE--FISH AND FISHERS--GRUBBING FOR GRUB--SHREWD TROUT---GOOD PLACE FOR BABIES--DINNER BELL, COLLUSIONS AND DELUSIONS--IT WAS HE--TAHOE WEATHER--TRUCKEE--HOME.
Having returned from a trip to the beautiful lake, upon whose romantic borders so many of our fellow-citizens, or their wives and little ones, have been making themselves happier and healthier for some weeks past, we will print a few notes relative thereto for those who may feel interested.
Leaving Gold Hill on the 8 o'clock A.M. passenger train, one of Doc. Benton's carriages, driven by the famous Hank Monk, awaited us at the depot in Carson, and took us by the Clear Creek route over the first range of the Sierra Nevada to Glenbrook. The principal object of interest observable in passing was the long flume of Bliss & Yerington, through which such a vast amount of wood and timber is daily floated from the summit of the mountains to the southern suburbs of Carson, whence it is transported by the Virginia and Truckee Railroad to Gold Hill, Virginia and other points where it is required for mines, mills and domestic purposes. At one point near the summit the flume passes directly down the side of a very steep declivity for half a mile or more, at an angle of forty-five degrees, and down this the timbers go with great velocity, enveloped in a frothy white foam of madly leaping water, which flies in sparkling jets high in the air as the racing timbers run and wrestle with each other for precedence. Tourists always stop and take a good look at this interesting sight. The broad, blue lake soon presented itself to our eager view, and shortly we were at
Mine host, Uncle Horace Vesey, and his estimable lady gave us a hearty welcome, and we met Sheriff Atkinson and wife of Virginia City, together with other acquaintances stopping there. They all appeared to be contented, happy, and having a good time. But then Vesey always did know how to run a hotel right. Being situated only half a mile from the lake, amid tall trees, shrubbery, green fields and other romantic surroundings, and on the line of public travel between Carson City and Truckee, on the Central Pacific Railroad, Glenbrook could not well fail to be the very desirable place of public resort that it is. There are beautiful drives in all directions around the lake, and plenty of boats in the cove near by for those who wish to enjoy the pleasures of sailing or fishing. Then there is the Billiard salon, the ten-pin alley, the croquet ground, the ball room, and plenty of other chances of amusement, all belonging to the hotel, and if his guests don't eat, drink and be merry to their hearts' content it isn't Vesey's fault. After a sumptuous lunch at the hotel, a light passenger wagon transported us down to the wharf, and directly we started
Across the Lake
On the little steamer Emerald, together with several other passengers who were bound for California. A fresh breeze from the west created quite a heavy sea, and white capped waves threw their spray over us as we interestedly gazed out toward the "middle of the lake," where we had the pleasure of being present at a wedding a little over a year ago. There are few faster boats than the Emerald, and she took us through to Tahoe City flying, where she landed her California passengers, and then took us to our destination, which was at
Sugar Pine Point, on the western or California shore of the lake, where we landed at 4½ o'clock P. M.--just 8½ hours from Gold Hill. Aside from the very different surroundings, however, it seemed more like arriving at Gold Hill than leaving it, there were so many old familiar faces and ready hands greeting us as we stepped upon the wharf. Gold Hillers seemed to have almost exclusive possession of the place, there being not much over a dozen other people present, and those were from Virginia City, Dayton and Silver City. There were about one hundred in all, including the women and children. They live in small cottages with steep roofs, ranged in rows, on a gentle slope facing the lake, and near the wharf or landing. It is in fact quite a town, and a very peculiar one in many respects. There are two streets, respectively named Front street and Fifth avenue, yet the houses are all on one side of each, and neither street has any particular boundaries in width or length. A sort of plaza divides the town on one side, and a big potato patch crowds through it on the other. One end of the town is a board fence, and the other is a whisky saloon, which being the only one in town, is kept in a cellar--the only cellar on that side of the lake. They call it the "Crow bar" for some particular reason that nobody understands. A fine creek of clear, pure cold water supplies the town and the potato patch with that desirable fluid, and numerous trout are sometimes speared or otherwise captured as they pass up that stream. The inhabitants are all near neighbors, yet they never quarrel. They sleep splendidly, eat voraciously, exercise plentifully, and are happy. We have seen towns where people went more on styles, yet they were no happier. The only desire of their heart, which is not fully satiated at the present time, is
The children cry for them, the women pray for them and the men go for them, but they won't bite. They were biting splendidly a few weeks ago, and will bit again in a few weeks more, but they don't bite now. They are taking a rest. Patient and persistent fishermen all day long hang fresh live minnows and other choice bait down into the clear waters among the great schools of trout they see lazily sculling around, but the speckled reprobates merely smell of it and disdainfully turn away, or genteelly pick off the bait and leave the hook bare, without even jerking the line. Two ambitious Gold Hillers go fishing with a revolver and bowie-knife strapped to their waist, desperately bent on slaughtering the trout by fair means or foul, yet the fish are too smart for them. The other day they worked seven mortal hours, beating the bark of old dead logs, out in the woods, and collected a pint of atrocious looking grub worms. Next morning they went fishing, and inside of 20 minutes the trout picked every grub off the hooks without returning even a respectable nibble by way of "thank you." Our Gold Hillers could catch grubs for trout, but not trout for grub. Boating is a favorite amusement. There are plenty of boats, and that being the smoothest side of the lake a fine opportunity is offered for both boating and fishing. A good deal of sparking is also done in boats.
McKinney's is the greatest place for babies and young children anybody ever saw. There are whole families of them, and the women average about two apiece--at least one The blessed little babies are lying around in all corners, or perambulating enjoyingly about in the arms of their mother or nurse. Every other thing it is "won't you take care of my baby while I go out and take a sail?" or "I'll leave baby with you a few minutes while I go to dinner." When there happens to be a dance given, which is occasionally, the friendly bachelor spectator is worried every once in a while by a baby being dumped into his arms with the hurried remark of "here Mr. Junkins, do please hold my baby while I dance this Horse Guard Quadrille with Sam Brown." They all look healthy and are liable to do well.
The Dinner Bell.
Everybody lives in good, clean, healthy, well ventilated rooms and houses, and when meal time is announced, everybody gathers in toward the common center--the big eating room at the rear of the original McKinney log house. There they get their regular beef, venison, grizzly bear and other seasonable fruits (trout coming in only when caught), meat=pie, cucumbers and onions, cheese, watermelons, plenty of fresh milk, pudding a la mode de Windsor sauce, fricasseed grouse, Irish pomme de terre, French stew, and the luscious German flapjack; all, and plenty more good, wholesome grub, goes to satiate the great American appetite with which everybody there is afflicted. According to our observation and assistance about meal time, John McKinney will come out bankrupt. But as we started in to remark, that dinner bell. It is an ancient crow bar strung up to the fence in the back yard, and it is performed upon by the boss waiter with a hammer, cleaver, or whatever weapon he happens to have handy. Then as we said before, everybody gathers in toward the common center, standing not on the order of their gathering, but trying not to be left behind.
A Cruel Swindle.
There is a lady from Virginia City who keeps one of the McKinney cows rented, to provide "one cow's milk" for her baby. She found it necessary to provide this cow with a bell, and therefore sent to her husband, who is in the grocery and hardware business, for a bell. Thinking one bell was just as good as another, he sent out a common hand bell, such as is used in regular hash houses. It was strapped to the cow's neck and does first-rate except when the cow happens to cruise near town which she is sure to do about meal time, see-sawing her old neck scratching against a tree. The effect is to create a rush of hungry folks from all quarters half a dozen times before the regular honest old crow-bar bell gives the right signal. Another bell for that cow has been sent for and will be forwarded this evening. Talking about bells, old Harris, who is also out at McKinney's, says that the only intelligible note sounded by the Gold Hill public school bell is "Tom-Gallagher; Tom-Gallagher; Tom-Gallagher."
While at the lake, we heard a good story about a lady who had been on a visit to San Francisco for several weeks and was to meet her husband at Truckee on her return, and go with him over to the lake. He rigged himself up in a colored shirt, straw hat and other arrangements for "roughing it," and was on hand to meet his devoted. When the train arrived she looked out of the window at the crowd of people and remarked to herself, "What a long sparred, ungainly, slouchy hang-dog looking fellow that is, coming this way; thank the Lord it isn't my husband!" But it was.
At the lake has been blustery and a little too cool during the last two or three weeks for thorough enjoyment. On two other occasions the lake has been too rough for any of the steamers to cross. This has moderated the ardor of many who would otherwise have gone to the lake, and caused many to return home from there. Thus it is that the number of visitors at the lake is considerably less than it was last year.
We came home by way of Tahoe City and Truckee, starting at 2 o'clock P.M. and taking the steamer Governor Stanford across the lake. This steamer runs around the lake, carrying people wherever they want to go; and the steamer Truckee, another fast boat like the Emerald, works exclusively at towing logs and rafts across the lake to the saw mills. At Tahoe City we found our old friends Forbes and Campbell, who are running the Post-office, Custom-house and chief liquor dealing establishment. Taking the stage, myself, Tom Collins and three other Gold Hillers were whirled along at a very lively rate. We stopped a short time to look at the famous Comer fishery, where they raise trout from the spawn, and were told that the concern was not so successful this season, for some reason or other, as it was last year. At 5 o'clock P. M. we arrived at
As the eastward bound passenger train from San Francisco would not arrive till 11½ o'clock, we took a look about town, aided and abetted by Mr. Frink of the Truckee Republican, whom we happened to come across, and who showed us through his printing establishment in good style. Truckee has been and still is a great lumber depot. The timber is pretty well thinned out around there, and most of it for the saw-mills at that point is floated down in the river or in flumes. It is a lively place and deserves to do well. The famous old locomotive, Samson, still gravely backs and fills up and down the track in front of the principal hotel, being used exclusively as a switch engine. She is also arranged as a fire engine, and if the town was to take fire the Samson is ready to put it out. The big rocks have also been blasted and removed from the plaza in the centre of the town, at a cost of $1,600.
We reached home early next morning, sleepy and tired, but well pleased with our trip to Tahoe, and found Gold Hill just as we left it--small end of the gulch up hill.
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