Page images

del, a man who was evidently many years ahead of his time, and who has achieved great results as long as fifty years ago.

The Mendelian Law, it has come to be known, and it is the theory of evolution. by mutation; as against the view that organic changes in plant and animal forms require great periods of time through the slow process of natural selection. Mendel holds that in plant and animal life any desired characteristic may be transferred to the offspring by the parent, and such characteristics fixed definitely through definitely through the working out of the Mendelian principle of the scientific crossing of plant or animal. The United States Department of Agriculture has made a big success of the adaptation of the Mendelian law in many of their experiments. The book is an interesting one for the student. The author of the compilation and translation is Professor Punnett of Cambridge University, England. The publisher is the Wilshire Book Company, New York.

[blocks in formation]

It is seldom in these modern times that the author of a book does not pipe up as importantly as the book itself, and when a translator does an especially good piece of work, it is rare, indeed, that he or she does not stand on the house-tops and proclaim the product of his or her genius.

The house of Crowell & Co. has just published a volume called "The Journal of a Recluse." It is anonymous as to the original author and as to the translator. The book is supposed to have been found out on this coast. The "recluse," as he calls himself, is a man who is singularly in touch with everything that is going on around him, and his style is charming to a degree. The book is in the nature of an autobiography, and I have my doubts of its being translated from anything but. the author's mind in good old English. There is no very tangible clue as to who the author may be, and there is no good reason for believing that the book is translation. As it is, it is a philosophical epic well worth reading. Read it.

[blocks in formation]


One of the most intensely interesting books published is that from the presses of

Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, entitled "The Grizzly Bear." This book should be held dear by every Californian, for it shows up our particular bruin as harmless, curious and not at all uninteresting animal. The author is a man of infinite patience and resource, and withal a man who knows how to handle the King's English.

Mr. William H. Wright has endeared himself to all readers, be they sportsmen, writers, naturalists, or any who love adventure and true stories of wild animals. Here is no faking, but the camera tells the story of the exploits of the hunter, and the text is quite up to the pictures, a splendid account of glorious outdoor life, full risk, adventure and triumph, and all without pain to the hunted. The book is a splendid one to give almost any one at Christmas time, for any one with an ounce of virility will enjoy it.

[blocks in formation]

"In Nature's School" is an attractive juvenile book which illustrates the most successful way of teaching natural history is a new book. Το the imaginative child it should prove a source of delight, as it tells of the very things he is most keenly curious about. It is the story of a boy named Phil, who ran away from an orphan's home and lived for a whole. year in the woods. Mother Nature was very kind to the little truant, and taught him the language of all the birds and beasts, at the same time enjoining them to treat him courteously.

The author is Lilian Gask and it is illustrated by Dorothy Hardy. The publishing house is Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., New York.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]


Napa County, California


Come to me Mellow; I'm lonely without thee

Day-time and night-time I'm thinking about thee!

Night-time and day-time in dreams I behold thee;

Unwelcome the waking that ceases to fold thee.

Come to me sparkling, my sorrows to lighten,

Come with thy bouquet to bless and to brighten;

Wine of the beautiful, come with thy glow upon

Radiant in purity; the vin of fair ToKalon.


-The Wine of Tokalon

LAND OF MILK and honey" is the term-symbol used by writers to embody in succinct, short words a telling sentence. It means prosperity. It means the largest possible returns in tillage of the soil with. the least effort. Above the things industrial, it means a pleasant vista and a full stomach. Milk and honey, the ambrosia of the Bible, the ancient tale by which the earliest recorded migrations were caused.

Humanity has advanced overmuch since the ancient days, but it is the same old lure still, and the bags of gold hang at the foot of the arc of the rainbow. What would you say did you find the bags, and you did find the fabled honey of Hymetus and the glorious clusters of Tokay within the reach of your grasp? It would not be a stretch of the imagination doing wrong to truth to say that the ultimate perfection in climate and condition found in Napa County, California. would not be a stretch of the imagination to say that the health conditions are the best in California. Those who know Napa County may truthfully say that in a State.



so bountifully endowed as is California, there is no other part of it that is so munificently blessed as to conditions for the tiller of the soil. There is no irrigation necessary. The soil of the ages lies there for the husbandman's plow ready and willing to return an hundred-fold every effort of his brawny arms.

Really, the title to this article should be Napa County revisited, for it was many years ago that I viewed this county, and it was in the nature of the development work, a part of the policy of this magazine laid out by the one-time editor, Mr. Rounsevelle Wildman, that I visited Napa County. It is a pleasant memory. In going through the archives of the old magazine I come across the writings of that very able man and his "Well-Worn Trails" tells of our sojourn in this favored land.

It speaks of Napa County rather as a land of possibilities than as a place of achievement; it lauds it a haven of rest for the wearied in mind and a recuperating spot for the ones who are tired in body or ill-health, this account of the years of long ago. Napa County of today is such, but is more, much more, too.

Wildman wrote: "There is something Arcadian about the Napa Valley that is restful. It is restful for reasons that are not apparent at first, but that grow gradually upon one. There may be such a thing. as a mortgage among these tawny fields of autumn grain and checker-like squares of olive, fig and peach, but it does not cover the entire landscape. Every one looks happy and independent, and the warm, yellow earth seems to court the plow and the reaper. The gentle, rolling hills that encompass the valley in a frame of varying green are not obtrusive, and their chapparal-matted slopes do not reach above the warm semi-tropical air of the lowlands. Even from Castle Peak, which

rises probably a thousand feet above the hillside resort of Napa Soda Springs, the valley scenery predominates. No thought of the bold, awful glories of the Yosemite, of the fierce mountain crags about Shasta, calls forth comparisons. The many-toned tinkle of cowbells comes from below, mingled with children's voices and the pistollike crack of a whip. The air is so pure and clear that you feel in touch with the busy life beneath your eye."

***Napa Valley exposes its smiling acres languidly, indolently, without affectation, and the summer seeker after rest feels under no obligation to exert himself to see more than the landscapes that stretch away before him. ***"


Many things have happened in the world since 1896, and the man who penned the quoted lines is honored as one gathered to his fathers. Napa County changed in the degree of its development, and in the degree of its prosperity only. If Wildman could look upon it now he would find it the same prospect that pleases but in an agricultural sense he will find a vast increase in income and a much larger population to derive benefit from the largesse of the soil.

Napa Valley, California, is the epitome of agricultural possibility. If every acre except the tip of its mountains were cultivated, it would be the richest in production of any like area in the whole world. From Vallejo to Mount St. Helena, from Benicia to Knoxville at the Northernmost limit, is land that is wonderful in its every possibility. The Napa County of to-day is a very different county than it was in 1896, but if one were to revisit in ten years hence there would still be a vaster difference when compared, for to-day Napa County has just entered into its own. Up to to-day, Napa County has scarcely been scratched with the husbandman's hoe, and the Napa County of to-morrow will be a glorions revelation.

I have always contended that in an article that tells of the development of a county, one of the first requisites is to tell the reader how to get there. He may want to verify your sayings, he may be a doubting Thomas, who wishes to see with his own eyes, verify with his own ears and jot down his corroboration with his own hand. I am not afraid of the man from Missouri,

and I am not overstating things when I am writing of Napa County.

The largest city of California, Sin Francisco, is within a few hours' reach of all points in Napa County. You may reach all points in Napa County by the cars of the Southern Pacific Company from San Francisco, twice daily, and Napa City may be reached by the California Northwestern Railway, via Sausalito, and besides this rail connection, the steamers of the Monticello Steamship Company make six trips daily to Vallejo, from which connections are made by electric cars from all points in the interior of the county. Thus, it is seen that Napa County has two lines of railroads; that is, steam lines, and a net-work of electric lines connecting with the steamer service from San Francisco bay. This disposes of the question of accessibility.

The County of Napa covers an area of about eight hundred square miles, and is cut up into several wonderfully productive valleys. It is for the most part yet waiting the advent of man. It could easily support a population of several hundred thousand people. Napa County is one of the big feeders to San Francisco. Napa County is a big shipper to the world at large also.

In Napa Valley cereals and all the deciduous fruits are grown successfully. Citrus fruits are raised in all parts of the valley, hundreds of dooryards producing the finest oranges and lemons for domestic use, but no attempt is made to raise these fruits commercially. Wine and table grapes. prunes, plums, cherries, pears, peaches, apricots, nectarines, apples, figs, almonds and walnuts form the principal fruit crops.

The French prune attains a size, flavor and quality in this valley that are not equaled in any other part of the State. Napa Valley prunes always find a ready market at the very highest prices, even in the years of greatest production. They are in demand not in this country alone, but in England, Holland, Germany and other European countries-in fact, wherever they have been introduced.

One of the most important industries is viticulture. The climatic conditions of this valley, being similar to those of the south of France, grape growing and wine making have attained their greatest pecfection here. Here is situated the great

Tokalon vineyard. The wines of this vinevard are known the whole world over. The raising of olives and the manufacture of the crop into oil and pickles is a successful industry. Olive trees will thrive upon land that would not successfully produce any other fruit. The oil produced here is the equal of the best to be obtained.

When the writer was in Napa County some years ago, the prediction was made by Colonel Jackson that the county would one day be the greatest producer from a like area of vineyard products. There are several places in California where the grape is king, but in Napa County it is Czar, and ye of Michigan and of the East generally who boast of the apple, the apple of your eye, the apple of your youth, the apple that has the flavor of flavors, why, you know nothing at all about apples, and you'll confess it, after you will have caten an apple from the higher altitudes of Napa County. It is the apple that contains all the delights of taste and smell you have conjured reminiscently, and that you have exaggerated, but which in reality have not existed at all. The Napa County apple would make the best Michigangrown article shrivel in its skin and die of despair. A Michigan apple compared to the ones I speak of, the kind that find a market in London and that are not sold elsewhere, is the most insipid and tasteless article that ever found its way to your lips. I know that this is the superlative of praise, but I also know that Napa County has orchards whose products are grown only for those who would pay and pay big for the very best, and for that only. I know, for I have tasted of these delights to the palate.

The mineral resources of Napa County are one of its great sources of wealth. Some of the largest deposits of cinnibar in the world are found in this and the adjoining County of Lake. Some of the mines have been worked for over forty years and have produced fortunes in dividends. Silver has also been mined to some extent near Calistoga. Magnesite is found in paying quantities, and in Pope Valley are found deposits of almost chemically pure magnesia. Numerous prospects of petroleum are found in the eastern part of the county. Near Napa Junction is a deposit of limestone and clay, from which is manufac

tured Portland cement of the highest quality. The Standard Portland Cement Company has expended several hundred thousand dollars in equipping a mill at this point, and is now turning out an average of 2,200 barrels of cement a day. Two hundred and fifty men are employed at this mill. There are other deposits of limestone in the county, and quarries of

excellent sandstone and volcanic stone for

architectural use. Many of the the most handsome and substantial buildings in the county have been constructed of native stone, and much material has been sold for export. There are large deposits of clay suitable for the manufacture of brick and vitrified pipe, and an excellent opening for the establishment of these these industries. Napa County is famed for the number and variety of its mineral springs. No less than half a dozen of these waters are bottled for export on a large scale. Basalt and other fine road-building stone of vari ous kinds abound in all localities.

The total assessed value of all property in the county, as shown by the assessment role for 1908 (including the railroads) is $15,720,270. The tax rate in 1908 was $1.62 on the $100.

The population of Napa County according to close estimate in 1908 is 20,000. It is nearer thirty thousand at this time.

It is very difficult to give accurate figures as to the market value of Napa lands. Everything depends upon location and quality. The following figures, however, will serve to give the reader some idea how the lands are held. Hill land, unimproved, can be had for from $7 to $30 an acre, while improved hill land brings all the way from $25 to $100 an acre. Valley land is held at from $50 to $100 an acre. Land planted to vines or orchard is held at from $200 to $300 an acre.

When Bret Harte enunciated the policy of the Overland Monthly, "Devoted to the Development of the Country," so many years ago, and when this motto was adopted as slogan, on which has been continuously conducted the affairs of the magazine, the author of the "Heathen Chinee" dedicated to each succeeding editor a work of which any man might be proud. It is with pleasure that I turn to the pages of the magazine and read over the development articles that I have written in the

years that are past, and surely, in the midst of a strenuous life, no task is pleasanter than this-to be able to do for your fellow man, to stretch out to the frozen fields of the Dakotas and bid welcome to the tired men and women and to tell them that here is a haven where labor will bring a true reward. To turn to Iowa and its partly barren and over-worked acres, and tell to its people that here one may not labor in vain, to say to all of the East, from rugged Maine to joyless Michigan, that here is land of plenty, is a delightful and joyful task indeed, and it is with pleasure that I follow in the footsteps of others and devote this article to the development of the country and the betterment of my fellowman.

The city of Napa is perhaps the prettiest and most prosperous of all county-seat towns in the State of California. Very few cities are so well situated as to climate and the drainage is perfect. It is a town of flowers and foliage and beautiful homes, and its people are noted for their civic pride. All the year around, roses bloom, and flowers of every hue and variety, even to tropical plants, are to be seen everywhere. A park of twelve acres in the residential section, recently set aside for the purpose, lends an added charm to this delightful country town. This is a people's playground, a veritable botanical garden in which will be found all kinds of plants and shrubs. In the vicinity of the town are many beautiful and picturesque drives and walks, that properly lead to the center of civic activities. About mile south of the city of Napa is the Napa State Hospital, which is one of the finest sanitariums in the world. This building accommodates 1400 patients, and it has on its payroll some 200 employees, physicians, attendants and laborers.


[blocks in formation]

sion, the wisdom of the selection, has been approved by actual experience. Time has put the seal of approbation on this selection. Such a salubrious and equable climate is not to be found elsewhere in the State.

From northeast of Napa, a wide expanse of territory may be viewed, unhampered by intervening hills or mountains. One can obtain a vantage point here at an elevation of one thousand feet above the valley, and the vista is a most magnificent one. On the north is Mt. St. Helena, while to the west is old Mt. Tamalpais, and far away, on clear days, may be seen looming up the dark purple form of Mt. Diablo.

Returning to the city proper, it may be said that it possesses every advantage in the way of schools that any one, even the most fastidious in the matter of education, may desire. It has a splendid library, and its fire department is efficient and very well equipped. Mr. George E. Goodman is the patriotic citizen who donated the free library building to the city, and it may be said, en passant, that Napa is indebted to Mr. Goodman for many other things, not mentioned here, but among which is the infusion among all classes of the "get together" spirit.

Napa is well supplied with churches, and its social life is of the very highest. The ladies of the town have a club of their own, the New Century, and this institution is very active in every endeavor for civic betterment. While Napa is not, strictly speaking, a factory town, yet it boasts a rapidly growing factory district. Its leather is known the world over as among the best, and in other directions, its manufacturing interests are constantly growing.

Among the best newspapers in California, outside of the larger cities, may be classified the two journals that purvey daily the news to its citizens. The Napa Journal is the morning and the Napa Register the evening paper. The deposits of the three banks in Napa aggregate nearly a million dollars, and the assets $1,900,000.

Napa County has a splendid school system. There are grammar and primary schools in fifty-five districts. Napa and the beautiful town of St. Helena have dis

« PreviousContinue »