A Backward Glance at Eighty eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 234 pages of information about A Backward Glance at Eighty.

Its unique glory is the world-famous redwood belt.  For its entire length, one hundred and six miles of coast line, and of an average depth of eight miles, extends the marvelous grove.  Originally it comprised 540,000 acres.  For more than sixty years it has been mercilessly depleted, yet it is claimed that the supply will not be exhausted for two hundred years.  There is nothing on the face of the earth to compare with this stand of superb timber.  Trees reach two hundred and fifty feet in height, thirty feet in diameter, and a weight of 1,250,000 pounds.  Through countless centuries these noble specimens have stood, majestic, serene, reserved for man’s use and delight.  In these later years fate has numbered their days, but let us firmly withstand their utter demolition.  It is beyond conception that all these monuments to nature’s power and beauty should be sacrificed.  We must preserve accessible groves for the inspiration and joy of those who will take our places.

The coast highway following down one of the forks of the Eel River passes through the magnificent redwood belt and affords a wonderful view of these superb trees.  Efforts are now being made to preserve the trees bordering the highway, that one of the most attractive features of California’s scenic beauty may be preserved for all time.  California has nothing more impressive to offer than these majestic trees, and they are an asset she cannot afford to lose.



Uniontown (now Arcata) had enjoyed the early lead among the Humboldt Bay towns.  The first consideration had been the facility in supplying the mines on the Trinity and the Klamath.  All goods were transported by pack-trains, and the trails over the mountains were nearer the head of the bay.  But soon lumber became the leading industry, and the mills were at Eureka on deep water at the center of the bay, making that the natural shipping point.  It grew rapidly, outstripping its rival, and also capturing the county-seat.

Arcata struggled valiantly, but it was useless.  Her geographical position was against her.  In an election she shamelessly stuffed the ballot box, but Eureka went to the legislature and won her point.

Arcata had the most beautiful location and its people were very ambitious.  In fruitless effort to sustain its lead, the town had built a pier almost two miles in length to a slough navigable to ocean steamers.  A single horse drew a flat car carrying passengers and freight.  It was the nearest approach to a railroad in the state of California at the time of our arrival on that lovely morning in 1855.

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A Backward Glance at Eighty from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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