Abbildungen der Seite


The Farralones consist of two clusters, comprising seven islands, the nearest of which is about twenty miles from the Golden Gate. They are all destitute of soil and vegetation, consisting of bare, rugged rocks, which are the resort of immense numbers of sea lions and myriads of birds, the eggs of which were a source of great profit to those who collected them.

The southernmost of the group is the largest, containing about two acres, and is also nearest to the the coast. On this there is a first-class lighthouse to warn the mariner of the dangers of the locality.

No water fit for drinking, except such as was collected from rains and fogs, was obtainable on any of of these islands until 1867, when some of the egg gatherers discovered a spring on the main island, near the lighthouse.

There are no other islands on the coast of California north of Point Concepcion. South of that headland there are two groups, the most northerly consisting of the islands of San Miguel on the west, Santa Rosa in the center, and Santa Cruz on the east.

Santa Cruz, the largest of this group, is twentyone miles in length and four miles wide, and has a rugged surface.

Santa Rosa is fifteen miles in length and nearly ten miles wide. Its surface is tolerably level, and produces a thick crop of coarse grass and low bushes, but its steep, rugged sides, which rise nearly two hundred feet, almost perpendicularly, afford no good landing place.

San Miguel is nearly eight miles long and from two to three miles wide. It is almost a barren rock, but several thousand sheep manage to subsist upon the limited pasturage growing on the island. About forty miles southeast from the above cluster, and off the coast opposite Los Angeles County, are the islands of San Nicolas and Santa Barbara, and still farther in the same direction are Santa Catalina and San Clemente.

San Nicolas, the most western, is nearly sixty miles from the main land. It is eight miles in length by about four wide. Its surface is a flat ridge, nearly 600 feet high, tapering down in rocky ledges to the sea.

Santa Barbara Island is nearly circular in outline, and about two miles in diameter at the base, its surface on the top containing about thirty acres.

Santa Catalina, the largest island of this group, is about 400 miles south from San Francisco and twentyfive miles from San Pedro, its nearest point to the main land. It is nearly twenty-eight miles in length, about seven miles wide on its southern and two miles on its northern end. Its surface is rough and uneven, some points being 3,000 feet above the sea level; but it contains several small valleys which are under cultivation. * * There is a small stream of water running through its entire length; it also has a number of springs of fresh water. • •

San Clemente, the most southern, lies about fifty miles from .the main land of San Diego county. It is twenty-two miles in length by about two miles wide. * * It contains neither soil, vegetation or water. * *

(Cronise, Natural Wealth of California.)


Of the islands off the coast of Lower California, and in the Gulf of California, belonging to Mexico, there is little to be said.

In the Gulf, Carmen and Tiburon are the largest and most important. The former has long been celebrated for the immese quantities of salt exported, while of the latter but little is known, a hostile tribe of Indians being in possession.

On Carmen, several hundred yards back from the seashore, nature has placed a salt lake, probably onehalf a mile in diameter, a great natural evaporating pan, which furnishes a continuous supply of salt, that covers its surface like a crust of glistening snow. This is raked together in snowy heaps and taken away on hand-cars, running on several tramways built out into the lake. So rapid is the evaporation and accumulation of the salt that hardly the length of a day transpires before another supply is ready for removal. This salt marsh has been in operation for over twenty years, and the supply is undiminished.

Off the coast of Lower California the islands of Guadalupe, Cerros, San Benito, Lobos and Santa Margarita are of some size and importance. Now but the homes of innumerable wild goats, the day may come when the finer breeds of the Angora will be introduced, and make these barren spots the source of valuable industries.

Further south, the island groups of Tres Marias, Revilliagigedo, etc., are to be met with, and although not of great extent, are of considerable value from the pearl and other fishing grounds found there. The fine timber of the tomano and prima vera, much used in the manufacture of furniture and cabinet ware on the Pacific coast, is exported in large quantities.

The pearl fisheries of the Gulf of California and the Bay of Panama form quite an industry, the pearls and shell found often being of the best quality. Pearl, the shell, and fisheries, have been noticed at some length in another portion of this work, although some of the suggestions made in the chapters on that subject might be applied in these localities with great profit.


A wilderness of sweets.

M1lton {Paradise Lost).


THE Hawaiian group, 1oin number, although some writers say there are thirteen, is between latitude 18 deg. 54 min. and 23 deg. 34 min. north, and 154 deg. 50 min. and 164 deg. 32 min. west longitudes. The total area is near 6,000 square miles and the population some 65,000.

The rapid growth of this little island kingdom, and that within a very few years, into commercial importance, is but a sample of what will be done in the island world in the near future. The topographical features of the group, the few and small streams, with valleys of no very great extent, with a wasteful destruction of nearly all the valuable indigenous products in the past, with the low order of inhabitants, has barred their progress, yet the magic wand of American enterprise has but touched them, and the islands are now in practical, successful commercial existence.

The principal export is sugar. Of this valuable

« ZurückWeiter »