| John Rose's Letter Home
The following is a transcription of a page 5 article in the 24 Sep 1914 Simcoe Reformer
Mr. and Mrs. John Rose, who left Simcoe last spring for a six months trip through the West, returned recently and Mr. Rose has written for The Reformer a brief account of their trip, giving a list of the former Norfolk County people visited and a description of some of the places en route. Mr. Rose says:
"Leaving Toronto we went direct to Winnipeg, where we visited Jim Ross and family. Mr. Ross was formerly a veterinary surgeon at Port Dover. We had a pleasant visit at Winnipeg and had no idea that any other city in Canada could so near equal Toronto.
Our next stop was at Calgary, where we visited with Gilbert Lynch and family who were also former Port Doverites. From there we went to Vancouver and after a few hours' stop proceeded to New Westminster, where we visited our daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. James Price. Our other daughter, Mrs. Chas. Black of Reno, Nevada, joined us at New Westminster, where we remained for a couple of months, and had ample opportunity to become acquainted with the country. The city is a very prosperous one, built on the banks of the Frazer River and has an ideal climate. The great Frazer lumber mills were intensely interesting. In one great mill, the largest of its kind in the world, they employ 1400 men and have a capacity of a million feet of lumber a day.
We had the pleasure of visiting Mr. Robert Brooks and family, old friends from Simcoe who now live in Vancouver. Mr. Brooks at one time ran the mill at Lynn Valley. We also spent a day with Mr. and Mrs. Robert Shedding, Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild and family, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Frazer (nephew of Duke Rapelje) who all formerly lived at Simcoe. It does one good to see how their old friends have prospered in the West.
On June 1st we started home with Mrs. Black, leaving Vancouver by boat for Victoria and Seattle. It was a perfect day and a delightful trip on the water, which lasted about ten hours. We were met at Seattle by Mr. and Mrs. Kinery, old Toronto friends, and while there visited Mrs. Rebecca Jones (Boyd), an old Port Dover friend. Seattle reminded us somewhat of Chicago, with its mad rush and bright lights.
June 4th we left for San Francisco and had several hours' stop-over at Portland. It was raining so hard that we could see very little of that city. We spent two days seeing San Francisco. People there are busy getting ready for next year's great fair. San Francisco is surely a wonderful city. It has been almost entirely rebuilt since the terrible earthquake.
On June 8th we left for Reno. The orchards in the Sacramento Valley are a real sight. At Colfax we bought peaches, the quality of which has brought fame to that valley. From Colfax the train wound its way up the Sierra Nevada mountains and through the pines until within four hours' travel from the peach orchards we were in ten feet of snow. This was at the summit, an elevation of 8,000 feet. The only disagreeable part of the trip from 'Frisco to Reno was the 40 miles of snowsheds. Without these sheds, however, traffic through the mountains at any time of the year would be impossible.
We reached Reno at 9.30 in the evening and saw for the first time real western life. Reno is a beautiful city of 12,000 inhabitants, nestling in a valley surrounded by maintains.
In this city of at one time easy divorces and much gambling, we expected to find a wide open town full of gamblers and miners, but instead we found it to be the metropolis of Nevada and the natural supply station for all ranching and mining camps, on which this state depends. for its existence. To give you an idea of this state's main industries I will say that Nevada produces more gold than any other state in the union. The largest mines of Tonopah and Goldfield employ from four to five thousand men each. Many other smaller camps throughout the state employ hundreds of men. About the only output of the soil here is alfalfa-- and this is surely a stock country. Three million sheep and lambs are shipped annually from this state to eastern and Californian markets. We visited Mr. Taylor, a rancher at Lanelock, and learned from him that he had 125,000 breeding ewes. From this flock he has was raised $160,000 lambs. His ranch consists chiefly of grazing land, from which he cuts about 8,000 tons each year. It is said that you could ride on horseback for a week in one direction and still be on his range.
Dairy is also carried on here on a large scale. Within two or three miles of Reno some ranches are making [sic, milking] three hundred and more cows. Very little grain is raised or fed in their country, well cured alfalfa taking the place of it.
The poultry ranches are also very interesting. We visited five different plants, caring for from one to five thousand birds each, all being white Leghorns.
There are several hot springs near Reno and at Lawton Springs they have swimming tanks filled by water bubbling out of the ground. At Steamboat Springs we boiled an egg hard in three minutes.
We left Reno on the morning of August 19th and came by ways of Salt Lake City, the Mormon town. Salt Lake is well names and is a briny foam so buoyant that a person cannot sink in it. Men of Salt Lake City look just the same as they do any other place, even if some of them do have twenty wives.
Our next stop was at Pueblo, which was only of a few minutes duration, and then we were off on a fast Santa Fe train for Chicago, where we visited our son, Harry, and family.
Copyright 2006-2013 John Cardiff