Alfalfa

This article was written circa 1904

The cultivation of alfalfa has become an important industry in this
state and throughout the West. As San Bernardino County can claim the
first successful culture of this plant in the United States, a brief outline of
its history may not be out of place.

Lucerne Valley, Ca.

Alfalfa is the oldest grass known, having been introduced into Greece
from Media, 500 years before Christ. The Romans, finding its qualities good, cultivated it extensively and carried it into France when Caesar reduced Gaul. It has always been extensively cultivated in Europe under the name of lucerne, supposed to be derived from the province of Lucerne in Switzerland. The name alfalfa was given to the plant in Chili, where it grows spontaneously in the Andes as well as on the pampas of that country and of the Argentine Republic.

Oro Grande, Ca.

It was introduced into the United States as early as 1835—and probably
earlier—and attempts at cultivation in New York and other Eastern states
were unsuccessful.

In the United States Agricultural Report for 1872, Mr. N. Wyckoff, of
Yolo, Napa County, Cal, reports: “In the winter of 1854. I sowed four acres
with alfalfa, or lucerne, as it was then called, seed brought from Chili. As
far as I know, it was a part of the first parcel of seed brought into this
country. My sowing proved so foul with weeds that I plowed it up and
did not re-sow until 1864.” The United States Agricultural Report of
1878, a considerable production of alfalfa is reported from some of the
northern counties of the state.

In the winter of 1852-3, a party of Mormons arrived in San Bernardino from Australia. At least one of the party, Mr. John Metcalf, brought with him some alfalfa seed. This was sown on his place, now the Metcalf place on Mount Vernon Avenue, near First street. It was irrigated from Lytle Creek and did well, and the plant was soon cultivated by others. The seed was at first sold for $1.00 per pound and was distributed from San Bernardino to other points in Southern California. The early supply of seeds for Los Angeles was obtained from San Bernardino and the seed was taken from here to Salt Lake thus the alfalfa industry, one of the most important in Utah, was started. The alfalfa crop is now one of the most important of the county and San Bernardino County had, in 1900, more than six thousand acres seeded to this plant.

INGERSOLL’S CENTURY ANNALS OF
San Bernardino County
1769 to 1904 (201)

The Overland Trail

Camp Cajon
Camp Cajon Dedication

by J.C. Davis

An alkali flats

Over the sagebrush desert gray,
Through alkali patches pale,
It stretches away and away and away –
The weary overland trail.

Where they who followed have smoothed the path
For the track of the iron horse
Between the rocks and around the hills
It threads its sinuous course.

And ever the wagon tracks diverge,
Like strands of a parted skein;
And anon the old trail straightens out
And gathers them again.

Eagle Butte

When bison fleeing the red man’s chase
Stampeded the toiling train.
And dust clouds rose as thundering herds
Swept over the rolling plain.

These deep-worn ruts that divide the bank
At this dry arroyo’s brink
Still tell of the awful, maddening thirst
Of the beasts that rushed to drink.

Wagon

Rushed down to drink, too oft, alas,
To find but a bed of dust,
Or, here and there, a sunken pool
White with alkali crust.

And many a rock was an ambuscade
That sheltered a skulking foe;
And wild shrieks echoed the Indian yell,
While men and women and children fell
And arrows flew like snow.

Unnamed graves

And smoking heaps in the dawn-light gray
Unfolded the tragic tale
Of the wagon camp that was sacked and burned
On the winding, windswept trail.

And many a ghastly heap of bones,
Bleached white by the sun and wind,
Is the final record of man or beast
That faltered and fell behind.

Who runs may read, as he speeds along,
Its record of blood and tears;
May see dim specters wan and worn,
The ghosts of the vanished years.

My heartbeats quicken, the trail grows dim,
My eyes are blind with tears
As | think with pity and pain and pride
Of those daring pioneers.

And in fancy I see, as my palace winged
Flies over the iron rail
The long, slow-creeping, wagon train
That traveled the overland trail.

Out Where the West Begins

Camp Cajon
Camp Cajon Dedication

by Arthur Chapman, (1917)

Out where the handclasp’s a little stronger,
Out where the smile dwells a little longer,
That’s where the West begins;
Out where the sun is a little brighter,
Where the snows that fall are a trifle whiter,
Where the bonds of home are a wee bit tighter,
That’s where the West begins.

Out where the skies are a trifle bluer,
Out where the friendship’s a little truer,
That’s where the West begins;
Out where a fresher breeze is blowing,
Where there’s laughter in every streamlet flowing,
Where there’s more of reaping and less of sowing,
That’s where the West begins.

Out where the world is in the making,
Where fewer hearts in despair are aching,
That’s where the West begins.
Where there’s more of singing and less of sighing,
Where there’s more of giving and less of buying,
And a man makes a friend without half trying—
That’s where the West begins.

Camp Cajon
The Dedication of Camp Cajon

The Flag

Camp Cajon
Camp Cajon Dedication

(Read by Judge Rex B. Goodcell at the dedication of Camp Cajon July 4, 1919, and by William M. Bristol at the dedication of Live Oak Park by the Chamber of Commerce of northern San Diego County, July 17, 1920.)

The Flag by Charles L. Frazer

Hats off, ye men! Now lift the flag on high:
Break out its folds and let them proudly fly
As from its staff on this our natal day
There floats the banner none may take away.

Its streaming lines, its starry field of blue
Are caught by winds that long have known
them true:
And rising, falling, with exquisite grace,
They kiss each other in a fond embrace.

Flag of our own, we give thee to the breeze:
Thrice hail on land, thrice hail on bounding
seas:
On armored deck, o’er valley, peak and crag.
Wave on, and on, our own beloved flag!


Thrice-hallowed flag, one moment thou shalt be
Half-masted for those Sons of Liberty
Who, over seas or on the swelling flood
Have re-baptized thee with a nation’s blood.

Our hero dead! No matter how they fell.
In camp, at sea> on crimson fields of hell;
They gave their all our pledged faith to keep,
Tis ours to pay them homage as they sleep.

Courtesy Austin Daily Herald

Peace to their ashes; let us write each name
In fadeless glory on the roll of fame:
And unborn freemen shall their valor tell
Soldier, and sailor, fare, O fare thee well!
* * * *

Flag of the free, beloved on land and main.
May treason never thy escutcheon stain;
Defeat—the battle lost—were better far
Than that dishonor dim one single star.

Aye, better that thy stars forever set;
And God, and men» and angles thee forget.
Than that thy name should ever used be
To bind one shackle on humanity.

But thou, O flag, shalt not thine honor yield!
Not by one thread, or star upon thy shield
I Through calm and storm undaunted shalt
thou ride.
And all thy deathless principles abide.

Courtesy Santa Fe New Mexican

O, Thou Who boldest in Thy guilding hand
‘ The veiled future of this mighty land.
Keep Thou our flag, and may it ever be
Triumphant in the cause of liberty!

Then fly, proud flag, from thine exalted
place;
Shine on. ye stars, by God’s eternal grace!
With faith undimmed we dedicate anew
Ourselves to thee—the Red, the White, the
Blue.

The Dedication of Camp Cajon

The following text has been adapted from a history of San Bernardino County by John Brown Jr. first published in 1922 describing the celebration of the opening of Camp Cajon.

The content has not been changed other than scan errors corrected and minor grammar changes to improve readability by modern standards.

Camp Cajon

On the north and east of San Bernardino Valley are the San Bernardino Mountains and beyond them the vast Mojave Desert. Through this high mountain range is a natural gap—a parting of the heights—a winding, tortuous passage, dividing the mountains and uniting the white sands on the north with the green lands of the south.

Looking south from the desert rim toward San Bernardino

This is Cajon Pass. Cajon—pronounced cah-hone with the second syllable strongly accented—is the Spanish word for “box.” Because a portion of the defile is walled by high cliffs, the early Spaniards christened a portion of it “Paso del Cajon”—Box Pass. Through this pass comes the National Old Trails Highway, now paved from San Bernardino to Summit, a distance of 26 miles. It parallels the long abandoned and almost obliterated Santa Fe Trail over which, in 1849, and in the early ’50s, the Pioneers came to lay the foundations for a Southland empire.

Bennett’s Long Camp – Death Valley National Park

At the point in the Pass where the old trail from Salt Lake joined the one from Santa Fe there stands a tall monument, erected in honor of those hardy adventurers. It was built in 1917 by the survivors of the Forty-Niners and their descendants and was dedicated on December 23 of the same year.

Santa Fe & Salt Lake Trail plaque

A short distance northward from the monument, and just 20 miles from San Bernardino is Camp Cajon, a welcome station for the incoming motor traveler, which an eastern writer has termed “California’s Granite Gate.” It, too, is a monument dedicated to the present and the future as the pioneers’ monument is to the past. Camp Cajon is the conception of William M. Bristol, orange grower, poet, and dreamer of Highland, 25 miles southeastward. Mr. Bristol first dreamed of his dream of Camp Cajon at the dedication of the Pioneers’ Monument.

Welcome to Camp Cajon

Thirty years before, Mrs. J. C. Davis, a Wisconsin woman, had spent a winter in California and returned home, wrote, and published a poem entitled “The Overland Trail,” a graphic pen picture of the old trail as seen from the windows of a modern Pullman car. Mr. Bristol was present at the dedication of the monument for the purpose of reading this poem as a part of the formal program. It is an interesting fact that Mrs. Davis had returned to California and was residing at Devore, at the southern portal of the Pass, Without knowing that she was to contribute in any way to the ceremonies of the day, she was taken into the Bristol family car and was present to hear her poem unexpectedly read nearly a third of a century after it was written.

The Overland Trail
The Flag
Out Where the West Begins
Just California

At the close of the ceremonies, the throng adjourned to the willow grove, where Camp Cajon now stands, and, sitting on the sandy ground, at a picnic dinner, It was then and there that the need for permanent conveniences for such an occasion occurred to Mr. Bristol, and on that day he began the formulation of the plans for making his dream come true. In May 1919, he pitched his tent in the willow grove, then a jungle, intending to take a two months’ vacation from his orange grove, and build a dozen concrete dining tables, each with benches of the same massive and indestructible type. That was the extent of his original dream. But so enthusiastically was his innovation received by the world at large, and especially by Southern California, that his vacation was stretched to two years; and when he finally resigned as director and returned to his home, there were fifty-five tables instead of the dozen, besides numerous other structures not contemplated in the original plans. He was not only an architect but an artisan, much of the actual work of construction being done by himself, personally, the ornamental mosaics of dark and white stone and the hundred or more metal tablets on the tables and buildings being his own handiwork. A wealth of beautiful blue granite boulders near at hand inspired and aided in the building of various structures which promise to stand for all time.

Perhaps the most elaborate structure at the camp is the Elks’ outpost
clubhouse, erected by all the Elks’ lodges of Southern California at a
cost of several thousand dollars and dedicated to loyal Elks of the world. It affords conveniences for serving a meal to half a hundred people, and, standing and facing upon California’s most popular transcontinental highway, it also proclaims that the order stands ready to meet and greet all comers to the Southland. Across its face, in a beautiful mosaic of dark and white stone are the initials, “B. P. O. E.,” and above this in the same artistic stonework, is the Elks’ clock, with its hands pointing to the mystic hour of eleven. Below is a metal tablet carrying the entire text of -Arthur Chapman’s poem, “Out Where the West Begins.” Elsewhere is a double tablet carrying John S. McGroarty’s favorite poem, “Just California.” And on the camp, flag column is four stanzas of Charles L. Frazer’s poem. “The Flag.” Each table and stove, each broiler and barbecue pit carry a tablet with an inscription and the name of the donor.

Perhaps the spirit of Camp Cajon is best and most briefly expressed in two tablets that read. “To the desert-weary traveler,” and “To the stranger within our gates.”

The following is the list of tables, stoves, and so on, with donors and the main part of inscriptions:

  • Twenty miles to San Bernardino, the Gate City, and home of the National Orange Show.
  • Thirty miles to Redlands and famous Smily Heights.
  • Twenty-three miles to Colton, the Hub City, where industry reigns.
  • Twenty-five miles to East Highlands, the Buckle of the Citrus Belt.
  • Twenty-three miles to Highland, gateway to City Creek, and Rim of the World.
  • Thirty-five miles to Mirage Valley, where things grow without irrigation.
  • Twelve miles to Sheepcreek, a watered and fertile valley.
  • Ten miles to Baldy Mesa, where things grow without irrigation.
  • Forty-five miles to Chino, where everything grows.
  • Twenty-three miles north to Adelanto, the transformed desert.
  • Twenty miles to Apple Valley, where apples keep the doctor away.
  • Twenty-three miles to Lucerne Valley, a land of abundant shallow water.
  • Sixty-one miles to Barstow, the metropolis of Mojave Valley.
  • Twenty-four miles to Victorville, the center of Victor Valley.
  • Fourteen miles to Hesperia, gateway to Big Bear Valley.
  • Seventy miles to Santa Ana, the county seat of Orange County.
  • At the south portal of Caion Pass, Devore, the home of the muscat grape.
  • Twenty miles to Del Rosa, beneath the Arrowhead.
  • Twenty miles to Arrowhead Hot Springs, the hottest springs known.
  • Twenty miles to Rialto’s orange grove.
  • Twenty-three miles to Fontana, the largest orange grove in the world.
  • Twenty-five miles to Bloomington, orange, and lemon empire.
  • Thirty-five miles to beautiful Etiwanda, home of the grape and the lemon.
  • Thirty-five miles to Cucamonga with its peaches, grapes, and “welcomes.”
  • Forty miles to Ontario, the model city. offers opportunity.
  • Thirty-five miles oceanward to Upland, and Euclid Avenue.
  • To all nature lovers, by the employees of the State Hospital at Patten.
  • Dedicated to checker players by the family of John Andreson, Sr., a pioneer of 1850. To the “Stranger within our gates,” by the family of David H. Wixom.
  • The “West to the East ever calls,” Hiram Clark and family.
  • Dedicated to the people of Needles by George E. Butler.
  • Dedicated to the people of Cloverdale, Michigan, by Mrs. Chas. H. Schaffer of Marquette, Mich.
  • To commemorate the visit of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, dedication tour, April 28, 1920.
  • In honor of Fred T. Perris, who, in 1884, led the iron horse through Cajon Pass.
  • To the Pioneers of San Bernardino Valley, by Native Sons who have gone afield. (Judge B. F. Bledsoe, Paul Shoup, and others).
  • To our Pioneers, by Arrowhead Parlor, Native Sons.
  • To the Trailmakers, by officers and men of Santa Fe.
  • To Highway Builders, by officers and men of Santa Fe. Redlands Rotary Club, with Rotary emblem.
  • Riverside Rotary Club, with Rotary emblem.
  • San Bernardino Rotary Club, with double table, and international Rotary emblem.
  • “The groves were God’s first temples,” by W. M. Parker.
  • “Now good digestion wait on appetite, and health on both,” by A. C. Denman. Jr.
  • “To the desert-weary traveler,” by W. J. Hanford.
  • A bake-oven, dedicated to the baking public, by W. j. Hanford.
  • A family broiler, dedicated to the broiling public, by C. G. Lundholm.
  • A pump, dedicated to the “drinking public,” by W. D. Anderson. A community broiler, “Max Aron bids you broil your steak.”
  • A big range. Orange County.
  • One barbecue pit. dedicated to the “barbecuing public.” by W. J. Curtis, J. W. Curtis, Henry Goodcell, Rex B. Goodcell, Herman Harris, John Andreson, Jr. Joseph E. Rich, W. E. Leonard, E. E. Katz and Mrs. F. I. Towne.
  • Flag column, erected by the Native Sons of Illinois, as a tribute to the State of their adoption.
  • “I love you, California.” Column, its mosaics, and tablets, the handiwork of F. M. Bristol, contributed by him.
  • Flag pole, gift of J. B. Gill, formerly Lieutenant-governor of Illinois.
  • Large tablet carrying four stanzas, Chas. L. Frazer’s poem, “The Flag.”

Elevation 3,002 feet.

HISTORY OF SAN BERNARDINO AND RIVERSIDE COUNTIES
by JOHN BROWN, Jr.
Editor for San Bernardino County
THE WESTERN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION — 1922

276

A Bum Investment

HESPERIA, CA.

Max Stroebel, who was to become known as the Father of Orange County, acting as agent for a syndicate bought 50,000 acres of land encompassing much of what makes Hesperia today. Purchasing the land was in anticipation of a railroad which was not to be for nearly 15 years, far too long for the investors. The land was sold at a loss and became the property of a German Temperance Colony.

Hesperia, Ca.
https://digital-desert.com/hesperia-ca/

California Southern Railway