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NEW YEAR'S EDITION
TO SIDE TRACK SAN PEDRO. Hiiiititigron'ij Plan to Rob Los Angeles Of a Harbor. How Cauyress Mas Bern Jnargled By the SoiitliDfu Pacific. Hlatory or an Ir.f.imoua Plot to Kill Ot*t lnnd Computation In South ern Cslirnrnlo. Th' <rater ttr/aet In front of thr. town is the go-eeJlt'l inner harbor. The water mrjace in front of the government fsaerre t« the ptopotett tieep-vater harbor. The commercial future of Lis Angeles City is dependent in a large measure on the construction in its immediate vicin ity of a harbor where ocean-going yes- Eels of the largest size can anchor to un load and can lie in safety until they are refilled for their outward journey. That such a harbor will Borne day ex ist is not a dream nor a mere hope. It ia as certain aa any event that is de pendent upon human effort can be—as certain, for example, as ths construction of another transcontinental railway or the passing of the 100,000 mark by the population of Los Angeles. The seecoast is about twenty miles awoy from Los Angeles in two direc tions, west and south. Almost, due south from the (enter of the city lies the port of San Pedro, which nature and tbe United States government have de signed as the proper embaroadero for the commerce of Los Angsles and the southwestern section of tbe union. The harbor of San Pedro consißtu of two parts: an inner harbor, officially known aa Wilmington, which exists today as a commercial reality ; and the outer harbor, which is as yot only a project awaiting the action of the gov ernment to make it a genuine port. The name San Pedro, as need by mariners for tho past hundred years, applies to the outer bay, which has besn since the days of Cabrillo one of the best-known roadsteads along the coast in the-GOO miles of distance from San Francisco to San Diego. This bay is protected en the west by the shore line, which runs nearly due north and south. To the north lies the maiu land. To tbe east no protection is needed. To tbe south, twenty mile) away, lies the island of Catalina, rising from 1000 to 2000 feet above tbe sea and answering the pur pose oi a breakwater against the great ocoao swells and checking tbe force oi etorms from the southwest. For the greater part of the year there is good anchorage and shelter for vessels in this bay, and lines the construction of the inner harbor it has been in use as a har bor for vessels of too great draught to get ovsr the bar, which lighter outside. Occasions are raro when vessels are com pelled to put out to sua to weather a storm, the bay as a rule providing all the protection necessary. Tho inner harbor was originally a j email estuary throe miles in length and about 100 feet wide, terminating in a I broad lajrooa. Iv 1871, when tho gov eminent began tho work of con-trueting a harbor, the mean depth of water at low tide was only 18 inches, and plenty ol the older residents of San Pedro relate how they once could wade across from the mainland to Dead Man's island at low tide. Within the bar thero was an avnraee depth of from (> to 10 feet. Iv ISGU Colonol Wendell of the United States bnirineering corps made a report on the cub ect. of the improvement of the inner harbor, with a project. This report called for an appropriation of $530,000 nnd from tbs work to he done a depth of 10 feet of water was expected. In IS7O congress made its first appropri ation of $'JOO,OOO, and the work was be gun. During the decade from 1870 to 1880 the work progressed as rapidly as tbe intermittent character and small'size of the appropriations would allow. It consisted chiefly in the construction of a jetty or tea wall of timber and stone connecting Rattlesnake island with Dead Man's island—the united frag ments now being known »i Ter minal island. The effect of this was to compel the escaping tide water to scour out the bar; ana in accordance with the project oi the engineer a mean depth of 10 leet was secured. By this time, howevor. tbe commeroe of the port hcd grown beyond the in crease in size and depth of the channel, and further work waa considered neces earv. A second projooi was proposed by Colonel Wendell, calling for an ad ditional appropriation of $426 000.(mak ing a total of 1955,000) and a depth of 16 feet nt mean luw water wbs promised— which is the oame as 22 feet at high I tide, and which would accommodate i moat of the coastwise commerce and a i good deal of the foreign. The second project was adopted und the aprjropriatinns followed slowly up to 1892 r/hea the last one waa voted to complete tbe work of dredging tbe in side channel. All that was promised by the engineers who selected San Pedro aa the proper place for improvlnat a harbor has been accomplished —and more. Tbs channel is deeper, wider and atraighter than the project outlined, and tbe bay scoured out to a greater depth than was ever anticipated. Several members of the board of engi neers who visited, San Pedro in 1892 de clared that no more remarkable instance was to be found anywhere in the union of the construction and maintenance of a large and commercially valuable har bor at a comparatively small cost. While the work on the inside harbor was under way, it was beginning to dawn upon the comprehension of tbe more progressive .and intelligent man of Lob Angeles that the time must come when the commerce of thie section could not be accommodated by tho inner har bor—which had serious limitations both as to size or a possible depth. In one of the earlier reports of tho engineers this point had been touched upon, and a plan suggested for the construction of a breakwater, continuing tbe line of the mainland southward half a mile, and then after allowing an entrance way of a quarter of a mile,extending the break water to the east about a mile. The es timated cost was about $3,000,000. This would give a large and commodious har bor with an average depth of 25 to 35 feet of water, well protected against the worst storms tbat come to this coast. Subsequently the plan was modified to better auit the commercial uses of such a harbor by the proposed construc tion of one curved breakwater about a mile and a hall long protecting the southwestern eection of the bay. Tbe chief advantage of the continuous wall is tbat it serves ths double purpose of a sea wail and a maiu pier, from wbich smaller piero can be constructed for the inlanding vessels that lio in the slips between. The proposed width of the breakwater allows lor the construction of several railway tracks upon it, so that the unloading can be done directly from the ships to tho cars. Ten years ago iho people who talked about this outside harbor were consid ered a trifle visionary. After the sud den iuoreaae in population aud business that took place in the years '80 to '88 nnd the duties collected at the port ex panded from the $10,000 of 1885 to $1(10,- O. i) in 1888, it vegan to look as though the deepwater harbor was a reasonable business proposition. Five per ceut interest on $3,000,000, tbe cost of lbs propoeeu improvement, would amount to less than the sum col lected at the port iv customs duties. The matter was called up again in con - gross in the year 1800, aad in order to settle all questions as to the proper site for a deep harbor, a epecial commission was appointed to examine the coast from Point Dume to Point Capistrano, and decide as to the most eligible loca tion, and also to report a general plan for the construction of a deep water harbor at the proposed point, wherever it might bs. When this commission was appointed it was generally understood that its re port was to be final and to silence all discussion as to the proper point for the location of tbe harbor. To be sure the matter had already been gone over three separate times by the government crt THE HERALD. LOS ANGELES: TUESDAY MORNING. JANUARY 1, 1895. gineers. but lo m»ke a9snrance doubly gore, a lourth report waa called for. The report waa tiled'in the yeat 1891. and was n thorough and exhaustive doc ument. Tbe views of the board were unanimous and expressed in empnilio and nneq'jivocal language. San Podro was the point seleoted. Then the people of Los Angeles who had wisely refrained from taking sides while the controversy was on, lest there might bs ill-foaling engendered whioh would do the cause harm, met together and called upon their representa tives to exert themsolvss to the utmo3t to secure appropriations for the beginning of the work. The cham ber ol commerce of this oity, which is a great power for tbe good of all this sec tion, began a syntematio agitation in favor of the development of 8»n Pedro harbor. Senator Felton, then newly elected, and Representative Bowers were A BIRDSEYE VIEW OF THE TOWN AND HARBOR OF SAN PEDRO. given a reception in Lob Angela! anil taken to tbe harbor site. They promised their hearty support to the undertaking. A strong memorial was preparod and cent to every member o! congress. Tbs boards of supervisors, boards of trade and chambers of commerce throughout nearly all of Southern California passed resolutions calling upon congress to take action. Tbe outlook was remark ably favorable for tbe passage of a large appropriation to inaugurate the work. When congress met Senator Felton introduced a bill calling for an initial appropriation of $250,000. The depart ment of war sent in a report strongly advißing that the work at San Pedro be taken iv hand. An understanding had been reached that the committee was to report this item, as nothing had been done for some time for Southern Califor nia, where there was a long stretch of sea coast without any harbor, and a growing commerce that demanded a bet ter outlet. Senator Felton bad made a good fight for us—lst it be forever put down to his credit —and the desired approrpiation waa almoßt within our grasp. Had it passed tben the work would be half finished by this time. The commerce of this eootlon would have already increased, and a new transcontinental railway would now be running into this city, bringing low-priced fuel from Utah and carrying our fruit products to tbe min ing sections of Nevada. But no such good fortune was in store for us. Up to that time in her history, Los Angelea—blest with active railway competition—hud known but little of the peculiar methods of the Southern Pacific, and that little by hearsay rather than experience She was now des tined to understand and appreciate what the northern part of the state and South ern Arizona and Nsw Mexico have suf fered for many years. Just as tbe vote waa about to be taken ou tbe San Pedro item in the senate committee on commerce, the chairmnn of the committee, Senator Frye of Maine, an intimate friend of Mr. Huntington, and known through out the length and breadth of this coun try as a corporation senator, announced that he had a telegram beating on this subject from an expert engineer, Mr. William Hood of the Southern Pacific company. The telegram was read. It was a remarkable document; full of tbe most glaring aud villainous misstate ments about San Pedro, declaring that stone (or the construction of tho pro posed breakwater could only be secured at great expense, that the hard bottom of the bay would provide no suitable holding ground for anchorage, that the prevailing winds and currente rendered the place impracticable for the building of a harbor, and advising that the site be located in tbe bay of Santa Monica near the month of the canon. The effect of the reading of this tele gram was electrical. Tne committee hastily receded from its position, and ordered that tbe San Pedro item be etricken from the list. Senator Felton, dumbfounded for the moment at the unexpected treachery—for up to tbat time the Southern Pacific had given no intimation of its intended change of front—and uitarly at a loss to account tor the game which he saw was being played around him, did probably tbe wisest thin? under tbs circamstone s, and demanded that a thorough investi tion be made into the charges that bid been made against San Pedro, and a decision be rendered by the moat com petent authorities into tbe comparative merits of Santa Monica and San Pedro bays, and tbe proper place for the con struction of a deep water harbor. July 13, 1892, the sot passed authoriz ing the secretary of war "to appoint a board of fivs engineer officers of tbe United States army to make a careful and oritical examination for a proposed deep-water harbor at San Pedro or Santa Monica bays, and to report as to which is the more eligible location for such a harbor in depth, width and capacity to acoommodate tha largest ocean going vessels, and tbe commercial and naval necessities of the oonntry, together with an ostimate of the cost." Ten thousand dollars was appropriated to pay the ex penses of this commission. The people of Loa Angeles, although chagrined and disappointed at their failure to secure an appropriation to begin the harbor work, were neverthe less glad to discover that the controversy waa in a lair way to receive its final quietua. When the secretary of war announced his appointment and it was observed that the commission contained only men of the very highest standing in ability and reputation, a general Bigh of relief went up to think that now at last tbe question was to go to a court from which there could be no appeal, and that whatever way their decision went tbe appropriation would in all probability follow soon after. The chamber of commerce took action, advising that tbe citizens of Lob An geles preserve a neutral position and al low the que turn to be decided strictly on ita merits, as to the comparative value of the various sites. It was generally agreed or understood among all parties to the controversy tbat when a decision was once reached, all should work with hearty enthusiasm for tbe fortunate lo cality. » Ihe oommiesion came to the coast in September, 1892; they visited and care fully examined botn bays, and made a thorough study of the charts prepared for their use by tbe coast engineering corps—tbe correctness of which has never been questioned. On Septomber Bth, the board gave a public hearing at the rooms of the ohamber of commerce, at whioh a full expression of the views of all persons interested In tbe location of the proposed harbor was in vited. Twenty people were heard and cross-examined at this meet ing, ship captain), pilots, engi neers and old resident of the various localities. On September 9, a special hearing was given toengiueers and other representatives of railway companies having interests in this vicinity. At these meetings ths Southern Pa cific showed its hand very plainly. Its engineer, Mr. Hood, waa on band to find the statements made in bis tele gram to Sonator Frye utterly refuted. The local attorney of the Southern Pa cific appeared, ostensibly tor tbe people of Santa Monica, but really to look out for tbe interests of the road—an entirely different proposition, if the people of the city by tbe sea did but know it. Every possible effort was put forth by tbe Southern Pacific road to make the engineers aud the public believe that their sudden change of front from San Pedro, whete they had operated for years, to Santa Monica, where 20 years before tbey bad torn down their wharf as useless in such an unsafe harbor, was duo eutirely to a desire to secure tbe most available harbor facilities for the road, whereas everyone suspected then, and was soon aftsr to know for certain, that the sole reason wae tbe presence of active open competition in San Pedro and the certainty of absolute monopoly at Santa Monica. The board tendered its report in Octo ber, 1892, aad it waa unanimously, em phatically nod unequivocally ia favor of San Pedro on every coo at. The South era Pacific has frequently been caught declaring with brazsn impudence that the report merely claims that San Pedro is tbe cheapest place to build the barbor. Cheapness is only one of a half-a-dozen items in favor of San Pedro set forth in tbe report. ■ We quote as ot special interest the fol lowing sentences from the report: Page s—The present interests of the coastwise and foreign transportation of Southern California do not justify the construction of such a harbor, although they would doubtless be benefited thereby; bat the prospective require ments of foreign oommerce amply war rant thegovornment In its establishment even at large expense. Ths location of such a harbor should bs determined principally with reforence to the conve nient' and ample accommodation of deep-draft vessels engaged in foreign trade and tbe requirements of ships of war, the needs of coastwise navigation and the oobi of construction being con sidored matters of secondary impor tance. Page 18-In tho Santa Monioa har | bor ths inner anohorage will ba very j much d minished by the wharves whioh muet extend entirely aoroas it to reach deep water. This is not tbe case to the same extent in the San Pedro harbor. Same page, [at Santa Monica.] The nonformation ot the ground ia such that free access to the landing facilities of the harbor would not be easily attain able by all parties engaged in the busi ness of land transportation. In the harbor of Banta Monica the land ap proach to the wharvaa is narrow and not capable ol extension except at great ex pense, and there is no available place tor tho construction of interior basins. ■ . . , At San Pedro the approaches are good, as they include both sides of the harbor, and Wilmington harbor forms a magnificent interior basin. Page 19—The board is of the opinion tbat tbe location at San Pedro is decid edly ths best, considered aa a place of ehelter and for receiving and discharg ing freight. Same page—The cost of transporting freight over a railroad depends not only upon the distance, but also upon the grades and curves in tbe line. . . . The differences iv distance are so small that it is believed unnecessary to give them any important weight in sel ctiog tbe location of a harbor. As to tbe stone for constructing the braßkwator, the report cays, page 21: In the oase of Catalins island (where the stone for San Pedro ia to be ob tained) the transportation route has un limited capacity and ia perfectly under control of the partiea furnishing tbe stone. In the case of Cold Water canon (whencs the stone for Santa Monica is te come) the route has a limited capacity aud tbe transportation ia controlled by tbe railway compauy and not by the contractors or tho government. No com petition in the transportation is pos sible. . . . Mr. Hood (Southsrn Pa oiQc engineer) strikes the keynote of tbs situation when he remarks tbat the cost of moving rock by rail to the breakwater site is evidently a matter for the con tractors to negotiate with the Southern Pacific or other companies. Page 28, —The board is of the opinion that the location at Ssn Pedro is decid edly the beat an regards adaptability for construction and maintenance. Some page.—The board, after careful consideration is of the opinion that the location at San Pedro is tbe best and cheapest aa regards capacity for de fense. The conclusion of the board, as stated on page £8, is as follows: Having made a careful and critical examination for a proposed deep water harborat San Pedro or Santa Monica bays, as required by law, the board is unanimously of tbs opinion that the location selected by the board of engineers of 1899 at the present anchorage on the westerly side of San Pedro bay. under Point Kirmlu, is the moat eligible location for such a harbor In depth, width and capacity to accom modate tbe largest ocean-going vessels and the commercial and naval necessi ties of the government. The report does not contain a line that can be construed as favorable to Santa Monica as against Ban Pedro. More over, any intelligent, diaintereited per PART II—PAGES 13 TO 24 eon who will read the report and exam ine the charts by which it is accompa nied, must inevitably acknowledge the overwhelming fores of its arguments. With the promulgation of this report it was generally conceded that the con troversy was at an end. Rsdoudo, which had presented her claim? to the commission with clearness and force, announced that henceforth she would do alt in her power to assist the San Pedro projsct. The chamber of com morcs took up the work where it had boon droppsd when ths commission was appointed, raised a fund by subscrip tion to pay tho expenses of a special delegate to Washington and sent Mr. Charles Formm, one of their own direot ors and a man of the very highest stand ing in the community, to look out for tho interests of tne San Pedro harbor. The Southern Pacific company had very littie to say aoont the report, and it was osaumeoi that they, liku the oth ers, would acquiesce in tha decision. Indeed it was held to he a mutter of houor that they should do so, as they had agreed to the appointment of a board of engineers to finally decide the matter. But when ccngress met in the winter of 1592-3 thair influence soon showed itself 00 against any appropria tion for Kan Padro. By one device or another the consideration of the ques tion was delayed In committee until at last congress adjourned without action. Senator Frye, wnose officious friendship for the Southern Pacific has made his name a byword in Washington, brazenly asserted his conviction that tbe report of the engineers waß a mistake, as he had looked at both harbora himself and knew that Santa Monica was the best. He insisted that the matter should not he considered in the absence of Senator Jones, of Nevada, (the Santa Monica senator) who was then in Europe. Thus the eosEion ptased with no action ; but the time waa not waited, for tbe eyes of a number of senators wore opened to the game tbat was in progress and the cause of the people's harbor de veloped some good friends iv the senate at large, and on the committee of com merce. i quiet but vigorous campaign was then undertaken by tbe Southern PauiQc company to capture publio opinion in the city of Lo3 Angeles. The argument was speciously put forward that it was a matter ol noconsequenca to the people of this city where the harbor was lo oated, and as tbe Southern Pacific would assist the undertaking at Santa Monica and uppose it San Pedro, it would be wise for the business men of Lob Angeles to take up tho cause of Santa Monica. Incredible aa it may seem a number of people wore hum bugged iuto believing that the Southern Pacific was n larger factor in tbe cd'aira of the American people than the gov ernment itself, and wore actually led to think that congrese would appropriate money for the benefit of the Southern Pacifio railroad against the advice of its own technical experts. Having se cured the signatures of a few timid business msn to a petition in favor of Santa Monica the railroad made an open attempt to capture the chamber of commerce. Tne board of directors snowing itself to bo somewhat weak kneed, on the demand of a number of the members, a vote was taken of the whole organization. This was the first chance that had ever been given the general public to express their views, and the railroad foil into the mistake of supposing that they could bulldoze or humbug the GOO business men In the chamber of commerce to vote their way. Alleraabort and lively canvass the ballot was taken. Over 500 votes were cast, noarly three to 0:10 in favor of the San Pedro site. The oft-repeaied statement of tbe Southern Pacific that tbe com mercial element of Loa Angelea desired the harbor located at Santa Monica was thus knocked in the bead. Following bard upon the chamber of commerce vote came the Republican and Democratic county and con gressional conventions. A desper ate effort was made by tbe South ern Pacific contingent to keep the question out of politios—as they expressed it, for that corporation prefers to work in the dark—bat the friends of the frse barbor demanded that tbe mat ter, which was one in the highest degree concsrning thu welfare of the whole section, should rat in its appearance ia tbe platform, and that all congressional candidates should explain their attitude on the question. There was no mistak ing tho sentiment of tbe various conven tions. By an overwhelming majority they ware all of them in favor of Sin Pedro and against ths monopoly har bor. The chain was now complete—no* a single link of popular approval of the scheme was lacking. The people asking for bread ware not, however, refused the consolation ol » alone at ths last session oi congress. Instead ot an appropriation of money another commission is to corns to Los AngeleE—tbia time a commission ol senatorB —to decide as to the respective merits cf the two htrhors. This was a little piece of satire designed by our dear friend and well-wisher, Mr. Frye of Maine. This new commission tp rsndor a sixth "fins', decision" will viiit tha coast next spring. Such is the story of San Pedro har bor—a story of treachery and deceit; oi violation of promise, of chicanery, men dacity and insolence —constituting aa experience new to the people of Los Angeles, but old to those sections uf tbe state where the Southern Pacifio has long held away. Ths out come of tbe contest is no longer problematical. Tbe harbor will be built, and it will be built at San Pedro—hut how soon? that is the ques tion. Tbe finding of the senatorial com mission cannot be foretold with cer tainty, but the chances are it will bs for San Pedro. However, the decision will carry no weight with the lower house and not much weight with the senate itself. Its appointment was a good enough scheme for Mr. Huntington to put off tbe appropriation a year or two longer. In the meantime the develop ment of the city ib being retarded, its commerce ia cramped, the construction of a third continental line into tbe city by way of Salt Lake City is put off from year to year, and the location of manufactories, ehipyarde, etc., whioh muet find a place at the commercial ports is put off from year to year until other cities wili secure the industrial tbat were intended tor Lis An geles. A desperate effort to ihate off tha power of this corporation over ths law making authority of the state resulted, in 1892, in the election of a Democratic legislature and the selection of Stephen M. White for tbe satiate. Mr. White ie now tbe senior senator from this state and ia a member of the senate committee on commerce. No one man is in a position to exert greater influence than he in this mltter. and it ie gratifying to feel that the nut inter ests of the people can rest securely in his bands. V The opportunity has not yet preientecT ' itself for Mr. White to show what he can do for the people of Los Angelee in this matter, but we may rest assured that when the time doea arrive be will be found rising every means in his power to defeat the scheme for a railroad monopoly harbor. It is sometimes difficult to get tha proper perspective of events as they transpire about us. Few people, indeed, at tho present time appreciate the enor mity of the outrage that is now being practiced upon tbe people of this section by the Southern Pacific eoporation. Per* haps ten years hence, wben tbis story is told of how thii corporation, deriving » great annual revenue from tbil section, engaged deliberately, year after year, in an effort to monopolise iti water front, and, failing in that, thereafter devoted all its efforts to pieventing tbe construc tion of any harbor at all in this vioinity, people will wonder at their own good nature in so long submitting to the out* rage upon their rights al fraa American eitir.eni.