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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, December 05, 1897, Image 17

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1897-12-05/ed-1/seq-17/

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It is a common belief among English
people that th« fireplace first came into j
existence on their own little island.
"Our homes and our firesides" is one of !
„ their sayings, as if they ha 1 sole owner- I
ship ol both words.
It may be true, as far as the continent of
Europe is concerned, that England has _
prior claim to "fireside" and "chimney
corner,*.' but when it comes to America j
that is a different matter, for there are
grounds lor belief that fireplaces first
came into existence on our own land.
All over the Southwest there are hun
dreds of ruins of old houses containing
fireplaces similar to those In the build
ings put up with. 'he last century. The
"-wV.eblo Indian's of New Mexico and the
ti'imas of Ariz ma, as well as the Zunt and
I'apagoes, are ail good builders of fire
places, and no building is considered fin
ished until it is supplied with an ap
paratus for cooking or heating or both. It
is a common matter of statement that
these people were taught to build these
fireplaces by the invading Spaniards, who
In many odd places
throughout the
Southwest are to be
found silent and meJ
an c oly ruins of
smelters and ore re-
ducing plants now
crumbling into de
cay. Once they were famous wealth-pro
ducers; now they are the property of any
body who should think it worth his while
io pay freight on the old lumber and iron
work. Of them all, perhaps the most
icboly semi-rum is that of the old
Vulture at the town of Wickenburg in
Ontral Arizona. It is ati 1 worked in a
small way. and ten men find employment
in its wonderful labyrinths of drifts. In
tbe eariy '70s the Vulture was making mil
lionaires. It made at least thirteen of
them, and if half the stories told of it be
true not leas than twenty millions were
stolen" from th mine, which never was
accounted for in the books. It was loca-
Wl by Henry Wickenburg in 1863, and
pf'jn became the greatest gold mine in the
ifeited States. The old workings give
evVieuce of an almost fabulous ore de
posit that was worked to the utmost. The
mine was always considered a man-trap,
however, and not less than twenty men
are known to have been buried beneath
its walls of precious ore. In the heyday
of Senator Tabor's prosperity he pur
chased the Vulture and explored it scien
tifically, only to find that nothing re
maiued of its vast richness but the pillars
of rock 'hat supported acres and acres of
underground chambers and vaults. In
fLr-'ur to __mv reimburse luiuaelf ior his
followed close on the heels of Cortez.
To uphold this statement it is pointed
out that at one time the Indian dwellings
were supplied only with a bole in the roof
for the egress of smoke from a fire that
was built in the middle of the room
on the floor. But this system is
still in vogue in such houses where it is
the most expedient and practical, which
would seem to indicate that the Indians
were not shown much in the way of im
provement by the Spaniards.
Whatever there may be in the c state
ments the fact remains that there are still
to be found the ruins of old fireplaces in
what have been acknowledged to bo pre
historic structures. That is thay are
supposed to be from 5000 to 10,000 years
o d.
Among the ruins of the cliff-dwellers in
i a small canyon not far from Durango,
I Colo., I saw several well-nre-erved struc-
I tures inside the buildings that could be
nothing elsa but fireplaces. It is true that
j no perfectly defined chimneys were to be
i found, but they may have existed at one
expenditure on the property Senator Ta
bor had these pillars "shot out" and con
verted into bullion, but this left the old
Vulture penniless and an unsupported
cripple. To-day the en tiro mine is cav
ing in and a total collapse, annihilating
those below and utting off all avenues of
escape, is a momentary possibility — even
An international
d fiiculty is immi-
pent at Nogales.
One-half of this
city lies in Mexico,
the other half in Ari
zona. . International
street is the bound
ary line between the two sovereign powers.
The trouble is over sound — sound made in
Mexico and felt in the United States —
both made and felt when other people are
j trying to sleep. Tbe sound originates
from the Garcia orchestra, and is purely
a Sonnra production. The Garcia plants
1 itself in a little alley leading off Inter
j national street, near Nelson avenue, about
10:30 p. M. Then the sound begins. it
may be ravishing to Mexican ears, for the
Garcia is equipped with brand-new string
instruments recently purchased at Tucson.
On the first night City Marshal Roberts
was called upon by the citizens of Ameri
can No^-ales. But he was powerless to
abate the nuisance without first consult
ing the Secretary of State at Washington.
Several angry zens of the United States
gathered at the border and beseecbed
tbe Mexican policeman on the other
aide oi the street to suppress the Garcia.
The Sunday Call
lime and been obliterated by tbe ravages
of the years.
This is easily possible when it is consid
ered that all of these buildings that are
still in exigence are without roofs. There
are holes in the walls to show that there
were roofs on them once. [a fact, in one
cr two instances small pieces of rotton
wood were found in these holes, indicating
plainly that they once held supports to
the covering of the structure.
The little structures referred to might
be described as small boxes made of stone
and cement. They were in some instances
built in corners and in others along the
sides of the walls. The portions still
Standing w«»rn irom one loot to three feet
high and had all the semblance of fire
I have observed the same sort of struc
tures in the ruins in different parts of
Arizona. In the Canyon de Chelly and in
the Salt River country 1 have seen the
same things. In a stray little ruin in
New Mexico I have also seen them. They
all showed the same characteristics, and
The latter only smiled at the agony of
the gringos. It was learned afterward
that he had been pail five adobe dollars
for remaining obdurate to the gringos'
appeal. This was a fortnight ago. At
iniervals the sounds of the Garcia have
been repeated, and their effects have been
so heavily experienced in the United
States that an int> rnational rupture is in
deed imminent.
A Mexican inhab
itant of the native
quarter oi Phce lix.
Ariz., lies at the
point of death from
sheer fright, brought
about by the vision
of a billy-goat on a
dark night under unusual circumstances.
He t ought he saw a ghost down near the
railroad track, and a great many other
Mexicans who live in the neighborhood
were quite sure they were being haunted
by a ghoulish apparition. The awesome
thing caused great terror in tbe vicinity.
Brave men went out and shot off their
six- barreled guns nt it, while tiembling
women and children locked and barred
the vision from their sense of seeing.
The brave men shot too high, it was after
ward discovered, for the goat had a piece
of white muslin caught on its horns. The
traveling showman who owns the goat is
glad they shot so nigh, for he says it took
him long m> nihs to train that goat to
strut about on his hind legs. The Mexi
can who is dying from fright at the
vision is one of those whose bullets
pierced the whits rag thai floated irom his
it hardly seems possible tbat they could
have been used for anything else but
building fires in.
If these fireplaces ever had chimneys
they were buit up along the inner wall
of tbe house and so could have fallen
down very easily. There is certainly
enough debris scattered around the dif
ferent places to make this plausible. But
still stronger is the indication that there
were once chimneys there, and built just
that way, in the fact that the aboriginal
Indian tribes all build chimneys tha' way
at the present time.
A close study of the Indian fireplaces of
the present time and the fireplaces of the
old ruins shows a remarkable similarity
in shape and size. Here, of course, the
res- mblance ceases, for the old ruins are
in such a bed condition as to leave noth
ing but an outline. But that is enough to
show conclusively what they were used
The Indians of the present day do not
give the Spaniards any credit for teaching
them to build fireplaces, but say that they
goatship's horns. He was a nervy man
and a dead shot, so when be fi ed six
times and still the hideous wraith ad
vanced upon him he lay down and counted
his beads in a cold sweat. When they
found him he was unconscious. A scoff
ing white man disclosed the unconscious
hoax. The scared Mexican may recover,
but it is doubtful.
Eb Ellsworth, who
was foreman of the
jury tbat decreed the
death ot Philip Lash
ley, the colored pri
vate in the United
States troops at Fort
Huachuca, who killed
the sergeant of his company and was
afterward legally executed at Tucson, has
been haunted by the shade of the mur
derer, Ellsworth has been ill for some
months, and is now convalescing. He
came into the Sheriff's office at Tucson
the other day and told Sheriff Leather
wood a weird and mournful tale. He said
that every night since Lashley'a death,
which occurred last spring, the face of
that negro murderer has appeared at
his bedside. It was that which
made him ill. Try as he might, al: his
night hours were haunted by that grinning
negro head. He tried the expediency of
sleeping in the daytime and work
ing at night, hut this made no
difference. Then the fever came, and
the negro face was at his bedside
all the time. He says he believes it will
never leave him. Ellsworth -is by no
means a superstitious mau.. In fact, he
knew how to do so when their race was in
its infancy. Certain it is that some of
their oldest buildings have been standing
for centuries, and many of these contain
fireplaces and of a style similar to those
built at the present time. This is a
| strong indication that the work of build
• ing baa not teen learned in a couple o
i hundred years.
Archaeologists can find no more interest
ing study than these old fireplaces of the
aboriginal tribes of Arizona and New
Mexico. There is a strong similarity be
tween them, end yet each is so different
from ibe others in detail that there is no
simi amy at all.
Another feature of these fireplaces is
the fact that the Indian* have much the
same feeling for them thai English-speak
ing people Pave for theirs. "Seated by his
own fireside" means no more to a Euro
pean than it does to our aborigine. .
It is when seated in fr nt of a roaring
blaze that the old man loves to tell stories
to his grandchildren. It is here the legends
of the tribe are repeated and transmitted
is quite a materialist in his way and has
tried to explain the phenomenon along
physical lines, but has failed to account
for it at ail. He says he does not fear to
see the face; it baa no terrors for him, for
at all times he has the consciousness that
it cannot harm him. The Lashley trial
was celebrated. The Danish Government
was interested In it, because La&hley was
born on the island of St. Croix. Much
internaiioi.nl correspondence was bad be
fore the execution took place, and then it
was remembered that Lashley, at the
end of his trial, had stood up in the court
room and solemnly and fearfully vowed
to haunt the Judge and the jurymen who
were responsible for the death sentence
pronounced upon him. Neither Judge
Hethune nor any o her of the jurymen
have as yet seen anything of the negroid
wraith. . , -;:::;:.
One of tbe strang
est stories that trav
elers have brought
back from the won
derful land of the
Cocopahs in Lower
California is that of
r '", • v the roaring moun
tain, called by the Indians "El
Bramador." It is near the mouth of
the Colorado, has an altitude of 2500
fret and is quite near the famous sul
phur mines now being developed by a big
Pittsburg syndicate. As often, sometimes,
as twice in every twenty-four hours, and
seldom less than once in that time, a tre
mendous booming, dull and heavy, like
the firing of many cannons at some dia
from generation to generation. Itis here
that all important fetes of the winter sea
son are held and all ceremonies performed.
The Indians love the fireside, and make it
one of the most important parts of their
The accompanying group of drawings
will serve to give an idea of what these
primitive fireplaces look like. Most of the
drawings are made from original sketches,
but a few are from the report of the Bu
reau of Ethnology, so that there is no
doubt of their authenticity.
The buildings of tbe Indians are all
very much alike and similar in form to
the sketch in the upper left-hand corner.
This is from a group in the ancient city of
Laguna in New Mexico.
Stretching across the two Territories,
from Albuquerque in New Mexico to the
Needles west of Arizona, is a chain of these
buildings. Some are constructed of stone
and adobe, but the greater number are of
stone held together by a strong cement.
The buildings are invariably square in the
tance, is heard for miles around. It rever
berates and echoes for several minutes
from peak to peak, and the Indians call
it the voice of the native spirits. It is in
scientific parlance the sound of explosions
that are continually taking place in a
huge volcano that is active internally,
although there are no outward evidences
of eruptions. The theory advanced is that
accumulations of gases inside the volcano
find vent through the volcano or mud
volcanoes many miles distant.
A very peculiar
state of affairs was
disclosed the other
day at Terape, Ariz.,
when Gabriel Cosner
dug up tbe bodies of
John Hollingsworth
and Captain Harris
and removed them from the old buryinc
ground at Austin place to the Double
Butte Cemetery. The wooden portion of
both the coffins, which were made of
poli«hed redwood, showed no signs of
decay, while the metallic name plates, the
steel nails and screws and the bandies of
the caskets were completely eaten away
by rust until there was nothing left of
them but crumbling iron rust. The outer
boxes in which the caskets were encased
were mad- of pine wood and had crum
bled into sawdust. It is not known how
long the bodies had been buried, but the
relative lasting qualities of the materials
in question speak for themselves. A not
unusual phenomenon wa- acuta observed
in this instance. At he time of Hollmgs
worth's death he was almost bald, being a
The jictures almost explain themselves
as far as the general appearance of the fire
places go* s. These are constructed of stones
held in place with cement and plastered
over with the same material. In some of
them large slabs of stone are used for the
sides. A hood hanging over the fireplace
acts as a guile 1 3 the smoke so thi tit is
sure to reach the outer air.
Desert greasewood is the principal fuel
used in these old fireplaces.
Slabs of stones are also in many cases
made to form the sides of the fireplaces.
To use these slabs for ovens is the rule
rather than the exception. In this case
the stones are simply piled into the shape
of a box and held in place with cement.
In many cases the chimney from these
fireplaces is simply a hole in the roof, but
frequently it extends upward many feet.
Sometimes old water-jars are used to in
crease the height. With the bottoms
broken out they are piled one on top of
another, eventually creating one of the
most pictuiesque objects of the whole
Southwest. Will Sparks.
very old man. When disinterred there
was an extraordinary growth of hair on
the head and the beard had grown till it
reached below bis waist.
In the weird and
mysterious land of
the Cocopahs in Low
er California is a
stream in which the
most impatient of
would -be fishermen
cou d haidly fail to
make a good catch at
any hour of the day
or night. This is the Rio Hardy, that
flows out of a land of a thousand volca
noes and down the mountainside. My
riads of fish swarm this stream. They
are so numerous, in truth, that it is difß-
cult to navigate a boat in the river for
their presence. They are mostly mullets,
and are said to possess a very delicate fla
vor, tender flesh, with the minimum of
small bones. This is the way the native
Indians catch them: They push their
canoes out in the stream on a moonless
night and plant a big torch in the center
of their boat. Then they sit still and wait
an hour or so, until the canoe is nearly
filled with the floundering mullets which
j have leaped inside, attracted by the light
of the torch. The few white men who
have enjoyed the privilege of fishing in
the Rio Hardy say the fish are so easily
caught that one soon tires of the sport.
. ** — **
In Australia -pring begins August 20,
summer November 20, autumn February
20. and winter May 2a

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