Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of California, Riverside; Riverside, CA
Newspaper Page Text
Yosemite for the People.
Wm. E. Smythe, author of "The Conquest of Arid America," thus en dorses a proposition to improve the Yosemite Valley. We quote from that popular magazine — "Out West." The wave of enthusiasm for the building of California which is sweep ing over the States has produced a crop of valuable ideas. It is signifi cant that so many of them take the form of suggestions looking to public enterprise. More and more it is seen that we have come to the end of our day of little things and stand upon the threshold of a day of large under takings. This being so, we are forced to realize that our choice lies be tween the encouragement of vast pri vate investments and the adoption of a plan of development under public auspices. The appreciation of the fact marks a transition in popular sentiment. We are seriously consider ing the assertion of public authority and the use of public capital and credit in doing many things essential to the full development of the State— such things, for instance, as the storage of the floods, the replanting of the for ests, and the drainage of the Sacra mento Basin. After all it Is a very short step from the policy of river and harbor improvements to the adop tion of similar methods in doing other things of equal, if not of greater im portance. L. M. Holt of Los Angeles, who has furnished a perennial stream of good ideas for the last thirty years, now comes forward with a most interest ing suggestion touching the future of Yosemite Valley. He says that this great State property is now a liabil ity, entailing an annual loss of thou sands of dollars, whereas it ought to be a productive asset. It requires better hotel accommodations, an elec tric railroad to take the place of slow and costly stage facilities, and several such mountain roads as that which ascends Mount Lowe in Southern California, so that the tiresome mule ride can be obviated. Mr. Holt thinks the State itself should deal with these matters and he points out the obvious fact that it would be a profitable en terprise in direct returns, immensely more so indirectly, because of the people it would attract to the State, and that in addition to this it would open the park to a great number of Californians who cannot afford to visit it, or at least to remain longer than a brief holiday, under present conditions. Mr. Holt's suggestion is worthy of general discussion. Two probable ob jections to its adoption will readily occur to the reader. It will be said that this wonderland will lose some thing of its picturesqueness when the electric car succeeds the stage-coach and the mountain tramway the mule ride. Then it will be thought, if not openly said, that it is a pity to make the place too common by rendering it too accessible. The other argument against the proposal . will be the old, old objection to all forms of public enterprise — that it involves public debt. It is possible to sympathize with sentimental regret at the passing of the picturesque, even when nothing is lost except the discomforts of travel. Of course, the natural objects in the Yosemite will be no less wonderful and beautiful because the traveler has been transported by electricity in stead of by horse or mule power, nor because he has made the trip in a quarter of the time formerly re quired, and at one quarter of the pres ent expense. True, the adventure loses some of its novelty, but so has modern transportation throughout the world when compared with the days of the stage-coach, of the canal boat, and of the sailing vessel. Still, no one wishes to return to the old way of doing things. A thousand people travel now where one traveled before. So a thousand people will enjoy the glories of Yosemite where one can do so now. And this will add something to the sum of human happiness. Just here lies the strongest argument in favor of Mr. Holt's plan. The Yosem ite is now the resort of the few. It ought to be the playground of the many. Every Californlan should Ttnow It by contact, and the excursion should be made so cheap 1 that all vis itors to the State could afford to go there and imbibe such an enthusiasm as should last them for a lifetime. This grand park is the property of the public nnd should be made avail able for the use of the public. As the matter now stands, the public main tains it at a loss of several thousand dollars a year for the benefit of the comparatively few who can afford the time and expense of the trip. To those who object to public un dertakings because it may involve a public debt, even less may be said. It may be presumed that no one expects California to stand still, and that no one expects the State to be developed as a matter of private benevolence. It follows that capital must be used to make our resources available. Whether that capital be private or public the people must pay the divi dend upon it in some form, as they pay dividends on all the railroad and industrial investments. The advan tage of public enterprise is that it can be carried on with cheaper money and that the burden is lightened by the elimination of the profits which private investors require. In the case of the Yosemite improvements, the investment would take care of itself from the direct returns of the enter prise, while the whole State would collect commercial dividends from the tourists attracted and social dividends from the advantages enjoyed. The same wise instinct which led the people to retain the Yosemite as a public property, should now lead them to make it accessible to the larg est use on the easiest terms. Luck means rising at 6 o'clock in the morning and not spending more than half your income; , minding your own business and not meddling with other people's; trusting in God and your own resources; the appointment you have failed to keep, and to leave nothing worth doing to chance. Nations, like men, exert their greatest influence by example, not by force. Sand Smoothing, Ditching? &c, Contour Plan or Otherwise. EDGAR BROTHERS ■ I N. DYKE Attorney-at-Law Imperial, California A. W. PATTON, BLACKSMITHING HEAVY TIRE SETTING A SPECIALTY IMPERIAL. | Imperial | | Telephone | \ Company | 0 Offices at C X IMPERIAL i 0 CALEXICO I 1 FLOWINQWELL i 0 IRES 0 \ ni'SSAQUS SENT TO OR / A RECEIVED PROn ANY PART \ \ OP THE WORLD \ \ Telephones (j a For Rent > IMPERIAL PRESS GOME TO IMPERIAL Bmtw , b , Implements and ~~ Hardware?! EDGAR BROTHERS "»"" They sell McCormick Harvesting Machinery, Moline Plow Co.'s goods, Fencing Wire of all kinds and Patent Hog Fence. GEO. A. CARTER G. E. HEBER J. E. HEBER Imperial Hay and Grain Co. LJ A V and SEED GRAINS, IMPLEMENTS Imperial, - - - - California IMPERIAL MERCANTILE CO. droceries, dealers ;i N Canned Dry floods, ...GENERAL... (foofo m MERCHANDISE Mm< HAY AND GRAIN, tldrdvare, seed grains Implements, CALEXICO, - CAL Geo. A. Carter & Co., LUMBER And all Kinds of Building Material Contracting, Freighting, Etc. ■ IMPERIAL, CALIFORNIA Homeseekers and Colonists Should take advantage of the excellent Tourist Car service from New Orleans to the Imperial Settle- ments maintained by the Southern Pacific #For information write or ask agent 261 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, Cal. 3