Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The news-herald. (Plattsmouth, Neb.) 1909-1911 | View Entire Issue (Oct. 28, 1909)
F "Seward's Folly" wero
jiitlilidl in PD other way
than by tti" purchase of
this territory as u pre
serve of scenic grandeur,
our far-sighted secretary
of state would be wholly exonerated.
After a visit to southeastern Alas
la one author of note has written:
"Combine all that is beet in the beau
ties of the Hudson and the Rhine, of
Lakes Ceorgo and Killarney. of the
."Yosemito aud all of Switzerland, and
you have a slight conception of the
beauties of this green archipelago."
aiuch of all this grandeur is to be
found in Alaska's mountains.
Because of the comparative inac
cessibility, except at great cost and
much expenditure of time, the moun
tain districts have been visited by
only a favored few. Hut the ac-
counts and descriptions of these, for
Filled by photographs of the regions!
are such as to awaken a keen desire!
In all lovers of nature to see them
The steamers running to Juneau j. (J
and Skagway traverse a course which V X
Is yearly pronounced by hundreds:
who take this trip as the most scenic (
upon the globe. For a thousand miles
the steamer winds Its way through
tortuous and narrow passages, the
waters of which are as smooth as a
mill pond, while snow-capped peaks,
ice fields, waterfalls and green slopes
pass in panoramic view before the
The Coast Range of Dritlsh Co
lumbia nnd southeastern Alaska Is
an Irregular mass of mountains with
no definite crest line. These moun
tains may be considered a general
northern extension of the highlands
which parallel the Pacific seaboard of
the United States. Along the entire coast
from Seattle to Skagway the sculpturing and
general physiograhplc features of these moun
tains are such as to make them of particular
Interest. The broad, smooth-sided, ice-carved
valleys, which subsequently were filled with
water, duo to the sinking of tho entire region,
make a very Irregular coast-line, marked by
numberless fiords, mauy of which extend far
An archipelago of numberless Islands, the
relief of which is nearly equal to that of the
mainland, fringes this entire const line. The
passages between these Islands aro deep, each
being remarkably uniform throughout Its en
tire length. The mountains of both the
Islands and mainland rise, bold and precipi
tous, from the water's edge to heights of from
5,000 to 10,000 feet.
Many of the side valleys exhibit to a
marked degree that physiographic characteris
tic of glacial sculpturing the hanging valley.
Often Is seen, some hundreds of feet above
tidewater, the broad, symmetrically carved,
U-shaped shelf, which, colored by the ever
greens, makes a wonderful frame about the
picture formed In the background by the cold,
gray mountains, with their snow-capped
peaks, and in the foreground the stream fed
by the melting snow and glaciers of the mnln
range, plunging, roaring, often cascading
down tho precipitous face of the mountains
for hundreds of feet.
As the steamer glides past the entrance
of a fiord one catches a glimpse of a group of
white buildings nestled at tho" base of the
mountains, where tho sparkling, mirror-like
waters of the Inlet meet the precipitous
evergreen slopes. An exclamation of amaze-
ment at tho beauty of the picture Is well nigh
Irrepressible. These buildings are simply one
group of which there are scores nlong the
southern coast, making one of the greatest of
Alaska's Industries, the canning of salmon.
There are approximately 200,000,000 cans f
talmon sent from Alaska each season.
Route Through the Mountains.
6kagway, at the head of salt water uavlga-
it", j2, JJr!J.t?t- "',...
SMDRS PSAK-ffUGGED AMGULAR AHD
Hon of southeastern Alaska, Is the southern
terminus of the White Pass & Yukon rail
road, which is the connecting link between
the Pacific ocean and the Yukon river, the
great artery of central Alaska. This railroad
is one of the Interesting engineering accom
plishments of the age. Starting at tidewater,
it follows the valley bottom of the Skagway
river for about three miles, and then gradu
ally climbs the precipitous sides, winding In
and out of tho smaller side valleys and can
yons, frequently crossing them, until 13 miles
in a direct line from the starting point it
crosses the Coast Range at the White Tass,
2,888 feet above the sea. On the northern
side the range slopes gently to the great In
terior plateau, thus making the grade of the
road from the pass to Whltehorse, the north
ern terminus, very slight, the elevation of the
latter place being 2,084 feet.
A trip to the westward from Skagway may
take one either by Sitka or through Icy strait
and Cross sound. If the former is taken, an
opportunity Is given for viewing Mount
Kdgecnmbe, tho only recognized volcnno in
southeastern Alaska. Situated as It Is, Just
off the coast, Its dome-shaped summit covered
with snow, It adds much to the beauty of the
surroundings of Sitka, which is one of the
most picturesque spots on the globe.
If the more frequented route through Cross
sound is taken, the progress of the steamer
will undoubtedly be greatly hampered by
winding its way through the waters thickly
strewn with floating cakes of ice. These Ice
bergs are supplied by the large glaciers in tho
vicinity; the Johns Hopkins, Mulr and Brady
glaciers and many others, each being largo
ice-sheets covering hundreds of squnre miles,
discharge into (Jlacier bay, which opens to
St. Ellas Mountains.
From Cross sound westward the mountains
Increase in height and grandeur. The Fair
weather mountains rise abruptly from the
ocean to heights of over 15,000 feet, while
farther to the westward the range increases
in elevation until, at Mouut St. Ellas and
Mount Logan, altitudes of
IS, coo feet and l'J.i'OO feet,
respectively, are touched.
Mount St. Kllas, howev
er, tins figured in Alaskan
exploration from the ear
liest accounts. In fact, it
Is the first point of the ter
ritory which was sighted
by llerlng in 1741. lie dis
covered It on St. Kilns' day
and accordingly gave it the
name. Singularly, It Is a
cornerstone of the Interna
tional boundary, since It
lies practically In longitude
141 degrees and Is on the
crest of the range. Hero
the boundary, which fol
lows the one hundred and
forty-first meridian, bends
abruptly to the east, fol-
i . .u
lowing the crest of then
St. Ellas, while not the ;
highest In the group, has -
become the most widely
known because of the
numerous attempts to
climb it. I. C. Russell,
of the United States ge
ological survey, mado
two attempts to reach
the top. One of the ex
peditions of which he
was the leader was
financed by tho National
Geographic society. Ilia
narrative of one of these
expeditions was printed
in the National (!co
grnphlc Magazine In May, 1891. Tho harrowing
experience is related of two days alone on tho
snow-clad sides of the mountain at an elevation
of 14,000 feet, while a fierce blizzard raged nnd
many feet of nwe snow were added to the old.
Russell wa unsuccessful in his attempts
to reach the summit, but his suggestions as
to the advisable route in an ascent gave such
accurate nnd valuable information to those
who followed that the Duke of Abruzzl, ac
companied by guides, prollting by his advice,
succeeded In reaching the summit in 18'J7.
While but 18,000 feet in height, Mount St.
Ellas, as well as McKlnley nnd many other
Alaskan mountnins. presents dllliculties to the
mountaineer not usually encountered. Unlike
the majority of ditlicult peaks which have
been conquered, where the first few thousand
feet of altitude are traversed over roads or
trails, the entire lS.ooo feet demand extreme
exertion and present mnny obstacles to be
overcome. The Journey throughout Its entire
length being over glaciers, the unique problem
of combining arctic exploration with mountain
climbing is experienced.
Glaciers and Snow Fields.
The eastern part, especially the coastal
slope of the St. Klias nnd Fairweather ranges,
is the only portion of Alaska which bears out
the popular belief that the territory is cov
ered with ice and snow. Here in the high
mountains, there are many Alpine glaciers and
snow fields, but the Mnlasplnn glacier is the
largest single ice field and, indeed, the most
extensive on the North American continent.
This great piedmont glacier spreads out over
tho coastal plain, presenting a front of 85
miles to the sea nnd, including the novo fields
which feed It, cover an area of 3,000 square
This Ice field Is most vividly described by
Russell, who viewed it from the upper slopes
of Mount St. Ellas, as "a vast, snow-covered
region, limitless in expanse, through which
hundreds and probably thousands of barren,
angular peaks project. There was not a
stream, not a lake, not a vestige of vegetation
la sight. A more desolate or more utterly
mount ORun-n ooo n high
ilfeless land one never beheld." The
view of this Ice field and the adja
cent mountains as seen from the
ocean Is superb In the extreme.
This southern chain of tnountninn
continues to the westward, where It
Is known as the Chugach mountains,
passing around the head of Prince
William sound and terminating in thn
Kt uai peninsula, where it. forms little
more than highlands. Just north of
I'rince William sound the range Is a
mass of snow clad peaks. In the val
leys of which are hundreds of stfuavo
in lion of Ice, almost entirely unex
Alaska'! Highest Volcanoes.
About 130 miloH to tlm northwest of Mount
St. Kilns are tho wonderfully Impressive peaks
of the Wrnngell group, which owe their origin
largely to vulcanism. There are many peaks
in this group, but four, because of excessive
altitude, grandeur or activity, demand special
Mount Sanford, the highest, reaches an
elevation of 16,200 ftet, while lUackhurn Is a
close second at 16,140 feet. Uoth of these,
mountains are extinct volcanoes. Mount
Wrnngell Is a great, Hat dome 14.000 feet
high and about 23 miles in diameter at its
base. It Is the only active volcano of Inland
Alaska. Its summit Is snow-covered, but sur
rounding the vent is a coating of ash renewed
Intermittently by rolling clouds of smoke and
vapor which are sent up from tho crater.
Mount Drum, also a volcanic cone, but now
deeply dissected, though but. 12.000 feet high
is the most Impressive one of the group. Situ
ntcd as it is, well out In tho Copper rivet
plain, with nothing to detract from Its
grandeur, its Isolation commands the
observer's undivided attention.
Much of the Wrangell range Is covered
."vltn 'CB an(l perennial snow, forming long,
lillKcr.nko AIplne K,aclcrs
0n tho north wegt and BOulh B,(log of lhe
cr01p the mcltng Bnow and lce of the Rla.
, f tributArlnn nf fhn fnnncr river.
which flows southward through the Copper
river basin nnd brenks through the Chugach
mountains nt about longitude 143 degrees, for
the most part in a narrow canyon. Though
the Copper river in stretches Is very swift and
dangerous, it serves as a route of approach to
the Inland gold nnd copper fields. Tho can
yons and rapids of the lower river, though
serious obstacles to navigation, have not pre
vented tho use of this route.
The Advent of Railways.
The onward march of civilization and de
velopment, which has opened tip our western
states so wonderfully, is steadily nt work In
Alaska. Already the screech of the locomo
tive has broken tho silence of the mountain
fastnesses, stnrtling tho mountain gonts and
sheep from their haunt3 among the Jagged
spurs along the canyons. Tho Copper river
railroad Is being steadily advanced against the
most difficult of engineering obstacles. It fol
lows the valley of tho river, crossing it twice
to the present point of Its construction, and
another crossing will be made. If the present
ruto of progresss continues the road will soon
reach the base of the Wrangell mountains
and thus make it possible to develop the cop
per deposits of that field. About 200 miles
to the west of tho Copper river from Resur
rection bay northward through a low pass In
the Kenal mountains the Alaska Central rail
road company has commenced to build a line
to the coal fields of the Matanuska valley and
Is contemplating an extension up the valley
of the Susltna across a low pass in the Alaska
range to Fairbanks, on the Tanana river, and
the center of a large placer district.
Tho Alaska range stretches from a little
explored region In tho vicinity of Lake Clark,
west of Cook Inlet, northward for 100 miles or
more, then trends gradually eastward, increas
ing In altitude until in Mount McKlnley It
attains the remarkable height of 20,3oO foet.
It is broken by gaps 2,400 feet and 3,000 feet
above sea level. The eastern end of the
r:iiif;e rises again until at Mount. Hayes an
elevation of 13.800 feet is readied.
Words fail to express one's impression of
tho Alaska range when viewed under favor
able circumstances. In Wo, while making a
trip through the Talkeetna mountains, the
writer had such nn opportunity as is rarely
experienced. Ills view was from an elevation
of about 2,300 feet on the foothills on the
western slope of tho Talkeetna group. The
day was perfect; not a cloud could bo seen in
the heavens. Uelow lay the broad, level val
ley of the Susitna river, beautifully carpeted
In the deep green of the conlferae, whilo here
and there a shining patch of light, outlining a
lake, broke the monotony and through the
center of it all the Susitna wound like a silver
JUDGE SEDGWICK A3 LAWYER
It is said of Judge Sedgwick, oso of
th republican nominees for tho su
premo bench, that, in his thirty-one
years' praetUe In Nebraska, exclusive;
)f hi service on the bench, he has
been so successful In prosecuting
cases ugalnst corporations that hU
services have been sought in nearly
every case of this kind that has been
brought in York county.
lie believes in compelling all per
sons and corporations to obey the
law. and thom more familiar with hi
services on the bench unito in saylns
that he Is entirely free from prejudlco
or fear, nnd that his decisions aro not
ffected by the personnel, either of tlm
parties or the attorneys. He Is not
afraid to decide a case upon Its
merits, nnd for this reason he is popu
lar as a Judge with the best lawyers In
the state, and all who are familiar
with the work of the courts.
The decision of the Supremo Court,
sustaining tho present railway com
mission, was wrlttfli by Judgo Sedg
wick, and his reasoning Is so clear nnd
conclusive that It was accepted at
once by tho bar of tho state, nnd tho
Interested parties. It la to this deci
sion that Nebrnska owes the exist
'iico of the railway commission and
that tho public is enabled to exer
clso control over common carriers
and all public service corporations
through the commission system.
Case of Polo-Myelitis.
Tecuniseh. There Is a case of pojrv
myelitis In this vlclnty. (iladys Irvln,
the Oyenr-old daughter of Mr. nnd
Mrs. Porter Irvln, who lives west of
Tecnniseh, Is tho sufferer. Dr. Wilson
of Tawnee City, secretary of the stata
board of health, says this Is the only
case reported from Southeastern Ne
braska. Protest Against Ferrer Execution.
Lincoln. Circulars wero scattered
about Lincoln announcing that a pro
test meeting will be held at which
protests will bo entered against the
recent execution of Prof. Francisco
Ferrer at Modelo, Spain.
Good Yield of Wheat.
Pannebrog The recent heavy frosts
hnvo ripened tho corn, and husking
will soon bo In full blast. Corn Is of
good quality and will averngo some
thing like forty bushels to the acre.
The threshing season Is nearly over
and farmers in general are rejoicing
over the good yield of wheat, which
has averaged about twenty-five bush
els per acre. The ncrenge of wheat
sown this fall will somewhat exceed
thnt of last year.
At the National Corn Show.
Kansas, tho habitat of alfalfa and
the "hogs' Idea of heaven" will show
the results of some interesting ex
periments with alfalfa, the plant which
has not only given hogs the best feed
they have, but hns at onco solved the
problem of soil fertility and mainten
ance. A Singing Candidate.
Aurora. Political Interest Is now
running hlfih In this county. Tho
Wood brothers' qunrtct Is holding
singing and speaking meetings In
every part of the county. One of th
brothera is running for office.
Beaver City Corn Show.
Beaver City. One of the most In
teresting events occurlng in Furnaa
county during the year was the boys'
and girls' corn show and cooking con
tests held at Heaver City October 20.
Over 300 people were In attendance,
and 125 entries wero made In the con
Quick Trip to Save Child's Life.
Lyons. Ed. Rurdlck's 4-year-old
child got hold of a bottle of strychnlna
and swallowed a quantity of It. Dr.
Keetel was at once called py phone
and reached the place in his automo
bile In Just thirty minutes a distance
of eleven miles and saved tho child's
life by the use of a stomach pump.
This certainly shows the value of the
telephone and the automobile to tho
Beet Sugar Factory Starts Up.
Grand Island. The factory of the
Americnn Beet Sugar company of this
city Is now In full swing on the 1909
crop of beets. The roots are testing
about 15 per cent on tho average and
a profitable campaign, though prob
ably not quite as long as some have
been, is expected. Applications are
coining in more rapidly than In former
years for contracts for the growing
of beets next year, the result of the
more favorable price of $5 per ton flat.
Land Sales In Kansas.
Washington Public land sales In
Kansas aggregated 1163,229 during
the last fiscal year and that state
will receive $7,382 of thnt amount for
educational purposes. The balance
goes into the United States treasury
to tho credit of tho fund for recla
mation projects In Kansas.
News and Notes.
The Chilean government has decided
upon naval expenditures to the
amount of $20,000,000. The program
Includes tho building of a Dread
nought. Ismael Montes, the ex-president of
riollvla, has accepted the post of min
ister to Great Rrltain.
Another of the nlleged fraudulent
notes handled by John T. Lumbnrd,
treasurer of the town of Framlngham,
Mass. came to light.
The general education board an
nounced that It had mado a condition
al appropriation of $123,000 to Ohio
Wesleyan university at Delawaro, O.
With an Imposing military cere
mony the Royal Edward Institute,
from which the fight against the white
plague In Montreal will in future be
conducted, was formally opened.
Powered by Open ONI