Old Salt Lake | Virtual Museum
[ Transcribed ]
A Grand Plan Of Development.
Much of It Already Achieved and Immensely Much More to be Achieved in the Immediate Future - A Sketch of the Centlnela. Inglewood and Redondo Beach Improvements - Interesting Details.
For some time past the writer has been promising himself a visit to Inglewood and Redondo Beach. He was the more anxious to make the trip, because, on the turn of the year 1874-75, he had been at the sale of Centinela lands advertised by Mr. Dan Freeman, who had but recently bought the magnificent Centinela-Sausal Redondo ranchos from Sir Francis Burnett, a gentleman who had just then succeeded to a Scotch baronetcy, and who for years prior to his accession to that dignity, which called him home to Caledonia, had used these prolific lands as a sheep range. In passing, we may remark that the Southdown mutton, which so agreeably crops up in Southern California markets, is due to Sir Francis, who was a man devoted to fine types of sheep.
Taking the 9:40 Santa Fe train for Bedondo Beach, the scribe, under the guidance of Mr. S. 0. Brown, the Vice-President and Manager of the Redondo Beach Company, was quickly whirled out of the city; and, in the Vernon District, on Wilmington street, the first object of note encountered was the Los Angeles Sewer Pipe Company's works. Their plant represents capital and energy; and, even in its incipient stage, it shows up in goodly shape. The corporation is now adding a terra cotta department to its manufactory, and a large pile of a beautiful lightcolored chocolate clay, brought from Elsinore, in San Diego county, shows how rich and ornate its tile-work will be. We had time but for a glance at this station, which is not yet named, and the next manufacturing object of interest was Mr. Dan Freeman's Continuous Brick Works - a process by which, it is sufficient to say in this connection, you keep digging out bricks day by day. By this process Mr. Freeman is able to make brick by the untold million at $3.50 a thousand, with an unlimited demand for the article at $8. With a short stop we were whirled through Inglewood, of which more anon, and finally pulled up at Redondo Beach, which we had not seen for nearly a year.
A GRAND VIEW AND A MAGICAL CHANGE.
Probably there is not on earth a better marine view than can be obtained from a thousand coignes of vantage furnished by the charming conformation of this favored spot. From heights back of the town the eye sweeps uninterruptedly from the Catalina Islands and the islands of tbe Santa Barbara channel to the San Gorgonio range of mountains, capped with snow. To the northeast Los Angeles looms up with a majesty that can only be realized from the Redondo hills. In the immediate foreground is a beach and bathing surf nowhere surpassed on the American continent. The site selected for the hotel is a commanding knoll, tbe ocean front of which has been bulkheaded for a distance of three thousand feet. South of the wharf the lots have been set apart for the more pretentions class of residences, which will soon abound in Redondo Beach. On that portion of this tract immediately adjoining the hotel, the company will sell no lots where tbe purchaser does not bind himself to put up a seaside villa which assures a certain elegance of architecture. To facilitate an eclectic settlement on this portion of the tract, the company makes a discount of 10 per cent, on schedule prices on the purchase where a $2,000 cottage is to be erected, 20 per cent, where the amount is $3,000. and 30 per cent, where it is $4,000, and so on. On this exclusive section of the tract, they will sell no lots without a building condition. Two grand approaches will lead up to the hotel, which will be up to a high standard of modern demand. As a bathing beach and as a beach drive, it wonld be hard to surpass the attractions of Redondo Beach. The hotel will be completed and ready for opening by the Ist of August. One of its features will be brine baths, hot, with a cold brine shower, of a saline consistency equal to that of the celebrated Salt Lake, whose efficacy as a tonic and as a curative in liver and kidney diseases and scorbutic affections has become worldwide.
The men who have taken charge of the Redondo Beach Company are capitalists of note throughout the whole Pacific Coast. They are Captain George J. Ainsworth, President, residence, Oakland ; Mr. S. O. Brown, Vice-President and Manager; Mr. R. G. Brewer, Secretary. The principal owners are Captain J. C. Ainsworth, Oakland, and Captain R. R. Thompson, San Francisco. These names will carry confidence throughout the whole Pacific Coast, standing, as they do, for great opulence and unimpeached integrity.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT REDONDO BEACH.
Before we proceed to discuss the business details of Redondo Beach, we deem it fit to note that it has a soil unsurpassed for loamy richness and depth, which grows alfilerilla to a height of a foot right on the brink of old ocean, and on which volunteer crops of barley are now growing in a luxuriance without a parallel on any ocean frontage in the world. The excavation for the hotel site of itself shows the depth and fertility of the soil to a striking degree. The air of the Redondo Beach and of its abutting highlands is so exquisitely compounded that it proves an elixir to the consumptive, rescuing him from death. Judge Anson Brunson, who has commanding lots on the heights back ot Redondo, and who proposes to build shortly, has furnished, without designing it, a remarkable instance of the rejuvenating effects of the Redondo Beach air. lie has done this in the person of a brother, who has much of the spiritual and intellectual personality of the distinguished ex-Judge, and who came out to die, seeking to ward off the Black Angel for a brief time, and he is now a comparative stalwart, busying himself about plans for building himself a house out of Redondo Beach pebbles - a thing of beauty in many fanciful shapes; comprising, amongst the rest, agatized quartz of exceptional brilliancy and transparency. One more example, and we shall get down to prosaic details. Captain Thompson, one of the millionaire proprietors of the Centinela-Inglewood and Redondo Beach properties, before he purchased into the place was driven around the exquisite highlands environing the present company's possessions. The old company had carefully staked out the tract; and, on one of these posts sat a lark, in midwinter, pouring out his full-throated melodies on the air. Says Capt. Thompson to Mr. Brown, "Look at that fool lark ; he thinks it is spring." "Well, Captain," says Mr. Brown, "this is a country where it is spring all the year. You never see this region when it is colder than it is to-day." The visitor incontinently yielded" to the other attractions of Redondo Beach. He surrendered preconceived ideas and invested his money at the same time.
To descend to vulgar details, the Redondo Beach tract comprises 1.250 acres, purchased from the Sefioritas Dominguez. Its superb wharf, constructed on the latest developments of marine architecture, is 900 feet long and 80 feet wide, with warehouse, two lines of track, hoisting engines, water pipes and all appliances complete. The depth of water at ordinary low tide is thirty feet at the end of the wharf.and eighteen feet inshore from the ocean end. It is built with a special view to strength, and is diagonally braced underneath with one and one-half-inch iron rods. The company have purchased a fine tug in San Francisco, which will leave for Redondo on Wednesday next, loaded with supplies for the energetic prosecution of work. They have also purchased a lot of fine boats in San Diego �of the Whitehall pleasure-seeking variety�which will be kept for the use of tbe public. By the first of April a steam launch will also be added to the pleasure fleet.
THE WATER - WORKS, HOTEL AND BATH HOUSES.
The water-works of the Redondo Beach Company consist of a compound Worthington pump of 1,500,000 gallons daily capacity; one forty horse-power boiler, fitted with all the modern appliances. The water supply is drawn from thirty-two wells, all connected with a double system of suction pipes, so that the water is drawn from each well alike. A constant test, at the rate of 600 gallons per minute, fails to perceptibly lower the water, thus assuring to the town an abundant supply of pure and soft water. The water mains are of eight and six inch cast and lapwelded pipe. The reservoir is 164 feet above the works and 148 feet above the hotel site. It is of concrete throughout, with twelve inch sides and a bottom six inches thick. It is 110 feet long, 105 wide on the bottom and is 18 feet deep. The resevoir has a capacity of three million gallons.
As we have said, the hotel will be erecteil at once. It will be on the same general plan as the "Ramona," at San Luis Obispo, but it will be much larger. It will contain 220 rooms, and will be finished and furnished in first class style. The two lower stories will be of brick, and the upper stories of brick and wood.
As we have noted before, a special feature will be the hot and cold salt water baths, water for which will be brought from the Salt lake�the old Will Tell salt works �which contains three times the sodium matter of ocean water.
A curious feature of the exquisitely soft and pure water with which Redondo Beach is supplied is that the wells from which it is pumped are located within a few feet of the salt springs - which are themselves six feet higher than the ocean - and are located in a sort of shell dyke, which assures the intelligent observer that they are the percolation of mountain springs, caught on the very rim of the sea.
A large bath, house for transient visitors and excursionists will be built on the opposite side of the track from the railway station, and within fitty feet from the trains which will bring the thousands who. in tbe Summer season, will be anxious to plunge into the briny. Another bath house, for the use of the hotel guests, will be built nearly a half a mile south.
We have before referred to the bulkhead, or sea wall,which has been already partially built, extending from tho wharf south to the present bath house, and which will be shortly completed. On a portion of this bulkhead the walls have been sloped down to tho bulkhead. The whole surface will be thus treated, and will be planted with grasses and suitable flowers.
The hotel grounds comprise twenty-two and a half acres, and will be laid out with flowers, lawns, and Forest Park. Tbe improvement on these grounds is already well under way. There has already been a large demand for lots on this splendid preserve, and many of our wealthiest citizens will proceed at once to build elegant seaside villas, and thet will have them ready for occupancy during the coming spring. Amongst them are Judge Brunson, several members of the firm of Harper, Reynolds & Co., the Dominguez sisters and a list too numerous for mention.