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February 26, 2021

The Santa Clara Valley

By:  Gilroy Advocate, October 1868

It is not our purpose at present to say much in regard to the claims of the valley of Santa Clara, over other parts of California for a permanent settlement. It is well known, however, conceded by all who have explored this State extensively, that no other part of it will favorably compare with this in point of climate, health, timber, water, fertility of soil and its various and ample productions.

The Sacramento, San Joaquin, Feather and Yuba rivers, especially the latter two, are filling up with sediment to an alarming extent, so much so, that in many places the winter and spring floods fill all the neighboring sloughs with water which remains through the hot summer days, becoming stagnant, engendering chills, fever and a variety of other diseases, thereby rendering the settlement of those valleys more desirable and profitable to the medical faculty than they are to families. Health and climate are paramount to all other objects. Thousands of persons now living in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys are anxious to find a country where they can take their families and be free from the constant plague of fever and ague. The time may come when those valleys will become as they were from 1849 to 1856, when sickness there was comparatively unknown, but that time will not arrive until the sloughs and low lands are all drained, and the overflow of those rivers prevented by levies, from inundating the whole country.

Enterprise and money will accomplish this, doubtless, some day, and we hope the time is not too far distant. Thousands however, are not willing to remain with their families and abide that time and take the chances. They would leave for some little nook in the mountains, or for Santa Clara Valley or some other place tomorrow if they could sell out their lands and go where they could enjoy good health.

Where then, on the whole Pacific slop, or under the canopy of heaven, can they find a country more to be desired for health, etc., than this valley? To be sure it is neither very wide or long, but the climate is all that can be desired. There is no stagnant water, no shivering with chills in summer, or burning with fever in winter—no mosquitoes or gnats to annoy man or beast. The finest and most durable redwood timber in the world to be had at reasonable rates for fencing and building.

The Southern Pacific Railroad will soon be finished as far as Gilroy, about 81 miles south of San Francisco. Then from this point to the great metropolis of the Pacific, farmers in all this region of country can take their surplus produce to the Bay City in a few hours and return with little expense, and Gilroy being the great central depot, is destined, Phoenix-like, to rise and grow in proportion to the demands of the surrounding country and the enterprise of its children.

There is no country offering greater inducements to family immigration, in our humble opinion, than are now being offered in this part of California. Without entering into detail, let is suffice to say that all the cereals, esculent roots and fruits of the vine and tree that grow elsewhere in California, are produced with luxurious abundance in Santa Clara valley.

We shall call attention to this subject very frequently, and that, too, without any apprehension of exhausting it. Like pure gold, the more it is rubbed the brighter it will shine, and people in search of pleasant homes will thereby soon find them, and fill up our valley with a thriving population.

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