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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1857
([1857])

California superintendency,   pp. 387-408 PDF (8.6 MB)


Page 405

CALIFORNIA. 
NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS. 
The crops on the reservation look well, and a large yield may be 
expected. 
From " Ten Mile river" towards the north., the country of the 
Camel-el-pomas, there is a tract of very fertile land, ten miles in ex- 
tent, having a flat or gently rolling portion from half a mile to two 
miles wide, stretching from the coast to the foot. of Bald Hills, where 
the finest pasture can be had at all seasons. There is but one big 
gulch on it. In the next ten miles, still proceeding northward, there 
are fine fishing streams, where salmon and other fish can be caught in 
great quantities. This tract is rather hilly, and vast portions of it are
covered with acorns and chestnuts to such an extent that our horses 
would occasionally walk on them for several minutes without touching 
the ground. This is the country of the Yon-sal-pomas and the Bay- 
ma-pomas. 
We found a very good summer harbor here, and were much aston- 
ished at the quantity of sharks. As far as the eye could reach, on 
either side, the shore was lined with them, for a distance varying from 
one hundred yards to a quarter of a mile. They were of enormous 
dimensions, being at least twice the size of the largest I ever saw in 
the West Indies. 
I went down on the beach to examine them'more closely, and came 
to the conclusion that they were fishing, as the shore was strewn thickly
with the heads of large-sized codfish, upon which the crows, gulls, and 
cayotes were feasting. We came to the conclusion that a vast cod- 
fishery could be established here. We named the place Shark Bay. 
In this last stretch there is much fine arable land. 
The country for the next ten miles is rough, with occasional fine 
valleys and fishing streams, bald hills with good pasture, and also acorn
and chestnut ground. 
We now come into the Shelter Cove country, where the Kush-Kish 
Indians live-a country of surpassing richness, where vegetation is at 
least six weeks earlier than in the section south of it. 
Vast fields, extending thousands of acres, were covered with a most 
luxuriant growth of clover, reaching to our knees, in the early part of 
February. In fact, there is a marked change in the climate, it being 
much milder from this point up to Cape Mendocino. This may, per- 
haps, be accounted for, from the fact that the prevalent winds are from 
the northeast, from which the lofty cape and Cape mountains shelter 
all in the immediate vicinity to the south. 
Here is a place where thousands could be subsisted, and where a 
white man never before crossed. There are also here a good summer 
harbor and landing. Proceeding to the north, we crossed many fine 
fishing streams, and vast tracts of arable land, bald hills without end,
and pasture of the finest kind. 
The deer were in herds from twenty to two hundred, and we would 
often shoot as many as we wanted from -one band-so tame were they 
from never having been hunted before. 
The elk are numerous, and we saw as many as three bears at one 
time. Of the latter we shot several large ones, much to the delight 
405 


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