San Joaquin Valley Argus
 October 2, 1875

 [From our own Correspondent]

 MERCED, Sept 26th ‘75

 EDITOR ARGUS: – My last communication was from Hornitos. I must confess
 that upon entering that town from either point a stranger must
 experience a disagreeable surprise at its uninviting, dilapidated
 condition. A town in ruins, reminding one of earthquakes or a Pompeii on
 a small scale. I would suggest to some of those tastily attired young
 ladies of the burg that they set out some ivy plants during the wet
 season. It would lend an air of romance to the little town nestling so
 cosily among the foot hills to have vines clinging around the grey old
 ruins. But as the horses dash up the main street and come to a stand
 still in front of the Hornitos House the scene suddenly changes. For out
 upon the porch stands the smiling landlady, Mrs. McDOUGALl, looking as
 fresh as a daisy, attired in a snowy wrapper which is emblematic of the
 table and bed linen. In fact, everything in and about the house bears
 the air of perfect neatness. Ah! How refreshing after the long drive
 from Merced to reach such a haven of rest and plenty. With a cheering
 smile and pleasant voice you are led through an exquisitely neat parlor
 to a bright little retiring room, to find a table freshly spread with a
 fine variety of all the delicacies of the season. Home smoked ham and
 fresh laid eggs, rich cream, tender young chickens, light bread, sweet
 butter and pastry not to be excelled in richness and variety even in our
 first class hotels of the city. Messrs. WASHBURN & CHAPMAN are very
 fortunate in having a lady so well qualified to receive and entertain
 ladies and gentlemen who visit the Yo Semite Valley by their line of
 stages. People leaving Merced at 6 o'clock in the morning get weary and
 hungry by the time they reach Hornitos and Mrs. McDOUGAL has always on
 hand fresh ripe fruit lunches. Or, if preferred, coffee, tea and
 something more substantial. The Hornitos house is a temperance house,
 consequently you find no disagreeable hangers-on sitting around or
 talking loudly or profanely. Ladies can sit down in the large, airy
 reading room look over the daily papers and feel perfectly at home. This
 hotel is one of the prominent features of the Mariposa route.  Another
 is the polite stage drivers and good road. Of course it is dusty, so are
 all California roads at this season of the year.  I find that many
 persons have an idea that it is still necessary to take saddle horses
 before entering the valley by the Mariposa route; to such I would say
 this is a mistake. The stages go all the way and saddle horses are only
 required while int eh valley for the purpose of visiting different
 points of interest where the distance is too great for pedestrians. I
 predict an overwhelming rush from the early part of next April until
 about the last week in June. Also from the first of August until late in
 the fall. The centennial will bring many or our American people who have
 lived abroad for years, perhaps long before the Yo Semite became a place
 of so much interest to the lovers and worshipers of natural wonder of
 the nineteenth century thinking to do the centennial and the Yo Semite
 up in one trip. I suppose Messrs. WASHBURN & CHAPMAN are fully awake to
 this fact and are no doubt making preparations for the tremendous
 in-going and out-coming, and I suppose that vigilant outside sentinel,
 the Noble Bruce, will be on the gui vive. A little surprise party was
 gotten up on Monday evening, the 20th inst., at the Hornitos House , and
 a right pleasant affair it was too, just one of those jolly little home
 socials where the restraint of more fashionable gatherings is dispensed
 with; where enjoyment and hearty good cheer take the place of
 superfluous dress and simple fare gave freedom to the feet and music to
 the voices. As I watched the graceful movements and mirthful faces of
 the youthful village rustics how my heart and thoughts went back to the
 little country gatherings of long ago, and perhaps a little sigh leaves
 on  its breath, "Oh! would I were a girl again, when life seemed formed
 of sunny years."  Yes, I think just such a thought stole up from my
 heart as I gazed upon that wreath of youngsters waltzing to the old tune
 of  "Buy a Broom." The young maidens on this occasion were every one
 clad in pure white dresses, differing in style by red, pink, blue or
 plaid sashes of ribbon, Being a stranger I can only remember the names
 of the following young ladies; Miss Eduina PITZER, Miss Pauline HADLICH,
 Miss Hattie ARTHUR, Miss Lizzie HADLICH, Miss Rosa CARORINGO, Miss
 Louisa ADAMS, Miss Louisa CAMP, Miss Minnie CARORINGO. Among the
 ROYAL, KIRKPATRICK, and A. PITZER. A lunch, consisting of coffee, tea and
 a variety of cakes and pies, was served about eleven o'clock, and at two
 the last strains of the sweet violin music told of home sweet home, to
 which the guests retired with happy hearts to dream that to-morrow be as
 bright as yesterday. Next week I will conclude the pleasant journey of
 five days off the railroad.

        MRS. ROWENA GRANICE STEELE. ( She is the wife of the editor)

Transcribed by Tom Hilk

San Joaquin Valley Argus
April 13, 1889

Trip to Hornitos.

On Saturday afternoon last one of Stoddard's "three-seaters' was
chartered by several members of Yo Semite Parlor, No. 24, N. S. G. W.
for a trip to Hornitos, to organize a Parlor in that village. The start
was made about 2 o'clock P. M., and after a pleasant ride of about four
hours including stoppages, they arrived at their destination and were
met by the young natives of the town and escorted around to the
different places of interest, after which they repaired to the Hornitos
Hotel kept by Mrs. Williams, where they sat down to one of the finest
suppers ever gotten up on short notice, for Mrs. Williams did not know
her guests would be there to supper until after they arrived in town
following are the names of the members of Yo Semite Parlor that were
present: J. B. Olcese, F. G. Ostrander, W. H. Sensabaugh, C. A. Walker,
W. M. Conley, Ed. Sanford and L. R. Steele.  After supper the guests
were escorted to the hall where twenty-one well-proportioned and healthy
native sons were assembled to be made Native sons of the Golden West.
The organization was effected by the following members of Yo Semite
Parlor, acting Grand Officers: L. R. Steele, District Deputy of Merced
County, Grand President; C. A. Walker First Vice; Ed. Sanford, Second
Vice; W. H. Sensabaugh, Marshal; J. B. Olcese, Guard; Bro. Brooks of
Parlor acted as Third.

After the organization was completed, the visiting members were escorted
to the hotel where they, with their hosts, sat down to as fine a banquet
as was ever served in a country village. At the banquet, toasts to the
Pioneers, Hornitos Parlor, Yo Semite Parlor, the native Daughters and
the Ladies Present, were proposed and responded to with a hearty
good-will. After the banquet an impromptu dance was arranged but as
there were only four young ladies present, some of the more bashful boys
were left out in the cold, but they were not lonesome, for while the
dancers were enjoying the dance the others organized a serenading party
and kept it up till the we small hours. The dance broke up at about 2 A.
M. and the dancers , except the ladies joined the serenaders. The
members of the party, both the Merced boys and the Hornitos boys,
behaved like gentlemen, not one of them becoming intoxicated and no
vulgar or profane language being used. The Merced boys returned
yesterday, well pleased with their trip, and to all appearance the
Hornitos boys were well pleased with the visitors.


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                   updated Feb 18, 2003