McCool Says California the Garden of Eden

Travel news, courtesy of correspondent Col. D. W. McCool, in the May 23, 1912 Skidmore New Era (Skidmore, Missouri), page 8:

California the Garden of Eden.

Col. D. W. McCool, who left Skidmore a few weeks ago for Reedley, California, writes back as follows:

“We are both well and happy and wish you and yours the same good pleasure.  I have been here long enough to tell what I think of the great San Joaquin Valley.  It is surely the fairest garden spot on the earth, and has as fine class of inhabitants as ever the sun shone on, and everyone seems to be enjoying the luxuries that we always thought belonged to the rich and very well to do.

Business of all kinds is good, times are prosperous, and everything is on the boom.  If you had your plant located here as you have it there, it is my honest opinion that you would make ten dollars to where you now do one.

Reedley is a town of twenty-five hundred inhabitants and there are four big blocks of business houses going up now.  Over one hundred dwellings are under construction at this time, and other improvements in proportion.  The business part of Reedley is as large as Maryville, with fine asphalt streets running clear out to the suburbs of the city.

It enjoys a trade from a large and prosperous territory, also a cattle ranch trade from the foot hills, and is situated in the heart of the famous “California Fruit Belt.”  They ship from here train loads of raising, oranges, figs and apricots to the Chicago and St. Louis markets.  We have here in this valley some of the largest fruit drying houses in the world.  You can go up in a high building here and look through a pair of field glasses you can count numerous fruit houses and orchards on every side.

You can live here as cheap as any where I ever lived, I sell beef at 6 to 12 1/2 cents per pound, pork at 8 to 12 1/2, mutton 6 to 10, bacon and ham, the best at 20 cents, lard 12 1/2.  How is that for the “land of sunshine and roses,” I only work seven or eight hours a day and wages are good.

“We live close to the great National Park and my wife and I are going to spend a week in June in camp up in the cool shades of the biggest trees on the earth.  We receive the New Era regularly and are so glad to get it.”

Regards to all.

Yours very truly,

D. W. McCool.