A Landing a Day

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Posts Tagged ‘David Livingstone’

Livingston and Hornitos, California

Posted by graywacke on October 31, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2419; A Landing A Day blog post number 852.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (37.4825 o N, 120.5040oW) puts me in central California:

Without a decent mapping program, I’m going to use Google Earth (GE) for my local landing map:

Looky there!  Two landings very close – just one mile apart!  The one to the left is landing 2248 (February 2016, “Snelling and Merced, California”). 

And now, time for true confessions.  My regional landing map above is cut and pasted from landing 2248.

I found a “hydrographic” add-on for Google Earth.  Using it, I was able to find this:

So, I landed in the watershed of Cowell Ditch.  Stealing information from landing 2248, Cowell Ditch joins up with Dana Slough.  And then, using Google Maps:

You can see that Dana Slough discharges to the Merced River (2nd hit; my first hit, obviously, was landing 2248).

I’ll then borrow this regional watershed map from landing 2248:

The Merced discharges to the San Joaquin (12th hit), which makes its way to San Francisco Bay (16th hit).

There is excellent GE Street View coverage:

And with my landing only one hundred yards away, here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

And then, he turns around and looks downstream at Cowell Ditch:

I moved him a few hundred yards north to look at the Dana Slough:

And here’s what he sees:

And just a couple of miles away, here’s a quick look at the Merced River:

OK, so it’s time to check out Livingston.  From Wiki:

The Livingston post office opened in 1873, closed in 1882, and re-opened in 1883.  [I don’t know why details about the Post Office are so often considered important in the Wiki “History” section.  Oh well.]

The town was named for Dr. David Livingstone, a British explorer of Africa who was an international celebrity in the late 1800s. An error on the town’s Post Office application resulted in the difference in spelling between his name and the town’s

I presume you know about as much about Dr. Livingstone as I do.  So, just a little bit of info, from Wiki:

David Livingstone (1813 – 1873) was a Scottish physician, African explorer and pioneer Christian missionary.  He was one of the most popular British heroes of the late 19th-century Victorian era. He had a mythical status that operated on a number of interconnected levels: Protestant missionary martyr, working-class “rags-to-riches” inspirational story, scientific investigator and explorer, imperial reformer, anti-slavery crusader, and advocate of commercial and colonial expansion.

[In the plus column, he was anti-slavery.  In the minus column, he was an advocate of colonial expansion.]

His fame as an explorer was based on his obsession with learning the sources of the Nile River. “The Nile sources,” he told a friend, “are valuable only as a means of opening my mouth with power among men. It is this power which I hope to remedy an immense evil” – the slave trade.  His subsequent exploration of the central African watershed was the culmination of the classic period of European geographical discovery and colonial penetration of Africa.

Livingstone completely lost contact with the outside world for six years and was ill for most of the last four years of his life.

Henry Morton Stanley had been sent to find him by the New York Herald newspaper in 1869. He found Livingstone in the town of Ujiji on the shores of Lake Tanganyika on 10 November 1871, greeting him with the now famous words “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”

Livingstone responded, “Yes” and then “I feel thankful that I am here to welcome you.” These famous words may have been a fabrication, as Stanley later tore out the pages of this encounter in his diary.  Even Livingstone’s account of this encounter does not mention these words.

[Makes one wonder what was really said.  Here’s ALAD’s version:  As Dr. Stanley approached Livingstone, he said, “My God, you look terrible.”  Dr. Livingstone responded, “Who the hell are you?  You don’t look so great yourself.”  Later, they decided they needed a sanitized version  . . . ]

However, the phrase appears in a New York Herald editorial dated 10 August 1872, and the Encyclopædia Britannica and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography both quote it without questioning its veracity.

The words are famous because of their perceived humor, Livingstone being the only other white person for hundreds of miles.

Despite Stanley’s urgings, Livingstone was determined not to leave Africa until his mission was complete. His illness made him confused and he had judgment difficulties at the end of his life.

David Livingstone died in 1873 at the age of 60 in Chief Chitambo’s village at Ilala, southeast of Lake Bangweulu, in present-day Zambia, from malaria and internal bleeding due to dysentery. His loyal attendants Chuma and Susi removed his heart and buried it under a tree near the spot where he died.  The site is now known as the Livingstone Memorial.

The rest of his remains were carried, together with his journal, over 1,000 miles by Chuma and Susi to the coastal town of Bagamoyo, where they were returned by ship to Britain for burial at Westminster Abbey.

Moving right along.  Hornitos, I presume.

There’s an old historical plaque in town (or at least there was).  Here’s the transcription:

Started in 1850 by outcast Mexicans from nearby Quartsburg and given the name Hornitos, meaning “Little Ovens” from the dome-like rock and mud bake ovens being used by some Germans. 

The Whites soon gained predominance.  The population grew to many thousands and it became one of the richest and toughest early day mining camps.

Wow.  The Whites soon gained predominance, eh?  Talk about politically incorrect . . .

Here Joaquin Murietta, noted bandit chief, had a hideout and many friends. 

So happy he had many friends.

Wells Fargo established an office as early as 1852 to handle the millions produced by nearby mines.

Ghirardelli of chocolate fame started his fortune by merchandising.

More about Ghirardelli in a bit.

Here, for over fifty years, were enacted the annual religious customs of old Mexico.

Wiki has another story all together about the origin of the town’s name:

The name, meaning “little ovens” in Spanish, was derived from the community’s old Mexican tombstones that were built in the shape of little square bake ovens.

[Revisionist history, or the truth?  I certainly prefer Wiki’s version!  Continuing with Wiki]:

Domingo Ghirardelli had a general store here between 1856 and 1859 where he perfected his chocolate recipes. The remains of the store can still be seen in town.

 Here are some pictures, from Wanderwisdom.com, starting with Ghirardelli’s building:


Here’s some old building:

And the old town jail:


And the Masonic Lodge:

From walkingmyfamilyline.blogspot, here’s a back-in-the-day shot of the old hotel (looking quite prosperous):


From Wikimapia, here’s a bunch of guys in front of the Hornitos saloon:


And, from Calisphere – the California State Library website, this shot of Main Street:

A quick word about Ghirardelli Chocolate.  Domingo moved on from Hornitos and set up shop in San Francisco, where he really made it big.  I mentioned Ghirardelli to my wife Jody, who spent some formative years in San Francisco.  She immediately said “Ghirardelli Square.”  So, I went to Wiki:

Ghirardelli Square is a landmark public square with shops and restaurants and a 5-star hotel in the Fisherman’s Wharf area of San Francisco, California.

In 1893, Domenico Ghirardelli purchased the entire city block in order to make it into the headquarters of the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company. In the early 1960s, the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company was bought by the Golden Grain Macaroni Company which moved the headquarters off-site to San Leandro and put the square up for sale.

San Franciscan William Roth and his mother, Lurline Roth, bought the land in 1962 to prevent the square from being replaced with an apartment building. The square and its historic brick structures became an integrated restaurant and retail complex. The historic  Clock Tower was renovated; the lower floors of the Clock Tower are now home to Ghirardelli Square’s main chocolate shop.

As I’m finishing things up, I’ll repeat my Dana Slough GE Street View shot:

For post 2248, I closed with this Panoramio shot by Ray1623 of the cattle along Dana Slough (some of which you can see above):

For this post, I’ll close with a GE shot by Kevin Swaney from the same location, but now a bison (and a llama?) have been added to the mix:


That’ll do it . . .




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