This is a fantastic little 19th-century pamphlet advertising the boundless paradise that is southern California. Published for the Southern California World's Fair Association and Bureau of Information, it includes photos, drawings, and more, the pamphlet describes life in the area before the turn of the century. The guide was designed as a promotional pamphlet for "the home seeker, tourist, and invalid," compiled for the Southern California World's Fair Association.
The pamphlet contains a nice antique map of southern California, showing the region from Santa Barbara to San Diego. County lines are shown, and San Bernardino, Riverside, and San Diego are truly massive. Numerous phantom towns can be seen, for example in San Diego one can find "Ladrillo," "Selwyn," "Merle," and "Merigan." Railroad lines, topography, rivers, and more are all shown.
A fascinating section in the pamphlet details the importance of water rights in southern California land valuation. Land without irrigation, mostly for grain and some fruits, is available at between 30 and 100 dollars. Land with irrigation is valued at 100 to 200 dollars for most variety of fruits, while land with ample water-rights, which can grow citrus, is available at over 250 dollars an acre. Location also plays an issue. Between Los Angles and the ocean, along the railroad, land is valued at 100 to 150 dollars, this appears to be residential. In the mountains, this drops to 10 dollars an acre. The prices of land in the Simi Valley, "Ven-County," Orange County, and Santa Barbara are all also detailed. A brief section extolls the benefits of cooperation, suggesting that small colonies are the best way to get land cheaply.
Other sections in the pamphlet detail agriculture, mineral wealth, the "Nicaragua Canal." The "fuel question" is discussed, apparently, the lack of cheap petroleum was a problem at the time, but the railroads promised that they would continue to import it at desirable rates. This issue would soon solve itself. In all, this is a great little pamphlet detailing the nascent communities of southern California.