Sykesville Colony In California

January 15, 1914

Joshua Sellman Writes Interesting Letter and Sends Greetings

Lived Here Many Years Ago

Refers to Some of the Old Settlers Whim He Remembers — The Beautiful City of Ontario, in the Land of Fruit and Flowers — A California Christmas Dinner

[Written For The Sykesville Herald]

I know you like to hear good things about California, and as I once called Sykesville my home and know many people there, I want to tell you and them some truth of our “City That Charms,” beautiful Ontario, and our neighboring country. It has been years since I lived near Sykesville. It was when S. R. Duvall ran the blacksmith shop, George Hayworth was the shoemaker and “Josh” Barnes was the butcher. Many times I visited his place to play with the boys. It was when John Harris first began the harness business. Zimmerman & Schultz were in the “old brick store,” McDonald was at the old stand long years before they built the annex across the street, and when Mrs. Berry’s old hotel was in operation. So you can see that was many years ago.

Today it is a different Sykesville. You are a hustling, busy community now, with an up-to-date newspaper which the Californian enjoys very much. It is good to recall the old days. Many good drinks of cold water I have had from the old spout on Springfield Hill. I remember the day old Mr. “Foggy” Day bored a hole through the big oak tree near the old spout and put a big bolt through to keep it from breaking apart. All these things were away back into the ’80s and here it is 1913. How the times passes! Here I am away off in California among the golden oranges; as I set here writing, I can look in almost any direction and see the trees loaded with the golden fruit. Now I promised I would tell you about our “City That Charms.” Ontario has a population of nearly 7,000 with the most beautiful avenue in the United States, called “Euclid.” It runs due north and south, 100 feet wide. In the center of the street is a car track with a bicycle path alongside far enough away to be safe. Each side of the car track is a row of pepper trees, then a paved street 30 feet wide, on each side of the car track, with a row of acacia trees on the outside, which, when in bloom, are a golden yellow , very much like the golden-rod bloom. All of these trees are about twenty-five years old. The length of this street is seven miles, from Ontario to the foot of the hills. The rise in elevation in the seven miles is one thousand feet, so gradual that a person hardly realizes the grade.

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