Someday we will have large brains but no teeth; such was a prediction that appeared in Santa Rosa’s newspaper in 1885.

As seen through the pages of the Sonoma Democrat, the 1880s were years of frustratingly slow progress. Take the example of the telephone; at the start of the decade people in San Francisco and Sacramento could speak with each other, but five more years passed before Santa Rosa and Petaluma were connected by a single telephone line. Similar with electricity; since 1879 San Francisco had electric street lamps and lights in a few important buildings, but it was almost Christmas 1892 before the Merchant’s Electric Lighting Company managed to get a few lightbulbs glowing in downtown Santa Rosa store windows for the first time.

Yet our ancestors in the 1880s were intensely interested in what things may come, particularly when it came to advances in knowledge. In the Democrat can be found over five hundred mentions of “science” or something being “scientific,” which is quite a lot considering it was a four-page weekly with about half the space taken up by advertising. And a good portion of those references came from the ads – there was a guy who did “scientific horse shoeing” in Santa Rosa. Probably never before or since in America has the very concept of science been such a popular buzzword.

The Democrat was hardly alone in its fascination with anything science related. Some editions of Hearst’s San Francisco Examiner filled a page or more with so many letters from researchers and amateur scientists that it could be mistaken for an academic journal. This attitude continued into the 1890s, although newspaper science items became more sharply focused on the development of internal combustion engines and the horseless carriage.

In that era continuing education was considered a pastime; like Petaluma and Healdsburg, Santa Rosa formed a Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle.* When it was declared Cloverdale would be the ideal spot in the North Bay to view the 1889 total solar eclipse, an estimated 800 people booked seats on a special excursion train. “The sidewalks on the main streets were lined with amateur astronomers, the result of whose observations consisted in chief of aching eyes and the satisfaction of having witnessed an event of great scientific importance,” reported the Democrat.

The Democrat, which normally filled empty columns with unfunny and hoary jokes or yarns, increasingly picked up items from Scientific American magazine and a news agency called the San Francisco Scientific Press. A subscriber might read a lengthy explanation about germ theory or how someone calculated the velocity of a bullet.

These old science items are fun to seek out because they sometimes wander into screwy territory we would never imagine today. Some believed railroad construction and/or trains caused rain. A popular magazine in 1884 stated electricity would always be too expensive for home use, so furniture and room walls would need to be treated with some kind of luminescent paint which would be activated “by a slight disturbance of the air.” Similarly, books would be printed using glow-in-the-dark ink so we can read in bed.

As the decade plodded onwards there was an fiery debate as to whether heavier-than-air flying machines could ever be built. Oh, they might be possible, some might concede, but there were “mysterious and unknown forces in nature” that would make them impossible to pilot. Or perhaps they would have to be first lifted a mile in the air by balloons to function. On and on. Then in 1889, Thomas Edison opined that aircraft would become the getaway vehicle of choice for thieves: “When the time comes for it to be put in operation there will be one drawback to it, and that the ease which it will afford criminals in making their escape from whatever point their crime was committed. In my opinion, when we shall have aerial navigation we shall see more crime.”

The Democrat also printed science articles which were probably meant to be funny, such as the “big brain no teeth” item at the top. Some turned out to be hoaxes, such as the 1883 article describing the “electroscope” – a TV-like device that could project extremely high resolution live images picked up by “electricity vibrations of light.” That story from New Zealand was reprinted widely, but few readers had the chance to learn it was debunked by a British paper: “New Zealand is earning notoriety as the country where scientific hoaxes are concocted…Not long ago we had a detailed account of a method of putting sheep into a trance during which they could be transported to any conceivable distance and brought back to ‘life’ as required…”


ALL OUR FUTURES PAST” covers several predictions from the first half of the 20th century directly related to Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. Ultrafast flying cars are a common theme, able to reach San Francisco in a few minutes. Everyone will be living lives of leisure. It’s unclear whether Prohibition would ever end but radio and TV will wirelessly offer subscription-based news and movies streamed from a local theater.

SANTA ROSA IN THE YEAR 3000” was written in 1913 by an eminent Santa Rosa attorney who thought ecological upheavals would turn the city into the major seaport on the West Coast and eventually the nation’s new capitol, to be built on Taylor mountain. Flying cars are solar-powered and can travel nearly the speed of light.

THE YEAR 2000 PREDICTED” described a Santa Rosa visit by “the Wizard of Electricity” in early 1906 where he blew a whistle into a microphone to turn on a light bulb, used an early version of the fax machine to transmit a picture of the President and used a magnesium flare to drive a motor powered by a solar cell.

Science fiction was another related category that appeared in the 1880s, which should be no surprise as that was also the heyday of Jules Verne. The Democrat reprinted a short item of his describing journalism a thousand years in the future: An editor would be able to see and speak with anyone in the world via telephone, news would be reported like podcasts with related video available to watch via your phone. Ads would be projected onto clouds.

Predicting life in the future became a popular topic in the early 20th century (see sidebar) but not so much during the Gilded Age. A major exception was a lengthy 1883 summary of “A Far Look Ahead” which appeared in the Democrat and many other newspapers.

It’s quite an odd book (you can read it online or download), set around the year 9700. In large part it describes the usual sort of socialist paradise where there is no poverty or war and where it’s always summer. America is an Eden of gardens without end. The summary in the papers describe it as a view of the Millennium which may seem like an error, but critics point out that the unstated thread running through the work is that it’s supposed to take place during the end-times Christian Millennium, which would have been understood by readers of their day.

Much of this distant future would have been familiar to Victorian Americans. The telephone – still connected with land wires – would remain the primary means of communication. Fast trains, powered by electricity, were the main way to travel between distances and once at the desired station, a two seat tricycle with a five horsepower electric motor would take you the rest of the way. (I have seen the future and it seems we are all riding small lawn tractors.)

Food is prepared at cooking depots and “dinner trains” deliver three-course meals. That package is loaded into a mechanical dining table that has a pop-up dumb waiter in the center. It is very much a windup world; one of the few references that imply computer-like tech describes little holograms (think of, “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope”) made by family ancestors dating back hundreds of years.

Also familiar to the 1880s readership was Victorian misogyny and prudishness. Who’s preparing those dinners at the cooking depots? Young women, of course – the boys studied abroad while young women stayed home to learn domestic skills. Starting from birth, girls were gifted on their birthdays with china and all the clothes they would ever possess in order to prepare for marriage. Out-of-wedlock sex was a serious crime: “The seducer was not indeed compelled to marry his victim but was given the option between such reparation and being rendered incapable of offending again in that way. If one or both of the guilty parties was already married, both were purged from the land unless it could be proved that one had sinned in ignorance.”


*The Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle (usually just called the C. L. S. C.) was an offshoot of the Chautauqua Assembly, which held annual evangelical camp meetings to hear noted speakers, worship and enjoy recreation. CLSC was a home-study course that offered a four-year liberal arts program primarily to rural women who had no other opportunities for higher education. Men could also participate although the ratio of women over men was usually 3:1. Participants were expected to spend 40 minutes a day studying and doing assignments with a weekly meeting for members to ask questions and express ideas. In the 1880s well over 100,000 people were enrolled, mainly women in the Midwest. It was an important chapter in the history of women’s rights in America that has been mostly overlooked by modern historians. (MORE)


Title image: Part of a series of cartoons by Jean-Marc Côté and other French artists published around 1900 depicting scenes from the year 2000 (MORE INFO)


Another C. L. S. C. — Twenty-two persons assembled at the Fifth street M. E. Church on Monday evening, and perfected the organization of the third division of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle in Santa Rosa. It was organized by electing Rev. T. A. Atkinson President. Mrs. R. W. Godbey Vice-President, and Will Acton Secretary. The meetings of this circle will be held on Monday evening of each week. The course involves a course of reading which takes about an hour each day, besides the one evening in each week, and gives each person joining an opportunity to review ancient and modem history and literature. The object being for mental improvement, the aim of the organization is to reach all. Any desirous of becoming members are requested to confer with any of the officers. The next meeting will be held at the Fifth street M. E. Church.

– Sonoma Democrat, March 8 1884


The Atomic Theory.

And now the venerable atomic theory of matter, which has stood for generations, is being vigorously attacked. High scientific authority declares there is no such thing as ultimate atoms, and never was, but that matter is all one mass, so to speak. What next?

– Sonoma Democrat, April 4 1885


Popular Explanation of the Doctrine of Modern Pathology.
Minute Organism Which Propagate Disease — Success of Professor Lister’s Disinfecting Process — “Bacteria.”

[Philadelphia Press.] There is a large class of diseases of which it has been known for a long time that they all have certain characteristic peculiarities in unison. They all are apt to appear as epidemics or are endemic in certain localities. They are more or loss contagious. They have a period of incubation — i. e., a time during which the poison causing them lies dormant in the system. For instance, a person to-day exposed to the contagion of small-pox – and infected by it will evince the first symptoms of the disease by the fourteenth day. During this interval between the infection and the first outbreak the poison was latent, and this interval is called the period of incubation. Another peculiarity is that those diseases run a definite course. They are self-limited. Thus in an average case of an infectious malady, provided no complications occur, the physician may foretell the exact duration of it. Then one attack of such a disease usually insures at least for a certain time, immunity against a second.

All these peculiarities seemed to point to some unknown agent, which needed a certain period to ripen, when at maturity it developed in the system symptoms always alike in the same disease and differing only according to the organ mainly affected and to the idiosyncrasy of the individual.

That not one and the same agent caused all these diseases was also known…

– Sonoma Democrat, November 22 1884


BY W. H. De PRIM, NO. 9 MAIN ST., Next to J. P. Clark’s livery stable.
Having made a specialty of horse-shoeing over eighteen years. I am prepared to shoe trotting, draft or horses with deformed or injured hoofs by the best and most satisfactory methods known to science.

– Sonoma Democrat, 1885 advertisement


Railways and Rainfall.

American scientists are again discussing the connection alleged to exist between the operations of railways and rainfall. It is regarded as a remarkable fact that before railways were extended to the Pacific, the country lying between the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains was subject to an almost continuous drought. Since then, however, the country has been visited by frequent falls of rain. What produced the change is the question. Some suggest that it is due to the change in the electrical state of the atmosphere, produced by the conduction of the subtle fluid into the region by the iron rails. Others assert that it is caused by the atmospheric disturbances arising from the frequent passing and repassing of trains. It is shown that up to 1854 the United States has been periodically visited by great and general droughts, but since that year there has been no such visitation; or, in other words, that the building of such a vast network of railways as has been constructed during the last quarter of a century has had the effect of promoting the fall of rain. Since the general introduction of railways in Europe, also, there has been no drought such as previously at short intervals caused widespread distress. In the case of England it is remarked that although the climate has been always humid there has been a growing excess of rainfall during the period of railway building, until now she gets far more than is beneficial to the crops. This has been noticeable to an almost alarming degree during the past few years. We give these conclusions for what they may be worth, and merely showing the drift of current discussion on this point.

– Sonoma Democrat, June 23 1883


The Future Man.

A French scientist has written a pamphlet which proves theoretically that the future man will have a large brain, but no natural teeth.

– Sonoma Democrat, March 21 1885



Jules Verne, in the current number of the Forum, has a satirical description of what the American journalist is to be one thousand years hence — that is to say in 2889. He writes:

“The editor rules the world. He receives Ministers of other governments and settles international quarrels; he is the patron of all the arts and sciences; he maintains all the great novelists; ne has not only a telephone to Paris, but a telephone line as well whereby he can at any time from his study in New York see a Parisian with whom he converses. Advertisements are flashed on the clouds: reporters describe events orally to millions of subscribers, and if a subscriber becomes weary or is busy he attaches his phonograph to his telephone and hears the news at his leisure. If a fire is raging in Chicago, subscribers may not only listen to the description of an eye-witness, but by the telephone may see the fire.”

We have read many descriptions of what the future editor is to be, some of them extremely visionary; but whatever else such writers mav have done, they have never depicted the average journalist as a man of great wealth.

– Sonoma Democrat, March 2 1889


Electricity Not the Light of the Future.

[Demorest’s Monthly.]

It will not be electrical illumination, say the scientists. That involves too much cost. Electricity is developed by violence; that is, by waste and the disturbance of atoms of matter, which is necessarily expensive. For sensational uses, for spectacles, for the lighting of city squares, streets and parks, where expense is minor consideration, the electrical light will, of course, be employed; but the great mass of the community will never be able to use this costly illuminator to banish darkness from their humble dwellings.

Nature has been searched to find out how light can be generated under the cheapest conditions, and the glowworm has been hit upon as furnishing a hint for the cheap but effective domestic light of the future. The various insects which emit flashes of light in the dark, do so with an exceedingly small expenditure of mechanical force. It has been suggested that curtains, wall paper and the coverings of furniture could be so prepared that, by a slight disturbance of the air, they would emit a steady but mellow light at a cost of far less than a candle or kerosene lamp. Scientific men are now at work on this problem, and it it should be successfully solved, it would be a very great benefit to the poor of all nations.

– Sonoma Democrat, February 2 1884


A new invention is reported from Turin. It consists in the application of light giving materials to printing ink, by which print becomes luminous in the dark, so that in the future it will be possible to read at night in bed or during a journey, without the assistance of candle or lamp.

– Petaluma Weekly Argus, 18 Mar 1881


The Latest Electrical Discovery.

The Rev. Mr. Gilbert, during an address at Christ Church the other night, remarks the Otago Times, while speaking of the telephone, asked his audience if they would be astonished if he were to tell them that it was now proved to be possible to convey by means of electricity vibrations of light — to not only speak with your distant friend, but actually to see him. The electroscope — the name of the instrument which enabled us to do this was the very latest scientific discovery, and to Dr. Gnidrah, of Victoria, belonged the proud distinction. The trial of the wonderful instrument took place at Melbourne on the 31st of October last in the presence of some forty scientific and public men, and was a great success. Sitting in a dark room, they saw projected on a large disk of white burnished metal the race course at Flemington with its myriad hosts of active beings. Each minute detail stood out with perfect fidelity to the original, and as they looked at the wonderful picture through binocular glasses, it was difficult to imagine that they were not actually on the course itself and moving among those whose actions they could so completely scan.

– Sonoma Democrat, March 24 1883


New Zealand is earning notoriety as the country where scientific hoaxes are concocted; but it is not a little remarkable that they should be accepted and reproduced without comment by tha Press of this country. Not long ago we had a detailed account of a method of putting sheep into a trance during which they could be transported to any conceivable distance and brought back to ‘life’ as required…people are astonished at the remarkable discovery of Dr Gnidrah (Harding backwards). The ‘new discovery’ is nothing more than a means of transmitting by electricity a picture of any scene desired and it is gravely stated that in the presence of some 40 scientific men assembled ta a darkened room at Melbourne, a picture of the racecourse at Flemington was rendered visible with perfect fidelity. The joke is stale one, but is based on a scientific discovery, and the author has merely allowed the reins to his fancy. The result is that the paragraph goest the rounds under the heading ‘important electrical discovery.

– London Echo, May ?? 1883 as summarized in the [New Zealand] Otago Times and very few other newspapers


The Wonderful Progress of a Regenerated Human Race.
The Millennium as Viewed By the Author of “A Far Look Ahead” — Wealth, Dress, Social Life, and Crime.

[Detroit Free Press Book Review.]

The author of “Diothas; or, A Far Look Ahead,” has done what many others have done before him; he attempts to foresee the future. Under the influence of a mesmeric dream, he awakes in New York eighty centuries hence, and in company with a friend he proceeds to see the “sights” and study the new and strange people of that distant day.

He was struck with the nobility and beauty of the race, and supposed they belonged to the aristocracy of the city. “Where are the working classes?” he asked of his companion. “We have no aristocracy,” was the reply; “if by that you mean a class living in idleness by the toil of others; or by working classes those who spend their lives in toil and have no leisure for intellectual development. These you see are both a cultivated class and a working class, supporting themselves by their own exertions. Public opinion stigmatizes idleness as the meanest of vices, parent of other vices and of crime. Every able-bodied person in the community works between three and four hours a day at some productive employment which supplies every necessary and comfort of life with something to spare. Allowing ten hours for sleep and refreshment, there remains another ten for mental improvement.”

Both sexes were educated together until the age of 12 and both taught handicrafts, which all, without exception, even those with wealthy parents, had to learn. At a very early period it was found that the excessive accumulation of wealth in certain families led to serious evils. For one useful person there were dozens of drones, inflated with the idiotic pride of uselessness and noxious for their vices. The power of bequest was limited by law, which settled down to this: No person, however wealthy, was allowed to bequeath to any one person more than $20,000. It was reasoned that with a good education and a capital of the specified amount, if a person could not manage to make a living, his living or dying was of very little consequence to the community. This resulted, not in a cessation of accumulation, but in the more equal diffusion of wealth. Some, after providing for their families and more distant relatives, would leave the remainder to some public object. Others, desirous of perpetuating some great business in their name, would distribute shares among the most faithful of their employees, leaving the control in the hands of their own family. In this way what would once have been restricted to the support of a single family in superfluous luxury became the comfortable maintenance of a number.

As the dreamer’s friend lived thirty miles out of the city, they descended to the lowest arcade into which all buildings were divided, and entered a light and handsome car, made largely of aluminum and glass. A separate seat was provided for each passenger, and everyone wiped his feet on entering, as if he were entering a private house. Electricity was the motive power, each car having under its wheels its own motor in very small space. The car was on a siding and soon began to move slowly till just as a train of cars had passed on the inner track, the car in which he and his friend were seated glided out on that same track, and, accelerating its speed, soon reached the hinder car of the train before it. Beneath the platforms of the cars were powerful electro-magnets which could be made to act either as buffers or couplers. As soon as connection was formed most of the passengers in this car arose and passed into the forward cars, while others passed from those into the hind car. As they approached tho next station this hindmost car detached itself, lingered behind, and ran into the siding to discharge passengers; while at the same time a car that had been filling up at the station began to move, and presently joined the train as theirs had done before. By this system of taking up and discharging passengers the train once started from the terminus did not need to halt or slacken speed till it reached the end of its route.

They left the train at what appeared to be a small village. Yet nowhere was to be seen a trace of that lack of neatness and finish which in our day usually characterizes the country. The smooth concrete of the platform was continued in an unbroken sweep to the houses on the further side of the broad open space surrounding tho station. The buildings visible, though inferior in size to those of the city, were as solidly constructed and of similar materials. On the housetops could be seen masses of dense foliage. The elevated gardens were in general use, even in the city. The flat roofs covered with a malleable glass were able to support several feet of soil, on which were grown flowers and shady shrubs. During the warm season these roof gardens were a favorite resort, being free from the dust and exposed to breezes. The thick roofs were of great advantage summer and winter. The streets were lined with double rows of trees.

Not a wheel track or a dent of iron-shod horses was to be seen on the surface of the roads. The vehicles, called curricles, not unlike a two-seated tricycle, propelled by an electric motor placed under the seat, sped on their way over the smooth, hard road twenty miles an hour, but as noiseless as a shadow. Rows of trees divided the roads into three divisions, the outer ones assigned to heavy traffic, the vehicles for which had motors of five or six horse-power. Six miles an hour was their speed, and they were not allowed to cross the central road without special precautions.

“Human life was not held so cheap as now, when a brakeman or two a day is considered a slight sacrifice to economize a few dollars. If any one, by negligence, caused the loss of a human life his life was placed unreservedly at the disposal of the nearest relatives of the slain. It was in their option either to exact life for life, or to accept a suitable ransom.

Horses, like zebras nowadays, were to be seen in zoological collections. Agricultural occupations were carried on only by caloric engines worked by highly condensed gases, being more economical than electric power. Seated on his machine, the farmer plowed, sowed, reaped and performed all the labor of the farm without more muscular effort than was required for guidance.

In a machine to which his attention was directed, all parts now made of iron and steel, appeared to be of polished silver; it was, in fact, a peculiar variety of steel, covered with a hard alloy of aluminum. Processes had been discovered making it as abundant as iron. Its lightness and its slowness to tarnish made it preferable to iron. Even where iron was employed it was coated with aluminum to preserve it from rust. Much glass was used in the machine, and when he inquired how glass could stand such hard usage, his companion struck the immense pane of glass in front of the warehouse a heavy blow with his fist, Instead of being shattered into a thousand pieces there was a dull, muffled sound, as if he had struck the side of a boiler. It was malleable glass, brought to perfection by a series of experiments so protracted that the first inventor was unknown.

He was taken to a store where they sold “naliri,” as this glass was called. It lay piled colorless or tinted — not tenderly packed in straw, but heaped up like tin or boiler plate. Even a hammer would not break a thin piece of it. Doors, bath tubs, wardrobes, water pipes, all kinds of ware now usually made of wood, metal or terra cotta, were made of glass.

There were no longer any servants, each member of the family doing some portion of the work, but this was reduced by machinery to almost nothing. When the family was seated at the table the head of it pressed a small knob. The centre of the table rose by concealed mechanism, exposing a dumb waiter. In one compartment were napkins, a roll, forks and spoons of solid gold, which metal had become as cheap as silver is now. There were also a soup tureen and set of plates. The dumb waiter disappeared, and, at the end of the soup course, came up again. In another compartment was a covered dish with plates. This dish contained fish. A third rise of the waiter to a greater height produced exquisitely cooked vegetables and a roast. The viands were all so well cooked that they did not require cutting, and knives were not visible.

All cooking was done on the co-operative plan. The country was laid off into districts. In the centre of each was a building for cooking. Bills of fare for each day were carefully prepared some time in advance by a supervisory committee, and the dishes prepared with great care. The skillful preparation of food had become a fine art. The telephone sent in the orders of each household on the preceding evening. There were only two meals each day, the slight lunch at noon requiring no cooking. Punctually at the appointed hour every day dinner trains left the cooking depot to carry each household the meal ordered on the preceding day. Some member of the household received at the gate the dinner case, carrying without loss of heat the inclosed meal. Of each dish only a carefully estimated amount was ordered, partly from a dislike of waste, partly to avoid excess in rich food. The last course at dinner consisted of fruits, grapes being kept in perfection throughout the year.

Dressmaking, that source of human slavery, had become a lost art. Dresses not being made to display the figure, their cut and make-up was entirely a matter of machinery. Dress did not take up more time than is now devoted to it by a man of decent regard for his outward appearance. Not that wives and daughters were indifferent. Their toilet was brief, because so sensibly devised that each was put on as easily and required as little arrangement as a mantle. No one seeing the graceful folds and harmonious coloring of the feminine attire of that period, would regret the gaudy frippery, the costly and elaborate combination of shreds and patches, that now disfigures more frequently than it adorns.

Of jewelry, except a few pins and clasps of the simplest form, there was none. The notion of loading her person with pieces of metal or glittering stones would have been as repugnant to a young woman of that day as tattooing or the wearing of a nose ring. A wreath, a few flowers in her hair completed her costume for dinner or breakfast. The art of crystallizing gems had long been brought to perfection. The diamond, the ruby could be produced of a size and beauty astonishing to the people of to-day. So gems had ceased to be precious. The wearer of the most costly diamond parure ever produced, would, among these people, have been regarded with the same good-natured contempt excited in us by the gaudy finery of the savage owner of some strings of bright colored beads.

The women were beautiful and graceful beyond any of their distant ancestresses of the present. Long ages of intellectual culture had made their beauty superior to mere insipid perfection of feature. Could women of the present but see for once their free and elastic step they would throw aside the shoes which now torture and distort their feet.

Even within a few weeks of her wedding day a young woman was entirely free from the petty cares, the delights and worries associated with the words “milliner” and “shopping.” Her simple trousseau, though comprising nearly all the clothing she would acquire during the rest of her life, had long since been prepared by her own hands. The collection of china, plate, etc., had been a labor of love for her mother ever since her daughter’s birth, and had grown at each anniversary. Not an article but was associated with some happy memory of her girlhood. By a pretty custom, each girl friend contributed a piece of porcelain decorated by herself. The execution was unequal, but none fell below a fair standard. Drawing was practiced by all from infancy with even greater assiduity than writing, since there were many substitutes for writing. Every stroke was as characteristic of the donor as are to us the letters of a familiar handwriting.

The children had many advantages over those of the nineteenth century. By the aid of a rational alphabet they acquired the power of spelling any word as pronounced. Not being obliged to fritter away energies on the study of other tongues they were able to devote the more time and care to the mastery of their own. There was, in fact, only one living language founded upon the English and spoken everywhere. Latin, Greek, German, and French were mere traditions.

The laws governing the family relations were very stringent. Many had become needless — as laws against man-stealing and cannibalism are with us. The influence of woman was directly felt in legislation, especially in doing away with the two evils from which their sex has suffered the most — intemperance and unchastity. There was a total prohibition of the manufacture and possession of intoxicating beverages; while offenses against chastity were punished in a fashion that prevented those guilty from ever offending again.

– Sonoma Democrat, November 20 1883

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