Without doubt, it was the grandest street fight in Santa Rosa’s history. As a crowd of about 3,000 watched — a third of the town’s population — rival railroad crews fought an hours-long battle. Men were bloodied and bruised by rocks, shovels were swung like clubs, panicked horses bolted for their lives, and blasts of locomotive steam threatened to peel the skin off anyone who dared come too close to the great iron machines on rails. But at the end of the day, something positive came from the fracas: Santa Rosa took its first deliberate step into the Twentieth Century.
At right: A scene from the March 1, 1905 “Battle of Sebastopol Avenue,” as men from the California Northwestern railroad shovel dirt and gravel on workers from the Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railway as they attempt to install a rail crossing.
A retouched detail from this image can be found in part 3, “The Generals of the Battle of Sebastopol Avenue,” along with an additional picture from the Press Democrat. A photograph of the January confrontation can be found in Santa Rosa: A Nineteenth Century Town (Gaye LeBaron, et. al.) and another picture from the March “battle” appeared in a 1984 Gaye LeBaron column.
The discoloration is from glue used to attach the photo to an album.
Photo courtesy Sonoma County Museum (Click on image to enlarge)
It was 12:45 in the morning of March 2, 1905 when the first electric trolley crossed the railroad tracks at Sebastopol Avenue, marking the end of months of legal and civic debate — as well as that violent confrontation the day before.
The basic story goes like this: The steam railroad’s long monopoly on local shipping and transit was threatened by construction of an electric trolley line, formally known as the Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railway. To connect downtown Santa Rosa with the trolley already running between Petaluma and Sebastopol, the electric railway (the orange line on map, at right) had to cross the steam railroad’s tracks (blue line) at Sebastopol Avenue, shown by the arrow. Claiming there were safety concerns, the president of the California Northwestern steam railroad obtained a court order in January stopping the electric railroad from installing a crossing point.
When the temporary injunction was lifted two months later, both sides sprang into action. Workers for the steam railroad tried to slow or stop electric line workers preparing the crossing site by shoveling dirt and gravel back into their excavation. Rocks were thrown, a horse-drawn wagon dramatically smashed, and then the California Northwestern produced its secret weapons: a pair of locomotives equipped with nozzles that shot steam from the engine on anyone close by. In the middle of this chaos, the director of the electric trolley threw himself on the tracks in front of the locomotive. As steam road workers tried to pull him off, electric line workers rushed to his defense, and the man became a living rope in a tug-of-war.
The Press Democrat perfectly captured the tension: “The roar of the steam and the shouts of the spectators created a sentiment and thrill that was almost impossible to check. It was hardly like an even contest, the men digging for their lives in order to get the crossing in place, armed only with picks and shovels, as compared with the rain of earth from the flat cars and the belching steam from the engines…the slightest coercion at that moment would have started a riot that would undoubtedly have ended in bloodshed. That is what everybody expected.”
It’s a thrilling yarn, and well told by both newspapers of the day. Alas, it appears that the full Press Democrat account has not survived. The PD was a morning paper, and although two “extra” editions were issued on the afternoon of March 1 as events were unfolding, what exists on microfilm today is the March 2 edition, which was mostly a wrap-up of the previous day’s news, lacking the immediacy of the reporting that can be found in the hot-off-the-press Santa Rosa Republican. The account presented below is an unabashedly unscholarly hybrid, with a few snippets from the March 2 Press Democrat interjected at the appropriate spots of the full account from the March 1st and 2nd Republican. These added passages from the PD are shown in [brackets and italics].
There’s lots more to this story, including analysis of the special interests on each side, to be read in “The Generals of the Battle of Sebastopol Avenue.” An account of the first confrontation in January can be found in “Prelude to the Battle of Sebastopol Avenue.” Finally, “The Battle(field) of Sebastopol Avenue,” discusses the layout of this part of Santa Rosa in 1905, and includes a contemporary map. But none of that background is needed to enjoy this remarkable telling of the tale:
An Exciting Situation Developed by the Efforts of the Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railway to Make Sebastopol Avenue Crossing
SAN FRANCISCO, March 1. — Superior Judge J. M. Seawell this morning rendered a decision dissolving the temporary injunction against the Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railway, which restrained that corporation from crossing the tracks of the California Northwestern at Sebastopol avenue in Santa Rosa.
The scene at the Sebastopol avenue crossing immediately following the word that a decision had been rendered in favor of the electric line by Judge Seawell, was perhaps never equalled in the history of the city.
The California Northwestern Railway was prepared to prevent the putting in of the crossing, and ran gravel trains down the main and side tracks in an effort to block the laborers who were digging out the ties in the county road.
The engines were fitted with projecting pipes from the pilots which shot scalding steam and hot water right into the crowd of workers regardless of consequences.
As fast as a hole was dug in the crossing the men on the gravel cars dumped in dirt.
Those on the ground shoveled the loose earth out again, making very little headway. In a little while every man engaged at the crossing was covered with soil from head to foot. The steam and hot water wet their clothing and drove the dirt into the fabric.
Not satisfied with the progress made in interfering with the work of the gang for the electric line, the engineers of the steam line’s engines drove right on across the county road, keeping up a constant see-saw on the tracks and maintaining a steady cloud of steam in front to clear away the men attempting to put in the crossing.
Then the electric railway people drove two horse teams across the right of way of the steam line. The horses were brought to a standstill between the engines. Even this did not deter the steam line. The engines were shoved right down on the teams. The horses reared and plunged, being frightened at the escaping steam and the tooting of whistles.
It was not thought that the engines would actually crush the wagons, but they did. The drivers had to jump for fear of being crushed. Slowly the pilots came together on either side of the crossing and the wagons were smashed to splinters. Fortunately the horses were released without injury, though the crowd scattered at the thought of the powerful animals plunging through the human mass on every side.
This conduct on the part of the steam railway’s officals increased the crowd which was with the electric line in its fight. Rocks and clods of earth were picked up on every hand and flung at the engineers and the train crews who were directing the fight for the steam line.
There were several narrow escapes and the train crews had to duck lively to escape.
After about two hours of fighting back and forth the officers arrived with warrants and arrested the officials of the steam line who were violating the law in having the cars and engines obstruct the county road.
Detailed Story Of the Fight
As soon as the news reached the City of Roses that Judge Seawell had granted a dissolution of the injunction many citizens wended their way to the scene, confident that there would be something doing. There was quite a wait before the electric railroad officials put in an appeaerance, but shortly after they arrived things began to hum in good style.
The California Northwestern railroad had the crossing well guarded. An engine was on either side of the main line with steam up and ready for action. These engines were the ones recently described in these columns, and at the time it was stated that they were for “fighting purposes” when the time came at the crossing. This was strenously denied by the officials of the company, but at the proper moment their use was shown to the public, and the crowds were driven back time and again from the steam which poured in all directions from the steam pipes in front of the locomotives. These had been termed “‘Admiral’ Barrows’ fighting ships.”
The big crowd was with the electric people, and they gave voice to it in no uncertain manner. Many times citizens took shovels and assisted in throwing dirt for the electric company, and also protected their men in onslaughts by the steam railroad people.
[ “Stand back boys,” someone shouted, and the crowd cleared back a little to let two men ride horses in between the two locomotives encroaching on the right of way. The engines came closer and finally the horses were ridden out of the way. Then the engines backed up. This was repeated once or twice. But the roar of the steam and the general excitement did not let up for a moment.]
When General Manager Downs arrived on the scene in company with other officials of his company he sought out Supervisor Barrows and shook hands cordially with him. He inquired for Mr. Zook, and these gentlemen shook hands in friendly manner. In a courteous way each of these gentlemen informed the other of what they proposed to do in the matter of the crossing, and after this exchange of courtesy the electric men went to work to dig up the tracks of the steam road.
An engine was moved forward, and before this locomotive Director Frank A. Brush, of the electric company lay prostate on the ground. The locomotive was stopped before it struck him, and then ensued a contest between the men of the opposing companies that threatened to rend Mr. Brush limb from limb. The steam railroad men attempted to pull him off the tracks, while the electric men held him on the tracks. While lying prone on the pilot of the engine, Engineer Gene Ellison walked out on the running board of his locomotive and turned on the steam from the pipes recently described in these columns. Mr. Brush’s head was directly in line with this steam, and the position becoming unbearable, he finally got up from the ground.
The steam was kept playing on the crowds in all directions and kept them at a distance. The workmen of the electric railroad were unmindful of the steam, and worked ahead in the blinding steam as if nothing had happened. But the men went at their digging and tugging, while the men of the steam road kept throwing sand and gravel on them in a vain attempt to cause them to desist.
On either side of the main line on which the two locomotives were stationed, the California Northwestern had cars of gravel with which to fight the electric railroad people. This they used to great advantage and provoked several fights. One man threw a pick into a bunch of laborers on the cars and struck several men. Shovels were freely used, and rocks were thrown in great numbers. Many of these missiles struck persons, and black eyes, bloody faces and other evidences of the “scrap” which had taken place were found on every side. Foreman Horn, of the electric railroad, probably got the worst “package” of the lot. His face under the eye was badly lacerated, and his eye blackened for a great space. This he bore uncomplaingly, and never retaliated, but kept on working. It was evident he was attempting to see who struck him, in order to repay the blow with interest when the time came.
Superintendent Thorton, Manager Downs, Attorneys Rankin and Lippitt and other officials directed the men of the electric line, who showed no disposition to fight until their ire had been aroused by the treatment received from the steam company’s men. As far as everbody was concerned, it was supposed to be a peaceable war, but every few minutes the patience of some of the men would become exhausted, and blows would be resorted to.
While all these fights were in progress and the attention of the steam railroad men was directed elsewhere, the electric people were working ahead patiently. They sought to tear up the steam company’s rails, and their intention to force the crossing was manifested in the way they handled things. At 12:21 this afternoon, the outside rail on the east side of the steam road’s right of way was forced, and a tie was placed under the end of the rail which was torn up. This brought a huge cheer from the spectators, and as soon as it was discovered the steam road ran a flat car down and ditched it at the spot to further protect the rails. Then back of this flat car the electric people began tearing at the rails. Superintendent Hunter, who had arrived on a special tribe from Tiburon, attempted to stop this procedure, but a great force of men shoved him quickly into the background, and he was powerless to prevent the rail being torn up. The fish plates were removed, but before the rail could be further loosened the big freight engine of the company, which had been summoned from the north, was backed down on the rail.
On the west side of the main line efforts were being made also to tear up the rails. Time and again a jack was placed under the rails to break them, but each time its hold was broken by a bunch of steam road men, who wrestled it from its position. At one time the steam road men attempted to make away bodily with the jack, and were almost successful, when a bunch of electric men bore down on them and rescued their property.
During the morning a wire was thrown over the trolley of the electric road, and the end of the same was attached to the engine which was being handled by Frank Garcia. Great sparks flew from the wire, but no damage was done to the locomotive or anyone aboard it. This was greatly interesting to the crowd, who cheered the electric people to obtain mastery over their opponents.
At one time a huge bunch of ties were piled in front of the locomotives, and efforts on the part of the opposing forces to remove the ties and to prevent their removal were watched with interest by the spectators. Hundreds of people wee on hand at the time the rails were forced, and these cheered lustily, as they saw the rails lifted from the ground. On the west side of the main line a large piece of rail was removed.
Wagons containing sand were run onto the steam road’s tracks by the electric road people, and the teams were stopped there. Into these the steam company ran its locomotives and the wheels were crushed and the wagons otherwise disabled. After the wagons had been wrecked, chains attached to the engines were placed about the wheels, with the apparent intention of pulling them from the tracks. This was not done, however. The two side tracks alongside the main line, having been blockaded by the ditching of cars where the rails had been torn up, the attention of both the opposing forces was directed to the rails of the main line.
[ All this time the crowd was growing larger and larger as the news spread of what was transpiring at Sebastopol avenue. All place of vantage were crowded and the thoroughfare on either side was crowded with humanity.]
Street Commissioner White was on hand to prevent the blockading of the streets, and had his hands full attempting to enforce his order in that respect. Constables James H. Boswell and Sam J. Gilliam were present to enforce the crowds keeping the peace, and while there were a number of fights, these gentlemen were unable to reach the parties owing to the crowds which immediately surrounded them. They preserved the peace well under the circumstances, and stoped some of the vicious practices which were being indulged in by both sides at times.
The steam road had all the advantages in the fighting. Their men were on top of the cars, and dumped sand and gravel by shovelsfull on the electric men, much to their disadvantage. Then again the steam men were favored by the batteries of steam from the locomotives, which soused the electric workmen and handicapped them in their efforts. Again the steam road had a lot of men hired to assist in protecting their crossing. These men were well dressed and circulated through the crowd at all times, but at sign of trouble most of them felt suddenly called elsewhere.
A volley of rocks hurled at the men on the gravel cars of the steam road quickly drove these men from their position, but they showed greater pluck than the good clothes men who had been hired to proect the crossing. These men ran almost every time they saw a rock picked up, and sought cover in the coach provided for them at the crossing. One of the steam road’s men showed a viciousness seldom seen in the City of Roses, where men sometimes fight, but give their opponent a square deal. The individual stood between the flat car and engine and hurled large rocks from his place of concealment at the electric workmen. Fortunately, for the latter he was too excited to have good aim, and the missiles he threw went wild. Had they struck anyone in a vital spot they would have done great damage.
Sheriff Grace Would Not Act
Attorneys James W. Oates and J. Rollo Leppo called on Sheriff Frank P. Grace this morning twice. At the first call the sheriff was absent, but on the second call they had a personal audience with him. The attorneys requested the sheriff and his deputies to go to the crossing and preserve order and prevent obstruction of the county’s highways. This the sheriff refused to do. He declared that if warrants were sworn and given to him he would serve them, but declined to go to the crossing at all. Deputy Sheriff John L. Gist was the only representative who appeared at the scene at all, and he came merely to serve a warrant, and then quickly departed.
Late in the afternoon warrants were sworn out for the arrest of the following electric railway officials… (5 were) charged with obstructing the California Northwestern Railroad.
Of the steam road people there were arrested … (12) charged with obstructing the work of the electric people. A large number of others were arrested on “John Doe” warrants on the same charges.
The men were taken before Justice Atchinson and released on bail of $25 each. Attorney T. J. Geary appeared for them as counsel in the justice court.The Electric Line is Finally Across Sebastopol Avenue in Spite of Interference by Steam Road
…When the Republican went to press yesterday afternoon the electric railroad had gained the advantage of removing rails from both the switches of the California Northwestern railroad on the east and west sides of the main line. To offset this advantage the steam road had ditched flat cars into these holes made by tearing away rails and ties.
Acting under orders, the policemen arrested every man found guilty of giving an order which further obstructed the Sebastopol crossing. A sharp lookout was kept for the man who gave the orders, and the official was promptly taken into custody. While the men of the electric road were working on the west side of the main line and had succeeded in getting a large section of rail cut out and removed, Chief Engineer Zook ordered Conductor Riese to cut off his engine, No, 23, and go over on the west side and further block the work. This was done, and the flat car which had already been thrown off the rails was further pushed into place where the rails had been removed,AN ENERGETIC EMPLOYEE
For this offense Conductor Riese was arrested a second time, and given a second ride in the rubber tired vehicle which is provided by the city for such emergencies.
Conductor Riese attempted to evade the second arrest, and leaped from his engine while it was on the move and mingled with the crowd. His effort to conceal himself was unavailing, for Constable Boswell had seen him give the engineer a signal, and promptly sought him out and placed him under arrest.
Phil Hyde, the engineer of Jack Smith’s train, who had come to this city as a special bring up reinforcements of officials from Tiburon, led the officers a merry chase during the afternoon. There was a wholesale arrest of engineers, firemen, and conductors going on, and Mr. Hyde heard that a warrant was out for him. He had an advantage over the other railroad men in that he knew the peace officers personally, and when he saw them coming toward him he made his escape easily and avoided a ride in the neatly painted wagon which had contained some of his fellow engineers and road officials.
[ The police patrol was kept busy and as was also a hack in making trips to and from the crossing. One man put in the hack by Boswell escaped just in time to board the southbound passenger train.]
Both railroads had the busiest day of their existence yesterday. From the time the first picks where struck in the earth until President Foster’s arrival there was no time lost by either side. When actual hostilities were note being engaged in, each side was planning to get ahead of the opponents. The game played at the crossing yesterday was in some respects similar to that of chess, and in many ways it resembled a football contest, with brawny men on either side, bucking the center and the line repeatedly. Especially were the football tactics resorted to when an attempt was made to take the electic road’s jack by force. This was a decisive struggle, and came almost being successful on the part of the steam road’s men.ANCHORING THE FLAT CARS
During the afternoon the electric road people attached a heavy wire cable to the flat cars on the west side of the track, and attempted to pull them over and throw them out of the way. Their first pull resulted in the breaking of the heavy four-ply wire cable. Before a second pull could be made, the steam road men had anchored their flat cars to the battleship-locomotive No. 12.
Frantically the men of the steam road worked to get their chains in position to hold the flat car, and after a wait of more than an hour, it came to their minds that the 6 o’clock train was due shortly, and that with the locomotive anchored to the flat car it would be impossible to move the fighting machine and not delay the United States mail. Then began a frantic unwinding of the chains binding the locomotive, and a digging beneath the rails on which the locomotive stood.
The object of this digging was apparent when the chains that held the locomotive captive were placed beneath the rails. It did not seem to occur to those in charge that the mail train could not run over the huge knots of chain across the rails any more than it could run over the other locomotive without being wrecked, and the work proceeded to the finish. Then when President Foster ordered the tracks cleared and the ditched cars replaced on the rails, these chains were unwound, and the work had gone for naught.ENGINES BLEW HOT AIR
More special trains were run over the California Northwestern railroad yesterday than for many months past. In addition to the two locomotives equipped for drenching the crowd with steam which were on the ground, engines and section men were brought from all directions. There were given special orders, and with white flags flying they came in rapid time.
The heavy freight engine, No. 23, with Jim Ahern at the trottle and Sam Riese in charge, was ordered to cut off the freight train which it was pulling to this city and hasten down without them. This resulted in no freight being hauled from the north yesterday at all. The engine cut off its cars at Cloverdale, and picked up five section crews en route to this city to add to the fighting force of the California Northwestern.
Engine 9, with Phil Hyde at the helm, came in from Tiburon about noon, having run to this point under special orders. It brought superintendent Hunter and others to the scene.
The last special to arrive was that bearing President Foster and one hundred and fifty fighting men, whom the president termed “big husky fellows.” Arthur Foster, the President’s son, and an under-sheriff and deputy sheriff of Marin county also accompanied the special….President Foster’s train was known to be en route to the City of Roses long before it arrived, and when its whistle was heard in the distance there were many who went down to meet it. [ It was rumored that Sheriff Taylor and his deputies from Marin county were coming to assist the officers here. This was not credited, however, and proved untrue.] It was reported here that seventy-five stevedores had been brought to this city, and that they would fight at the drop of the hat. This increased interest in the president’s special.FOSTER’S “BIG HUSKY FELLOWS.”
A representative of the Republican was among those on the train before it came to a stop. President Foster, accompanied by his son, stepped out of the private car, and was immediately handed a telegram. He read it, and replied “Tell them no.” The windows of the other coach containing the “fighting men” were pulled down, and no glimpse could be gained into that coach. That it was filled with men was apparent, for before coming to a standstill and having the blinds pulled down according to orders there were heads sticking out of every window in the coach.
President Foster walked up into the crowd at the crossing and there sought the peace officials of the county. Marshal Severson was on the ground, but Sheriff Grace could not be found. In the conference between Marshal Severson and President Foster the latter made a threat even to arrest Sheriff Grace if the railroad property was not protected.
President Foster said to Marshal Severson in tones which were heard by the crowd: “Mr. Marshal, I have come here to urge the protection of my property, and am on a peaceable mission. My company does not wish trouble with anyone, but shall insist on its rights being respected and its property being kept free from molestation. If you have sufficient force here I want you to clear this place of all persons excepting my men, and if your force is insufficient, I have with me one hundred and fifty men who will clear it at once. They are big, husky fellows, and are able to clear this place even without your assistance. We have come here not to resist you in your efforts to keep the peace, but to assist you. Now, Mr. Marshal, I shall expect you to do your duty in protecting my property, and if you do not do it, I have men with me who will place you and even the sheriff of Sonoma county under arrest for not doing your duty.”
During President Foster’s talk the crowd made many side remarks, several calling on the marshal to arrest Mr. Foster for obstructing the county road.
Marshal Severson and his officers at once began clearing the crowds back, and forced men occupying positions on the flat cars alongside the tracks to get down from them and away from the scene. This was no easy task, and as fast as the crowd was cleared away in one place they returned in another.WOULD HAVE THE MARSHAL ARRESTED.
Finally President Foster grew insistent and told the Marshal that unless he cleared the crowds and kept them back he would have the officer placed under arrest.
President Foster was in position to carry out this threat to the letter. With him he had brought up in his special car Under Sheriff G. E. Ortman of Marin county, and Deputy Sheriff Lon Agnew of Marin county was picked up at Petaluma. These two men were clothed with authority, in case of necessity to arrest the marshal and his assistants, and also Sheriff Grace. Deputy Agnew had been up to Ukiah, where he had gone to get an escaped prisoner, but was returning to San Rafael without his man. He was a passenger on the south bound train, and was stopped at Petaluma by telegraphic messages and returned with President Foster on his special.THE FIGHT IS FINISHED.
Shortly after making his first speech to Marshal Severson and the crowd, President Foster held a telegram aloft and in a loud voice declared to the people that he had been notified that the electric railroad had asked for an injunction against his company to prevent them interfering with the crossing, and that a restraining order had been issued against his company returnable Monday next at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. He declared that he was in favor of law and order, and did not intend to go contrary to the orders of the courts.
He declared that he had come to the City of Roses to show the people here that the president of the road would go where any of its employees were sent, and that his interest in Santa Rosa and Sonoma county were as great as ever. He declared he owned considerable property in the county and that some day he expected to make his home in Imperial Sonoma.
Mr. Foster had scarcely landed before he gave orders to his men to remove the locomotives back from obstructing the main line. Then came orders to replace the ditched flat cars on the tracks and proceed to clear the tracks and not obstruct the crossing or interfere with the electric road officials. [Later when the train with the President and officials of the road and the men going south passed the crossing there was a mingled demonstration of applause from the assemblage there.]
That the steam road had made abundant preparations for all kinds of battles yesterday is apparent. Four of their locomotives were taken to the shops at Tiburon and fitted with the steam pipes for drenching the crowds which assembled. These locomotives were Nos. 9, 10, 12, and 13. Only two of these were brought into action yesterday. No. 9 has been kept on the siding at Fulton for several weeks past, and steam has been kept up at all times to be ready for instant action. No. 10 is the locomotive which plies between Cloverdale and Ukiah, and she was fitted with pipes and was ready to come down at a moment’s notice, until she was compelled to go down to the shops for repairs. This engine came north last evening pulling the regular evening passenger train. With these four locomotives the steam road was prepared to give a battle such as had never before been fought by railroads. The publication of the use of these steam pipes in the Republican had warned the general public of their intended use, and no great damage was done by them.PATROLLING ENGINES OUT OF WATER
Had the hosts of war not been called off when they were, the Northwestern would have been facing an alarming proposition with its engines. For the many hours of the day steam was kept up to a high pressure in order to use it on the crowds to keep the engines in readiness for any emergency which might confront them. When the afternoon passenger train passed south, engine 12 went around that train and came up in the rear to protect the crossing the minute the passenger train had gone by. At this juncture it had an opportunity to take water, but Engineer Garcia’s steed, No. 13, was becoming low on that necessary article for generating steam, and could not have withstood the strain much longer. The same condition confronted other engines.
“Admiral” Barrows, who gained his title from the locomotive battleships which played hot steam and water on the crowds, was everywhere in the fight yesterday. He had gravel shoveled onto him, into his face, and rocks thrown at him, but like a true warrior he never faltered. He kept in the midst of the “scrap,” and gave his orders to his men. Whether on the bridge of one of his war vessels, or in the conning tower, it was the same with him. Mr. Barrows was twice arrested for his participation in the melee.ENGINEERS DODGE IN THEIR CABS
The position of Engineer Eugene Ellison was anything but pleasant during the morning hours. Many rocks were thrown into the cab, one going through a window and shattering it.
[There was no cessation when the steam whistles from the factories announced that the noon hour had arrived. People were too interested and the opposing forces were in the thickest of the memorable fight to lay the crossing. Many men employed in various establishments spent their dinner hour in watching and cheering on the electric railroad men with the task. Dinners were forgotten.]
The electric railroad officials were thoughtful of their men, and during the afternoon passed around huge baskets of sandwiches to them. Of these the men partook freely, as they had been at work all morning and could not leave the scene at noon to partake of the noon day meal. This morning Auditor Rowe was busy paying the bills for the refreshments served, but it was a cheerful task for him. The company provided liberally for its men and the crowd cheered them for so doing.
Auditor Rowe stated this morning that there had been a conference the night previous to the railroad fight between representatives of the two companies. At that conference the electric railroad people had submitted a proposition to the steam road that if the case was decided in their favor they would agree to put in the crossing and pay all bills, and would enter into a contract to maintain the crossing at all times in a manner satisfactory to the California Northwestern. The officials of the steam road would have nothing to do with this proposition, as they had made arrangements to fight if the decision went against them. Their efforts were put forth in a losing cause, and the crossing is in despite the opposition offered.
The King of France marched his men up the hill and down again.– Santa Rosa Republican, March 1 and 2, 1905, Press Democrat, March 2, 1905 as indicated