Our Resources

From the Dutch Flat Enquirer, May 7, 1864

Communities like individuals have natural and artificial resources of wealth, which, if properly managed, make them powerful and respected, but which, if allowed to be dormant and not brought into usefulness, only render them objects of contempt. Heretofore our town has relied solely upon the products of the mines for its means of support, and when from want of water the revenue from that source has been cut off, has been compelled to lie idle and unemployed. Our citizens have failed to take advantage of the great march of improvement going on throughout the land, and seem disposed to keep out of its way as much as possible. But a few enterprising men amongst us, determined that the place should no longer slumber in obscurity, and accordingly proclaimed to the country that there really was such a place as Dutch Flat, and that although the name might be sneered at as unintelligent, yet that its inhabitants were in the possession of a secret of the most vital importance to the nation, that they knew of a route more practicable, easier, and more direct than any yet discovered, for a Great National Railroad from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and one which if once tested would prove itself to be the only route practicable and easy. As soon as this was announced enterprising men at once came amongst us, enquired for, sought and found the road to be all that was claimed for it. The great Railroad project became no longer a mere hypothesis but a fixed fact. Other enterprising men saw at once that the route practicable for a railroad, was also practicable for a wagon road, that it would require years to complete the one, while the other could be built in a few months, and a wagon road was at once started to connect Sacramento city with Virginia city, the two great depots of California and Washoe. Before the first wagon road company had completed their road to the Summit, another company was formed, and another wagon road from Dutch Flat to the Henness road was started, which in a few days will be complete, and which the projectors assert will compare with any road in the United States, being on a grade so easy, that the heaviest loads can be drawn over it, winter and summer. The first company ran their road so far to the southwest as to wholly ignore it, from the fact that they could obtain no material aid from our citizens to build the road through the town. The latter company propose to complete their road by running it through Main street, provided our citizens will subscribe the sum of two thousand dollars to pay for the cutting and filling necessary on Main and Sacramento streets. Shall this sum be raised and the travel from Sacramento and Washoe pass through our town or shall some other town be built up near us to reap all the great benefits which will accrue? Shall we as a town step out of the way of these great improvements, and rely alone on our mining interests as heretofore, or shall we by the expenditure of a small sum, yes, an insignificant sum of money, build up a town second to none in the mountains? Have we any energy? are we all asleep, or are we blind? These are questions which we may not answer until it is too late. Let the wagon roads all pass by us, and will not the enterprising citizens of Gold Run soon wrest from us the prize? Gold Run is wide awake, it is a better location than Dutch Flat, and if lots can be procured there at a nominal rate, as they can be, it will soon boast of more stores, saloons, wagon shops and other business houses than we can. Every man amongst us is either directly or indirectly interested in this matter, and it is for us to say now, whether we will build our town up and make it wealthy and respectable, or sink it into that oblivion from which it so lately emanated. Many suppose that wealth and greatness will be thrust upon us against our wishes, that those who wish to procure goods, get a dinner or a drink, will come here anyway, that the patronage of the heavy teams is not wanted or desirable, and that four or five daily stages will come through the town anyway. Such may prove true, but it is not at all likely, for enterprising men will get in the way of business always, and cut it off from those who are waiting for it to hunt them up. If men wish employment they have to seek for it, or hold out such inducements as will bring it to them. Cannot merchants and mechanics furnish their customers with what they want, as cheap on the direct line of the road, as they can in Dutch Flat, which will be out of their way, and will they not do it? Let us wake up and stir ourselves; let us add to our resources; let us be somebody; and if we must be Dutch Flat, let us make Dutch Flat be known, from ocean to ocean. Let it be hereafter said of us in the language of the immortal bard: Bully for Dutch Flat.