California, 1878

In the past six months, the population of our town has increased about 25 per cent.  If we continue to increase at that rate, Newport may look out for a rival.  We say without bombast, that we never before saw so great a transformation in the business interest of our town as has taken place here within the past six months.  A year ago might be seen a crowd of despondent men and boys on the open trying to drown their weariness in the games of marbles or croquet or the solitary loter [sic] dreamily leaning against a half fallen fence post.  But today the scene is quite different.  The tide has swept away the marbles, balls and mallet, and the loafer has “struck oil.”  We have not seen an idler in the past month.  All around us is life and energy.  We have four stores.  The prospect bids fair for the opening of two more soon.  We also have a blacksmith shop and another in expectancy.  Joseph Row, of Gubsers Mill, has purchased our old school house and has moved it on the corner of Washington and Nelson streets, and connected it to a wagon maker’s harness shop. He intends building a blacksmith shop adjoining, Frank Lehr assistant.  We have a fine two-story brick school house, and it is well finished.  The school is conducted by the Rev. I. N. Selby, assisted by his amiable and accomplished lady. . . . Thos. Jackson has put up a new pair of scales on Main street, near River.  We have two coal yards here.  Building side-walks is the order of the day.  Mr. Nelson, of Flagg Springs, has the contract for sawing part of the lumber.


from the Newport Local, December 19, 1878