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THE OLD SMELTER AT CEDROS
Photo by J. E. Kirkwood The slag piles in the foreground and the distance cover several acres. These piles are said to be of considerable value because of the large amount of mineral which the original process failed to extract (see page 577).
The Mexican Central Railroad crosses is low and shadows are mounting the a corner of this estate at some distance slopes, the slanting rays sweep the wide south of Torreon. The station of Ca expanse with a glow of changing color. macho, a sun-scorched and wind-swept Rising out of the mountain chain, high row of adobe structures, is upon the haci above its fellows, stands a lofty peak, enda, and eastward, over a distant range with its rugged crest outlined against the of mountains, lies the village of Cedros, glowing sky. Clouds that rest upon it the capital of this principality. Some 60 are tinged with gold and crimson and miles intervene, however, and to visit it all the brilliant colors of a suuset such as one must proceed thither by horseback no other land knows. This eminence, or wagon.
known as Pico Teirra, commands the Cedros lies on the high border of a whole of the surrounding country . Dark plain that reaches leagues long and wide and rugged to its summit. which lies to the west, north, and south. Eastward above 10,000 feet, its somber shados rises the range of the Potrero. On the are deepened by the thin growth of oaks horizon to the northeast are the furowed and pines which clothe its higher slopes. slopes of the Zuloagas and to the west As the morning light strikes across the and southwest the Sierras de Zapoca and landscape, the watcher at Cedros may Guadalupe.
catch the glimmer of white at the base Thirty miles to the west the Zapocas of Teirra, making faintly visible the ham
a mountain barrier along the let of San Rafael. Tlalf way to the peak whole horizon.
across the intervening plain two small
mountains stand as detached members of ENTRANCE TO CEDROS
a lesser range at its southern extremity. Entering the hacienda from the east, Here a few dwellings comprise the vilthis splendid panorama is gradually un lage of Tecolotes, which, with a fortified folded to view. When the afternoon su inclosure and a water reservoir, marks a
A SMLILL CITY
Station on the wagon road and is 17 pected now, the place is still well adapted miles away, though seeming but three or io withstand a siege of small arms. The four
defenses here have somewhat fallen to Far to the northeast the plain reaches decay; but at Outlying stations some are level to the horizon. There the ranges yet well preserved, as where Canada converge in the listance the sluifting Blanca, with wall and battlement, furmirage raises phantom hills which change nishes a place of refuge in the grazing in the glimmering heat, and remolinos--- country to days' journey to the west. tall, slender columns of dust-laden whirl The village of Cedros consists of the winds glide across the landscape and casa grande, or manor house, with its asJissolve from view.
sociated structures, and the church, the dwellings of the peons, a rope-walk (see
pages 574 and 575), an old smelter (see Many small assemblages of huts or
page 505) and ore mills, and corrals. houses are scattered over the place and Aside from the casa grande and its
the homes of small ranchers or grounds, the village does not cover more herismen. In all, about 2,000 people live than the space of three or four city upon the Tlacienda de Cedros. These blocks. are distributed about in small groups here and there, where springs may be
HOJIES OF THE PEONS found or wells dug, or where the con The homes of peons are either huddled figuration of the land makes possible the in groups or scattered about the outgathering of the rainfall into reservoirs. skirts, and, though mostly permanent
Tater is precious, and its relative structures built of adobe, they are arabundance determines the size of the vil ranged in no definite order, but are set lage and often the nature of its opera up wherever chance or the convenience tons. Issuing from the limestone at the of the builder dictated. Many of the
estern end of the Potreros are a num dwellings have small adjoining inclosber of fine springs, some
ures formed by a paling constructed of others cold, providing for irrigation of the vand-like branches of the candlethe gardens, for the baths, and for wood, serving for garden lots or corrals. household uses. Some supply the long, Cheer and comfort are scarcely known stone troughs where the herds come to to the peons habitations. They are Trink. \bout these springs has grown usually without the luxury of windows, (1) the little town of Cedros, and the the door serving to admit all the light cottonwoods have grown with it. until that enters. The poorer huts have merely across the country their spreading tops a hole in the wall as a means of entrance ve visible afar and almost obscure the and exit; sometimes a room adjoining white walls of the buillings they over has no exterior opening. but is reached shadoll. It is a rare oasis in a wide des by a hole in the partition. ert, and grateful shade here beckons the In these hovels some live, begrimed and traveler to its restful shelter.
hungry, in hopeless poverty. Others of Tere all roads lead to Cedros. Tenu the dwellings are much better. Such ous threads of white, cutting the dull may boast some coarse matting and rude green of the distant plain, can be seen home-made furniture and decorations of converging to this point like the spokes colored picture-cards and tinsel. In these of a wheel. The site, vel chosen for the dwellers have some regard for cleanstrategic reasons, commands
liness and a measure of self-respect. proaches on three sides, while the rough The old church near the center of the slopes of the mountain lie to the rear. village rises prominently above the surPrecautions against Indians and others rounding structures. Standing upon an Here necessary in the early days, and eminence, it gives prospect of the country parapet iud loophole are still visible in far and near, and is itself first beheld by the construction of the larger buildings. the approaching traveler. Its portal Though suchi occasions are less to be ex shadeal by graceful pepper trees, looks
A LANDSCAPE ON THE HACIENDA DE CEDROS
Photo by T. E. Kirkwood The palma from which fiber is obtained. “This estate, the Hacienda of the Cedars, is 70 miles long by 60 wide, a domain about equal in area to the State of Connecticut. Although much smaller than some of the other haciendas, it nevertheless constitutes a considerable property, being 21/2 million acres in extent. From center to circumference is a day's journey or more, and the proprietor, when he visits the outlying portions of his estate, prepares for a journey of days or weeks with coach-and-six and attendants and much of the air of a petty ruler" (see text, page 563).
out upon the little plaza, witness of its of flat stones leads up to the door, where people's life, at work or play. Rugged in the hollow-worn threshold speaks of the its strength and severe in its architec generations of devout people who have tural simplicity, it stands a refuge, spir come and gone these 200 years. Within itual and temporal.
a large mural painting depicts the life and The arched and cemented roof, walled death of the martyred priest who long round by a crumbling parapet, the loop- ago ministered to the charcoal-burners at holes of which still show, is reached by a Mazapil. Protesting against the oppresflight of steep and narrow steps leading sion of these poor people, who then were up on the outside. The walls of stone, 4 slaves at the hands of their Spanish taskfeet in thickness, are pierced by deep em masters, he aroused the anger of those brasured windows, which, being few and whose greed he sought to check and lost small, light but dimly the appropriately his life at the hands of hired assassins. decorated interior. Guarding the en
THE MINOR HOUSE trance to this sanctuary are ponderous doors, whose mortised timbers are stud Across the open plaza stands the casa ded with huge wrought nails having heads grande. This relic of manorial pretenthe size of one's palm.
sions of more prosperous days, with the Through the center of the yard a walk buildings adjoining and appertaining to
I STREET IN TINT VILLAGE OF CEDROS
Photo by J. E. Kirkwood On the left the peons' quarters, on the right the garden wall. “The homes of peons are either huddled in groups or scattered about the outskirts, and, though mostly permanent structures built of adobe, they are arranged in no detinite order, but are set up wherever chance or the convenience of the builder dictated" (see text, page 366).
it, rambles over several acres of ground. in essential respects seems as good as Its front elevation, like that of many when first built. The lower walls are other mansions of the land, is innocent ncarly + feet in diameter, though 2 feet, of any suggestion of artistic etiort, and the usual thickness of adobe walls, afford rises a plain, white-washed wall, broken ample protection against the burning only by the deep-set and securely grated heat of summer. windows and the hear doors. It rises Notwithstanding the prejudice which 30 feet to the parapet, providing to might naturally arise against sun-dried stories in the main building, though its brick as a desirable or durable building adjoining structures have but one. Be material, they have been immensely usefore recent improvements substituted il ful in many forms of construction over stronger wall for the old parapet, loop- a large part of the North Imerican conholes were still visible here and there. tinent. They came extensively into seriThe doors of the main entrance, like ice, probably, through the force of necesthose of the church, are ponderously sity, where other materials were scarce or built of hewn timbers and, being barrel, difficult to work, but they have abunolier ellectual resistance to any seeking cantly demonstrated their usefulness. It entrance by force.
would be difficult to imagine houses betThere seem to be 10 available records ter adapted to the hot, dry climate of the of the building of this house. I date plateau than the adobe. properly conlegible upon one of the beams within is structed, which, when well finished. is 1731, which appears to be the date of clean and may be even beautiful in certain repairs. The building; however, design.
A PRETENTIOUS HOME
huerta, or garden. Off this corridor Entering the mansion by the main door,
rooms open to the right and left, but, as a portal large enough to admit a load of
none of these are of special interest, athay, one finds himself in a tunnel-like
tention may now be turned to the kitchen, passage leading through to the inner
entrance to which may be gained from court, or patio. On either side of this
the patio. This room, 20 feet square, is passage are doors, and farther on a stair- lighted during the day through the open
door. way leads to the upper rooms, though
In the center of the room originally they were reached through a
was origitrap-door by means of a ladder, which nally a circular, altar-like structure of was drawn up at night.
stone or adobe, 6 feet across, from which The patio itself, some 60 or 70 feet
arose a huge conical chimney, supported
by several legs forming the sides of as square, is designed on the simple lines of some of the more primitive and isolated many arches. Upon this bench, prior to
the advent of the modern range, cooking places, and from this court, after the usual fashion, doors open into various
was done by the open fire. From the rooms. In the center of the patio a well
kitchen food was carried by an out-offurnishes water for the household, a
door route to the dining-room, there beflower bed occupies a cement basin of ing no connecting passage. ample size, and a grape vine scrambles
Adjoining the main building a long over an arbor of rude poles.
row of lower structures flanks the plaza. Entering a door from the passageway,
Among the several doors along this row one finds himself in a large sala, or parlor,
two are noteworthy -one gives entrance with tinted walls and tiled floor. The
to the jail, the other to the wine cellar. tiles, perhaps at one time level, are now
The juxtaposition of these two instiluuneven after nearly 200 years of use.
tions probably was not meant to convey They are about 8 inches square, hard and
any idea of their logical association, but slooth of surface. Such formed the
that one of these sometimes contributed chief flooring material in this and other
to the other there can be no doubt. houses of the time. Hewn timbers ex
A GREAT WINE CELLAR tend from wall to wall, supporting the floor above. The origin of these and
The commodious vault of the wine celmuch larger timbers in the construction
lar is reached through several outer rooms of the buildings is a matter of some con
containing the various appurtenances conjecture. Although it is reported that orig cerned with the manufacture of wine. inally a cedar grove of considerable size Huge fermenting vats built of adobe and grew here about the springs, there is at lined with cement, each capable of holdpresent no evidence that such a stand of ing several cartloads of grapes, stand timber formerly existed, except the few close by the press in one of the outer aged and decrepit junipers scattered along rooms, and in another a still was built the feeble watercourses.
close by the steps which lead under a high
and heavy archway down to the cellar. MUNITIONS OF
The cellar itself, about 100 by to feet, is A I smaller room opening off the sala is divided lengthwise by supporting arches an arsenal. Rows of Winchesters are of the same masonry which figures in the stacked along the wall, some of recent, construction of all the buildings. others of older, models; also some an long the walls stand rows of huge cient muzzle-loading pieces of ponderous casks, most of them now empty, but some weight. Revolvers and pistols of ancient containing a few gallons of the more pattern complete the assortment, along recent vintages. Vidway of the cellar a with a small supply of drugs and medi well reaches down to a flowing spring, cines.
whence water was drawn for uses in conPassing out at the other end of the nection with the winery. Is indicated sala, one enters a corridor, at the far end above, not only fermented, but also disof which glazed doors give access to the tilled, liquors were manufactured here,