17 June 2010

California Quotes: A Pair of Musty Blankets

In the cities and towns there was a noticeable absence of homes. Stores, saloons, restaurants, boarding houses, and hotels made a metropolis, and to this day the habits of herding then contracted hang upon the people. In 1849 almost every house and tent, public and private, received lodgers for pay. A regular lodging-house consisted of one room with shelf-like bunks ranged round the sides, each of which held a straw mattress reeking with filth and vermin, and a pair of musty blankets. Cots occupied the centre of the room, and sleeping-places were chalked out on the floor, where, after the beds were filled, others might stretch themselves in their own blankets at a dollar a night. 

From: The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft, Vol. XXXV; San Francisco: The History Company, 1888. Page 666.

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