« PreviousContinue »
It may not have occurred before to those who read this article that in no other city in the world is there an astronomical observatory devoted to the public instruction, and more particularly to the public school education; but this is undoubtedly the case, and the fact would be well appreciated by non-professional students in many other cities in this and trans-Atlantic countries, where the many and magnificently equipped observatories are so closely and entirely devoted to the grand problems of astronomical research that the admission of some private student of the science, with no facilities of his own, is only required as a rare privilege upon stated occasions. Of course all the great colleges and universities possess attached observatories, but these are entirely devoted to their special uses, whereas the open sesame of the Chabot Observatory is a card obtained at the office of the Superintendent of Schools, to receive which are only needed a formal application and a proper appreciation of the privilege.
In this connection, and that the reader may know our observatory is appreciated even across the seas, here is an extract from a letter received a few days ago by one of the assistants in the observatory, Mr. Buerkhalter, from one of the great English astronomers of world-wide fame, one who is, indeed, in the very front rank of scientists. He writes:
“The observatory under your charge affords yet another illustration of that disinterested zeal for the promulgation of scientific knowledge which characterizes the mighty American Nation. There is no such thing in England as an observatory to which the public are admitted.”
The observatory building was erected and equipped with funds furnished for that purpose by a private citizen of Oakland, Anthony Chabot, Esq., and by him made a free gift to the Board of Education, in trust for the City of Oakland. Its cost, as has been stated previously in this article, was $15,000. It is situated in the middle of Lafayette Square, which is bounded by Tenth, Eleventh, Jefferson and Grove streets, and the use of which for this purpose was given by the City Council. Its exact geographical position is in latitude 37 deg. 48 min. 5 sec. north, longitude 122 deg. 16 min. 34 4-10 sec. west from Greenwich, or, in time, 8 hours 9 minutes 6 3-10 seconds west from Greenwich, 3 hours 0 minutes 54 2-10 seconds west from Washington.
The building was erected and the instruments purchased under the direct personal supervision of Hon. Wm. H. Jordan, at that time School Director from the Third. Ward, and now for the second term member of the Legislature from this city, and that of Mr. J. C. Gilson, who was then Superintendent of Schools, and who, upon the completion of the observatory, was made its first Director.
The time and labor necessary to this, and to the placing of the instrument in position, were freely given by these gentlemen, and in connection with that of the generous donor, Mr. Anthony Chabot, their names should be held in grateful remembrance by those who profit by the observatory, and those who are glad and proud of its possession by the School Department. In this connection, also, must be mentioned the name of Mr. A. W. Burrell, at that time and still School Director from the Second Ward. The benefit was had gratuitously of his practical ability and skill as an architect and bridge bnilder in the construction and arrangement of domes and other appliances. By the attention and labors of these gentlemen, therefore, the expenditure of Mr. Chabot's $15,000 represents very much more to-day than it would have done if the work they did had been paid for in cash in place of the thanks of our people, which it gives me so much pleasure to thus publicly express, and here publicly record.
Nor must the valuable services rendered in mounting and setting the instrument be forgotten of Professor George Davidson, of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey; Captain Frazer, of the Lick Observatory, and Messrs. C. B. Hill and Charles Burckhalter. It is hoped that in the popularity of the institution and in its practical utility, they all find satisfaction and reward for their good offices.
PACIFIC EDUCATIONAL JOURNAL.
Soon after the present Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Fred M. Campbell, entered upon his duties, he was elected Director of the Observatory in place of Mr. J. C. Gilson, resigned, and at once-that is, early in May, 1886—the work of the Observatory was actively taken up. He was most fortunate in being able to associate with himself two young men of recognized ability in astronomical work, viz., Mr. Charles B. Hill, of the Davidson Observatory, San Francisco, and Mr. Charles Burckhalter, of this city.
Mr. Hill has served for a number of years with Professor Davidson in the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, in connection with the Davidson Observatory, and is a fine mathematician; while Mr. Burckhalter thoroughly understands the mechanism of the various instruments, having mounted with his own hands no less than three telescopes, the last his own and for his own use, being a 103-inch silver glass, equatorially-mounted Newtonian, with driving clock and all accessories complete. Both are enthusiasts in the science of Astronomy. Mr. Frank H. McConnell, the celebrated clock and chronometer maker of San Francisco, was given charge of the clocks and the chronometer, and Mr. George H. Carleton, the efficient Superintendent of the Fire and Police Alarm system of this city, took charge of the electrical appliances.
F. M. CAMPBELL.
ELSEWHERE in the present number of THE JOURNAL will be found a communication from Professor Foster, of Sunol Glen, Cal., giving an intelligant analysis of one of the most remarkable palindromes to be found in any lan. guage—"Sator arepo tenet opera rotus." It may be proper to state that the meaning of “palindrome" is a word, verse or sentence that is the same when read backward or forward. There is still another Latin palindrome, which, if he or she is not already familiar with it, will be of interest to the average seeker after literary curiosities, viz., “Roma tibi subito moribus ibit amor," which means “Lewd did I live and evil did I dwell.” There are also several palindromes in English, but none equal to that which forms the subject of Professor Foster's communication. " Raw was I ere I saw war," is a pretty good one, while Yreka Bakery" not only takes the cake, but bakes it.
The lessons sketched below are not presented in the order in which they are to be taught. The teachers in each grade are expected to select from them a series for use during the year. The instruction may be given in connection with the opening exercises, or a half-hour or more each week may be set apart for this purpose.
11. COURAGE. -(1) True courage; heroism; (2) false courage; (3) cowardice; (4) “The noblest courage dares to do right;"' (5) doing duty-duty the last word.
HONESTY.-(1) In word and deed; (2) in little things; (3) dishonesty, stealiug, keeping things found, cheating; (4)
Honesty is the best policy,” “The right will come out right,” “The wrong will end in loss."
13. HONOR.--(1) Honoring father and mother and family; (2) one's self; (3) home and country.
14. GOOD NAME.-(1) Good name when young; (2) keeping a good name; its value, its loss; (3) reputation and character; (4) keeping good company—“A man is known by the company he keeps."
15. SELF-CONTROL.--(1) Control of temper-silence when provoked; (2) when anger is right.
16. CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS.-(1) Apology for wrong to another, manly and noble; (2) “Denying a fault doubles it;" (3) forgiving injuries confessed; (4) the forgiving of enemies---"It is better to suffer wrong than to do wrong.”
17. EviL SPEAKING—(1) Slander, gossip, spreading evil reports—“They say;" ? (2) “Charity thinketh no evil;"> faults of others; (3) tattling or tale bearing; (4) flattery, or giving undeserved praise.
18. PROFANITY.-- (1) Profane swearing, foolish, vulgar and wicked; (2) effect on character—"Swear not at all;" (3) slang, vulgar and impolite; (4) obscene language.
-E. E. WHITE, LL.D., in Popular Exlucalor.
CHICO'S PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
[From the Enterprise.) If there is one thing about our town of which we are more justly proud than of others, it is our admirable system of publio schools. There is nothing that speaks so much in favor of a town as its educational facilities. Fine school buildings and a large corps of teachers in any place show that the community of such place is intelligent and progressive. The willingness to expend large sums of money, or in other words to endure high taxes, for the sake of establishing and maintaining a creditable system of public schools, indicates the existence of a commendable spirit of enlightenment among the people of a town. It is with a feeling of just pride, therefore, that we state that no town in California, of the size of Chico, has a finer system of public schools than ours.
Our main school buildings are two in number. Of these the largest and finest, of which the accompanying illustration prosents a very good likeness, is situated just outside the town limits, across Little Chico creek. This structure is known as the Oakdale schoolhouse, and in it the High School and Grammar grades are taught. The building was erected by Swain & Hudson, of Marysville, in the latter part of 1874 and the early months of 1875. It is of brick and three stories high, not only solid and substantial, but handsome and imposing in design. The contract price for the erection of this building was $19,290, but the sum finally paid Messrs. Swain & Hudson was $22,816. Thirteen hundred and fifty dollars was spent in furnishing the schoolhouse with the necessary desks, tables, etc. The building contains nine regular schoolrooms, all of them large and well ventilated, and also a library well supplied with books,
The other school building is situated in town, on the block bounded by Seventh, Eighth, Salem and Sycamore streets. This building contains as a part of itself the first public school building erected in Cbico. This was put up in the spring of 1865. It was of brick, but contained only one room, and had no floor. Captain H. T. Batchelder was chosen as teacher of this school, and had to lay a floor, made of fence-boards, before he could commence the school. His assistant in this first public school in Chico was Miss Josephine Heater, now the wife of Chief Engineer Hood, of the Southern Pacific Railroad. This original building cost $3,000. In 1867, through the efforts of Captain Batchelder, a second story was built on the structure.
So this schoolhouse remained and was used, known as the “old brick," containing but two rooms, and these in a dilapidated state, until a year ago last summer. In the spring of 1885 the people of Chico voted to raise $3,000 to build an addition to this schoolhouse. Plans and specifications were at orce drawn up, and the contract let to Walker & Merwin, of this city, for