A Golden Spike: The Banquet.
By MARIE HARRINGTON.
Sept. 5, 1976.
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III. THE BANQUET
As the trains with their "palace cars" pulled into the River Station crowds of Angelenos greeted the cortege with shouts, waving flags, bands playing and all the display of a welcome to conquering heroes. Reports say the streets were lined with cheering crowds all the way to Union Hall.
The interior of Union Hall must have resembled the main exhibit hall of a large county fair according to the descriptions which have come down to us from the Los Angeles Daily Star and the Los Angeles Daily Evening Express. The entry was lined with evergreens, native to Los Angeles or imports now growing in the area. Over the doorway leading from the stairway to the vestibule was an American eagle, captured in the San Fernando mountains. The outer hall was also decorated with a variety of evergreens and over the doorway leading to the inner hall was a Maltese Cross designed also of evergreens with the initials "L.A." and "S.F." outlined.
In the banqueting hall, evergreens and flowers hung from the ceiling in decorative patterns while over 100 varieties of wine and table grapes on the wine were entwined around the evergreens. A huge bouquet was suspended from the ceiling in the center of the hall, made up of 400 varieties of flowers. Suspended cages throughout the room contained such singing birds as linnets, mocking birds and canaries.
On the right side as one entered the hall, there was an arch, also made of evergreens and flowers with the words "Corn, Wine and Oil" displayed across the top. Under the arch were shelves on which local wines from the vineyards of L.J. Rose, Don Benito Wilson and other growers were exhibited. From table to sweet wines, in bottle, case and demijohn, there was an immense variety. There were also exhibits of San Fernando Valley wheat, rye, barley and corn. There was a honey exhibit from San Gabriel and behind the shelves, corn stalks 14-19 feet high.
From Dunsmoor and Coles' hop yards at El Monte came an exhibit of their prize product. There were also hops exhibits as well as lager beer from Anaheim.
Festoons of flowers, agricultural products and evergreens lined the remaining walls of the hall. Everything from clusters of beans to English walnuts was used in the display. In another corner of the hall, another archway had the initials "S.P. R.R. The Tie Between Sister Cities S.P. R.R." Shelved under this archway were more wines from Matthew Keller's vineyard. Next to his exhibit was another wine display from the vineyard of Don Jose Rubio; it was Rubio's grapes that had been used in the ceiling decorations.
A platform was raised at the east end of the hall, surrounded by flowers in pots, beds or hanging baskets. Fruits, nuts and broom corn were exhibited on the platform showing the variety of agricultural products raised in the southern part of this State. Another part of the platform was dedicated to the sub-tropical fruits which were growing here including all varieties of citrus, olives, figs and pomegranates. Even the prickly pear known to the natives as the "tuna" were shown.
In other spots of the hall, more citrus, wines, cordials and brandies all had their hour of glory. The vegetable kingdom was also present with beets weighing nearly 80 pounds and watermelons, 45 pounds. Specimens of manzanita wood, worked into canes, olive oil from Sen. Maclay's San Fernando ranch and paintings from J.M. Griffith's private collection as well as monster bouquets all added to the amazing kaleidoscope of color, scent and visual wonder. A fountain, located in the center of the hall, was decorated with flowers and shrubs with a large glass globe suspended over it "which, when lighted up looked like a scene in fairyland."
The banquet, a gourmet's delight, was prepared by Monsieur C.A. Cuyas, chef of the Pico House. Besides this repast prepared for 250 persons, M. Cuyas also had an extra 100 persons to prepare for that night at the Pico House.
The bill of fare at Union Hall that memorable night was as follows:
Filet de Salmon au Beurre de Montpellier
HORS d'OEUVRES d'OFFICE
Olives Shrimps Anchovies
Apple Sauce Pickles Cranberry Sauce
Mayonnaise de Homards Monteis
Mayonnaise de Chicken a l'Italienne
Noix de Veal a la Montmorency a la Jelly
Turkey Galiantine en Belle Vue
Pates de Foies au Attele Belle Vue
Pates de Quails a la Jelly
Ham de Mayence roast a la Jelly
Smoked Tongue en Arcade au Attele
Turkey Truffe aux Papillote
Chicken Barde a la Glace
Quails Piques decore
Filet de Boef a la Regence
Chaud et Froid de Chicken Decore
Quartier de Venaisoin Marinee
Quartier de Veal a la Crème
Aspic Financiere Belle Vue
Pieces de Flan
English Plum Pudding, Maraschino Sauce
Fruit Cake, Glace Blanc
Almond Dessert de Sauce a la Plume
Cakes a la Genoise, Glace Divirsee
Lemon Cream Pie
Nougat Baked, garnie au Fruit Caramel
Croquant de Macaroons, a la Royale
Champagne Jelly, a la Rose
Blanc Manger Punsche
Vanilla Ice Cream
Coffee (cold and warm) Tea
All kinds of Fruit
Appropriate wines, many of them imported, were served throughout the meal which finally came to an end at eight o'clock. After a half hour's intermission the company sat hack to listen to toasts and speeches. Mayor Prudent Beaudry presided and called first on Charles Crocker. He was followed by Col. Grey, engineer of the Southern Pacific, Mayor A.J. Bryant of San Francisco, S.M. Wilson, Capt. C.E. Thom, Judge Ygnacio Sepulveda, Col. J.F. Godfrey and Loring Pickering of San Francisco. Several short speeches were then given by Gen. MeDowell, Phineas Banning, ex-Gov. Downey and others.
The time now was 11:30 p.m. The ladies had arrived, the floor was cleared for dancing and the "hop" lasted until 1:00 a.m. At the close of the dance the San Francisco guests made their way back to River Station and boarded their train for the journey home.
The curtain had rung down on Los Angeles' most momentous public ceremony to date.
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