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Antiquarian Books, Rare Books>California

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Books on California 

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Venegas, Miguel. Histoire naturelle et civile de la Californie, contenant une description exacte de ce pays, de son sol, de ses montagnes, lacs, rivieres & mers, de ses animaux, vegetaux, mineraux, & de sa fameuse pecherie des perles; les moeurs de ses habitans, leur religion, leur gouvernement, & leur facon de vivre avant leur conversion au Christianisme; un detail des differens voyages, & tentatives qu’on a fait pour s’y etablir, & reconnoitre so golfe & la cote de la Mer du Sud. Enricyie de la carte du pays & des mers adjacentes. Traduite de l’Anglois, par M.E.**. [Marc Antoine Eidous] Durand. Paris. 1767. 3 vols. 12 mo. Fold. map in vol. 1. French marbled boards,leather labels. Half-titles present in Vol. II, III, folded engraved map of Baja California in Vol. I. Map with fold repairs. Nice set. Howes V69aa "first attempt at a history of California"; Sabin 98843; Zamorano Eighty 78, etc.  I.D.#08972.

CALIFORNIA/OREGON. Illustrated London News. Scenes In Oregon And California. London. Feb. 14, 1846. Folio. pp. 107-8 2 woodcut views. Removed. Contemporary article on the Fremont expeditions with two views in the Oregon Territory.  I.D.#09749.

GOLD RUSH. (Polk, James Knox.) 30th Congress, 2d session. House of Representatives. Ex. Doc. No. 1. Message From The President Of The United States To The Two Houses Of Congress, At The Commencement Of The Second Session Of The Thirtieth Congess... December 5, 1848... Wendell and Van Benthuysen. Washington, DC. 1848. Thick 8vo, 1275 p. 7 fold. maps, 5 charts and plans. Wraps. Totally uncut and unopened, but lacks the maps by Lt. Ord. In cloth slipcase. Cowan p. 426; not in Graff. Wheat 30. The first official account of the discovery of gold. some light damp staining but very rare in this state.  I.D.#00464SOLD.

Mackay, Alex. The Western World; Or, Travels In The United States In 1846-47: Exhibiting Them In Their Latest Development Social, Political, And Industrial; Including A Chapter On California. With A New Map Of The United States, Showing Their Recent Territorial Acquisitions, And A Map Of California. By Alex. Mackay, Esq. ... In Three Volumes. Second Edition. Richard Bentley. London. 1849. 8vos., brown ribbed cloth, neatly rebacked, spines laid down. Map in third volume foxed. No specific chapter on Texas, but folding map shows large pre-1850 Texas. Much data on antebellum U.S.  I.D.#00281.

Zachary Taylor, pres. U.S. Message From The President Of The United States... On The Subject Of California And New Mexico. January 24, 1850... Washington, DC. 1850. Thick 8vo, 976 p. Folding maps lacking, disbound. (31st Cong., 1st sess. Ho. of Reps. Ex.Doc. No.17.) President Taylor’s massive report on the far west regions with the mineral resources, military situations, administrative appointments, etc.  I.D.#03760.

31st Congress, 1st session. Senate. Ex. Doc. No. 47. Report Of The Secretary Of War, Communicating Information In Relation To The Geology And Topography Of Calfornia. April 3, 1850... (from Philip T. Tyson). GPO. Washington, DC. 1850. 8vo, (24),127,37 p. 3 maps in Part 2 (missing), 8 of 10 plates in part 1. Stitched, frayed and browned. Howes T455. I.D.#00344.

GOLD RUSH. Bryant, Edwin. Voyage en Californie. Description de son sol, de son climat, de ses mines d’or; par Ed. Bryant, dernier alcade de San Francisco; traduit par X. Marmier. Meline, Cans et Compagnie... Bruxelles. 1850. 16mo, 210 p. front. and 3 plts. Cont. boards. Howes B903.  I.D.#00282.


P. T. Tyson. Report Of The Secretary Of War, Communicating Information In Relation To The Geology And Topography Of California. U.S. Senate Washington, DC. 1850. 8vo, 127,37 p. 8 (of 11) fold. maps. Disbound. Lacks the three large maps, Geological reconnaissances... and Capt. Warner’s exploring... in the Sacramento Valley and Sierra Nevada. A witty and astute picture Tyson gave the Senate of the present and future impact the discovery of gold was to have on California. He correctly observed that "in a year or two" all surface gold will have been exhausted and that most prospectors would become miners working for "moderate wages" (an overstatement) but that at that moment, so many men were deserting the army and the civil service to prospect for gold that the functions of government of the territory had been adversely affected. (31st Cong., 1st sess. Senate. Ex.Doc. No.47). I.D.#04352.

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Illustrated London News. Interior Of California. [Article and three views, one colored.] Illustrated London News/William Little. London. Aug. 9, 1851. Folio. p.7-8. 3 woodcut views Removed. Another article describes in great detail, a lynching by the Vigilance Committee in San Francisco.  I.D.#09755.


Philip T. Tyson. Geology And Industrial Resources Of California: By Philip T. Tyson. To Which Is Added, The Official Reports Of Genls. Persifer F. Smith And B. Riley- Including The Reports Of Lieuts. Talbot, Ord, Derby And Williamson, Of Their Explorations In California And Oregon; And Also Of Their Examinations Of Routes For Rail Road Communication Eastward From Those Countries. Wm. Minifie & Co. Baltimore. 1851. 8vo, xxxiv,127,37 p. 13 fold. maps and plates. Original black embossed cloth, foot of spine gone, small fragment of title gone not affecting text, bookplate removed. Second and best edition; the U.S. Government edition of the previous year was the first but lacks the index, table of contents and introduction offered here. The folding maps are fine ones and include the Sacramento Valley and the author’s route through the Sierra Nevada. Soliday considered this to be one of the most important early works on actual conditions and findings in California to appear before the Civil War. Wheat said it was "probably the earliest work of true scientific research to emerge from the Gold Rush..." Howes T455; Cowan p. 648; Cowan (CA & Pac NW) 235; Wheat Gold Regions 179; Gold Rush 212; 25 California maps 10; 4 Soliday 912; 114 Eberstadt 182; 36 Decker 410. Not in Graff or the Holliday sale.  I.D.#06355.

Colton, Walter. Deck And Port: Or, Incidents Of A Cruise In The United States Frigate Congress To California. With Sketches Of Rio Janeiro, Valparaiso, Lima, Honolulu, And San Francisco. By Rev. Walter Colton, U.S.N.... A.S. Barnes & Co. New York. 1854. 12mo, 408 p. front. port., 4 col. lith. views by Sarony of Rio de Janeiro, Valparaiso, Lima and San Franciso. Red embossed cloth.  I.D.#00318.

United States Coast Survey. Diagrams Illustrating Earthquake Waves Of December 23rd 1854 At San Francisco, San Diego And Astoria From Curves Recorded On Self Registering Tide Gauges 1855. A.O.P. Nicholson. Washington, DC. 1856.  I.D.#10059.

Farnham, Thomas J. The Early Days Of California: Embracing What I Saw And Heard There, With Scenes In The Pacific. By J.T. Farnham, Esq. ... Illustrated. John E. Potter. Philadelphia. 1860. 8vo, 314 p. illus., cuts. Brown cloth, worn. Howes F49, mentions an 1859 edition, but does not mention this one with entirely different collation. "Essentially a sequel to his Travels In The Great Western Prairies."  I.D.#03143.

Taylor, William. California Life Illustrated. By Rev. William Taylor, Of The California Conference. ...Sixteen Engravings. New Edition, Revised And Corrected, Completing An Issue Of Thirty-One Thousand. Jackson, Walford, and Hodder/Carlton & Porter. London/New York. 1867. 8vo, plates. Black cloth. Not in Howes. Missionary life in early California. I.D.#00399.

Nordhoff, Charles. California: For Health, Pleasure, And Residence. A Book For Travellers And Settlers. By Charles Nordhoff, Author Of "Cape Cod And All Along Shore," &c., &c. Harper & Brothers, publishers. New York. 1873. Large 4to, (11)-255,4 p. illus, tables. Orange cloth. Fine except for stain on front cover.  I.D.#00291.

Nordhoff, Charles. Northern California, Oregon And The Sandwich Islands. By Charles Nordhoff, Author Of "California: For Health, Pleasure And Residence," &c., &c. Sampson Low, Marston, Low & Searle... London. 1874. 4to, front. map, illus. Red ornamented cloth. Ex-library.  I.D.#00285.

Nordhoff, Charles. California:... A Book For Travellers... Harper & Brothers. New York. 1874. Quarto, same collation, blue cloth, rubbed.  I.D.#00397.

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Report Of The Board Of Commissioners On Irrigation Of The San Joaquin, Tulare, And Sacramento Valleys Of The State Of California... GPO. Washington, DC. 1874. 8vo, 91 p. 6 fold. maps. Brown cloth. Landmark book on irrigation in California. Maps numbered. Map #1 is a large, chromolithographic sheet showing the San Joaquin, Tulare and Sacramento Valleys, outstanding color and detail; Map #5 shows by contrast, an irrigated area in India. First map is slightly repaired but an excellent copy. Ex-library. Important publication on crucial subject.  I.D.#01813.

Irwin, William. Gov. of California. Document signed. Sacramento. 1878, March 13. Printed and manuscript, with state seal. Deed for certain school lands in Yolo County obtained from a Federal Public Land grant and resold to Stephen Hill. Countersigned by the Secretary of State. Onionskin paper. 19 x 13.6". Impressive large gilt state seal. I.D.#09944.

Bunnell, Lafayette H. Discovery Of The Yosemite, And The Indian War Of 1851, Which Led To That Event. By Lafayette Houghton Bunnell, M.D., Of The Mariposa Battalion, One Of The Discoverers, Late Surgeon Thirty-Sixth Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers. Fleming H. Revell. Chicago. 1880. Big 12mo, 349,4,8 pp. 6 plts., map in text, cuts. Green dec. cloth, worn and shaken, lacks front endpaper. Second enlarged edition with an extra section of ads. Howes B954.  I.D.#21045.

Nordhoff, Charles. California For Health, Pleasure, And Residence. A Book For Travellers And Settlers. New Edition, Throughly Revised Giving Detailed Accounts Of The Culture Of The Wine And Raisin Grape, The Orange, Lemon, Olive, And Other Semi-Tropical Fruits, Colony Settlements, Methods Of Irrigation, Etc. By Charles Nordhoff. With Maps And Numerous Illustrations. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1882. 4to, 206+ p. 4 maps, small map in text, numerous illus., cuts; appendix with tables. Green cloth, shaken, some sign. loose, particularly nice illustrations.  I.D.#00250.

E.W. Hilgard. Report Of The Physical And Agricultural Features Of The State Of California, With A Discussion Of The Present And Future Of Cotton Production In The State; Also, Remarks On Cotton Culture In New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, And Mexico. By E.W. Hilgard, Ph.D., Professor Of Agriculture In The University Of California. Special Agent. GPO. Washington, DC. 1883. 4to, pp. 649-796 of an unidentified Doc., also paged ix,138 p. Col. fold. map, tables. New tan linen neat.  I.D.#01800.

Heininger, C.P. Views Of California. The San Francisco News Co. San Francisco. 1886. Square 12mo. 28 views. Folds into green embossed cover. Cover a little shaken but the early views are in very clean condition.  I.D.#09706.

Van Dyke, Theodore S. Southern California: Its Valley, Hills, And Streams; Its Animals, Birds And Fishes; Its Gardens, Farms And Climate... Fords, Howard, & Hulbert. New York. 1886. 8vo 233 p. Green cloth. Original pink folded advertising circular for the book laid in. Light foxing but nice.  I.D.#00314.

Walter Lindley, M.D., and J.P. Widney, A.M., M.D. California Of The South. Its Physical Geography, Climate, Resources, Routes Of Travel, And Health-Resorts Being A Complete Guide-Book To Southern California... With Maps And Numerous Illustrations. D. Appleton and Co. New York. 1888. 8vo, viii,402+ p. 3 fold. col. maps (1 hand col.), ports., illus. Red cloth.  I.D.#08307 SOLD.

Ward Bros. Album Of San Diego And Coronado Beach Cal. (cover title) Columbus, OH. ©1888. Second edition. Foldout views in gilt stamped red boards. A bit worn. Shows the El Coronado Hotel just constructed and a scene of whales being processed for oils and meat.  I.D.#06981.

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San Francisco Illustrated. A. Wittemann. New York. c1889. Oblong 12mo, unpaged. Only illus. Blue cloth cord sewn. Unusually well preserved. The Bay Area in the elegant eighties. Especially good view of Van Ness Area and the Mark Hopkins mansion on California Street.  I.D.#01776. SOLD.

Hotel Del Monte. Monterey, California. U.S.A. With The Compliments Of The Manager. (January 1, 1897). Sunset Photo-engraving Co. San Francisco. 1897. Oblong 8vo, unpaged. Mostly illus., plans. Col. pict. wraps.  I.D.#01790. SOLD.

Ward H. Mitchell. San Francisco View Book. [cover title]. San Francisco. c1895-1900. n.d. Oblong 12mo, unpaged. only illus. (1 damaged) Dark blue decorated cloth. An excellent series of city views of the old San Francisco, destroyed in the earthquake and fire.  I.D.#03339.

San Francisco. Tenth Thousand. Passenger Department, Santa Fe Route. Chicago. 1901. Square 12mo, 114 p., 3 double-page col. maps, illus. Disbound. Excellent views of the old San Francisco, just before the quake.  I.D.#01775.

Southern Pacific Co. The Big Trees Of California. A Brief Introduction To The Giant Sequoia Trees. San Francisco. May 24, 1901. 4to folded. illus. Self-wrappered.  I.D.#07486.




The Pious Fund Of Californias. In The Matter Of The Case Of... In: Foreign Relations Of The United States. United States Vs. Mexico. [World Court At The Hague]. House docs. v.3. 57th Cong., 2d sess. Doc. No. 1. GPO. Washington, DC. 1902. 8vo, 891 p. Text in English and Spanish. Tan buckram, neat. Litigation over the interest from Church money held by Mexico to support missions in California.  I.D.#07959.


Sequoia And General Grant National Parks. GPO. Washington, DC. 1893, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1903. 8vo. 5 numbers. Fold. maps. Disbound.  I.D.#07069.

A Brief Description Of The Chief Points Of Interest In The State, And The Most Convenient Means Of Reaching Them, Together With Information Concerning Train Service To The Coast Via The Chicago, Union Pacific & North-Western Line. Sixtieth Thousand. General Passenger Department, Chicago & North-Western Ry. Chicago. 1905. 8vo, 53,3 p. col. map, illus. Pict. wrappers. Interesting early views of the state, including an ostrich farm.  I.D.#00098.



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John Sebastian. California. The Golden State. 1906. Revised Edition. Rock Island System. Chicago. 1906. 64 p. 10 col. views, illus. Pict. wraps. Nice clean copy. With rubber stamp on half-title reading: The Standard Guide Information Bureau, facing Hotel Royal Poinciana, Palm Beach, Florida! I.D.#01770.



Southern California. Issued by the Passenger Department at Los Angeles. Salt Lake Route. San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake R.R. Los Angeles. 1907. Folded 4to. unpaged. many illus., railroad route map. Color lithographed illustrated wrappers and contents. Fine period landmark views. Hollywood as rural estates district, also old Pasadena, etc.  I.D.#03588.

Los Angeles. The Queen City Of The Angels. M. Rieder. Los Angeles. c1907. Oblong 8vo, unpaged. mostly illus. Colored pict. wrappers, corners chipped and dust soiled. Rare early views of the city.  I.D.#03881.


United States. Department of the Interior. (U.S. Geological Survey). Bulletin No. 324. Series R. Structural Materials 1. The San Franciso Earthquake And Fire Of April 18, 1906 And Their Effects On Structural Materials. Reports by Grove Carl Gilbert, Richard Lewis Humphrey, John Stephen Sewell, and Frank Soule (Jr.) with preface by Joseph Austin Holmes... GPO. Washington, DC. 1907. 8vo, 170,(1) p. Many illus. Disbound. With map of the earthquake zone.  I.D.#00166.


United States. Department of the Interior. (U.S. Geological Survey.) Ground Waters And Irrigation Enterprises In The Foothill Belt, Southern California By Walter C. Mendenhall. U.S.G.S./GPO. Washington, DC. 1908. 8vo, 180 p. 7 fold. topo. maps, sections, illus., tables, 2 panoramic view plates Orange printed wrappers, dust soiled and shaken, tape repairs. Scarce and ephemeral in wraps. Shows areas of artesian water flow in 1904 and water sources from Cucamonga and other areas. Several maps show street plans, names neighborhood additions in Los Angeles, Pasadena, etc. in 1907.  I.D.#09757. SOLD.

Cardinell-Vincent Co. San Francisco [cover title]. San Francisco. c1910. Oblong 4to, unpaged. only sepia illus. on brown art paper mounts. Buff pictorial wrappers, cord tied. A little water stained. Assembled in Brooklyn, N.Y. by The Albertype Co. three years after the disaster. Much had been rebuilt. Overall very good. I.D.#03340.

Sacramento Valley Development Association. Sacramento Valley, California. Sunset Magazine Homeseekers’ Bureau. San Francisco. 1911. 8vo, 64 p. illus., map. Pict. wraps. Short tear through most leaves. I.D.#01783. SOLD.



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M.B. Levick. Kern County, California. Sunset Magazine Homeseekers’ Bureau. San Francisco. 1911. 8vo, 48 p. illus., map. Pict. wraps. I.D.#01782. SOLD.



M.B. Levick. Sonoma County, California. Sunset Magazine Homeseekers’ Bureau. San Francisco. 1911. 8vo, 62 p. illus., maps. Pict. wraps.  I.D.#01784. SOLD.



The Shasta Route In All Its Grandeur. A Scenic Guide Book From San Francisco, California To Portland, Oregon On The Road Of A Thousand Wonders... For Sale Only En Route On The Trains Of The Shasta Route. H.H. Tammen Co. Los Angeles. c1915. Oblong 4to, unpaged. col. plate views mounted on black craft paper. Violet pictorial wrappers, cord tied. Shaken, lacks one plate. Bookplate of Mrs. Walter M. Cox.  I.D.#03869.

The California Expositions. Burlington Route [Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad]. Chicago. 1915. Folded 4to. 31 p. Route map, illus. Pictorial wrappers. Attractive tourist brochure, describing the San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exposition in detail. Also section describing the resorts and national parks of the west. Covers a bit ribbed.  I.D.#08959.

Fr. Fernando Gonsag. "Sero de Californias y su costa oriental..." Cast plaster wall plaque reproducing in part a map of 1746 of Fernando Gonsag of the Jesuit Missions in California. 1915. 23 1/4 x 14 inches. Bronzed patina highlighted with gilt and silver. Surface faded. Created for some event, possibly the Panama-Pacific Exposition. Circa 1915.  I.D.#03452.

Southern Pacific Railroad. California For The Settler. By A.J. Wells. Southern Pacific Co. San Francisco. c1915. 8vo, 64 p. illus. Col. pict. wraps. With railroad map of the state.  I.D.#04068. SOLD.



Robert A. Reid. Colortypes Of The Panama-Pacific International Exposition At San Francisco 1915. Official publication Panama-Pacific International Exposition Co. San Francisco. c1915. Oblong 8vo, unpaged. 31 color views. Orig. wraps., some inked notations. Of all such fairs, this one was noted for the excellence of the imaginative eclectic architecture. Only the Panama-Pacific building and the Palace of Fine Arts remain.  I.D.#02329. SOLD.

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CALIFORNIA. NEVADA. Southern Pacific Railroad. The Tahoe Country. Southern Pacific. Southern Pacific Co. Los Angeles? Mar. 22, 1915. Folded 4to, 30 panels col. pict. cover, maps in text, many illus. Self-wrappered. Travel brochure showing idylic Tahoe in 1915. The maps are of the vicinity of the lake and of the Southern Pacific route.  I.D.#09411. SOLD.




City of Los Angeles. Department of Public Service. Complete Report On Construction Of The Los Angeles Aqueduct With Introductory Historical Sketch. Illustrated With Maps, Drawings And Photographs. Department of Public Service. Los Angeles. 1916. Large 8vo, 319,[12] p. many illus., maps in text, fold. maps in pocket. Green cloth. Interesting technical book, being the final report on the completion of a great engineering feat. One folding map, "Map of the southern portion of the State of California, showing inset of photograph of Los Angeles Aqueduct relief map", is really huge, measuring 37.8 x 29.5 inches. Of interest is the inset aerial photography of the route of the aqueduct. Hundreds of exposures had to be pieced together since it was then not possible to make very high altitude ones. Important. VG.  I.D.#03154. SOLD.

Real Estate. Brentwood Park. The Beautiful Home Site Supreme. Angelus Building and Investment Co. Los Angeles. c1920. Folding mailer. Illus. Original promotional mailer for what became one of Los Angeles’ most expensive neighborhoods. Rare.  I.D.#01788. SOLD.

Charles E. Chapman. A History Of California: The Spanish Period. Macmillan. New York. 1921. (ix),527 p. Front. map, folding, one other fold. 4 illus. Blue cloth. Written in ink on front flyleaf: "Carnegie Corporation, President’s Office."  I.D.#00240.

Rand, McNally & Co. San Francisco, Oakland And Other Bay Cities. Chicago. c1923. 8vo, 85+ p. Col. fold. map in back, many illus. Green cloth. With gift bookplate of National Automobile Club, Northern California Division.  I.D.#01791.

Cooper, Frederic Taber. Rider’s California A Guide-Book For Travelers With 28 Maps And Plans. Compiled Under The General Editorship Of Fremont Rider By Frederic Taber Cooper, A.M., Ph.D. Macmillan/George Allen, Unwin. New York/London. 1925. Small thick 12mo, lxii,667,48 p. Col. maps (some missing). Green cloth. Ex-library. Attractive folding maps. I.D.#00097.

Real Estate. Southern California. Year ‘Round Vacation Land Supreme. Compiled For The Benefit Of The Intending Southern California Visitor By C.G. Milham, Executive Secretary, The All-Year Club of Southern California... Chamber of Commerce Building. Los Angeles. c1928. 8vo, 52 p. Illus., map. Col. pict. wraps. Nicely printed guide intended not for tourists but for the affluent seeking residence sites.  I.D.#01789.  SOLD.



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Southern Pacific Railroad. California For The Tourist. Southern Pacific Co. Los Angeles?. 1930. Folded 4to, 16 p. col. pict. cover, col. pict. centerfold map, map in text, many illus. Self-wrappered. Travel brochure showing what a seemingly idylic place Southern California was in 1930. I.D.#09410. SOLD.

Marshall Maslin. A Camera Tour In Full Color. San Francisco And Bay Cities. Photographs Of Outstanding Beauty Printed In Oil Colors Without The Use Of Process Color Plates. Suitable For Framing. Edited by Marshall Maslin. The Printing Corporation. San Francisco. c1938. Oblong 4to, unpaged. Mostly col. illus., double-page bird’s eye view. Pict. wraps., chipped. I.D.#01794.

John Hawkins Clark. Overland To The Gold Fields Of California In 1852: The Journal Of John Hawkins Clark, Expanded And Revised From Notes Made During The Journey. Edited by Louise Barry. In: The Kansas Historical Quarterly. Vol.XI, No.3 pp.227-96. Kansas State Historical Society. Topeka. August, 1942. 8vo. port., illus. Wraps. Ex-library.  I.D.#09767.

Farnham, Thomas Jefferson. Travels In California With Map. Foreword by Joseph A. Sullivan. Biobooks. Oakland, CA. 1947. "First California edition". 8vo, xvi,66+ p. 2 fold. maps, 2 facsims. Tan fabricoid. 1 of 750 copies.  I.D.#03518.

T. Nelson & Sons. Yosemite Valley, And The Mammouth Trees And Geysers Of California. NY. c1975. Oblong 12mo. 40,12 p. 11 (of 12) col. plates Rose cloth decorated in black with coated paper label. Lacks one plate. Intended for English tourists in the American West, these are very informative and unbiased guides.  I.D.#10308.

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Antiquarian Books, Rare Books>California

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