(Southern Californian, September 5, 1874)
We present to our readers to-day a communication, rendering much interesting information regarding the past history of the Anaheim Lighter Company. The Company certainly deserves great credit for the praiseworthy manner in which they have hitherto transacted the shipping business of this section, and we are pleased to learn that they have so largely added to their forwarding accommodations. In this section however, rapidly increasing as it daily is in wealth and population, there is ample work for both a lighter company and a wharf, and we trust therefore that the financial soundness and prosperity of the former company will serve to add a new impetus to the wharf enterprise.
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THE ANAHEIM LIGHTER COMPANY
Eds. Californian. – In view of the improvements recently made in the shipping facilities of the Anaheim Lighter Company, I would beg the indulgence of a small space in your columns to briefly review the history of that Company, and to make some mention of its past, present and future action. The Anaheim Lighter Company was originated in 1864 with a capital stock of $10,000, divided into two hundred shares of $50 each. One hundred and seventy shares of this stock were sold, the balance remaining to this day in the hands of the Company. The purpose, for which the Company was originated, was in order to establish upon the co-operative system a private landing for the benefit of the proprietors of the Anaheim vineyards, and it was not until some years subsequently, and after a large immigration had settled in this section that its receipts were partially drawn from other than the vineyards. Although the business affairs of the Company were conducted as closely and economically as possible, for several years the annual income proved insufficient to defray actual expenses. In addition the loss of a lighter occurring, the Company became so heavily involved that it became necessary to increase the capital stock to $20,000. To do this, each share was made $100 cash, and was fully paid up. Most persons, unacquainted with the expenses attendant upon this business, and with the hazards consequent upon a continuous struggle with wind and water, deem lighterage charges exorbitantly high, and consider the system one of oppression to the producer, but a careful investigation of the history of this Company will clearly demonstrate the contrary. None of the officers have ever received any remuneration whatever; the business has been managed on the most economical scale possible, and now for the first time in its existence the Company is free from debt. The shipping community is prone to complain of the high tariff of charges, but an inspection of the rates, maintained by the Company, will show that no distinction has ever been made in favor of the stock-holder against the outside producer. For example, the shipment of grain costs per ton $1.50, whilst the vineyardists, comprising the original and a majority of the present stock-holders, are charged for each ton of wine $3.32. It is a well-known fact that of the two articles a ton of wine is much the more easily handled, therefore if any discrimination is made it is in favor of the shipper of grain and against the stock-holder.
“In view of the increased requirements of shipping trade of this section the Lighter Company has recently purchased an additional lighter, and is rapidly placing itself in a position to transact promptly all the business which may now and hereafter present itself. As soon as necessary repairs, which are now in course of completion, and the new lighters are paid for, a new and greatly reduced schedule of lighterage charges will be adopted. This can be advantageously done by means of increasing business and on account of the tax, produced by paying interest on borrowed capital being now done away with. The company was called into existence as an accommodation for this section, and being neither intended as a money-making institution or monopoly, will always endeavor to best carry out the principle upon which it was founded. [s] Stock-holder.