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place was chosen by the French Canal Company in 1881 as the site for its general hospital.
The terracing of the slope was then begun, and many of the buildings one sees there to day were constructed by
the French and used by them all during their Ancon twenty-three years of canal work. In the Hospital. light of the time the hospital was well run,
the main difference being in the knowledge of the mosquito theory as applied to malaria and yellow fever. When the Americans came to Panama in 1904 some of the beds in the wards were standing in cups of water to keep the ants from crawling upon the patients, and in this water mosquitoes of both the stegomyia and anopheles varieties were breeding.
More about this hospital will be found in the chapter on Social Conditions and Forces, page 51. It is under the superintendence of Lieut. Col. Charles F. Mason of the Army Medical Corps, has a staff of 33 doctors and 90 nurses, and will accommodate easily 1,300 patients, and by crowding can be made to accomodate 700 more. (See pages 51, 64, 211.)
To the tourist, the most interesting things about the hospital are the pretty grounds, the paj pa nts sitting on the screened balconies or strolling about the grounds, and the many varieties of tropical plants. These plants have been catalogued by Colonel Mason, and most of the trees and shrubs are labeled. A list of them will be found on page 211.
The atmosphere of the hospital dominates Ancon, because, of course, that is the principal industry of the place.
Well, do you know, there are some well-bathed Some Ancon Americans working in that hospital who have People. never seen Gatun Locks except from the car
windows, have an idea that Culebra Cut is the name of a choice piece of meat sold only to high officials, and believe that the United States is constructing a sea-level canal in Panama!
The Administration Building, on one of the knolls at the foot of the hill, is the only good building erected by the
Americans in Panama. It is of concrete block, Administra- and was originally designed to be the residence tion Build- of the Governor of the Canal Zone. This - ing. plan was abandoned in 1906 on account of the
cost of maintaining such an establishment. Here are the administrative offices of the Department of Sanitation, the Department of Civil Administration, and the Secretary of the Commission, the publication office of The Canal Record and the Official Handbook. The view from the upper balcony of this building is probably the best that can be ob
tained of the Bay of Panama, the city, and the near by hills without a toilsome climb up Ancon Hill itself.
Supreme The office of the Supreme Court is in Court. Ancon, immediately back of the Post Office
The Hotel Tivoli was built for the threefold purpose of furnishing quarters to employes who had arrived on the
Isthmus and had no quarters assigned to Hote! Tivoli. them, for the use of persons whose business
with the canal administration forced them to come to the Isthmus, and the recreation of employes, whose chief dissipation is a trip to the city about once a fortnight. To further this latter end, a dance hall containing 3,200 square feet of space was constructed, and an organization of employes known as the Tivoli Club is given the privilege of holding a dance here the second and fourth Saturdays of each month. The building was begun in August, 1905, and opened to the public on January 1, 1907, although a part of it was used in November, 1906, for the entertainment of President Roosevelt, on the occasion of his visit to the Isthmus.
It is situated on a knoll named after the Tivoli Hill of Rome, and overlooks the city of Panama and part of the bay. It is built in three sides of a rectangle, the main part being the base, and the two wings the sides. The open court in front is occupied by a carriage-way and flower-bed. In 1912 an addition was made, which increased the sleeping accommodations from 180 guest-rooms to 220, and the dining-room accommodations from 400 to 700 persons. The building is 314 feet long, wings 156 feet deep, and courtyard in front 193 feet across and 91 feet deep. This hotel has lately become more for transients than for people resident on the Isthmus, because the tourist trade has increased so rapidly in the past two years. Yet it is still the place where bachelors from the canal villages come to get a different kind of meal from that served in the messes, where concerts are given by the official band once each month to balconies crowded with canal workers, and where the best dances on the Isthmus are held.
Ancon Hill is 664 feet high above mean tide. After one climbs half way to the top it seems like six thousand
feet, and by the time he has reached the Ancon Hill. summit it feels like six million. The climb
is worth while, however. Start about daybreak, spend half an hour on the ascent, an hour on the top, and half an hour on the descent, and you will be home in time for breakfast, and none the worse for the trip. It is a rapid ascent that tires one. From the top there stretches such a view as can not be equaled on the Isthmus, and I am told that it can not be surpassed anywhere. Out to sea is the waveless bay, dotted with islands; farther away are Taboga and its sister peaks rising out of the water, with their little settlements at the base of the hills; and towards the east the long line of the coast stretches away to Darien. Behind are the hills, at one's feet the city of Panama and the entrance to the canal, and northward the eye can follow the valley of the Rio Grande to the point where the line of the canal is lost in the foothills of the cordillera. This view so charmed the first American Canal builders that there was talk of building the village of Ancon on top of the hill and providing moving stairs for the ascent.
Rock for the concrete at Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks is quarried from the side of Ancon Hill, where a series
of benches or inclines has been excavated Ancon Quarry. from 180 to 375 feet above sea level. The rock
is loosened by dynamite, and then excavated by steam-shovel, and loaded upon cars which run down to the crusher-plant which is situated below the 180-foot level. There the cars dump into a hopper, from which the large rock passes by gravity to a crusher capable of taking a piece of rock 36 inches in cube, and the smaller rock passes to four secondary crushers, which also crush the product of the large crusher. From the secondary crushers the rock passes to storage bins, whence it is loaded by gravity upon cars, which convey it to the locks.
The name Balboa, as applied to the village at the Pacific entrance to the Canal, dates from April 30, 1909, when,
at the instance of the Peruvian Minister to Balboa. Panama, the Hon. Alfonso Pezet, Colonel
Goethals issued a circular directing that the old village of La Boca be called Balboa.
La Boca (the mouth) was the name applied to the hamlet which grew up at the mouth of the Rio Grande, where there was a crossing of the old trail that runs from Panama to the villages west of that city. The French, as the Americans have done, used the valley of the Rio Grande as the southern end of their canal line, and in 1881 they began to erect shops here at which their dredges from Scotland and Belgium (all but one erected on the isthmus) could
The shops were well equipped for the time and the work they had to do. Naturally a village sprang up, composed of the shop and dredgemen.
On the side of Ancon Hill overlooking the Pacific entrance, Jules Dingler, Director General of the canal work,
erected a spacious house in 1885, but soon La Folie after his wife and two children arrived here Dingler. they died from yellow fever, before the house
was ready for occupancy, so he did not live there, returning to France in June, 1885. It was a big frame
be set up.