AUTO TRAILS Back Roads into the Past
AUTO TRAILSBack Roads into the Past

     California's Lost Highway U.S. 99

Table of Contents

 

Introduction

U.S. Highway 99 (Oregon to Redding)

U.S. Highway 99W

U.S. Highway 99E

U.S. Highway 99 (Sacramento to Los Angeles)

U.S. Highway 99 (Los Angeles to Mexico)

 

GPS Coordinates for Listed Historic Sites

 

 

 

While every effort has been made to insure accuracy, neither the author nor the publisher assume legal responsibility for any consequences arising from the use of this book or the information it contains.

 

All maps are by the author.

 

America’s Lost Highway-California’s U.S. Highway 99

Lyn Wilkerson

All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2010 Lyn Wilkerson

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by

any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying,

recording, taping or by any information storage or retrieval system,

without the permission in writing from the author.

 

Introduction

 

This guide, along with the various others produced by Lyn Wilkerson and Caddo Publications USA, are based on the American Guide Series.  Until the mid-1950’s, the U.S. Highway System provided the means for various modes of transport to explore this diverse land.  To encourage such explorations, the Works Projects Administration under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Federal Writers Project created the American Guide Series.  This series of books were commissioned by the Federal Government to capture the culture and history of the United States and provide the direction necessary for travelers to explore it.  Each state created a commission of writers who canvassed their respective territories for content to submit.  The preliminary works were then sent to Washington D.C. for final assembly in to a standard format.  The result was a travel guide for each state.  The series spread to include guides for important cities as well.  After the State Guides were complete, the concept of a national guide was developed.  However, it would not be until 1949, with the backing of Hastings House Publishing, that a true national guide would be created.  Through several rounds of condensing, the final product maintained much of the most essential points of interest and the most colorful material. 

To quote from the California edition of the American Guide Series, “romance has been kept in its place. . .”  The intent of this guide is to provide information about the historic sites, towns, and landmarks along the chosen routes, and to provide background information and stories for what lies in-between.  It is not our desire to dramatize the history or expand on it in any way.  We believe that the character and culture of this state, and our country as a whole, can speak for itself.  The guide has been created, not for just travelers new to the city, but for current residents who may not realize what lies just around the corner in their own neighborhood.  The goal of Caddo Publications USA is to encourage the exploration of the rich history that many of us drive by on a regular basis without any sense it existed, and to entertain and educate so that history will not be lost in the future.

 

 

 

U.S. Highway 99

 

U.S. Highway 99 presented a complete cross section of California.  From the rugged wall of the Siskiyous on the north, it wound down barren river canyons, around Mount Shasta, and along the twisting Sacramento River between steep, evergreen-forested slopes.  Southward it paralleled the two great rivers, the Sacramento and the San Joaquin, that drain the far-reaching plains of the Central Valley, stretching for 750 miles in an unbroken sweep.  From the valley’s southern end it climbed the arid, brush-clad Tehachapi Mountains and descended to the fertile Southern California valleys where citrus groves and truck gardens extend for mile on mile.  Its course then turned southeast through the sagebrush reaches of a desert trough between the San Jacinto and San Bernardino Mountains, past the Salton Sea, into irrigated farmlands of the sun-scorched Imperial Valley. 

Much of the original road is now designated as California Highway 99 or Interstate 5 from Oregon to Los Angeles.  From Los Angeles to the Imperial Valley, the earlier designation has been completely erased. 

 

Oregon Line

Northern California’s oldest road in continuous use—the Oregon-California Trail—roughly paralleled today’s roadbed.  Starting as a faint pathway blazed through the wilderness by venturesome scouts and trappers from 1827 on, it was followed in the 1840’s by early immigrants with their ox-drawn wagons, driving their cattle before them.  It became a well-defined pack trail in the next decade, thronged with gold seeker, mule trains, ox-teams and covered wagons.  In the late 1850’s, the first turnpike between Portland and Sacramento was opened, and as the tide of travel mounted, outposts of civilization sprang up along the way.  On the campsites where fur hunters had stopped for rest, inns were built.  As freighters and stagecoaches supplanted mule trains, stage stations were opened.  In 1886 and 1887, when the Southern Pacific Railroad pushed its tracks from Redding to Oregon along the route, these became railroad stations and, finally, villages and towns. 

 

From the Oregon Line to south of Hornbrook, Interstate 5 follows the original route of U.S. Highway 99.

 

Junction with Hornbrook Highway (Exit 790) (6 miles south of the Oregon Line on Interstate 5)

A noted hero of the Rogue River Indian Wars was Colonel B.R. Alden.  When a hostile force of Indians from several tribes threatened settlers in the Rogue River Valley of Oregon, Alden assembled a force from only twenty regulars and two hundred volunteers and marched from Fort Jones up this route to a point outside Medford, Oregon.  Once there, he turned over command to General Joseph Lane and was seriously wounded while making a charge.  A courier of September 3 quotes the Mountain Herald (Mountain Herald became Yreka Union in April of 1855) regarding a “battle between whites and Indians of Rogue River Valley that Col. B. R. Alden said to be mortally wounded. Ball entered neck and came out under his arm.  General Lane also slightly wounded in shoulder.  Both wounded while making a charge.  Alden shot with half oz. ball while stooping behind a log while firing at an Indian.  Ball entered neck just below jugular vein and came out just below arm on other side of his body, infl. ghastly wound sufficient

 


 size to enable a man to thrust two fingers into it. Some of Sam's Indians packed Captain Alden some sixty miles from battle site to within 12 miles of Jacksonville.”  Lane said "Too much praise cannot be awarded to Col. Alden; the country is greatly indebted to him for the rapid organization of the forces, when it was entirely without defense; his gallantry is efficiently attested by his being dangerously wounded... almost at the enemy's lines."

 

South of Henley, Interstate 5 enters a canyon of the Lower Klamath River, winding through one of California’s most primitive regions.  Until 1850, when a party of miners followed the river from the ocean, panning for gold at every bar, its course—variously known as Clamitte, Klamet, Indian Scalp, and Smith River—was unknown and incorrectly shown on the maps. 

 

Junction with California Highway 96 (Exit 786) (4.5 miles south of Exit 790 on Interstate 5)

The travel route follows California Highway 96 west from this junction.  California Highway 96 and California Highway 263 are the current designations for the original route of U.S. Highway 99.

 

Junction with California Highway 263 (2.7 miles west of Interstate 5 on CA 96)

The travel route turns south on California Highway 263 here, following a scenic winding road above the Shasta River.  Along this route, the highway crosses the Pioneer Bridge which arches the canyon 252 feet above the river. 

 

Side Trip to Scott Bar (California Highway 96 West, Scott River Road South)

Scott Bar (32 miles west on CA 96, 3 miles south on Scott River Road)

In the deep gorge of the Scott River, this ghost town was where prospectors led by John Scott panned for gold in 1850.  Driven out by Indians, they spread news of a rich strike that brought miners flocking in.  By 1863, William H. Brewer found the placers worked out, the population departed, and half the house empty. 

 

Hawkinsville (6.5 miles south of CA 96 on CA 263)

In 1851, Hawkinsville was a flourishing center of trade.  A string of miners’ cabins followed Yreka Creek southward for 3 miles. 

 

Side Trip to Humbug Creek (Hawkinsville Humbug Road West)

Humbug Creek (5.5 miles west on Hawkinsville Humbug Road)

This creek was supposedly named because a company of prospectors on the way there in 1851 met others returning who insisted that the rumors of gold were “all humbug” but paying no heed, pushed on and made a rich strike.  Joaquin Miller, who, as a youth, had a cabin on the creek bank, drew a gloomy picture of the region:  “It lay west of the city (Yreka), a day’s ride down in a deep, dense timbered canon, out of sight of Mount Shasta, out of sight of everything—even the sun . . . “

 

Yreka (2 miles south of Hawkinsville on CA 263)

After Abraham Thompson in March of 1851 struck it rich at Black Gulch Camp, 2,000 flocked in within less than six weeks to this place.  The place was known as Thompson’s Dry Diggings; then, when a town was laid out in May, as Shasta Butte City; and finally, in 1852, as Yreka, which is thought to be a corruption of Wai-ri-ka (Indian for mountain).  Yreka had its share of the early Indian troubles, once barely escaping massacre when an Indian woman, Klamath Peggy, traveled 20 miles of rough mountains to warn the citizens of an impending attack.  Approaching along devious trails over the brush-covered hills, the Klamath warriors found Yreka strongly guarded by sentries and withdrew.  For years, Klamath Peggy lived in Yreka, fearing the vengeance of her kinsmen; finally Yreka’s people pensioned her.  

 

Point of Interest:

West Miner Street-Third Street Historic District

Founded in March of 1851 with the discovery of gold in the nearby 'flats,' Yreka quickly became the commercial and transportation hub for the surrounding communities and mining camps.  Yreka's tents and shanties gave way to more substantial commercial and residential buildings seen on West Miner and Third Streets which remain as tangible evidence of the town 19th-century regional prominence.

 

The travel route follows California Highway 3 (Main Street) south to Westside Drive.

 

Junction with Greenhorn Road (1.5 miles south of Yreka on CA 3)

This was the site of the community of Greenhorn.  In the early 1850’s, a company of miners had failed to find gold here, and when a greenhorn asked where to mine, they directed him to their abandoned claim; the joke turned on them when he made a rich strike.  The battlefield of the “Greenhorn War” of 1855 broke out here when the Greenhorn men, angered over diversion of the water for their claims from Greenhorn Creek, cut the Yreka Flats Ditch.  An Yreka court promptly issued an injunction.  They defied it.  When Yreka officers countered by arresting one of them, the Greenhorn men marched on Yreka and freed him.  The court decision stood, however, and the Yreka Flats Ditch Association continued using water from Greenhorn Creek. 

 

Side Trip to Deadwood (Greenhorn Road/McAdams Creek Road West)

Deadwood (6.2 miles west on Greenhorn Road, 3.5 miles west on McAdams Creek Road)

Deadwood was second only to Yreka among the region’s mining centers of 1854 and 1855.  Joaquin Miller wrote his first poem here, an epithalamium for the marriage of Deadwood’s cook to a Yreka lady; he recited it at the reception of the pair. 

 

Junction with Westside Drive (1 mile south of Greenhorn Road on CA 3)

 

Side Trip to Fort Jones (California Highway 3 South)

California Highway 3 crosses the summit of Forest House Mountain on its way into the Scott Valley, named for John Scott, who discovered gold at Scott’s Bar. 

Fort Jones (14.5 miles south on CA 3)

This community was known by a variety of names; Wheelock, for the man who built a hotel here in the 1850’s; Scottsburg, for the surrounding Scott Valley; and Ottiewa, for a group of Shasta Indians.  The current name was acquired from the camp the First United States Dragoons maintained here between 1852 and 1858 for protection against the Indians. 

 

Point of Interest:

Site of Fort Jones (E. Side Road and CA 3)

Companies A and B of the First United States Dragoons established a military post here on October 16th, 1852.  Named in honor of Colonel Roger Jones, brevet major general and the Adjutant General of the Army from 1825 until 1852, this fort was garrisoned by Company 3, 4th U.S. Infantry from April 23rd, 1853 until it was abandoned on June 23rd, 1858. 

 

Etna (25.5 miles south on CA 3)

Etna grew up around a flour mill named the Rough and Ready.  That mill began competition in 1856 with the neighboring Etna Mills, built two years earlier.  As settlements sprang up about the two mills, rivalry was strong between them.  In 1863, the older mill fell behind when its post office was shifted to its neighbor.  Rough and Ready Mills even took over the loser’s name, giving up its own, since the town Rough and Ready in Nevada had prior claims. 

 

The travel route turns south on Westside Drive here, following the old roadbed which is now merely a frontage road. 

 

Junction with Old Highway 99 (3 miles south of CA 3 on Westside Road)

This begins what are numerous references to the old U.S. Highway 99 throughout this travel route. 

 

Once past Grenada, the highway swerves to cut in a straight line across the Shasta Valley’s level, monotonous sweep of hayfield and grazing land with scattered farmhouses half-hidden among bunched trees.  Along the roadside are low, smoothly rounded, conical hills of volcanic origin.  Native-American legend tells how the Great Spirit, whose dwelling place was Mount Shasta, wanted a home close to his own for his only daughter.  He set the Indians to work building Shastina, the smaller peak that juts up from the western slope below the main crater.  They carried dirt and rock in great baskets until one morning the Great Spirit saw that his daughter’s dwelling place, already larger than he had planned, would soon be as great has his own.  Instantly, he commanded the Indians to stop work.  Each emptied the dirt from his basket wherever he stood; and there, for each basketful of earth, was left a little, mound like hill. 

 

Junction with Edgewood Road (20 miles south of Westside Road on Old Highway 99)

The travel route follows Edgewood Road for a short distance.

 

Junction with Old Edgewood Road (0.7 mile north of Old Highway 99 on Edgewood Road)

Old Edgewood Road is the earlier route of U.S. Highway 99 into Weed. 

 

Side Trip to Edgewood (Edgewood Road North)

Edgewood (0.7 mile north on Edgewood Road)

This trading center was established on the site picked by travelers on the California-Oregon Trail for a stopping place.  William and Jackson Brown built a log cabin here in 1851. 

 

Junction with Weed Boulevard (3 miles south of Edgewood Road on Old Edgewood Road)

The travel route follows the signs for old U.S. Highway 99 through Weed. 

 

Weed (0.5 mile south of Old Edgewood Road on Weed Boulevard)

The town of Weed gets its name from the founder of the local lumber mill and pioneer Abner Weed, who discovered that the area's strong winds were helpful in drying lumber.  In 1897, Abner Weed bought the Siskiyou Lumber and Mercantile Mill and 280 acres of land in what is now the City of Weed, for the sum of $400.  In the 1940’s, Weed boasted the world's largest sawmill.

 

Side Trip to Emigrant Trail Crossing (U.S. Highway 97 North)

Emigrant Trail Crossing Monument (14.5 miles north on U.S. 97)

As early as 1852, wagon trains of overland emigrants crossed six hundred feet to the north of this monument, into Shasta Valley and Yreka.  The monument also marks the point where the 1857 military pass road from Fort Crook emerged to join the westward emigrant road.

 

The travel route continues south on Weed Boulevard to Sugar Pine Road. 

 

Junction with Sugar Pine Road (2 miles south of Weed on Weed Boulevard)

The route takes a turn west on Sugar Pine Road at this junction to connect with the Old Stage Road.

 

Junction with Old Stage Road (1.3 miles west of Weed Boulevard on Sugar Pine Road)

The travel route turns on to the Old Stage Road at this intersection. 

 

Junction with Hatchery Lane (7.5 miles south of Sugar Pine Road on Old Stage Road)

The Strawberry Valley Stage Station stood at this junction.  The station served the patrons of the line from its completion in 1857 until 1886, when railroad construction reached the valley.  The small building across the road was the Berryvale Post Office, which operated from 1870 to 1887; its first postmaster was Justin Hinckley Sisson.   The famous Sisson Hotel stood behind the historic marker.  Well known to mountain climbers, fishermen, hunters, and vacationers throughout California, it was built about 1865 by J. H. Sisson and in 1916 was destroyed by fire.  The Mount Shasta trout hatchery was founded in 1888, but J. H. Sisson had started rearing trout to stock the streams in the vicinity in 1877.  When the business center was moved to its present location on the railroad in 1886, its name was changed from Strawberry Valley to Sisson, and in 1923 the town was renamed Mount Shasta City as the tide of tourist travel grew. 

 

Point of Interest:

Mount Shasta (East of Mount Shasta City)

Although it dominates the landscape for a hundred miles, Shasta was unknown to white me until Peter Ogden Skene discovered it February 14th, 1827.  Credit for the first ascent goes to Captain E.D. Pearce, a merchant of Yreka, who made the climb alone in September of 1854.  The first ascent by scientists was made in September of 1862, when the California State Geological Survey, led by Josiah Dwight Whitney, followed today’s trail to the top and made observations.  They discovered that others had preceded the, for at the summit, said Professor William H. Brewer, Whitney’s assistant, “was a liberal distribution of ‘California conglomerate,’ a mixture of tin cans and broken bottles, a newspaper, a Methodist hymn book, a pack of cards, an empty bottle, and other evidences of a bygone civilization.”  Near the summit, a blizzard trapped John Muir and his companion, Jerome Fay, in April of 1875.  The found refuge in a hot spring, where they were forced to lay for 13 hours—scalded on one side, all but frozen on the other. 

 

Mott (5.2 miles south of Hatchery Lane on Old Stage Road)

The travel route turns on to Mott Road east to Interstate 5.

 

Junction with Interstate 5 (Exit 734) (0.3 mile east of Mott on Mott Road)

The travel route joins with Interstate 5 at this intersection. 

 

Dunsmuir (Exit 730) (3 miles south of Mott Road on Interstate 5)

Through the heart of town and southward stretch the railroad shops and yards of a Southern Pacific division point. 

 

Castle Crags (Exit 726) (4.5 miles south of Dunsmuir on Interstate 5)

The railroad station at Castle Crags is the site of Lower Soda Springs in the green meadows at the mouth of Soda Creek.  On his way south from the Rogue River in 1843, Lansford Hastings once camped here with 16 others and built, it was said, the old fort of pine logs, Hastings’ Barracks.  The first permanent settler was “Mountain Joe” Doblondy, a guide of John Fremont’s; he tilled the soil, built houses, kept a hotel, guided travelers up the California-Oregon Trail past Shasta, and fought the Indians.  Mountain Joe’s fabulous tales lured miners in the spring of 1855, but they were unwarranted.  In anger, the miners left—only after they had killed or driven away the fish and game on which the Indians lived.  Modoc warriors swooped down on the little settlement and burned it in reprisal.  They were pursued into Castle Crags and, after a battle, driven out. 

The Castle Crags, which the railroad station was named for, were first called Castillo del Diablo and stand west of the highway.  On June 26th, 1855, the battle with the Modocs was fought after the burning of Lower Soda Springs.  Mountain Joe gathered a company with recruits from the mining camps at Portuguese Flat and Dog Creek.  Its leader, Judge R.R. Gibson, who had married the daughter of the Shasta chief, won over the Shasta as allies.  Under the highest crag in the northwest corner of Battle Rock, most prominent of the spires, the twenty nine whites, with Shasta allies of about the same number, fought face to face with the Modoc until they forced them to withdraw, leaving many of their warriors dead. 

 

Sims (Exit 718) (8 miles south of Castle Crags on Interstate 5)

This is the site of the famous Southern Hotel and Stage Station built by Simeon Fisher Southern. The original building, a log cabin, was built in 1859. During a half-century many noted people who made early California history were entertained in this hotel.
 

Delta (Exit 707) (11 miles south of Sims on Interstate 5)

From Delta, the highway runs along the western edge of the northwestern branch of Shasta Lake, and then crosses the northwestern branch of the lake and continues to the Pitt River branch. 

 

Pitt River Bridge (16 miles south of Delta on Interstate 5)

At the time of this bridge’s construction it was the world’s highest double-deck bridge at 560 feet above the river bed.  With the construction of Shasta Dam, the Pitt arm of Shasta Lake was filled with water to its approximate present level. 

 

Junction with Wonderland Boulevard (Exit 689) (3 miles south of Pitt River Bridge on Interstate 5)

 

Side Trip to Bass Mountain (Wonderland Boulevard South, Tunnel Road West)

Bass Mountain Summit (1 miles south on Wonderland Boulevard, 3.2 miles west on Tunnel Road)

On the summit of Bass Mountain, a remnant of the California-Oregon stage road crosses the Pacific Highway and descends to the Pit River.  Because this was a favorite 'holdup' spot in stage-coach days, a marker has been placed there in memory of W. L. Smith, division stage agent of the California & Oregon Stage Company, and of the pioneer stage drivers along this road. 
 

Junction with California Highway 273 (Exit 681B) (7.5 miles south of Wonderland Boulevard on Interstate 5)

The travel route departs from Interstate 5 at this junction, following California Highway 273 south through Redding along the old route of U.S. Highway 99. 

 

Junction with Lakes Boulevard (1.7 miles south of Interstate 5 on CA 273)

Lakes Boulevard is the route of California Highway 299, and what was once designated as U.S. Highway 299. 

 

Redding (5 miles south of Lake Boulevard on CA 273)

Redding, seat of Shasta County since 1888, lies at the northern end of the Sacramento Valley.  Although it stands within Pierson B. Reading’s Rancho Buena Ventura, the northernmost Mexican land grant, it owes its name not to Reading but to B.B. Redding, a Central Pacific Railroad land agent. 

 

Side Trip to Igo (Placer Street/Road West)

Igo (11 miles west on Placer Street/Road)

A miner known as McPherson, one of the first to build a substantial house here, had a small son who would put on his hat whenever his father started for the mines and say, “I go.”  “Oh, no,” was always the answer.  When one camp acquired the name Igo, its neighbor consequently was called Ono. 

 

Side Trip to Shasta and French Gulch (California Highway 299 West)

From Redding, the final leg of the Nobles Route continues west on California Highway 299 (once designated as U.S. Highway 299).  West of Redding, California Highway 299 climbs into the foothills of the Trinity Mountains, roughly following the path blazed by Indians which trappers and miners of the 1840’s beat into the well-traveled Trinity Trail.  To and from the mining camps, mail and bullion were carried on horseback.  In the late 1850’s, horse and mule pack trains gave way to stagecoaches, as the Buckhorn-Grass Valley Creek toll road was built from Redding to Weaverville.  The entrance of the first coach into remote, mountain-hemmed Weaverville was such a gala occasion that, according to a contemporary report: “Trinity County citizens went out in buggies and on horseback, led by the German brass band, to greet and escort it into town.” 

Shasta (6 miles west of Redding on CA 299)

This onetime seat of Shasta County was known until 1850 as Reading Spring, in honor of Major Pierson Reading.  In 1849, Reading Spring was a tent city of several hundred inhabitants—a lively trading post serving a mining region.  By November of that year, a Milton Magee attained the local distinction as the only owner of a log cabin.  By 1852, Shasta had grown so rapidly that two frame hotels, the St. Charles and the Trinity House, were erected.  The town was soon called the head of “Whoa Navigation” by the Shasta Courier; at one time, more than 2,000 pack mules carried supplies to the northern mines, and as many as 100 freight teams were housed at Shasta in a single night.  At the height of prosperity, local merchants were sending out $100,000 in gold dust each week. 

Frequent Indian outbreaks added to the general turbulence of the town’s early days.  On many occasions during the 1850’s, band of painted braves in fighting regalia staged war dances on Main Street.  The Courier of March 2nd, 1853, reported it “unsafe to travel over any exposed portion of the country unarmed.  The . . .Indians. . . are infesting the Sacramento River trail in such numbers and with such determined fierceness as to render it almost certain death to pass over that road.”  Later, the constant threat of Indian hostilities was overshadowed by a more immediate catastrophe, for on June 14th the entire business district was wiped out by a fire in a brief half hour.  Flimsy pine buildings, lined with cotton cloth, were quickly reduced to ashes.  Even before the ashes had cooled, however, lumber had been ordered to rebuild the town.  In 1855, Shasta had 28 brick buildings valued at $225,000. 

With a decline in mining, Shasta lost its importance.  When the California-Oregon Railroad was planned, it was decided that Shasta lay 3 miles too far west, with 400 feet too much altitude, to be included in the route. 

 

Points of Interest:

County Courthouse 

The County Courthouse is restored to its 1861 appearance, the year when it was converted from commercial uses to become the Shasta County Courthouse. Today the building is filled with historical exhibits, and an unparalleled collection of historic California Artwork that make it the central figure of Shasta State Historic Park.

Pioneer Baby’s Grave (0.7 mile west on CA 299)

Charles, infant son of George and Helena Cohn Brownstein of Red Bluff, died December 14th, 1864.  He was buried near land established by the Shasta Hebrew Congregation as a Jewish cemetery in 1857, one of the earliest such cemeteries in the region.  Since there was no Jewish burial ground in Red Bluff, Charles' parents made the arduous journey to Shasta to lay their baby to rest.  Concern for the fate of the grave led to the rerouting of Highway 299 in 1923.

Father Rinaldi’s Foundation of 1856 (Red Bluff Road and Crocker Alley)

In the summer of 1853, Archbishop Alemany of San Francisco sent Father Florian Schwenninger to take over the mission of Shasta County.  In the later part of 1853, a small wooden church was built.  In 1855, Father Schwenninger moved over to Weaverville and Shasta's new priest, Father Raphael Rinaldi, decided to build a structure of cut stone to replace the small wooden church that had served since 1853.  In 1857, the cornerstone of the church was laid, but for some reason its walls never rose, the foundation can still be seen (1963).

Whiskeytown (5 miles west on CA 299)

This town was settled by miners near Whiskey Creek on the trail to Oregon.  The creek was christened with a barrel of whisky was lost by an unruly pack mule.  Postal authorities, disdaining the town’s name, have called Blair, Stella, and Schilling, but it continues to be known as Whiskey Town.  Three events are remembered in the history of the community.  In 1852, the first white woman “took up her residence” here.  In the following year, a bartender was lynched for shooting a fellow citizen to avenge an insult.  In the late 1850’s, a certain Bon Mix erected a “commodious hotel.” 

Tower House (10 miles west on CA 299)

Dating from 1852, this was a stage station on the toll road built from Shasta in the late 1850’s, and a point of departure for pack and bullock trains bound for the northern mines and for Oregon. 

French Gulch (10 miles west on CA 299, 3 miles north on Trinity Mountain Road)

This was a depot on the Shasta-Yreka Turnpike, where the first mining is said to have been done here by a party of Frenchmen in 1849.  The discovery of the Washington Quartz Mining Company claim prompted the Shasta Courier to report in March of 1852 that “such rich diggings have been struck that miners are tearing down their houses to pursue the leads which extend under them.” 

 

Clear Creek (5.5 miles south of Redding on CA 273)

This was the site of Bell’s Bridge.  Erected in 1851 by J. J. Bell, this was an important toll bridge on the road from Shasta City to Tehama.  Bell's Mansion, erected in 1859 on Clear Creek, was a favorite stopping place for miners on their way to the Shasta, Trinity, and Siskiyou gold fields.

 

Side Trip to Reading’s Bar (Clear Creek Road West)

Reading’s Bar (7 miles west on Clear Creek Road)

In March of 1848, only three months after Marshall’s discovery of gold at Coloma, Pierson Reading and his Indian workers found the first gold in Shasta County.  By October of 1849, 400 men were here digging.  When a prospector who had arrived with one pack horse built a hotel, the settlement became One Horse Town.  As time passed, it simply became Horsetown.  It grew to a village of 1,000 inhabitants, with stores, hotels, 14 saloons, a Roman Catholic Church, and even a newspaper.  That paper, the Northern Argus, was established in 1857.  Fire leveled the town in 1868, and it never rose again. 

 

Anderson (6 miles south of Clear Creek on CA 273)

Growing up on the American Ranch, bought in 1856 by Elias Anderson, this settlement soon became a stop for travelers and the starting point of a trail to the Trinity mines.  Old California and Oregon Trail was the main artery of travel used by pioneers between the Trinity River and the northern mines of California and Oregon.

 

Junction with Deschutes Road (1 mile south of Anderson on CA 273)

 

Side Trip to Dersch Homestead (Deschutes Road East, Dersch Road East)

Site of Fort Reading (4.3 miles east on Deschutes Road at Dersch Road)

Fort Reading, established on May 26th, 1852 by Second Lieutenant E. N. Davis, Company E, 2nd Infantry on the orders of Lieutenant Colonel George M. Wright, was the first and largest fort in Northern California.  It was named in honor of Pierson Barton Reading and stood in a clearing of 10 acres.  The fort was abandoned in June of 1867.

Dersch Homestead (4.3 miles east on Deschutes Road, 5 miles east on Dersch Road)

Here in 1850, 'Doc' Baker established a stopping place for emigrants on the Lassen and Nobles Trails.  George and Anna Maria Dersch took up a homestead on the land in 1861.  A history of troubled relations between Indians and settlers led to an Indian raid on the ranch in 1866 in which Mrs. Dersch was killed.  A posse was formed and killed most of the Indians at their Dye Creek Camp.

 

The travel route rejoins Interstate 5 at this junction (Exit 667), following it south to Red Bluff.
 

Cottonwood (Exit 664) (3 miles south of Deschutes Road on Interstate 5)

 

Side Trip to Reading Adobe (4th Street East, Balls Ferry Road East, Adobe Road East)

Reading Adobe (0.8 mile east on 4th Street, 3 miles east on Balls Ferry Road, 2.2 miles east on Adobe Road)

This was the home of Pierson Barton Reading (1816-1868), a California pioneer of 1843.  He was a major in Frémont's California Battalion which fought in the Mexican War. He was a signer of the Capitulation of Cahuenga and discovered gold in 1848. Major Reading is buried nearby.

 

Junction with California Highway 36-Main Street (Exit 651) (13 miles south of Cottonwood on Interstate 5)

The travel route departs from Interstate 5, following California Highway 36 (Main Street) into Red Bluff.

 

Junction with Adobe Road (1 mile south of Interstate 5 on CA 36)

 

Point of Interest:

General William B. Ide Adobe State Park (0.9 mile east on Adobe Road)

This residence was built by the first and only president of the short-lived Bear Flag Republic in 1849.  It stands sheltered by ancient oaks in a garden overlooking the Sacramento River.  Ide established a ferry here, which continued in operation until 1870’s. 

 

Red Bluff (1 mile south of Adobe Road on CA 36)

Red Bluff is not far from General William Ide’s Rancho de la Barranca Colorado (red bluff ranch).  Red Bluff’s settlers, who first called their town Leodocia, never found the gold for which they were looking, although it was discovered in adjoining sections.  Their wealth came from wheatfields and vineyards.  In the 1850’s, the Sacramento River, flowing past Red Bluff, was churned by the paddle wheels of steamers puffing up from Sacramento.  By wagon and pack trains, their cargoes went westward to the Trinity mines and the Coast Range diggings.  In those days, the saloons, taverns, and corrals were alive with hordes of boatmen, packers, gamblers, and miners.  As the great valley plains were ploughed and the river water diverted into irrigation ditches, the Sacramento dwindled.  The river is no longer the State’s mightiest avenue of traffic, although it is still navigable for 225 miles at high water. 

Of Red Bluff’s former river traffic, the only remaining evidence is a neglected cluster of one-story false-front buildings, once shipping offices, overlooking the river. 

 

Point of Interest:

Home of Mrs. John Brown (135 Main Street)

In 1864 the widow of John Brown, the famous abolitionist of Harpers Ferry, came to Red Bluff with her children. So great was the admiration for John Brown in that area that a considerable sum of money was raised to provide his widow and children with a home. Mrs. Brown lived there until the summer of 1870, when she and her children moved to Humboldt County.

 

At Red Bluff, U.S. Highway 99 separated into U.S. Highways 99W and 99E.  The current designations for U.S. Highway 99W are merely road names, without even state highway numbers.  The original U.S. Highway 99E became California Highway 99 south to Bakersfield.  The travel route splits into two parts to cover the diverging routes from Red Bluff to Sacramento. 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Highway 99W

 

South of Red Bluff, the level plains of the Sacramento Valley spread like the prairie of the Midwest, rimmed by distant foothills.  Portions of this road do carry a county road designation. 

 

Corning (18 miles south of Red Bluff on Highway 99W)

At Corning, the travel route turns on Toomes Avenue west for one mile, and then onto Highway 99W south. 

 

Side Trip to Indian Military Post (County Road A9 West, Osborn Road North)

Indian Military Post, Nomi Lackee Indian Reservation (14.5 miles west on CR A9, 3.9 miles north on Osborn Road)

An Indian military post from 1854 to 1866, the Nomi Lackee Indian Reservation controlled 300 to 2,500 militant Indians.  The U.S. Survey of 1858 showed the reservation to cover 25,139 acres.  The Indians moved to Round Valley in 1866.

 

Hambright Creek (11.5 miles south of Toomes Avenue/CR A9 on Highway 99W)

Granville P. Swift crossed the plains to Oregon in 1843 and entered California with the Kelsey party in 1844.  In 1849, in partnership with Frank Sears, he purchased the cattle and brand of the Larkin grant from J. S. Williams.  Swift soon had droves of cattle herded by Indian vaqueros, and rodeos were held annually at his adobe site here.
 

Orland (1 mile south of Toomes Avenue/CR A9 on Highway 99W)

The Reclamation Service Orland Irrigation Project was the first organized in the State after the passage of the Wright Irrigation Act in 1887. 

 

Below Orland stretch grasslands where wheat and barley were first grown on a large scale in the late 1850’s.  As thousands of acres of virgin land were sown, California’s output of wheat became as valuable as her gold.  By 1872, the Glenn-Colusa area produced one million sacks of grain yearly.  Overlord of the region was Dr. Hugh J. Glenn, who in 1867 purchased the 7,000-acre Rancho Jacinto and added to it until his holdings totaled 55,000 acres, of which 45,000 were wheat.  To put in the crop, 108 mule teams were required; they were accompanied by cook houses and feed and water wagons.  From 1874 until his death in 1883, Glenn was the leading grain farmer in the United States.  Afterward poor crops and low prices led to the subdivision of the ranch.  During the early 1890’s, as the wheat yield decreased throughout the region, grain farming was linked with stock raising and the big ranches were broken up into small tracts. 

 

Willows (15.5 miles south of Orland on Highway 99W)

Willows was so named because the clump of willows bordering the creek was once the only landmark between the river and the foothill settlements.  The first store here was known as “the store at the willows.” 

 

South of Willows, the highway cuts into the heart of a great rice-growing belt.  Rice was first grown in Colusa County in 1911, when W.K. Brown planted 75 acres. 

 

Maxwell (17 miles south of Willows on Highway 99W)

 

Side Trip to Swift’s Stone Corral (Maxwell-Sites Road West)

Swift’s Stone Corral (6 miles west on Maxwell-Sites Road)

The original owner and builder of this stone corral was Granville P. Swift, a native of Kentucky.  In 1847, Swift began ranching in Stone Creek Valley in Colusa County.  In 1850, he and his partner Frank Sears needed a corral and, as there was no timber in the surrounding country, they built one from the flat stones that were scattered over the area.

 

Cortena (4 miles south of Maxwell on Highway 99W)

 

Side Trip to Colusa (Lurline Avenue East)

Colusa (10 miles east on Lurline Avenue)

The name of this community comes from Ko-ru (scratcher), head village of the Ko-ru-si tribe, on whose ruins Colusa stands.  Among these Indians, it was the privilege of a bride to begin her honeymoon by scratching her husband’s face. 

Colusa was founded soon after Colonel Charles D. Semple purchased two square leagues of land here from John Bidwell.  Although snags, sandbars, and sharp turns made the river dangerous, he persisted in his efforts to develop river commerce until Colusa was connected with Sacramento and San Francisco by regular steamboat service.  Up the Old River Road, which followed the west bank of the river from Colusa to Shasta City, ran stage coaches and freight wagons.  River traffic continued until a railroad was built in 1876.  After that a line of barges that towed wood to Sacramento was the only important river line until 1901, when the Farmers’ Transportation Company established regular service with boats once a week. 

 

Point of Interest:

Colusa County Courthouse (547 Market Street)

Erected in 1861, this Federal/Classic Revival style building is the oldest remaining courthouse in the Sacramento Valley. The 'Southern' style reflects the county's heritage and states' rights sympathies during the Civil War. In its early years, the courthouse also served as a center for cultural, social, and religious activities.

 

Williams (5 miles south of Cortena on Highway 99W)

Williams was laid out by W.H. Williams in 1876.  In 1914, when a band of about 50 members of the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) union created much excitement and hostility by marching through the county, the town of Williams calmly provided them with breakfast and gave them $60 for cleaning up the cemetery. 

 

Arbuckle (10.5 miles south of Williams on Highway 99W)

C.H. Locke, observing that oak trees here grew immense crops of acorns, planted 21 acres of almonds in 1892.  By the 1940’s, more than 7,000 acres of almond orchards surround the town. 

 

Yolo (24 miles south of Arbuckle on Highway 99W)

In 1849, Thomas Cockran built a hotel on the future site of the town of Yolo, which provided accommodation for people traveling along the west side of the Sacramento River.  This area became known as Cockran's Crossing.  Not long after, James A. Hotton built another hotel and the area became known as Hutton's Ranch or Travelers' Home.  In 1857, Hutton's Ranch was renamed and became Cacheville.  Cacheville became he Yolo County seat in 1857 with a courthouse being built.  By 1870, Cacheville had adopted the name Yolo.

 

Junction with California Highways 16 and County Road 98 (Exit 541) (1.5 miles south of Yolo on Highway 99W)

The travel route turns on to County Road 98 south at this junction. 

 

Woodland (3 miles south of Interstate 5 on CR 98)

Woodland lies to the east of this highway at this junction with Main Street.  Woodland’s first settler arrived in 1853.  Two years later, a blacksmith shop was set up, about which soon clustered stores and saloons.  Experiments in irrigation were begun in the vicinity with the diversion of Cache Creek in 1856.  First named Yolo City and nicknamed “By Hell” for an early saloonkeeper’s favorite oath, Woodland acquired its present name—suggested by the grove of huge oaks in which it stood—when the post office was opened in 1859. 

 

Points of Interest:

Woodland Opera House (2nd Street and Main Street)

The first opera house to serve the Sacramento Valley was built on this site in 1885. The present structure, built in 1895-96, continues to represent an important center for theatrical arts of that period. Erected by David M. Hershey and incorporating the classic American playhouse interior, it served vast agricultural regions of the Sacramento Valley. Motion picture competition hastened its closing in 1913.

 

Junction with California Highway 128 (9 miles south of Woodland on CR 98)

 

Side Trip to Winters (California Highway 128 West)

Winters (10 miles west on CA 128)

 

Point of Interest:

University of California Experimental Farm, Wolfskill Grant (Putah Creek Road)

In 1842, John R. Wolfskill arrived here, laden with fruit seeds and cuttings. A true horticulturist, he became the father of the fruit industry in this region. In 1937 his daughter, Mrs. Frances Wolfskill Taylor Wilson, bequeathed 107.28 acres to the University of California for an experimental farm. The university's research at this portion of Rancho Río de los Putos has enriched the state's horticultural industry.

 

The travel route turns on to California Highway 128 east to Davis at this junction. 

 

Davis (3.5 miles east on CA 128)

By 1856, Jerome C. Davis had 400 acres of wheat and barley, great herds of livestock, and orchards and vineyards in this area. 

 

At Davis, U.S. Highway 99 intersected with U.S. Highway 40, joining it for the run into Sacramento.  The route was part of both the Lincoln and Victory Highways.  The first Yankee immigrants found much of the land already claimed by Mexican dons, but this did not hinder their attempts to possess it.  After gold seekers swarmed in from the coast to the foothills in the 1850’s, roads, railroads, and river boat lines were developed.  Later, the land was divided into farms, pastures, and orchard plots.  Along winding side roads in the quiet back country appear the crumbling adobes of the dons and the later frame mansions of the Yankee invaders. 

 

The current travel route takes Interstate 80 East from Davis to Sacramento.  Access Interstate 80 from Richards Boulevard at Exit 72. 

 

Junction with Interstate 80 (9 miles east of Davis on Interstate 80)

The travel route departs from Interstate 80 here, following the original route on Capitol Avenue into Sacramento. 

 

Junction with California Highway 275 (3.8 miles east of Interstate 80 on Capitol Avenue)

The travel route connects with California Highway 275 to cross the Sacramento River.  This route crosses the Sacramento River on the Tower Bridge, built in 1935 at what is now the west end of the Capitol Mall.  Excavation of the bridge abutment on the city side brought to light the tracks of the Central Pacific Railroad, twenty feet underground.

Broderick, which occupies the west bank of the Sacramento here, was the seat of Yolo County for two brief periods (1851-1857 and 1861-1862), but lost the honor under stress of fire, flood, and political storm. The riverboats Red Bluff and Dover were beached here on the banks of the river. 

 

Sacramento River (0.7 mile east of Capitol Avenue on CA 275)

The Sacramento, California’s largest river, served for decades as the main artery of travel between the early San Francisco and this valley.  The great flat-bottomed, paddle wheel river boats of rival lines raced each other from port to port, sometimes tying down safety valves until steam pressure rose to the explosion point.  The Combination Line’s Pearl, with 93 aboard, was racing the Citizens’ Line’s Enterprise on January 27th, 1855, when her boilers exploded near Sacramento, killing 56 people.  Similar disasters on the Washoe, the Yosemite, and the Belle finally dampened the competitive spirit.  In the end, the railroad put most of the river steamers out of business. 

Sacramento (1.3 miles east of the Sacramento River on N Street)

Sacramento was founded in 1839 by Captain John Augustus Sutter, an ex-Swiss Army officer, who obtained the grant of 50,000 acres from the Mexican governor.  Sutter named the settlement New Helvetia.  He ruled in baronial splendor, with Indians as his subjects, and a fort of timber and adobe brick as his castle, with twelve guns mounted on the ramparts.  Sutter built forges and shops, grazed herds on his lands, trapped for furs, and carried on a lively trade.  The spot was a haven for settlers in the tide of overland emigration in the early 1840’s.  In 1848, the town of Sacramento was laid out on Sutter’s farm, and the first lots were sold in January of 1849. 

It was Sutter’s boss carpenter, James W. Marshall, who discovered gold while building a mill near Coloma.  The rush of prospectors swamped Sutter’s baronial domain and led to his ruin.  Trampling hordes from the East overran his hospitable fort, stole his cattle, drove off his Indians, and disputed his rights to the land.  His white retainers deserted for the mines.  Meantime, millions of dollars of gold dust passed over Sutter’s landing.  He moved to Pennsylvania in 1873, with only a small pension from California, and died at Washington, D.C. in 1880, after vainly beseeching Congress for the restoration of his property. 

Between 1849 and 1853, three disastrous floods and a fire wrecked the town.  In 1852, the legislature met here, sitting on “hot ashes.”  In 1854, the city was officially declared the capital.   The floods caused epidemics, and corpses were shoved into the swollen river to drift away.  Levees were finally built, and the town pulled itself up out of the foot-deep dust of summer and hub-deep mire of the rainy season. 

In 1856, Sacramento was the terminus of the first railroad in California, built as a short line to Folsom by Theodore Dehone Judah, the young engineer who planned the first transcontinental railroad through the passes of the Sierra Nevada.  Four years later came the Pony Express, which ran until 1861, when the transcontinental telegraph went through. 

The Central Pacific Railroad joined East and West in 1869.  Judah’s financial supporters were all Sacramento storekeeper: Collis P. Huntington, Mark Hopkins, Charles Crocker, and Leland Stanford (the ‘Big Four’).  The Central Pacific branched out and became the Southern Pacific, the “octopus” of Frank Norris’ novel, which for 40 years practically controlled the state.  Sacramento’s position as the capital was challenged by Berkeley in 1907, and more recently by San Jose and Monterrey, but with little effect. 

 

Points of Interest:

Southern Pacific Railroad Station (4th Street and I Street)

In the main entrance is a monument to Theodore D. Judah, where an old Central Pacific Railroad tie is imbedded. 

Pony Express Museum (1015 2nd Street)

For some months in 1860 and 1861, this building served as the office and relay station to the Pony Express, which ran from Sacramento to St. Joseph, Missouri.

Sutter’s Fort (26th Street and L Street)

This is a restoration on the original site of Sutter’s ranch house, workshops, home and fort, which were originally erected in 1839.   

Tremont Hotel (112 J Street)

One of Sacramento’s first “luxury” hotels, the Tremont was built in the early 1850’s. 

Sacramento City Cemetery (Broadway and 10th Street)

Resting place of California pioneers, this cemetery was established in 1850. Many of the victims of the cholera epidemic of that year are buried here. Included among the graves of illustrious Californians are those of John Bigler, Newton Booth, and William Irwin, Governors of California, General George Wright, hero of the Mexican War, Mark Hopkins, co builder of the Central Pacific Railroad, General Albert M. Winn, founder of the Native Sons of the Golden West, Hardin Bigelow, first mayor of Sacramento, William S. Hamilton, son of Alexander Hamilton, E. B. Crocker, founder of the Crocker Art Gallery, and Reverend O. C. Wheeler, organizer in 1850 of the first Baptist Church.

Helvetia Cemetery (Alhambra Boulevard and J Street)

The Helvetia Cemetery was established by John Sutter in 1849. It was purchased in 1857 by J.W. Reeves, who later deeded it to the city of Sacramento. Over 1000 Chinese buried here were shipped to China by the Chinese Societies who deeded their plots to the city. Between the dates of October 12th, 1955, and March 27th, 1956, all of the human remains were removed.  The bodies were relocated to the Sacramento City Cemetery, St. Joseph’s Cemetery, the Masonic and the I.O.O.F. and East Lawn Cemetery. The Helvetia Cemetery was located on the property which is now Sutter Junior High School.

Pioneer Telegraph Station (1015 2nd Street)

Erroneously called the Pony Express Terminal, this was the location of the office occupied by the State Telegraph Company, 1863-1868, and the Western Union Telegraph Company, 1868-1915.

California’s First Passenger Railroad (3rd Street and R Street)

The Sacramento Valley Railroad, running from Sacramento to Folsom, was begun at this site on February 12th, 1855. The passenger terminal was located here, the turntable and freight depot were at Third and Front Streets.  Completion of the railroad was celebrated at Folsom on February 22nd, 1856.
Eagle Theater (925 Front Street)

This is the site of the first building in California constructed as a theater in 1849. The theater was reconstructed in 1974.

Site of Home of Newton Booth (1015 Front Street)

This location is the site of the store and home of Newton Booth, Governor of California 1871-1873 and U.S. Senator 1873-1879.
Western Hotel (2nd Street and K Street)

Constructed by William Land in 1875, this hotel was one of the largest in the West. It was built on sites of earlier hotels of 1853-1854.

Site of Stages and Railroad (Front Street and K Street)

This is the site of the terminal of stages of the 1850’s and of the Sacramento Valley Railroad in 1855.
Ebner’s Hotel (116 K Street)

This hotel was built by Charles Ebner in 1856. It is said that Captain Sutter was a frequent visitor here.
Lady Adams Building (117 K Street)

This store and office building was erected in 1852 from materials brought around the Horn in the ship Lady Adams.
Site of Sacramento Union (121 J Street)

Erected in 1851, this structure was occupied by the Sacramento Union in 1852. The newspaper began its career March 19th, 1851.
B.F. Hastings Building (1000 2nd Street)

This structure, erected in 1852 and 1853, was occupied during the 1850’s by the B. F. Hastings Bank, Wells Fargo & Co., various state officials, the Sacramento Valley Railroad, and the Alta Telegraph Company.  From April of 1860 until May of 1861, the Alta Telegraph Company and its successor, the California State Telegraph Company, were the agents here for the Central Overland Pony Express, owned and operated by the firm of Russell, Majors, and Waddell.  The first overland journey eastward of the Pony Express was begun from this historic site on April 4th, 1860.
Adams & Company Building (1014 2nd Street)

Erected in the fall of 1853, this building was occupied from 1853 to 1855 by Adams and Co.'s express and banking house. The Alta Telegraph Company, California State Telegraph Company, Pacific Express Company, California Stage Company, Sacramento City Bank, and Wells Fargo & Company also had offices here in the 1850’s. From May to October of 1861, Wells Fargo & Company was agent here of the western portion of the Central Overland Pony Express until it was discontinued on October 26th, 1861 on completion of the transcontinental telegraph.

Site of Orleans Hotel (1018 2nd Street)

This hotel, erected in 1852, served as a depot for stage companies and others.
D. O. Mills Bank Building (2nd Street and J Street)

Erected in 1852, this building housed one of the oldest and largest banks of early-day California.

Overton Building (2nd Street and J Street)

This building was constructed in 1852 and was occupied in the 1850’s by various state offices and commercial companies.

Original Sacramento Bee Building (3rd Street and J Street)

The Sacramento Bee was founded in 1857; its first issue was dated February 3rd, 1857.  Its early home was in this two-story brick building on the west side of Third Street.

Site of Pioneer Mutual Volunteer Firehouse (3rd Street and J Street)

Erected in 1854, this structure was occupied by Engine Company No. 1, the oldest fire company of California.

Site of Congregational Church (915 6th Street)

In 1849, the Rev. Joseph A. Benton organized the first church in Sacramento.
Stanford-Lathrop Home (800 N Street)

This house was originally designed in 1857 by Seth Babson and was purchased by Leland Stanford in 1861.  It served as the state executive office from 1861 to 1867, before the completion of the State Capitol.  It was later extensively remodeled and enlarged.  In 1900, Jane Lathrop Stanford gave the house to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento to create the Stanford-Lathrop Memorial Home for Friendless Children.

Old Folsom Powerhouse-Sacramento Station A (6th Street and H Street)

The first distribution point of electricity for a major city, Station A was constructed in 1894 by the Sacramento Electric Power and Light Company to receive power generated from Folsom Powerhouse.  The first transmission of electricity was on July 13th, 1895.  This power distribution network resulted in the first overhead wire streetcar system in the Central Valley.
Site of the First Jewish Synagogue Owned by a Congregation on the Pacific Coast (7th Street and L Street)

The building that stood on this site was prefabricated in Baltimore and shipped around Cape Horn in 1849. It originally housed the Methodist Episcopal Church, whose trustees sold the edifice on June 4th, 1852 to Alexander Myer, Joseph Levison, and Charles Friedman, Officers of the Association of the Children of Israel (B'nai Israel), to serve as the first synagogue on the Pacific Coast, dedicated on September 3rd, 1852. The congregation followed the orthodox tradition until 1880, when it became an adherent of reform Judaism.
Chevra Kaddisha (Home of Peace Cemetery) (3230 J Street)

This site was the first Jewish cemetery in California. On November 12th, 1850, R. J. Watson gave a Deed of Trust to Louis Schaul: 'Lot number four in the square between thirty-second and thirty-third and J and K Streets . . . for the Sacramento City Hebrew Association for a burial ground.'

Camp Union (Sutterville Road and Land Park Drive)

Organized here on October 8th, 1861, the 5th Infantry Regiment, California Volunteers was trained by Brevet Brigadier General George W. Bowie for duty against Confederate forces in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. The troops aided the stricken capital in this year of the great flood.  Company F (Sacramento Rangers), 2nd Cavalry Regiment, California Volunteers, organized in Sacramento August 29, 1861, later served here.  This company furnished a large number of officers for other units of the California Volunteers.

Five Mile House-Overland Pony Express Route (Plaza at Guy West Bridge, California State University)

Departing at 2:45 a.m. from the Alta Telegraph Company in Sacramento, rider Sam (Bill) Hamilton carried the first mail of the Central Overland Pony Express eastward on April 4th, 1860. Quickly changing ponies at the Five Mile House, he sped on to the next stop at Fifteen Mile Station.

First Transcontinental Railroad (Old Sacramento State Historic Park)

Here, on January 8th, 1863, Governor Leland Stanford turned the first spade of earth to begin construction of the Central Pacific Railroad.  After more than six years of labor, crews of the Central Pacific Railroad from the west and the Union Pacific Railroad from the east met at Promontory, Utah where, on May 10th, 1869, Stanford drove the gold spike signifying completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad.  The Central Pacific Railroad, forerunner of the Southern Pacific Company, was planned by Theodore D. Judah and constructed largely through the efforts of the 'Big Four'-Sacramento businessmen Leland Stanford, Collis P. Huntington, Charles Crocker, and Mark Hopkins.

First Transcontinental Railroad-Western Base of the Sierra Nevada (3645 Fulton Avenue)

On January 12th, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln decreed that the western base of the Sierra Nevada began where the Central Pacific Railroad crossed Arcade Creek. The hardships of railroad construction through mountains resulted in increased government subsidies that gave the company impetus to finish the transcontinental railroad.

Site of First and Second State Capitols of Sacramento (7th Street and I Street)

Sacramento's first County Courthouse, formerly located on this site, served as California's State Capitol from January 16th, 1852 to May 4th, 1852 and from March 1st, 1854 to May 15th, 1854, when it housed the third and fifth sessions of the State Legislature.

Temporary Detention Camps for Japanese Americans-Sacramento Assembly (Palm Avenue and College Oak Drive)

The temporary detention camps (also known as 'assembly centers') represent the first phase of the mass incarceration of 97,785 Californians of Japanese ancestry during World War II.  Pursuant to Executive Order 9066 signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19th, 1942, thirteen makeshift detention facilities were constructed at various California racetracks, fairgrounds, and labor camps.  These facilities were intended to confine Japanese Americans until more permanent concentration camps, such as those at Manzanar and Tule Lake in California, could be built in isolated areas of the country.  Beginning on March 30th, 1942, all native-born Americans and long-time legal residents of Japanese ancestry living in California were ordered to surrender themselves for detention.

Site of the First African-American Episcopal Church Established on the Pacific Coast (715 7th Street)

This is the site of the first church building associated with an African American religious congregation on the Pacific Coast.  The church was the Methodist Church of Colored People of Sacramento City, formally organized in 1850.  In 1851, the congregation was admitted into the African Methodist Episcopal Church, becoming the first African Methodist Episcopal Church on the Pacific Coast.  First known as Bethel, the name was later changed to St. Andrews.  The original 1850 wooden church building was the site of the first statewide convention of the California Colored Citizens which met November 20th, 1855.

 

 

 

U.S. Highway 99E

 

From Red Bluff, California Highway 99 runs between the river and the highlands through the great plains of the eastern Sacramento Valley.  The valley widens from this point south, opening up before the traveler. 

 

Los Molinos (16 miles south of Red Bluff Road on CA 99)

Actor Leo Gorcey, one of the busiest actors in the United States between 1937 and 1957, lived with his family on the Brandy Lee Ranch in Los Molinos for many years.  Leo Gorcey died from liver failure on June 2nd, 1969 at the age of 51, one day before his 52nd birthday. He is buried at Molinos Cemetery in Los Molinos.  In 2003, Leo Gorcey, Jr., who also lived for a time in Los Molinos, published his own book about his father, entitled Me and the Dead End Kid.[i]

 

Side Trip to Tehama (Aramayo Way West)

Tehama (1.5 miles west on Aramayo Way)

Until 1857, Tehama was the seat of Tehama County.  It was settled in 1847 when Robert H. Thomas built an adobe here on his Rancho de los Saucos (ranch of the elder trees).  Tehama became a busy freighting and trading center and the chief ferry crossing between Marysville and Shasta until Red Bluff outrivaled it as a river town. 

 

Point of Interest:

First Tehama County Courthouse (2nd Street and D Street)

Tehama County's Board of Supervisors and other county officials first met in rented rooms in the Union Hotel, later called Heider House.  The county seat remained here from May of 1856 to March of 1857, when it was moved to Red Bluff.  The Heider House was destroyed by fire in 1908.  This property is part of original land grant to Robert Hasty Thomes in 1844.

 

Deer Creek (6 miles south of Los Molinos on CA 99)

This was the site of Benton City.  Peter Lassen laid out a town here in 1847 on his 26,000-acre Rancho Bosquejo.  To round up settlers, Lassen went to Missouri.  He named the settlement in honor of Missouri’s expansionist senator, Thomas H. Benton.  He returned in the summer of 1848 with the first group to come overland to settle in the upper Sacramento Valley.  With him he brought a charter, granted by the Grand Lodge of Missouri, for the first Masonic Lodge in California, Western Star Lodge, No. 2.  The discovery of gold depopulated Lassen’s embryo city and the lodge was moved to Shasta in 1851. 

 

Junction with Vina Road (0.5 mile south of Deer Creek on CA 99)

 

Side Trip to Vina (Vina Road West)

Vina (0.5 mile west on Vina Road)

Vina was the center of Senator Leland Stanford’s former 55,000 acre grape-producing Vina Ranch, which was established in 1881.  Given to Stanford University on his death in 1892, the ranch has been subdivided into fruit, nut, and garden tracts. 

 

Junction with Esplanade (13 miles south of Vina Road on CA 99)

The travel route follows the earlier routing of California Highway 99 on Chico’s Esplanade. In Chico’s center, the Esplanade divides into two one-way streets, Main and Broadway.  The travel route passes through the center on Broadway.

 

Chico (6.2 miles south of CA 99 on Esplanade)

Chico has been a trade center here since General John Bidwell planted his orchards here.  In the late 1840’s, John Bidwell, a member of the first overland party to cross the Sierra Nevada, combined the Rancho Arroyo Chico and Rancho de Farwell into the Rancho Chico, which became renowned for its great and varied productivity and its miles of tree-arched orchards.  Bidwell maintained an experimental orchard of 1,800 acres, which at the time of his death contained 400 varieties of fruit.  A pioneer in raisin growing and olive oil manufacture, he began wine making by 1865, but after two years plowed up his vineyards.  He later ran for President of the United States on the Prohibition Party ticket.  When, in 1860, he laid out the town of Chico, he offered free lots to any who would build on his town site.  Before the end of the decade, Chico was a city of 2,000, boasting hotels and churches.  The city even had saloons and gambling houses, despite Bidwell’s advocacy of temperance. 

 

Points of Interest:

California State University-Chico (North of W. 2nd Street, straddling Big Chico Creek)

Construction of Chico State College was begun in 1887 on a 10-acre plot donated by John Bidwell. 

Site of the Bidwell Adobe (California State University-Chico)

The adobe was built for John Bidwell by the Maidu Indians in 1852. 

Bidwell Mansion National Monument (California State University-Chico)

The 26,000-acre Rancho Chico was purchased between 1845 and 1850 by John Bidwell.  In 1865, he began construction of the mansion, which in time became the social and cultural center of the upper Sacramento Valley.  It was through his advancement of agriculture, however, that Bidwell made his greatest contribution.  Plants from all over the world were introduced to Rancho Chico to open the door to California's present agricultural treasure house.
Indian Village (620 W. Sacramento Avenue)

The Maidu (or Bidwell) Indians lived here.  When Bidwell arrived in the late 1840’s, the Maidu were wild as deer, with the men going about entirely naked and the women only in skirts of grass.  Under the regime of Bidwell, who built houses, a school, and a church for them, they worked as ranch hands on the property that had belonged to their ancestors. 

Site of Hooker Oak (Bidwell Park, South Park Drive)

In 1887, Annie E.K. Bidwell named the oak for the British botanist, Sir Joseph Hooker, who in 1877 adjudged it the world’s largest oak tree.  When it fell during a windstorm in 1977, it was estimated to be over a thousand years old - it was nearly a hundred feet tall and 29 feet in circumference eight feet from the ground. The largest branch measured 111 feet from trunk to tip - circumference of outside branches was nearly five hundred feet.

C.F. Lott House (1067 Montgomery Street)

A Victorian revival style structure, the C.F. Lott Home was built in 1856 by “Judge” Lott, a gold-rush pioneer who helped form California’s government and started the first Citrus Exchange in California. Although now over 150 years old, only two generations have lived in this house.
 

The travel route departs from Chico on Broadway Street, which rejoins with Main Street to become Park Avenue.

 

Stirling Junction (1.5 miles south of Chico on Park Avenue)

 

Side Trip to Magalia (Skyway East)

Magalia (16 miles east on Skyway)

The Dogtown nugget was discovered April 12th, 1859 at the Willard Claim, a hydraulic mine in the Feather River Canyon northeast of the town.

 

From Stirling Junction, the travel route follows Midway south through Richvale, the earlier route of U.S. Highway 99E before it was shifted east.  This road follows the Union Pacific tracks. 

 

Durham (5 miles south of Stirling Junction on Midway)

A tract of 6,300 acres here, purchased by the State, was subdivided in 1918 and sold to settlers, many of them World War I veterans, under supervision of the State Land Settlement Board. 

 

Nelson (6.7 miles south of Durham on Midway)

Nelson lies in the midst of a grain-growing area where the first wheat was planted in the early 1850’s.  The community is named for Captain A.D. Nelson, an early wheat grower. 

 

Richvale (4.2 miles south of Nelson on Midway)

In 1908, the U.S. Department of Agriculture established a rice-experiment station here that tested 275 varieties.  In 1912, 1,000 acres about Richvale were planted.  The rice thrived and spread throughout the region. 
 

From Richvale, the travel route turns east on Richvale Highway to a junction with present day California Highway 99.

 

Junction with California Highway 99 (3 miles east of Richvale on Richvale Highway)

The travel route turns south again at this junction. 

 

Side Trip to Oroville (California Highway 162 East)

Oroville (7.5 miles east on CA 162)

This community sprang up in the winter of 1849 and 1850 as Ophir City, a tent town, when gold was discovered here.  Discoveries elsewhere depopulated the place in 1852, but it boomed again when a canal brought water in 1856 to dry diggings nearby.  Oroville became the county seat in 1856, a city of 4,000, and the fifth-largest in California.  It boasted horse races, two theaters, 65 saloons, and brothels and gambling houses at every other door.  

There was great excitement when the steamer Gazelle arrived at the levee on February 26th, 1857.  However, Oroville’s river traffic was short lived.  Within three months, boats ceased to operate above rival Marysville.  In the 1870’s, gold lured thousands of Chinese, and Oroville’s Chinatown was California’s largest in 1872.  Special trains brought them until there were 7,000 in mines and 3,000 hangers-on.  But here, as elsewhere, the Chinese were heavily taxed, robbed, or even murdered, and most left the town. 

Dredging began on the Feather River here in 1898, with the floating of the first successful bucket elevator dredge, built by W.P. Hammon and Thomas Couch.  The dredges, as many as 44 operating at the same time, extracted nearly $30,000,000 in gold within 20 years.  One company offered to move and rebuild Oroville if permitted to wash out the gold-bearing gravel below it.  When mining died down, it was discovered that Oroville stood in a thermal belt suitable for growing semitropical fruits.  Surrounded by olive groves and citrus and deciduous fruit orchards, it has developed fruit-packing houses and olive oil refineries.  Mrs. Ehman of Oroville developed a commercial process for picking ripe olives, and as a result of her efforts, the city created one of the largest ripe olive canning plants in the world. 

 

Points of Interest:

Chinese Temple (1500 Broderick Street) 

Dedicated in the spring of 1863, this building served as a temple of worship for 10,000 Chinese then living here. Funds for its erection and furnishings were provided by the Emperor and Empress of China - local Chinese labor built the structure. The building was deeded to the City of Oroville in 1935 by the Chinese residents.
Discovery Site of the Last Yahi Indian (2547 Oroville-Quincy Highway)

Ishi, a Yahi Yana Indian, was the last of his people. Prior to European contact, the Yana population numbered approximately 3,000. In 1865, Ishi and his family were the victims of the Three Knolls Massacre, from which approximately 30 Yahi survived. The remaining Yahi escaped, but were forced into hiding after cattlemen killed about half of the survivors. Eventually all of Ishi's companions died, and he was discovered by a group of butchers in their corral at Oroville, August 29, 1911. Alfred L. Kroeber and T. T. Waterman, anthropologists at the University of California, Berkeley, brought Ishi to San Francisco, where he helped them reconstruct Yahi culture. He identified material items and showed how they were made. Ishi's death in 1916 marked the end of an era in California.

 

Side Trip to Oregon City (Washington Avenue/Table Mountain Boulevard North, Cherokee Road North)

Oregon City (1.5 miles north on Washington Avenue/Table Mountain Boulevard, 6.5 miles north on Cherokee Road)

Entering California over the Applegate and Lassen Trails, a party of Oregonians arrived here in the autumn of 1848 to establish Oregon City. Little more than a year later their captain, Peter H. Burnett, became the first civil Governor of California. For a time, Oregon City prospered as a gold mining and supply center.

 

Side Trip to Original Bidwell Bar Bridge (Oroville Dam Boulevard East, Royal Oaks Drive East, Arroyo Drive East, Bidwell Canyon Road North)

Original Bidwell Bar Bridge (5.5 miles east on Oroville Dam Boulevard, 1.8 miles east on Royal Oaks Drive, 0.2 mile east on Arroyo Drive, 0.5 mile north on Bidwell Canyon Road)

A stone monument marks the site of Bidwell’s Bar, a mining camp that sprang up soon after John Bidwell found gold there on July 4th, 1848.  By 1853, it had 2,000 inhabitants.  From 1853 to 1856 Bidwell's Bar served as the second county seat of Butte County. The site of the courthouse, now inundated by Oroville Reservoir, is 120 yards west of this small monument.  Digging went on everywhere, even in the streets and under the houses.  Here the river, lifted from its bed and carried in a flume for miles, yielded rich gold-bearing gravel.  Fluming operations reached their height in 1856 and 1857.  Meanwhile, the diggings were being exhausted, and the whole population stampeded to Oroville, where a new boom was on. 

Across the river gorge hung the first suspension bridge erected in California, its 407-foot cables fastened to anchors embedded in rock.  The cables were brought around Cape Horn and the bridge was opened in 1856.  The old Mother Orange Tree, planted by Judge Joseph Lewis in 1856 is located at the visitors center.  Its seeds, which brought $1 an ounce, were planted in northern California’s first citrus belt. 

 

Side Trip to Forbestown (California Highway 162 East, Forbestown Road East)

Junction with Forbestown Road (6.5 miles east on CA 162)

Forbestown (6.5 miles east on CA 162, 13.5 miles east on Forbestown Road)

This was a lively mining center for four decades after B.F. Forbes founded it in 1850. 

 

Live Oak (15.5 miles south of CA 162 East/Richvale Highway on CA 99)

 

Side Trip to Sutter Buttes (Pennington Road West)

Sutter Buttes (6 miles west on Pennington Road, south and west of roadway)

These buttes are eroded remains of an ancient crater that formerly rose twice their present height.  The Indians of the area were driven from their homelands by horse and cattle thieves who found hiding places in the buttes.  Just before the Bear Flag Revolt, Captain John C. Fremont and his expedition camped here. 

 

Junction with Live Oak Boulevard (4 miles south of Live Oak on CA 99)

Live Oak Boulevard is the current designation of the earlier route of U.S. Highway 99E into Yuba City, which the travel route will now follow. 

 

Yuba City (5.5 miles south of CA 99 on Live Oak Boulevard at CA 20)

One tale relates that Yuba is a corruption of Uva (grape), the name given the river in 1824 by Spanish explorers who found its banks overgrown with wild grapes; another, that a branch of the Maidu tribe in the neighborhood was called Yu-ba.  The settlement was laid out in July of 1849 by Samuel Brannan, Pierson B. Reading, and Henry Cheever.  The city stands on the site of an Indian village whose round earthen huts overlooked the river. 

 

Points of Interest:

Giant Walnut Tree (229 B Street)

This tree was planted in 1878.

Temporary Detention Camp for Japanese Americans-Marysville Assembly Center (Yuba County Fairgrounds, Franklin Avenue and Wilbur Road)

The temporary detention camps (also known as 'assembly centers') represent the first phase of the mass incarceration of 97,785 Californians of Japanese ancestry during World War II.  Pursuant to Executive Order 9066 signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19th, 1942, thirteen makeshift detention facilities were constructed at various California racetracks, fairgrounds, and labor camps.  These facilities were intended to confine Japanese Americans until more permanent concentration camps, such as those at Manzanar and Tule Lake in California, could be built in isolated areas of the country.  Beginning on March 30th, 1942, all native-born Americans and long-time legal residents of Japanese ancestry living in California were ordered to surrender themselves for detention.

 

 

Side Trip to Thompson Seedless Grape Site (California Highway 20 West)

Site of Propagation of the Thompson Seedless Grape (8 miles west on CA 20)

William Thompson, an Englishman, and his family settled here in 1863. In 1872 he sent to New York for three cuttings called Lady de Coverly of which only one survived. The grape, first publicly displayed in Marysville in 1875, became known as Thompson's seedless grape. Today, thousands of acres have been planted in California for the production of raisins, bulk wine, and table grapes.

 

Side Trip to Site of Hock Farm (California Highway 99 South)

Site of Hock Farm (0.8 mile west on CA 20, 6.2 miles south on CA 99)

The memorial located here is constructed of the original iron from the fort of Hock Farm, the first non-Indian settlement in Sutter County.  Established in 1841 by John Augustus Sutter, the fort and farm buildings were located on the banks of the Feather River opposite this point.
 

From Yuba City, the travel route follows California Highway 20 east to Marysville.  The original routing of U.S. Highway 99E traveled southeast from Marysville to Roseville, before joining with U.S. Highway 40 to run west into Sacramento.  The designation of this routing was changed to California Highway 65 in the late 1960’s.  A portion of the current California Highway 99 and California Highway 113 south from Yuba City was previously designated as Alternate U.S. Highway 40 to Woodland.

 

Marysville (12 miles west of Marysville Road on CA 20 at CA 70)

In 1842, Theodore Cordua built a trading post here that became a way station on the Oregon-California Trail.  In the winter of 1848, Cordua sold out to men who opened a general store and laid out a town site.  Moving spirit behind the town’s early growth was Stephen J. Field, later appointed by President Abraham Lincoln to the United States Supreme Court.  Field had arrived in 1849 and three days later was elected mayor, chiefly because he had bought 200 lots for $16,250.  The night of his election the town was named Marysville for Mary Murphy Covillaud, a survivor of the Donner Party and the wife of one of the owners of the town site.  Field strengthened the legal tangle on the land ownership, drove off squatters, and organized posses to clear out cattle thieves.  Within two years, Marysville was a town of 5,000, the third largest in the State, with an iron foundry, a theater, a jail, two banks, and several churches.  Stores, saloons, gambling houses, and hotels of lumber and canvas crowded around the plaza above the river, where barges and river boats tied up.  Marysville became the head of Feather River navigation overnight.  Freight and passengers went on by wagon, pack train, saddle horse, or on foot to the Yuba and Feather River diggings.  By 1854, twenty freight companies were operating out of Marysville, with 400 wagons and 4,000 mules. 

 

Points of Interest:

County Courthouse 1855-56 (Sixth Street and D Street)

City Hall and Fire House 1855-56 (Fourth Street and B Street)

Episcopal Church 1850’s (Fifth Street and E Street)

St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church 1855 (Seventh Street and C Street)

Presbyterian Church 1860 (Fifth Street and D Street)

Stephen J. Field Mansion (630 D Street)

This was the home of Marysville’s first mayor.

Ramirez House (220-222 Fifth Street)

This former home of Jose M. Ramirez was built in the 1850’s. 

Bok Kai Temple (First Street and D Street)

Dedicated March 21st, 1880, this building replaced the first temple built nearby in the early 1850’s. It has been a Chinese community project since 1866, serving as a meeting hall, court, school, and place of worship. In this 'Palace of Many Saints,' Bok Eye, the water god, is the central deity and has been celebrated in Marysville on Bomb Day since Chinese settled here.

 

Side Trip to Smartville (California Highway 20 East)

Timbuctoo (19 miles east on CA 20)

In 1855, Timbuctoo was the largest town in eastern Yuba County.  At the height of its prosperity it contained a church, theater, stores, hotels, and saloons, a Wells Fargo office, and the Stewart Brothers store which was restored in 1928 and dedicated to the town's pioneer men and women.

Smartville (20 miles east of Marysville on CA 20)

The first building at Smartsville (the post office is called Smartville) was built in the spring of 1856 by a Mr. Smart.  The Church of the Immaculate Conception (organized in 1852 in Rose's Bar) was built in 1861, and in 1863 the Union Church was erected.  One of the prominent features of the landscape of the town today is its churches.
 

From Marysville, the travel route follows California Highway 70 South to connect with California Highway 65.

 

Junction with California Highway 65 (4.5 miles south of Marysville on CA 70)

The travel route follows California Highway 65 south from this interchange.

 

Junction with S. Beale Road (5 miles south of CA 70 on CA 65)

 

Side Trip to Beale Air Force Base (S. Beale Road East)

Beale Air Force Base (5 miles east on S. Beale Road)

Unlike most Air Force bases, which since the birth of the Air Force in September of 1947 have carried the name of famous aviators, Beale was named for Edward Fitzgerald Beale (1822-1893), the nineteenth century pioneer.  Beale graduated from the Naval Academy, served in the California State Militia, led the experiment to replace Army mules with camels, and who was one of California's largest landholders.  Camp Beale opened in October of 1942 as a training site for the 13th Armored and the 81st and 96th Infantry Divisions.  During World War II, Camp Beale’s 86,000 acres were home for more than 60,000 soldiers, a prisoner-of-war encampment and a 1000-bed hospital.  In 1948, the camp transferred from the Army to the Air Force.[ii]

 

Wheatland (3.5 miles south of S. Beale Road on CA 65)

The first settlement reached in California by emigrant trains using the Emigrant ('Donner') Trail, this was an original part of the 1844 Don Pablo Gutiérrez land grant.  It was sold at auction to William Johnson in 1845, and in 1849 part of the ranch was set aside as a government reserve-Camp Far West.  In 1866, the town of Wheatland was laid out on a portion of the grant.

The Wheatland Hop Riot was one of the most important and well-known events in California labor history.  A bloody clash occurred at the Durst Ranch on August 3rd, 1913, climaxing growing tensions brought about by the difficult conditions farm laborers at the ranch endured.  The riot resulted in four deaths and many injuries.  It focused public opinion for the first time on the plight of California's agricultural laborers, and resulted in new state legislation to regulate labor camp conditions.  A new State Commission on Immigration and Housing was created to help improve working conditions.  Beyond that, the Wheatland Hop Riot was the first major farm labor confrontation in California and the harbinger of decades of attempts to organize or control agricultural labor.
 

Point of Interest:

Johnson’s Ranch (Tomita Park, Front Street and Main Street)

This settlement was reached by the Argonauts who crossed the Sierra over the Donner’s Pass branch of the California Trail.  In the winter of 1846 and 1847, seven of the Donner party came here to seek help for those still snowbound at Donner Lake. 

 

Sheridan (3 miles south of Wheatland on CA 65)

This village was first called Union Shed because of a great shed built in 1857 to shelter freight teams from summer heat and winter rains. 

 

Lincoln (8 miles south of Sheridan on CA 65)

This has been a grain- and fruit-growing area since the 1870’s. 

 

Side Trip to Virginiatown (California Highway 193 East, Fowler Road North, Virginiatown Road East)

Virginiatown (5.3 miles east on CA 193, 1.2 miles north on Fowler Road, 0.3 mile east on Virginiatown Road)

Founded June 1851, the town was commonly called 'Virginia.'  Over 2,000 miners worked rich deposits here.  In 1852, Captain John Brislow built California's first railroad to carry pay dirt one mile, to Auburn Ravine.  It was the site of Philip Armour's and George Aldrich's butcher shop, said to have led to founding of the famous Chicago Armour meatpacking company.

 

Junction with Washington Boulevard (6.2 miles south of Lincoln on CA 65)

The travel route departs from California Highway 65 at this junction, following Washington Boulevard south to the center of Roseville. 

 

Roseville (4 miles south of CA 65 on Washington Boulevard)

This community developed around the railroad stockyards of the Central Pacific Railroad.  Central Pacific graders arrived at Junction on November 23rd, 1863, and when track reached there on April 25th, 1864, trains began making the 18-mile run to and from Sacramento daily.  The new line crossed a line reaching northward from Folsom that the California Central had begun in 1858 and abandoned in 1868. Junction, now called Roseville, became a major railroad distribution center. This was once the junction between U.S. Highway 40 and U.S. Highway 99E, neither of which are still designated. 

 

Atlantic Street changes its name to Vernon Street west of the center of Roseville. 

 

Junction with Cirby Way (1.5 miles west of Roseville on Vernon Street)

The travel route turns right here on Cirby Way to connect with Roseville Road.

 

Junction with Roseville Road (0.3 miles west of Vernon Street on Cirby Way)

Roseville Road follows the original route of U.S. Highway 40, paralleling the railroad, into Sacramento. 

 

Junction with Marconi Avenue (10 miles south of Cirby Way on Roseville Road)

The travel route becomes Auburn Boulevard south from this junction. 

 

Junction with El Camino Avenue (1 mile south of Roseville Road on Auburn Boulevard)

The travel route turns west on El Camino Avenue for a short distance here. 

 

Junction with Del Paso Boulevard (0.8 mile west of Auburn Boulevard on El Camino Avenue)

Del Paso Boulevard and California Highway 160 are the hosts of the travel route to the Capitol Mall.

 

Junction with California Highway 160 (1.7 miles south of El Camino Avenue on Del Paso Boulevard)

The travel route takes California Highway 160 west from this interchange. 

 

Sacramento (1.8 miles west of Del Paso Boulevard on CA 160 at Capitol Mall)

The travel route reunites with the U.S. Highway 99W section at the Capitol Mall. 

 

 

U.S. Highway 99 (Sacramento to Los Angeles)

 

From Sacramento, U.S. Highway 99 joined with U.S. Highway 50 to Stockton.  Neither of those designations, south or west, exist from Sacramento today.  The travel route from Sacramento follows P Street east, where it becomes Stockton Boulevard.  The current California Highway 99 merely replaced the U.S. Highway 99 designation from Sacramento to its junction with Interstate 5 south of Bakersfield, so the travel route will use the limited access expressway for large portions of this segment. 

 

Junction with Stockton Boulevard (1.5 miles east of the Capitol on P Street)

The travel route turns south on Stockton Boulevard at this junction, following the old route of U.S. 50 and U.S. 99 south out of Sacramento.   

 

Junction with California Highway 99 (Exit 291) (8 miles south of Alhambra Boulevard on Stockton Boulevard)

The travel route joins with California Highway 99 south at this junction. 

 

Elk Grove (Exit 286) (4.5 miles south of Stockton Boulevard on CA 99)

Elk Grove was founded in 1850 by James Hall, who built a hotel that burned in 1857. 

 

Point of Interest:

Grave of Elitha Cumi Donner Wilder (Elk Grove Masonic Cemetery, Elk Grove Boulevard)

This survivor of the ill-fated Donner party was the daughter of George and Mary Blue Donner. Born near Springfield, Illinois in 1832, she arrived in California in December of 1846 with her sister, Leanna Charity Donner, and was rescued by the first relief party to reach the tragic scene.  Married to Benjamin W. Wilder in 1853, she died on July 4th, 1923, survived by her sister and two children.

 

Junction with Grant Line Road (Exit 284) (3 miles south of Elk Grove on CA 99)

 

Point of Interest:

Site of Murphy’s Ranch (Grant Line Road and California Highway 99)

This is the site of the beginning of the United States' conquest of California.  On June 10th, 1846, American settlers led by Ezekial Merritt overpowered Mexican soldiers under Lieutenant Francisco Arce and took their horses from the corral of the Murphy Ranch on the north bank of the Cosumnes River.  The 'Bear Flag' action in Sonoma followed on June 14th, 1846.

 

Junction with County Road E13 (Exit 277) (6.5 miles south of Grant Line Road on CA 99)

 

Side Trip to Mokelumne City (County Road E13 West, County Road J8 South)

Mokelumne City (7 miles west on CR E13, 3 miles south on CR J8)

Established in 1850, Mokelumne City’s prospects were bright.  The second largest town in the county, it had deep water communication with San Francisco all year round, an advantage not possessed by any other town in the county except Stockton.  However, the floods of 1862 destroyed the town.

 

Point of Interest:

Benson’s Ferry (South bank of river, west of County Road J8)

This river ferry, established in 1849, was purchased by John A. Benson in 1850.  In 1852, Benson laid out the then-principal wagon road between Sacramento and Stockton.  Following Benson's murder in 1859, the ferry was operated by his son-in-law, Ed Gayetty.
 

Galt (Exit 275A) (2 miles south of CR E13 on CA 99)

Galt was laid out in 1869. 

 

Junction with Woodbridge Road (Exit 268) (8 miles south of Galt on CA 99)

 

Side Trip to Woodbridge (Woodbridge Road West, Lower Sacramento Road South)

Woodbridge (2 miles west on Woodbridge Road, 0.5 mile south on Lower Sacramento Road)

In 1852, Jeremiah H. Woods and Alexander McQueen established a ferry across the Mokelumne River at this point.  As a result, a new road from Stockton to Sacramento by way of Wood's Ferry was established.  In 1858, Woods built a bridge at the site of the ferry from which the town, laid out in April of 1859, took its name.

 

Points of Interest:

Site of Wood’s Ferry and Wood’s Bridge (Present bridge on Lower Sacramento Road)

In 1852, immediately after his arrival and completion of his cabin, Wood proceeded to build a ferryboat and establish the crossing known as Wood's Ferry.  In 1858, he built a toll bridge at the old ferry crossing, charging $1 for a pair of animals and wagon, and .50 extra for every additional pair of animals with the wagon.
San Joaquin Valley College (18500 N. Lilac Street)

Built through subscription by the residents of Woodbridge and dedicated as Woodbridge Seminary in 1879 by the United Brethren Church, this was the site of San Joaquin Valley College from 1882 to 1897.  It was then used as Woods Grammar School until 1922, when the building was dismantled.

 

Lodi (Exit 266) (2 miles south of Woodbridge Road on CA 99)

When a group of local families decided to establish a school in 1859, they settled on a site near present-day Cherokee Lane and Turner Road.  In 1869, the Central Pacific Railroad was in the process of creating a new route, and pioneer settlers Ezekiel Lawrence, Reuben Wardrobe, A.C. Ayers and John Magley offered a town site of 160 acres to the railroad as an incentive to build a station there.  The railroad received a "railroad reserve" of twelve acres in the middle of town, and surveyors began laying out streets in the area between Washington to Church and Locust to Walnut.  Settlers flocked from nearly Woodbridge, Liberty City, and Galt, including town founders John M. Burt and Dan Crist.

Initially called Mokelumne and Mokelumne Station after the nearby river, confusion with other nearby towns prompted a name change, which was officially endorsed in Sacramento by an assembly bill.  Several stories have been offered as to the origins of the town's new name.  One refers to a locally stabled trotting horse that had set a four mile record, but as the horse reached the peak of its fame in 1869, it is unlikely that the notoriety would have still been evident in 1873.  Alternatively, Lodi is a place in Italy where Napoleon defeated the Austrians and won his first military victory.  More than likely, some of the earliest settler families were from Lodi, Illinois, and they chose to use the same name as their hometown.

In 1906, the city was officially incorporated by voters, passing 2 to 1.  The fire department was established in 1911, and the city purchased the Bay City Gas and Water Works in 1919.  Additional public buildings constructed during this period include the Lodi Opera House in 1905, a Carnegie library in 1909, and a hospital in 1915.

 

Point of Interest:

Lodi Arch (E. Pine Street and S. Sacramento Street)

Designed by architect E. B. Brown and built in 1907 for the Lodi Tokay Carnival, the arch served as an entrance into Lodi and a symbol of agricultural and commercial growth.  Essentially unaltered since construction, the structure is one of few remaining Mission Revival ceremonial arches left within California.

 

Side Trip to Lockeford (California Highway 12 East)

Lockeford (7 miles east on CA 12)

It was on this hill that Dr. Dean Jewett Locke and his brother Elmer H. Locke built the first cabin on this section in 1851.  Disturbed by grizzly bears, they spent their first nights in the oak trees.  Dr. Locke, physician for the Boston and Newton Joint Stock Company, left Boston on April 16th, 1849 to cross the plains and arrive at Sacramento on September 16th, 1849.  Because he built and maintained a ford across the Mokelumne River, his wife, Delia Hammond Locke, in 1859 named the town he laid out on his ranch Lockeford.

 

Junction with Wilson Way (Exit 257A) (9 miles south of Lodi on CA 99)

 

Side Trip to Stockton (Wilson Way South)

Stockton (3.5 miles south on Wilson Way at Main Street)

Captain Charles M. Weber, a native of Germany who came to California with the Bidwell-Bartleson party in 1841, is generally recognized as the founder of Stockton.  Weber first settled in San Jose, where he met William Gulnac.  The two men formed a partnership to establish a colony in the San Joaquin Valley.  To this end, Gulnac obtained a tract from the Mexican government of about 50,000 acres, including the site of Stockton.  Gulnac, a New Yorker, had married a Mexican girl and became a Mexican citizen.  He led the first group of settlers to the area, which they called El Campo de los Francesces (Spanish for French Camp), but in 1845 he became discouraged by hostile Indians, a smallpox epidemic, and the primitive conditions.  Gulnac sold out to Weber for a $60 grocery bill. 

Weber remained in San Jose, though in 1847 he founded the town of Tuleburg on the site of the present levee of that name.  He built corrals, planted wheat, and set up houses for ranchers.  After the discovery of gold in 1848, Weber moved to Tuleburg, which he planned to promote as a supply post for miners.  He surveyed the town in 1849, renaming it Stockton for his friend Commodore Robert Stockton. 

The Gold Rush took Stockton by storm.  Bayard Taylor, noted author and traveler, found it in 1849 “a canvas town of a thousand inhabitants, and a port with twenty-five vessels at anchor!  The mingled noises of labor around—the click of hammers and the grating of saws—the shouts of mule drivers—the jingling of spurs—the jar and jostle of wares in the tents—almost cheated me into the belief that it was some old commercial mart. . . . Four months had sufficed to make that place what it was.” 

In 1850, Stockton became the county seat, and within three years the population grew from a few hundred to 5,000.  Between the time he became an outlaw in 1851 and his death in 1853, the Mexican bandit Joaquin Murrieta ranged as far north as Stockton.  On one occasion, he rode into town, noticed a sign offering a reward for his capture, wrote underneath it “I will give $10,000—Joaquin!” then galloped off through the crowd, unmolested.  An incendiary fire in 1851 destroyed many structures.

The settlers of Stockton built churches and schools as early as 1850, despite the gold rush.  The introduction of irrigation after the 1860’s and the decline of the gold mines turned attention once again toward agriculture.  Grain poured into the city’s warehouses to await shipment by the railroad which first reached the city in 1869.  The caterpillar tractor, the first machine to use the track-laying traction principle, originated in Stockton.  The device employed in these tractors was later applied in the development of the military tank, first used in the First World War. 

In June of 1934, the last of the Pony Express riders, William Campbell, died at Stockton.  He was on the 95-mile run from Fort Kearny to Fort McPherson.  Chased once for miles by a pack of wolves, on his return he left a poisoned ox on the trail for their benefit.  His reward was a dozen dead wolves whose hides brought $50. 

 

Points of Interest:

Weber Point (Center Street and Channel Street)

This is the site of a two-story adobe-and-redwood house built in 1850 by Charles M. Weber, founder and pioneer developer of Stockton.  One of the first elaborate residences and landscaped gardens in the San Joaquin Valley, it remained Captain Weber's home until his death in 1881. The Point was formed by the junction of McLeod's Lake and Miner's Channel.
Site of First Building in Present City of Stockton (Civic Street at City Hall)

In August of 1844, the first settlers arrived at Rancho del Campo de los Franceses.  One of the group, Thomas Lindsay, built the first dwelling, a tule hut, on this site.  He was later murdered by Indians and buried here by travelers. 

Burial Place of John Brown (Juan Flaco) (1100 E. Weber Street at N. Union Street)

In 1846, during the American conquest of California, John Brown, nicknamed Juan Flaco, rode from Los Angeles to San Francisco in four days to warn Commodore Stockton of the siege of Los Angeles, and troops were sent to secure the city.  This 'Paul Revere of California,' who lived in Stockton from 1851 to 1859, is buried in the former Citizen's Cemetery near this site.
Temple Israel Cemetery (E. Acacia Street and N. Pilgrim Street)

Donated by Captain Charles M. Weber in 1851 for use as a cemetery by the Jewish community of Stockton, this is the oldest Jewish cemetery in continuous use in California and west of the Rocky Mountains.

Reuel Colt Gridley Monument (Stockton Rural Cemetery, Cemetery Lane and E. Pine Street)

Erected in honor of the soldier's friend, Reuel Colt Gridley, by Rawlins Post, Grand Army of the Republic, and the citizens of Stockton in gratitude for services rendered Union soldiers during the American Civil War, when he collected $275,000 for the Sanitary Commission by selling and reselling a sack of flour.

Temporary Detention Camps for Japanese Americans-Stockton Assembly Center (Fairgrounds, Airport Way)

Here, within the confines of San Joaquin County Fairgrounds, enclosed by barbed wire and housed in temporary barracks, 4,217 San Joaquin County residents of Japanese ancestry, predominately American citizens, were interned from May 10th  to October 17th, 1942 under Executive Order.

Stockton Developmental Center (510 E. Magnolia Street)

The Stockton Developmental Center began in 1853 as the Insane Asylum of California at Stockton.  It was founded on 100 acres with ready access to the goldfields on land donated by Captain Charles Weber, founder of Stockton.  California's Legislature was convinced that the turbulence of the Gold Rush had caused many to suffer from mental problems, and that the existing hospitals were inadequate to cope with large numbers of people with mental and emotional conditions.  Consequently it authorized the establishment of the Stockton Hospital, the first public hospital in California to serve the mentally ill.  California's mental hospital is one of the oldest in the west, and early on was recognized for its progressive forms of treatment.
Sikh Temple Site (1930 S. Grant Street)

The Sikhs, from the Punjab region of India, are an important immigrant group in California since about 1900.  Most were drawn to agriculture in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys, since those flat expanses were similar to the Punjab.  The 1915 temple was one of the first religious centers for Indians in the United States.  A replacement temple was constructed in 1930 and the 1915 building is used as the temple library.  The temple helped maintain Punjabi traditions and to establish better understanding of the Sikh people by the community at large. 

San Joaquin County Courthouse (Main Street and Hunter Street)

This structure was designed in 1890 by E.E. Myers & Son of Detroit. 

Forty-Nine Drugstore (Main Street and El Dorado Street)

The building on this site was used continuously for the same purpose since 1850, when E.S. Holden built it and opened Stockton’s first pharmacy. 

Odd Fellows Hall (17 El Dorado Street)

A landmark of the middle 1850’s, this building had a fish market on the lower floor and a twenty-cents-a-night hotel on the second. 

 

French Camp Road (Exit 246) (11.5 miles south of Wilson Way on CA 99)

Just to the west of here, at the town of French Camp, was the terminus of the California and Oregon Trail used from about 1832 to 1845 by the French-Canadian trappers employed by the Hudson's Bay Company.  Every year Michel La Framboise, among others, met fur hunters camped with their families here.  In 1844, Charles M. Weber and William Gulnac promoted the first white settlers' colony on Rancho del Campo de los Franceses, which included French Camp and the site of Stockton. 

 

Junction with Main Street (Exit 244B) (2.3 miles south of French Camp Road on CA 99)

The travel route departs from present California Highway 99 to follow Main Street south into Manteca.

 

Manteca (2 miles south of CA 99 on Main Street at Yosemite Avenue)

This community began in 1870 as Cowell’s Station, a stop on the new Central Pacific Railroad.  Its subsequent development as the shipping center for great quantities of dairy products led to the adoption of its present name. 

 

Side Trip to Knight’s Ferry (California Highway 120 East, Sonora Road North)

Oakdale (21 miles east on CA 120)

In the robust 1870’s and 1880’s, Oakdale, on the road to the mines, was raucous at times.  It takes its name from the live oaks that surrounded the site when the town was founded in 1871. 

 


Junction with Willms Road (33 miles east on CA 120)

Arriving in California on October 12th, 1849, John R. Willms and John H. Kappelmann engaged in the hotel and butcher businesses in Buena Vista, in what is now Stanislaus County.  They bought up mining claims and settler's claims until, by 1852, they had a tract of 3,600 acres.  The 'KW' brand was the first in Tuolumne County in 1852.  After the death of Kappelmann, Willms carried on alone, and the ranch has been owned by the Willms family ever since.
Knight’s Ferry (33 miles east on CA 120, 1 mile north on Sonora Road)

Mark Twain and Bret Harte trudged these streets in the days when they were unknown.  In the early 1850’s, Knight’s Ferry was temporarily renamed Dentville, for Lewis and John Dent, brothers-in-law of Ulysses S. Grant.  Lewis Dent became Grant’s aide-de-camp during the American Civil War and U.S. Minister to Chile during his presidency.  The town served as the county seat from 1862 to 1872.

 

Points of Interest:

Covered Bridge 

This bridge was reputedly designed by Ulysses S. Grant while visiting his brothers-in-law in 1854. 

Court House Ruins 

Built as a hotel, this structure served as a court house during the town’s period as county seat of Stanislaus County. 

 

Side Trip to Two Rivers (S. Manteca Road South, Trahern Road West, Two Rivers Road South)

Two Rivers (6.3 miles south on S. Manteca Road, 0.5 mile west on Trahern Road, 3 miles south on Two Rivers Road to Two Rivers RV Park)

In 1829, the Governor-General of California directed Vallejo to punish the Cosumnes Indians for their raids on local ranches. The battle is one of the few fought in California in which cannons were actually used.

 

From Manteca, the travel route follows Moffat Boulevard from S. Main Street to a junction with California Highway 99.

 

Junction with California Highway 99 (Exit 241) (2 miles south of Manteca on Moffat Boulevard)

The travel route reunites with present day California Highway 99 here. 

 

Ripon (Exit 236) (4.5 miles south of Moffat Boulevard on CA 99)

In 1932, Ripon staged “The World’s Largest Outdoor Rummy Game.”  Six hundred rummy, whist, and bridge players, surrounded by as many onlookers, were seated at tables set up in the town’s main street. 

 

Side Trip to Caswell Memorial State Park (Main Street/Ripon Road West, Austin Road South)

Caswell Memorial State Park (3 miles west on Main Street/Ripon Road, 2.3 miles south on Austin Road)

Caswell Memorial State Park is located along the Stanislaus River near the town of Ripon. The park's 258 acres protect the threatened and still declining riparian oak woodland, which once flourished throughout California's Central Valley. The Yokut Native Americans lived along the river and collected acorns among the ancient groves.  In the early 1800’s, Spanish explorers and fur trappers were in the area.  A landowner named Thomas Caswell loved the forest and felt it should be preserved.  In 1950, his children and grand-children donated 134 acres to the people of California.  The park was open to the public in 1958.  Additional donations and state purchases brought Caswell to its current size.

 

Stanislaus River (1 miles south of Ripon on CA 99)

This is one of the fabulous streams of the gold rush era, whose pastoral beauty in this region was described by Bret Harte in his Down on the Stanislaus
 

Modesto (Exit 226B) (8.5 miles south of the Stanislaus River on CA 99)

Modesto was laid out by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1870 after an older settlement nearby had bickered over concessions; the railroad company proposed naming it for W.C. Ralston, the San Francisco banker, but when he declined the honor some official turned a neat complement to his modesty by bestowing the present name.  The railroad company showed foresight in the town planning; the streets, crossing at right angles, run northeast, southwest, northwest, and southeast to give the maximum of shade during days of intense heat. 

 

Side Trip to La Grange (California Highway 132 East)

Empire (6.5 miles west on CA 132)

Located one-half mile west of here on the banks of the Tuolumne River, Empire City was the head of navigation and the site of the second courthouse of Stanislaus County.  Records remained here from October of 1854 to December of 1855.

La Grange (32 miles west on CA 132)

French settlers originally established the community of French Bar along the Tuolumne River in 1850.  After the destructive floods of 1851-52, citizens of French Bar relocated one mile upstream above the floodplain.  Renamed La Grange, the new town prospered as a mining and agricultural community, and served as the county seat of Stanislaus County from 1856 to 1862.

 

Turlock (Exit 213) (13 miles south of Modesto on CA 99)

Turlock is in the midst of the vast Turlock Irrigation District, which was launched in 1887. 

 

Point of Interest:

Temporary Detention Camp for Japanese Americans-Turlock Assembly Center (Stanislaus County Fairgrounds)

The Turlock Assembly Center was at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in the town of Turlock. Occupied from April 30 to August 12, it held a total of 3,699 evacuees from the Sacramento River delta and Los Angeles areas. The maximum population at one time was 3,662. After September 14th, 1942, the assembly center was used as a U.S. Army Rehabilitation Center where army prisoners received special training and discipline prior to being restored to military duty.

A study of the rehabilitation center lists 150 barracks, 31 latrines, 18 bathhouses, a canteen, an administration building, three hospital buildings, a grandstand, single-pole guard towers, several open sheds, other structures, and a 40-acre victory garden. The 1942 aerial photograph suggests most of these facilities were also present for the assembly center. Oddly enough, the maximum number of army prisoners held at the facility was 1,500. More than twice as many Japanese Americans were confined in the same area, a testament to the crowded and inadequate conditions of the assembly centers.

 

Merced River (10 miles south of Turlock on CA 99)

The Merced rises from Lakes Merced and Tenaya in Yosemite National Park.  The stream was named by Lieutenant Gabriel Moraga, a Spanish army officer, who explored the valley in 1813.  Weakened by thirst, the party drank greedily of the waters; in gratitude they named it River of Our Lady of Mercy (de las Mercedes).

 

Merced (Exit 187B) (16 miles south of the Merced River on CA 99)

Merced serves as the principal rail and motor gateway to Yosemite National Park.  The first post office was established in 1870 and the city was incorporated in 1899. 

 

Side Trip to Castle Air Force Base Museum (California Highway 59 North, County Road J7 North)

Castle Air Force Base (1 mile north on CA 59, 5 miles north on CR J7)

On Christmas Eve of 1944, Brigadier General Frederick Castle rode his flaming B-17 to his death while leading the biggest bombing mission of World War II during the Battle of the Bulge. He was air commander and leader of more than 2,000 heavy bombers in a strike against German airfields on December 24th, 1944.  He was posthumously awarded the US Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic action.  The former Merced Army Air Field was named in his honor on January 13th, 1948.[iii]

 

Side Trip to Snelling (California Highway 59 North)

Snelling (17.5 miles north on CA 59)

This was once a mining town and until 1872 the county seat of Merced County. 

 

Point of Interest:

Snelling Courthouse (Main Street and Second Street)

This is the first courthouse in Merced County, erected in 1857. 

 

Side Trip to Mariposa (California Highway 140 East)

Planada (9 miles west on CA 140)

This community was called Geneva when platted in 1912 as a model town. 

Agua Fria (32 miles west on CA 140)

One-quarter mile north of Carson Creek, a tributary of Agua Fria Creek, was located the town of Agua Fria, in 1850 and 1851 the first county seat of Mariposa County.  One of the original 27 counties in California, Mariposa County comprised one-sixth of the state—all of what is now Merced, Madera, Fresno, Tulare, Kings, and Kern Counties—until 1852, while mining was the main industry of region.  Mariposa (37 miles west on CA 140)

The town of Mariposa became the seat of government in 1852, and the courthouse there was completed in 1854.
 

Points of Interest:

Mariposa County Courthouse (10th Street and Bullion Street)

This mortise-and-tenon Greek Revival courthouse, erected in 1854, is California's oldest court of law and has served continuously as the seat of county government since 1854. During the 19th century, landmark mining cases setting legal precedent were tried here, and much United States mining law is based on decisions emanating from this historic courthouse.
Mormon Bar (1.8 miles south on CA 49)

Mormon Bar was first mined in 1849 by members of the Mormon Battalion. They, however, stayed only a short time and their places were taken at once by other miners. Later, thousands of Chinese worked the same ground over again.

 

Side Trip to Hornitos (G Street North, La Paloma Road West)

Hornitos (8 miles north on G Street, 15 miles west on La Paloma Road West)

Hornitos, 'little ovens,' derived its name from the presence of many old Mexican stone graves or tombs built in the shape of little square bake ovens and set on top of the ground.  The town seemed to have been settled by an undesirable element driven out of the adjoining town of Quartzburg, but as the placers at Quartzburg gave out, many of its other citizens came to Hornitos.  It became the first and the only incorporated town in Mariposa County.

 

Side Trip to Los Banos (California Highway 59 South, California Highway 152 West)

Los Banos (15 miles south on CA 59, 20 miles west on CA 152)

Los Baños (the baths) del Padre Arroyo, visited as early as 1805 by Spanish explorers, was a favorite place for padres from San Juan Bautista Mission during their travels to the San Joaquin Valley. Its name was changed to Los Banos Creek by later American emigrants. The town of Los Banos was established at its present site in 1889, after the post office of Los Banos was built near the creek in 1874.

 

Point of Interest:

Canal Farm Inn (1460 E. Pacheco Boulevard)

This original San Joaquin Valley ranch headquarters of California pioneer and cattle baron Henry Miller (1827-1916) was established in 1873. His farsighted planning and development in the 1870s of a vast gravity irrigation system, and the founding of Los Banos in 1889, provided the basis for this area's present stability and wealth.
 

Chowchilla (Exit 170) (17.5 miles south of Merced on CA 99)

The Chowchilla River was referred to locally as the region’s Mason and Dixon Line; legend has it that Union soldiers marching south from Stockton during the American Civil War were ordered to load their guns when they reached the river. 

 

Madera (Exit 154) (15.5 miles south of Chowchilla on CA 99)

Madera was laid out in 1876 by the California Lumber Company. 

 

Fresno (Exit 132B) (22 miles south of Madera on CA 99)

Fresno, unlike many California cities, is purely an American growth.  Spanish and Mexican expeditions passed up the site as desolate and barren.  Indian troubles scared away settlers of the period preceding the gold rush, and the 49’ers, bound for the Sierra foothills, hurried across the valley to the diggings.  After the gold rush, the Americans turned to stock raising, and the site of Fresno supported thousands of cattle. 

The first permanent settlement on this site is supposed to have been made in the 1860’s by A.J. Manssen, a Hollander, who sank a well, built a watering trough, and put up a sign for a ‘horse restaurant’.  A few families joined Manssen, but the place remained “the sorriest and most woe-begone little settlement on the map” until 1872, when it became a station on the Central Pacific Railroad.  The railroad pushed through the valley that year.  The railroad builders staked out a town, which they called Fresno (Spanish for ash tree) Station, for the name of the county.  The ash trees were in the foothills, and not near the embryo town. 

In 1874, Millerton, the only important settlement in the area, voted to relinquish the county seat to Fresno Station.  Soon after, practically the entire population of Millerton moved to the new county seat in order to be on the railroad line.  With the spread of controlled irrigation and the realization that the soil was extremely fertile, new crops were developed and the town grew fast. 

 

Points of Interest:

Site of the First Junior College in California (Stanislaus Street and O Street)

Constructed in 1895, the school was known as Fresno High School from 1895-1921. Established as the first junior college of California in 1910, in 1911 it became a normal school, forerunner to Fresno State College. From 1921 to 1948 it was called Fresno Technical High School and Fresno Junior College from 1948 to 1959. Plaque placed by the Fresno Tech Alumni Association.
Site of the Fresno Free Speech Fight of the Industrial Workers of the World (Fulton Street and Mariposa Mall)

At the corner of Mariposa and I Streets, from October 1910 to March 1911, the Industrial Workers of the World fought for the right of free speech in their efforts to organize Fresno's unskilled labor force. This was the first fight for free speech in California, and the first attempt to organize the valley's unskilled workers.

 

Side Trip to Millerton Lake (California Highway 41 North, Friant Road Northeast)
Fort Miller (6 miles north on CA 41, 11 miles northeast on Friant Road)

Now inundated by Millerton Lake, Fort Miller was established in 1852 as a temporary headquarters for the Commissioners during the latter part of the Mariposa Indian War. The peace treaty was signed there April 29, 1851. The first recorded religious services in the Fresno area were performed here on October 21, 1855 by Right Reverend William Ingraham Kip, first Protestant Episcopal Bishop of California. The village of Rootville grew into the town of Millerton and became the first seat of Fresno County in 1856.

 

Malaga (Exit 127) (5 miles south of Fresno on CA 99)

This community is named for the variety of Muscat grape brought from Malaga, Spain in 1852.

 

Kingsburg (California Highway 201 Exit) (15 miles south of Malaga on CA 99)

A large proportion of the population here is made up of the descendants of a colony of Michigan Swedes that settled here in the 1870’s. 

 

Kings River (2 miles south of Kingsbury on CA 99)

Kings River was discovered in 1805 by Spaniards who piously named it El Rio de los Santos Reyes (River of the Holy Kings). 

 

Cross Creek (8 miles south of the Kings River on CA 99)

This creek was a stopping point on the Butterfield Overland. 

 

Junction with California Highway 198 (Exit 97) (5.5 miles south of Cross Creek on CA 99)

 

Side Trip to Visalia (California Highway 198 East)

Visalia (6 miles east on CA 198)

Visalia was founded in 1852 by Nathaniel Vice, a bear hunter, who combined his own surname with his wife’s given name, Sallie, to form Visalia.  Modern Visalia is quite unlike the town of the 1870’s and 1880’s, which was chiefly interested in the cattle business and noted for the skill of its saddle makers.  It was particularly sympathetic to the enraged immigrants who were living on the sections of land given by Congress to the Southern Pacific Railroad.  Towns like Visalia, where the inhabitants’ interests were tied up with those of the ranchers rather than the railroad, gave encouragement to the revolt and refuge of hunted rebels.  The lines of warfare became more blurred as rebels held up trains and looted mail cars and passengers to bring the railroad company to terms.  Bandits, in the same guise as the rebels, did the same.  In 1892, three leaders, John and George Sontag and Chris Evans, were captured.  Evans and John Sontag escaped.  George was sentenced to life imprisonment at Folsom.  Nearly a year later, the two escapees were surprised at a place a few miles northeast of Visalia.  Sontag was fatally wounded.  Evans, with one arm shattered and one eye gouged out, again escaped, only to be captured the next day. 

Under the branches of the Election Tree, or Charter Oak (east of the city), a party under command of Major James D. Savage held an election on July 19th, 1852, by which Tulare County was formed.  The oak was actually the county seat until Visalia was founded. 

 

Side Trip to Hanford (California Highway 198 West)

Hanford (15 miles west on CA 198)

The Mussell Slough feud, upon which Frank Norris based his novel, The Octopus, came to a climax here.  A group of angry ranchers had organized as the Settlers’ League to fight the Southern Pacific Railroad, which under an Act of Congress was taking possession of every odd-numbered section of land along its newly-built line.  In May of 1880, they did battle with the sheriff’s forces here.  Five ranchers and two deputies were killed, and 17 league members went to jail. 

 

Tulare (Exit 87) (10 miles south of CA 198 on CA 99)

Tulare was founded in 1872 as a division headquarters and a railroad repair center by the Southern Pacific Railroad.  It was just beginning to get on its feet when a fire destroyed a large part of it in 1883.  Rebuilt by 1886, it was once again greatly damaged by fire.  For 19 years, the Southern Pacific pay train rolled in regularly to distribute $40,000 in $20 gold pieces.  Then, in 1891, the town was dealt a double blow.  The railroad shops were moved to Bakersfield, and the division headquarters was moved to Fresno.  When the pay train stopped rolling, the citizens had to turn to the land and develop the orchards and vineyards that make it an important shipping center. 

 

Side Trip to Lindsay (California Highway 137 East)

Lindsay (13.5 miles east on CA 137)

Here, the Butterfield Overland Stage route, following an earlier emigrant trail, was laid out in the 1850’s as part of the Stockton-Los Angeles Road.  It was used from 1858 to 1861 by the Butterfield Overland Mail stages as part of their routing from St. Louis, Missouri, to San Francisco. 

 

Tipton (Exit 76) (11 miles south of Tulare on CA 99)

 

Side Trip to Porterville (California Highway 190 East)

Porterville (17 miles east on CA 190)

Here Peter Goodhue operated an emigrant trail stopping place called the Tule River Stage Station on the bank of the Tule River from 1854 until the river changed its course in 1862. This became a Butterfield Overland and mail stage station from 1858 until 1861.  It was kept in 1860 by R. Porter Putnam, who in 1864 founded Porterville.

 

Points of Interest:

First Tule River Indian Reservation (2293 E. Crabtree Avenue)

A reservation was originally established here in 1857, and Indians from a widespread area were brought in. The natives of the vicinity, the Koyeti tribe towards the west and the Yandanchi tribe toward the east, were branches of the Yokuts Indians that occupied the San Joaquin Valley. The Tule River Indian Reservation was moved to its present location, 10 miles to the southeast in 1873.

Tule River Stage Station (N. Main Street and W. Henderson Avenue)

 

Pixley (Exit 70A) (6.5 miles south of Tipton on CA 99)

Dating from the railroad building era, Pixley was named for Frank Pixley, founder and fiery editor of the early San Francisco weekly, The Argonaut

 

Earlimart (Exit 65B) (5 miles south of Pixley on CA 99)

 

Side Trip to Fountain Springs and White River (County Road J22 East, Old Stage Road East)

Fountain Springs (20 miles east on CR J22)

The settlement of Fountain Springs was established before 1855, 1.5 miles northwest of this point, at the junction of the Stockton-Los Angeles Road and the road to the Kern River gold mines.  From 1858 to 1861, Fountain Springs was a station on the Butterfield Overland Mail route.

White River (20 miles east on CR J22, 8 miles east on Old Stage Road)

This community began as a gold mining camp about 1856 during the Kern River gold rush, when gold was obtained from placer and shaft operations. Mining has been carried on intermittently since the time of discovery, with a considerable settlement here during active periods. The town's name was changed from Tailholt to White River about 1870.

 

Side Trip to Allensworth (County Road J22 West, California Highway 43 South)

Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park (7.5 miles west on CR J22, 2 miles south on CA 43)

This is the only California town to be founded, financed and governed by African Americans.  The small farming community was founded in 1908 by Colonel Allen Allensworth and a group of others dedicated to improving the economic and social status of African Americans. Uncontrollable circumstances, including a drop in the area’s water table, resulted in the town’s demise.  With continuing restoration and special events, the town is coming back to life as a state historic park.  The park’s visitor center features a film about the site.  A yearly rededication ceremony reaffirms the vision of the pioneers. The town is being restored now as a state historic park. Tours are available by making arrangements with the park in advance. The visitor center also features a video, "The Spirit of Allensworth."  The most important building is the schoolhouse that was in use until 1972, and is furnished for the period of 1915.

 

Delano (Exit 56B) (9 miles south of Earlimart on CA 99)

 

Side Trip to Padre Francisco Garcés National Monument (California Highway 155 East)

Padre Francisco Garcés National Monument (16 miles east on CA 155)

Padre Garcés, first recorded non-Indian to visit this locality, came in April of 1776, seeking a new route from Mexico to California.  His epic journey covered more than two thousand miles of uncharted wilderness, opening trails that later became highways and railroads.  Monument lies on land northwest of this junction at Coyote Gulch. 

 

McFarland (Exit 49) (6.5 miles south of Delano on CA 99)

Founded in 1877, it drew for its first settlers people opposed to the whiskey drinking tolerated in nearby Delano and Famosa.  All land deeds contained a clause prohibiting the selling of liquor.  Test cases carried to the higher courts nullified the clause in 1933 and 1934. 

 

Bakersfield (Exit 27) (23 miles south of McFarland on CA 99)

Bakersfield was named for Colonel Thomas Baker, who arrived in 8162 to direct a reclamation project.  He remained to lay out the town site in 1869.  At that time, the mining town of Havilah was the county seat.  However, after the new community organized a Bakersfield Club, an Agricultural Society, and a Cotton Growers; Association, the business men of Havilah began to move in.  The editor of Havilah Courier, leading newspaper in Kern County in the 1870’s, followed his advertisers with type and press.  In 1873, when Bakersfield became the county seat, most of the other citizens of Havilah came in too. 

That year, Alex Mills was elected the town marshal.  He constituted himself as the private censor of the citizenry.  He knew the history, sometimes unsavory, of everyone in town, and had a fondness for relating it.  Repenting its choice, Bakersfield speedily incorporated when it learned it could thus legally oust the marshal.  That accomplished, the citizens found no further advantage in incorporation of their settlement and disincorporated it.  It was not until 1898, when the town had become a sedate agricultural trade center, did it reincorporate. 

The discovery of gold in Kern River Canyon in 1885 invested Bakersfield with the color and vigor of the early Mother Lode boom towns.  It assumed all the roughness and toughness of the camps of the unrestricted 1850’s.  Its streets were filled with swaggering miners and gamblers, and the sounds of gunshots were frequently heard.  In 1889, fire destroyed most of the old buildings, and rebuilding resulted in modernization.  Then came the discovery of oil in the Kern River fields in 1899, and Bakersfield again saw rough and tumble boom days. 

 

Points of Interest:

Garcés Circle (Center of the intersection of Chester Ave and 30th St)

This is the approximate site of the Indian rancheria visited by Franciscan friar Padre Francisco Garcés on May 7th, 1776. Padre Garcés named this spot San Miguel de los Noches por el Santa Príncipe.
Site of the Last Home of Alexis Godey (414 19th Street)

Near this site stood the home of Alexis Godey, frontiersman and scout, who lived here from 1883 until his death on January 19th, 1889. Born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1818, he acted as guide for John C. Frémont's expedition through the Kern area in 1843 and 1844, and was honored for his services at the Battle of San Pasqual in 1846.

Site of the Home of Elisha Stevens (W. Columbus Street and Isla Verde Street)

Near this spot stood the last home of Elisha Stevens, noted American pathfinder and scout. Born in Georgia April 5th, 1804, he learned blacksmithing during his youth.  Drifting west, he became a trapper on the upper Missouri for more than two decades.  In 1844, he led the 50-member Murphy-Townsend wagon train safely from Council Bluffs, Iowa to Sutter's Fort.  During the Mexican War, he served as an ordnance mechanic under Commodore Stockton.  For a time, he lived in Santa Clara County, and then settled here on a 38-acre tract, the first permanent settler in the Bakersfield district. He died September 9th, 1887 and is buried in Union Cemetery.

Gordon’s Ferry (China Grade Loop at Kern River)

Gordon's Ferry was an overhead cable-type of ferry operated during the 1850’s by Major Gordon. An adobe station house was located on the south bank of the Kern River, which also served as a station on the Butterfield Overland Mail Route from 1856 to 1860.

Discovery Well of Kern River Oil Field (Kern River State Park)

Oil was discovered at 70 feet in 1899, when Tom Means persuaded Roe Elwood and Frank Wiseman, aided by Jonathan, Bert, Jed, and Ken Elwood, George Wiseman, and John Marlowe, to dig here for oil. On June 1st, 1899, 400 feet to the north, Horace and Milton McWhorter drilled this region's first commercial well.

 

Side Trip to Jedediah Strong Trail (California Highway 58 East, Towerline Road North)

California Highway 58 replaced the U.S. Highway 466 designation which ran east from here to Barstow and a junction with U.S. Highway 66. 

Point on the Jedediah Strong Trail (14 miles east on CA 58, 0.3 mile north on Towerline Road at Bena Road)

About February 1st, 1827, Jedediah Strong Smith, first American to reach Mexican California overland, passed near this spot with his party of fur trappers. From San Gabriel Mission, the group was en route north to a land reported teeming with 'plenty of Beaver.' Smith and his men were trailblazers whose exploits soon led to the American conquest of California.

 

From Bakersfield, California Highway 99 shoots south across the floor of the San Joaquin Valley in a course that bends only once.  Reaching the towering Tehachapi Mountains, it rises swiftly through a jagged canyon into a lofty, mountainous country.  From the mountains it descends into the sheltered Santa Clara Valley, climbs into wooded hills and descends again to San Fernando Valley. 

In the early 1800s, Indians in the interior of California began to feel the effects of trappers and explorers.  By mid-century, coastal Indians who moved inland following the breakup of the missions also suffered under the influx of miners and settlers.  When the federal government sent Indian agents to write treaties with California Indians, Agent George W. Barbour negotiated the treaties with both interior and coastal Indians in the southern San Joaquin Valley.  In return for the promise of goods, annuities, and land, the Indians vacated much of their home land.

In February of 1852, President Millard Fillmore submitted 18 California Indian treaties to the United States Congress for ratification, but the California delegation objected, complaining that the treaties provided too much good land for the Indians. Congress failed to ratify the treaties but did make some provisions for California Indians.

Edward F. Beale was appointed Superintendent of Indian Affairs for California in April of 1852. Upon arrival in September, Beale toured the state to determine the status of California Indians.  He reported in February of 1853 that "our laws and policy with respect to Indians have been neglected or violated. . . . [The Indians] are driven from their homes and deprived of their hunting-grounds and fishing-waters at the discretion of the whites. . . ."  Beale requested $500,000 for military reservations where both soldiers and Indians would reside.

Beale hired H. B. Edwards to start farming operations at Tejon and the San Joaquin River.  On March 2nd, 1853, Congress appropriated $250,000 for five reservations, not to exceed 25,000 acres each, to be located on public lands, with good land, wood, and water.  In September, Beale expanded the Tejon Farm into the first California reservation.

To gain support for his efforts, Beale named the reservation after Senator William Sebastian, Chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee.  The Sebastian Indian Reservation, more commonly known as Tejon Indian Reservation, was located in the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley, stretching from roughly the northeast corner at Lake Isabella, the northwest corner near McKittrick, the southwest corner near Cuyama, and the southeast corner at the top of the Kootsetahovie (Tejon) pass.[iv]

Tejon was located on a Mexican land grant rather than on public land, but Beale argued that no public lands were available and that the unoccupied grant could be purchased if necessary. Beale's primary reason for choosing Tejon was the presence of mission-trained Indians with agricultural skills, more likely to succeed on a reservation.

Despite substantial opposition, Beale continued to gather Indians and move them to Tejon.  In early 1854, he reported 2,500 Indians at Tejon and 2,650 acres under cultivation.  Beale's arguments for a reservation of 75,000 acres failed, and in July of 1854, he was replaced by Thomas J. Henley.

When Henley took charge, he noted only 800 Indians, with fewer than 350 present at one time, and only 1,500 acres under cultivation, indicating that numbers of Indians and amount of acreage under cultivation had been inflated.  Most of the crops failed that year because of drought.  Henley started the Tule River Farm to supplement the reservation's food, but the Indians still had to gather native foods and the government had to bring in more supplies in order to feed the reservation population.  Throughout the reservation's existence, drought, insects, and crop disease undermined the attempts at farming.

In November of 1856, the reservation was reduced to 25,000 acres.  That year, 700 Indians were reported residing on the reservation and 700 acres were under cultivation.  By 1859, Henley had been replaced.

In addition to crop failure, the reservation faced loss of the land when the land grant claim was upheld in court.  Settlers also encroached on the unsurveyed and unfenced land, allowing cattle and sheep to eat reservation crops.  During the 1863 drought year, all the crops were lost except for 30 tons of hay.

Meanwhile, former agent Edward F. Beale had purchased five contiguous ranchos in the Tejon area, including the reservation land, and was raising 100,000 sheep.  In 1863, he offered to lease 12,000 acres to the government for a dollar an acre, but withdrew the offer when he found that the government planned to move Owens River Indians there. He noted that he had made the offer only because Indians already on the reservation were his friends.

Jose Pacheco, a Tejon leader, wrote to General Wright on April 16th, 1864, "I should not have troubled you with this letter, Dear General, did I not think the agents here had wronged us. You and our great father at Washington do not know how bad we fare, or you would give us food or let us go back to our lands where we can get plenty of fish and game.  I do not think we get the provisions intended for us by our Great Father; the agents keep it from us, and sell it to make themselves rich, while we and our children are very poor and hungry and naked."8

The reservation was ordered closed in June of 1864, and on July 11th, Austin Wiley wrote, "I have the honor to inform you that all the Indians on the Tejon Farm and in the vicinity of Fort Tejon, some two hundred in number, have been removed from there to the Tule River farm."  Wiley noted that there was no food for the Indians at Tejon.

Shortly thereafter, D. N. Cooley, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, summarized the reasons for the reservation's failure: "The lack of legal title to the land severely restrained investment in construction and development, leaving the reserve and the Indians on it in a state of constant uncertainty. The ideal of converting Indians from food gathering to settled agriculture was never realized."[v]

 

California Highway 119 (Exit 18) (8 miles south of Bakersfield on CA 99)

California Highway 119 replaces the earlier U.S. Highway 399 designation to Taft.  Southwest of the Buena Vista Hills, the highway enters Midway Valley.  In the valley is the valuable West Side Oil Field (also called the Midway Sunset Field) which dates from 1899.  This was the homeland of what was one of the most poverty-stricken people on the North American continent. 

 

Side Trip to Taft (California Highway 119 West)

Dustin Acres (28 miles west on CA 119)

The old Yokuts village of Tulamniu was named Buena Vista by Spanish Commander Fages in 1772. Father Zalvidea again recorded the site in 1806. This village was occupied for several centuries, and in 1933 and 1934 its site was excavated by the Smithsonian Institution.

Ford City (35 miles west on CA 119)

In the boom days of the oil fields, Ford City was an unnamed tent city; its plethora of Model-T Fords led to the name. 

Taft (36 miles west on CA 119)

In 1908, the Southern Pacific Railroad and the Santa Fe Railroad decided to operate a joint line—the Sunset—to carry prospective investors to and from a settlement camp in the expanding oil field.  When this camp burned down, a battle started between Southern Pacific, which owned the land north of the tracks, and J.S. Jameson, who owned the land to the south.  The Southern Pacific erected a town, Moron, and Jameson pushed a rival community, Jameson.  At the height of the rivalry, when the outcome of the battle hung upon the location of a proposed post office, a fire obliged the Southern Pacific by destroying Jameson.  Moron was chosen as the site of the post office, its name changed to honor President Taft.  Later, Taft was incorporated and rebuilt Jameson became South Taft. 
 

Side Trip to Kern River Slough Station (Taft Highway East)

Kern River Slough Station (3 miles east on Taft Highway, which becomes Panama Road)

Just south of this point, the Kern River Slough Station stood on the Butterfield Overland Stage route.

 

Junction with California Highway 223 (Exit 13) (5 miles south of CA 119 on CA 99)

 

Side Trip to Arvin (California Highway 223 East)

Arvin (10 miles east on CA 223)

 

Point of Interest:

Outermost Point in the South San Joaquin Valley (350 W. Bear Mountain Boulevard)

Padre Garcés, first recorded non-Indian to visit this locality, came in April of 1776, seeking a new route from Mexico to California.  His epic journey covered more than two thousand miles of uncharted wilderness, opening trails that later became highways and railroads.

 

Mettler (Exit 3) (10 miles south of CA 223 on CA 99)

 

Side Trip to Fages-Zalvidea Crossing (California Highway 166 West)

Fages-Zalvidea Crossing (5.5 miles west of Mettler on CA 166)

In 1772, Don Pedro Fages, first recorded non-Indian to visit the southern San Joaquin Valley, crossed this spot on his way from San Diego to San Luis Obispo.  Near this point crossed Father José María de Zalvidea in 1806, while accompanying the Ruiz expedition in search of mission sites.

 

Junction with Interstate 5 (18 miles south of CA 119 on CA 99)

The travel route joins with Interstate 5 at this interchange.  This is the southern terminus of California Highway 99.  The earlier U.S. Highway 99 continued south into Los Angeles. 

 

Junction with Wheeler Ridge Road (Exit 219A) (2 miles south of CA 99 on Interstate 5)

 

Side Trip to Sinks of Tejón (Wheeler Ridge Road North, David Road East)

Sinks of the Tejón (8.3 miles north on Wheeler Ridge Road, 5.4 miles east on David Road)

This was the site of the Butterfield Stage Line’s Alamo Station, also known as the Sinks of Tejón.  This is now part of the Comanche Point Oil Field. 

Interstate 5 Rest Area (1.5 miles south of Wheeler Ridge Road on Interstate 5)

 

Point of Interest:

Rose Station (Rose Station was located 1.25 miles east on Grapevine Creek)

From 1853 to 1875 the site, originally a vaquero camp of the Sebastian Indian Reservation, was known as Rancho Canoa (trough).  In 1875, William B. Rose built an adobe stage station on the site of the Overland Mail way station established in 1858.  Rose Station was a stockmen's headquarters, post office, and polling place.

 

From the Rest Area, Interstate 5 ascends the fabled Grapevine, which is the long canyon of Grapevine Creek which leads around the base of Grapevine Peak to the summit at Tejón Pass.

 

Fort Tejón State Historic Park (Exit 210) (7 miles south of the Rest Area on Interstate 5)

On August 10th, 1854, Lieutenant Colonel E.F. Beale established this fort in the wilderness as protection for travelers over the mountain trail.  It also served as an administrative post for regulating affairs of the surrounding Indians.  Ten years after its establishment, on September 11th, 1864, it officially expired. 

In 1858, a strange procession wound into the clearing of Fort Tejón, a camel train imported from the Middle East in an attempt to provide the Army with transportation in the deserts of the Southwest.  A year later, part of the train returned.  The camels were of little use, since on long marches they foundered because their tenderfeet were not adapted to the rocky soil.  In 1864, all that remained in California were auctioned off at Benicia.  Some entered the circus, some packed freight, and some, turned loose, frightened the wits out of desert prospectors for many years.  Another event of 1858 was the arrival of the first stagecoach of the Butterfield Overland Mail, on its way to San Francisco. 

On the trunk of an oak tree, 200 feet north of the fort, a Bakersfield party on an outing late in the last century discovered, carved on the tree, the words: ‘Peter Lebeck, Killed by A X Bear, Octr. 17, 1837’.  Digging at the base of the tree, they disinterred the skeleton of Peter Lebecque, a young voyageur of the Hudson Bay Company.  On his way south, through this wild land with one or two companions, he had sighted and shot a grizzly as it stood beneath this tree.  Believing the animal dead and approaching to obtain the pelt, he was caught by the reviving animal, clawed, and crushed to death. 

 

Lebec (Exit 207) (3 miles south of Fort Tejon on Interstate 5)

In 1772, Don Pedro Fages, military commander of Alta (Upper) California, traveled through this gap in search of two deserters.  Descending through the canyon, Fages caught his deserters.  These were the first known explorers of the valley. 

 

Point of Interest:

Castaic Lake (Beartrap Road East)

Ever since an earthquake in 1924, this lake has been a mineral-laden puddle of alkaline water only a few feet deep.  There is a tale that white men drowned the inhabitants of a small Indian village in its waters, and years later the mineralized bodies of men, women, and children rose back to the surface.  The Indians had been suspected of murdering a cook and a boy at Fort Tejon. 

 

Gorman (Exit 202) (4.4 miles south of Lebec on Interstate 5)

Gorman was named for Private Gorman of Fort Tejon, who, on his discharge from service in 1864, was one of three soldiers to take up homesteads in this region. 

 

Side Trip to Ridge Route (Gorman Post Road East, California Highway 138 East)

Traveling east from this junction is Gorman Post Road, which connects with a portion of the original Ridge Route completed in 1910. 

Beginning of Ridge Route (5.4 miles east on Gorman Post Road, 4.4 miles east on CA 138 at Ridge Route Road)

The Ridge Route followed the course used by the early stagecoaches.  The route is twenty-nine miles in length, beginning at this junction and ending at Castaic.  A number of establishments were located in the forest along the road, including the National Forest Inn, Kelly's Half Way Inn, Tumble Inn, and Sandberg's Summit Hotel.  The split of the old Ridge Route and the Alternate at Castaic is now the intersection of Castaic Road and Neely Street, which dead-ends just shy of Ridge Route Road.  The first piece of Ridge Route Road out of Castaic has been rebuilt and realigned as recently as the late 1990s.

 

Points of Interest:

Sandberg Hotel (2.7 miles south of CA 138)

Sandberg's Summit Hotel, later Sandberg's Lodge, was located just north of Liebre Summit, the highest point (4233 feet) on the road, at 4170 feet above sea level.  The hotel was built in 1914, and thus served travelers from the opening of the road in 1915.  Built of logs, it was a high-class hotel.  The place, which had become a ceramics factory, burned down on April 29th, 1961 from a fire started by the new owner—who was converting it into a "camp-type operation" for underprivileged children--burning trash in the fireplace.  The lease from the U.S. Forest Service was canceled in 1963, and only portions of the foundation and a rock wall remain.  The name "Sandberg" is still used by the National Weather Service for an automated weather station a short distance to the north at Pine Canyon Road

Tumble Inn Campground (5.9 miles south of CA 138)

Tumble Inn (6.6 miles south of CA 138)

Later the Mountain View Lodge, this establishment closed when the Ridge Route Alternate opened in 1933. Steps and a retaining wall remain.

Halfway Inn (8.9 miles south of CA 138)

The Halfway Inn was roughly halfway between Los Angeles and Bakersfield—62 and 64 miles respectively.  Located on a small knoll with a single tree on the east side of the road, all that remains is remnants of the foundation

Reservoir Hill (11.2 miles south of CA 138)

The Reservoir Summit Café was a popular high-class restaurant on the east side of the road, closed in the late 1920s; the foundation remains. The summit was named after a now-dry reservoir, one of three probably built for the concrete used in paving the road.

National Forest Inn (16.2 miles south of CA 138)

One of the more popular places along the route, and composed of white clapboard buildings, it was described in a 1932 highway beautification pamphlet as "the sort of filling station that gets into a national forest and is no addition thereto". On February 14, 1932, a fire began in the garage, and took over a day to put out. Due to the construction of the Ridge Route Alternate, bypassing the site to the west, the inn was not rebuilt, and all that remains are concrete steps.

California Aqueduct (18.8 miles south of CA 138

Martins (22.2 miles south of CA 138)

Junction with Lake Hughes Road (28.3 miles south of CA 138)

 

From Gorman, Interstate 5 follows the Ridge Route’s replacement, the Grapevine Grade, which was completed in October of 1933.  An engineering achievement, it cut 9.6 miles from the earlier corkscrew road. 

 

Castaic (Exit 176) (26.5 miles south of Gorman on Interstate 5)

Castaic stands where the fork existed between U.S. Highway 99 and the earlier Ridge Route.

 

Castaic Junction (Exit 172) (4 miles south of Castaic on Interstate 5)

The travel route departs from Interstate 5 here, following the old highway, appropriately named The Old Road, as a frontage road west of the current expressway. 

 

Point of Interest:

Rancho San Francisco (The Old Road and Henry Mayo Drive)

Approximately one-half mile south of the point was the adobe headquarters of Rancho San Francisco, originally built about 1804 as a granary of Mission San Fernando.  The rancho was granted to Antonio de Valle in 1839.  Here, in January 1850, William Lewis Manly and John Rogers obtained supplies and animals to rescue their comrades in a California-bound gold-seeking emigrant party that was stranded and starving in Death Valley, some 250 miles to the northeast.

 

Santa Clara River (San Francisquito Canyon) (1.7 miles south of Castaic Junction on The Old Road)

The sleepy trickle of water that runs through the canyon once went on one brief and murderous rampage.  On the night of March 13th, 1928, the St. Francis Dam far up the San Francisquito Canyon broke without warning.  Down the canyon roared billions of gallons of Los Angeles’ water supply, crushing houses and drowning 600 persons.  The rushing mass of water destroyed ten bridges, several miles of highway, part of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, one power plant, several hundred homes, and more than 10,000 acres of crops. 

 

Side Trip to St. Francis Dam Site (Rye Canyon Road North, San Francisquito Canyon Road North)

St. Francis Dam Site (4 miles north on Rye Canyon Road/Copper Hill Drive, 5.5 miles north on San Francisquito Canyon Road North)

The 185-foot concrete St. Francis Dam, part of the Los Angeles aqueduct system, stood a mile and a half north of this spot. On March 12th, 1928, just before midnight, it collapsed and sent over twelve billion gallons of water roaring down the valley of the Santa Clara River.

 

Junction with Pico Canyon Road (3.5 miles south of the Santa Clara River on The Old Road)

As early as 1835, vaqueros found cattle from the San Fernando Mission bogged down in beds of pitch here.  In 1875, a well drilled by manpower to a depth of 30 feet brought to the surface oil which has subsequently been pumped to the Newhall Refinery mentioned below. 

 

Side Trip to Well No. 4 (Pico Canyon Road West)

Mentryville (2.8 miles west on Pico Canyon Road)

This community was named after pioneer oil developer Charles Alexander Mentry, who in 1876 drilled the first successful oil well in California.  His restored home and barn and Felton School remain here (27201 W. Pico Canyon Road) where the Star Oil Company, one of the predecessors of Standard Oil of California, was born.

Well No. 4 (3.3 miles west on Pico Canyon Road)

On this site stands CSO-4 (Pico No. 4), California's first commercially productive well.  It was spudded in early 1876 under direction of Demetrious G. Scofield who later became the first president of Standard Oil Company of California, and was completed at a depth of 300 feet on September 26th, 1876, for an initial flow of 30 barrels of oil a day.  Later that year, after the well was deepened to 600 feet with what was perhaps the first steam rig employed in oil well drilling in California, it produced at a rate of 150 barrels a day—it is still producing today.  The success of this well prompted formation of the Pacific Coast Oil Company, a predecessor of Standard Oil Company of California, and led to the construction of the state's first refinery nearby.  It was not only the discovery well of the Newhall Field, but was a powerful stimulus to the subsequent development of the California petroleum industry.
 

Side Trip to Newhall (Pico Canyon Road/Lyons Avenue East)

Newhall (2.5 miles east on Pico Canyon Road/Lyons Avenue)

 

Point of Interest:

Pioneer Oil Refinery (238 Pine Street)

In 1875 the Star Oil Company, one of the predecessors of the Standard Oil Company of California, drilled its first Pico Canyon well, which yielded about one hundred barrels per day. The discovery resulted in the erection of the first commercial oil refinery in California the following year.

 

Junction with Sierra Highway (9 miles south of Santa Clara River on The Old Road)

From this point, the travel route follows San Fernando Road, or sometimes called San Fernando Boulevard, through the San Fernando Valley. 

 

Point of Interest:

Beale’s Cut Stagecoach Pass (Sierra Highway and Clampitt Road, 1.2 miles north on Sierra Highway)

Beale's Cut is the only physical and cultural feature of its kind in the entire Los Angeles Basin. At the time of its construction in 1862, the actual creation and maintenance of the Cut was considered a significant technological and physical feat consisting of breaching the former impassable geographic barrier of the San Gabriel and Santa Susana Mountain ranges.  General Edward F. Beale is attributed with the construction of a toll road across the mountains.  Beale's Cut was also used as a favorite film-making location by pioneer film maker, David Wark Griffith, and others.

 

Side Trip to Placerita Canyon State Park (Sierra Highway North, Placerita Canyon Road East)

Lyons Station Stagecoach Stop (3 miles north on Sierra Highway at San Fernando Road)

This site was the location of a combination store, post office, telegraph office, tavern, and stage depot accommodating travelers during the Kern River gold rush in the early 1850’s. A regular stop for Butterfield and other early California stage lines, it was purchased by Sanford and Cyrus Lyons in 1855, and by 1868 at least twenty families lived here. Eternal Valley Memorial Park has called their final resting place 'The Garden of the Pioneers.'

Placerita Canyon State Park (4 miles north on Sierra Highway, 3 miles east on Placerita Canyon Road)

Francisco López made California's first authenticated gold discovery here on March 9th, 1842. While gathering wild onions near an oak tree in Placerita Canyon, he found gold particles clinging to the roots of the bulbs. The San Fernando placers and nearby San Feliciano Canyon were worked by Sonoran miners using panning, sluicing and dry washing methods. Lopez's find predated James Marshall strike at Sutter's Mill by six years.

 

Junction with Balboa Boulevard (1 mile south of Sierra Highway on San Fernando Road)

 

Point of Interest:

The Cascades (0.1 mile north of the intersection of Foothill Boulevard and Balboa Boulevard, east side of Interstate 5)

This is the terminus of the Los Angeles-Owens River Aqueduct, which brings water 338 miles from the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada to the City of Los Angeles.  Begun in 1905, the great aqueduct was completed November 5th, 1913.  The Mono Craters Tunnel project, completed in 1940, extended the system 27 miles to its present northernmost intake near Tioga Pass.


San Fernando (4.3 miles south of Balboa Boulevard on San Fernando Road at San Fernando Mission Boulevard)

 

Point of Interest:

Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana (15000 San Fernando Mission Boulevard)

The Franciscans’ seventeenth mission in order of time, this institution was established on September 8th, 1797, by Fathers Fermin Lasuen and Francisco Dumetz on a site selected primarily for its natural advantages.  By December of 1806, the first chapel was completed.  Before secularization took place in 1835, Mission San Fernando had become one of the most prosperous in California. 

Brand Park (15174 San Fernando Mission Boulevard)

Brand Park, also called Memory Garden, was given to the city for a park November 4th, 1920. It is a part of the original land grant of Mission San Fernando de Rey de España, and the colorful and picturesque atmosphere of the early California missions is preserved in Memory Garden.

Romulo Pico Adobe (Ranchito Romulo) (10940 N. Sepulveda Boulevard)

The oldest portion of the adobe was built about 1834 by ex-mission Indians. It was enlarged by Eulogio de Celís in 1846, and an upper story added by Rómulo Pico in 1874. The house was restored by Mr. and Mrs. M. R. Harrington in 1930.

Griffith Ranch (12685 Foothill Boulevard at Vaughn Street)

Originally part of the San Fernando Mission lands, this ranch was purchased by David Wark Griffith, revered pioneer of silent motion pictures, in 1912. It provided the locale for many western thrillers, including Custer's Last Stand, and was the inspiration for the immortal production, Birth of a Nation. In 1948 it was acquired by Fritz B. Burns, who has perpetuated the Griffith name in memory of the great film pioneer.
 

Burbank (10 miles south of San Fernando on San Fernando Road)

San Fernando Road becomes San Fernando Boulevard in Burbank.  To continue south on San Fernando Boulevard from Burbank, the route passes around the city’s central plaza. 

This city was built on land purchased from the immense Rancho la Providencia for 37 ½ cents an acre.  In 1887, during a Los Angeles real estate boom, the next purchaser, Dr. David Burbank, gave his name to the small ranch settlement. 

 

Side Trip to North Hollywood (Burbank Boulevard West)

North Hollywood (4 miles west on Burbank Boulevard)

 

Point of Interest:

Campo De Cahuenga (3919 Lankershim Boulevard)

'Here was made the Treaty of Cahuenga by General Andrés Pico, commanding forces for Mexico, and Lieutenant-Colonel J. C. Frémont, U.S. Army, for the United States.  By this treaty, agreed upon January 13th, 1847, the United States acquired California—finally secured to us by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, made February 2nd, 1848.'  This description was written February 9th, 1898 by Mrs. Jessie Benton Frémont.
 

Glendale (3.5 miles south of Burbank on San Fernando Boulevard at Broadway)

The site of Glendale is a part of the former Rancho San Rafael, the first Spanish land grant in California (1784).  Sharp Yankee traders, who invaded the region following annexation by the United States, deviously secured possession of most of the rancho.  The town site was plotted in 1886 and 1887.  The town languished until 1902.  Its reawakening brought the Pacific Electric Railroad from Los Angeles. 

 

Point of Interest:

Casa Adobe de San Rafael (1340 Dorothy Drive)

This building was constructed between 1864 and 1872 by the one-time sheriff of Los Angeles County, Tomas Sanchez.  Sanchez’ wife, Maria Sepulveda, inherited part of the vast Rancho San Rafael.  Married at the age of 13, she bore 21 children in this house.  La Casa de Catalina Verdugo was the last of five adobes built on Rancho San Rafael.  Across the road is a huge oak beneath which General Andres Pico made his last camp before surrendering to General John C. Fremont on January 13th, 1847. 

 

Junction with Pasadena Avenue (6 miles south of Glendale on San Fernando Road)

The travel route turns onto Pasadena Avenue west to Broadway at this intersection.

 

Junction with Broadway (0.2 mile west of Avenue 19 on Pasadena Avenue)

Broadway is the travel route into Los Angeles. 

 

Los Angeles (1.4 miles southwest of Pasadena Avenue on Broadway at Cesar Chavez Avenue)

Founded late in the 18th century by the Spanish, Los Angeles is one of the oldest cities on the West Coast and, because of its meteoric expansion, also one of its youngest. In 1781, Spanish Governor Felipe de Neve and the Fathers of the San Gabriel Mission founded the city. They christened the new settlement "El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora, la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula," which is quite a mouthful in comparison with the current "L.A." The new pueblo grew slowly, although surrounding lands were quickly distributed in great blocks to missions and a few favored individuals. Yankee traders began to filter in during the early 1800's, and their economic penetration continued on an increasing scale, from the Mexican revolution to the American annexation. Secularization of the missions in 1835 resulted in the division of their vast land holdings. This probably stimulated the city's growth. During the War with Mexico, the "Californians" put up stiff resistance to American forces, capturing an American garrison in the city and driving off an attacking force of U.S. troops. It was not until several bloody battles had been fought that the American flag would permanently fly over the pueblo.

Like most pioneer towns of the West, Los Angeles, in the era following the War with Mexico, developed a reputation as a "wide open" city, where gambling, prostitution, and trigger vindication of private rights generally prevailed. Indian workers, coming in from the vineyards over the weekends, were victims rather than instigators of lawlessness. Grog shops in San Gabriel, which they frequented, did smashing business. "By four o'clock on Sunday afternoon, L.A. streets would be crowded with a mass of drunken Indians, yelling and fighting . . ." Three or four revelers were killed each week. Finally, the Indians would be herded by the marshal into a compound to sleep off their spree. Then they were sold for another week, into peonage, and their surplus earnings would be paid once more on the weekend, in aguardiente. The Chinese were also victims of local persecution and violence, culminating on October 24th, 1871, in one of the worst race riots in American history. Nineteen Orientals were lynched and Chinese shops and homes were thoroughly looted. This appears to have been the last actual lynching in the city.

The coming of the railroads in the 1870's and 1880's precipitated Los Angeles' first great boom. As a result of a rate war, the Santa Fe Railroad reduced its passenger fares from Missouri to $1.00. Terrific land speculation followed, which ended in disaster in 1888, when land values nosedived and lots that had sold for thousands reverted once more to desert sage brush. Said one ruined speculator: "I had half a million dollars wiped out and, what is worse, $500 of it was cash." Other minor booms succeeded. Oil was discovered and the city sprouted derricks even in residential districts. Derricks had to be excluded from the grounds of public buildings by ordinance.

 

Points of Interest:

Los Angeles Times Building (202 W. 1st Street)

The tower, topped by an eagle, survived a bomb explosion in the old building in 1910.

Plaza (N. Main Street)

A Statue of Felipe de Neve, the city's founder, stands in this plaza.  A part of the original pueblo lands of El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula founded in 1781 under the Spanish Laws of the Indies during the reign of King Carlos III, the plaza is located close to the site of the original plaza.  It was the center of the settlement founded by Governor Felipe de Neve.  When the Plaza Church was completed in 1822, this site was reserved as a public plaza.  It was landscaped in 1871 and has served since that date as a public park.

Olvera Street

Known as El Paseo de Los Angeles, this street is named for Don Agustin Olvera, who fought against Fremont.

La Zanja Madre (35 Olvera Street)

A red brick strip marks the location of this viaduct, built in 1782, which carried water from the Los Angeles River to the city.

Elysian Park (N. Broadway at the Los Angeles River)

At the main entrance is Fremont Gate, which commemorates John C. Fremont, explorer and conqueror of California.

Portolá Trail Campsite (Elysian Park, N. Broadway and Elysian Park Drive)

Spanish colonization of California began in 1769 with the expedition of Don Gaspar de Portolá from Mexico. With Captain Don Fernando Rivera v Moncada, Lieutenant Don Pedro Fages, Sgt. José Francisco Ortega, and Fathers Juan Crespí and Francisco Gómez, he and his party camped near this spot on August 2nd, 1769, en route to Monterey.

Griffith Park (Griffith Park and Riverside Drive)

Originally part of the Rancho Los Feliz, this land's last owner was Colonel Griffith T. Griffith.

Hancock Park-La Brea Tar Pits (Wilshire Blvd, between W. 6th Street, Curzon Avenue, and

Ogden Drive)

The bones of thousands of prehistoric animals that had been entrapped during the Ice Age in pools of tar that bubbled from beneath the ground were exhumed from this site. First historic reference to the pools, part of the 1840 Rancho La Brea land grant, was recorded by Gaspar de Portolá in 1769—first scientific excavations were made by the University of California in 1906. The site was presented to the County of Los Angeles in 1916 by Captain G. Allan Hancock to be developed as a scientific monument.

Figueroa Adobe 1842 (3403 S. Figueroa Street)

This structure was built by Ramon Figueroa, a brother of the Mexican Governor.

Ennis House (2655 Glendower Avenue)

This house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1924 for Charles and Mabel Ennis. It is one of four textile block houses registered as Landmark No. 1011.
Freeman House (1962 Glencoe Way)

The Samuel and Harriet Freeman House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1924, is one of four residences that were designed to be affordable and modular constructed using the cheap building material of concrete. These houses were constructed from a textile block system of handmade concrete tiles held in a matrix of steel bars, anchored and protected by a concrete mixture, and stacked without grout.

Nuestra Senora La Reina de Los Angeles (535 N. Main Street near Cesar Chavez Avenue)

La Iglesia de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles-the Church of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels-was dedicated on December 8th, 1822 during California's Mexican era.  Originally known as La Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles, the church was the only Catholic Church for the pueblo. Today it primarily serves the Hispanic population of Los Angeles.
Avila Adobe (El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, Olvera Street)

This adobe house was built in 1818 by Don Francisco Avila, alcalde (mayor) of Los Angeles in 1810.  Used as Commodore Robert Stockton's headquarters in 1847, it was repaired by private subscription in 1929 and 1930 when Olvera Street was opened as a Mexican marketplace.  It is the oldest existing house in Los Angeles.

Pico House (El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, Main Street)

Pío Pico constructed the Pico House in 1869-70. The first three-story hotel built in Los Angeles, it had about eighty rooms, large windows, a small interior court, and a grand staircase.

Merced Theatre (El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, 420 Main Street)

The Merced Theatre, erected in 1870 on North Main Street next to the Pico House, was the first building built expressly for theatrical purposes in Los Angeles. It was built by William Abbot, a cabinetmaker, and named in honor of his wife Merced Garcia.

Site of Lugo Adobe (El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, Los Angeles Street and Alameda Street)

The Lugo Adobe, said to have been built in the 1840’s by Don Vicente Lugo, was one of the very few two-story houses in the pueblo of Los Angeles.  In 1867, Lugo donated this house on the Plaza to St. Vincent's School (forerunner of Loyola University).  From the 1880’s until it was razed in 1951, the building was occupied by the Chinese.

Serra Springs (11800 Texas Avenue)

The Portolá Expedition of 1769 encamped at this spring, and it is reported that in 1770 Father Serra said Mass here to the Indians of this area.  This spring was also the former water supply of the town of Santa Monica.  The site is now the campus of the University High School.

Lummis Home (200 E. Avenue 43 at Pasadena Freeway)

This building was constructed by Charles F. Lummis (1859-1928), author, editor, poet, athlete, librarian, historian, archeologist, etc. He selected this site in 1895 chiefly because of a mammoth, ancient sycamore (El Alisal) which has since died and been replaced by four saplings.

Original Building of the University of Southern California (Widney Hall Alumni House, between Hoover Boulevard and University Avenue)

Dedicated on September 4th, 1880, this original building of the University of Southern California has been continuously in use for educational purposes since October 6th, 1880, when its doors were first opened to students by the university's first president, Marion McKinley Bovard.

Bella Union Hotel Site (Fletcher Bowron Square, 300 Block of N. Main Street)

Near this spot stood the Bella Union Hotel, long a social and political center. Here, on October 7, 1858, the first Butterfield Overland Mail stage from the east arrived 21 days after leaving St. Louis. Warren Hall was the driver, and Waterman Ormsby, a reporter, the only through passenger.

Old Plaza Firehouse (El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, 501 N. Los Angeles Street)

The plaque is dedicated to the firemen of the Los Angeles Fire Department-past, present, and future-who, by their courage and faithful devotion to duty, have protected the lives and property of the citizens of Los Angeles from the ravages of fire since 1871. This was the first building constructed as a fire station in Los Angeles.  Built in 1884, it served as a firehouse until 1897. Afterwards, it was used for various purposes until restored in 1960 and opened as a museum of fire-fighting equipment of the late 19th century.

Mirror Building (Site of Butterfield Overland Stage Station) (145 S. Spring Street)

The Butterfield Overland Mail Company took an option on this piece of property in August of 1858 and acquired it on December 7th, 1859.  A large brick building containing offices and living quarters, with shops and stables in the rear, was completed in 1860.  With the exception of the station at El Paso, Texas, this was the largest and best equipped station on the entire route.

Site of the Los Angeles Star (Fletcher Bowron Square, 300 Block of N. Main Street)

Southern California's first newspaper, The Los Angeles Star, was founded in this block on May 17th, 1851 and for many years exerted a major influence upon this part of the state. Suspended temporarily from 1864 to 1868, it continued later as an effective voice of the people until its final termination date in 1879.

First Jewish Site in Los Angeles (Chavez Ravine, 800 W. Lilac Terrace near Lookout Drive)

The Hebrew Benevolent Society of Los Angeles (1854), first charitable organization in the city, acquired this site from the city council by deed of April 9, 1855. This purchase of a sacred burial ground represented the first organized community effort by the pioneer Jewish settlers.

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (3911 S. Figueroa Street)

This stadium was originally completed in 1923. It was partially redesigned and enlarged for the 1932 Olympic Games. Both designs were by architects John and Donald B. Parkinson. The coliseum has witnessed many important sports, political, and historical events. When the games of the XXIII Olympiad began here on July 28th, 1984, the coliseum became the first stadium in the world to host the Olympic Games twice.

Side Trip to Venice (Sunset Boulevard West, Santa Monica Boulevard West, California Highway 1 South)

Hollywood (3 miles west on Sunset Boulevard, 4 miles west on Santa Monica Boulevard)

 

Points of Interest:

Plummer Park (Santa Monica Boulevard)

Known as the 'Oldest House in Hollywood,' this house was built in the 1870’s by Eugene Raphael Plummer.

Cecil B. DeMille Studio Barn (2100 N. Highland Avenue)

Cecil B. DeMille rented half of this structure, at that time used as a barn, as the studio in which was made the first feature-length motion picture in Hollywood, The Squaw Man, in 1913.  Associated with Mr. DeMille in making The Squaw Man were Samuel Goldwyn and Jesse Lasky, Sr.  Originally located at the corner of Selma and Vine Streets, in 1927 the barn was transferred to Paramount Studios.
 

Beverly Hills (3 miles west on Sunset Boulevard, 8 miles west on Santa Monica Boulevard)

An independent city laid out in 1907, Beverly Hills is almost surrounded by Los Angeles.

 

Points of Interest:

Portolá Trail Campsite (300 S block of La Cienega Boulevard)

The expedition of Don Gaspar de Portolá from Mexico passed this way en route to Monterey to begin the Spanish colonization of California.  With Captain Don Fernando Rivera y Moncada, Lieutenant Don Pedro Fages, Sergeant José Francisco Ortega, and Fathers Juan Crespí and Francisco Gómez, Portolá and his party camped near this spot on August 3rd, 1769.

Harold Lloyd Estate (1740 Green Acres Place)

Greenacres, one of the greatest estates of Hollywood's Golden Era, was built in 1929 for the internationally known silent screen comedian, Harold Lloyd.  With its formal gardens, it is one of the finest Mediterranean/Italian Renaissance style residential complexes remaining in the state.  The 44-room house was designed by Sumner Spaulding and the gardens planned by A. E. Hansen. The estate is patterned after the Villa Gamberaia near Florence, Italy.
 

Venice (3 miles west on Sunset Blvd, 15 miles west on Santa Monica Blvd, 3.5 miles south on

CA 1)

Venice was originally crisscrossed by canals and promoted as the "new" Venice, a Coney Island-type of amusement resort.

 

Side Trip to San Pedro and Long Beach (Interstate 110 South)

Interstate 110 once had the designation as U.S. Highway 6, which entered California north of Bishop and ended in Long Beach.  U.S. Highway 6 currently ends at Bishop.  California Highway 1 replaced Alternate U.S. Highway 101. 

Compton (9 miles south on Interstate 110, 3.5 miles east on Rosecrans Avenue)

 

Point of Interest:

Dominguez Ranchhouse (18127 S. Alameda Avenue)

The central portion of the ranchhouse was built in 1826 by Manuel Domínguez. Rancho San Pedro, ten square leagues granted provisionally by Governor Fages to Juan José Domínguez in 1784, was regranted by Governor Solá to Cristobal Domínguez in 1822.  In the battle of Domínguez Ranch, fought here October 8th and 9th, 1846, Californians led by José Antonio Carrillo repelled United States forces under Captain William Mervine, U.S. Navy, in an attempt to recapture the Pueblo of Los Angeles.

 

Manhattan Beach (9 miles south on Interstate 110, 6.5 miles west on Rosecrans Avenue)

 

Point of Interest:

Manhattan Beach State Pier (West end of Manhattan Beach Boulevard)

Designed by City Engineer A.L. Harris, this pier was constructed by the City of Manhattan Beach during the years 1917 to 1920. The roundhouse building was added a year later. Harris' innovative design featured a rounded end to the pier, which helped it withstand the pounding of the Pacific.  Although the roundhouse was reconstructed in 1989, the pier itself survives as Southern California's oldest remaining example of early reinforced concrete pier construction.

 

Wilmington (17 miles south on Interstate 110, 1.5 miles east on CA 1)

 

Points of Interest:

Banning Park (401 East M Street at Banning Place)

General Phineas Banning, State Senator and pioneer in the development of transportation in Southern California, built this house in the 1850s, soon after founding the town of Wilmington. He and his family lived here until his death in 1885. In 1927 the property was deeded to the city.

Drum Barracks (1053 Cary Street at Opp Street)

Established in 1862, Drum Barracks became the United States military headquarters for Southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico.  It was a garrison and base for supplies, and a terminus for camel pack trains operated by the Army until 1863.  Abandoned in 1866, the site remains a landmark of the American Civil War in California.
 

Long Beach (17 miles south on Interstate 110, 4.5 miles east on CA 1)

Long Beach, lying on bluffs overlooking the bay, attracted its first home owners in the 1880's. With the discovery of oil in 1921 at Signal Hill, Long Beach developed a considerable boom. In 1933, an earthquake demolished a large part of the city, which was quickly rebuilt.

 

Points of Interest:

Long Beach Marine Stadium (Appian Way and Nietro Street)

Created in 1932 for the rowing events of the X Olympiad, the Stadium was the first manmade rowing course in the United States.  Its width allowed four teams to race abreast, eliminating additional heats and allowing oarsmen to enter the finals at the peak of their form.  Later it served as the venue for the 1968 and 1976 United States men's Olympic rowing trials and the 1984 United States women's Olympic rowing trials.  The site remains an important training and competitive center for rowers, including our National and Olympic teams.

Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site (4600 Virginia Road)

The 27,000-acre Rancho was once part of an 18th-century Spanish land grant to soldier Manuel Nieto. The Monterey-style adobe was constructed in 1844 and served the Temple and Bixby families as headquarters for large-scale cattle and sheep ranching operations in the 19th century.  In the 1880’s, the land was subdivided for farming and city development.
 

San Pedro (21 miles south on Interstate 110)

Richard Henry Dana described his visit here in 1835 in his "Two Years Before the Mast." Originally, San Pedro was an open roadstead. The present harbor was developed at a cost of more than $60,000,000. There was a great rivalry between San Pedro and Santa Monica as to which would become Los Angeles' port. The Southern Pacific Railroad favored Santa Monica. Los Angeles favored San Pedro. Needless to say, Los Angeles won.

 

Points of Interest:

Liberty Hill Site (5th Street and Harbor Boulevard)

In 1923 the Marine Transport Workers Industrial Union 510, a branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), called a strike that immobilized 90 ships here in San Pedro.  The union protested low wages, bad working conditions, and the imprisonment of union activists under California's Criminal Syndicalism Law.  Denied access to public property, strikers and their supporters rallied here at this site they called "Liberty Hill."  Writer Upton Sinclair was arrested for reading from the Bill of Rights to a large gathering.  The strike failed but laid a foundation for success in the 1930’s.  The Syndicalism Law was ruled unconstitutional in 1968.

Site of Home of Diego Sepulveda (700 block of Channel Street)

This adobe home, built by Diego Sepúlveda in the 1850s, was the first two-story Monterey-type adobe built in Southern California.

Timms’ Point and Landing (Sampson Way at Southern Pacific Slip)

In 1852, German immigrant Augustus W. Timms obtained Sepúlveda's Landing on the mudflats near here.  He built a wharf, added a warehouse, corral and other facilities to service shipping and the running of stages to Los Angeles.  Timms was a pioneer in the development of the harbor and for over fifty years this area was known as Timms Point.

Casa de San Pedro (Fort MacArthur, 2400 Pacific Avenue)

The first known commercial structure on the shore of San Pedro Bay was built here in 1823 by the trading firm of McCulloch & Hartnell to store cattle hides from the San Gabriel and San Fernando missions.  Richard Henry Dana described this adobe hide house in Two Years Before the Mast.  Thus began the development of the Port of Los Angeles.

 

Side Trip to Anaheim (Brea Canyon Road South, California Highway 57 South, Lincoln Avenue West)

Anaheim (3 miles south on Brea Canyon Road, 10 miles south on CA 57, 2 miles west on Lincoln Avenue)

Anaheim was founded by Germans in 1857 as an experiment in communal living.

 

Side Trip to Pasadena (California Highway 110 North)

Pasadena (10 miles north on California Highway 110)

 

Point of Interest:

Flores Adobe 1839 (Garfield Avenue and Foothill Street)

This home was built for Dona Eulalia Perez de Guillen, the original owner of the Rancho San Pasqual, part of which was the site of Pasadena.

Christmas Tree Lane (Santa Rosa Avenue, between Woodbuty Avenue and Altadena Drive)

The 135 Deodar Cedar trees were planted in 1885 by the Woodbury Family, the founders of Altadena.  First organized by F.C. Nash in 1920, the 'Mile of Christmas Trees' has been strung with 10,000 lights each holiday season through the efforts of volunteers and the Christmas Tree Lane Association.  It is the oldest large-scale Christmas lighting spectacle in Southern California.

Pasadena Playhouse (39 El Molino Avenue)

Founded in 1917 by Gilmor Brown, the Pasadena Playhouse was designed by architect Elmer Grey and the cornerstone laid May 31, 1924. In 1928 the College of Theatre Arts was incorporated with the Pasadena Playhouse Association as a non-profit institution. In 1937, the Playhouse received the honorary title 'State Theatre of California' from the California Legislature.
 

Side Trip to Whittier (6th Street/Whittier Boulevard East)

Whittier (13 miles east of Alameda Street on 6th Street/Whittier Boulevard)

 

Point of Interest:

Casa de Governor Pio Pico (Pio Pico State Historic Park, 6003 Pioneer Boulevard)

Following the Mexican War, Pío Pico, last Mexican governor, acquired 9,000-acre Rancho Paso de Bartolo and built here an adobe home that was destroyed by the floods of 1883-1884. His second adobe casa, now known as Pío Pico Mansion, represents a compromise between Mexican and American cultures. While living here the ex-Governor was active in the development of American California.

Grave of George Caralambo (Greek George) (Founders’ Memorial Park, Broadway at Gregory Avenue)

This is the grave of 'Greek George,' a camel driver from Asia Minor who came to the United States with the second load of camels purchased by the War Department as an experiment to open a wagon road to Fort Tejón from Fort Defiance, New Mexico.  Because of the American Civil War, the experiment was abandoned.  'Greek George' became a naturalized citizen in 1867 under the name of George Allen.  He built an adobe home on Santa Monica Boulevard.
 

 

U.S. Highway 99 (Los Angeles to Mexico)

 

The travel route from Los Angeles follows Cesar Chavez Avenue east to Main Street, which it follows eastbound from the Plaza.

 

Junction with Mission Road (2 miles east of the Plaza on Main Street)

The street designation changes to Valley Boulevard at this junction.  The travel route continues east on Valley Boulevard.  This was the earlier route of U.S. Highways 60, 70, and 99 eastbound from Los Angeles. 

 

Junction with Ramona Street (6 miles east of Mission Road on Valley Boulevard)

 

Side Trip to San Gabriel (Ramona Street North)

San Gabriel (1.2 miles north on Ramona Street)

 

Points of Interest:

Mission de San Gabriel Arcangel (314 Mission Drive)

The mission was founded in 1771 by the order of Fray Junipero Serra. The present church was built between 1800 and 1806 and partly rebuilt after the earthquake of 1812.

Ortega-Vigare Adobe (616 S. Ramona Street)

Erected during mission days, 1792-1805, this is the second oldest adobe in this region. Originally 'L'-shaped, it is now only half its original size. In 1859, the adobe became the property of Don Jean Vigare and in the early 1860s, as San Gabriel's first bakery, it was separated from the mission's lime orchard by a high cactus wall.

Governor Stoneman Adobe, Los Robles (1912 Montrobles Place, San Marino)

This was the site of 'Los Robles,' the 400-acre estate of Governor George Stoneman. President Rutherford B. Hayes was entertained here in 1880. The first schoolhouse in the San Gabriel Valley, California's first tennis club, and the first municipal Christmas tree of San Marino were located here.
 

Junction with San Gabriel Boulevard (1 mile east of Ramona Street on Valley Boulevard)

 

Side Trip to Site of Mission Vieja (San Gabriel Boulevard South)

Site of Mission Vieja (4 miles south on San Gabriel Boulevard)

'Mission Vieja,' Old Mission, was the name given to the first buildings erected, and later abandoned, by the fathers for Mission San Gabriel Arcángel. The permanent buildings for the mission were located about five miles distant.

 

El Monte (3 miles east of San Gabriel Boulevard on Valley Boulevard)

El Monte, on the bank of the San Gabriel River, played a significant part in California's early pioneer history.  It was first an encampment on the Old Spanish Trail, an extension of the trail from Missouri to Santa Fe.  By the 1850’s, some began to call El Monte the 'End of the Santa Fe Trail.'  Early in that decade a permanent settlement was established by immigrants from Texas, the first settlement in Southern California founded by citizens of the United States.
 

Side Trip to Arcadia (Santa Anita Avenue North)

Arcadia (4.8 miles north on Santa Anita Avenue)

 

Points of Interest:

E. J. Baldwin’s Queen Anne Cottage (Arboretum, 301 N. Baldwin Avenue)

Designed by A. A. Bennett for entertaining, the cottage was constructed by Elias Jackson ('Lucky') Baldwin in 1881.  Since there was no kitchen, meals were served from the nearby adobe (built by Hugo Reid in 1839) where Baldwin actually lived.  The building was restored and dedicated May 18th, 1954 as part of Los Angeles State and County Arboretum.
Hugo Reid Adobe (Arboretum, 301 N. Baldwin Avenue)

Hugo Reid, a Scotsman, petitioned the government of Mexico to grant him Rancho Santa Anita. His claim strengthened by his marriage to Victoria, a native Indian of the San Gabriel Mission, he received the grant on April 16th, 1841.  Immediately upon filing his petition, Reid took possession of the land, started to farm and plant vineyards, and built the first house-the Hugo Reid Adobe—in 1839.  In 1875, E. J. Baldwin purchased the rancho and in 1879 added a wooden wing to the old adobe.

 

Bassett (3 miles east of El Monte on Valley Boulevard)

 

Point of Interest:

Workman Home and Family Cemetery (15415 E. Don Julian Road)

William Workman and John Rowland organized the first wagon train of permanent eastern settlers, which arrived in Southern California on November 5, 1841. Together they owned and developed the 48,790-acre La Puente Rancho. Workman began this adobe home in 1842 and remodeled it in 1872 to resemble a manor house in his native England. He also established 'El Campo Santo,' this region's earliest known private family cemetery, in 1850, the miniature Classic Grecian mausoleum was built in 1919 by grandson Walter P. Temple.

 

Spadra (13.5 miles east of Bassett on Valley Boulevard)

This community was named by William Rubottom for his native home in Arkansas, Spadra Bluffs.  Rubottom was the first Yankee settler in Pomona Valley.  He operated a tavern here. 
 

Junction with California Highway 71 (15 miles east of Bassett on Valley Boulevard)

Valley Boulevard changes its name to Holt Boulevard after this interchange. 

 

Pomona (2 miles east of CA 71 on Holt Boulevard at Garey Avenue)

Pomona is located on what was Rancho San Jose. It was named for the Roman goddess of fruit at its founding in 1875. The sheep of Mission San Gabriel, tended by Indian herdsmen, gazed here at the close of the eighteenth century, when Rancho San Jose was part of the mission’s holdings. In 1830, the rancho’s 2 square leagues were granted to Ygnacio Palomares and Ricardo Vejar, but there were few settlers here until after the rails of the Southern Pacific Railroad had been laid. The boom that attended the city’s inception was followed by a 2-year drought, which left nothing but a cluster of houses amid sheep ranges. Only in 1882, with the formation of the Pomona Land & Water Company, did steady growth begin.

 

Point of Interest:

Christian Oak (548 S. Kenoak Drive)

Under this tree, Father Zalvidea of the Mission de San Gabriel Arcangel said mass in 1837.

Palomares Adobe (1569 N. Park Avenue)

Completed about 1854 and restored in 1939, this was the family home of Don Ygnacio Palomares. Governor Juan B. Alvarado granted Rancho San Jose to Don Ygnacio and Don Ricardo Vejar in 1837.

Alvarado Adobe (1475 N. Park Avenue)

This was once the residence of Palomares’ close friend, Ygnacio Alvarado.

 

U.S. Highways 99 and 70 separated from U.S. Highway 60 at Pomona.  U.S. Highway 99 and 70 followed a more northerly route through Colton and Redlands, while U.S. Highway 60 turned southeast to pass through Riverside and Edgemont. 

 

Ontario (5.5 miles east of Pomona on Holt Boulevard at CA 83)

Founded by Canadians in 1882, Ontario was named for their home province. 

 

Point of Interest:

De Anza Park (S. Euclid Avenue and Phillips Street)

This is supposed to have been the campground of Juan Bautista de Anza on his first expedition into California. 

 

Side Trip to Yorba-Slaughter Adobe (California Highway 83 South, Pomona-Rincon Road West)

Yorba-Slaughter Adobe (9 miles south on CA 83, 17127 Pomona-Rincon Road)

This example of early California architecture was built in 1850-53 by Raimundo Yorba. Purchased in 1868 by Fenton Mercer Slaughter, it was preserved as a memorial to him by his daughter, Julia Slaughter Fuqua.

 

Side Trip to Rancho Cucamonga (California Highway 83 North, California Highway 66 East)

California Highway 66 is the replacement designation for what was once U.S. Highway 66, which traveled from Chicago to Los Angeles. 

Rancho Cucamonga (3 miles north on CA 83, 5 miles east on CA 66)

 

Point of Interest:

Site of Tapia Adobe (8916 Foothill Boulevard)

In 1839, Governor Juan Alvarado granted the 13,000-acre tract called Cucamonga to Tiburcio Tapia, an ex-soldier who was a prominent merchant and alcalde in Los Angeles.  A half-mile west of this marker Tapia, employing Indian laborers, immediately built an adobe house on a vantage point on Red Hill.  The large adobe was abandoned in 1858 when Tapia's heirs sold the rancho.  The adobe soon disintegrated into its native earth.  This marker is located on land which once was a part of Tapia's rancho.

Cucamonga Rancho Winery (8916 Foothill Boulevard)

Established by Tiburcio Tapia, to whom the Cucamonga Rancho was granted March 3rd, 1839, by Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado of Mexico.
 

Junction with Interstate 10 (3 miles east of Ontario on Holt Boulevard)

The travel route joins with Interstate 10 at this junction, following the path of U.S. Highway 99 and U.S. Highway 70 east to San Bernardino. 

East of this interchange is Guasti.  The small community bears the name of the Italian immigrant, Secundo Guasti, who in 1902 set out the first grapevines here in an almost desolate waste of sand. 

 

Colton (Exit 70A) (15 miles east of Holt Boulevard on Interstate 10)

Colton became a railroad center not far from the site of Rancho Jumuba, a Mission San Gabriel stock ranch established before 1819.  Jose Maria Lugo built a house in the vicinity in 1842, when he, his brothers, and Diego Sepulveda were granted the valley.  It was on Jumuba that Fort Benson was erected in the late 1850’s by Jerome Benson, who raised earthworks and loaded cannons with rocks to protect his land against seizure by the Mormons.  In 1875, Colton was a Southern Pacific Railroad terminus, but freight charges were so high that farmers of the region organized a mule line from San Pedro, threatening to put the railroad out of business unless the rates were lowered. 

Old U.S. Highway 395 connected with the original U.S. 99 and U.S. 70 here. 

 

Points of Interest:

Agua Mansa (W. Aqua Mansa Road and W. Allee Ranch Road)

Don Juan Bandini, owner of the Jurupa Rancho, donated parts of his rancho to a group of New Mexican colonists in 1845 on the understanding that they would aid in repelling Indian raids on his stock. The community was named Agua Mansa-Gentle Water-and was prosperous until 1862, when a great flood suddenly swept down the Santa Ana, carrying away the village of adobe buildings and covering the fields with sand and gravel. The village was rebuilt on higher ground, but never regained its former prosperity.

Fort Benson (10600 Hunts Lane)

This is the site of an adobe fortification erected in 1856 by the 'Independent' faction in a dispute with the Mormons over a land title. The fort was maintained for about a year. This also is the site of the Indian village of Jumuba, and Jedediah Smith camped here in January of 1827.

 

Junction with Interstate 215 (Exit 72) (2 miles east of Colton on Interstate 10)

 

Side Trip to San Bernardino (Interstate 215 North)

San Bernardino (3 miles north on Interstate 215 at the Rialto Avenue Exit)

This city was named by a party from the San Gabriel Mission, who entered the valley in May of 1810, on the feast day of San Bernardino of Sienna.  In 1851, a party of Mormons led by Captain Jefferson Hunt from Salt Lake City arrived here and bought the Rancho San Bernardino.  The Mormons remained dominant here until 1857, when Brigham Young, anxious to center his flock in Utah, issued a recall of the Mormon settlers. 

 

Points of Interest:

Site of Mormon Stockade (Courthouse, Arrowhead Avenue and Court Street)

On this site in 1839 was built the first house in San Bernardino, the home of José del Carmen Lugo, one of the grantees of the San Bernardino Rancho.  In 1851, a stockade of logs was built here as a protection against the Indians; in it more than a hundred families lived for over a year.

The Arrowhead (Wildwood Park, Waterman Avenue and 40th Street)

Located in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains directly above the City of San Bernardino, the arrowhead landmark can be seen for miles around.  This important landmark has for centuries been a symbol of the San Bernardino Valley to the Native Indians and then to the pioneers and settlers that followed.  It is believed to be a natural landmark.  The face of the arrowhead consists of light quartz, supporting a growth of short white sage.  This lighter vegetation shows in sharp contrast to the surrounding chaparral and greasewood.  Indians who inhabited the San Bernardino Valley believed that the arrowhead pointed the way to the hot mineral springs below, with healing qualities, and thus considered it holy ground.  Through the years, numerous forest fires have caused some erosion.  But the arrowhead landmark continues to preserve its uniqueness and remains a symbol of the 'pioneer spirit' of the San Bernardino Valley.
 

Junction with Redlands Boulevard (Exit 73A) (1.2 miles east of Interstate 215 on Interstate 10)

The travel route departs from Interstate 10 at this exit, accessing Redland Boulevard east from here. 

 

Redlands (6 miles east of Interstate 10 at Exit 73A on Redlands Boulevard)

 

Points of Interest:

University of Redlands (E. Colton Avenue and University Street)

This institution was founded in 1907 by the Southern California Baptist Convention. 

Kimberly Crest (1325 Prospect Drive)

Kimberly Crest, constructed in 1897, is an excellent example of Chateauesque architecture. Near the residence is a Chateauesque-style carriage house.  Terraced Italian gardens designed in 1908 stretch almost a thousand yards from the entrance of the residence down to the entrance of the grounds.
San Bernardino Asistencia (26940 Barton Road, east of Nevada Street)

This branch of San Gabriel Mission was constructed about 1830 on the San Bernardino Rancho. During the 1840’s, its buildings were used by José del Carmen Lugo as part of his rancho grant.  After its sale to the Mormons, it was occupied by Bishop Tenney in the 1850’s and by Dr. Benjamin Barton in the 1860’s.  Its restoration was completed in 1937 by the Works Progress Administration, assisted by the San Bernardino County Historical Society.
Guachama Rancheria (25894 Mission Road)

Guachama Rancheria, renamed San Bernardino on May 20th, 1810 by Francisco Dumetz, became the San Bernardino Rancho of the Mission San Gabriel in 1819.  The adobe administration building stood 70 yards north of this spot, an enramada served as the chapel, and a zanja was constructed to bring water from the mountains for irrigation.  Control by mission fathers ended in 1834.
A. K. Smiley Public Library (125 West Vine Street)

Albert K. Smiley, a leader of the city's library movement, donated this building and park to the citizens of Redlands in 1898.  Through his generosity, Redlands was given one of California's few privately funded libraries of that era.  In 1906, he also contributed a wing, built to blend with the original design for this outstanding Mission Revival library.

Smiley Heights (Cajon Street and Cypress Avenue)

Established by A.K. Smiley, this garden is now a public park. 
 

Junction with Interstate 10 (2 miles east of Redlands on Redlands Boulevard)

Interstate 10 overtakes the original roadbed of U.S. Highways 99 and 70 at this junction. 

 

Junction with Yucaipa Boulevard (Exit 83) (2 miles east of Redlands Boulevard on Interstate 10)

 

Side Trip to Yucaipa (Yucaipa Boulevard East)

Yucaipa (5 miles east on Yucaipa Boulevard)

Yucaipa Valley supported a large population of Serrano Indians. The fertile valley was watered by springs and creeks. The Indians called this area 'Yucaipat' which meant 'wet lands.' These Native Americans lived at this village site most of the year, with occasional excursions to the mountains to gather acorns and other food items during the harvesting season.
 

Junction with Colorado Street (Exit 85) (1.5 miles east of Yucaipa Boulevard on Interstate 10)

The travel route departs from Interstate 10 here, turning east for a short distance on Colorado Street to Calimesa Boulevard.

 

Point of Interest:

Yucaipa Rancheria and Adobe (0.6 miles west on Dunlap Boulevard, east on Kentucky Street, 32183 Kentucky Street)

Constructed in 1842 by Diego Sepúlveda, nephew of Antonio María Lugo, this is believed to be the oldest house in San Bernardino County.  The land, formerly controlled by San Gabriel Mission, was part of the Rancho San Bernardino granted to the Lugos in 1842.  The adobe's later owners included John Brown, Sr., James W. Waters, and the Dunlap family.   It was acquired by San Bernardino County in 1955.

 

Junction with Calimesa Boulevard (0.3 mile east of Interstate 10 on Colorado Street)

The travel route turns onto Calimesa Boulevard, following the earlier route of U.S. Highways 99 and 70 east through Calimesa and into the Cherry Valley. 

 

Junction with Cherry Valley Boulevard (5.3 miles east of Colorado Street on Calimesa Boulevard)

Chief Juan Antonio and his band of Cahuilla Indians helped white settlers in the San Bernardino area defend their property and livestock against outlaws during the 1840’s and 1850’s.  In late 1851, Juan Antonio, his warriors and their families, settled at nearby Saahatpa.  During the winter of 1862 and 1863, a smallpox epidemic swept through Southern California killing many Native Americans, including Juan Antonio.  Cahuilla tradition asserts that the U.S. Government sent Army blankets that were contaminated with smallpox.  After this disaster, Saahatpa was abandoned.
 

The travel route returns to Interstate 10 at this intersection (Exit 90).  U.S. Highways 99 and 70 reunited with U.S. Highway 60 (current California Highway 60) west of Beaumont. 

 

Beaumont (4.5 miles east of Cherry Valley Boulevard on Interstate 10)

Beaumont spreads over a plain at the summit of the San Gorgonio Pass. The region was opened to whites in 1853 by a herd of straying cattle. Fast in pursuit, Dr. I.W. Smith, a Mormon, followed the errant beeves from San Bernardino to their final stopping point, directly north of the town site. Smith at once began to pioneer in the region, beating off grizzlies and fleeing from Indians. The area became somewhat sophisticated by the addition of a stage station and later a hotel in 1884. Beaumont, called San Gorgonio from 1884 to 1887, did not grow with the customary California speed until a development company shifted the town site and publicized the regional potentialities for fruit-growing.

 

Side Trip to San Jacinto and Hemet (California Highway 79 South)

San Jacinto (12 miles south on CA 79)

San Jacinto occupies the site of Jusispah Village, one of the seven Indian rancherias of the San Jacinto Valley.  The town was founded by Procco Akimo, a Russian exiled from his native land during the Tsarist terrors of the 1870’s.

 

Point of Interest:

Soviet Transpolar Landing Site (Cottonwood Street and Sanderson Street, West of San Jacinto)

Three miles west of this site, on July 14th, 1937, three Soviet aviators completed a transpolar flight from Moscow in 62 hours, 17 minutes, establishing a new world's nonstop distance record of 6,305 miles. The huge single-engine aircraft, an Ant-25 Military Reconnaissance Monoplane, was shipped back to the Soviet Union and placed in a museum. Aircraft commander Mikhail Gromov, co-pilot Andrei Yumashev and navigator Sergei Danilin became generals in World War II.

 

Hemet (14.5 miles south on CA 79)

 

Points of Interest:

Ramona Bowl (Ramona Bowl, 27400 S. Girard Street)

Within this valley was laid part of the scene, and here resided a number of the characters portrayed in Helen Hunt Jackson's historical novel, Ramona, which depicted life and presented the status of the Indians on many great ranchos in early California beginning around the 1850’s.  The story, dramatized by the late Garnet Holme, was first presented on this site April 13th, 1923, becoming an annual event.
Site of Indian Village of Pochea (Ramona Bowl, 27400 S. Girard Street)

Pochea was one of a cluster of Indian villages forming the very large settlement of Pahsitnah, which extended along the ridge east and west of Ramona Bowl. Pahsitnah was thriving when the Spanish first passed by in 1774. A tragic story tells of the natives contracting smallpox from Europeans, a terrible epidemic spreading, and some survivors fleeing to the area of the present Soboba Reservation.

 

Banning (Exit 100) (5 miles east of Beaumont on Interstate 10)

This community was laid out in 1883 by Phineas Banning, a stagecoach operator. As late as the 1930’s, a camel frisked about the local neighborhood. Finally, making such a nuisance of itself, it was hunted down by a posse and shot. This was undoubtedly an aged survivor of the government caravans that crossed the desert prior to the American Civil War. For various reasons—the camels terrified horses, their feet were cut by stones, and the officers in charge hated the slow bad-tempered beasts—the experiment was closed. The participating animals remained a problem for many years afterward. Some wild camels were sighted in the desert as late as 1890.

 

Cabazon (Exit 106) (6.5 miles west of Banning on Interstate 10)

Cabazon is a Southern Pacific Railroad town. The name, a corruption of the Spanish word cabezon (‘big head’), was given by Spaniards. According to legend, a local Indian chief had a very large head.

 

From Cabazon, Interstate 10 rises to pass through the low San Gorgonio Pass, between the peaks of San Jacinto and San Gorgonio.  Indians had used the pass for their winter trek to lower levels, but hostile tribes at the top and bottom did much to discourage travel by whites.  In 1862, the stage route to Ehrenberg, Arizona, started over the grade.  It later shifted its terminus to Yuma and selected another route that took stages through more miles of mountainous territory before dropping them to the hot floor of the desert.  Passengers had protested at the frequency with which they had to clamber out and help the stages out of the sand.  The Southern Pacific laid its tracks through the pass in 1875, after first winning the friendliness of the Cahuilla Indians by promising free rides.

Through the San Gorgonio Pass, the winds blow ceaselessly from the ocean to the desert.  When east winds occur, Los Angeles wilts under blistering “Santa Anas,” otherwise known as dry wind storms. These reversals usually occur on the rare occasions when rain strikes the desert.  Foggy days on the coast intensify the rush of air toward the east, causing the harsh desert winds of April and May.

 

Whitewater (Exit 111) (5.2 miles east of Cabazon on Interstate 10)

This was a service stop under a grove of cottonwoods on the original highway.

 

Junction with California Highway 111-Palm Springs Highway (Exit 111) (1 mile east of Whitewater on Interstate 10)

 

Side Trip to Palm Springs (California Highway 111 South)

Palm Springs (11 miles east on California Highway 111)

This region was once the domain of the Cahuilla Indians. First known as Agua Caliente

(‘Hot Water’), so named by Spanish explorer De Anza in 1774 because of its hot springs, the settlement dates from 1876 when the Southern Pacific Railroad first laid down its tracks through the Coachella Valley. Until 1913, Palm Springs remained a sleepy little hamlet with a single store and a roadside inn on a poor desert road. A nearby gold mine, the Virginia Dale, offered the only attraction to people in search of a living, and the warm dry climate made it an excellent but little known health resort. Early in the 1930’s, Hollywood discovered the climatic and topographical charm of the little village resting on a shelf of the San Jacinto Mountains. A new highway was cut through, Los Angeles and New York promoters got to work, and the modern town sprang up almost with the speed of a movie set.

 

Point of Interest:

Agua Caliente Indian Reservation (West of Palm Springs)

The town’s sulphur springs are located here. The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is composed of several small groups living in the area at the time the Agua Caliente Reservation was established. Recently, archaeological research has proven that Indians occupied the Tahquitz alluvial fan about 350 to 500 years ago. Distinct areas of living quarters and food preparation are apparent. This, and the area surrounding the nearby hot springs, was the home of the Kawasic Band. The Painakic Band lived in Andreas and Murray Canyons; the Wanikik clan lived in Snowcreek and Whitewater Canyon. Palm Canyon was occupied by still another clan, but either through disease, intermarriage or other unknown reason, its identity has been lost. The first contact with "civilization" is unknown, but the first recorded history of the area is contained in Brevet Captain Jose Romero's diary written by his diarist and assistant, Commander Lieutenant Jose Maria Estudillo. I n 1822, the Mexican government instituted a series of inquiries seeking an overland route from Sonora to California. Lt. Estudillo noted the day before the expedition's arrival in Palm Springs, December 28th, 1823, that there would be no water or pasture for their horses until Agua Caliente was reached.  This implies that he knew of the hot springs' existence beforehand, and it was not a discovery of this expedition. San Gabriel baptismal records note that some of the Indians from the Whitewater Canyon were baptized as early as 1809.  In 1824 Estudillo wrote that the expedition returned to the spot known as "Los Vernitos" (Little Springs), and the soldiers were impressed at the sight of corn, pumpkins, melons, and other summer crops being grown by the Cahuillas in midwinter.

The Cahuilla Indian name for the Palm Springs area was "Se-Khi" (boiling water), but the

Spanish named it Agua Caliente (hot water). Later, the name of "Palm Springs" was applied, which became the official name on U.S. Government maps.

On May 15th, 1876, Section 14 and a portion of Section 22 (Tahquitz Canyon) were set aside by executive order of President U.S. Grant as the Agua Caliente Reservation. On January 12th, 1891,

Congress passed the Mission Indian Relief Act, authorizing allotments from the acreage comprising the Reservation at Palm Springs, California.  However, more than fifty years passed before the allotment selections were approved by the Secretary of the Interior. During this time, Palm Springs, as a quiet resort town grew in size and in importance as a Southern California attraction.[vi]

 

Whitewater River (2.5 miles east of CA 111 on Interstate 10)

Just north of the expressway is the bridge carrying the Whitewater Cutoff.  That was the earlier route of California Highway 62 before it intersected with U.S. Highways 60, 70 and 99 at Whitewater.  The highway was later rerouted to the interchange at Exit 117. 

 

Junction with Indio Boulevard (Exit 139) (24 miles east of the Whitewater River on Interstate 10)

The route of U.S. Highway 99 departed from U.S. Highways 60 and 70 at this junction, turning south once again towards the Mexican border.  Indio Boulevard was the route of U.S. Highway 99 through Indio. 

 

Indio (4 miles south of Interstate 10 on Indio Boulevard)

Indio was named for the large number of Indians who comprised the settlement when it was a railroad construction camp. Although the town was established in 1876 as a distribution point for railroad freight, fifty years of rail service brought more vagrants to it than settlers. It was not until the highways drew traffic that the town began to grow.

 

At Indio, the travel route intersects with California Highway 86, which will the route from this point.  California Highway 86 is the designation which replaced U.S. Highway 99 south from Indio to Calexico on the Mexican border. 

 

Coachella (3.5 miles south of Indio on CA 86)

This sprawling village is in the heart of the Coachella Valley, which extends from San Gorgonio Pass to the northern shores of the Salton Sea, and between the Little San Bernardino Mountains on the east and the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa Mountains on the west.

 

Valerie (7.5 miles south of Coachella on Old State Highway 86)

 

Side Trip to Fish Traps Archaeological Site (66th Avenue West)

Fish Traps Archaeological Site (2 miles west on 66th Avenue)

These traps were handiwork of the ancient Mountain Cahuilla, devised in the remote period when a great Indian village stood on the shores of the prehistoric Lake Cahuilla.  Piles of rock two and three feet high are easily discernible among the boulders and consist of circular walls of rock with cleverly arranged openings. 

 

Oasis (9.5 miles south of Valerie on Old State Highway 86)

The travel route connects with California Highway 86 Spur at Oasis.  From this point, the highway follows along the western side of the Salton Sea. 

The surface of this body of water is 244 feet below sea level.  The sea is more or less on the site of Lake Cahuilla, which was created in prehistoric times by the Colorado River.  .  When the silt from the Colorado River dammed back the waters at the head of the Gulf of California, the lake was created.  The old lake dried up gradually, leaving behind in the San Jacinto Mountains, 1,000 feet above the level of the Salton Sea, enormous beds of fossil sharks’ teeth and oyster shells.  The ancient beach line of Lake Cahuilla cuts an even whitish strip along the sides of the Santa Rosa Mountains, which parallel the highway on the west  A printer’s error in setting conchilla (Spanish for small sea shell) gave Coachella Valley its unusual name. 

The Salton Sea was only a sandy depression when discovered in 1853 by Professor W.P. Blake, who made the first governmental survey of the Imperial Valley.  In 1905, the Colorado River overflowed into the Imperial Valley and poured into the Salton Sink, filling it to a depth of 83 feet and a length of 45 miles.  When this flood was checked in 1907, it left the lowest area still filled with the present Salton Sea—a lake with no outlets.  The depth of the sea remains roughly constant by waters draining from the irrigation ditches into the New and Alamo Rivers, which empty into the southern end of the sea.  This offsets the effects of evaporation. 

 

Travertine Rock (3.3 miles south of Oasis on CA 86)

Travertine Rock, standing to the west of the highway at this point, is a geological relic of Lake Cahuilla.  The once submerged lower half of this great mound of rocks is covered with a layer of travertine (calcium carbonate), a scaly, petrified shell formation; the upper part, of travertine rock, shows its core of dark granite and many petroglyphs incised many years ago by the ancestors of the Mission Indians. 

 

Junction with California Highway 78 (24 miles south of Travertine Rock on CA 86)

 

Side Trip to Los Puertecitos (California Highway 78 West)

Los Puertecitos (14.5 miles west on CA 78)

Juan Bautista de Anza's expedition marched through this little pass December 19th, 1775 on its way to strengthen Spanish colonization in California.  Many of the 240 members of the party were recruited from Mexico to be the first residents of San Francisco.  They had camped the preceding night somewhere in the wide flats just east of this monument.
 

Kane Spring (1.5 miles south of CA 78 on CA 86)

This is the oldest known water hole on the Colorado Desert, long a camping ground of desert explorers and Indians.  One of the most prevalent local myths concerns a Spanish galleon that sailed into the northernmost arm of the prehistoric Gulf of California, to be abandoned there with its fabulous cargo of gold.  As the sea dried up, the hapless ship sank beneath the shifting dunes.  In 1890, an old-timer appeared at Kane Springs asserting he had seen the ancient ship nearby almost covered by a dune.  Searchers, however, failed to find it.  The probable inspiration for the legend was a boat built in 1862 by a Colorado River mining company, transported part way across the desert by ox team, and then abandoned because of the difficulty of the journey from San Gorgonio Pass to the Colorado River.

 

Westmoreland (14 miles south of Kane Spring on CA 86)

This community was founded in 1909. 

 

A government scientist in 1853 saw the agricultural possibilities of the Imperial Valley, this 600 square mile depression which was called “the hollow of God’s hand” by the Indians.  Little attempt, however, was made to irrigate it until 1900, when a private corporation began construction of a canal from the Colorado River.  The first settlers appeared in the valley in 1901 in spite of the imperfect workings of the canal system.  Then, in 1904 and 1905, the Colorado, with its spring flood, overflowed into the basin. 

Extensive pressure was put on Congress to take over the problem of irrigating this natural hotbed.  The Boulder (later Hoover) Dam project, of which the Imperial Valley project was a part, was authorized in 1928.  This started a boom in land values, which had been anticipated by certain large corporations. 

 

Brawley (7 miles south of Westmoreland on CA 86)

 

Side Trip to the New River (California Highway 111 North)

New River (5 miles north on CA 111)

The New River slashed in the loose alluvial soil of the Imperial Valley from 1905 until 1907 when the Colorado River broke loose on its last rampage.  The break occurred when the irrigation engineers opened a breach in the river wall in 1906 just south of the Mexican boundary, in order to supply valley canals with the water held back by an accumulation of silt.  The gap was cut far enough ahead of flood time for safety, but before gates could be installed a premature flood raced down the river.  Rebuffed by a natural levee at the tip of the Gulf, it backed through the new opening into the Salton Sink.  Within two years, the lake covered an area extending from Mecca to Niland, reached a length of 45 miles and a width of 17 miles.  The railroad company had to shift 67 miles of track to a higher level.  Just as the railroad was rolling down its sleeves, the river again broke its banks and poured disastrous quantities of water into the basin.  The company again set to work, built a 90-foot trestle across the break, commandeered equipment from 1,200 miles of track, and dumped 3,000 carloads of rock into the opening.  Finally, in February of 1907, the break was plugged, and the railroad’s ledgers showed another $1 million in the red.  Suit was filed against the Federal Government for the $3 million spent, and in 1930 the company received a check for $1,012,665. 

 

Imperial (10 miles south of Brawley on CA 86)

Imperial is the oldest town in the valley. 

 

Side Trip to Site of Fort Romualdo Pacheco (Worthington Road West)

Site of Fort Romualdo Pacheco (6.5 miles west on Worthington Road at the New River)

In 1774, Spain opened an overland route from Sonora to California but it was closed by Yuma Indians in 1781.  In 1822, Mexico attempted to reopen this route. Lieutenant Romualdo Pacheco and soldiers built an adobe fort at this site in 1825 and 1826, the only Mexican fort in Alta California.  On April 26th, 1826, Kumeyaay Indians attacked the fort, killing three soldiers and wounding three others.  Pacheco abandoned the fort, removing soldiers to San Diego.

 

El Centro (4.5 miles south of Imperial on CA 86 at County Road S80)

El Centro had been laid out in 1905 by W.F. Holt, but the population did not reach 5,000 until 1920.  The land boom left 74 individuals and companies controlling approximately 47,700 acres of crop land by 1934. 

County Road S80 is the original route of U.S. Highway 80 across the Imperial Valley, U.S. Highway 80 traveled across California from Yuma, Arizona, to San Diego.  The highway begins in Savannah, Georgia, but the route has since been shortened to its present western end at Dallas, Texas.  This was the route of the Dixie Overland Highway, a designation that predated the Federal Highway System. 

 

Side Trip to Plaster City (County Road S80 West)

Seeley (7 miles west on CR S80)

Seeley lies on the original route of U.S. Highway 80.  It was founded in 1911, near the site of Silsbee, a town destroyed by the 1905 to 1907 flood. 

 

Point of Interest:

Yuha Well (Sunbeam Recreation Area)

Known as Santa Rosa de Las Lajas (Flat Rocks), this site was used on March 8th, 1774 by the Anza Exploring Expedition, opening the land route from Sonora, Mexico, to Alta California.  On December 11th to 15th, 1775, the three divisions of Anza's colonizing expedition used this first good watering spot beyond the Colorado River on the way from Sonora to San Francisco.
 

Dixieland (12 miles west on CR S80)

This town was established in 1909 in anticipation of a new high-line canal west of the existing ones. 

 

South of Dixieland is the Yuha Plain, a bleak and desolate land of modified sand hills and outcroppings of mica.  De Anza crossed this bare stretch in 1774 and found a watering place which he called Pozo de Santa Rosa de las Layas (wells of St. Rose of the flat stones). These are now called Yuha Wells. 

 

Plaster City (17 miles west on CR S80)

From Plaster City, the original route of the Butterfield Overland and the Great Southern Stage Lines traverse the mountains alongside Carrizo Creek through Deguynos Canyon.

 

Side Trip to Mountain Springs Station (Interstate 8 West)

Mountain Springs Station (35 miles west on Interstate 8 at Mountain Springs Road)

From 1862 until 1870, about a mile north of here Peter Larkin and Joe Stancliff used a stone house as a store from which ox teams pulled wagons up a 30% grade.  The San Diego and Fort Yuma Turnpike Company used the site as a toll road station until 1876. The crumbling house was replaced in 1917 by another still visible to its east.  But road changes, beginning in 1878 and culminating in today's highway, have left the older stone house ruins inaccessible.
Site is 200 feet west of westbound lane of Interstate 8, just north of Mountain Springs Rd.

 

Side Trip to Holtville (County Road S80 East)

Holtville (11.5 miles east on CR S80)

This town was named for W.F. Holt, who bought large blocks of stock in the Imperial Water Companies, from the California Development Company.  The town has a strategic position next to a 40-foot drop in the Alamo River, where it was possible to build a hydroelectric plant and generate power.  Holtville also has a large Swiss colony. 

 

Heber (6.5 miles south of El Centro on CA 86)

Heber was founded in 1901 by the Imperial Land Company to the east of the present site and named Paringa.  The town was moved two years later following the completion of the Southern Pacific Railroad survey and renamed for a president of the California Development Company. 

 

Calexico (5 miles south of Heber on CA 86)

Calexico is a on former 160-acre tract owned by George Chaffey, one of the promoters of the first irrigation projects in the valley.  The tent city of the Imperial Valley Company was the first Calexico.  A press agent of this company is said to have coined the names of the twin cities of Calexico and Mexicali by combining syllables from the words California and Mexico. 

 

Points of Interest:

Rockwood Hall (Mexican Border)

This old adobe building was once used by Charles R. Rockwood, the man most closely associated with the development of Imperial Valley.  The structure contains two assembly halls. 

Camp Salvation (Sixth Street East at Heber Avenue)

Here, on September 23rd, 1849, Lieutenant Cave J. Couts, Escort Commander, International Boundary Commission, established Camp Salvation.  From September until the first of December of 1849, it served as a refugee center for distressed emigrants attempting to reach the gold fields over the Southern Emigrant Trail.

 

Mexican Border (1 mile south of Calexico on CA 86)
 

 

GPS COORDINATES FOR LISTED HISTORIC SITES

 

A.K. Smiley Public Library , 34.05466, -117.184

Adams & Company Building , 38.58308, -121.504

Agua Caliente Indian Reservation , 33.80339, -116.562

Agua Fria , 37.48168, -120.021

Agua Mansa , 34.042, -117.364

Alvarado Adobe , 34.07354, -117.755

Anaheim , 33.81798, -117.915

Anderson , 40.44814, -122.298

Arbuckle, 39.01741, -122.057

Avila Adobe , 34.05719, -118.238

B.F. Hastings Building , 38.58308, -121.504

Bakersfield , 35.38096, -119.019

Banning , 33.92548, -116.877

Banning Park , 33.78905, -118.259

Bass Mountain Summit , 40.73301, -122.367

Beale Air Force Base , 39.13691, -121.432

Beale’s Cut Stagecoach Pass , 34.3474, -118.509

Beaumont , 33.92943, -116.981

Beginning of Ridge Route , 34.76469, -118.733

Bella Union Hotel Site , 34.05405, -118.242

Benson’s Ferry , 38.255, -121.442

Beverly Hills, 34.06704, -118.399

Bidwell Mansion National Monument , 39.73116, -121.844

Bok Kai Temple , 39.13588, -121.588

Brand Park , 34.27267, -118.463

Broderick, 38.58853, -121.51

Burbank , 34.17976, -118.31

Burial Place of John Brown (Juan Flaco), 37.95593, -121.277

C.F. Lott House, 39.51083, -121.565

Cabazon , 33.91677, -116.783

Calexico , 32.67913, -115.499

California Aqueduct , 34.59419, -118.685

California Highway 119 , 35.26676, -119.024

California State University-Chico , 39.72952, -121.845

California’s First Passenger Railroad , 38.57389, -121.507

Camp Salvation, 32.67047, -115.493

Camp Union , 38.5374, -121.504

Campo De Cahuenga , 34.13877, -118.362

Canal Farm Inn , 37.05714, -120.834

Casa Adobe de San Rafael , 34.16589, -118.264

Casa de Governor Pio Pico , 33.99363, -118.071

Casa de San Pedro , 33.72279, -118.288

Castaic , 34.48917, -118.621

Castaic Junction, 34.44084, -118.606

Castaic Lake , 34.83911, -118.848

Castle Air Force Base , 37.36493, -120.568

Castle Crags , 41.16294, -122.294

Caswell Memorial State Park , 37.69375, -121.187

Cecil B. DeMille Studio Barn , 34.10819, -118.337

Chevra Kaddisha , 38.57229, -121.464

Chico , 39.73107, -121.841

Chinese Temple , 39.51352, -121.563

Chowchilla , 37.12469, -120.257

Christian Oak , 34.07142, -117.756

Christmas Tree Lane , 34.18074, -118.14

City Hall and Fire House 1855-56 , 39.13941, -121.586

Clear Creek, 40.50912, -122.38

Coachella , 33.68185, -116.181

Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park , 35.86341, -119.387

Colton , 34.06693, -117.324

Colusa , 39.2145, -122.008

Colusa County Courthouse , 39.21418, -122.009

Corning , 39.92792, -122.179

County Courthouse , 40.59925, -122.492

County Courthouse 1855-56 , 39.14139, -121.589

Court House Ruins , 37.8188, -120.673

Covered Bridge , 37.8188, -120.673

Cross Creek , 36.40466, -119.457

Cucamonga Rancho Winery , 34.10663, -117.61

D.O. Mills Bank Building , 38.58308, -121.504

Davis , 38.5451, -121.739

De Anza Park, 34.04946, -117.652

Deadwood , 41.71457, -122.803

Deer Creek , 39.94689, -122.053

Delta , 40.94493, -122.425

Dersch Homestead , 40.48565, -122.153

Discovery Site of the Last Yahi Indian , 39.51186, -121.522

Discovery Well of Kern River Oil Field , 35.44887, -118.911

Dixieland , 32.79093, -115.77

Dominguez Ranchhouse , 33.86746, -118.217

Drum Barracks , 33.783, -118.257

Dunsmuir , 41.21985, -122.272

Durham , 39.64648, -121.799

Dustin Acres , 35.21977, -119.388

E.J. Baldwin’s Queen Anne Cottage , 34.14448, -118.05

Eagle Theater , 38.58438, -121.505

Ebner’s Hotel , 38.58218, -121.505

Edgewood , 41.45824, -122.432

El Centro, 32.79256, -115.552

El Monte , 34.07646, -118.041

Elk Grove , 38.40958, -121.369

Elysian Park , 34.0718, -118.227

Emigrant Trail Crossing Monument , 41.55888, -122.209

Empire , 37.6383, -120.902

Ennis House , 34.11633, -118.293

Episcopal Church 1850’s , 39.14019, -121.591

Etna , 41.45721, -122.893

Fages-Zalvidea Crossing , 35.05892, -119.064

Father Rinaldi’s Foundation of 1856 , 40.59288, -122.489

Figueroa Adobe 1842 , 34.02103, -118.281

First Jewish Site in Los Angeles , 34.07032, -118.243

First Tehama County Courthouse , 40.02626, -122.122

First Transcontinental Railroad , 38.58138, -121.507

First Transcontinental Railroad-Western Base of the Sierra Nevada , 38.63132, -121.401

First Tule River Indian Reservation, 36.05859, -118.966

Fish Traps Archaeological Site , 33.56928, -116.213

Five Mile House-Overland Pony Express Route , 38.56139, -121.422

Flores Adobe 1839 , 34.1192, -118.145

Forbestown , 39.51727, -121.27

Ford City , 35.15445, -119.448

Fort Benson, 34.06513, -117.288

Fort Jones , 41.6078, -122.841

Fort Miller , 36.99938, -119.704

Fort Tejón State Historic Park , 34.87301, -118.897

Forty-Nine Drugstore, 37.95261, -121.29

Fountain Springs , 35.89113, -118.918

Freeman House , 34.10581, -118.339

French Camp Road , 37.88429, -121.27

French Gulch , 40.70091, -122.638

Fresno , 36.72129, -119.783

Galt , 38.25482, -121.301

Garcés Circle , 35.38696, -119.019

General William B. Ide Adobe State Park , 40.19758, -122.227

Giant Walnut Tree , 39.13601, -121.607

Glendale, 34.16109, -118.3

Gordon’s Ferry , 35.42533, -118.968

Gorman , 34.79645, -118.852

Governor Stoneman Adobe, Los Robles , 34.11422, -118.136

Grave of Elitha Cumi Donner Wilder , 38.4085, -121.386

Grave of George Caralambo (Greek George) , 33.98629, -118.047

Griffith Park , 34.11744, -118.272

Griffith Ranch , 34.28979, -118.411

Guachama Rancheria , 34.05603, -117.238

Guasti, 34.06509, -117.586

Halfway Inn , 34.68543, -118.729

Hambright Creek , 39.76107, -122.197

Hancock Park-La Brea Tar Pits , 34.06255, -118.357

Hanford , 36.32552, -119.645

Harold Lloyd Estate (1740 Green Acres Place), 34.08815, -118.426

Hawkinsville , 41.76075, -122.622

Heber , 32.73068, -115.53

Helvetia Cemetery , 38.57274, -121.465

Holtville, 32.81093, -115.38

Home of Mrs. John Brown , 40.1726, -122.231

Hornitos , 37.50243, -120.237

Hugo Reid Adobe , 34.14448, -118.05

Humbug Creek , 41.79298, -122.693

Igo, 40.50582, -122.54

Imperial , 32.84706, -115.569

Indian Military Post, Nomi Lackee Indian Reservation, 39.95526, -122.483

Indian Village , 39.73324, -121.853

Indio , 33.71498, -116.216

Johnson’s Ranch , 39.01054, -121.423

Junction with California Highway 263 , 41.83225, -122.592

Junction with California Highway 273 , 40.62615, -122.371

Junction with California Highway 96 , 41.8568, -122.573

Junction with Cherry Valley Boulevard , 33.96848, -117.034

Junction with Greenhorn Road , 41.71193, -122.642

Junction with Hatchery Lane , 41.30902, -122.326

Junction with Hornbrook Highway , 41.91984, -122.573

Junction with Lakes Boulevard , 40.6095, -122.376

Junction with Live Oak Boulevard, 39.21793, -121.642

Junction with Old Edgewood Road , 41.4476, -122.43

Junction with Old Highway 99 , 41.66711, -122.611

Junction with Pico Canyon Road , 34.38103, -118.571

Junction with Willms Road , 37.81477, -120.657

Kane Spring , 33.1097, -115.836

Kern River Slough Station, 35.26663, -118.963

Kimberly Crest , 34.03685, -117.171

Kings River , 36.49718, -119.531

Kingsburg , 36.51375, -119.553

Knight’s Ferry (33 miles east on CA 120, 1 mile north on Sonora Road), 37.8188, -120.673

La Grange , 37.66354, -120.463

La Zanja Madre, 34.05797, -118.237

Lady Adams Building, 38.58218, -121.505

Lebec, 34.83687, -118.863

Liberty Hill Site , 33.74052, -118.28

Lincoln , 38.88647, -121.293

Lindsay , 36.2051, -119.091

Lockeford , 38.16359, -121.15

Lodi, 38.13397, -121.269

Lodi Arch , 38.13024, -121.273

Long Beach , 33.76631, -118.185

Long Beach Marine Stadium, 33.76875, -118.133

Los Angeles , 34.05861, -118.24

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum , 34.01387, -118.288

Los Angeles Times Building , 34.05307, -118.245

Los Banos , 37.06006, -120.846

Los Molinos , 40.02148, -122.097

Los Puertecitos , 33.14026, -116.102

Lummis Home , 34.09307, -118.207

Lyons Station Stagecoach Stop , 34.36581, -118.506

Madera , 36.96196, -120.059

Magalia , 39.81205, -121.576

Malaga , 36.67923, -119.736

Manhattan Beach State Pier , 33.88437, -118.412

Manteca , 37.79735, -121.216

Mariposa, 37.48507, -119.965

Mariposa County Courthouse , 37.48902, -119.968

Martins , 34.56621, -118.659

Marysville , 39.13636, -121.585

McFarland , 35.67793, -119.229

Mentryville , 34.38558, -118.612

Merced , 37.29863, -120.476

Merced River, 37.39922, -120.743

Merced Theatre , 34.05597, -118.24

Mirror Building (Site of Butterfield Overland Stage Station) , 34.05228, -118.245

Mission de San Gabriel Arcangel , 34.09721, -118.105

Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana , 34.27271, -118.462

Modesto, 37.63693, -120.998

Mokelumne City , 38.25405, -121.437

Mormon Bar , 37.4622, -119.948

Mount Shasta , 41.40919, -122.195

Mountain Springs Station , 32.67102, -116.104

National Forest Inn , 34.61698, -118.7

Nelson , 39.55233, -121.762

New River , 33.04808, -115.527

Nuestra Senora La Reina de Los Angeles , 34.05724, -118.239

Oakdale , 37.76671, -120.845

Oasis , 33.46264, -116.097

Odd Fellows Hall , 37.9524, -121.29

Old Folsom Powerhouse-Sacramento Station A , 38.58385, -121.498

Old Plaza Firehouse , 34.05588, -118.239

Olvera Street, 34.05719, -118.238

Ontario, 34.06337, -117.651

Oregon City, 39.59395, -121.53

Oregon Line, 42.0052, -122.615

Original Bidwell Bar Bridge , 39.53769, -121.458

Original Building of the University of Southern California , 34.02371, -118.284

Original Sacramento Bee Building , 38.58279, -121.503

Orland , 39.74733, -122.198

Oroville , 39.51422, -121.555

Ortega-Vigare Adobe , 34.09476, -118.108

Outermost Point in the South San Joaquin Valley , 35.20912, -118.828

Overton Building , 38.58308, -121.504

Padre Francisco Garcés National Monument , 35.73853, -118.957

Palm Springs, 33.8233, -116.547

Palomares Adobe , 34.0747, -117.755

Pasadena Playhouse , 34.14637, -118.137

Pico House , 34.05619, -118.24

Pioneer Baby’s Grave , 40.60398, -122.499

Pioneer Oil Refinery , 34.37553, -118.524

Pioneer Telegraph Station , 38.58267, -121.504

Pitt River Bridge , 40.76245, -122.319

Pixley , 35.96885, -119.291

Placerita Canyon State Park , 34.37807, -118.443

Planada , 37.29528, -120.321

Plaster City, 32.79101, -115.858

Plaza , 34.05766, -118.239

Plummer Park , 34.09081, -118.351

Point on the Jedediah Strong Trail , 35.33238, -118.808

Pomona , 34.06236, -117.75

Pony Express Museum , 38.58283, -121.504

Porterville , 36.06528, -119.017

Portola Trail Campsite , 34.07637, -118.377

Porttola Trail Campsite , 34.0718, -118.227

Presbyterian Church 1860 , 39.14028, -121.589

Ramirez House , 39.14052, -121.587

Ramona Bowl , 33.72387, -116.954

Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site , 33.8415, -118.197

Rancho San Francisco, 34.4418, -118.608

Reading Adobe , 40.39111, -122.2

Reading’s Bar , 40.49337, -122.496

Red Bluff , 40.17664, -122.234

Redding , 40.6095, -122.376

Reservoir Hill , 34.66247, -118.724

Reuel Colt Gridley Monument , 37.97472, -121.288

Richvale , 39.49413, -121.745

Ripon , 37.73933, -121.124

Rockwood Hall , 32.66463, -115.497

Romulo Pico Adobe , 34.26962, -118.467

Rose Station , 34.95498, -118.934

Roseville , 38.75234, -121.287

Sacramento , 38.57695, -121.495

Sacramento City Cemetery , 38.56378, -121.501

Sacramento River , 38.58055, -121.509

San Bernardino , 34.10083, -117.303

San Bernardino Asistencia , 34.04831, -117.217

San Jacinto , 33.7839, -116.959

San Joaquin County Courthouse , 37.95292, -121.288

San Joaquin Valley College , 38.15045, -121.305

San Pedro , 33.73605, -118.292

Sandberg Hotel , 34.74113, -118.71

Santa Clara River , 34.42656, -118.586

Scott Bar , 41.74213, -123.004

Seeley, 32.79093, -115.69

Serra Springs , 34.04556, -118.462

Shasta, 40.59972, -122.491

Sheridan , 38.97956, -121.376

Sikh Temple Site (1930 S. Grant Street), 37.93375, -121.275

Sims , 41.07196, -122.356

Sinks of the Tejón , 35.09291, -118.82

Site of Congregational Church , 38.58255, -121.498

Site of First and Second State Capitols of Sacramento , 38.58246, -121.497

Site of First Building in Present City of Stockton , 37.95703, -121.291

Site of Fort Jones , 41.5963, -122.842

Site of Fort Reading , 40.47638, -122.241

Site of Fort Romualdo Pacheco , 32.84689, -115.681

Site of Hock Farm , 39.0509, -121.633

Site of Home of Diego Sepulveda , 33.75386, -118.292

Site of Home of Newton Booth , 38.5832, -121.506

Site of Hooker Oak , 39.74412, -121.817

Site of Indian Village of Pochea , 33.72387, -116.954

Site of Lugo Adobe , 34.05651, -118.237

Site of Mission Vieja, 34.03105, -118.073

Site of Mormon Stockade, 34.10547, -117.29

Site of Murphy’s Ranch , 38.37555, -121.363

Site of Orleans Hotel , 38.58282, -121.504

Site of Pioneer Mutual Volunteer Firehouse , 38.58279, -121.503

Site of Propogation of the Thompson Seedless Grape , 39.1424, -121.772

Site of Sacramento Union , 38.58326, -121.505

Site of Stages and Railroad , 38.58239, -121.506

Site of Tapia Adobe , 34.10663, -117.61

Site of the Bidwell Adobe , 39.73116, -121.844

Site of the First African-American Episcopal Church Established on the Pacific Coast , 38.5842, -121.496

Site of the First Jewish Synagogue Owned by a Congregation on the Pacific Coast , 38.57916, -121.498

Site of the First Junior College in California , 36.74253, -119.79

Site of the Fresno Free Speech Fight of the Industrial Workers of the World , 36.73384, -119.79

Site of the Home of Elisha Stevens , 35.39718, -119.006

Site of the Last Home of Alexis Godey , 35.37615, -119.007

Site of the Los Angeles Star , 34.05405, -118.242

Site of Wood’s Ferry and Wood’s Bridge , 38.15732, -121.298

Smartville , 39.20759, -121.298

Smiley Heights , 34.04736, -117.176

Snelling , 37.51917, -120.435

Snelling Courthouse , 37.51971, -120.437

Southern Pacific Railroad Station , 38.58345, -121.501

Soviet Transpolar Landing Site, 33.78729, -117.007

Spadra , 34.04841, -117.812

St. Francis Dam Site , 34.53321, -118.528

St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church 1855 , 39.1427, -121.588

Stanford-Lathrop Home , 38.57657, -121.498

Stanislaus River , 37.73023, -121.11

Stephen J. Field Mansion , 39.14199, -121.589

Stirling Junction , 39.71438, -121.813

Stockton , 37.9524, -121.291

Stockton Developmental Center , 37.96455, -121.287

Sutter Buttes , 39.2775, -121.79

Sutter’s Fort , 38.57233, -121.473

Swift’s Stone Corral , 39.28767, -122.3

Taft , 35.14063, -119.447

Tehama , 40.02766, -122.122

Temple Israel Cemetery , 37.96499, -121.278

Temporary Detention Camp for Japanese Americans-Marysville Assembly Center , 39.13159, -121.609

Temporary Detention Camp for Japanese Americans-Turlock Assembly Center , 37.50376, -120.86

Temporary Detention Camps for Japanese Americans-Sacramento Assembly , 38.66816, -121.351

Temporary Detention Camps for Japanese Americans-Stockton Assembly Center , 37.93807, -121.269

The Arrowhead , 34.16568, -117.278

The Cascades , 34.32146, -118.496

Timbuctoo , 39.21694, -121.318

Timms’ Point and Landing , 33.73013, -118.278

Tower House , 40.66456, -122.636

Travertine Rock , 33.42427, -116.058

Tremont Hotel , 38.58335, -121.505

Tulare , 36.20785, -119.347

Tule River Stage Station, 36.08013, -119.02

Tumble Inn , 34.70813, -118.721

Tumble Inn Campground , 34.71474, -118.717

Turlock , 37.49479, -120.846

Two Rivers , 37.66972, -121.23

University of California Experimental Farm, Wolfskill Grant , 38.507, -121.975

University of Redlands , 34.0629, -117.167

Venice , 33.99097, -118.46

Vina , 39.93311, -122.053

Virginiatown , 38.90053, -121.215

Visalia , 36.32981, -119.292

Weber Point , 37.9544, -121.292

Weed , 41.42262, -122.387

Well No. 4 , 34.38918, -118.621

West Miner Street-Third Street Historic District, 41.73187, -122.637

Western Hotel , 38.58203, -121.505

Westmoreland , 33.03778, -115.621

Wheatland , 39.00996, -121.421

Whiskeytown, 40.63907, -122.56

White River , 35.81148, -118.844

Whitewater, 33.92312, -116.69

Whitewater River , 33.92527, -116.635

Williams , 39.15465, -122.15

Willows , 39.52417, -122.194

Woodbridge , 38.1544, -121.3

Woodland , 38.67752, -121.784

Woodland Opera House , 38.67748, -121.772

Workman Home and Family Cemetery , 34.01803, -117.965

Yolo , 38.73524, -121.816

Yorba-Slaugher Adobe , 33.94046, -117.666

Yreka , 41.73148, -122.636

Yuba City , 39.14051, -121.617

Yucaipa , 34.03397, -117.034

Yucaipa Rancheria and Adobe , 34.02273, -117.102

Yuha Well , 32.78355, -115.689

 

 

 

 

[i] 1http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Molinos,_California

[ii] http://www.militarymuseum.org/Beale.html

[iii] http://www.militarymuseum.org/CastleAFB.html

[iv] Dr. John Anderson, The Piercing of the Yokut Shield

[v] http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/5views/5views1h92.htm

[vi] http://www.aguacaliente.org

 

 

 

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