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El Camino Real in California / 1911 source for towns and ECR branches
« Last post by Parsa on June 30, 2013, 09:48:54 AM »
I found a Google books source listing towns on the route of ECR, as well as branches that went to outlying missions, assistencias and estancias.


Here's the relevant text from pages 361-362:


   The famous road called El Camino Real, or "The King's Highway," which connected the twenty-one Franciscan Missions in California, has been the subject of song and story for many a year. For a long time the old highway fell into disuse in places and for considerable stretches along the seven hundred miles of its length between San Diego and Sonoma. Lately, however, an association of patriotic men and women has done much to restore the road. The ancient trail has been at last restored and the whole distance practically marked by wayside bells hung from iron posts. The route taken by El Camino Real is as follows:
   Beginning at the Mission of San Diego and the old town of San Diego, the road of the padres passes through Morena, Atwood, Ladrillo, Sorrento, Delmar, Encinitas, Merl, Lacosta, Carlsbad, South Onofre, San Juan, Mission San Juan Capistrano (via south road), thence along the old Capistrano road to Myford-Irving to Tustin, Santa Ana, Orange, Anaheim, Fullerton and La Habra to Whittier, East Whittier, San Gabriel, Alhambra, Los Angeles, Hollywood, through Cahuenga Pass to Calabasas, Grape Arbor, Newberry Park, Camarillo, Springville, El Rio, Montalvo, Ventura, Mission Buenaventura, El Rincon, Carpinteria, Ortega, Summerland, Miramar, Santa Barbara, Mission Santa Barbara, thence via Hollister Avenue to Goleta, Elwood, Gaviota, Mission Santa Ynez, Lompoc, Mission La Purisima Concepcion, Harris, Santa Maria, Nipomo, Arroyo Grande, Pismo, San Luis Hot Sulphur Springs, Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, Cuesta, Santa Margarita, Dove, Templeton, Paso Robles, Mission San Miguel, Pleyto, Jolon, Mission San Antonio de Padua, Lowes, Soledad, Mission Nuestra Senora de la Soledad, Salinas City, Natividad, Mission San Juan Bautista, Sargent, Gilroy, San Martin, Coyote, San Jose, Santa Clara, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Redwood City, San Mateo, Burlingame, San Bruno (junction), Colma, to San Francisco. Also from San Rafael to Sonoma.
   From San Jose, El Camino Real leads to Mission San Jose; thence to San Leandro, Oakland, through to San Pablo.
   From Salinas City, El Camino Real leads to Monterey and to Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Carmelo de Monterey.
   From Santa Clara, El Camino Real leads to Santa Cruz; from Santa Cruz the "Camino Real de Santa Cruz" leads to Mission San Juan Bautista.
   From Cahuenga Pass, "Camino Real de San Fernando" leads to Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana.
   From Mission San Gabriel Arcangel, "Camino Real de San Bernardino" leads to San Bernardino and the site of the Capilla de San Bernardino.

The link to these lists are closed for members only. I do have the rough draft lists in notebook form. They are somewhat incomplete but probably the most complete outside the USC archives. I had sent Morgan Yates a copy hoping he could fill in the gaps for me but it was without any success. If you like, I can e-mail them over and see if you can add or modify them. I certainly would like to see a complete list someday so I could compare notes.
Do you have links to those lists?

Off Topic / Re: Older wagon and emigrant trails
« Last post by Parsa on June 28, 2013, 10:31:03 PM »
I drove the road with an Xterra club, and we had Dennis's book as a guide.

One of the main emigrant and stage routes was the Southern Emigrant Trail, which goes through Imperial County and then heads northwest towards Los Angeles. Clear remnants of this trail still exist in many places, and several of the stage stations from the Butterfield Overland Mail exists as restored buildings or ruins.
El Camino Real in California / Re: Another day at the Auto club archives
« Last post by Parsa on June 28, 2013, 10:23:52 PM »
It's very interesting and Morgan is quite helpful. The contact information is here:

Even though it says M-F, I think Morgan prefers public research on Thursdays, since he has so many photos to scan. Still, you could probably go on other days if there was no way to make it on a Thursday. He just wants to make sure he can help and devote time to the researchers, which he can't do if he's doing archival work. They have index binders for the strip maps and such, but they aren't very organized as yet. It would be great if all the indexes were digitized and online, because then you could figure out what you wanted to see before the visit.

El Camino Real in California / Re: Another day at the Auto club archives
« Last post by ACSC Collector on June 28, 2013, 04:06:44 PM »
I tried to go to the ACSC Archives about a year ago but it never materialized. Now that I work near USC and I live in O.C., I would like to visit again. What is interesting about USC is it is almost next door to ACSC making the most excellent choice for their archives. I was looking to visit so I could look for the missing pieces to my ACSC lists posted on the RMCA webpage.
Excellent database!

I have made some ACSC map research and found your collection fascinating! I have posted my ACSC map database on the RMCA webpage linking the strip map numbers with the map numbers. The old map number system helped me out in finding approximate dates that were almost impossible to determine otherwise. I do believe I have 2 ACSC lists posted. The first shows an incomplete list of the map number system while the second list shows the new catalog numbering system. This is certainly not complete since I still have ACSC maps that are not numbered or dated and would not fit into the system accurately.
Off Topic / Re: Older wagon and emigrant trails
« Last post by ACSC Collector on June 28, 2013, 03:17:14 PM »
I do not know if anybody ever read the books on the old government road by David Casebeir. Here he gave detailed data linking the road with later to become route 66. It was originally started by Lt. Edward F. Beal for the government as a mail and emigration route for those heading out of or coming in from California. The government set up several military posts to protect the route and the people traveling it. Usage of the route was later abandoned when the railroad was established further south and the road paralleled the tracks. This new route soon became known as Route 66. Prior to the automobile this route was considered as a highway by early standards since it was well traveled by emigrants with wagon trains. I guess you could say that it was wide enough to drive a Studebaker through :).
I never really answered the question from Good to Go regarding the route of the ECR from San Diego to Oceanside.
I've been looking at a lot of sources, which I'll list below, and even the 1903 topographic map shows the Rose Canyon trail as an extant road. So we know it did exist during the early 20th century as a traveled route. Also, several of the auto maps show it, and guide books describe it as a more direct route to Oceanside. I wish I had the sources and maps spoken of by Mrs. Forbes that were used to trace the ECR route, but I don't. Instead, I'm using as my standard, two sets of 3 strip maps from the Automobile Club of Southern California. The first is a set of three maps from the January, February, and March 1912 issues of Touring Topics (the ACSC magazine). These are dated: San Diego to Los Angeles — 20 Dec 1911, Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo — 24 Jan 1912, and San Luis Obispo to San Francisco — 24 Feb 1912. The title does say "El Camino Real and Popular Automobile Routes to and from Famous Missions." To me this implies the routes shown are not always the ECR but are those preferred by drivers and the Club. The other set of 3 is the one that Good to Go discussed, and that is maps 212, 213, and 214, "Famous Missions in California on El Camino Real ." These two sets are not as detailed as other ACSC strip maps, so I give additional status to strip maps from the period before 1918.

I guess I should say my goal is not to find and follow the El Camino Real of the padres, but instead to trace the automobile route to the missions along which many bells were placed. Mrs. Forbes stated that of the 75 miles of ECR in San Diego County, every mile had a bell (ie. 75 bells). I wish that were still true. Many of the bells that do exist are later, from the time of post-1926 US 101 and others are from much later and were placed in odd locations such as the two downtown Escondido.

Still, even the maps I'm using as standards do not obviously follow Mrs Forbe's ECR in a few obvious cases. One is the route from the San Diego Mission to old town. This was obviously the road which ran on the south side of Mission Valley (Taylor Street and Camino del Rio, aka Mission Valley Road, the I-8 path today). This road is not shown on either of the ECR strip map sets. Instead the route used to reach the mission is the early path of the Inland Route to Poway and Escondido. It followed the following route to the Mission: 5th Street to University, University to Normal, Normal to Park, Park to Mission (a telling name), Mission to Madison, and Madison to Ward Road (Madison is now cut by I-805). Ward now runs into Ward Canyon Park, but it once ran down Ward Canyon instead of I-15. A small remnant of Ward Road also exists at the bottom of the hill, meeting up with Camino del Rio North. Ward here now becomes Rancho Mission Road, then a right turn on San Diego Mission Road takes you to the mission.

Here are some of the sources I'm using:
  • "El Camino Real and Popular Automobile Routes to and from Famous Missions" — three strip maps from a 1912 set of Touring Topics articles entitled "Among the Missions on the King's Highway." Also these articles.
  • "Famous Missions in California on El Camino Real", strip maps 212, 213, 214,  — three strip maps dated 1915.
  • "California's Mission Tour". ACSC 1915. A tour booklet also containing the above strip maps.
  • Various ACSC strip maps, including: 482, 481, 160, 480, 60, 138, 350, 401, 903, 139, 351, 140, 352, 141, 353, 142, 354, 143, 355, 144, and 356, as well as others.
  • Tour Book (California). California State Automobile Association. 1912.
  • Strip maps 64-80 from the 1912 AAA tour book, from Max Kurillo's book, California's El Camino Real and its Historic Bells.
  • Tour Book, Southern California. Goodrich Tire Co. 1912.
  • Tour Book, Central California. Goodrich Tire Co. Circa 1912-1914 (mentions Panama-Pacific Exposition as planned for 1915).
  • Tour Book, Northern California. Goodrich Tire Co. Circa 1912-1914 (same style as above).
  • Fireman's Fund Automobile Tour Book of California. Fireman's Fund Insurance Company. 1914 (though this on a paper strip covering a 1913 date).
  • Southern California Goodrich Route Book. 1916.
  • State Road Map of California. ACSC. 1917.
  • Locke's Good Road Maps. Harry Locke. 1919. California maps dated 1917.
  • State Road Map of California. ACSC. 1921.
  • USGS topographic maps from various early dates available on the USGS Map Locator.
  • ECR bell coordinates from my early locationless geocache, "The Bells of El Camino Real" [archived by viewable], and the category called Californian Bells of El Camino Real.
  • ACSC county Automobile Road Maps for San Diego, Orange, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo as well as a "Santa Barbara and Vicinity" map.

Off Topic / Older wagon and emigrant trails
« Last post by Parsa on June 24, 2013, 12:36:37 AM »
Well, I don't think I would classify these as "highways." Certainly I have looked into the origins of the auto trails in earlier emigrant and freight roads, but many times these connections are weak. I have actually driven almost the whole Mojave Road from the Nevada line nearly all the way to Barstow. That route never became a highway, and was indeed pretty much only used in the 1870s by the Army. Several auto trails roughly follow emigrant or stage routes, such as US 80 between El Centro and Plaster City in the Colorado Desert of California.
The most sound connection is that of the National Old Trails Road since it was purposely designed to follow and memorialize the old trails by the Daughters of the American Revolution. That road follows the federally funded National Road (1830s, which was based on Braddock's military trail), the Boone's Lick Trail (established by the sons of Daniel Book in Missouri), the Santa Fe Trail, El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, and what was supposed to be Stephen Kearney's route to California. The last section ended up following the route of the Beale Wagon Road by 1914. [map]
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