American Auto Trails > El Camino Real in California

El Camino Real 1906 Maps and Directions, Oceanside to San Juan Capistrano

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In reviewing the route of El Camino Real between Oceanside and San Juan Capistrano, I noted this set of text and maps from my 1906  C. J. Gray "Auto Roads - Southern California."  Note in the text the plans for a new road next year. 

The 1911 ACSC Tour Book maps (which I will post later) show the road approximately where the Old Pacific Highway runs.  On the other hand, it would appear that the 1906 alignment in Gray conforms generally with the Google Earth labeled El Camino Real, which is a bit more inland.

Probably no surprises for So Cal road pros, but it is fun to find early sources.  It gives more reason for collecting these old maps and turn by turns.

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Excellent. Yes, that is mostly the inland El Camino Real shown on online maps. Ysidora was a new name to me. The topographic map has an Ysidora Basin, so I used the gazetteer in Topoquest, and I found this:
Ysidora (historical), California

Ysidora (historical) is a populated place located in San Diego County, CA at N33.25976° W117.36365° (NAD83) and at an elevation of 32 ft MSL.
It can be seen on the USGS 1:24K topographic map Morro Hill, CA.

Feature Type:       Populated Place
Latitude:       N33.25976° (NAD83 datum)
Longitude:       W117.36365°
Elevation:       32 ft MSL
County:       San Diego County, CA
USGS 24K Map:       Morro Hill, CA
USGS 24K MRC:       33117C3
The location is here.
The rail crossing and the ford may have been about here. Just a guess.

Good to Go!:
This will probably be a little esoteric for most, and perhaps old hat for you road pros, but I think I will do it anyway. 

When  you overlay the 1901 USGS topo on Google Earth's image of San Luis Ray, the road pattern of 1901, 1906, and today almost jump out.  North River Road and Pala Dr are clear, and Douglas Blvd looks like an old right of way too.  No surprises there, and they match the 1906 map pattern as well, fixing the location of the blacksmith shop pretty well.

What fascinates me is that the old alignment of the 1906 El Camino Real road appears  walk-able, or ride-able (if not restricted by the military) north west of Pala Road on the west side of  Whale Lake and north westward to the site of Ysidora (and beyond).

What do you think?

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Good to Go!:
As promised, here are the map and text from my 1911 Automobile Club of Southern California Tour Book. for the road between Oceanside and San Juan Capistrano.  Again, I haven't looked at it carefully in comparison to my 1906 Gray maps, nor the 1901 Historic Topographical Map (love that guy!) overlay on Google Earth.

It appears at first glance that the 1911 road stayed to the east of the tracks more than the 1906, and the leg east to San Luis Ray and Ysidora is eliminated.  I would suppose that the 1906 alignment via San Luis Ray is more "authentic" in regard to the original El Camino Real, but who am I to say?! ::)

By the way, for visitors and members alike, the payoff for me is dialog and knowledge, so your reply posts keep me interested in sharing maps.  Thanks.  And don't hesitate to post anything that is reasonably related.  Perhaps you live in the area  (but have never posted) and could take a look on the ground to see what there is to see (or not).

Back to a point I raised in the prior post with the topo.  When you pull the topo up and look at the modern roads, Pala and North River and the loop sort of jump out.  It looks at first glance like there is a modern trail that follows to old alignment from western Pala Road past the west side of what I suppose is called Whale Lake, and then goes on to the site of Ysidora.  Any speculations or knowledge about that?

Good to Go!

Most of this is in Camp Pendleton now. It used to be easier to gain permission for access, but I think it's harder now. Still, there are historians and museums on base, and I'm sure that someone could get them interested in talking about, or even visiting sites. The road does go through (except for the river), but is not open to the public past the Camp boundary. Las Flores is the site of the Assistencia mission, and there's a state historic plaque there. I'd say the older route on the 1911 map is that arrow near Las Flores adobe (however the 1920 map shown below shows a road coming in south of Las Flores). The route was changed to cross the tracks to the west side. I'm now noticing Ysidora on the 1920 map for the first time.

[Map is pre-1923 and is in the public domain. This is only a portion for research discussions.]


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