Author Topic: San Diego to Poway  (Read 19163 times)

Parsa

  • Administrator
  • Veteran Road Warrior
  • *****
  • Posts: 302
    • View Profile
San Diego to Poway
« on: December 05, 2010, 06:53:55 PM »
I've been looking at the San Diego to Poway section, and I have some comments. First let me show a few sets of ACSC maps.
[Used for academic purposes only; entire maps not shown; prior to 1923 is public domain.]

First let's look at the Inland Route from San Diego downtown to the Mission.

Circa 1917 map:




Looking at this first map above, I note that there seems to be an error in the depiction of the University Heights area. Notice that the inland route in the 1910s followed almost the same route as 1935 US 395. The road follows the auto trails and future 1926 US 80 up 5th Avenue to University. It then goes diagonally up a road that must be Normal Street. This reaches an east-west road labeled Adams Avenue. This is actually the location of Meade Avenue. Note that Mission heads diagonally northeast from the intersection. This road really reaches Texas Street near Adams Avenue, not Murphy Canyon. I think the alignment intended is: University to Normal, jog up to Mission, diagonally northeast to Adams, east on Adams to Murphy Canyon. Although the road is labeled Adams, Madison is also a possibility as I'll show.



1922-1925 map. The oldest I have is December 1922, but it's identical to the 1923 and 1925 maps. The 1926 map only has a minor difference in Linda Vista in which the swing south is not shown, and which must be in error since the road still swings south today.



The 1922 map above shows the Inland Route following Kearny Villa Rd and Linda Vista to meet future US 101 (Coast Route) on Morena Blvd north of the San Diego River. It then follows the Coast Route through Old Town along San Diego Avenue and India Street into downtown. Note the path up in University Heights. You can't tell whether the road is Adams or Madison, but there is some sort of over-crossing bridge (or a tunnel) on Ward Road south of the San Diego Mission. I have no idea what that is. [see post below for more on this]



The 1950 map is two years after the Cabrillo Freeway was built.

1950 map section:




It nicely shows the former route of 395 through Murphy Canyon and up Fairmount. to El Cajon Blvd. This route is clearly shown in the 1935 ACSC Exposition map:



Geography Quiz. There are two Ward Roads in San Diego. Where are they? Hint, they were once the same road....

Answer. One is {here} leading to Normal Heights Elementary and once linked with a jog to Madison. The other is {here}, and lines up with Rancho Mission Road near the Mission site. This was the early Inland Route as shown on the 1917 Blue Book map:



The "Ave" is actually Madison, not Adams. Adams is one block north and is characterized by its diagonal steps and the fact that it hits the eastward loop of Mountain View Drive. [Location map]
Other maps show Madison also, such as the 1933 AAA map:



Notice that the inland route to Los Angeles is along Murphy Canyon Road.

However, the 1925 Rand McNally map shows a route very similar to the 1935 Exposition map. It indicates Adams, not Madison. It also shows the road to Escondido from Linda Vista (Camp Kearny Road).



So which was it? Well, the 1940 HMG map shows both Adams and Madison linked to Ward Road in Murphy Canyon. Both Linda Vista and US 395 are labeled as "To Escondido." (Also note that Ulric Street in Linda Vista was once known as the "6th Street Extension" and linked to 6th St in Hillcrest.)



Note that in both the 1935 Exposition map and the 1940 inset map from HMG, US 101 was located on Market Street. Therefore, both US 80 and US 395 would have had their terminus at 12th (Park Blvd) and Market St during this time. This was the first terminus point of US 395 (in San Diego), unless we can show that US 395 followed LRN 77 on Linda Vista Road prior to 1934-35. As I've said, I've never seen a San Diego map with 395 shields older than that 1935 Exposition map.

« Last Edit: December 06, 2010, 11:38:21 AM by Parsa »

Parsa

  • Administrator
  • Veteran Road Warrior
  • *****
  • Posts: 302
    • View Profile
Re: San Diego to Poway
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2010, 10:43:25 PM »
Now for the path from the Mission to Miramar....

The early Inland Road reached the point southwest of the San Diego Mission by means of Ward Road. 1935 US 395 would have taken Fairmount to the original Camino Del Rio (now likely totally obliterated by the freeway). It followed this road west to Ward Road at a point wiped out by the 8/15 interchange. (Today, take Camino Del Rio North.)
I did find one clue, however. Right at the former intersection of Camino Del Rio and Ward Rd, there was once a benchmark. The assumed position seems a bit too far southeast, but it's given as N 32° 46.683 W 117° 06.733 (NAD 83)

Here's the description:
Benchmark DC0939, Designation: "R 321"
01/01/1935 by CGS (MONUMENTED)
01/01/1939 by NGS (GOOD)
DESCRIBED BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 1939 5.9 MI NE FROM SAN DIEGO. ALONG A COUNTY ROAD, AT THE JUNCTION OF THIS COUNTY ROAD AND U.S. HIGHWAY 395, 40 YARDS WEST OF THE INTERSECTION OF THE ROADS, 35 FEET NORTHWEST OF CENTER LINE OF COUNTY ROAD, 19 FEET NORTHEAST OF TELEPHONE POLE 306492 H, 4.5 FEET NORTHWEST OF A 6 X 6 INCH WHITE GUARD POST MARKED USBM. 5.9 MILES NE OF SF RY SIGNBOARD OLD TOWN.


The county road was likely Camino Del Rio coming from Old Town. In any case we know US 395 was here in 1939 (and probably 1935 when it was monumented). The fact that a benchmark was placed in 1935 might be another confirmation that the road became a US highway in that year.

At a point close to the Mission, all the maps indicate the road headed northwest on a bit of a diagonal. So this was probably San Diego Mission Road. Another benchmark was evidently at this turn, but the coordinates given today are totally off.

Benchmark DC0933, Designation: "Q 321 USGS"
01/01/1935 by CGS (MONUMENTED)
01/01/1939 by NGS (GOOD)
DESCRIBED BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 1939 6.4 MI NE FROM SAN DIEGO. 6.4 MILES NE OF SANTA FE RAILROAD SIGNBOARD OLD TOWN ALONG ROAD TO SAN DIEGO MISSION DE ALCALA, NEAR THE ENTRANCE TO THE MISSION, 66 YARDS NORTHEAST OF CENTER OF A RIGHT ANGLE CURVE IN U.S. HIGHWAY 395, 20 FEET NORTHWEST OF A GATE AT ENTRANCE TO THE MISSION, 19 FEET EAST OF AN IRON BELL ON TOP OF A 3 INCH IRON PIPE, 21 FEET NORTH OF THE CENTER LINE OF ROAD INTO THE MISSION.


Note the right angle curve reference. There was evidently once an El Camino Real bell here. Perhaps it's one of the four in front of the mission now. I'd know better where the benchmarks were if I had a 1940s La Mesa Quadrangle map. Unfortunately, I can't find one online. Perhaps SDSU has one, but only the La Jolla and Poway quads are shown online at the San Diego Association of Geologists web site.

In any case, somehow the road went north along Murphy Canyon Road. Later NGS descriptions in the area talk about "New Murphy Canyon Road." So I assume there was an old one. The new one is likely the future I-15. The 1950 map indicates the road was east of the drainage. I think the section of Murphy Canyon Road near Frys was likely US 395. It is just east of the drainage. From Aero Drive to Highway 52, things are likely messed up by I-15. Perhaps some sections of Murphy Canyon Rd were the old highway.

Now, I wondered how the heck the road got to Kearny Villa Rd. The maps indicated it shot straight up the Canyon to Kearny Villa Rd, meeting it just west of old Camp Elliott and the turn north on Kearny Villa. Well there is no road there. But...
There was one once! It was still called Murphy Canyon Road, and traces of it can be seen, though it looks like someone totally ripped it out: [aerial view].

Again, two benchmarks come to the rescue.
Benchmark DC0919, Designation: "N 896", approximately at: N 32° 50.800 W 117° 07.417 (NAD 83)
01/01/1955 by CGS (MONUMENTED)
DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1955 0.5 MI SW FROM CAMP ELLIOTT. 0.5 MILE SOUTHWEST ALONG MURPHY CANYON ROAD FROM THE MAIN GATE AT CAMP ELLIOTT, 4.8 MILES NORTH OF MISSION SAN DIEGO DE ALCALA, AT THE SOUTH CORNER OF A TRIANGLE FORMED BY MURPHY CANYON ROAD AND A PAVED ROAD (OLD U.S. HIGHWAY 395) LEADING SOUTHWEST, AT A 12-INCH CORRUGATED METAL PIPE CULVERT IN THE SOUTH FORK OF THE TRIANGLE, IN THE TOP OF THE CENTER OF A U SHAPED CONCRETE HEAD WALL, 27 FEET WEST OF THE CENTER LINE OF MURPHY CANYON ROAD, 26 FEET NORTHEAST OF THE CENTER LINE OF THE ROAD LEADING TO THE OLD HIGHWAY, AND ABOUT 1 1/2 FEET LOWER THAN MURPHY CANYON ROAD.

Benchmark DC0918, Designation: "417.0 USGS", approximately at: N 32° 50.867 W 117° 07.417 (NAD 83)
Unknown by USGS (MONUMENTED)
01/01/1955 by NGS (GOOD)
DESCRIBED BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 1955 0.4 MI SE FROM CAMP ELLIOTT. 0.45 MILE SOUTHWEST ALONG MURPHY CANYON ROAD FROM THE MAIN GATE AT CAMP ELLIOTT, AT THE NORTHEAST CORNER OF A TRIANGLE FORMED BY A PAVED ROAD (OLD U.S. HIGHWAY 395) LEADING SOUTHWEST, AT A 12-INCH CORRUGATED METAL PIPE CULVERT UNDER THE OLD HIGHWAY, ON THE TOP OF THE CENTER OF THE SOUTHEAST CONCRETE HEAD WALL, 48 FEET WEST OF THE CENTER LINE OF MURPHY CANYON ROAD, 24 FEET SOUTHEAST OF THE CENTER LINE OF THE OLD HIGHWAY, AND ABOUT 3 FEET LOWER THAN THE ROAD.


Now these descriptions are from 1955 (though the second mark is older). "Old U.S. Highway 395" would have actually been Kearny Villa Road from this description. Now I know that this section of Kearny Villa Road was bypassed by 1948-1950 as shown in the 1950 auto club map. But I'm saying 1935-1940s US 395 went down Murphy Canyon Road. So where did US 395 go from the time it went south on Murphy Canyon Road until the time it was bypassed by the later multi-lane alignment? Anyone have a Pacific Highways book from pre-1948? I'll have to figure that mystery out later. [See later post for a likely solution to the benchmark references to "Old U.S. Highway 395."]

OK, so I'm assuming that the 1935 road then went northeast to the entrance of old Camp Elliott at Huntington Drive. The maps then show it heading straight north. Now I assumed this was under the later US 395 on divided Kearny Villa Road, but you know what they say about ass-u-ming. Here I got the evidence farther north from two older topo maps. I'll show snips of them below.

First the 1942 Poway Valley Quad surveyed in 1939:



Note how the road runs just east of the section line, then right on the section line to "Miramar." It then curves east to Pomerado Road from a point right on the section corner. That would be about {here}. There's still a curve there, but now it seems to be some sort of fenced in gas line. They must have placed the line where the road once was.

Here's the 1967 map (revised in purple 1975):



So, I assumed wrong. Old US 395 followed Altair Avenue north from Camp Elliott. Then the road dead ends at Miramar Way. This is where we see the road just east of the section line. It then curved west to run on the section line as Maxam Avenue north of Miramar Way. By the way, the curve on Kearny Mesa north of Miramar Road was the old offramp from the earlier freeway version of US 395 as shown in the topo above.

Fortunately, there are some benchmarks on this old alignment. One is on the bridge over the wash at N 32° 52.093 W 117° 07.082.

The description is:
Benchmark DC0914, Designation: "T 896"
01/01/1955 by CGS (MONUMENTED)
DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1955 1.1 MI S FROM MIRAMAR NAAS. 1.1 MILES SOUTH ALONG A PAVED ROAD (OLD U.S. HIGHWAY 395) FROM THE PASS OFFICE AT MIRAMAR NAVAL AUXILIARY AIR STATION, 1.1 MILES NORTH OF CAMP ELLIOTT, AT A BRIDGE OVER A WASH, IN THE TOP OF THE NORTHWEST END OF THE NOTHWEST CONCRETE WING WALL, 21.6 FEET NORTHWEST OF THE CENTER LINE OF THE ROAD, AND ABOUT LEVEL WITH THE ROAD.


Better yet are some older benchmarks farther north. One is at the intersection of former US 395 and the road into old Camp Kearny. This road was once called Kearny Blvd, but is now marked as Zepplin Ave on Google. It appears to be a cement road. Evidently is was the main road into the base, and was at mile 106.5 on the 1922 map above.
N 32° 52.345 W 117° 07.082
Benchmark DC0911, Designation: "KEARNY"
01/01/1938 by CGS (MONUMENTED)
DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1938 (ACT) STATION IS 1.35 MILES S OF MIRIMAR POST OFFICE, 33.8 FEET W OF CENTER LINE OF U.S. HIGHWAY 395, 28 YARDS N OF PAVED ROAD LEADING W TO CAMP KEARNY, ABOUT 200 YARDS SSE OF LARGE CONCRETE TANK IN T 15 S, R 2 W. SURFACE, UNDERGROUND AND REFERENCE MARKS ARE STANDARD BRONZE DISKS SET IN CONCRETE. STATION MARK IS A STANDARD STATION DISK SET IN A 10 INCH SQUARE CONCRETE POST, STAMPED KEARNY 1938, PROJECTS 10 INCHES. UNDERGROUND STATION MARK IS A STANDARD STATION DISK SET IN A 10 INCH SQUARE CONCRETE, STAMPED KEARNY 1938, 40 INCHES BENEATH SURFACE. REFERENCE MARK NO. 1 IS A STANDARD REFERENCE DISK SET IN A 10 INCH SQUARE CONCRETE POST, S OF STATION, STAMPED KEARNY NO. 1 1938, PROJECTS 10 INCHES. REFERENCE MARK NO. 2 IS A STANDARD REFERENCE DISK SET IN A 10 INCH SQUARE CONCRETE POST, W OF STATION, STAMPED KEARNY NO. 2 1938, PROJECTS 10 INCHES. AZIMUTH OBJECT IS OLD DIRIGIBLE MAST USED FOR MACON AND AKRON, 0.6 MILE WSW OF STATION, (USED RED LIGHT ON TOP OF MAST). TO REACH FROM MIRIMAR POST OFFICE GO S ON U.S. HIGHWAY 395 FOR 1.35 MILES TO STATION ON RIGHT SIDE OF HIGHWAY, 33.8 FEET W OF CENTER LINE. BAROMETRIC ELEVATION (G 212) 615 FEET.

There's another 1955 mark at the corner of Altair and Kearny Court, which was evidently an old Miramar entrance before the newer big Miramar Way was built. This is BM 481 on the topo above.
Benchmark DC1162, Designation: "U 896"
01/01/1955 by CGS (MONUMENTED)
DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1955 AT MIRAMAR NAAS. AT MIRAMAR NAVAL AUXILIARY AIR STATION, AT THE PASS OFFICE (BUILDING M-310), SET VERTICALLY IN THE WEST CONCRETE WALL NEAR THE SOUTHWEST CORNER, 72 1/2 FEET EAST OF THE CENTER LINE OF A NORTH-SOUTH PAVED ROAD (OLD U.S. HIGHWAY 395), 44.0 FEET NORTH OF THE CENTER LINE OF A PAVED ROAD LEADING EAST, AND 2 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND.


There's also a benchmark description of the one at the curve to Pomerado which can be seen in both topos above.

Next I'll cover the road up to Poway. I'm calling it quits for tonight, but just notice that the 1917 map shows an older, even more winding grade than the later Poway Grade of the 1922 and 1950 maps. I'll show both roads in the next post.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2010, 06:38:36 PM by Parsa »

Parsa

  • Administrator
  • Veteran Road Warrior
  • *****
  • Posts: 302
    • View Profile
Re: San Diego to Poway
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2010, 12:40:19 PM »
I think I have some idea about the little bridge symbol shown for Ward Road on the 1922 map above (second map shown). Looking at some more detailed San Diego street maps, it seems that the canyon was too deep at Adams Avenue (much like today). Ward Road went under the Adams Avenue bridge, then you could curve west on Ward to meet up with the small remnant at the Normal Heights Elementary School. Perhaps there was some way you could get to Adams also, as today, but the old city maps I have show only the Adams Avenue bridge with no direct connection to Ward Road.
I also found a 1926 map with an inset entitled "Auto Routes in and out of San Diego." This shows the same thing. Ward Road, labeled "Ward St Grade" turns onto Madison, and then connects to El Cajon Blvd via 35th Street. The Adams Avenue bridge is indicated passing over Ward Rd.
A 1929 city map shows that Ward Street did not connect to either 40th or 39th. 38th was the first connector, but 35th is shown as the main link to El Cajon Blvd. Madison is shown as a dark line (major road). BTW, this map shows the road down the canyon that we call Texas today was originally called "Sandrock Grade." It connected Camino Del Rio in the valley to diagonal Mission Road (and Adams Avenue passing overhead on a bridge).

Parsa

  • Administrator
  • Veteran Road Warrior
  • *****
  • Posts: 302
    • View Profile
Re: San Diego to Poway
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2010, 10:14:05 AM »
Just a note on the 1933 AAA map above. There's absolutely no way the two north-south roads shown connecting Ward Road with El Cajon Blvd and University Ave could have been 34th St and Euclid. Euclid is actually not only east of Ward Road, it's even east of Fairmount. It was the original auto trail path from the east. That is El Cajon Blvd to Euclid and down the University, but the Inland ROute did not connect to it in the way shown.
The road labeled "Euclid" is actually 35th Street. It meets University just east of its southward jog. The road called "34th" is probably 30th, another major connector shown on other maps such as the 1935 Exposition map, the 1940 HMG map, and the 1950 auto club map shown above.

Parsa

  • Administrator
  • Veteran Road Warrior
  • *****
  • Posts: 302
    • View Profile
Re: San Diego to Poway
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2010, 07:07:36 PM »
I think I understand the reference in the benchmark descriptions above to "Old U.S. Highway 395" on Kearny Villa Road. To my mind, "old" US 395 was the road down Murphy Canyon Road. By 1955, US 395 was going along modern CA 163 to Balboa Park. So I couldn't understand why the southerly extension of Kearny Villa Road would be called "old" US 395.

Well, it seems that when 395 was routed south in 1948 to Balboa Park, it originally stayed on Kearny Villa Road and passed the older intersection with Murphy Canyon. The 1944 official Department of Highways map still shows US 395 (LRN 77) going down Murphy Canyon, but the final proposed route (CA 163 route) is shown as a dashed line:



Note that the plan was to extend the freeway to Pomerado Road somewhere east of Miramar. This was never done.

By 1948 much of the 395 highway was complete. However, as shown by the dashed line, the section near Kearny Villa Road was not finished. So, the road still traveled on Kearny Villa Road at this time as shown by the 1948 Department of Highways map:



US 395 still went up Pomerado Road in 1948, but the new freeway was planned straight up the I-15 corridor.

By 1950, as shown in the 1950 auto club strip map in the first post, Kearny Villa Road was completely bypassed. This is why the benchmark refers to Kearny Villa Road in this section as "Old U.S. Highway 395."





Parsa

  • Administrator
  • Veteran Road Warrior
  • *****
  • Posts: 302
    • View Profile
Re: San Diego to Poway
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2010, 10:35:13 PM »
The third section on the trip from San Diego to Poway includes the Poway Grade, or perhaps I should say grades. The historic Inland Route originally took a different path to the summit point.

As can be seen in the first auto club map from about 1917, the road went straight northeast from the bend in Kearny Villa Rd near old Camp Elliott. In the 1922 map this road has been bypassed, but it’s labeled “OLD ROAD.” Both this older road and US 395 on Pomerado Road appear on the 1942 Poway Valley topographic quadrangle (surveyed in 1939). The old road was known simply as the Escondido Road.

Poway Valley Quadrangle

Today the road is known as Huntington Drive near Kearny Villa, and was the main road of the marine base, Camp Elliott, during WWII. Farther northeast, Google Maps labels it Rifle Range Road and Creek Road. Somewhere near the bottom of the older Poway grade was a little post office called Virginia and a stage stop and ranch run by the Tower family. The track of the old road is present today, and resumes as Creek Road north of Stonebridge Pkwy.



Compare the image above to the circa 1917 auto club map.

The topographic map of course also shows circa 1939 US 80. The later winding Poway Grade on Pomerado Road is clearly shown. This road was straightened and the area developed, so that today only traces of the old road appear:



After the Poway Grade, US 395 followed Old Pomerado Road until it merged once again with Pomerado Rd. Does anyone know if Pomerado Road was realigned here before US 395 was shifted to the I-15 corridor? Is that a fairly recent realignment, or was it done a long time ago during the 395 days?

bunthorne

  • Student Driver
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: San Diego to Poway
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2012, 11:00:25 PM »
I realize it has been a long time since this thread has had any activity but I wanted to respond to your question regarding Pomerado Road's realignment (since nobody else has).  The old road was still in use in the 80's but the traffic was heavy and it was extremely dangerous.  I was living in Scripps Ranch at the time and often drove home from Poway on it.  Once I came across a motorcycle crash in the middle of the night.  Anyway, they closed the road in 1989, I believe, and straightened it out.  Scripps Poway Parkway was cut through the mountain to the west and the fill was used to level out a place for the shopping center now at the corner of Scripps Poway Parkway and Pomerado.  Pomerado Rd. reopened in the early 90s.  As you noted, the old road still pokes out to the east here and there.  By the way, you could add a few more blue arrows to your picture just south of the new road at the bottom of the picture.  The old road went through a cut here.  After the realignment, the western side of the cut was leveled and those condos were built.  But the east side of the old cut is intact.

I didn't know about the older Poway Grade until I read your post.  I hiked out there today from Stonebridge Pkwy to take a look.  Now THAT was a grade!  The old roadbed is surprisingly intact given how long it has been abandoned.  When was it built?  My guess is it's much older than auto traffic.  I found some old stage coach route maps online and, sure enough, there is a route that came down from Ramona, through Poway, and up and over the hill into San Clemente Canyon on the way to San Diego.  The old grade has some real history.

Parsa

  • Administrator
  • Veteran Road Warrior
  • *****
  • Posts: 302
    • View Profile
Re: San Diego to Poway
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2012, 06:14:11 PM »
Thanks for the information. It always helps to get info from long term locals.

 

dynasty