U.S. Highways > Highway 395

Poway to Vista

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I'm tackling the section between Poway and Vista in this thread.
I'll start with Poway and the road into Escondido.

As I mentioned in the last thread, US 395 followed Old Pomerado Road north of the Poway Grade. The center of this area (north of the creek) was called Poway Grove Park during 395 days.

The main road into the village of Poway in the first half of the 20th century was not Poway Road but Oak Knoll Road. From there you had to go north on Carriage Road (appropriate name) to Poway Road. The main town area was between Midland Rd and Garden Rd where all the car dealerships are today. The area near the junction of Carriage and Poway roads was the location of the main Kumeyaay-Ipai indian villages. There is a Pauwai indian village interpretive site on the hill to the west of Carriage Rd off Poway Rd. Open Saturday mornings.

US 395 proceeded straight north from the intersection of Oak Knoll and Pomerado. The jog east at Twin Peaks Rd/Camino Del Norte has always been there. In the early 1900s it was a series on angles, and in the 395 days it was curved, but the curves were sharper (smaller radius). The road seems to have run a bit farther north into the flat area, then curved more sharply east.

The 395 highway followed all the curves of Pomerado Road to Lake Hodges. One thing to explain, however, is the path of the Inland Route to Escondido before the Bernardo River was dammed in 1918 forming Lake Hodges (and Santa Ysabel Creek as the feeder's name today). When the highway reached the area around Bernardo Trails Drive, it veered northeast into the canyon on the east side of the hills east of Pomerado Road. A dirt road still exists in this canyon leading north to the Pinery Christmas Tree lot. From there the old Escondido Road bent west, meeting a road coming in from the west side of Battle Mountain. (Farther south it's essentially West Bernardo Road). After the merge, the road headed north in the area of Evergreen Nursery off Highland Valley Rd. It was roughly where the nursery's main road is. It headed north to cross the Bernardo River on a bridge. On the north side, part of this road still remains as the Mule Hill hiking trail. Mule Hill north of the lake was the site of the final stages of the Battle of San Pasqual. Just north of the bridge, near where the hill comes closest to the dirt road, was a small town called Bernardo. Traces of this old Escondido Road are visible as ghost signs painted on the nearby boulders advertising businesses in Escondido. This dirt road then headed north becoming Sunset Drive (now part of Bear Valley Parkway in this area). The road stayed with Sunset Drive as it turned northwest. Bearing left at two forks, the road eventually merges with Escondido Blvd, once called Nutmeg.

Here's the 1901 map around Lake Hodges, with notes:

And here is the same area in 1947 right before the freeway alignments were built. This is the way the highway looked from 1926 to 1947.

After crossing the old bridge, the road followed the same path as I-15 until Centre City Parkway. It followed Centre City until Escondido Blvd (Nutmeg) veers off to the right.

Here are two auto club map sections for the Poway to Vista section. Recall that the village of Vista is at the site of Rancho Buena Vista, hence the Buena Station, Buena, and Vista developed areas shown on the maps.

Circa 1917 pre-Lake Hodges map:

On this map, notice that the highway goes straight north to Bernardo town, then follows the exact path I described along Sunset Drive. There are no real surprises except that Grand seems to be labeled Main Street.

Here is the 1925 map. All the strip maps back to at least 1922 are identical, and the later 1926 map only shows the lake as a little larger on the east side.

The collection of buildings on the south side of the Lake Hodges bridge seen in the 1947 topo are here called "Hodges (Bernardo)". The businesses of Bernardo evidently shifted here when the highway moved west.
On the first map, the highway reaches Nutmeg (Escondido Blvd) from the southeast, but in the second map the highway approaches from the southwest as expected. The original route is still shown on the 1925 map as a thinner line.
Lime Street is Broadway, Grand is still called Grand today.

Note also the little jog northward on the northwest side of Escondido. That appears to show a jog from Washington to Grant (Mission). I've never seen that on any of the more detailed maps, and this does not show up on the later topographic map, or a city map I have from this exact time period. However, the 1901 topo does not show Grant/Mission going through from Lime (Broadway). Instead you evidently had to go southwest on Washington, then shift north via a northeast trending connector ("Lincoln"... now a short dead end road near the Palomar Water distribution building) to connect to Montiel Road (not Mission) for the westbound journey. Perhaps this is what is being shown, but I doubt it.



Escondido is fairly straight forward for US 395 between 1935 and 1947. This was the same path as the Inland Route highway as seen on 1920s auto club maps.
The road came into town on the "Mission Road" across the Lake Hodges bridge. This merged into Nutmeg Street (Escondido Blvd). This road was paved by 1924 as shown by the stippling on the 1924 map below. The road then turned east on Grand to Lime St. (Broadway). The highway went north on Lime Street across a bridge over Escondido Creek. The other streets seem to have had no bridges. The highway then turned west on Grant Ave (Mission) and headed to San Marcos.

Here is the 1924 Escondido map. It's too big to post in this thread, so I'll just give a link (click to enlarge).

Escondido 1924 map

The college shown was the seminary for the University of Southern California. It became Escondido's first high school, in fact long before this map was published.

The hotel site is where Palomar Hospital is located today. The Escondido Hotel was a truly grand 1886 hotel with a guest list including many famous people. It was actually torn down in 1923, so the survey for the map was likely from an earlier date.

Note that many street names have changed in Escondido, and even the numbered streets have shifted. Of the state names, only Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Idaho remain (oh... and tiny Utah Way). You can, however, see all the names shown on this map imprinted in the sidewalks. Speaking of sidewalks, some of the downtown curbs still have old horse hitching rings embedded in them.



Here's the clip of the 1947 topographic map for Escondido. The solid lines are paved major roads, so US 395 along Escondido Blvd (Nutmeg), Grand, Broadway (Lime), and Mission (Grant) is all shown as a solid line.


I have often wondered why there was the jog in Escondido from Nutmeg (Escondido Blvd) to Lime (Broadway).  The bridge had to be the answer.  The Route would have taken the path of least resistance and the least construction cost.  Thank you for that. 
It is also interesting to note that at the intersection of Grand and Broadway there was a large flag pole installed there.  In Vista, the American Legion also installed a flag pole at the intersection of South Santa Fe Road and San Diego Boulevard (Main Street). 


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