U.S. Highways > Highway 395

Colton — Riverside to San Bernadino

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1943 large scale USGS topo showing US 395 and CA 18 shields on Mt Vernon south of Colton Avenue.

The 1934 official state map from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DOT) has an inset map for the San Bernardino area. This clearly shows F Street in Colton rather than I Street. It was later that year that US 395 came into California. I Street evidently did not go through and cross the Santa Ana River.
This area has great importance in transportation history as it was a major crossing of early north-south and east-west highways.

In the following map I show the same area. This is from the early 1943 Colton topographic quad. (The first 4 decades of the 1900s saw very few topographic maps produced. Most earlier ones are reprints of 1890s maps.) In this map we see the early east-west highway along the route I have highlighted in blue. This exactly corresponds to the 1934 map above. Valley Blvd (I Street in Colton in the old days) did not exist and did not cross the Santa Ana River. Early auto club maps show the north-south route following the purple dots. You could continue diagonally on Colton Ave into San Bernardino, but if you were heading for Cajon Pass, you would bend north on Mt. Vernon.
The east-west route of US 70 and US 99 is labeled "Ocean to Ocean Highway" on this topo. This is a vestige of the 1913 era transcontinental auto trail that went from here all the way to the Colorado River crossing at Yuma. The National Old Trails Road was linked for a time to this highway in its very early days. That's why the auto club signs are labeled "National Old Trails Road Ocean-to-Ocean Highway." The NOTR later broke away and followed the general route of Route 66 through Arizona and California into San Bernardino and L.A.

Circa 1924 auto club map, which agrees almost completely with the 1934 state map above.
Some things to note:
1. Like the state map, the route in Riverside is Orange St north to 1st St, then east to La Cadena.
2. The railroad crossing on the south side of Colton is the old 1907 underpass, with a left north on 6th St., east on Congress to 8th Street, which takes you north into Colton.
3. F Street is the main east-west street, and is here labelled as one of the many Colton Avenues. This bold route shown is the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway route to Redlands (which was the highway's national headquarters). This is the highlighted blue path I showed above.
4. Diagonal Colton Avenue is the only road north, and Mt. Vernon is not shown as extending south of diagonal Colton Ave. This is the purple-dot path I showed above.

The 1937 auto club map.
Things to note:
1. The road north out of Riverside is now Main Street and Russell St. to La Cadena.
2. The new railroad crossing, built in 1936, has replaced the old 1907 underpass on the south side of Colton.
3. Valley Blvd, here labeled Colton Avenue, has replaced F Street as the main east-west highway in town.
4. Although diagonal Colton Avenue is still shown, Mt. Vernon is now shown extending south to Valley Blvd, and
5. F Street is not shown extending west of diagonal Colton Avenue as a major bold road.

I conclude that the Valley Blvd to Mt. Vernon routing was not in place by 1934, but was in place by 1937.


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