06 May 2009

A 1920s Map for A Sunday Drive in Carbon Canyon and Brea Canyon

For a few decades, starting in the 1910s, the Automobile Club of Southern California issued "strip maps," rectangular items that could sit on the dashboard of the car while the driver followed the map to his/her destination. Sometimes these maps came in a series for long distance driving, like the multipart set from Los Angeles to Phoenix or San Francisco, but often they came singly for the local pleasure drive to the beach or local canyons.

The map in this blog was for such a "Sunday drive" from Anaheim to Pomona via Carbon and Brea Canyons. The starting point for the drive was downtown Anaheim, specifically the intersection of Center Street and Los Angeles Street (now Lincoln Avenue and Harbor Boulevard.)

There were two routes outlined: one via Brea Canyon and the other through Carbon Canyon, with the mileage for the former being 21.5 miles and the latter 25.5 to Pomona.

On the Brea Canyon route, the path leads from Los Angeles Street to Spadra Road (Spadra was an 1870s settlement later incorporated into Pomona) as you crossed into Fullerton from Anaheim. After leaving downtown Fullerton, the turnoff from Spadra Road, at mile 3.5, would be to today's Brea Boulevard (formerly Anaheim-to-Spadra Road), which hit downtown Brea at mile 6.5 and then becomes today's Brea Canyon Road, reaching the Orange/Los Angeles county line at mile 9.5. That thoroughfare is now largely covered over by the 57 Freeway, but there are original stretches, including from Brea to Diamond Bar and from about where the 57/60 interchange is until the road's end at Valley Boulevard (also known as Pomona Boulevard in the 1920s) and the 15.2 mile mark. Following Valley Boulevard into Spadra/Pomona, the route followed today's Pomona Boulevard, which branches off from Valley just south of Temple Avenue, and, at about mile 19 reaching the old Louis Phillips Mansion, an 1875 French Second Empire home that is now a Historical Society of Pomona Valley landmark, as is the nearby Spadra Cemetery, also along this route. From there, drivers would head into downtown Pomona via Second Street to the terminus at Second and Garey Avenue.

For the Carbon Canyon route, the route is less clear in the early stages, but appears to have roughly veered off from Center/Lincoln toward what would now be State College Boulevard, but then an extension of today's Placentia Avenue. From there, it seems there would be a right turn onto Palm Street and then, before Yorba Linda Boulevard went that far west, over to Valencia Avenue, once called Olinda Boulevard. After crossing the Pacific Electric Railway streetcar track, the route would lead into Olinda and bear right onto Carbon Canyon Road at the 9.5 mile mark. Another 3.5 miles would take the driver to "La Vida Springs" or La Vida Mineral Springs, which opened in 1924, so, obviously, the map dates to after then. At mile 14, the Orange/San Bernardino county line is reached, but there are no landmarks along the route on the Chino Hills side until mile 21.5, when the George Junior Republic, now Boys Republic, home for delinquent boys was reached. Because this complex is shown on the eastern side of the route, it is assumed that drivers would use what is basically now Peyton Drive to head north until a connection was made with Garey Avenue for the final four miles of the drive. Notably just before (a mile?) the 20.5 mile marker there seems to be a road veering off north and west, which might be roughly where Chino Hills Parkway and then Eucalyptus Avenue head off toward Tonner Canyon and what is now the Tres Hermanos Ranch property (which will be the subject of a future post on this blog.)

As is the case with other pre-1930s maps featured on this blog over the last several months, this one is a fascinating window back to a time when many of the roads we use now were present, though perhaps with different names or slightly altered roadbeds, but in which many aspects of our area has changed.

One wonders, for example, how accurately the path of Carbon Canyon Road was shown. Specifically, there is the S-curve coming down from the summit on the Chino Hills side. It appears that the road was much straighter and the 16.5 mile marker with a nearby indicator for the 1125' summit seems to be about where this area is now, but the road doesn't indicate the hairpin turns as we see now.

This map is reproduced courtesy of the Homestead Museum Collection in the City of Industry. As always, clicking on the photos will give you a magnified view so you can get a better sense of detail from this great map.

No comments: