Skip to main content

El Camino Real Relics in Santa Barbara

Back during the first half of December 2013, I had traveled out to California to follow the New York Islanders ice hockey club on a trip where they were playing the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks. While I had wanted to take a road trip like this around the Golden State for a number of years, I also wanted to take in a few things that California had to offer. After all, I was a long way from my home in Upstate New York. Being a history buff as well as a road enthusiast and hockey fan, I decided to check out the Old Mission Santa Barbara along my way from Los Angeles to San Jose on US Highway 101. With missions being a part of California's Spanish history, this had to be a win-win. Upon parking at the mission, I had spotted a few other historic relics that I wasn't quite expecting to see at the mission itself.

Historic El Camino Real marker bell.

Historic Auto Club of Southern California road sign.

You may be wondering what the deal with the bell is, especially if you're not quite familiar with California. There were a number of bells that marked the historic route of the El Camino Real, which followed US 101 and other modern roads between Orange County and Sonoma County. There was a Mission Bell Marker system that has existed on the Historic El Camino Real since 1906, with a bell placed one mile apart along the El Camino Real. Modern renditions of the bells can be found along US 101, plus you can even buy your own El Camino Real bell if you have some cash to spare. The bell in at the Old Mission Santa Barbara is an older bell, complete with an old road sign from the Auto Club of Southern California made of porcelain enamel material.

As for that Spanish mission in Santa Barbara I visited, it is now a great museum to check out. Even Junipero Serra himself would agree. I learned a lot and enjoyed my visit.

The exterior of the Old Mission Santa Barbara.

Inside the courtyard inside the mission.

Fr. Junipero Serra statue.


Sources and Links
1. Conejo Valley Guide - The Story Behind Those Historic El Camino Real Bell Markers on the 101 Freeway
2. California Highways - US Highway 101
3. CalTrafficSigns.com - California Highway Signs 
4. Doug Kerr / Flickr - Mission Santa Barbara Photo Gallery

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The history of US Route 80 and Interstate 8 in California

The historic corridor of US Route 80 and Interstate 8 through the borderlands of southern California share a largely mutual history.  Both highways originated in the city of San Diego and departed the state at the Colorado River into Yuma, Arizona.  Both highways share numerous famous geographical components such as the Mountain Springs Grade and Algodones Sand Dunes.  This article serves as a comprehensive history of the combined US Route 80/Interstate 8 corridor in California from the tolled stage route era of the nineteenth century to the development of the modern freeway.   The blog cover photo features US Route 80 along the Mountains Springs Grade through In-Ko-Pah Gorge during late 1920s.  This photo is part of the Caltrans McCurry Collection. Part 1; the history of US Route 80 and Interstate 8 in California US Route 80 and Interstate 8 in California share a largely mutual history.  The backstory of both highways is tied heavily to the corridors of the Old Spanish Trail, Legisl

The Central Freeway of San Francisco (US Route 101)

The Central Freeway is a 1.2-mile elevated limited access corridor in the city of San Francisco.  As presently configured the Central Freeway connects from the end of the Bayshore Freeway to Market Street.  The Central Freeway carries the mainline of northbound US Route 101 from the Bayshore Freeway to Mission Street. The Central Freeway has origins with the establishment of Legislative Route Number 223 and is heavily tied to the history of the once proposed Panhandle Freeway.  The Central Freeway between the Bayshore Freeway and Mission Street was completed during 1955.  The corridor was extended to a one-way couplet located at Turk Street and Golden Gate Avenue in 1959 which served to connect US Route 101 to Van Ness Avenue.  The Central Freeway was damaged by the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake and has since been truncated to Market Street.   The Central Freeway as pictured on the blog cover was featured in the May/June 1959 California Highways & Public Works.  The scan below is fro

The Midway Palm and Pine of US Route 99

Along modern day California State Route 99 south of Avenue 11 just outside the City limits of Madera one can find the Midway Palm and Pine in the center median of the freeway.  The Midway Palm and Pine denotes the halfway point between the Mexican Border and Oregon State Line on what was US Route 99.  The Midway Palm is intended to represent Southern California whereas the Midway Pine is intended to represent Northern California.  Pictured above the Midway Palm and Pine can be seen from the northbound lanes of the California State Route 99 Freeway.   This blog is part of the larger Gribblenation US Route 99 Page.  For more information pertaining to the other various segments of US Route 99 and it's three-digit child routes check out the link the below. Gribblenation US Route 99 Page The history of the Midway Palm and Pine The true timeframe for when the Midway Palm and Pine (originally a Deadora Cedar Tree) were planted is unknown.  In fact, the origin of the Midway Palm and Pine w