Skip to main content

Former California State Route 194 from Downieville to Saddleback Mountain

Back in 2017 I visited Downieville in Sierra County while driving California State Route 49 over the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  While in Downieville I passed by the junction of what was former California State Route 194 on Saddleback Road.  The photo below is from an overlook where CA 194 would have terminated at CA 49 just west of Downieville.


Prior to the 1964 State Highway Renumbering the route of CA 194 was known as Legislative Route Number 36.  LRN 36 was adopted into the State Highway system in 1907 as a road from Mount Pleasant Ranch by way of the Eureka Mine in southeastern direction towards Downieville.

CAhighways.org on LRN 36

LRN 36 appears on the 1918 State Highway Map as a Special Appropriations road.

1918 State Highway Map

The irony of having a roadway to the Eureka Mine from Downieville was that mining had long declined in the 19th Century.  The legislative description of LRN 36 appears to make a vague reference to a highway that would be adopted either in Marysville or Oroville.  Said highway was adopted in 1909 during the First State Highway Bond Act as LRN 30.  More can on LRN 30 can be found above on CAhighways.org article on LRN 36 and on the recent CA 162 blog involving the Bidwell's Bar Bridges.

CA 162 and saga of the Bidwell's Bar Bridges

Ultimately LRN 36 would never reach LRN 30 as the latter had been decommissioned in favor of the newly completed Feather River Highway segment of CA 24/LRN 21 in 1936.  The hanging end of LRN 36 at Saddleback Mountain north of Downieville can be seen on the 1935 California Division of Highways Map of Sierra County.

1935 Sierra County Highway Map

For reference LRN 30 can be seen last on the 1935 Division of Highways Maps of Butte County and Plumas County before disappearing on the 1936 State Highway Map.

1935 Butte County Highway Map

1935 Plumas County Highway Map

1936-37 State Highway Map

Despite never connecting to LRN 30 or even CA 24/LRN 21 the route of LRN 36 lingered on through the 1964 State Highway Renumbering when it was assigned CA 194.  This change can be seen by comparing the 1963 State Highway Map to the 1964 edition.  The 1964 definition of CA 194 was very clear as it was routed north of CA 49 to Eureka Mine Road near Saddleback Mountain.  Of note; the route of LRN 36/CA 194 even by the 1960s was unique given it was one of the last dirt State Highways.

1963 State Highway Map

1964 State Highway Map

According to CAhighways.org CA 194 was deleted during Legislative Chapter 1372 of 1965.

CAhighways.org on CA 194

CA 194 last appears on the 1965 State Highway Map and disappears on the 1966 Edition.

1965 State Highway Map

1966 State Highway Map

From the overlook of Downieville there is a 1874 topographical map of the area showing the road westward of the community to the Eureka Mine which ultimately became the first CA 194.

 
Downieville was founded in 1849 along the confluence of the Downie River and North Fork Yuba River.  Downieville was one of the contenders for the fourth California State Capitol in 1853 which was ultimately given to Sacramento.  Despite Downieville long being past it's heyday it still remains the Sierra County Seat.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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.   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 was referenced in California's Gold Episode #608 during which Huell Howser examined numerous points claimed to be the Center of California.  During Episode #608 Huell Howser interviews Caltrans employee Bob Thompson who emphasizes there wa

Erie Canal: Little Falls and Moss Island

  Little Falls, New York is a small city in the Mohawk Valley that has been shaped by the forces of water throughout its history. Nowhere in Little Falls is that more evident than at Moss Island. Representing the Industrial Age, this is home of Lock 17 the tallest lock along the Erie Canal, but there is also evidence of the Ice Age in the form of 40 foot deep glacial potholes from when there was an ancient waterfall that was even larger than Niagara Falls at this spot, once draining Glacial Lake Iroquois when other outlets (such as the St. Lawrence River) were blocked by retreating glaciers. While Little Falls does not have the amount of industry around the river and canal than it once had, checking out what Moss Island has to offer is a great way to see what the city has to offer. Visiting Moss Island allows you to experience the engineering marvel that is the Erie Canal plus the wonders of nature by taking a hike around the island and seeing the glacial potholes. A

California State Route 33 and legacy of US Route 399 on the Maricopa-Ventura Highway

California State Route 33 is a 290 mile (about 323 including multiplexes) State Highway spanning from Ventura at US Route 101 north to Interstate 5 near Tracy.  California State Route 33 offers a scenic alternate from the Pacific Coast over former US Route 399 via the Ventura-Maricopa Highway to San Joaquin Valley.  Within San Joaquin Valley California State Route 33 largely is known as the main street connecting it's western communities.  Depicted above is an overlook of California State Route 33 and the Maricopa-Ventura Highway snaking through Wheeler Gorge.  Pictured below is reverse view of the Maricopa-Ventura Highway shortly after it opened in October 1933.  The Maricopa-Ventura Highway would become part of US Route 399 in 1934 and would be absorbed into California State Route 33 in 1964.   The present alignment of California State Route 33 can be observed below.   Part 1; the history of California State Route 33 The origin of modern California State Rou