Skip to main content

Former US Route 101 in San Miguel

San Miguel is located on the western bank of the Salinas River in Salinas Valley of northern San Luis Obispo County.  Former US Route 101 before the present freeway was constructed was carried via Mission Street.  


Part 1; the history of US Route 101 in San Miguel 

The Salinas Valley was largely first explored by Europeans during the second Juan Bautista De Anza Expedition of Las Californias.  In time the general route of the second De Anza Expedition became the path of El Camino Real ("The Royal Road").  The route of El Camino Real was intended to solidify a path of travel between the Catholic Missions of Las Californias.  Mission San Miguel Arcangel was established on July 25th, 1797 on a site that was chosen on the Salinas River near a local Salinas Tribe.  Each Mission was meant to be approximately 30 miles apart from each other which would require a single day of travel by horseback.

Following the advent of Mexican independence from Spain the usage of the term "El Camino Real" largely fell into disuse.  Following the secularization of the Spanish Missions in August of 1833 the land holdings were split off into Ranchos.  Despite El Camino Real functionally no longer existing it's path of travel remained a the favor way of traversing Alta California.  During the American period Mission San Miguel Arcangel was returned to the Catholic Church in 1859.  The Catholic Church subsequently reopened Mission San Miguel Arcangel in 1878.  San Miguel's profile was further raised in the 1880s when the Southern Pacific Railroad built a line through Salinas Valley.  Indeed San Miguel can be seen as a stop on the Southern Pacific Railroad on the the 1890 George F. Cram Railroad Map of California.  

The era of State Highway Maintenance through San Miguel would ultimately begin with the 1909 First State Highway Bond Act which was approved by voters in 1910.  One of the highways approved through the 1909 First State Highway Bond Act was a 481.8 mile highway originating at the City Limits of San Francisco which terminated in San Diego.  This highway would ultimately come to be known in time as Legislative Route Number 2 ("LRN 2").

San Miguel was ultimately part of the American El Camino Real which began being signed as an Auto Trail starting in 1906.  Early LRN 2 and the American El Camino Real can be seen on what is now Mission Street in San Miguel on the 1917 California State Automobile Association Map.

LRN 2 through San Miguel is shown on the 1920 Clason Highway Map of California as part of the American El Camino Real and the Pacific Highway.  The Pacific Highway was plotted out as an Auto Trail association in 1913.  

The initial draft of the US Route System was approved by the Secretary of Agriculture during November of 1925.  The US Route System with in California was approved by California Highway Commission with no changes recommended by January 1926.  The initial alignment of US Route 101 ("US 101") was planned to follow LRN 2 from San Francisco to San Diego.  US 101 is shown on a map published in the 1926 California Highways & Public Works following LRN 2 south from San Francisco towards San Diego.
 

 
During November of 1926 the US Route System was approved by the AASHO.  US 101 can be seen aligned through San Miguel on the 1927 National Map Company Sectional Map.
 

US 101/LRN 2 through San Miguel can be seen in detail on the 1935 Division of Highways Map of San Luis Obispo County.  

The March/April 1958 California Highways & Public Works features the San Miguel Bypass.  The San Miguel Bypass is stated to be a 3.1 mile long realignment of US 101 south of San Miguel north to the southern boundary of Camp Roberts.  The San Miguel Bypass opened to traffic as the new alignment of US 101 in late November 1957.  



Part 2; a drive on former US Route 101 in San Miguel via Mission Street

From modern US 101 one can access Mission Street via Exit 241A. 



Mission Street from Exit 241A heads southward into downtown San Miguel.  Access back to modern US 101 can be found at 10th Street.  









South of 10th Street the alignment of Mission Street passes by Mission San Miguel Arcangel.


 
 
From Mission San Miguel Arcangel the route of Mission Street loops back to modern US 101.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 232

This past month I drove the entirety of California State Route 232 in Ventura County. CA 232 is an approximately 4 miles State Highway aligned on Vineland Avenye which begins near Saticoy at CA 118 and traverses southwest to US Route 101 in Oxnard.  The alignment of CA 232 was first adopted into the State Highway System in 1933 as Legislative Route Number 154 according to CAhighways.org. CAhighways.org on LRN 154 As originally defined LRN 154 was aligned from LRN 9 (future CA 118) southwest to LRN 2/US 101 in El Rio.  This configuration of LRN 154 between CA 118/LRN 9 and US 101/LRN 2 can be seen on the 1935 California Division of Highways Map of Ventura County. 1935 Ventura County Highway Map According to CAhighways.org the route of LRN 154 was extended west from US 101/LRN 2 to US 101A/LRN 60 in 1951.  Unfortunately State Highway Maps do not show this extension due to it being extremely small. During the 1964 State Highway Renumbering LRN 154 was assigned CA 232.  Of n

Former US Route 50 and the South Lincoln Highway from Folsom east to Placerville

The corridor of Folsom of Sacramento County east to Placerville of El Dorado County has been a long established corridor of overland travel dating back to the California Gold Rush.  The Folsom-Placerville corridor was once part of the path of the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road which became the first California State Highway and later the South Lincoln Highway.  In time the South Lincoln Highway's surface alignment was inherited by US Route 50.  The Folsom-Placerville corridor also includes the communities of; Clarksville, Shingle Springs and El Dorado. Part 1; the history of the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road, South Lincoln Highway and US Route 50 through Folsom-Placerville Folsom is located on the American River/Lake Natoma of eastern Sacramento County.  That lands now occupied by the City of Folsom were part of Rancho Rio de los Americanos prior to the finding of gold at Sutter's Mill during 1848.  During the California Gold Rush the lands of Rancho Rio de los Americanos were purchased by Jose

Legacy of US Route 466 Part 3; Morro Bay to Shandon via Rocky Canyon

Part 3 of the US Route 466 Legacy series consists of the roadways that made up the highway between Morro Bay and Shandon of San Luis Obispo County.  The San Luis Obispo County segment of US Route 466 is notable due to it having been carried via a dirt segment through Rocky Canyon from 1933 to 1958.  Pictured in the cover photo of this blog is former US Route 466 facing westward into Rocky Canyon. Part 1 and Part 2 of the US Route 466 Legacy Series can be found below: Legacy of US Route 466 Part 1; California State Route 46 Legacy of US Route 466 Part 2; Tehachapi to Bakersfield  Part 1; mapping early US Route 466 in San Luis Obispo County As discussed in Part 1 of the US Route 466 Legacy series the western terminus of US Route 466 ("US 466") from it's inception until truncation in the 1965 was located in Morro Bay at California State Route 1 ("CA 1"). US 466 between Morro Bay and Shandon had two two primary alignments through it's history.  The initia