Skip to main content

Former US Route 101 in Buellton

Buellton is a small City located in central Santa Barbara County along the Santa Ynez River.  Prior to the modern freeway bypass being constructed US Route 101 was aligned through the City of Buellton on Avenue of the Flags.  US Route 101 above can be seen facing northbound towards Pea Soup Andersen's in 1949.  US Route 101 can be seen below aligned on Avenue of the Flags on the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Santa Barbara



Part 1; the history of US Route 101 through Buellton

Buellton lies on land which was once part of Rancho San Carlos de Jonata which was mostly located in Santa Ynez Valley.  During the mid-1860s R.T. Buell and his brother Alonzo Buell purchased a sizeable tract of land within Rancho San Carolos de Jonata.  In 1872 R.T. Buell would purchase the entirety of Rancho San Carlos de Jonata and bought out his brother's stakes.  By 1875 a small community develop around Buell Ranch on the Santa Ynez River.  The town of Buellton was not formally plotted out until 1920 when it was a long established locale on the Coast Highway of Legislative Route Number 2.  

The era of State Highway Maintenance through Santa Ynez Valley 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").  

Unlike the previous Spanish El Camino Real and it's 1906 American Auto Trail successor the alignment of LRN 2 would diverge through Santa Ynez Valley reaching neither Mission La Purshima or Mission Santa Inés.  Numerous suggested alignments of LRN 2 through Santa Ynez Valley can be seen on the May 1913 California Highway Bulletin.  Several of the suggested routes diverge west from Gaviota Pass towards Lompoc and Mission La Purshima.  An easterly suggested route is shown to be aligned past Mission Santa Inés near Solvang.  Ultimately a more central route through Santa Ynez Valley through Buell Ranch onward towards Zaca Canyon was selected as the alignment of LRN 2.  In 1913 the Pacific Highway was plotted as a major Auto Trail which followed LRN 2 through Santa Ynez Valley. 



Early LRN 2/American El Camino Real/Pacific Highway can be seen traversing Santa Ynez Valley via Buell Ranch on the 1917 California State Automobile Association Map.

The original Santa Ynez River Bridge on LRN 2 near Buell Ranch can be seen  in this photo hosted on bridgehunter.com.

The 1920 Rand McNally Highway Map of California shows El Camino Real and the Pacific Highway following LRN 2 through Santa Ynez Valley through Buellton. 


The 1924 Rand McNally Map of California shows the California Banff Bee-Line Highway co-signed with the Pacific Highway through Santa Ynez Valley and Buellton (displayed as "Buell").  


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 via Buellton.  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 Buellton on the 1927 National Map Company Sectional Map.


As noted in the intro US 101/LRN 2 can be seen aligned on Avenue of the Flags on the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Santa Barbara.
 

The November/December 1947 California Highways & Public Works notes a new bridge over the Santa Ynez River and grading through Buellton was budgeted for the 1948-49 Fiscal Year. 


The September/October 1948 California Highways & Public Works discusses the ongoing rebuild and expansion of US 101/LRN 2 in Buellton via the so-called "Buellton Agreement."  The Buellton Agreement is stated to include an expansion of US 101/LRN 2 on Avenue of the Flags to expressway standards (called "freeway" at the time) along with two new steel bridges at Nojoqui Creek and the Santa Ynez River. 




The September/October 1949 California Highways & Public Works features the completed expansion of US 101/LRN 2 on Avenue of the Flags in Buellton.  A letter from Pea Soup Andersen's details the benefits it's business had seen from the four lane expansion of US 101/LRN 2.  








The November/December 1962 California Highways & Public Works lists a freeway bypass grade for US 101/LRN 2 being budgeted for the 1963-64 Fiscal Year. 


In 1964 the Legislative Route Numbers were dropped as part of the State Highway Renumbering.  LRN 2 through Buellton was subsequently legislatively redefined as simply part of US 101.  The July/August 1965 California Highways & Public Works features the completed Buellton Bypass Project.  The Buellton Bypass opened on June 10th, 1965 and served to realign US 101 off Avenue of the Flags onto the new freeway grade.  The Buellton Bypass began south of the Santa Ynez River and extended north around Buellton.








Part 2; a drive on former US Route 101 on Avenue of the Flags in Buellton

From modern US 101 southbound Avenue of the Flags can be accessed from Exit 140B.  







A 1955 Chevrolet sitting for sale alongside Avenue of the Flags.


The former expressway grade of US 101 on Avenue of the Flags in Buellton as obvious as it heads south through Buellton to California State Route 246.  Buellton would incorporate as a City on February 1st, 1992.  Pea Soup Andersen's can be found at the northeast corner of Avenue of the Flags and California State Route 246.  Pea Soup Andersen's traces it's origins to the opening of the Electric Cafe in 1924 and features a signature French pea soup recipe.  







Avenue of the Flags continues south of California State Route 246 and crosses the 1948 Santa Ynez River Bridge.  Upon crossing the Santa Ynez River the former alignment of US 101 becomes Santa Rosa Road and intersects the modern freeway grade.  








Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ghost Town Tuesday; Vineland, Florida; the town killed by Disney

Vineland is a small ghost town located in southwest Orange County, Florida near the junction of Florida State Road 535 and Interstate 4.  Vineland is somewhat unique due to it largely being squeezed out of existence by Lake Buena Vista which is the company town where Disney World is located. Vineland was founded in the late 1800s as Englewood.  The town name of Englewood changed to Orange Center in 1911 before finally assuming the name Vineland in 1924.  Much like the rest of Orange County the community of Vineland was centered around Citrus Grove.  In the case of Vineland said orange groves were centered around Ruby Lake. The end of Vineland came as the Disney Corporation began purchasing parcels of citrus grove land to build Lake Buena Vista.  Vineland fell into a sharp decline in the 1960s but the community managed to continue to exist to modern times.  Much of the street grid of Vineland still exists east of FL 535 but most of the original structures are either gone or falle

Old NY 10 and Goodman Mountain in the Adirondacks

  Old highway alignments come in all shapes and sizes, as well as taking some different forms after their lifespan of serving cars and trucks has ended. In the case of an old alignment of what was NY 10 south of Tupper Lake, New York, part of the old road was turned into part of a hiking trail to go up Goodman Mountain. At one time, the road passed by Goodman Mountain to the east, or Litchfield Mountain as it was known at the time. As the years passed, sometime around 1960, the part of NY 10 north of Speculator became part of NY 30, and remains that way today from Speculator, past Indian Lake and Tupper Lake and up to the Canadian Border. At one time, the highway was realigned to pass the Goodman Mountain to the west, leaving this stretch of road to be mostly forgotten and to be reclaimed by nature. During the summer of 2014, a 1.6 mile long hiking trail was approved the Adirondack Park Agency to be constructed to the summit of the 2,176 foot high Goodman Mountain. For the first 0.9 mi

Oregon State Highway 58

  Also known as the Willamette Highway No. 18, the route of Oregon State Highway 58 (OR 58) stretches some 86 miles between US 97 north of Chemult and I-5 just outside of Eugene, Oregon. A main route between the Willamette Valley region of Oregon with Central Oregon and Crater Lake National Park, the highway follows the Middle Fork Willamette River and Salt Creek for much of its route as it makes its way to and across the Cascades, cresting at 5,138 feet above sea level at Willamette Pass. That is a gain of over 4,500 in elevation from where the highway begins at I-5. The upper reaches of OR 58 are dominated by the principal pinnacle that can sometimes be seen from the highway, Diamond Peak, and three nearby lakes, Crescent, Odell and Waldo (Oregon's second largest lake). OR 58 is chock full of rivers, creeks, mountain views, hot springs and waterfalls within a short distance from the highway. OR 58 was numbered as such by the Oregon State Highway Department in 1940. OR 58 is a del