Skip to main content

Mission San Juan Bautista and El Camino Real

Leaving Monterey back in January was nowhere as easy as it was getting in.  Originally I was supposed to leave on the night of the 22nd but the rains were heavy along with the winds.  That being the case I stayed an extra night and headed back home the next morning.  Along the way I decided to drop in at San Juan Bautista in San Benito County to see the old Mission bearing the same name as the city.


Mission San Juan Bautista was founded back in 1797 in Spanish Alta California.  The current structure at the site was built from 1803 to 1812 and has been in continuous service ever since.  Mission San Juan Bautista was part of the highway known as the  "El Camino Real" which connected the 21 Spanish Missions of Alta California.


Essentially the route of the El Camino Real was plotted out in the late 1700s from two Spanish survey expeditions.  The Missions were plotted approximately 30 miles apart along the 600 mile route so that they would be a single day journey by horse.  The El Camino Real name fell into disuse after the Mexican Revolution of 1821 but was revived by American highway promoters in the 1890s and 1900s.  Today the El Camino Real is mostly associated with US 101 which follows the general path but deviates substantially from the actual trails that the Spanish used.  Mission San Juan Bautista actually has an original dirt segment of the original El Camino Real located on the north side of the facility in the San Andreas Fault.

The City of San Juan Bautista was founded in 1834 as was centered around the Mission in Plaza Square.  Plaza Square contains many historic structures aside from Mission San Juan Bautista and is now a California State Historical Park.






As for US 101 it did run directly through San Juan Bautista until 1932 via the San Juan Grade.  The route of US 101 through the City southbound was; 1st Street, Monterey Street, 3rd Street, and The Alameda.





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sunshine Bridge (Donaldsonville, LA)

Located about halfway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans in southern Louisiana, the Sunshine Bridge spans the lower Mississippi River near the city of Donaldsonville as part of the longer Louisiana Highway 70 corridor, which connects Interstate 10 and Airline Highway (US 61) with US 90 in Morgan City. In the years following World War II, the only bridges across the lower Mississippi River in Louisiana were located in the area of the state’s two largest cities – Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Postwar agricultural and industrial development along the river in this region led to the planning of a series of infrastructure projects in southern Louisiana that were aimed at spurring this development and modernization of the Delta region. One of these projects was known as the Acadian Thruway and was developed in the 1950s as a toll road intended to connect greater New Orleans with Lafayette and points west while providing a high-speed bypass of the Baton Rouge metro area. The Thruway, which

Horace Wilkinson Bridge (Baton Rouge, LA)

Standing tall across from downtown Baton Rouge, the Horace Wilkinson Bridge carries Interstate 10 across the lower Mississippi River between West Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parishes. Unusually, the bridge is actually named for three separate people; three generations of Horace Wilkinsons who served in the Louisiana State Legislature over a combined period of 54 years. Constructed in the 1960s and opened to traffic in 1968, this is one of the largest steel bridges on the lower Mississippi. It’s also the tallest bridge across the Mississippi, with its roadway reaching 175 ft at the center span. Baton Rouge is the northernmost city on the river where deep-water, ocean-going vessels can operate. As a result, this bridge is the northernmost bridge on the river of truly gigantic proportions. Altogether, the bridge is nearly 2 ½ miles long and its massive truss superstructure is 4,550 ft long with a center main truss span of 1,235 ft. The Horace Wilkinson Bridge is one of the largest

Natchez-Vidalia Bridge (Natchez, MS)

  Located about halfway between Baton Rouge and Vicksburg near the city of Natchez, the Natchez-Vidalia Bridge crosses the lower Mississippi River between southwest Mississippi and northeastern Louisiana at the city of Vidalia. This river crossing is a dual span, which creates an interesting visual effect that is atypical on the Mississippi River in general. Construction on the original bridge took place in the late 1930s in conjunction with a much larger parallel effort by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to strengthen the area’s flood protection and levee system along the Mississippi River. One of the more ambitious aspects of this plan was to relocate the city of Vidalia to a location of higher ground about one mile downriver from the original settlement. The redirection of the river through the Natchez Gorge (which necessitated the relocation of the town) and the reconstruction of the river’s levee system in the area were undertaken in the aftermath of the Great Flood of 1927, wh