Monterey County Route G18 is a 16.40-mile highway aligned over Jolon Road from US Route 101 near Bradley to Monterey County Route G14 in Lockwood. The corridor of Jolon Road is tied heavily to the history of the Spanish El Camino Real and Mission San Antonio de Pauda. Jolon Road was improved during World War II after the creation of Fort Hunter Liggett. Jolon Road was assigned as part of Monterey County Route G18 and Monterey County Route G14 during 1971. The segment of Jolon Road between Bradley-Lockwood now part of Monterey County Route G18 from the March 1943 California Highways & Public Works is featured as the blog cover.
Part 1; the history of Monterey County Route G18 and Jolon Road
The corridor of Monterey County Route G18 and Jolon Road is tied to that of the Spanish iteration of El Camino Real and Mission San Antonio de Pauda. The Santa Lucia Mountains and general course of the San Antonio River were explored by the Spanish during 1769 Portola Expedition of Las Californias. Mission San Antonio de Pauda was founded during 1771 near the San Antonio River. The San Antonio River proved to be a reliable source of water for irrigation purposes between Mission San Miguel Arcangel and Mission Nuestra Senora de la Soledad. Thusly general path of the Spanish iteration of El Camino Real followed the general corridor of modern Jolon Road from Mission San Miguel Arcangel through the Santa Lucia Mountains towards Mission Nuestra Senora de la Soledad.
During the period of early American statehood in California the major stage roads used the highways inherited from Mexican Alta California. The road north of San Miguel still followed the general corridor of Jolon Road towards Mission Soledad via Mission San Antonio. The main stage road from San Miguel is seen following the San Antonio River towards Mission San Antonio and northward towards Mission Soledad on the 1857 Britton & Rey's Map of California.
During the 1870s and 1880s the Southern Pacific Railroad constructed a line through Salinas Valley towards San Miguel. The Southern Pacific Railroad would develop frontage roads which would replace the corridor of Jolon Road as the primary through highway between San Miguel and Mission Soledad. These frontages during the 20th Century would form the basis of Legislative Route Number 2 as part of 1909 First State Highway Bond Act and US Route 101 when the US Route System was created during November 1926.
Jolon Road can be seen in detail as a major local highway on the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Monterey County. Jolon Road can be seen originating at US Route 101 near Bradly and looping back to it near King City. Jolon Road east of Lockwood is shown to be following what is now Bradley-Lockwood Road
Jolon Road became prominent during World War II due to the formation of Fort Hunter Liggett during 1940 near Jolon. Forty miles of improvements of Jolon Road began as a Work Projects Administration (WPA) project during early 1941 and would conclude during late year 1942. The segment of Jolon Road between Bradly to Lockwood was straightened as part of the corridor improvements. The improvements to Jolon Road were featured in the 1943 California Highways & Public Works.
Jolon Road facing south from US Route 101 near King City can be seen in a photo form the July/August 1945 California Highways & Public Works.
During 1971 Jolon Road was assigned as Monterey County Route G14 and Monterey County Route G18. Monterey County Route G18 was assigned to the 16.40 miles of Jolon Road east of Lockwood. Monterey County Route G14 was assigned to the 23.82 miles northwest of Lockwood. At some point between the mid-1970s and early 1980s the Jolon Grade on Monterey County Route G14 north of Jolon was straightened.
Part 2; a drive on Monterey County Route G18
Monterey County Route G18 and Jolon Road begin from US Route 101 Exit 252 near Bradley. Monterey County Route G18 is mistakenly signed as "Monterey County Route 18" by Caltrans. Traffic wishing to access Mission San Antonio is directed to utilize Monterey County Route G18.
Monterey County Route G18/Jolon Road crosses under US Route 101 and intersects Monterey County Route G19 at Nacimiento Lake Drive.
Monterey County Route G18/Jolon Road is signed as 18 miles from Lockwood.
Monterey County Route G18/Jolon Road passes through Hames Valley and enters the Santa Lucia Mountains.
Monterey County Route G18/Jolon Road crosses through a small portion of the Santa Lucia Mountains and enters the San Antonio River Valley. Monterey County Route G18/Jolon Road intersects the earlier alignment mentioned in Part 1which is now signed Bradley-Lockwood Road.
Monterey County Route G18/Jolon Road enters the community of Lockwood. Monterey County Route G18 ends at Interlake Road and Jolon Road transitions onto Monterey County Route G14. Lockwood is named in honor of Belva Lockwood who ran for President on the Equal Rights Party ticket in 1884 and 1888. Post Office Service in Lockwood was established in 1888.