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California in the 1930s

California in the 1930s: The WPA Guide to the Golden State

Copyright Date: 2013
Edition: 1
Pages: 756
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  • Book Info
    California in the 1930s
    Book Description:

    Alive with the exuberance, contradictions, and variety of the Golden State, this Depression-era guide to California is more than 700 pages of information that is, as David Kipen writes in his spirited introduction, "anecdotal, opinionated, and altogether habit-forming." Describing the history, culture, and roadside attractions of the 1930s, theWPA Guide to Californiafeatures some of the very best anonymous literature of its era, with writing by luminaries such as San Francisco poet Kenneth Rexroth, composer-writer- hobo Harry Partch, and authors Tillie Olsen and Kenneth Patchen.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-95464-9
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
    (pp. ix-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. General Information
    (pp. xv-xxviii)
  6. Preface 1939
    (pp. xxix-xxxii)
    James Hopper and Leon Dorais
  7. Introduction 2013
    (pp. xxxiii-xl)
    David Kipen

    The only 1939 features not replicated as part of this reissued WPA guide to California are the original cover photograph and a full-size fold-out map tucked into a pocket in the back. The first edition’s jacket carried a black and white picture of two or three immense redwoods towering well out of frame, dwarfing the couple of figures—hikers? rangers? lumber-men?—standing around beneath them. It’s a good but not a great image, capturing only one of many themes that run through the book: California’s ambivalent response, usually either rapturous or rapacious, to nature.

    This is the perennial design problem...

  8. Part I. California:: From Past to Present

    • El Dorado Up to Date
      (pp. 3-7)

      The first to come were explorers by sea, venturing uneasily northward along the shores in pygmy galleons on the lookout for fabled El Dorado; a vaguely imagined treasure trove of gold and spices somewhere near the Indies. Finding no riches, they returned disappointed. But the legend of El Dorado lingered, even when men driving their cattle in the dusty march from the south searched in vain for hidden wealth. At least the new country was a land of rich soil and gentle climate, and the newcomers stayed to grow rich from the herds they pastured, the fields and orchards they...

    • Natural Setting and Conservation
      (pp. 8-32)

      If california lies beyond those mountains we shall never be able to reach it,” wrote John Bidwell, leader of the first overland emigrant train, in his journal on October 29, 1841. But on the next day he set down: “We had gone about three miles this morning, when lo! to our great delight we beheld a wide valley. . . . Rivers evidently meandered through it, for timber was seen in long extended lines as far as the eye could reach.” The day after he continued: “Joyful sight to us poor, famished wretches! Hundreds of antelope in view! Elk tracks,...

    • The First Californians
      (pp. 33-40)

      When on June 17, 1579 “it pleased God” to send Francis Drake’sGolden Hindinto the “faire and good bay” north of the Golden Gate, he encountered “the people of the country, having their houses close by the water’s edge.” Overawed, they supposed the bearded, white-skinned sailors who bestowed on them “necessary things to cover their nakedness” to be gods and “would not be persuaded to the contrary.” The men, their faces painted in all colors, left their bows behind on a hill and came down to the shore bearing presents of feathers and tobacco. The women remained on the...

    • California’s Last Four Centuries
      (pp. 41-65)

      Within the half century after Christopher Columbus discovered the new world, Europeans discovered and named California. In 1513 Vasco Núñez de Balboa reached the Pacific coast at Panama; twenty-two years later another Spaniard, Hernando Cortés, discovered a land he named California; and in 1542 Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese navigator, rode at anchor in San Diego Bay, the first white man to see any part of the region now known as California.

      The chain of events that led to California started with the search by Columbus in the Caribbean in 1493 for the island Mantinino, which he had been told...

    • [Illustrations]
      (pp. None)
    • Riches From the Soil
      (pp. 66-78)

      Within the rock wall formed by California’s two great mountain ranges lies the long level stretch of the Sacramento-San Joaquin or Central Valley—the “Long Valley,” as John Steinbeck has named it—called the world’s most fertile growing region, which contains about two-thirds of the State’s 30,000,000 acres of agricultural lands. Other major growing areas are the coastal valleys, the intensely developed farm area south of the Tehachapis, center of the citrus industry, and the arid but potentially highly productive desert region in the southeastern corner of the State, which includes Imperial Valley.

      The wide range of topography, soil, and...

    • Industry and Finance
      (pp. 79-86)

      For half a century the first outposts of Spanish rule, the missions, were the centers of economic life in California’s shut-in feudal world. They grew into industrial institutions, each with its weaving room, blacksmith shop, tannery, wine press, and warehouses. The Indian neophytes, held in subjection by the energetic, practical Franciscan friars, learned to tan leather, weave coarse cloth, bake bricks and pottery, make soap and candles, and grind corn. When the missions were secularized (1834-37), however, their industrial activities disappeared rapidly as the skilled neophytes, now free but most of them robbed of their land rights, either worked on...

    • From Clipper Ship to Clipper Plane
      (pp. 87-94)

      “Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow” might have been the motto in Spanish California. The pack mules of the padres ambled from one mission to another. The horses of the rancheros might gallop fast enough in a round-up, but not in going from ranch to town. There was no reason for speed nor was speed possible in acarreta(cart), squeaking with its ponderous wheels of solid oak over roads little more than trails. Soldier-couriers carried the mail along theCamino Real(king’s highway) from San Francisco to San Diego and continued along their slow, hot, dry way...

    • Workingmen
      (pp. 95-108)

      “There is no state in the Union, no place on earth, where labor is so honored and so well rewarded,” David C. Broderick told the United States Senate in his maiden speech in 1858, “no time and place since the Almighty doomed the sons of Adam to toil, where the curse, if it be a curse, rests so lightly as now upon the people of California.”

      The vigorous independence of the pioneer has persisted until present times as a characteristic of the State’s labor movement. Of the men who had the hardihood to make the long westward trek in Gold...

    • Press and Radio
      (pp. 109-119)

      “True with his rifle, ready with his pen, and quick at the type case”—thus Walter Colton, Americanalcaldeat Monterey, described California’s pioneer journalist, Dr. Robert Semple, a buckskin-dad Kentucky emigrant, who stood 6 feet 8 inches in his stockings. On August 15, 1846, only a month after the American flag was raised at Monterey, Semple and Colton printed news of the United States’ declaration of war on Mexico in theCalifornian,the first newspaper published within the State. “A crowd was waiting when the first sheet was thrown from the press,” wrote Colton. “Never was a bank run...

    • The Movies
      (pp. 120-130)

      It all began so suddenly—decorous suburban Hollywood must have felt that a strange new race had descended from the sky. One actress did alight from on high, unintentionally. She was Pearl White, heroine of thriller serials, who had been performing in a “prop” balloon before the cameras when it broke its moorings. She was rapidly drifting seaward until she pulled the rope that deflated it, landing herself—and so demonstrating the resourcefulness demanded of movie actresses in 1912.

      Hazardous though life might be for performers in the “flickers,” the trek to Hollywood had started. Any girl could get a...

    • [Illustrations]
      (pp. None)
    • Education
      (pp. 131-138)

      Franciscan friars, the first white settlers who plodded northward into California, came with books in their hands, for the purpose of their pilgrimage was to educate the heathen Indians. Their pioneer successors—fur trappers and gold miners—were often men of action rather than learning, but they had an extraordinary respect for the wealth bound between the covers of books. With first-hand knowledge of the many miles from California to the older institutions of learning in New England and Europe, they voted generous expenditures for schools.

      For California’s native Indians, five decades of rigorous training—planned to make them civilized...

    • The Arts
      (pp. 139-166)

      I learned that there were a number of artists in the city who had sought to try Dame Fortune in the gold-fields, but with such scant success that they returned to the harbor . . . to seek patrons in . . . gilded temples of chance,” wrote Prince Paul of Wurttemberg in his unpublished account (in the Stuttgart Archives) of his visit to the gambling halls of brawling, new-grown San Francisco in 1850. “Here we were regaled with very good music,” he wrote. “In order to allure the public the owners of these gambling places employed musicians, among these...

    • Architecture
      (pp. 167-176)

      The earliest architecture in California was that of the Spanish Franciscans. These missionary friars, led by Fra Junípero Serra, founded 21 missions along the coastwiseCamino Realbetween 1769 and 1823—the first at San Diego, the last at Sonoma. It has been said that the poverty to which the Franciscan monks were pledged is the virtue of their mission churches. In comparison with eighteenth century Spanish Colonial architecture in Mexico and the Southwest, they exhibit simplicity of form and humility in treatment. The relative austerity of the missions was due mainly to the limited resources in materials and skilled...

  9. Part II. Signposts to City Scenes

    • Berkeley
      (pp. 179-187)

      BERKELEY (0-1, 300 alt., 82,109 pop.), on a wide plain that stretches gently upward to a low range of hills, borders on the east shore of San Francisco Bay, facing the Golden Gate. At the upper edge of the city, against protective hills and wooded canyons, stand the buildings of the University of California. Viewed from the bay, the city seems to radiate from the white campus buildings.

      Berkeley, however, is more than a college town. It is an industrial center, a business city, a suburban home for thousands of workers. Upward from the industrial waterfront extend myriads of small...

    • [Illustrations]
      (pp. None)
    • Fresno
      (pp. 188-191)

      FRESNO (292 alt., 52,513 pop.), world’s “raisin center” and principal marketing, shipping and purchasing point for the fertile San Joaquin Valley, is almost in the geographical center of the State.

      Tall modern buildings rise abruptly from the flat valley floor, surrounded by residential sections planted with trees to provide shade in the sweltering heat of summer. The business district, in the central and oldest part of town, grew around the railroad station, with the streets parallel to the tracks and diagonal to the cardinal points. Later streets were squared with the compass, and a set of 45-degree intersections resulted, all...

    • Hollywood
      (pp. 192-200)

      HOLLYWOOD (385 alt., 153,294 pop.), motion picture center of the world and as such the focal point of a billion-dollar industry, is popularly regarded as a separate entity but is officially the Hollywood District of Los Angeles. Shaped roughly like the state of New York, it fits into the parent city like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle, occupying the same alluvial plain as Los Angeles, and lying eight miles west of the city’s center and twelve miles from the Pacific Ocean. The northern half of the Hollywood District spreads upward in a network of winding roads, into the tawny...

    • Long Beach
      (pp. 201-205)

      LONG BEACH (47 alt., 142,032 pop.), California’s fifth largest city, spreads over a level plain to the edge of sandy bluffs overlooking the 8½-mile-long, crescent-shaped beach of San Pedro Bay. From the shore it stretches north, laid out as evenly as a checkerboard, to the diagonal spur of low, barren knolls dominated by Signal Hill on the northeast, palisaded with oil derricks and dotted with tanks and stucco bungalows, and spills over the slopes to the level plain beyond. On the east Long Beach extends over rolling slopes to the edge of vacant fields; on the west, to the mills...

    • Los Angeles
      (pp. 206-229)

      LOS ANGELES (286 alt., 1,238,048 pop.), known to the ends of the earth as the mother of Hollywood, that dazzling daughter still sheltered under the family roof, has other liens on fame and fortune. The country’s fifth largest city, in area the nation’s largest municipality, Los Angeles extends one thin arm to embrace the harbors of San Pedro and Wilmington, and with the other reaches past the Santa Monica to the San Gabriel Mountains.

      For the most part, its 451 square miles of territory are level, sloping gently from the brush- and pine-clad mountains to the sandy Pacific shore, but...

    • Monterey
      (pp. 230-236)

      MONTEREY (0-600 alt., 9,141 pop.), lies on sloping shores at the southern end of Monterey Bay, within the northward curve of Point Pinos, which protects the harbor from heavy seas and high winds.

      Richard Henry Dana, arriving at Monterey on the brigPilgrimin 1834, thought the town made a “very pretty appearance” with its redroofed, white stucco houses, the white sand beach, green pines, and deep blue bay. The city gives the same impression today.

      To the north the shore sweeps in a curving line toward Santa Cruz. To the east are the convolutions of the Santa Lucia Range,...

    • Oakland
      (pp. 237-244)

      OAKLAND (0-1, 600 alt., 284,063 pop.) is the metropolis of the industrial and residential East Bay municipal area, in which approximately half a million people reside in seven abutting cities. Third in the State in population, the city has outgrown the idea that it is merely “San Francisco’s bedroom.”

      Oakland and its sister communities, Berkeley, San Leandro, Hayward, Emeryville, Piedmont, and Alameda, are framed by the relatively low Berkeley Hills (up to 1,200 feet), which parallel the shoreline of the Bay. Eastward beyond these wooded slopes appear the higher elevations of the Contra Costa Hills, culminating in Mount Diablo (3,800...

    • Pasadena
      (pp. 245-249)

      PASADENA (800–1,200 alt., 76,086 pop.), lies in the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains, overlooking the San Gabriel Valley. Behind it, to the north, are suburban Altadena and the pine-clad heights of Mount Wilson and Mount Lowe. Its southern limits are separated from Los Angeles by the small communities of South Pasadena and Alhambra. On the east, it stretches for several miles along broad Colorado Street, and ends abruptly in the west along the curving Arroyo Seco (dry watercourse).

      From a vantage point in the hills, the city looks like a lumpy sea of green trees, from which rise...

    • Sacramento
      (pp. 250-257)

      SACRAMENTO (30 alt., 93,750 pop.), capital of California, lying in a loop of the Sacramento River at its confluence with the American River, is a calm city of trees, green lawns, and governmental buildings. Along the bank of the river is the oldest part of town, red brick buildings, with tall narrow windows, and tin-roofed awnings projecting over the sidewalk. Curbstones are high, recalling the times when the nver flooded its banks.

      Back from the river older buildings gradually give way to the concrete and stone of the business section. In summer the policemen on traffic duty wear white helmets,...

    • San Diego
      (pp. 258-264)

      SAN DIEGO (0-822 alt., 147,995 pop.), the oldest Spanish settlement in California, is in the extreme lower left-hand corner of the United States. Although only 16 miles north of the Mexican boundary, it is completely American. Its landlocked natural harbor is headquarters for the Eleventh Naval District, for marine and coast guard bases, and home port for a fleet of tuna clippers and fishing smacks manned by Portuguese and Italian fishermen.

      The city has much of the easygoing spirit of Spanish days, and people dress and live for comfort. Life moves at a modulated pace, particularly because of the large...

    • San Francisco
      (pp. 265-297)

      SAN FRANCISCO (6 to 956 alt., 634,394 pop.), born of the meeting of sea captains and gold seekers, spills over its many hills—three times Rome’s seven—at the tip of a peninsula that walls the narrow channel of the Golden Gate through which the tides of the Pacific pour into San Francisco Bay. The far-flung causeways of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge across the strait link it with the mainlands opposite. Behind the city the San Bruno Hills roli away to the south. Once a barren stretch of sand dunes and rocky hills, covered...

    • [Illustrations]
      (pp. None)
    • San Jose
      (pp. 298-303)

      SAN JOSE (pronounced San Ho-say’; 100 alt., 57,651 pop.) is built on the flat alluvial soil of the Santa Clara Valley at the southern and shallow end of San Francisco Bay, 50 miles south of San Francisco. The city itself is eight miles from the waters of the bay, separated by low ground and marshlands. Mountains are visible from almost any point in the city: brown, bare foothills merge into the peaks of the Mount Hamilton Range to the east and to the west is the green and thickly wooded Coast Range. These mountains trap rains and fogs generated over...

    • Santa Barbara
      (pp. 304-310)

      SANTA BARBARA (37 alt., 33,613 pop.) lies on a coastal shelf that rises from a curving beach into the southern slopes of the Santa Ynez Mountains. With its extensive landscaped estates, and the predominant Spanish flavor of its architecture, Santa Barbara has long maintained a reputation of ease and leisure, principally because of its large proportion of wealthy residents. The earthquake of 1925 created the opportunity to condense within a few years the rebuilding of a city in harmony with the dominant architectural motif. As a result, it has an air of spaciousness and quiet comfort; even the railroad roundhouse...

    • Stockton
      (pp. 311-314)

      STOCKTON (23 alt., 47,963 pop.), at the head of tidewaters on the San Joaquin River, has something of the appearance of a coastal city. Its northernmost section, campus of the College of the Pacific, borders the Calaveras River, which flows into the San Joaquin on the west. The Stockton Channel extends eastward from the San Joaquin, cutting through the city and stopping at its center. Other waterways wind in and around the city, among them the Mormon Channel, through the southern part of Stockton.

      The 32-foot Stockton Channel—nucleus of the Port of Stockton—is the shipping point for agricultural...

  10. Part III. Up and Down the State

    • Tour 1 Westport—Fort Bragg—Point Arena—San Francisco—Santa Cruz—Monterey—Carmel—San Simeon—Morro Bay—San Luis Obispo—Las Cruces; 554.5 m. State 1.
      (pp. 317-348)

      Roadbed paved except for stretches between Pismo Beach and Las Cruces, winding continuously, with frequent sharp turns; occasional slides during rainy season.

      Southern Pacific Lines parallel route between Davenport and Pacific Grove. Accommodations limited except in larger towns.

      State 1 skirts closely the waters of the Pacific. It swings outward around headlands and inland past sandy-edged coves in a succession of hairpin curves; it climbs barren slopes and dips into brush-choked ravines. At times it edges along sheer bluffs high above the surf. Eastward, wind-swept hills, wooded only in patches, rise to the timbered crests of the Coast Range. After...

    • Tour 2 (Brookings, Ore.)—Crescent City—Eureka—Santa Rosa—San Francisco—San Jose—Santa Barbara—Los Angeles—San Diego—San Ysidro (Mexican border); US 101. Oregon Line to Mexican Border, 980.8 m.
      (pp. 348-409)

      Paved roadbed throughout; open all seasons; small landslides during heavy rains; snow in higher elevations during winter months.

      Excellent route for trailers.

      Route paralleled by Northwestern Pacific R.R. between Eureka and Sausalito, by Southern Pacific between San Francisco and Los Angeles, and by Santa Fe between Los Angeles and San Diego.

      Accommodations plentiful; many camps and resort hotels.

      This section of US 101 in natural beauty is one of the most diversified routes in the State. In the north, where it parallels the Pacific Ocean, the highway traverses farm and forest, climbing from surf-bordered meadows to skirt high crags overlooking...

    • [Illustrations]
      (pp. None)
    • Tour 2A Junction with US 101—Lakeport—Middletown—Calistoga—St. Helena—Napa—Vallejo—Junction with US 40; 124.9 m. State 20 and State 29.
      (pp. 409-414)

      Roadbed partly oil surfaced, partly paved; easy grades.

      Accommodations adequate.

      Into the wooded glens of hermit-like Lake County—never penetrated by a railroad—lead State 20 and 29. From the rocky hillsides gush mineral springs, and in the sheltered, oak-dappled valleys, clearings are green with bean vines on poles, pear and walnut orchards. The road hugs the shore of hill-encompassed Clear Lake, largest sheet of fresh water lying wholly within the State. From narrow defiles it climbs over the slopes of soaring Mount St. Helena. The vineyardmantled slopes of widening Napa Valley border it as it continues to the mouth...

    • Tour 2B Junction with US 101—Oxnard—Santa Monica—Long Beach—Doheny Park; 113.6 m. US 101-Alt.
      (pp. 415-423)

      Paved roadbed.

      All types of accommodations.

      Branching southward from US 101 just south of the Santa Clara River crossing, US 101A leaves the bean and beet fields, orange groves and walnut orchards of the river delta and swings out to the shore of the Pacific. As the route continues along the smooth, curving beach, a rampart of rain-cut cliffs on the inland side hides the brush-covered Santa Monica Mountains paralleling the coast. The highway swings around Santa Monica Bay, cuts across the neck of the Palos Verdes peninsula, and continues down the coast, passing a long string of seaside resorts....

    • Tour 2C Wilmington to Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, 27 m. by boat.
      (pp. 423-427)

      Transportation to island from Berths 184-185, Wilmington. Round trip $3; children $1.50; by air plane, $5 one way. Automobile storage at pier 50¢ a day. Rates vary somewhat with the seasons.

      Accommodations range from camps to luxury hotels. Private automobiles prohibited. Year-round resort; summer months most popular.

      Twenty-seven miles southwest of Los Angeles Harbor in the rolling wastes of the Pacific Ocean rise the mist-blown peaks of Santa Catalina Island. Twenty-two miles long and from one-half to eight miles wide, the island looks from the mainland as if a section of the Coast Range had been transplanted to the open...

    • Tour 3 (Ashland, Ore.) —Yreka— Redding— Red Bluff— Sacramento—Stockton— Fresno— Bakersfield—Los Angeles— Ontario— Redlands— Coachella — Brawley — Calexico — ( Mexicali, Mexico) ; US 99 and 99 W. Oregon Line to Mexican Border, 880.6 m.
      (pp. 427-462)

      Paved roadbed throughout, open all season.

      Southern Pacific R.R. parallels route between Oregon Line and Bakersfield, Saugus and Los Angeles, Banning and Mecca, Brawley and Calexico; Santa Fe Ry. parallels route between Oakland and Bakersfield.

      Accommodations plentiful; numerous camping sites in northern counties.

      US 99 presents a complete cross section of California. From the rugged wall of the Siskiyous on the north, it winds down barren river canyons, round Mount Shasta, and along the twisting Sacramento River between steep, evergreen-forested slopes. Southward it parallels the two great rivers, the Sacramento and the San Joaquin, that drain the far-reaching plains of...

    • Tour 3A (Klamath Falls, Ore.)—Dorris—Macdoel—Weed; US 97 Oregon Line to Weed, 57.4 m.
      (pp. 463-464)

      Paved roadbed throughout.

      Accommodations limited.

      US 97 follows a southwesterly course through the central section of northern California, a thinly populated country, high, rugged, and semiarid. The northern section of the route runs through a high mountain valley, walled by the Siskiyou Range. South of the valley the course swings more sharply westward and follows the foothills at the northwestern base of Mount Shasta through rough, lava-scarred country. The region, one of farming, lumbering, and stock raising, was settled late, after the advent of roads and railroad. Lumbering is the major source of income. Here, as throughout most of Siskiyou...

    • Tour 3B Red Bluff—Marysville—Roseville; 123.4 m. US 99E
      (pp. 464-469)

      Southern Pacific R.R. parallels route between Marysville and Los Molinos; Sacramento Northern R.R.

      between Marysville and Chico. Accommodations plentiful; hotels and auto camps in larger towns. Paved highways throughout; open all seasons.

      US 99E runs between the river and the highlands through the great plains of the eastern Sacramento Valley. Far eastward, paralleling the route, the land slopes upward to the dim blue foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Level grainfields—green with young wheat and barley in season, or yellow with stubble—and gently rolling stretches of grazing land, dotted with groves of oaks, spread on either side. In the...

    • [Illustrations]
      (pp. None)
    • Tour 3C Greenfield—Taft—Maricopa—Ojai—Ventura; 121.5 m., US 399 Route paralleled between Ojai and Ventura by Southern Pacific R.R.
      (pp. 469-472)

      Accommodations plentiful except in mountains.

      Paved roadbed. Care should be taken in slide areas, particularly during and after rains.

      US 399 crosses the flat, torrid floor of the San Joaquin Valley, leaving broad farming and grazing lands for a forest of oilwell derricks. Ascending the Coast Range, the highway twists for almost 70 miles through mountain heights and descends into peaceful Ojai Valley.

      West of GREENFIELD, 0 m., at a junction with US 99 (see TOUR 3C), is PANAMA, 3.2 m., dependent on dairying.

      US 399 follows a straight course through a land devoted to cattle raising. In the summer,...

    • Tour 4 Junction with State 24—Sierraville—Sierra City—Auburn—Placerville—Sonora—Mariposa; 301.8 m. State 49.
      (pp. 472-500)

      Roadbed narrow and unpaved between State 24 and Sierraville, sometimes impassable in winter; paved elsewhere.

      Hotels in larger towns; camping grounds plentiful.

      When James Wilson Marshall found a few flakes of gold on January 24, 1848, in the tailrace of a mill he was building on the American River, he started a mass movement into California. More than 100,000 gold seekers poured into El Dorado within the next two years in a feverish search for riches, half depopulating some eastern villages and causing a labor shortage. Some men made a comfortable stake but more were constantly on the move in...

    • Tour 5 Junction with US 99—Bartle—McArthur Memorial (Burney Falls) State Park—Lassen Volcanic National Park—Quincy—Truckee; 277.7 m., State 89.
      (pp. 500-507)

      Roadbed paved between US 99 and US 299, Manzanita Lake and Lake Almanor, and Quincy and Blairsden; elsewhere dirt or gravel. Accommodations at convenient intervals: lakeside hotels, resorts, camps.

      State 89 cuts southeastward across northeastern California, seeming to seek out high and inaccessible splendors. It plunges through the Cascade Range, comes to a chaotic region, where lava has made no man’s lands of the forests, and emerges between ridges of the Sierra Nevada, whose granite crags rise sheer from steel-blue lakes. The mark of man is plain along the route: forests thinned by lumbermen, carved mountainsides and piles of tailings...

    • Tour 6 (Lakeview, Ore.)—Alturas—Susanville—(Reno, Nev.)—Bridgeport—Bishop—Independence—Randsburg—San Bernardino—San Diego; US 395 Oregon Line to San Diego, 824.9 m.
      (pp. 507-528)

      Paved roadbed throughout; open all seasons; snow during winter in northern section. Southern Pacific R.R. parallels route between Oregon Line and Raven dale; Western Pacific R.R. between Litchfield and Susanville and between Doyle and Nevada Line; Southern Pacific R.R. between Nevada Line and Inyokern.

      Accommodations limited except in larger towns.

      Though running so far inland behind the Sierra Nevada that it dips for some distance through Nevada, US 395 is nonetheless the shortest route between southern California and the Pacific Northwest.

      This section of US 395 runs through northeastern California across the level sagebrush carpeted floors of a chain of...

    • Tour 6A Junction with US 395—Susanville—Chester—Mineral—Red Bluff; 112.3 m. State 36.
      (pp. 528-532)

      Roadbed paved. Daily bus service between Reno, Nev., and Redding.

      Accommodations only in larger towns. This route climbs the rugged gorge of the Susan River, deep among pines, to cross the Sierra Nevada through Fredonyer Pass. It leads through the forested uplands around Lake Almanor, where power houses and lumber mills tap the water and timber resources of the mountains. From Mineral, southern gateway to Lassen Volcanic National Park, it descends through corridors of luxuriant fir and pine to the Central Valley’s hot, grassy stretches.

      State 36 branches west from its junction with US 395 (see TOUR 6a), 0 m.,...

    • Tour 6B Junction with US 395—Portola—Blairsden—Quincy—Rich Bar—Oroville—Marysville—Knights Landing—Woodland; 203.1 m. State 24.
      (pp. 533-539)

      Paved roadbed throughout; open at all seasons.

      Route paralleled by Western Pacific R.R. between Portola and Marysville.

      Accommodations plentiful in large towns, mountain resorts open about May 1 to October 1.

      State 24 climbs over the Sierra Nevada through Beckwourth Pass, lowest crossing in central and northern California, into the mountain-walled farmlands of Sierra Valley, largest in the Sierra. It winds between thick-forested slopes along the spectacular canyon of the Feather River, dashing over its turbulent course down the range’s long western decline through the heart of one of the State’s oldest placer mining regions. From the orange grove belt...

    • Tour 6C Junction with US 395—Warner Hot Springs—Santa Ysabel—Julian—Junction with US 80; 81.7 m. State 79.
      (pp. 539-542)

      Limited accommodations.

      Roadbed oiled or paved throughout.

      From Temecula Valley this route climbs southeast through a mountain pass to a broad mountain basin in the highland area, and swings south through a fertile mountain valley to a famous gold mining district of pioneer days.

      State 79 branches west from US 395, 0 m., through lands formerly belonging to Mission San Luis Rey (see TOUR 2c). On the south bank of the Temecula River, which parallels the road, is Pechanga Cemetery, an old Indian burial ground in which the prototype of Alessandro, Indian hero of Helen Hunt Jackson’sRamona,is buried....

    • Tour 7 (Tonopah,Nev.)—Bishop—Brown—Mojave—Los Angeles—Wilmington—Long Beach; US 6. Nevada Line to Long Beach, 355.2 m.
      (pp. 542-548)

      Paved roadbed throughout.

      Southern Pacific Line parallels route between Nevada Line and Bishop.

      Accommodations limited between Nevada Line and Bishop.

      In 1937 US 6 was extended westward to form a single numbered route between Cape Cod and southern California. The sections in Nevada and Utah are being improved (1939). South of the Nevada Line US 6 sweeps through Benton Valley, a basin lying between three sections of Inyo National Forest, in the shadow of the 13,000-foot White Mountain Range. Crossing the range, the route emerges into Chalfant Valley, once the stronghold of the Paiute, and still one of the most...

    • Tour 8 Alturas—Burney—Redding—Weaverville—Jct. US 101; 290.3 m., US 299.
      (pp. 548-558)

      Paved roadbed throughout, open all season; during periods of heavy snow, obtain road information at Alturas and Redding.

      West of Alturas, in the northeastern corner of California, US 299 cuts diagonally across harsh lava country and the Cascade Range, paralleling the Pit River. West of Redding, in the northern end of the Sacramento Valley, it follows the Trinity River across the Coast Range through hydraulically scarred mountainsides and deserted mining camps.

      ALTURAS, 0 m. (4,446 alt., 2,338 pop.), seat of Modoc County, at a junction with US 395 (see TOUR 6a), is the center of a region whose history is...

    • Tour 8A Canby—Lava Beds National Monument—Medicine Lake—Bartle; 118.8 m.
      (pp. 558-562)

      Roadbed paved for first 25.7 miles. Elsewhere dirt and gravel, deeply rutted, covered with powdered pumice and sharp lava fragments in places; travel advised from May to October only. At least one extra tire should be carried. Accommodations only at Canby and Medicine Lake; Forest Service camps at Lava Beds National Monument and Medicine Lake.

      The rough and inhospitable waste of lava beds, underground caverns, and cinder cones through which this route leads is a part of a 250,000-square mile volcanic region. The pioneers knew it as the “Dark and Bloody Battleground of the Pacific,” where the last and bloodiest...

    • Tour 9 (Reno, Nev.)—Truckee—Auburn—Roseville—Sacramento—Vallejo—San Francisco; US 40. Nevada Line to San Francisco, 219.9 m.
      (pp. 562-580)

      Paved roadbed throughout, with easy grades in mountains; usually free from snow.

      Route paralleled by Southern Pacific R.R. between Nevada Line and Sacramento and at intervals between Sacramento and Carquinez Bridge. Accommodations plentiful; many resorts and camps in mountains.

      US 40, most traveled artery between the East and central California, hurdles the sheer, rocky wall of the Sierra Nevada into the valley that stretches to the Golden Gate. From the Great American Basin it climbs to the granite heights of Donner Pass, traverses the boulder-piled Yuba River bottoms, coasts toboggan-like through forests and along river gorges offering hazy vistas of...

    • [Illustrations]
      (pp. None)
    • Tour 9A Sacramento—Rio Vista—Antioch—Pittsburg—Concord—Oakland; 118.4 m. State 24.
      (pp. 580-587)

      Roadbed paved.

      Southern Pacific R. R. roughly parallels route between Antioch Toll Bridge and Walnut Creek.

      Accommodations only in larger towns.

      State 24 cuts across the southern end of the Sacramento Valley, following the top of the levee which hems in the Sacramento River’s slow-moving waters. On one side, it overlooks the river’s busy traffic; on the other, the rich farmlands of the reclaimed delta region—a crazy-quilt of “islands” encompassed by meandering sloughs and sheltered by dikes as in the low country of the Nethcrlands. It strikes through the industrial towns clustering at the confluence of the Sacramento and...

    • Tour 10 (Carson City, Nev.)—Lakeside—Placerville—Sacramento—Stockton—Tracy—San Francisco; US 50. Nevada Line to San Francisco, 239.5 m.
      (pp. 587-601)

      Route paralleled by Southern Pacific R.R. between Placerville and Oakland, by Western Pacific R.R. between Sacramento and Stockton.

      Accommodations plentiful.

      Paved roadbed throughout, open all seasons except for brief periods during winter snowstorms at higher altitudes; excellent route for trailers.

      Between the Nevada Line and Placerville, US 50 (the Lincoln Highway) climbs the crest of the forested Sierra Nevada Mountains, skirts the shores of popular Lake Tahoe, and runs through the heart of the El Dorado National Forest. West of Placerville the road winds down through foothills covered with oak and scrub pine to the level expanse of the great...

    • Tour 11 (Las Vegas, Nev.)—Baker—Barstow—Mojave—Tehachapi—Atascadero—Morro Bay; US 91-466. Nevada Line to Morro Bay, 381.4 m.
      (pp. 602-608)

      Paved roadbed, open all seasons; extremely hot in summer.

      Union Pacific R.R. parallels route between Midway and Yermo; Santa Fe R.R. between Barstow and Wasco.

      Accommodations limited; extra supplies advisable in desert.

      South of the Nevada Line and the sere, cracked mud flats of Ivanpah Lake, this section of US 91-466 stretches over the wind-eroded mountains and the vast, torrid valleys of the Mojave Desert. It roughly parallels the route taken by the Mormon pioneers, who, traveling from Salt Lake City to the founding of San Bernardino, toiled in the heat with their cumbersome, crawling oxcarts. The land is still...

    • Tour 12 (Kingman, Ariz.)—Needles—Barstow—San Bernardino—Los Angeles—Santa Monica; US 66. Arizona Line to Santa Monica, 314.8 m.
      (pp. 608-624)

      Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. parallels route between Needles and Victorville.

      Accommodations scanty in desert sections; gas, oil, water, and food available at desert hamlets, but extra supplies should be carried; sleeping accommodations limited to tourist camps, except in larger towns.

      Paved roadbed; extreme high temperatures between Kingman and San Bernardino in midsummer, occasional heavy windstorms in March and April.

      West of the green banks of the Colorado River, US 66 traverses the arid Mojave Desert, a bleak plateau furrowed by scores of untillable valleys, shimmering in the fierce sunlight. The road mounts and dips in and out of...

    • Tour 13 (Quartzsite, Ariz.)—Blythe—Indio—Beaumont—Riverside—Los Angeles; US 60-70. Arizona line to Los Angeles, 231.7 m.
      (pp. 624-635)

      Paved roadbed throughout; open all seasons.

      Route paralleled by Southern Pacific R.R. between Indio and Los Angeles.

      Accommodations adequate; service stations at infrequent intervals between Blythe and Indio; good auto courts.

      Caution:For side trips on desert roads, carry good tires and extra food, gasoline and water. After cloudbursts, when water fills highway dips (indicated by pairs of stakes marked with two black bands), wait for water to run off, a matter of only a few minutes.

      The west-bound traveler’s introduction to US 60-70 is somewhat misleading. On the shelf bordering the west bank of the Colorado, all is green...

    • [Illustrations]
      (pp. None)
    • Tour 14 (Yuma, Ariz.)—El Centro—Jacumba—La Mesa—San Diego, US 80. Arizona Line to San Diego, 177.6 m.
      (pp. 635-644)

      Caution:For side trips on sandy desert roads, car and equipment should be checked carefully. Extra food, fuel, and water should be carried, also gunny sacks to provide traction in loose sand.

      San Diego & Arizona Eastern R.R. roughly parallels route.

      Accommodations adequate except on side roads.

      Paved roadbed throughout, open all seasons. Excellent route for trailers.

      US 80 runs westward across the thinly populated southernmost section of California. In altitude the route varies from below sea level to an elevation of 4,050 feet. Spanish explorers first called this road the Jornada de la Muerte (journey of death) and El...

    • Death Valley National Monument
      (pp. 645-654)

      Death Valley National Monument, established in 1933, covers 2,981 square miles, 500 of which are below sea level. The narrow trough of the valley curves for 140 miles between steep mountains of naked rock that are striped and patched with barbaric colors. The Panamint Range, rising 6,000 to 11,000 feet above sea level, gives Death Valley its western wall, and the Grapevine, the Funeral, and the Black Mountains, rising 4,000 to 8,000 feet, form its eastern wall. The heavy rains that sometimes fall on the mountains run swiftly off the steep barren slopes and cascade into the valley, where the...

    • Sequoia and General Grant National Parks
      (pp. 655-666)

      Sequoia and General Grant National Parks cover the wildest country on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada. Sequoia stretches from the headwaters of the Kings River on the north to the headwaters of the Tule River on the south. The tallest peaks of the High Sierrabarely dominated by Mount Whitney (14,495 alt.), highest point in the 48 States—bound it on the east and the foothills of the Sierra on the west. Bisecting the park from north to south is a jagged granite ridge, the Great Western Divide. West of the divide are the park’s major accommodations and most...

    • Yosemite National Park
      (pp. 667-679)

      Yosemite National Park, a spectacular mountain region, lies on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. Its eastern boundary, 40 miles from the Nevada State line, is on the crest of the Sierra; its western edge is in the dry foothills where the mountains merge with San Joaquin Valley. The park has 752,744 acres of mountains and forests, 429 lakes, a chain of mountain peaks averaging 10,000 feet and more, granite domes and monoliths, many trout streams, glaciers, and high mountain meadows. Five great waterfalls and many lesser ones drop over perpendicular cliffs as high as 1,612 feet.

      Two main...

    • Golden Gate International Exposition
      (pp. 680-684)

      THE GOLDEN GATE INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION, situated on man-made Treasure Island, north of Yerba Buena Island in San Francisco Bay, is America’s official World’s Fair of the West—“A Pageant of the Pacific.” With eleven western States as its sponsors and the San Francisco Bay cities as its host communities, the exposition includes exhibits of 30 foreign nations and more than 350 industries. It is, in essence, a “travel fair,” assembling the vast recreational resources of the Pacific Basin and displaying them as spectacular background for industrial progress.

      The exposition is the third held in the San Francisco Bay region. The...

  11. Part IV. Appendices