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El Camino Real
 

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1895 =>


The El Camino Real (the King’s Highway) served as the primary transportation corridor in California during the Spanish and Mexican periods. It originated in the late 1700s as a footpath connecting the missions, running from San Diego to Sonoma. Today, portions of the El Camino Real route have been incorporated into several modern highways, primarily U.S. Highway 101 and Interstate 5.

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Tourism and the El Camino Real. The route of the El Camino Real became popular with  tourists, especially those interested in seeing the state via automobile. In the 1920s, California Parlor Car Tours  provided two- or three- day excursions that traversed the route of the King’s Highway  between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Tourism and the El Camino Real

The route of the El Camino Real became popular with tourists, especially those interested in seeing the state via automobile. In the 1920s, California Parlor Car Tours provided two- or three- day excursions that traversed the route of the King’s Highway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Ephemera Collection, California State Archives


Bells of the El Camino Real. During the early twentieth century, Mrs. A.S.C. Forbes of Los Angeles led a campaign to mark California’s El Camino Real with a series of bells.  She designed the first bells, and her family’s foundry cast them.  The photograph, dating to approximately 1930, depicts one of these bells in the vicinity of La Habra, in Orange County.

Bells of the El Camino Real

During the early twentieth century, Mrs. A.S.C. Forbes of Los Angeles led a campaign to mark California’s El Camino Real with a series of bells. She designed the first bells, and her family’s foundry cast them. The photograph, dating to approximately 1930, depicts one of these bells in the vicinity of La Habra, in Orange County.

Highway Engineer Photographs, Records of the Department of Public Works, Division of Highways, California State Archives


The bells marking the route of the El Camino Real became easily recognizable symbols of California’s historical heritage.  Many commercial ventures capitalized upon this fact, as evidenced by this 1911 trademark for El Camino Real Garage in Santa Barbara. Trademarks, Records of the Secretary of State, California State Archives

History and Commerce

The bells marking the route of the El Camino Real became easily recognizable symbols of California’s historical heritage. Many commercial ventures capitalized upon this fact, as evidenced by this 1911 trademark for El Camino Real Garage in Santa Barbara.

Trademarks, Records of the Secretary of State, California State Archives


Souvenir Folder of California Missions. Mementos of the Missions. Auto tourists wanting to commemorate their drives along the  historic route of the El Camino Real could purchase colorful postcards, like those shown here, depicting various Spanish missions. Ephemera Collection, California State Archive

Mission San Buenaventura, 1783. Mementos of the Missions. Auto tourists wanting to commemorate their drives along the  historic route of the El Camino Real could purchase colorful postcards, like those shown here, depicting various Spanish missions. Ephemera Collection, California State Archive

Mission San Carlos del Carmelo (El Carmel Mission), 1771. Mementos of the Missions. Auto tourists wanting to commemorate their drives along the  historic route of the El Camino Real could purchase colorful postcards, like those shown here, depicting various Spanish missions. Ephemera Collection, California State Archive

Mission San Fernando, 1797. Mementos of the Missions. Auto tourists wanting to commemorate their drives along the  historic route of the El Camino Real could purchase colorful postcards, like those shown here, depicting various Spanish missions. Ephemera Collection, California State Archive

Mission San Juan Capistrano, 1776. Mementos of the Missions. Auto tourists wanting to commemorate their drives along the  historic route of the El Camino Real could purchase colorful postcards, like those shown here, depicting various Spanish missions. Ephemera Collection, California State Archive

Mission Santa Barbara, 1786. Mementos of the Missions. Auto tourists wanting to commemorate their drives along the  historic route of the El Camino Real could purchase colorful postcards, like those shown here, depicting various Spanish missions. Ephemera Collection, California State Archive

Mission Santa Clara de Asis, 1777. Mementos of the Missions. Auto tourists wanting to commemorate their drives along the  historic route of the El Camino Real could purchase colorful postcards, like those shown here, depicting various Spanish missions. Ephemera Collection, California State Archive

Mementos of the Missions

Auto tourists wanting to commemorate their drives along the historic route of the El Camino Real could purchase colorful postcards, like those shown here, depicting various Spanish missions.

Ephemera Collection, California State Archives


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