Looking east on then-U.S. 80 through the hot-springs town of Jacumba in what looks to be no later than the mid-1940s, this postcard from the California State Library (record 001392727 if the link doesn’t work) shows the town when it was starting its decline.

Today, there’s about the same amount of traffic as is seen here, but the hotel, at right, is long gone. The business blocks beyond the hotel still stand, more or less, but most of the store spaces are empty. And, for sure, you won’t see as many cars (new or 1930s) parked on the street.

But Jacumba still exists and the spa still flows, making it a great backroads San Diego day trip. Visit it in my “Towering Old Highway” video and find out more in Joyrides Around San Diego.


  1. I would sure like to know who the photographer of this is. I have several postcards with similar writing and would like to know more about them. If anyone has an idea, please respond! Thanks in advance

    1. Jack Brandais

      Hi, Steve. All I can suggest is the California State Library, which I guess you’ve already tried, and the San Diego History Center, https://www.sandiegohistory.org/. A few years back the San Diego History Center had a postcard exposition.

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