Here's a view of San Diego County from 1940. All copyrights acknowledged.
Here’s a view of San Diego County from 1940.

Here’s something I picked up on ebay the other day… a swell 1940 map of San Diego County. It shows the main highways in and out of the county, plus some back roads leading to major attractions. There’s even a few roads on here that I haven’t seen before; I’ll be checking them out in the future.

Of course, back in 1940, there were no freeways and big gaps between the towns. For example, notice that there’s not much between San Diego proper and Escondido. Also notice that US 395 (today’s I-15 through the area) winds east through Poway (only identfied as a “PO” or post office) from “Miramar” (this was before the air base was built during soon-to-come World War II). Camp Elliott was already there, but on the map is some distance from Miramar; Elliott, once an Army base, is the collection of warehouses at the interchange of I-15 and SR-163 for those of you in San Diego.

What I’d recommend is taking this map with you as you drive along a couple of my drives. Quintessential California, down Old US 101 on the California coast, was the main highway between San Diego and points north when this map was made. Journey to the Stars, up to the Palomar Observatory, which was under construction when this map was created; it didn’t get finished until after World War II.

On this Memorial Day weekend, don’t sit home… hit the road.

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