The Old Ridge Route – An Engineering Marvel.
The 1915 Old Ridge Route was a turning point for California history and a grand endeavor of the time. As we started transitioning from stagecoaches to automobiles, the old gold rush era Stockton-Los Angeles Road would no longer do for the modern needs of the automobile. The groundbreaking Ridge Route was the solution. Designed for the automobile, for safer and faster travel. Built to support heavy trucks and last, much of this road still remains over 100 years later. The first of a series of Ridge Route videos, we hear from John Kelley and Tom Fearer about the significance of the Old Ridge Route.
A Quick Look: Sandberg’s Summit Hotel
Sandberg’s was a joyful place… if you sit quiet, you can feel the excitement and good times still floating through the air. It was a high class place, with one of the higher pricetags at $2.50 to $3.50 per night. I know, it sounds like nothing nowadays! A sign reading “Truck Drivers and Dogs Not Allowed” made it clear – they were catering to the higher class travelers. MORE
The Tumble Inn on the historic Old Ridge Route
It’s no secret that the Tumble Inn is one of my favorite places to watch the sunset… the view is just incredible! Built by brothers, Frank and Alfred Courtemache, a stone mason and a carpenter. Their skilled work shows as the retaining wall still sands 100 years later! The Tumble Inn had cabins for guests, a restaurant and a garage. It can be accessed from the north end of the Ridge Route, just before the closed off gate.
Modern Section of the Ridge Route in Castaic
Repaved section of the Ridge Route in Castaic. This easily accessible stretch of road features bits of the original concrete peeking out from under the modern pavement
Culverts & Guard Rails on the Old Ridge Route
Up exploring the Ridge Route, looking for culverts and guard rails on a lovely snowy day!
Realignments on the Ridge Route
Looking at a realignment of the Ridge Route near Granite Gate. In the research I’ve done, they referred to this as “daylighting”. Now I know that term is commonly used when referring to opening up the tops of tunnels but stick with me here. These realignments were done between 1923-1927 in efforts to make the road more safe and efficient. The Ridge Route was a constant work in progress, until it was bypassed in 1933 by the Ridge Route Alternate (Highway 99). This video shows one of the many (oh so many) realignments along the road. Looking at the original concrete vs the realigned pavement.