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Old Highway 395, Part 16: US 395/US 66/US 91 to Devore via Mount Vernon Avenue and Cajon Boulevard (1934-1959)

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Go to: Part 15 | Main Old 395 page | Part 17

We continue our tour of surface street US 395 from Part 15 through northern San Bernardino to Devore and just shy of the Cajon Pass. From here to the southern terminus of US 395 (Part 18), we travel with US 66 and US 91, over LRN 31 (1916, expanded 1933; see Part 15).

Mount Vernon Avenue (continued)

Past 5th Street, where we pick up US 66, we start getting Historic Route US 66 markers. As I discussed at length in the introductory blurb to Part 15, I have no problem per se with marking the old Mother Route but US 66 historic route signage is frequently exclusive and as such acts to the detriment of other routes it runs with. This really should be US 91 and US 395 as well, but there are no Historic Route US 395 (or US 91) markers as of this writing in San Bernardino.

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A typical view of the west side.

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Base Line St. Base Line St, sometimes spelled Baseline St, Base Line Rd or sometimes just plain Baseline, is a very long road stretching all the way from San Dimas in the west to Highland in the east. Part of it is concurrent with old CA 30 and some of the CA 30 signs and postmiles are still up. In San Dimas, it ends at old US 66 at the interchange with Interstate CA 210 where CA 66 ends as well, just shy of CA 57; in Highland it ostensibly ended at old CA 106, but was later extended into the local housing developments in the 1980s. This name harks back to Colonel Henry Washington's original 1852 base line survey against which San Bernardino was platted; I talked about that briefly in Part 15 also.

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16th St.

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At 21st Street, Mt Vernon diverges off to the left for a complex intersection with Highland Avenue, which was also old CA 30, and then to I-215. The continuation of US 66/US 91/US 395, however, is by veering right onto Cajon Blvd. Historically, Highland Avenue is the dividing line between the I-215 Riverside Freeway (south) and the Barstow Freeway (north). More about that in Part 17.

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Cajon Boulevard

Just past the intersection is this Historic Route US 66 marker as we pass under the Highland Avenue bridge.

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First street sign with Cajon Blvd.

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Cajon Blvd hugs the BNSF tracks closely. In fact, we'll see a lot of the railroad almost all the way to the end of Old Highway 395 because they'll cross the Cajon Pass with us.

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Crossing under Mount Vernon Avenue. Note the Barstow/LA signage at the freeway onramp.

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Originally the sign was this nicely preserved old enamel one, when I took this picture in 2004. Too bad, it looks like it would have held up for another 50 years if Caltrans had left it alone.

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NB Cajon Blvd, passing under CA 210 now.

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On the extreme north end of the city, we start to enter a large storehouse/transport district, appropriate given the significant heavy rail presence just beside us.

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At intervals, painted Historic US 66 markers appear on the asphalt.

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Looking at the tracks beside us.

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Palm Avenue, at the northern city limits, just west of its interchange with Interstate 215 where old CITY US 66 ended. After CITY US 66 (Business US 66) was decommissioned, it remained in the state highway system as CA 206 and this still appears on NAVTEQ and Google Maps. CITY US 66 was shortened to the Barstow Fwy after it was built in 1959 and that was CA 206's terminus when it was designated after the California Great Renumbering until 1991 when it was finally deleted. We'll see that exit in the next Part.

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Cajon Blvd takes a curious jog around these silos.

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There is some concrete slab here that might have been part of the route at one time, and does make a straight line with US 66/US 91/US 395 on the other side. Some of this looks rebuilt however.

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For Dad's benefit.

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Crossing under the railroad tracks. Our putative slab comes back around here.

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Kendall Drive. Until the construction of the Barstow Fwy this was the continuation (and here the end) of CITY US 66/Business US 66, as we mentioned in Part 15. We continue around to the left.

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This section of Cajon Blvd was clearly built as four-lane boulevard, but nowadays is a very quiet rural residential district.

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Detour: Devore (Devore Road and Kenwood Avenue)

As we near our inevitable junction with the Interstate, we reach this junction with Devore Rd coming over the Interstate to meet us and leading into the small community of Devore. Devore was named for John Devore, a local landowner when the California Southern Railroad (Part 15), later the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe and today the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe, came through in 1885. Prior to that, it was known as Kenwood, for another local landowner, and that name still survives in the form of modern Kenwood Avenue. For some reason Devore is not recognized by the U.S. Census as a census-designated place, but it will be in the future as the local population slowly grows.

It is my suspicion, though I have no maps to prove it, that US 66 (doubtful US 395) did pass through eastern Devore and Devore Heights prior to the construction of the Cajon Blvd alignment. If it did at all, it did so in the very early 1930s, and almost certainly before US 395 was signed this far south; even so, however, it's a nice little detour and we'll take it.

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Crossing Interstate 215 with this somewhat ridiculous onramp to "I-215 NORTH" as I-215 continues for only a brief period before it becomes I-15 (we're just south of where I-215 and I-15 split on the north side in Part 17). The "TO" is even harder to explain.

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Remember when this was expensive?

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NB Devore Rd.

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Up into the mountainous area where these pleasant rural homes cling.

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Devore Rd ends at Kenwood Ave and we turn left. (Actually, Devore hooks right a little further up but dead-ends in a small group of homes to the northeast.)

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I appreciate the warning about the mud, but right now the wind is probably a bigger problem.

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Curving through some of the ranch-type homes in Devore Heights.

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Kenwood Ave then abruptly breaks out of the small ranchitos over this escarpment to curve down and descend into the mouth of the Cajon Pass. Interstate 15, which we haven't seen since Part 12, is now visible again in the background, this time north of the I-15/I-215 split.

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We will actually drive on it again in Part 18, as well as continue past the interchange in the background (the I-15 Kenwood Avenue exit). For now, let's finish up with the southern part of Cajon Blvd.

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End Detour

Back on Cajon Blvd north of Devore Rd, with another set of painted-on Historic Route 66 markers.

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The local fire station.

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Signage for Historic Route 66 for people exiting on SB I-215, but it's pointing south along Cajon Blvd back to San Bernardino, not north with us towards the Cajon Pass. That's because this section of US 66/US 91/US 395 doesn't actually get there. I'll show you that in a moment.

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Still, for being an effective cul-de-sac, a lot of businesses and restaurants sit here and seem to have a more than adequate clientele.

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On the other hand, I would not like to think of my chicken fingers screaming.

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Just past that group of little old-style businesses, Cajon Blvd dead-ends, cut off by the construction of the Mojave Fwy in 1969. We will not be able to cross the freeway directly on this alignment, so to make this connection, we'll go back to the San Bernardino county line and drive I-215 back here to finish the job.

Continue to Part 17

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