Then & Now

The first section of the project will be to research and ride Baker’s route of May 3, 1914 from downtown San Diego east over the mountains to the desert and ending up that first night in Yuma, Arizona. As we will do throughout the project, we located some maps of the area from that period of time. In Map 1 we see that the route east to El Centro left downtown San Diego on Imperial Avenue heading east to La Mesa. In Map 2 we see the route turned south east on what is now Highway 94 towards Campo and on to the desert. Highway projects in 1914 had the road improved through Mountain Spring. From there east to El Centro was still a rough sandy trail. More on this section later.

Map 1

Map 2

 

There was an auto “stage” service at the time that would transport people from downtown San Diego to El Centro. Here is a chart showing the route and arrival times. From San Diego Historical Society.

IMPERIAL VALLEY AUTO STAGE DAILY TIME TABLE
Leaving Pickwick Theatre Bldg.,
1027 4th, Between C & Broadway

Leave San Diego 8:00 A.M.
Arrive Jamul 9:00 A.M.
Arrive Dulzura 9:30 A.M.
Arrive Cottonwood 10:00 A.M.
Arrive Potrero 10:30 A.M.
Arrive Campo 11:00 A.M.
Arrive Warner’s Ranch 12:30 P.M.
Arrive Boulevard 1:00 P.M.
Arrive Jacumba 1:15 P.M.
Arrive Mountain Spring 1:45 P.M.
Arrive Dixieland 3:15 P.M.
Arrive Seeley 3:35 P.M.
Arrive El Centro 4:00 P.M.

Stage also leaves San Diego for El Centro at 4:00 P.M. daily