Ridge Route History
Ever since the days of Phineas Banning, General Beale and the Butterfield Overland stage, vehicles made their way out of Los Angeles, through San Francisquito Canyon, down the Grapevine Pass, and then into Bakersfield. The California Highway Commission was formed in 1911, and one of its first priorities was to build a simpler, more direct road through the La Liebre Mountains. That task fell to the man with the unlikely name of W. Lewis Clark.
Frustrated in several attempts to locate an easy way across the stony barrier, Clark, at last, blazed a trail right over the top from the mouth of Castaic Canyon to Gorman. It was called the Ridge Route.
After a year of toil, during which four-horse Fresno scrapers graded hilltops alongside chugging Caterpillar tractors to the tune of a staggering half-million dollars, the Tejon Route, as it was originally dubbed, opened to the motoring public late in November 1915. The Auto Club did a little calculating, finding that in the 36 miles between Castaic and Gorman, there were 642 curves that added up to 97 complete circles. It did cut 60 miles off the road, however.
Even before construction started in 1914, an enterprising businessman by the name of Sam Parsons purchased an acre of land from W.H. Cook fronting the stake line, then threw up a general store that catered to the needs of the workers. Afterwards, “Sam’s Place” became a mecca for truckers and the beginning of a new town called Castaic.
While the Ridge Route did not bring permanent residents (to the Santa Clarita Valley), for the most part it did cut down on travel time to the great markets of Los Angeles. One could journey to town and back in a single day — amazing! Then there was the increasing horde of gentlemen clad in long linen dusters with goggles, piloting their chugging, spitting vehicles with names such as Marmon 41, Winton Six, or Packard. They, their womenfolk, and children might get hungry along the way or need gasoline or automobile repairs. So, began a series of what might be called “tourist traps.”
ADVERTISE WITH US
Excitement is Building as we Roll Toward the Amgen Tour of California! Advocating for our bicycling community is important to me and our City is committed to continuing to provide a wonderful cycling experience. Santa Clarita is fortunate to have miles of...read more
How Do You Celebrate the Fourth of July? Send us your best photo submissions for a chance to be featured in print
Whether your neighbors meet in the street for a good ol’ fashioned block party or you throw a small, patriotic backyard bash, the Fourth of July is a time to celebrate being together in honor of this beautiful country. Barbecues, fireworks and all manner of red,...read more
Take Me Out to the Ballgame Santa Clarita Dodger Day! A monthly message from the City Manager Ken Striplin
If the eight homerun, record-breaking season opener was any indication of what the Dodgers have in store for us this year – you will not want to miss Santa Clarita Dodger Day. This family-friendly event is one of the longest running in our community. At 42 years...read more
ABOUT THE MAGAZINE
The Magazine of Santa Clarita has set a high standard for excellence in advertising for over 25 years. A family owned and operated business, The Magazine of Santa Clarita has grown with the Santa Clarita Valley since 1989 and become the #1 place to advertise locally.