1946 Historic Roads to Romance, California’s Southern Empire, Tourist Paradise
By: Claude G. Putnam
Date: 1946 (dated)
Dimensions: 22 x 33 inches (55.9 cm x 83.8 cm)
This is a remarkably bright and alluring bird's eye view style pictorial map. The colorful design highlights missions, historical places and events, and contemporary places and events in the region, which includes San Bernardino County, Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, San Diego County, and Imperial County. The map features historic trails, roads, cities and towns, Native American reservations, parks and points of interest. Myriad familiar names and places are depicted, such as San Juan Capistrano, Olvera St., the San Fernando Mission along with several other Spanish missions, the location of the first discovery of gold, and even the location of some Indian glyphs at one point near the western bank of the Colorado River. Mount Palomar, the largest observatory in the world at the time is pictured. Ships of various styles and eras sail in the Pacific, in which is also located a colorful compass rose, and a fanciful sea monster.
All relief is shown pictorially. The attractive and imaginative border features fifteen vignettes illustrating various historical events and places. In the center at the top is featured the frigate built and owned by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, in which he explored the shores of what would become the state of California. On either side of the frigate are vignettes portraying Californian history of a later period. Directly opposite the frigate, at the center of the lower border is featured a stagecoach with six horses drawing it westward. Two larger vignettes at the top of each side border feature well-known figures from California’s history. To the left is Padre Junipero Serra, a Roman Catholic Spanish priest and friar of the Franciscan Order who founded a mission in Baja California and the first nine of 21 Spanish missions in California. To the right is Juan Bautista de Anza, a Spaniard of Basque descent who was born in the New World, who served the Spanish government leading forays against Native Americans, and exploring much of what is now the state of Arizona. A vignette at the lower left corner features First California Mission San Diego de Alcala 1769. Eight smaller vignettes are featured along the sides of the border, each of which depicts a well-known feature or episode from California’s colorful history. A lovely title cartouche embellishes the right lower quadrant.
The verso of the map features photos of places of interest, along with text describing virtually each point of interest which might draw tourists’ attention at the time the map was published, with seventy seven places listed in all. An inset map on the verso is a simplified version of the map itself, but shows only cities, highways and a few geographical features.
Condition: This map is in A condition, multiple folded as issued. A few pinprick size separations at some folds of the map.
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