First in a series of nine northbound landmarks seen June 23, 1993 - RiversideCountyCA
Like an unfinished project on the garage workbench, this landmark just hasn’t made it to song. It seems to have all the right ingredients, but something else always to shove it aside. Someday. Meanwhile, recent computer access to topographical and satellite maps can show the paths chosen by pioneers in the form of the path of least resistance. Everyone wants a smooth DeSoto-like-ride so sand, large rocks, hills, and water were avoided whenever possible, and the Old Temescal Road was no exception. Starting in Corona (originally called South Riverside) at Ontario Avenue, it meanders through TemescalCanyon to the hill that leads to LakeElsinore. The subtle changes in the canyon are overlooked today when plowing up and down interstate 15, missing the old two lane road’s journey as it dipped and ducked under occasional narrow Santa Fe overpasses that would flood in a good fog. Imagine an early summer morning LA to San Diego bound traveler in the DeSoto’s heyday of 1950. After the scent of miles of constant orange and citrus trees through Orange and parts of Riverside Counties, the damp canyon grasses bring a fresh change.
Those good grasses were a primary reason for the cluster of five state landmarks in TemescalCanyon and their stories of early development.
NO. 638 OLD TEMESCAL ROAD - This route was used by Luiseño and Gabrieleno Indians, whose villages were nearby. Leandro Serrano established a home here in 1820. Jackson and Warner traveled the road in 1831, and Frémont in 1848. It was the southern emigrant road for gold seekers from 1849 to 1851, the Overland Mail route from 1858 to 1861, and a military road between Los Angeles and San Diego from 1861 to 1865.
Location: On Old Hwy 71, 0.9 mi S of I-15 and Temescal Canyon Rd interchange, 11 mi S of Corona
On reservation land. Google coordinates: 33.765609,-117.486699