Coast Road: 1900-1950

October 10, 2002 – March 16, 2003

How the coast road—commonly known as Pacific Coast Highway or Highway 101—opened scenic and recreational opportunities and created a spine of development and urbanization is revealed in the Coast Road: 1900-1950 exhibit.

Sponsored by the Automobile Club of Southern California, the exhibit features hundreds of photographic images, plus artwork, artifacts and ephemera that pay tribute to Highway 101 and provide insight into the historic route’s impact on the development of the coastal corridor. The exhibit includes more than 40 photos from the Historical Society’s photograph collection plus two vintage bathing suits from our costume collection, a 1921 Ford Model T touring automobile from our collection and four surfboards on loan from the California Surf Museum in Oceanside.

(left) An early photo of the Encinitas stretch of road shows the original coast highway as a narrow, eucalyptus-lined lane not really wide enough for two cars. It is historically significant because it is one of the earliest examples of California road construction.