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NewThe Ridge Route Book - Now Available for online purchaseNew

By Harrison Irving Scott

Californian Historian
From Volume 43 Number 4 Summer 1997
A Publication of the CONFERENCE of California Historical Societies

Discovery, Find, Beginnings, Early, Challenge, Breaking, Paving, Residents, Tourists, Kelly's, Conclusion

  It was 1955. I was 18 years old and had just started to work for  Pacific Telephone. I needed transportation to go back and forth to work, and my parents helped me purchase my first car, a brand new 1955 Ford. I didn't need much of an excuse to get behind the wheel to enjoy my new-found freedom. I stumbled upon the deserted, twisting Ridge Route winding across the top of the mountains between Castaic and State Highway 138.

   This old road, located at the extreme northern boundary of Los Angeles County, has long silently awaited an unknown fate. It was left to the mercy of the elements in 1933 when the Ridge Alternate replaced it with a more direct path through Violin Canyon. The traffic on the Old Ridge Route virtually stopped, and within a short time many of the gas stations and tourist stops along its path had burned  to the ground...

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