Welcome to U.S. Route 6 Tourist Association

U.S. Route 6 Tourist Association
1657 S.W. Old Clifton Rd.
Port Orchard, WA.  98367
Phone: 360/876-5063

 

MAKING HISTORY

     Historic Route 6 Sign Dedication - Lancaster, California

Sign Dedication - Lancaster, California 

From Left; Fred M. Hann, Executive Director of the California U.S. Route 6 Tourist Association - State Assemblywoman Sharon Runner - Norm Hickling, Field Deputy for Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich - Betty Hann - Richard Saunders, Advisory Committee member and Carlos Valdez, Event Coordinator.

(Carlos is the owner of the "COOL" 1954 yellow Ford pickup truck)

2007 -  2008

With the support of individual members,  member businesses and communites in the State of California the  U.S. Route 6 Tourist Association drafted a Resolution that was sponsored by Assemblywoman  Sharon Runner of Lancaster, California. The Resolution restored the coast-to-coast integrity of the Grand Old Highway that was lost in 1964 as a result of renumbering. State Resolution ACR 26 approved on July 03, 2007 recognizing the historical significance of the pre-1956 alignment between the Nevada state line and the City of Long Beach, California.

Historic US 6 Route signage has been installed in the member Cities of Lancaster, Palmdale and Santa Clarita. Signage was recently (Summer 2008) completed within the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County between Kern County and Highway I-5.

ROUTE 6 RECALLED (June 11, 2008)

Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, right, and former Lancaster mayor Fred M. Hann, Executive Director of the California U.S. Route 6 Tourist Association, on Wednesday unveil a new Historic U.S. Route 6 sign on Sierra Highway at Avenue G. The County plans to erect 12 more signs between the Kern County border and Interstate 5 in Santa Clarita.


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From Bishop south to Long Beach, Historic US 6 signs are being established along State Highway 395 and Highway 14 into Mojave and from Mojave south along the Sierra Highway (historic alignment) through Lancaster and Palmdale to Santa Clarita. From Santa Clarita south US 6 is known as San Fernando Blvd. / Rd. and passes through the Cities of San Fernando, Burbank and Glendale. From Los Angeles it travels south on Figueroa Street through the Cities of Carson and Wilmington, then east on the Pacific Coast Highway into Long Beach and then south to the end of Long Beach Blvd. where it ends at Ocean Blvd.

Look across Ocean Blvd. and you will see the Long Beach Performing Arts Theater. On the landscaped wall in front of the theater is a plaque showing this to be the westerly end of 3,652 miles of Historic U.S. 6, also known as the Grand Army of the Republic "Memorial" Highway.

In 1953 the plaque was  located a couple blocks away on the nearby waterfront.

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The Associations next project will be to create detailed highway maps showing the original pre-1956 alignment as it exists today. This challenging project will only come to fruition through the help of volunteers and the financial support of members and sponsors. Thank you to all who continue to support our work and a warm welcome to anyone interested in joining us as a member of the team.

Always feel free to contact us should you have any questions.

 

The Grand Army of the Republic (Memorial) Highway

(The King's Highway, Roosevelt Highway, and the Midland Trail, etc.)

Click to See Full Size
Picture From the Colorado State Archives.  

Click to See Full Size

Road Sign Located East of Bishop, CA Looking Towards the Nevada State Line.  Photo by Mike Blubaugh 8/4/2001

The Grand Army of the Republic (Memorial) Highway is the present official name, however, during the late 20s and early 30s it was also known as the Roosevelt Highway, after President Theodore Roosevelt. Prior to 1926 it was called (in-part) the Midland Trail Roadway.

The Historic Highway began as an entity in November of 1926 when the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) adopted the U.S. numbering system for marking the Nation's main Interstate highways.

At first, U.S. Route 6 was a short route running between Provincetown on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to Brewster, New York. Over the years it was extended in stages to transcontinental length as improved roadways moved westward. It was in 1937 that AASHO approved the extension of U.S. Route 6 to Long Beach, California (a distance of 3,652 miles from Provincetown) making it the longest U.S. Route in the country.

Historic U.S. Route 6 --- Coast-to-Coast Through 14 States

At this point, U.S. Route 6 was still just a patchwork of mis-matched highways. Writer/Historian George R. Stewart commented that, "Route 6 runs uncertainly from nowhere to nowhere, scarcely to be followed from one end to the other, except by some devoted eccentric." However, it lost its transcontinental status in 1965 when AASHO approved a request from the State of California to end the Historic Highway at the Town of Bishop. Currently, U.S. Route 6 is 3,227* miles long, making it the second longest U.S. Route in the country. U.S. Route 20 is now classified as the longest route at 3,345* miles. Much of the original alignment remains intact between Bishop and Long Beach, California. I can only hope that, someday, the State of California will properly post these remaining portions of this famous Highway.

The West End Question

Over the years there have been several different west endings to Historic U.S. Route 6, and all were located in the City of Long Beach, California. The big question is, at which location did it actually end? Our archives reveal the following three documented endings.

Prior to 1953 the Historic Highway ended at the east end of town, at the Long Beach Traffic Circle.

In 1953 Route 6 ended at the water front at the Long Beach Municipal Auditorium. It was here that the Grand Army of the Republic Association(G.A.R.) held an official U.S. Route 6 Encampment. A bronze plaque was placed on the outside of the wall of the Auditorium which identified this location as the westerly end of U.S. Route 6. The Auditorium was located at the intersection of what is now Long Beach, Blvd. (Old Route 6) and Seaside Blvd.

As an item of interest, the Long Beach City Council officially authorized the placing of temporary U.S. Route 6 signs along Long Beach Blvd. in order to direct G.A.R. encampment traffic to the auditorium. Because of this, U.S. Route 6 is officially known as The Grand Army of the Republic Highway.

Prior to 1953 it is said that the West End was in Wilmington at the intersection of Figueroa Street and the Pacific Coast Highway. However, we have no documents to support this as a fact. (back to researching the archives)

For additional information about the West End
Historic US 6 Highway ends in Long Beach CA

So where is the location of the bronze plaque today?

After the Municipal Auditorium was torn down in the 60s, a monument marking the west end of the Historic Highway was relocated on the wall of the Terrace Theater, located on the south side of Ocean Blvd.

On January 23, 2001 the Association received a letter from the Historical Society of Long Beach which informed us that the plaque is now located on Ocean Boulevard near the Long Beach Performing Arts Center, formerly known as the Terrace Theater.

Should anyone reading this text have any questions, or knows of any other historical facts about the west end of Route 6, I would appreciate hearing form you.

Russ Lombard, President
U.S. Route 6 Tourist Association
08/2001

 

PLAQUE AT THE WEST END

( Pictures Taken - March 26, 2004)

Thanks to the Historical Society of Long Beach, California, and to Floyd Farra, Historian with the Sons of Union Vetrans, we now know the current location and have some pictures of the Plaque which established the West End of Historic U.S. Route 6 on May 3, 1953. The Plaque is located on the wall in front of the Long Beach Performing Arts Center at Ocean and Long Beach Boulevard.

The Historical Society of Long Beach

The Plaque

On the wall

route6sign.jpg (16159 bytes)
Photo Submitted by Ted and Barbara Krzycki
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Signs Located at the Intersection of U.S. Route 6 and Ed Street in SE Hastings, NE (August 2001)
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Jennifer Harrison in Front of This Historic Route 6 Road Sign Located 6 Miles West of Lincoln, NE at the Intersection of Route 6 & SW 140th Street. (August 2001)
 
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