Jul 08

San Luis Obispo Map, 1941

Map of San Luis Obispo from 1941 published in the Telegram-Tribune on July 4, 1941.

Old maps fascinate me and this one shows San Luis Obispo of 70 years ago. Population in 1940 was 8,881 and after two decades of not much change the population was about to explode.
The page contains no explanation as to why this was printed on page 3 of the Telegram-Tribune on July 4, 1941.
There were then two railroads in town, Southern Pacific and the narrow gauge Pacific Coast Railroad. The PCRR connected San Luis with Port San Luis and points south to Los Olivos but the county’s first railroad was about to die. Improving highways and truck service doomed the short-line originally designed to be a feeder for ships at Port San Luis. Wikipedia calls the time of death as 1941, an article by Walter Rice in the SLO County Journal sounds the last whistle at February 28, 1942. No doubt we will see an article in the Telegram-Tribune marking the demise during the course of this series.
Missing is the 101 freeway which would obliterate Fig Street and made stubs of many others. Monterey St. is the highway until it ends at Nipomo then the road dog-legs to Higuera.
Kuang Su Ave. has been renamed Lawrence Ave. The Essex St. of 1941 now Johnson Ave. and the former Johnson was renamed Pepper St. Back then Johnson connected to town through the high school via Munzo Street. I’m guessing the name change was done when an under-crossing was completed and Essex was absorbed to give the road one name. A similar guess is that Ida is absorbed by California Blvd. when those roads are connected.
Motley Ave is gone and the grid of streets in the neighborhood off of Slack Street was broken up with the construction of Pacheco and Jesperson Schools.
French St. has now been replaced by Madonna Road.
Gone are Mountain View Hospital, Southern Pacific roundhouse, a bridges over the S.P. railroad tracks at Fairview north of the depot and a street north of Mill now called Phillips Lane. Veterans Memorial Park has not yet sprouted a building.
The Telegram-Tribune office is at the corner of Morro and Pacific Streets. The library was in the Carnegie location next to the Mission and KVEC is on Hill Street where KSBY television would be born.
County General Hospital is at the edge of the city limits.
Take a look at the map, and post a comment.

Related posts:

  1. Camp San Luis Obispo during World War II
  2. San Luis Obispo Gasworks
  3. San Luis Obispo builds a City Hall on Higuera Street
  4. San Luis Obispo Roundhouse
  5. Cruisin’ San Luis Obispo ends, the birth of Farmer’s Market