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Author: Subject: Old Auto Club Baja Maps... decoded!
David K
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cool.gif posted on 8-7-2015 at 05:22 PM
Old Auto Club Baja Maps... decoded!


From the 1920's to 2010 the Automobile Club of Southern California has produced travel maps of Baja California. After almost 100 years, they ended the tradition.

I recently aquired some vintage Baja maps, and I am happy to share here for my Baja amigos to enjoy a look into the past!

I have three editions, unmarked, like new.






Before the 1970's, the club used a secret copyright date code to hide the date! A simple Google search revealed the decoding secret!!



Some maps had the C - before the code, and some did not.

15559 is the date of this map, and it is scrambled so that 15 is the day, 55 is the year (reversed), and 9 is the month: Sept. 15, 1955 (yes, I know 55 works out without reversing, but that is the deal on other years).




15 is the day, 95 is 1959 (95=59), and 6 is the month: June 15, 1959.




Now, everyone can get this, right? 1268= August 1, 1962.


Next, I will scan these three old guy and you can see how the auto club showed the wilds of Baja up to 60 years ago!




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[*] posted on 8-7-2015 at 05:27 PM


I'm looking forward to this! I have a AAA map from 2007 or thereabout, and it is my favorite map. It was also my dogs favorite, so she took some bites out of it.
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[*] posted on 8-7-2015 at 05:44 PM
The 1962 Edition, in 9 parts


Shared here for historic interest and education. Narrow pieces of the map are missing between the scans, this is just an overview. I can scan requested areas that may not appear below... let me know. I will follow up with the 1959 and 1955 versions in the near future.





















[Edited on 8-10-2015 by David K]




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David K
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[*] posted on 8-8-2015 at 11:07 AM
1955 Baja Map in 3 parts...


Of interest, no distinction of paved vs. unpaved roads shown. Except in the very north and for a few miles north from La Paz, all roads are unpaved.







Close ups of any areas by request!




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[*] posted on 8-8-2015 at 11:35 AM


Really cool to see these old maps. Thanks David!!



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[*] posted on 8-8-2015 at 03:01 PM


You are the King of Maps, David. It is most appreciated.
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David K
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[*] posted on 8-8-2015 at 03:14 PM


El gusto es mio! To have these treasures and not share them would be a crime!

I have been lucky and blessed with obtaining many Baja subject publications form the past 100+ years. They only do me good here in my office, but on-line, other Baja fanatics may enjoy them.

The 1959 AAA map is similar to the 1962 one, but fewer roads. I will add that in the near future.





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David K
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[*] posted on 8-9-2015 at 09:38 PM


If anyone is interested in seeing the '59 map, or close ups of any of the other two, just ask.



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David K
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[*] posted on 8-10-2015 at 08:50 AM


I have scanned the areas at the folds of the 1962 map to cover the few miles of peninsula that got missed with the 5 original scans... so added 4 more scans to that post.

Of historical interest, the auto club was great at promoting Baja as a place for hunting, fishing, and California mission exploring. However, they have added a few more missions than actually existed:

1) Mission Calamajué: this was not a separate mission from Santa María, just the first location for that mission.

2) Mission Dolores del Norte: this location is near the visita ruins of San Pablo (east of Vizcaino), but never a mission on its own. Dolores del Norte was an early name for what would become Mission San Gertrudis, upon its founding in 1752. 'Dolores del Norte' only existed on paper and maps before Santa Gertrudis was founded.

3) Mission Santa Maria Magdalena (near Mulegé on AAA map): the ruins at this location (west of Palo Blanco/ Pta. Chivato) were never a mission, but a visita or farm station of Mulegé, called La Magdalena. Arthur North in 1906, knew of a 'paper mission' (like Dolores del Norte) the Jesuits proposed, called Santa Maria Magdalena, and presumed this Magdalena was that one. His error was carried on for the next 100 years.

4) Mission San Juan Londa (Londo): The AAA map places this at the site of San Bruno near the coast, an early failed mission (1683-1685). San Juan Bautista de Londo was a visita church ruin and is just off Hwy. 1 at Rancho San Juan Londo.

5) Mission San Miguel de Comondu: This was never a mission, just a very prosperous visita of San Javier... just 2 miles from a visita of San Jose de Comondu, to which the 1708 Comondu mission was moved, in 1736. San Miguel then became a visita of Comondu.

6) Mission el Novillo: South of La Paz, east of San Pedro, was a church ruin called El Novillo. It was never a mission.

Finally, the mission at Todos Santos was originally named 'Santa Rosa de las Palmas' founded at the visita of Todos Santos. When the Pilar de la Paz mission was moved to Todos Santos from La Paz Bay (1748), it ended the Santa Rosa mission there. While officially it was still Mission Pilar de la Paz, it was almost always called 'Todos Santos after that.




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[*] posted on 8-10-2015 at 09:54 AM


Great stuff David, thank you!



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[*] posted on 8-10-2015 at 10:28 AM


De nada Ken... I guess I like these old maps so much because they give us a look back in time to the way it was when we first traveled to Baja?

The 1962 AAA map shows the ratio of paved vs. dirt roads. When I first traveled to La Paz and Cabo San Lucas by Jeep, in 1966, that was all the pavement there was, except about 10 miles was paved going south from La Paz that year and they were working on the new roadbed to a point between San Bartolo and Los Barriles, and that is where the grading ended. Can you imagine driving to Los Barriles and on to Cabo San Lucas on a one lane Jeep trail?

We came back north to La Paz from Cabo through Todos Santos, and the one lane dirt road didn't become a graded 2 lane road until Todos Santos.

The past is getting further away each year, and only these maps can continue to tell the story once those of us who were lucky enough to have experienced pre-pavement Baja are all gone!




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[*] posted on 11-28-2015 at 06:08 PM


Try and envision what travel was like before 1972, when you didn't see pavement until you were about 100 miles from La Paz!

The highway south ended near Colonet and then began inching south in 1970... made it to Colonia Guerrero in '72 and San Quintin before the big push began in '73... San Quintin to Santa Rosalia!




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[*] posted on 11-28-2015 at 08:49 PM


The auto club map I have has the code 03324 so that makes
it a 4-03-23 map year. April 03, 1923. Right?
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[*] posted on 11-28-2015 at 11:12 PM


Please share that... I am not sure if the code goes back that far. Are they strip maps to San Quintin? Please scan! I have a 1920's map also... I will dig it out.



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[*] posted on 11-29-2015 at 06:59 AM


Those maps are awesome. Thanks for posting
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[*] posted on 11-29-2015 at 08:52 AM


It's one big fold up map. It came with the Auto Club book dated 1930.








[Edited on 11-29-2015 by TMW]
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[*] posted on 11-29-2015 at 11:00 AM


David, I believe I sent you several photos of the "mission" at Rancho Novillo. It has fallen down completely now. Interestingly, it is at the base of the mountain called La Trinchera which has, at the top of the hill, El Zalate, which is acknowledged as a ranch or garden for the mission at La Paz. Hiking to the site one can find pottery shards and stone walls and a couple of surviving mango and guava trees growing adjacent to the stream. I'll try to find photos on my 3 hard drives (or perhaps you have a better system than I do).
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[*] posted on 11-29-2015 at 11:07 AM


Missed this thread, cool maps David, you da man!
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[*] posted on 11-29-2015 at 12:10 PM


Tom, that is awesome... amazing the Auto Club has used the same base map with only a few changes right through the 1960's from 1930!

I will add the earlier map series I have from the 20's.
Hi Jack, I will add the El Novillo ruins photos.
Mexitron, bumping up threads awakens new interest in Baja history!




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David K
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[*] posted on 11-29-2015 at 12:15 PM
1927 Auto Club Baja Map


From the border to El Rosario (almost)!









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