Barrett Junction Cafe & Mercantile

San Diego County Backcountry History

A bit more of the Highway 94 backcountry history. Were you aware that Highway 94 use to be the way of a stagecoach? Actually since the 1800’s Highway 94 has seen many upgrades and changes to the path it meanders. Many of the old curves are gone. They have done their best to straighten it out. It is a beautiful ride or drive, whether you are on horseback, motorcycle, bicycle, or car. Especially now since we are entering the winter months. The grasses are green once again and the cattle and horses are wandering around taking advantage. They have opened up the small hunting areas again. Caution is still requested.

At the time of the stagecoaches the roads were treacherous and the travel time was 2 days or more to go from the coast to the backcountry, say Dulzura area. There were homesteaders moving to the backcountry areas and the coast from the east with promises of earning their fortune. The 1800’s saw an influx of Easterners seeking to make their way in this part of the country.

Some homesteads still exist today, but many were burned or flooded. The Barrett/Cottonwood bridge saw a few floods in its time. The stagecoach brought travelers and mail faster than the steamers.

At one time the trip was made by boat and took months to get from the East Coast to the West Coast. From the port in San Diego travelers ventured inland, many making their way to what is now know as Jamul, Dulzura, Potrero, Campo, and Boulevard.

There are a few articles and books that cover many of the BackCountry Highway 94 history. One such book is available at the cafe now, East California 94, History of Highway 94 by Shirley Bowman Reider. There are a few left. This little book is great for the history buff and anyone interested in learning more about the East San Diego County Country Side.

While you are at the cafe, shop the collectibles and memorabilia available.


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