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Proposal for Extension of Regents Road over Rose Canyon

SOHO joins with other environmental organizations in expressing concern about the City of San Diego's proposal to construct a road across historic Rose Canyon. A portion of the road will span the canyon, but cut and fill slopes and abutments will be built in the canyon. The Regents Road crossing project will result in construction across one of the last remaining historic landscapes in the City of San Diego. SOHO has identified several historic resources that could be impacted by construction of a road across Rose Canyon.

Prehistory
Rose Canyon has been studied by archaeologists, and several important sites exist in the canyon. Some of these sites are thousands of years old.

El Camino Real
The earliest historical mention of Rose Canyon is by Juan Crespi, whose party crossed the mouth of Rose Canyon on their way north from San Diego in 1769. The Spanish party made camp in Rose Canyon, where they noted the rich grasslands. The lands in Rose Canyon and San Clemente Canyon became Pueblo Lands of the city of San Diego as the area was settled and land grants were made.

Louis Rose
Louis Rose, a famous San Diego entrepreneur who had a hand in many business ventures, purchased land in what is now called Rose Canyon when it was made available for sale by the city. In 1853, Rose began construction of a tannery on his ranch in the canyon.

Ranching and the Cultural Landscape
Rose Canyon was settled by ranchers and dairymen in the mid-1800s. The remains of some of these settlements still exist, as well as fences and other historic landscape features.

AT&SF Railroad
The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad built a route up the coast from National City to Oceanside, then on into San Bernardino. The line was called the California Southern Railroad. By late 1881, the track passed Mission Bay and went up Rose Canyon. Remains of railroad sidings, trestles, and the original route along the south side of the canyon still exist.

Rose Canyon is rich in both prehistoric and historic sites. Historically, the canyon has been used for travel and settlement. The road construction project could produce a viewshed impact on the vanishing historic ranching landscape of Rose Canyon and the City of San Diego.

2004 - Volume 35, Issue 4

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