(Victor Valley)– The book “The Cajon Pass” by local author Alice Eby Hall boasts more than 200 vintage images along with a supportive narrative.
Hall tells the story of how California bloomed when modern men conquered the Cajon Pass. California’s two transverse (east to west) mountain ranges, the San Gabriel and San Bernardino, prevented commerce east between two-thirds of Southern California and the rest of the state. Cajon Pass, the low point between the two ranges, was first opened to business by roads that generally followed old Native American trails.
When railroads pierced the divide in 1885, Northern and Southern California and states to the east benefited. Utility trunks followed: first electrical power in 1912, followed by telephone and finally natural gas pipelines. Courageous, tireless, independent pioneers settled Cajon Pass while looking for gold, mining lime and nursing water from the ground to satisfy needs of livestock and crops.
Even today, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific Railroads run their busiest freight transport tracks through Cajon Pass, and Highway 15 competes successfully with its more western counterpart, Highway 5, for record numbers of vehicles per day moving north and south through California.