(Victorville)– – San Bernardino County First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt visited one of his favorite places to eat Saturday morning. But before breakfast he addressed a crowd of Route 66 fans and unveiled the first County Route 66 sign in front of the famous Emma Jean’s café.
“Route 66 is a great economic asset in San Bernardino County and I have seen firsthand how popular Route 66 is overseas,” Supervisor Mitzelfelt said. “The signs will help domestic and foreign tourists navigate the historic Mother Road, and the unveiling is to celebrate Victorville’s participation in the route marker program. The event is also to bring attention to the Route 66 International Festival coming up August 9-12 at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds.”
The first County Route 66 signs were installed last fall. At the request of Supervisor Mitzelfelt, the Board of Supervisors in May agreed to designate the route as a County Scenic Highway from Oro Grande to the Arizona state line.
Victorville Mayor Ryan McEachron commented on the installation of the markers, “I think it is beneficial for those traveling on Route 66 to identify exactly what is the original route. Having the markers there does that, it makes it easier on those traveling the Old Road.”
He continued, “I think that Route 66 throughout the nation should be designated as a scenic highway. So Supervisor Mitzlefelt’s push for that makes a lot of sense from the standpoint of advancing tourism, and it will definitely have an effect and help us here in the Victorville area.”
Paul Chassey, a volunteer at the California Route 66 museum in Victorville for the last 9 years and a former member of the Board of Directors, explained that these route markers are important for international travelers, those from European countries especially, because these travelers want to travel the true Old Road, the original Route 66 as much as possible. A common complaint that he hears from international travelers is that when they get to California they lose track of the original road.
“It is a great help to us to have these road markers, to let travelers know that they are on the right road,” said Chassey. “So we’re very grateful to the county and to the city for allowing the county to put these road markers on Route 66.”
More than 250 miles of the legendary highway runs the length of San Bernardino County from Needles through Upland. In the desert area, County Route 66 runs from Victorville and along National Trails Highway through Oro Grand, and continues north onto Main Street in the City of Barstow, continues east on Interstate 40, travels north on Nebo Street near Barstow, heads east on National Trails Highway, and then north on Goffs Road to its junction with US-95.
As I stated that morning as we posted the sign, people will seek out and enjoy another of our historical spots.