Archive for the ‘U.S 1’ category

Animals along the road

September 9, 2007

Sure you could get lucky and spot some real wildlife loitering along the highway. But there were several places to stop that could guarantee an exciting encounter with mammals, birds and reptiles, even though it was staged. Gay’s Lion Farm in El Monte, Calif. offered guests a chance to see dozens of African lions. Mr. and Mrs. Gay ran the farm, which was well connected with Hollywood in placing lions into films. In fact, a particular beast named ‘Slats’ was well known in front of the camera. This brochure is from the early 1930s.



While in southern California, visitors could also check out the Los Angeles Ostrich Farm. Located at 3609 Mission Road, this place boasted of having ‘the only trained ostriches in the entire West.’ More than 100 of these huge birds could be seen. Probably the coolest picture from this early 1930s guide, shows a man with a wheelbarrow loaded with giant eggs.



Florida was (is) famous for its roadside reptile emporiums. Gatorland was located on the shoulders of U.S. Route 1, near St. Augustine. This mid-1960s guide and map highlights the wonders of alligators, especially when being wrestled. Also, visitors could purchase exotic animals like monkeys, Mynah birds, alligators and South American caiman. All of these animals could be shipped home. Wow.


The exterior of Gatorland looks awesome. Great signage complimented by a huge grinning alligator sculpture. Hard not to stop.



North to south

March 5, 2007

Federal Highway No. 1 runs from Fort Kent, Maine all the way to Key West, Florida. This map and guide from 1930 heralds that it is a hard-surface road, except for a short stretch in South Carolina. If you like resorts, this is the highway to take. U.S. 1 runs through or near places like Bar Harbor, Maine, Newport, R.I., Atlantic City, Sea Island, Ga, Daytona Beach, Fla. and Miami Beach. So, how long a drive is it? 2,455 miles from end to end.