The Old Spanish Trail

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The Old Spanish Trail

The Old Spanish Trail

The Old Spanish Trail

Thoughts on the Old Spanish Trail, by Kit Keating 

I was downtown this morning doing some routine work stuff and I ran across and old friend: the coquina globe zero mile marker of the Old Spanish Trail. This thing has been a part of my life forever, and I want to share this obscure thing with you good people.


Back in the early 1900s, there wasn’t much in the way of good quality highways. Don’t even consider the Interstate Highway system that Ike implemented, it wasn’t even a dream. A group of businessmen got together in 1915 and worked out a system of interconnected roadways that ran across the Southern US.


This auto trail made getting from the Atlantic to the Pacific a LOT easier, and as a marketing hook, the businessmen started and ended the trail at Spanish Mission settlements and was named the “Old Spanish Trail” (the first Spanish Mission in the US was in St. Augustine on the Fountain of Youth property, started in 1587. Not at the Mission of Nombre de Dios).


The auto trail was a big deal back in the day, but gradually faded from the public consciousness. Most of the highway system is still there, and would be a KILLER road trip. It was intentionally routed through Spanish colonies, Missions, and forts, so it’s pretty cool.


Here are some pix to fill in the blanks. The globe is the Zero mile marker. The column in San Diego is now oddly located under a Planet Hollywood sign. I have thrown a map in too, as well as some links. Neat stuff.




Kit Keating, Public Relations and Marketing Manager, Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park




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