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Introduction


This guide, along with the various others produced by Lyn Wilkerson and Caddo Publications USA, are based on the American Guide Series. Until the mid-1950’s, the U.S. Highway System provided the means for various modes of transport to explore this diverse land. To encourage such explorations, the Works Projects Administration under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Federal Writers Project created the American Guide Series. This series of books were commissioned by the Federal Government to capture the culture and history of the United States and provide the direction necessary for travelers to explore it. Each state created a commission of writers who canvassed their respective territories for content to submit. The preliminary works were then sent to Washington D.C. for final assembly in to a standard format. The result was a travel guide for each state. The series spread to include guides for important cities as well. After the State Guides were complete, the concept of a national guide was developed. However, it would not be until 1949, with the backing of Hastings House Publishing, that a true national guide would be created. Through several rounds of condensing, the final product maintained much of the most essential points of interest and the most colorful material.

To quote from the California edition of the American Guide Series, “romance has been kept in its place. . .” The intent of this guide is to provide information about the historic sites, towns, and landmarks along the chosen routes, and to provide background information and stories for what lies in-between. It is not our desire to dramatize the history or expand on it in any way. We believe that the character and culture of San Francisco, and our country as a whole, can speak for itself. The guide has been created, not for just travelers new to the city, but for current residents who may not realize what lies just around the corner in their own neighborhood. The goal of Caddo Publications USA is to encourage the exploration of the rich history that many of us drive by on a regular basis without any sense it existed, and to entertain and educate so that history will not be lost in the future.

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