“Happy 100th Birthday to the Rim of the World Highway”

Vintage Driving Cats Graphic Clip ArtWell, believe it or not the Rim of the World Highway (otherwise known as Hwy. 18) has been around for 100 years.  While the road won’t be able to eat birthday cake a big celebration is planned for July 18. Join the Rim of the World Historical Society and the U.S. Forest Service at the Baylis Picnic Area on Saturday, July 18 at 9 a.m. (Baylis Park is located on Hwy. 18 near Crestline.)

One hundred years ago, the Rim of the World road was dedicated by Dr. John N. Baylis and 120 others at a party that was held in the South Park of John Baylis’ Pine Crest Resort. A monument was dedicated at the time which has graced the side of the highway for the past 100 years. The monument was restored about 10 years ago by the Rim of the World Historical Society and it moved to Baylis Park from its previous location just west of Rim Forest.

To celebrate this monumental turning point in mountain history the Rim of the World Historical Society will host “Cruising the Rim of the world” and members of the public are invited to enjoy the fun. The members of the historical society invite everyone to join them at any point along the route. “The Cruise” begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 18 at Baylis Park with a re-dedication ceremony of the restored monument to the Baylis family on Hwy. 18.

After the re-dedication, a caravan of vehicles, led by the Crestline Bus, the San Bernardino National Forest antique car and the Crest Forest Fire Engine will cruise along the highway, stopping at Rim High School and the Heaps Peak Arboretum and it will  end at Green Valley Lake’s Lilleberg Museum and Community Center.

The early Rim of the World road was a triumph of both engineering and road building improvements and it signified the opening of the mountain to motorized transportation. Up until this time (after 1911) automobiles had been allowed on some of the dirt and former logging roads only during limited days and hours.

The Rim of the World Drive was 101 miles long and it began in downtown San Bernardino. It then came up along the former Arrowhead Reservoir Company road through Waterman Canyon. It then continued along the crest of the mountain along the current Crest Forest Road and then up the route past the Squirrel Inn and through Pine Crest’s South Park to Rim Forest and along the Rim through Sky Forest and it continued east to Hunsaker Flats where it joined with the former Bear Valley Toll Road that went through Green Valley Lake. This road was on the north side of the crest along Snowslide Road and it continued on to Fawnskin and Big Bear. From Big Bear, the road came down the steep Clark’s Grade (which washed out almost immediately). It joined the route of the current Highway 38 and went into Mentone and Redlands and it returned to downtown San Bernardino.

The route has been realigned and modernized several times during the past 100 years and it was even paved in the 1930s.

For more information on this great historical event call Rhea-Frances Tetley at (909) 337-3557.




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