Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Winterhaven in Imperial County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

The Plank Road

Planks, Mules, and Model Ts

 
 
Planks, Mules, and Model Ts Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig
1. Planks, Mules, and Model Ts Marker
Inscription. The Plank Road once provided the only means of crossing the treacherous Imperial Sand Dunes. This historic road spurred settlement of Imperial County and development of San Diego at the start of the automobile age.
 
Location. 32° 42.619′ N, 114° 55.367′ W. Marker is in Winterhaven, California, in Imperial County. Marker can be reached from Grays Well Road. Touch for map. Access Grays Well Road from Interstate 8 using Exit 158. Marker is in this post office area: Winterhaven CA 92283, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Plank Road (within shouting distance of this marker); Obregon (approx. 9 miles away); Site of Camp Pilot Knob (approx. 10.2 miles away); Mormon Battalion Crossing / Colorado River Crossing (approx. 11.7 miles away in Arizona); Tumco (approx. 12.4 miles away).
 
Categories. Man-Made FeaturesRoads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers
 
Plank Road image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig
2. Plank Road
The replica of the Plank Road is visible behind the marker.
Plank Road Replica (1916-1926) image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig
3. Plank Road Replica (1916-1926)
This nearby sign tells the story of the replica.

This shows how the Plank Road looked when it was first laid in the desert sands over seventy years ago. Individual segments were pre-assembled and designed to fit together in a tongue and groove fashion.

Replica built by E Clampus Vitus, Squibob Chapter.
Materials provided ... California OHV Green Sticker Grant.
Plank Road image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig
4. Plank Road
The Old Plank Road image. Click for full size.
By Larry Holland, El Centro, California, circa 1955
5. The Old Plank Road
[This postcard image shows how the road appeared in the 1950's. Description on postcard reads:]
The Old Plank Road
..which parallels modern U.S. Highway 80 was constructed in 1913 to provide a stable route over constantly shifting sand dunes between Imperial Valley, Calif. and Yuma, Ariz. The road was constructed of planks held together with metal bands. It is the width of one automobile with occasional turn-outs for passing.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 17, 2011, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. This page has been viewed 538 times since then and 44 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 17, 2011, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California.   5. submitted on December 17, 2011. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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