Like me, perhaps you've wondered about those unique bell markers seen frequently on the 101 Freeway with the sign that says Historic El Camino Real.
El Camino Real is Spanish for "The Royal Road" and in California is the name for the 700 mile historic California Mission Trail that connects 21 missions, 4 presidios (military forts) and several pueblos (towns) from Mission San Diego de Alcala in the south to Mission San Francisco Solano in Northern California. El Camino Real is designated as California Historical Landmark #784.
California State Assembly Bill 1707 definined the El Camino Real route, which includes portions of Routes 280, 82, 238, 101, 5, 72, 12, 37, 121, 87, 162, 185, 92, and 123 and connecting city streets and county roads in a continuous route from Sonoma southerly to the international border.
So what's up with those bell markers on the 101? According to the California Department of Transportation, the Mission Bell Marker system has existed on the historic El Camino Real route since 1906. The original marker system called for installation of bells one mile apart along the entire length of the El Camino Real. By 1913, over 450 markers were in pl