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The Historic Pacific Highway
in Washington

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The Original 1915 Route

In downtown Castle Rock the Hwy went North on Front Ave. NW to the North end of town and crossed the tracks went up the hill and turned left. The railroad was realigned about 1914 and the Hwy was realigned onto Huntington Ave. which is on the old railroad grade. 

The Hwy then continued North on Cowlitz View Dr. and then veered to the right over the freeway to connect with Old Pacific Hwy.The Hwy then continued North to the Toutle River. The current Old Pacific Hwy that crosses the Toutle River is on the old Northern Pacific Railroad grade. 

The railroad grade went North for about a mile to connect with the existing tracks. The 1913 map shows that the old Hwy turned right onto Laughlin Rd. and where Laughlin Rd. ends the old road turned left and crossed the river. After crossing the Toutle River the old road went North and connected to Old Toutle Rd. and turned left onto Toutle Park Rd. 

I am not sure but I believe that this next part of the old hwy follows this path. According to the 1913 map, it shows the old road following next to the old railroad grade as it continued North. The original railroad grade crossed the Cowlitz River North of Iroquois Creek and into Olequa. 

The old hwy stayed to the East of this old railroad alignment up the hill and connecting with the now Barnes Dr. about a quarter mile before Imboden Rd. This is one of the places I am having trouble determining the original route. If my theory is correct this part of the old Hwy is long gone and for good reason. 

The "Automobile Road Book of Western Washington, 1913." explains the route on this stretch of the old road as you were heading South from where Imboden Rd ends. 

"From this point to Castle Rock the road, though clearly marked, is very bad, with continuous succession of pitches reaching over 20 per cent." The above explanation is part of the reason I believe that this part of the old road is gone.

The 1923 road is what you drive on today. Going up Barnes Dr. near the top of the hill the 1923 Hwy veered to the left and went around the hump and connected back to the Drive. I believe that sometime in the late 50s they cut through the rock as it is today. The old 1913 map shows road continued North on Imboden Rd. 

Then it turned left onto Mandy Rd. Mandy Rd. then goes North curves to the right with the River. The map and guide book show 2 possible routes into Toledo. The first one is from the 1913 map. From Mandy Rd. the route crosses the Cowlitz River about an 1/8th of a mile before where I-5 is today. 

After crossing the Cowlitz River the old road then turned right onto what is now Hwy 506 went East crossed the freeway and continued on Mulford Rd. The Old Hwy continued on Mulford Rd. and connected to Inman Lane. 

Today Mulford Rd. and Inman Lane. do not connect. The old Hwy turned right onto Bill Creek Rd. and continued East and connects with Mc Nulty Rd. in Toledo. 

The old road continued on Mc Nulty then turned right onto Augustus St. then Left onto N. 5th St. and continues on N. 5th St. as it turns into Pacific Rd.

The route from the "1915 Automobile Blue Book" shows that the road continued on Mandy Rd. to connect with the Jackson Hwy and then continued into Toledo. Then turned right on N. 5th St. then continued North to Pacific Rd.

The Hwy continued on Pacific Rd. to Hwy 505. This part of the road still retains it's 15' foot width. It is blocked off for traffic but you can still walk up it. Then the road went North on Hwy 505 to Laussier Rd. at the Town of Cowlitz then turned right and then connected back up with the Jackson Hwy.

The road followed the Jackson Hwy to Chehalis. When you get to the Lewis and Clark State Park and as you start into the curve the old route stayed to the right of the new Hwy and continued North at an slight angle to the Northwest. to a point a few yards south of the Jackson House. 

This was also part of the old Cowlitz trail. In Chehalis the Hwy went North on Market Blvd to National Ave. Then continued North on National Ave. as it turns into S. Gold Ave The Hwy continued North on S. Gold Ave. 

The Hwy turned left and crossed the tracks on W. Cherry St.. This part of the old road is gone due to the newer bridge over the tracks. Then turn right on S. Tower Ave. At this point the Hwy branched off at W. Main St. and you could take the the main route to Tenino via Grand Mound or the alternate route to Tenino via Bucoda.

The Hwy then continued North on S. Tower Ave. to W. Main St. The Hwy turned left and followed W. Main St. to Harrison Ave. The Hwy then turned left onto Borst Ave. and then turned right onto Caverness Dr. then went North to connect with Harrison Ave. Today the freeway has severed the Harrison Ave./ Borst Rd. connection. Borst Rd. still has the original pavement.

Alignments and alternates to the Highway

About 1914/15 when the railroad straightened the grade through Castle Rock. The highway was realigned from Front St. onto Huntington Ave. The hwy then went North on Huntington Ave. to the North end of town and up the hill across the tracks and then turned left onto what is now Cowlitz View Dr.

A 1916 Washington hwy road map shows an alternate route from Chehalis to Castle Rock. This route goes through the towns of Napavine, Eveline, Winlock, Vader and Olequa. It then crosses the Cowlitz River on Miekler Rd. and connects to Imboden Rd. By the early 1950s the crossing over the Cowlitz River on Miekler Rd. was taken down.

By 1923 the Hwy began using the old railroad grade across the Toutle River and continued on Barnes Dr. as it does today and continued North as the road turns into Foster Creek Rd. It then continued Northeast, crossed the freeway and connected with The Jackson Hwy.

In the 1930s or 1940s the Hwy entered Toledo and follows Kellogg Way (Hwy 505) North to connect with the Jackson Hwy.

In the 1930s or 1940s Chehalis divided the Hwy with NE Washington Ave. as the Southbound lanes and N Market St. as the Northbound lanes. In the 1930s or 1940s between Chehalis and Centralia the Hwy was divided into Northbound and Southbound lanes. 

NE Kresky Ave. as the Northbound and N National Ave. as the Southbound and a new bridge was built over the tracks. In Centralia during the 1930s or 1940s S. Tower Ave. became the Northbound and S Pearl St. became the Southbound. In the 1930s or 1940s The Hwy bypassed Borst and Caverness and followed Harrison Ave. until it turns into Hwy 99.

In 1950 the Hwy bypassed Castle Rock and went North on what is now the Northbound lanes of I-5 from Harrison Ave. to the Toutle River then veered to the right on the old railroad grade and connected with the Old Pacific Hwy as it crossed the Toutle River. 

In 1953 after the Hwy crossed the Toutle River it turned right onto the I-5 roadbed and continued North to Barnes Dr. / Jackson hwy. In 1954 the Hwy started going North to Centralia on the new expressway (Now I-5) which began at Chamber way (exit 79) and continued North to Harrison Ave (Exit 82).

 


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