Starting in 1913, the Lincoln Highway Association worked to link California roads along with roads across the United States to form a cross country route from New York to San Francisco.  Some of the roads that would become a part of the historic Lincoln Highway can be found in Hamilton's guide.

For more information on the Lincoln Highway, see the Lincoln Highway Association web site.

Click here to see select pages inside book

Around 1910, “Hamilton’s Illustrated Auto Road Map Company” published their first edition of an auto guide with nearly 200 route maps that included helpful notes and small photos of landmarks along the way.   The cover of their road atlas boasted the book had maps, “Showing actual photos of the location of turns, forks, crossroads, landmarks, hotels, resorts, Inns, garages and points of interest, with much supplementary information to motorist and tourist.” Most of these landmarks are gone, long since covered by urban development, while a few, such as historic Missions and some hotels can still be found.
The roads on these maps pre-date the California highway system and are long before the first freeways.  Some of the routes follow today's freeways and others are roads that have long since been abandoned.   It is fun to follow some of these routes and try to find the old roads.  In some cases, you can even find some of the landmarks!    The maps have a charming quality with their descriptive notes and photos.  With instructions like "white fence at fork in road" or "don't turn at water tower", they document a simpler time when much of California was rural.
Ninety years before Google gave us maps with street level views, some early publishers of auto road guides attempted to do the same thing with thumbnail photos on maps.  Hamilton's Illustrated Auto Road Map from 1914 is one such guide.  It is a fascinating piece of automobile history, providing a glimpse of what life was like for motorists in the first couple of decades of auto travel.
In the early days of auto travel in California, motorists had few maps to help them find their way on the state’s very poor roads.  There were few road signs and early publishers of maps and guides used a variety of descriptions and photos to help travelers choose the right fork in the road.   The Automobile Club of Southern California published their first tour book and strip maps in 1912.
In addition to route maps, the book also offered some suggestions on auto trips within the state.  For example, in 1914 you could take an auto trip from LA to San Francisco in "Five days - easy running". No highways or interstates to speed you along!   The roads of 1914 sometimes required motorists to ford a stream and drive over rocky, sandy roads.  Click here to see pages with descriptions of auto trips.
The photos of the maps on this site are lower resolution images to allow for faster downloads.  Large full resolution prints of some of these maps are available on Zazzle.  Click on the "see print" to preview them and order if you like.  If you don't see the one you are looking for, email me at


     Map 1 Los Angels to Pasadena. Includes Bairdstown, Downey Ave, Raymond Hotel  (see print)

     Map 2 Pasadena to Monrovia. Includes Lamanda Park, Arcadia, Duarte  (see print)

     Map 12 Los Angels to Orange. Includes Whittier, La Habra, Fullerton, Anaheim (see print)  (white version)

     Map 13 Covina Includes San Dimas, Lordsburg (see print)

    Map 21 Santa Paula to Ventura  Includes San Buena Ventura Mission, Hotel DeLeon  (see map)

    Map 21 1/2 City of Santa Barbara Includes Santa Barbara Mission, Hotel Mascarel  (see map)

    Map 22 Ventura to Santa Barbara  Includes Carpinteria and Summerland (see print)  (white version)

     Map 31 North LA to Long Beach  Includes Compton, Watts (see print)  (white version)

     Map 31 Redlands to Perris  Includes Moreno  (see print)  (white version)

    Map 50 Los Angeles to Norwalk and Anaheim  Includes Northham, Downey, (see print)

    Map 86 San Jose to Oakland  Includes Milpitas, Irvington, San Lorenzo  (see print)

    Map 86 1/2 San Francisco to Oakland Includes ferry lines across bay  (see print)

    Map 88 San Francisco to Petaluma  Includes Sausalito, Mill Valley, San Rafael, Novato  (see print)

    Map 96 San Francisco to Redwood City  Includes San Mateo  (see print)

    Map 97 Redwood City to San Jose Includes Palo Alto, Mayfield, Mt View  (see print)

    Map 103 San Miguel to San Luis Obispo  Includes Santa Margarita, El Paso De Robles  (see print)

    Map 104 San Luis Obispo to Santa Maria  Includes Arroyo Grande and El Pizmo  (see print)

    Map 108 Santa Barbara to Los Cruces  Includes Goleta, La Patara and Naples  (see print)

    Map 113 Monterey, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach   (see print)

    Map 113 1/2 Soquel to Santa Cruz  Cliff Drive, Includes Capitola  (see print)

    Map 114 Santa Cruz to Salinas  Includes Soquel, Aptos, Watsonville, Moss Landing, and Castroville  (see print)

    Map 116 Santa Cruz, Boulder Creek, Big Trees   Nice photos,  Hotel Casa Del Rey  (see print)

    Map 117 San Jose to Soquel  Part of what is now Hwy 17.  Includes Campbell, Los Gatos  (see print)

    Map 122 Haywards to Byron Hot Spring, Tracy  Includes Dublin, Livermore, Altamont pass   (see print)

    Map 123 Tracy to Stockton  Includes Banta, Mossdale, Lathrop  (see print)

    Map 124 Stockton to Galt   Includes Lodi  (see print)

    Map 125 Galt to Sacramento  Includes Elk Grove and "7 mile house"   (see print)

    Map 126 Sacramento to Folsom  Photos of Capitol, Hotel Land, Perkins, Manlove  (see print)

    Map 127 Folsom to Auburn   Photo of Freeman Hotel  (see print)

     Map 128  Auburn to Dutch Flat  Includes  Gold Run, Colfax, Applegate (see print)  (white version)

    Map 129 Dutch Flat to Truckee  (Now Hwy 80) Includes Emigrant Gap, snow sheds,
                                 Donner Lake (see print) 
(white version)

    Map 130 Truckee, Tahoe City to Verdi  Connects with map 129 (see print)  (white version)

    Map 131 Reno, Verdi and Steamboat Springs   (see print)     (white version)

    Map 132 Caron City, Glenbrook, Steamboat Springs   (see print)     (white version)

    Map 134  Lake Tahoe General view of the whole lake (see print)  (white version)

    Map 135  Al Tahoe   Lake Tahoe.  Includes photo of "new Hotel" (see print)  (white version)

    Map 136  Fallen Leaf Lake and Tallac    (see print)    (white version)

    Map 137  Tallac to Pacific House   Lake Tahoe.  Includes Strawberry, Summit (see print)  (white version)

    Map 156  Woodland to Dunnigan   Fun photos, Include part of current Hwy 505  (see print)

    Map 167  Madera and Coarse Gold   Route to Yosemite Wawona entrance (see print)

     Map 168 Coarse Gold to Wawona Route to Yosemite (see print)  (white version) 

    Map 168 1/2 Modesto to Camp Curry Yosemite (see print)  (white version)

     Map 169 Yosemite Valley Map  1914 was first year Auto were allowed back in park. (see print)  (white version) 

    Map 170 Wawona and Big Trees Yosemite (see print)  (white version)

    Map 175 Chinese Camp to Sequoia   Yosemite route. Current Hwy 120, Tunnel tree (see print)

    Map 190 Los Angeles to Saugus. Includes Hollywood   San Fernando, Burbank, Newhall  (see print)

    Map 196 Tonopah and Summit  Fun photos  (see print)

If you enjoy maps, take a moment to view a sampling of some of the 200 maps in book from both Northern and Southern California.
Map 12 Green Map
Map 12
Sample full resolution maps
At right is Map # 12 in full resolution as an example reprints. You can select the size below the map and right click to choose "save target" to get the JPG file to keep.

The version on the far right has a green mat as part of the image so, when printed, it looked like it has a mat.  Some maps are available with this option. The full size image is set at 16 x 20 size.

If you have a large format printer, you can make a poster print from these two images. can print posters to sizes over  2 by 4 feet on professional paper using archival ink.

Poster Print
with white background
and title
Poster Print
with "printed" green mat
and title
Select Maps

See Zazzle gallery to order prints of select maps.
If you order prints from Zazzle, you may like to print out the description at the right to go with your print.  Select image see a larger version and then right click to print or save.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where could I find a copy of the original book?
Is this an early AAA book?
I recognized one of those landmarks!
How can I get a higher resolution copy of one of the maps?

Where could I find a copy of the original book?

I purchased my copy of the fifth edition at an antiquarian book fair.  I have looked online using , eBay and other book search resources.  I have found only one other copy of the book.   California AAA site references Hamilton's book as an early guide in its history web pages.  I would be interested if anyone knows of another copy.  Drop me an email if you know anything more about this historic guide.

Is this an early AAA book?

No.  Hamilton printed his first California guide around 1910.   AAA produced their first California maps in 1911 and first strip maps and guide books in 1912.  I wish I knew more about the Hamilton's company but, to my knowledge, Hamilton did not have any relationship with AAA.

I recognized one of those landmarks!

The small thumbnail photos are interesting.  It is fun to try and figure out what happened to that hotel, or if that "white house on the corner" is still there.  If you recognized one of the more unusual landmarks and know what happened to it, drop me an email at

Hamilton Email

How can I get a higher resolution copy of one of the maps?

If you would like an enlarged copy of a map, go to my Zazzle gallery here 

or email to request a specific map.