Guide to the Interstate 15 Construction -- Indian Burial Grounds Collection

Finding Aid Authors: James Kenneth White, Bill Payne, and Jossie Chavez.
© Copyright 2008 Special Collections & University Archives. All rights reserved.
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
Phone: 619-594-6791

Guide to the Interstate 15 Construction -- Indian Burial Grounds Collection 1977/1978

Special Collections & University Archives

Overview of the Collection

Collection Title: Interstate 15 Construction -- Indian Burial Grounds Collection
Dates: 1977-1978
Identification: MS-0133
Creator: Interstate 15 Construction -- Indian Burial Grounds
Physical Description: 0.42 linear ft
Language of Materials: English
Repository: Special Collections & University Archives
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
Phone: 619-594-6791

Biographical Information:

In 1968 the United States government and the California Highway Commission recognized the need for an additional route in Southern California which would convey traffic in a north-south direction was needed, and a decision was made to extend Interstate 15 from the Riverside and San Bernardino area southward along U.S. Highway 395.
Required to comply with section 106 of the Federal Historic Preservation Act, the Federal Highway Administration and Caltrans undertook a preliminary archaeological survey in 1971, and in 1976 the discovery of some bedrock mortars prompted a new survey which revealed additional evidence of previous Native American activity and habitation. Caltrans archaeologists identified several sites which would be affected by the proposed highway construction route.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Corporate Name:

California. Dept. of Transportation

Genre/Form of Material:

Personal Papers

Topical Term:

Cemeteries -- California, Southern
Highway planning -- California -- San Diego County
Indians of North America -- Funeral customs and rites -- California, Southern
Interstate 15
Luiseno Indians
Luiseño Indians -- Antiquities
Luiseño Indians -- Funeral customs and rites
Roads -- California -- San Diego County

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Use:

The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Conditions Governing Access:

This collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation:

Identification of item, folder title, box number, Interstate 15 Construction -- Indian Burial Grounds Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.

Related Materials:

Imperial County Highway Construction Collection

Arrangement of Materials:

The Interstate 15 Construction – Indian Burial Grounds Collection, composed of 20 folders in one box. The collection is arranged in the following manner: Letters appear first in chronological order, followed by memoranda, transcript, statements, notes, and newspaper clippings.

Scope and Contents

The Interstate 15 Construction – Indian Burial Grounds Collection consists of a small group of correspondence, memoranda, notes and newspaper clippings from June 1977 to April 1978.  The primary subject of these documents is the preservation, excavation and examination of several prehistoric Native American sites associated with the Luiseno Indians of Southern California which were discovered by Caltrans archaeologists in preparation for the construction of the Interstate 15 extension.
Individuals whose correspondence appears in the collection include representatives of the Federal Highway Administration, the Office of Historic Preservation of the Department of Parks and Recreation of the State of California, the Department of Transportation for the State of California, and the American Native Heritage Commission, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.
Of particular note in the collection is a transcript of the proceedings of a public information meeting held by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation on March 22, 1978 at Lincoln Elementary School in Escondido, California.  This document provides detailed information about the construction of Interstate 15, the discovery of the archaeological sites, and the controversy surrounding their excavation and examination.
While many of the letters in the collection are photocopies, some of them are originals.

Detailed List of Contents

Box 1, Folder 1

Letter: Knox Mellon to Omar L. Homme October 13, 1977

Box 1, Folder 2

Letter: Rex L. Wilson to Robert M. Utlet October 13, 1977

Box 1, Folder 3

Letter: C.G. Clinton to Knox Mellon January 27, 1978

Box 1, Folder 4

Letter: C.G. Clinton to Robert R. Garvey, Jr. February 9, 1978

Box 1, Folder 5

Letter: Louis S. Wall to Omar L. Homme Februaty 17, 1978

Box 1, Folder 6

Letter: Dekema to Ezell March 7, 1978

Box 1, Folder 7

Letter: Ball to Wall March 6, 1978

Box 1, Folder 8

Letter: Gordon to Garvey March 24, 1978

Box 1, Folder 9

Letter: Gar to Iwrin-Williams April 7, 1978

Box 1, Folder 10

Letter: Ezell to Garvey (draft) April 16, 1978

Box 1, Folder 11

Letter: Ezell to Irwin-Williams April 17, 1978

Box 1, Folder 12

Memorandum: Allen to Gray March 21, 1978

Box 1, Folder 13

Memorandum: Woods to White March 27, 1978

Box 1, Folder 14

Memorandum: Vasquez to Ezell April 4, 1978

Box 1, Folder 15

Transcript hearing by Smith March 22, 1978

Box 1, Folder 16

Statement of Cahce March 22, 1978

Box 1, Folder 17

Note on telephone call: Wall to Ezell March 24, 1978

Box 1, Folder 18

Recommendations: Luiseno Tribe June 17, 1977

Box 1, Folder 19

Ezell's File March 1978

Box 1, Folder 20

Newspaper clippings June 18, 1977

Box 1, Folder 21

Newspaper clippings: San Diego Union March 23, 1978