Where in Encino ...?

Have you seen the local landmark pictured in the photo? Can you tell us where, and what, it is?

Encino Patch is continuing its series on local landmarks, and asking readers to guess the location and history of a point of historic or cultural interest in the neighborhood.

Last week, we asked you to identify a natural landmark, which lived for over 1,000 years and is designated as a historic cultural landmark by the City of Los Angeles.

perched high above Encino streets, and many of you came forward with the answer within minutes!  Readers correctly identified as that can be found dotted throughout the Valley.

So here's another local history question for you: Can you identify the Encino landmark pictured above, photographed by Patch this week? Can you pinpoint its exact location in Encino?

Let us know by leaving a comment in the box below, and bookmark this page to come back for updates!

Merry Stewart April 03, 2012 at 02:47 PM
It's a commemorative El Camino Real bell in front of what used to be the Heritage motel on Ventura Blvd.. The previous owner was obsessed with getting it to display in front of his motel in the late 70's. It took him several years to obtain the bell. The bells have been in place since the early part of the century to mark the original route of "El Camino Real" from San Diego to Sonoma. The 700-mile-long El Camino Real linked California's 21 missions, which were founded by Father Junipero Serra and spaced one day's journey apart by horse. Over the years the El Caminio Real gave way to modern highways, primarily Routes 101 and 82. The bells were first paid for and erected by the El Camino Real Association in the early 1900s. Originally there were about 450 bells along El Camino Real, but because of theft and vandalism the number dwindled to about 75. In response, the Legislature appointed Caltrans as guardian of the bells in 1974, responsible for repairing or replacing them. Replacements are made of concrete, rather than cast iron, to discourage theft. The bells are located in the following counties: Los Angeles, Ventura, San Benito, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, San Mateo and Santa Clara. A mission bell exhibit is a permanent part of the Ventura County Museum of History and Art, complete with original cast-iron bells donated by Caltrans.
Anna King April 03, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Merry, thank you! You know your El Camino Real bells! You mention a motel owner fighting to obtain the bell - how did he get it? Thanks!
Merry Stewart April 04, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Anna King April 04, 2012 at 02:44 AM
Ha! Thank you.
Wilma April 04, 2012 at 07:23 AM
Merry wrote a fine summary of the "El Camino Real" bell as it relates to California history. The Spanish translation is "The Royal Road." It is also known as "The King's Highway." Actually any road under the jurisdiction of the Spanish Crown and its viceroys was once known by the same name - which included roads in the country of Spain as well as any "foreign" colonies it governed. The Padres who built the missions along the famous California route were considered representatives of the Spanish Crown, thus, the name. When Mexico won independence from Spain, Mexico no longer acknowledged the name, which included California (once considered part of Mexico), Early in the 20th century, there was a surge of interest in California's early history which later resulted in the route being marked with mission style bells - affixed with plaques using its original name. I viewed an old TV documentary which showed one of the original "El Camino Real" roads (unpaved) that still exists in Mexico - it was hidden by overgrowth but when they hacked their way through they actually found an ancient wooden sign with the original name. The TV crew was led there by an elderly local who actually remembered the road as a very small child.


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