Interstate 15 Construction -- Indian Burial Grounds Collection, 1977-1978
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Brief Description:

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.

Held at:
Special Collections & University Archives
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA 92182 8050
Phone: 619-594-6791
Email: askscua [at]
Created by: Interstate 15 Construction -- Indian Burial Grounds
Volume: 0.42 Linear Feet
Arrangement: 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.
Biographical Note for Interstate 15 Construction -- Indian Burial Grounds :

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 Restrictions: This collection is open for research.
Subject Index
California. Dept. of Transportation
Cemeteries--California, Southern
Highway planning--California--San Diego County
Indians of North America--Funeral customs and rites--California, Southern
Interstate 15
Luiseño Indians
Luiseño Indians--Antiquities
Luiseño Indians--Funeral customs and rites
Roads--California--San Diego County
Genres/Forms of Material
Personal Papers
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: 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.
Related Materials: Imperial County Highway Construction Collection
PreferredCitation: 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.