California State Highway 1 came about through the partnership of two men - Dr. John L. D. Roberts of Monterey, and State Senator Elmer S. Rigdon of Cambria. Roberts felt that a modern highway along the coast would facilitate the delivery of medical care to those otherwise inaccessible areas. Rigdon represented the southern districts in the State Senate and was a member of the committee on roads and highways.
Together they lobbied the legislature for many years and finally, in 1919, won passage of a 1.5 million dollar bond issue towards construction. The building of the road begain in 1922 and continued in fits and starts for many years.
Excavators and stonemasons uncovered many natural springs along the way, and six of them were converted into water fountains for the use of the traveling public. Elaborate stone basins and fountains were constructed which have sadly fallen into disrepair.
The highway was considered complete in 1937. Governor Frank Merriam presided over a dedication ceremony at the Northernmost of the fountains, named the Elmer s. Rigdon Memorial fountain in honor of the man who championed the building of the beautiful road. Senator Rigdon died in 1922, the same year that construction began.
Ultimately costing over 10 million dollars to build (not considering the cost of maintainence), the highway was dedicated to former President Theodore Roosevelt. In later years it has become known as the Cabrillo Highway, or just Highway 1.
Five of the fountains still exist. On a recent trip through the area I was able to find three of them.
This cache is hidden at the Elmer S. Rigdon Memorial fountain. Parking is available on the West side of the highway just a few hundred feet South of the fountain.