Ramonans John and Arvie Degenfelder will seek support for historical site recognition for Old Survey Road 97 during the Ramona Community Planning Group meeting on May 6.
Old Survey 97, a former Native American trail and stagecoach route, starts on what was known as the Gildred Ranch. Arvie Degenfelder said she and her husband were unable to access that part of the trail because it was on private property until the San Diego County Department of Parks and Recreation bought the Gildred Ranch along with other ranches to create the Ramona Grasslands.
The trail follows above the Santa Maria Creek down to the San Pasqual Valley. It was declared the first public road in San Diego County by the board of supervisors in 1854, according to an historical assessment prepared by Stephen Van Wormer and Susan Walter.
Degenfelder said the Ramona Trails Association commissioned Van Wormer to prepare the documentation to present to the San Diego Historical Site Board to nominate Old Survey 97 for recognition as an historical site. In the assessment that details the history of the road, Van Wormer stated that Old Survey 97 should be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, the California Register of Historic Resources and the San Diego County Local Register of Historic Places.
The Degenfelders are meeting with local groups to receive letters of support for the historical designation. Arvie Degenfelder said the Citizens Advisory Committee of the San Dieguito River Park endorsed the idea and the Joint Powers Authority for the San Dieguito River Park unanimously passed a resolution.
“We wanted community support for what we’re doing,” she said. The nonmotorized trail is used by hikers, equestrians and bicyclists. Degenfelder said most of the trail is like it was in the 1800s.
“To find something just basically the way it was 200 years ago is unbelievable,” she said.