Once known as the “Three Flags Highway” linking Mexico, the US and Canada
Route 395 was tagged with a series of local names and number designations over the years as it was paved and improved. It was designated US Highway 395 in 1939.
About that time, it became known as the “Three Flags Highway” because it linked Mexico, the US and Canada. The route crossed through California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
As America prepared to enter World War II, the military began to lobby for funds to improve the highway and better link San Diego’s Navy base with a weapons depot west of Fallbrook and March Field. State officials allocated $1.4 million and the military importance of that segment of the route caused it to be nicknamed the “Cannonball Highway.”
The route’s importance grew as northern segments were added and it skirted the Eastern Sierra and stretched to the Canadian border.
Today Historic Highway 395 has largely been replaced in the more urban and suburban areas by current interstates; locally Interstates 15 and 215.
In 2008, spearheaded by Assemblyman Kevin Jefferies, Resolution 98 unanimously passed the State Assembly designating the old alignment of Highway 395 as "Historic Highway 395".
A one time American Indian trading route, Highway 395 ran through the communities of Temecula, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Perris and Riverside along its journey as the state’s only North-South route east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.