The History of D Street
by Juanita Lovret
Reprinted courtesy of the Tustin News
Where is D
Street? Newcomers to our community often ask
this question after learning that Columbus
Tustin used numbers and letters on the plat map
for his original settlement.
Naming north and south streets A, B, C, and D,
he then used First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth
and Sixth for streets going east and west. Fifth
Street never materialized and Fourth Street
became Main Street when the first businesses
were located on it, but because these changes
occurred in the early years of Tustin Cityís
growth, they donít puzzle todayís residents.
In pre-freeway days all inland traffic between
San Diego and Los Angeles traveled through
Tustin. Laguna Road, D Street and First Street
were part of California State Highway 101 which
was identified by the state as El Camino Real
because of its nearness to the historic El
Camino Real. The original El Camino Real, or
Kingís Highway, was the path used by the
Franciscan fathers to travel between their
missions, each a day apart. Reaching from San
Diego to Sonoma, it connected the pueblos and
four presidios as well as the missions.
Mission Bells identified Highway 101 as part of
El Camino Real. These markers were first
proposed in 1892 by Miss Anna Pitcher of Los
Angeles. Eventually in 1902 she got the
endorsement of the California Federation of
Womanís Clubs and the Native Daughters of the
Golden West. A group called the El Camino Real
Association formed and the first bell was placed
in front of the Old Plaza Church in Los Angeles
in 1906. By 1915, 158 bells had been installed
including one on D Street in Tustin next to the
First National Bank.
Tustinís bell was removed while Highway 101 was
being widened and never reappeared. After I-5
was completed few travelers passed through
Tustin and the El Camino Real designation faded
into the past until the 1976 Bicentennial
Committee changed D Street to El Camino Real as
part of their celebration.
Extended as the city spread eastward, El Camino
Real replaced Laguna Road and became the link
between Old Town and Tustin Marketplace. Through
the efforts of the Tustin Area Womanís Club
Tustinís Mission Bell marker is in front of
Camino Real Park.
And thatís the story of D Street.
© Tustin Area Historical
Society; 395 El Camino Real; Tustin, CA 92780
Website designed by