Historic US Highway ends in Raton NM
Photo credits: me
|Highway||Approx. time period|
|US 385 [I]||1926-1935|
During the seminal years of the US highway system, two of the original routes ended in Raton NM (pronounced ruh-TONE). The map below is labeled with modern route shields, but historic routes are highlighted according to the legend in the lower right:
US 385 came into town via what is now US 64/US 87 (Clayton Road), and ended at today's Business 25 (2nd Street, which was US 85 back then). That intersection probably also marked the north end of US 485... but it's hard to be certain. You see, originally US 85 followed what is now US 64 southwest out of Raton, and then continued south to Maxwell via modern NM hwy. 445. That remote intersection is called "Hoxie Junction" (photos from there can be viewed on my main US 485 page), and where US 64 continues southwest could've been the north beginning of US 485 (I haven't seen a map from the time that is scaled large enough to label the road between Hoxie and Raton). But it seems more likely to me that US 485 would've been co-signed with US 85 about 15 miles north, terminating in Raton.
From what I've observed over the past couple decades, signage throughout the state is often non-standard, underinformative, haphazard, and/or just plain wrong. This first photo is looking west on Clayton Rd at what was once the north end of US 385:
me, June 2006
The light in the middleground is 2nd - the signs make it unclear whether Business 25 goes both ways or just to the left (the correct answer is both ways). Anyway, US 485 probably began to the left with US 85. As you can see here and on the photos below, there are still US 64 signs on the surface streets in town. But as you approach Raton from either direction on US 64, the signs direct you to use I-25 between exits 446 and 451. However, this would've been the route of US 64 before I-25 was built, so I'm guessing these signs have just been perpetuated since then.
This next shot is looking south on 2nd. US 85 went straight through here. During the years before US 64 had made it this far west, US 385 began to the left on Clayton Rd, and US 485 probably began straight ahead:
me, Feb. 2002
The photo below is looking the opposite direction (north on 2nd):
me, June 2006
US 385 was to the right, US 485 probably ended here, and northbound US 85 continued ahead. If you take that right turn, you'll soon see an interesting sign:
me, June 2006
For one thing: while US 64 is an east/west route, US 87 is actually a north/south route. Also, I think that's the only US 87 sign west of I-25 in Raton. That's because, according to all other signage, southbound US 87 actually "begins" straight ahead at the I-25 interchange. To the north, there's a gap in US 87 - it doesn't exist in Colorado, so it doesn't pick up again until you get to the Wyoming line. (Incidentally, that's part of Bartlett Mesa visible in the background.)