To the missions with bells on

March 12, 2013 

Reprinted from The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa

Back in 1974, California's highway system was in bad shape -- and so were its bells. Of those familiar bells that marked the historic El Camino Real from Sonoma to San Diego, there were fewer than 100 left. So California launched an initiative to restore the historic signs. Now, 600 new bells have been installed connecting 21 missions along a 700-mile stretch of the state. The final 30 were installed recently in Sonoma County. The actual route of the original "Highway of the King" remains a topic of disagreement among historians. But there's no debating that it's nice to see California with its bells back in place.

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