gmhTODAY 13 gmhToday March April 2017 - Page 65

TOP: Hecker Pass dedication ceremony, May 27, 1928. ABOVE: Photograph of Highway 152 Monument dedication to Henry Hecker (dark-suited man with arm on Monument,1928.  Others in photo include Alfred Rae, Louis Cupich, Arnie Cox, Tracy Leonard, Alex Sturla, Watt Moore, Henry Hecker.  Seated - Joe Bordenave, Louis Sturla, Nick Bordenave. LEFT: Photograph of Henry Hecker,  January 10, 1932, on Hecker Pass near Mt. Madonna after an overnight snow storm. BELOW: Pacheco Pass Bridge.   detouring to connect with Chittenden Pass before heading west. Thanks to Santa Clara County Supervisor Henry Hecker, the final connection in the Yosemite-to-the Sea highway soon became a reality. Headed west of Gilroy through the old Bodfish Road, the new highway, named in Hecker’s honor, was completed and inaugurated in May, 1928. For drivers, the long motor trip from Merced County to the coast was now shortened to a mere six hours. With the completion of the Yosemite- to-the Sea highway, Gilroy enjoyed an influx of summer tourists, their wallets filled with vacation dollars. The route passed directly through town before heading over Mount Madonna and then to the seashore resorts. Yet more progress in making Gilroy a crossroads was on the way. Beginning in the early 1930s, and for several decades, Monterey Street was part of the north-south state highway system, beginning as State Route Number 2, later becoming part of US Highway 101. With motorists coming through town from four compass points, Gilroy’s designation as a crossroads was by then firmly established.