Industrial Road Camp

By the 1940's, the camp had moved to Laguna. 

Established in 1921, the San Diego County Industrial Road Camp and Honor Farms control drifted between the San Diego Sheriff’s Department and the Probation Department several times in their early history. During the majority of Ed Cooper’s term as Sheriff, he also held the title and responsibility of Superintendent of the Industrial Road Camp. Cooper’s Road Camp was under the direct control of the Board of Supervisors who appointed him to this ‘added’ responsibility. It was under the Sheriff’s direction as an outdoor extension of the jail system during this time.

On, November 22nd, 1934, the Board of Supervisors of San Diego, in what was reported as a surprise move, passed an Urgency Ordinance (Ordinance No. 32) to keep the road camp open and operating after Sheriff Ed Cooper resigned as Superintendent.


 “Ed F. Cooper, Sheriff of the County of San Diego and Superintendent of the said Industrial Road Camp has filed with this board his resignation as Superintendent of the Industrial Road Camp and the same has been accepted by this board and unless this ordinance goes into effect immediately so that this board can appoint a new superintendent there will be no person empowered by law to accept prisoners at said Industrial Road Camp, no Superintendent in charge of said Road Camp and there will be no method of carrying into effect the provisions of the statutes of 1921, page 1615, the act under which said Industrial Road Camp was established and is now being operated.” 


Moments later at that same meeting, Ray Taylor was appointed by the board to replace Cooper as Superintendent of the Industrial Road Camp. 

1950s records list the camp in Viejas.

In 1929, the road camp was located on Borrego Valley in an area now known as Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Tamarisk trees were planted around the camp area, which gave Tamarisk Grove its name. Prisoners lived at the camp and worked along San Felipe Creek turning desert floor into road. In 1932, after completing that project, the camp was moved near the base of Palomar Mountain in the San Luis Rey River Valley. Here the workers in the camp began a new state highway project under the direction of Ray Taylor. 

San Diego Badge History