Cholame, California: James Dean Memorial

The actor met his untimely end by auto accident here.

Visitor Tips and News About James Dean Memorial

Reports and tips from RoadsideAmerica.com visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

James Dean Memorial

The restaurant isn't a restaurant anymore, it is a little convenience store. They mostly sell nuts -- the whole left side of the store is nothing but bags full of nuts that you can purchase and sample. There is still a bit of James Dean memorabilia like pictures and some cardboard cutouts you can purchase.

[Tanya, 02/16/2008]
James Dean Memorial. James Dean Memorial

The James Dean Memorial is made of stainless steel, and aluminum alloy, and is wrapped around an Oleantheum tree. It is surrounded by a rock garden, and all the rocks therein come from Japan, handwashed and handpolished. The rock garden is surrounded by plaques bearing quotes from Elia Kazan- Director of East of Eden, Antoine De Saint-Exupery's Little Prince, the poet Lord Byron,Dean's former drama teacher Adeline Nall, Dean's favorite authors and Dean Himself. The monument is in the parking lot of the Jack Ranch Cafe. The actual crash site is a half mile east on highway 46, and 200 yards to the west, in the middle of a farm field. The intersection was realigned when the highway was repaved and renumbered back in 1973. The old intersection and the last 8 miles of the highway that Dean traveled are on land belonging to the State Water Department, and The Jack Ranch, and permission must be obtained to walk or drive the short stretch of old highway. The Jack Ranch Cafe offers James Dean memorabilia.

[Mathew Grant, 09/16/2002]
James Dean tribute sign. James Dean Memorial

There's a monument on the side of the road and a restaurant adjacent to it, a memorial to James Dean. Apparently this is located in the spot where he was killed in a car accident...the monument (for whatever reason) was given by the Japanese Government. Basically the only building in this tiny town (Cholame) is the monument/restaurant/gift shop

[John English, 08/29/2001]

The site of the actual crash is supposedly about a mile away from the location of the monument. On Sept. 30, 1955, Dean died of broken neck when his Porsche Spyder rammed into the side of Donald Turnupseed's 1950 Ford Custom Deluxe Coupe, which had pulled out onto Hwy 466. In 1987, a small metal marker was erected on the site by Japanese businessman and fan Seita Onishi. He later replaced the marker with a big shiny "infinity sign" -- a 30-square foot reflecting sculpture under an oleander tree. The post office had some Dean memorabilia in scrapbooks, and the local diner's Dean exhibit includes the speeding ticket he received a few hours before the fatal crash.

James Dean Death Site Memorial

Where the mortal James Dean became immortal. The memorial includes a large, shiny piece of aluminum wrapped around a tree. It is in the parking lot of the Jack Ranch Cafe, which is apparently the sum total of Cholame. Inside, the cafe has memorabilia and souvenirs.

[Ralph Ankuda, 11/13/2000]

James Dean Memorial

Address:
CA Hwy 41, Cholame, CA
Directions:
CA Highway 41, between Fresno and Paso Robles, east of Shandon. Opposite the post office on the north side of the highway, east of Maggie's Cafe.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the US and Canada are our special obsession. Start here.
Use RoadsideAmerica.com's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

September 19, 2014

My Sights

Save Cool Vacation Destinations!

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

California Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

The Windsor Ruins, Port Gibson, Mississippi (Sep 15-21, 2014)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from RoadsideAmerica.com. Subscribe now!
RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special online rates for hotels & motels.

Nearby Hotels and Motels, Cholame, California

Nightly rates found:

Book Online Now