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Cholame, California: James Dean Memorial

The actor met his untimely end by auto accident near here. The memorial, erected in 1977, was paid for by a Japanese businessman who was a big fan of Dean.

19215 CA-46, Cholame, CA
Between Fresno and Paso Robles, east of Shandon, on the west side of CA-46, just north of the Jack Ranch Cafe. The memorial encircles a tree in the parking lot.
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Visitor Tips and News About James Dean Memorial

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James Dean Memorial Junction sign.

Site Of James Dean Fatal Crash

Hollywood star James Dean died on September 30, 1955, when his Porsche crashed and rolled over near the intersection of Highways 41 and 46. A mile down the road and on the side of the road is a memorial. He was 24.

[Rose Howe, 07/17/2023]

James Dean Memorial.

James Dean Memorial

Driving from Paso Robles to Visalia, I decided to see the tribute to James Dean. I had no idea it was that long ago when he died -- 1955. I was only two at the time. It's a pretty nice memorial for him. There isn't much there except for a cafe next to the memorial.

[Ben from Fairfield, CA, 05/15/2016]

James Dean Memorial.

James Dean Memorial

Besides the main James Dean memorial, look for the metal dead bird that is part of the frame surrounding the large plaques in front of the main memorial. Look between the two plaques on the side furthest from the memorial.

[Kim Wheeler, 04/28/2013]

Jack Ranch Cafe.

James Dean Memorial

Drove up from Los Angeles going to San Francisco and had to stop and see the Crash Site memorial. The Jack Rabbit Cafe was actually very nice, both the people and the food. Had lots of James Dean memorabilia and a few souvenirs available for purchase.

The cafe is a few more miles down the road from the memorial. There's a sign on the side of the road. The actual James Dean junction can be busy, but definitely no so bad as to make it impossible to get out and take a photo. Really is in the middle of nowhere, but is an experience that is definitely worthwhile.

[Pat, 01/27/2010]
James Dean Memorial

Alas, but Mr. Raskin is incorrect about California State Route 41 beginning at SR 46. California SR 41 begins in Morrow Bay and ends in Yosemite. State route 46 begins in Cambria and ends at Famoso. Between Cholame and Shandon both routes share the same road.

[Greg Lewis, 12/31/2009]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Shandon ChapelShandon Chapel, Shandon, CA - 7 mi.
Earthquake Capital of the WorldEarthquake Capital of the World, Parkfield, CA - 14 mi.
Biggest Barbed Wire Collection West of the RockiesBiggest Barbed Wire Collection West of the Rockies, Paso Robles, CA - 23 mi.
In the region:
Horned Toad Pump Jack, Coalinga, CA - 29 mi.

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