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Visiting Historic Julian in San Diego County, California.

Updated on May 18, 2014
Downtown Julian
Downtown Julian
Spencer Valley School
Spencer Valley School
Apple Orchard in Winter
Apple Orchard in Winter
Daffodils and Snow in Julian
Daffodils and Snow in Julian
Julian Lilacs
Julian Lilacs
Santa Ysabel Poppies
Santa Ysabel Poppies
Julian Pie Company
Julian Pie Company
Dudley's Bakery
Dudley's Bakery

The History of Julian.

The town of Julian, Ca. was born during the California Gold Rush when Fred Coleman discovered gold at Coleman Creek. Those gold flecks set off the one and only gold rush to San Diego County in 1869 and created a booming gold mining camp.

Gold prospectors flocked to Julian and Cuyamaca City looking for their fortunes. Some struck it rich, many died from zinc poisoning as zinc was used heavily to seperate gold from ore.

$5 million dollars worth of gold was mined in the hills of Julian from 1870 - 1880. One of Julian’s original gold mines is located at the end of C Street.

The Eagle and High Peak Gold Mines were originally separate mines.The mines were later combined to cut down on the high cost of mining. However, the mine eventually closed due to the high cost of mining what gold was left.

Today guides lead you through miles of tunnels, teach you to pan for gold, and share the rich history of life in early Julian.

Turn off the lights during your tour of the tunnels and you get a first hand understand of just how hard mining life was. The only lighting available at the time was candles placed in cans and attached to the miners’ hats. When the candles burned out and the light ended the miners worked in pitch black dark.

On display are hand tools, drills, carts, and chutes used to hand dig the tunnels and carry gold ore out of the mine to be crushed and the gold extracted. The tunnels were dug just tall enough for a man to squeeze through. View the hoists used to carry the miners down into the bowels of the mine.

Unlike other gold rush ghost towns in California, Julian never became one. Gold rush pioneers stayed on and began farming.

One of those prospecting pioneers was Drue Bailey, an ex-confederate soldier, who came to the California gold mines to find his fortune after the Civil War. He named the gold mining camp Julian after his cousin Mike Julian in 1870.

One of the many things the rich land and great climate produced were the apples Julian is now famous for. In October you can pick your own apples. In winter you can play in the snow. In spring the daffodils and lilac are in bloom.

Julian is registered as California Historical Landmark No. 412.


On your way up to Julian be sure to stop at Dudley's Bakery and Julian Pie Company in Santa Ysabel. Definitely the best bread and apple pie anywhere!

Visit Julian Gold Rush Days June 18-19.

There are plenty of great hiking trails in Julian and surrounding San Diego County. Take a hike and enjoy the back country.

Are we there yet? What to take on a road trip:

An ice chest with food, snacks and drinks for everyone. Forget sharing.

Don't forget your chargers, headphones, earplugs, meds, and a bag for garbage

Take along your Kindle and cell phone to keep yourself and the kids occupied on long road trips. Down load any e-books and apps that will help you.

Remember to take along a great camera. We found the Sony Nex-5 to be light weight and user friendly.

Streets, freeways, and traffic jams are frustrating. Take along a good GPS system and visit off season.

Have you ever found gold?

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    • LotusLandry profile image


      3 years ago from Southern California

      We stayed in a B&B in Julian

    • Kathy Atwood profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy Atwood 

      6 years ago from California, USA

      I agree! Julian is a special place. We will try the Julian Grille next time we go! Thanks for the tip scottrights...

    • scottrights profile image


      6 years ago from San Diego

      Great article. I love Julian. You left out my favorite restaurant... Julian Grille... but I guess that wouldn't be "history." I enjoy the fall season and sitting outside. Julian is a place for someone from San Diego to go if they want to feel the seasons.


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