Far East County

Julian is settled, Dogpatch lore, gunfight on Banner Grade, Dulzura dogs kill, beginnings of Jamul Indian casino, end of Mesa Verde dairy, Blossom Valley anxiety

Norman remembers Julian as a “Wild West town," with apple orchards, a famous rodeo, and unique pioneer characters.
  • Norman remembers Julian as a “Wild West town," with apple orchards, a famous rodeo, and unique pioneer characters.
  • Image by Ian Dryden

When Men and Mountains Meet

Julian was at least a four-day trip from San Diego, even for the fastest of team drivers. The trip from Old Town to Foster (above Lakeside, now covered by San Vicente Dam) was one day; up the Mussey Grade to Nuevo (now Ramona) took another day; the climb from Nuevo to Santa Ysabel took the third day; and the last steep seven miles completed the trip.

By David Robinson, April 6, 1977 | Read full article

Besides the shoot-out and the pig roasts and swimming in Kitchen Creek, summer is when bikers and tourists come around.

Besides the shoot-out and the pig roasts and swimming in Kitchen Creek, summer is when bikers and tourists come around.

Their Kind of Town

He introduces himself (with a wink) as “L.P.'s bastard son.” He says he wanders around with his best friend, who happens to be a burro. Last year, after he sold the Tecate Café that he says he used to run, he spent three months wandering around the mountains of Mexico, camping out at night with the burro. “I wasn't lonely. On the roads, people stop to talk to a man with a burro,” he says.

By Sue Garson, April 11, 1985 | Read full article

Monument at Chariot Canyon. Deputies driving Banner Grade have seen Gustav Hudson at the property and  Benjamin Haimes' Lincoln Continental.

Monument at Chariot Canyon. Deputies driving Banner Grade have seen Gustav Hudson at the property and Benjamin Haimes' Lincoln Continental.

American Primitive

“When I was trying to help the guy [Zerbe],” Scott said, “and trying to give him mouth-to-mouth [resuscitation], his cheek was blown apart. There was so many holes it was pathetic. Hey, it looked like Custer’s Last Stand. That car was bucked from one end of town to the other. There was bullets everywhere. The car got hit from both sides, and it looked like somebody just dumped out tons of lead on each side of it.”

By Hugh Crumpler, May 30, 1991 | Read full article

In the days immediately following Roy’s death, I was in a state of disbelief and hastily began moving to my new home.

In the days immediately following Roy’s death, I was in a state of disbelief and hastily began moving to my new home.

Kibbles and bits of human flesh

Deanna said he had left over an hour ago; could he possibly have fallen and hurt himself? I went looking for him, intending to scour the canyons to see if he was herding the Monahans' cows, which often strayed. On this trip, I again noticed the pile of debris by the side of the road, but this time something made me stop and take a closer look. I found Roy's bloodied jacket, ripped to shreds.

By Bill Delany, July 18, 1991 | Read full article

just down the hill from Machey's house, the Julian High School football field grows plush and green. "Just before noon, I drove into town, and they were watering that whole field in the midday heat."

just down the hill from Machey's house, the Julian High School football field grows plush and green. "Just before noon, I drove into town, and they were watering that whole field in the midday heat."

Julian Waits for Disaster

Speaking of lawns, while Machey is drilling a new well, just down the hill from his house, the Julian High School football field grows plush and green. "Just before noon," Machey's chin quivers with anger, "I drove into town, and they were watering that whole field in the midday heat. They're dumping so much water on that field that it's draining out of some big drainpipes they installed under it, and it's forming a creek.”

By Ernie Grimm, Aug. 1, 2002 | Read full article

"Originally there were three dairies in the area. But then the other two sold out."

"Originally there were three dairies in the area. But then the other two sold out."

Moo Twilight

Feed he buys directly from farmers in the Imperial Valley. Because he trucks it himself, it costs around $80 per ton for sudan grass, $100 for alfalfa. But with a herd of 200 cow-calf pairs and a 2450-acre ranch, which Cauzza estimates can feed one cow for every 10 to 15 acres, he doesn't need to buy much feed for his cows. "When the snow's heavy," he says, "you might feed her a little hay."

By Ernie Grimm, Sept. 27, 2001 | Read full article

"The tribe in Jamul specifically requires that to be a member, you had to have half-blood or more."

"The tribe in Jamul specifically requires that to be a member, you had to have half-blood or more."

We Did Not Want a Monstrosity

"The biggest problem about the casino plan is this road. This is why the town is up in arms. This is the only way in and out of town, the only major thoroughfare. It is two lanes, and there are many, many accidents. There were four teenagers that were killed on this road within the last nine to ten months. And now the Indians are talking about adding numbers as low as 10,000 cars a day.”

By Ernie Grimm, July 3, 2002 | Read full article

Dunbar Lane area, near proposed school site. "Dunbar right now is 36 feet wide. Part of the new road that they plan to put in will only be 28 feet wide."

Dunbar Lane area, near proposed school site. "Dunbar right now is 36 feet wide. Part of the new road that they plan to put in will only be 28 feet wide."

High Anxiety on Dunbar Lane

Students, parents, and visitors to the proposed school would approach it from the first leg of Dunbar Lane."They are saying that they're going to improve the road," says Glasco, "but all they're going to do is realign it. And they're not even widening the street. Dunbar right now is 36 feet wide. Part of the new road that they plan to put in, which isn't a through road, will only be 28 feet wide."

By Joe Deegan, Jan. 8, 2004 | Read full article

Old Banner Grade trail. The "skid road" was so steep that a driver descending on it would have to drag an uprooted tree behind his wagon.

Old Banner Grade trail. The "skid road" was so steep that a driver descending on it would have to drag an uprooted tree behind his wagon.

Mines along Banner Grade

On foot (or by mountain bike), follow the dirt road as it descends generally eastward. The old road, now essentially a trail, was built as a wagon road around the turn of the 19th century. Below you is its modern equivalent -- Banner Grade, or Highway 78. The highway appears only slightly less twisting than the road you are on but offers a more gradual, if longer, descent to the town of Banner

By Jerry Schad, Oct. 7, 2004 | Read full article

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