THE HISTORY OF JULIAN, CALIFORNIA
Gold Rush Mining Town
The history of Julian, CA is rich and exciting. Originally a mining camp when gold was discovered in 1869 at Coleman Creek, town Founder Drue Bailey named Julian after his cousin Mike Julian, who was later elected San Diego County Assessor. Nestled between the North end of the Cuyamaca Range and the South end of the Volcan Mountain, Julian’s proximity to San Diego, CA and its unique ecosystem makes it a prime tourist destination and a still-vibrant farming community specializing in apples, other produce, and cattle. Julian is a Designated Historic District.
A.E. “Fred” Coleman, a former slave, traveled West in 1869 to follow the California Gold Rush and came to a creek containing what is known as “placer gold.” He named the creek Coleman Creek, and it is just west of Julian’s town center. Coleman went on to establish the Coleman Mining District. The area that grew up around Coleman Creek’s mining camp was called Emily City but was later renamed Coleman City.
The town of Julian, located East of the Coleman camps grew quickly to service the needs of the over 300 miners located in the area – sporting a few hotels, over 50 homes, a number of saloons, a schoolhouse, and at least 4 stores.
How Apples Came to Make Julian Famous
Settler James Madison brought a wagon load of young apple trees up into the mountains. Due to the unique climate in Julian that features annual snowfall and cool Fall temperatures, the apple trees flourished and are still a mainstay of Julian’s agriculture. The apples and the world-famous pies Julian Apple Pies bring tourists from around the world and day-trippers from San Diego to Los Angeles. Julian’s prize-winning apples were featured at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 and won a blue ribbon. Additional accolades and ribbons followed after entering both the St. Louis Fair and the San Francisco World’s Fair of 1915. Julian’s apple celebrations began in 1909 and continue to this day, bringing thousands of people to this historic village in the mountains.
Now designated a Historic District, Julian has become a backcountry destination not only for tourists but also for people looking for a true lifestyle community. With proximity to the conveniences of large metropolitan areas, Julian still retains a quaint, small-town feel.
Find out more about Julian, CA at these sites: