Julian, CA: A Historic Mining Town and Bridge to the Past

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Early settlers Drury, Frank and J.O. Bailey and cousins Mike and Webb Julian decided to divert their travel plans and stop in Julian in 1869. They decided to name the town after cousin Mike Julian because “Mike was better looking” than any other member of the Bailey family. Shortly after,  A.E. “Fred” Coleman, a former slave, crossed over what is now known as Coleman Creek just 4 miles west of Julian. There he found a glint of gold and quickly set up Coleman Mining District in what is now a ghost town called Coleman City (Circle). Eager goldminers flocked to Julian to stake their claims. 

Mining in Julian, CA

Despite the promise of gold, the “Rush” never really hit Julian, California. “Julian was never the hell roarin’ town commonly associated with mining camps,” wrote Dan Taylor in 1939. That sleepy town image has been the same ever since. 

The Historic Town of Julian Today

Today, locals uphold that image, maintaining historic building exteriors on main street and fostering a small community, where they count on on each other. 
 
Julian is a town caught between the covers of an historical romance. There is a rich history here, full of colorful characters and deeds. But today there is a strange and uneasy blending: Victorian architecture and time-‘ honored traditions flush with the vagaries of modern culture. But for those who make the mountains their home, the attractions outweigh the problems. They’re here for the clean air, the blue sky, the slower pace, and the people themselves.”
– David Robinson, San Diego Reader, April 1977