History and Tours
Confederate veterans from Georgia headed West to seek their fortunes in a new, mostly unsettled land. Among these were cousins, Drue Bailey and Mike Julian, who found a lush meadow between the Volcan Mountains and the Cuyamacas to their liking.
The town was named Julian, in honor of Mike Julian, who later was elected San Diego County Assessor. The town was never big, at the most it boasted a population of about 600 — more than reside in the historic district today. Rumor has it that Julian almost became San Diego’s county seat.
2811 Washington Street
The Julian Pioneer Museum houses an amazing array of artifacts depicting the history of Julian. Prior to the founding of Julian, native American villages were scattered throughout the area. Our Native American display is impressive. Historical artifacts throughout the museum provide a visual narrative of Julian history from 1869 to the turn of the last century. See how Julian labored, traveled, cooked, and clothed. At eye level and from above, mounted animals, representing species to be found in Julian, are everywhere. Housed within the restored walls of the Treshil blacksmith shop, the Julian Pioneer Museum is the flagship of Julian history.
4444 Hwy. 78
Discover gold, gems, fossils, and artifacts at our claim next to the very creek where Fred Coleman discovered gold and sparked the Julian Gold Rush! Our gold panning trough, sluice box, and dig-pit will keep the young and old busy for hours! Throw tomahawks, a favorite pastime of the miner’s. See the real mine car run on the rail, and check out the collection of hard rock mining equipment. Shop the old fashioned mercantile and gem shop or follow the map of plaques around the property to learn about the history of the area! Open to the public on weekends only, and open for private bookings on the weekdays for gold rush field trips.
4425 Hwy 78
Santa Ysabel, CA
Fort Cross is a family-owned and operated outdoor education center for all ages, with a focus on hands-on activities. Originally centered around living history, we now also offer and private events that involve music, art, survival skills, team building, and agriculture workshops. Not just for kids! Events for all ages welcome!