Our Address is: 4470 Highway 78 Julian, CA 92036
Visitors Information Websites:
History of Wynola
In the dry winter of 1869-70 Fred Coleman, a rancher who resided with an Indian family, was riding his horse along a creek and, halting to let it drink, glanced down and saw some small yellow particles. He was sure that he knew gold when he saw it. He dismounted and using a pan from his pack, washed out a few nuggets.
The creek is now known as Coleman Creek and it flows down from the mountains southwest of the town of Julian through Spencer Valley on its way to the head of the San Diego River. Spencer Valley was a stop on the road lifting into the mountains, but it had a settlement named Wynola and was known for its fine apples.
Its elevation of about 3600 feet puts it 700 feet above the wide fertile plain of Santa Ysabel Valley two and a half miles below. It is 500 feet below Main Street which is about three miles further up into the wooded mountains of the Julian area so often shrouded in winter clouds. State Highways 78 and 79 follow Coleman Creek from just below Julian and into Spencer Valley, crossing it twice on the route to Santa Ysabel, where Highway 79 turns north along the base of the mountain mass to the Warner Springs while Highway 78 proceeds west along the historical route of Gen. Stephen Watts Kearny who crossed the Santa Ysabel Valley on the way to Ramona and to the Battle of San Pasqual in the conquest of California.
Apparently with the aid of Indian labor, Coleman carved out a wagon road up the sharp mountain trail from Santa Ysabel to Spencer or Coleman Valley as it was then known. North & Knight, who were running stages between Old Town and New Town, put in a stage service to Julian by way of Poway and Ramona. With that, the gold rush was on and hundreds of miners and their families made their way into the Julian area via Wynola.
With the discovery of gold mines in Julian, Banner and Cuyamaca, Wynola became an agricultural center, full of ranches. In 1906 during an auto trip along the backcountry, Ed Fletcher passed through Wynola and was enthralled by the fragrance from the apple, peach and pear orchards that dotted the landscape. The area became known for a variety of products, including cherries, grapes, honey, vegetables, timber, cattle, horses, and wool. Many of Julian’s award-winning apples came from this region.
At the turn of the century, Bud Farmer set up a fruit stand where King Leo’s now stands and sold the first apple pies. Over time, the name Coleman Valley was forgotten and the only thing left of Spencer Valley is the old school house which is still in use today. Only Wynola remains—the birthplace of Julian, so to speak, where gold was first discovered and Julian’s famous apples were produced.
Other Wynola Area Businesses to Check Out!
Food, Dining & Entertainment:
Wynola Pizza Express/Bistro 78 ~ Wood Fired Pizza & Entrees & Live Music:
Jeremy's on the Hill ~ California Style Bistro & Live Music:
Gold Panning & Family Activities: www.julianminingcompany.com