Julian Train & Gold Mine Pioneerways Adventure American Revolution JR Pioneerways Pilgrim Thanksgiving Christmas Train Pioneer Recipes
In 1869, "placer" gold was discovered in Coleman Creek near Julian, CA, high in the mountains east of San Diego. Seeking the veins the gold came from, the miners soon hit paydirt in Gold Hill above the Julian townsite in February of 1870. Our historic Pioneerways, American Revolution, and Julian Train & Gold Mine Tours take place on one of the original mining claims, now a working ranch.
While the miners were trying to wrestle the gold from deep within the earth, James Madison brought a wagon load of young apple trees up into the mountains. The fruit trees flourished in the clear, fresh air. Apples are still a big product in Julian, many of which are used for making the world famous Julian apple pies.
Here on the Smith Ranch, you'll see a Utah Bartlett pear tree well over 120 years old and still producing. The ranch orchards also produce apricots, peaches, plums, apples, persimmons, mulberries, walnuts, and chestnuts. The beautiful native plants include coulter pines, manzanita, prickly-pear cactus, incense cedar, miner's lettuce, and several large, stately live oak trees.
We've been presenting pioneer programs for youth and adults since 1988. The pioneering tools, the narrow gauge railroad, our Smith Ranch gold mine, and the mining equipment are all the real thing. Join us on a great American journey and "Go West, young man, go west!" Sign up now to reserve your day of fun and adventure at Smith Ranch in Julian, CA!
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