Jamul is a quiet, picturesque community in the foothills of the Laguna mountains, about 20 minutes outside of downtown San Diego. El Rancho de Jamul was granted to Pio Pico, the last and most famous Governors under Mexican rule, in 1829. In 1837 the normally peaceful Diegueno Indians attacked the rancho because of a land dispute, killing four defenders and carrying off two young women who were never heard from again. In 1852 a number of squatters were driven off the ranch and several were lynched on a nearby tree.
Jamul Haven Bed and Breakfast
Charles Gifford built Jamul Haven as a farmhouse to watch over the olive groves he planted in the area. His Gifford Olives were the first commercially processed canned olives. A note written in pencil on a piece of wood found inside the walls of the house puts the date of completion at 1899. While working as an active farm, the house also offered refuge to boys sent by the courts to work on the farms.
All Aboard The Stage
For several years in the early 1900s, Jamul Haven served as a stage coach stop for a weekly stage delivering supplies and passengers from San Diego to Jamul. The circular drive around the house was used as a convenient method of changing horses prior to the long uphill climb through Mexican Canyon to downtown Jamul.
The Mysterious Aviator
When tearing up floor boards during renovation, a tin box was discovered on a beam that was accessible (with difficulty) from under the house, but well hidden. Inside the box we found a quantity of old pocket change, hand-made clay marbles, an old cap gun, tin-type photos of various family members, a Victorian mourning necklace made from human hair, a toy cap gun, and a World War II Naval Aviation recruiting flyer recruiting boys 17 and older to fly in the Navy. Was this a treasure trove from a resident of the house or a neighborhood boy who was shot down during one of the Naval battles of WWII? We’ll never know, but the artifacts are on display so you can decide for yourself.