Early Julian resident Drury Bailey is pictured astride a horse in Julian Pioneer Museum mural, painted by Walter J. Willoughby.   PHOTO BY CAROL KINNEY

Early Julian resident Drury Bailey is pictured astride a horse in Julian Pioneer Museum mural, painted by Walter J. Willoughby.

PHOTO BY CAROL KINNEY

Prospectors Still Strike Gold in Julian

— Megan Peralta

Though Julian has been home to Native Americans for thousands of years and Europeans arrived in the mid-1800s, it was in 1869 that former slave A.E. “Fred” Coleman saw the glint of gold specks in what is now Coleman Creek in Wynola. 

Julian Doves & Desperados  PHOTO BY MEGAN PERALTA

Julian Doves & Desperados PHOTO BY MEGAN PERALTA

His discovery led to a Gold Rush that created a lot of excitement in these backcountry mountains. 

Adventure seekers still have the chance to strike gold, and not just during Julian Gold Rush Days. While the town has a wealth of history, it is also an ideal place to enjoy live entertainment, unique local retailers and natural beauty.

History buffs will love the historical tours and reenactments available throughout the year. You can be an enthusiastic bystander for an Old West-style shoot-out, laugh at plays, walk through an authentic gold mine, and visit the historic Julian Pioneer Museum and Julian Pioneer Cemetery.  

Music enthusiasts will have a hard time not finding a venue for live music, with artists performing well-known covers along with new and original tunes, while guests sip handcrafted 
beverages and savor delicious meals. 

Eagle Mining Co.  JOURNAL FILE PHOTO

Eagle Mining Co. JOURNAL FILE PHOTO

There are enough retailers in and around Julian to satisfy even the most seasoned of shoppers. The quaint and unique stores are bursting with toys, books, antiques, treats and baked goods, fashions, jewelry, crafts and souvenirs to take home as reminders of a day filled with fun. 

Then, there are experience-oriented venues featuring everything from afternoon tea to art appreciation. 

The annual Apple Days events — which include picking apples in an orchard and plucking raspberries straight from the vine at an old-fashioned country fair — take visitors back to simpler times. 

Nature lovers can also immerse themselves in the clean air and backcountry spirit by hiking on the many beautiful trails, enjoying a picnic at Lake Cuyamaca or turning their eyes to the skies at a local star party. 

Whether visitors come to Julian to relax, explore or both, there is a golden nugget just waiting to be discovered in this fun and historic mountain town.