A Good Camp: Mines of Julian and the Cuyamacas

Overview

In years past, there were a number of books written about San Diego’s Gold Rush, and each one had its own story of who discovered gold in the mountains near San Diego. Most listed the correct year, 1870, though some made it 1869, but nearly all had the wrong man. One local legend credits the founder of Julian City, Drury Bailey, or his cousin, Mike Julian, for whom it was named. "However," writes Leland Fetzer in his new book, A Good Camp: Gold Mines of Julian and the Cuyamacas , "in spite of the important role ...
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Overview

In years past, there were a number of books written about San Diego’s Gold Rush, and each one had its own story of who discovered gold in the mountains near San Diego. Most listed the correct year, 1870, though some made it 1869, but nearly all had the wrong man. One local legend credits the founder of Julian City, Drury Bailey, or his cousin, Mike Julian, for whom it was named. "However," writes Leland Fetzer in his new book, A Good Camp: Gold Mines of Julian and the Cuyamacas , "in spite of the important role the Baileys and the Julians played in Cuyamaca mining, they were not the first to discover Cuyamaca gold—that distinction belongs to an almost forgotten man, Frederick (Fred) Coleman, sometimes referred to as A.H. Coleman…a 41-year-old African-American native of Kentucky…very probably a former slave." Fetzer goes on to support this conclusion, with notices from The San Diego Union (soon after the first strikes in 1870), as well as through his own, and other’s research. A Good Camp sets the record straight, in this and other ways. The first book to list all the most productive mines, the first to describe mining and milling as it really was, it is also the first book about mining to describe the geology of the gold deposits. In addition, it contains over three dozen photographs and maps, nearly all printed for the first time. So, if you haven’t read A Good Camp, there may be a lot you still don’t know about the Cuyamaca and Julian mines!
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Editorial Reviews

Roger M. Showley
Very enjoyable! Mr. Fetzer has done a fine job weaving together history, geography and human interest. A Good Camp is well researched and full of interesting information and stories about gold in the mountains; the book’s key strength is in the greatly detailed description of mining and its setting.
The San Diego Union-Tribune
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