Descanso Branch Library - 9545 River Dr. (619)445-5279
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Stonewall Mine

Author: Jenny Belle Bowman

I attended an Alpine Historical field trip to the Stonewall Gold Mine in Cuyamaca State Park several months ago.  The mine was named after president Stonewall Jackson.  The tour guide informed our group of thirty that the Stonewall Mine produced more gold than all the other gold mines in Julian.

 Stagecoaches transported the gold produced from the Julian mines through Ramona, Lakeside and on to Old Town in San Diego.  The Stagecoaches traveled through Descanso.  They stopped at Oak Grove Hotel in Descanso to rest the passengers and the horses, hence the Spanish name Descanso.  The hotel had a stable, corrals and large livery barn from which the owner leased horse teams to the stage line.  Benjamin Arnold, an ivory and silk importer, built the hotel in 1895 to serve the Alpine, Descanso, Cuyamaca stage route he founded.  In 1911 the hotel burned down and then was rebuilt on the same site where the present building stands. 

Arnold Way in Alpine was named after Benjamin Arnold.  He built his showplace home "Los Robles" there in 1887-1888.  At that time gold was selling at $20.67 per ounce and Stonewall mine produced over $2,000,000 worth of gold.  One can only imagine what that amount of gold is worth in today’s market.  

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