From: Steve Bailey
Sent: 2008
Subject: Early Palomar Residents

Palomar history buffs:
While recently going through the "Old Bailey family photo album" (1880 - 1950 photos) I found a few photos I thought might be of interest to those who like old Palomar Mountain history.  These are of early Palomar residents and were probably taken from 1890 to 1910.

My great grandfather Theodore Bailey is seen sitting in his favorite chair in front of the fireplace reading the paper. His cat is sleeping on his lap and with possibly a mountain lion skin rug on the floor. Theodore and his wife Mary, homesteaded on Palomar in about 1887 with their 6 children.
Old man Doane, as my grandmother Adalind Bailey called him, would often show up to help on large projects from time to time. He lived in his cabin in the Lower Doane Valley area.

Theodore Bailey

Adalind was a school teacher and married Milton Bailey in 1913 who was a dentist in San Diego and also ran the Palomar Resort until the late 1920s. After Milton died in 1938 Adalind continued to live on Palomar in the Bailey homestead until about 1965. She was also the postmaster on Palomar Mountain at Bailey's from 1942 to 1957.

Old Man Doane

Clark Cleaver

"Uncle Nate" Harrison

Mr. Cleaver owned the plot of land with the large apple orchard located just southwest of the intersection of State Park Road and Bailey Meadow Road.  When Clark Cleaver died in about 1913 the property went through many owners. My grandfather Milton Bailey owned this property around 1920 to the mid to late 1950s. At this point is was sold to Wayne Thompson who owned the store and gas station at the "Summit" (now called Mother's Kitchen) who later sold it to Bob and Valerie Price.  This used to be a great apple orchard. On the North side of the property where Cleavers cabin was built was also one of the best blackberry patches on the mountain. Also a few plum trees and a spring. On the ridge on the North side of the Cleaver properly there was a small log cabin. Going east along this ridge from this cabin about 200 yards was an old wood teepee. It slowly fell apart by the mid 1950s.

"Uncle Nate" Harrison as everyone called him had a cabin half way up the West Grade and was always there to greet travelers coming up and down the mountain with water and news. Nate was said to be a runaway slave from Kentucky and called Palomar his home for 73 years until his death in 1920.

I never did live on Palomar full time, but did spend every summer and most weekends on the mountain while growing up. Palomar, past and present, will always be part of my life.

Steve Bailey
Denver, Colorado since 1972

Thank you Steve!   

The homestead where Clark Cleaver planted his orchard is still owned by the Price family, as Steve mentioned.  Traveling west on State Park Road, the County owns a portion of the land on both sides of the road used for the Road Station.  Then you come to our place on the right, (Don and Bonnie Phelps) where we still have about 10 trees on our property, that we've have been told was part of Mr. Cleaver's orchard.   If you stand on State Park road looking southeast, out to Price's orchard and north, over ours, you can see the trees on both sides of the road were planted in a straight line.  (Wonder how many trees were removed when the Road Station went in and State Park Road was built up with fill to make it level traveling between our properties?)

Bob Price told me one day that when you look over the side of State Park Road at the bridge east of his driveway you can easily see a large date stamped in the cement: 1940.  We're told that after Cal Tech built the road to the Summit to bring the mirror up, what is now State Park Road, was improved to meet at the Summit too.  About the same time, Crestline was extended down from the Lodge (where East Grade ended then called 'Rainbow Crest') to the Summit.  And, East Grade was extended from the Conifer Road area (where it continued up and ended at the Lodge), around by the existing dump, and then up to where it also meets at the Summit.    "Let's meet at the Summit" had a different meaning in those days but the name remains.

The former owners of Iron Springs Ranch, Bob and Jo Davis, told me that to get to the top of the Mountain originally, you came up Nate Harrison Grade, got water and had a nice visit with Nate Harrison, traveled through the Bailey area and Iron Springs Ranch to the land that is now the Observatory. 
Apparently the County finished the last five miles of road from the Summit to what is now the Observatory to pave the way for the mirror to make the trip to the Mountain.  Many old maps refer to what is now the South Grade, the 'Highway to the Stars'.  The East Grade, on old maps, is called 'Rainbow Crest'.  Those would be nice names to bring back.

~Bonnie Phelps
Editor, Palomar Mountain News

Corrections and additions always appreciated.

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