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Near desert places

A changed Jacumba, the little towns of Highway 80, and the drama of Warner Springs

Jacumba Hotel. The thing that changed Jacumba was the construction of Interstate 8. It just missed Jacumba by two miles, leaving it stranded in the desert. - Image by Robert Burroughs
Jacumba Hotel. The thing that changed Jacumba was the construction of Interstate 8. It just missed Jacumba by two miles, leaving it stranded in the desert.

A Quiet Street and an Old Hotel

He smeared my whole body and face with mineral oil and began rubbing it around with a machine that whined and felt warm. A cord led from his hand over to one of the big black machines. An indicator needle jumped back and forth when he touched my body. The sign on the machine said it was an “Ultra Sonar.” I recognized this to be what some of the other guests at the hotel described as “Henry’s jackhammer.”

By Steve Sorensen, March 16, 1978 | Read full article

"Two times a week Willie takes a friend’s truck to get eggs up in Boulevard. The local sheriff, who knows the truck, knows Willie, pulls Willie over to search an uncovered, open truck with ten trays of eggs in it."

Jacumba: 90 Miles East of Here

“Let’s see, you oversee everything from the Imperial County to Tecate. How many people are working for you?”

“I’ve got them spread all over the place. There are 270 agents in the district.”

“How many illegals are you catching?”

“That fluctuates an awful lot. Last year at this time, we’d catch from three to five hundred a day. Now we’re catching under a hundred a day.”

That matches what Mitchell said. “Where have the illegals gone?”

By Patrick Daugherty, April 2, 1998 | Read full article

Jane lives in a 12-foot trailer in Jacume with no plumbing, no electricity. Used to live in Jacumba but made strategic error of sharing her house with a reported nine goats.

How They Ended up in Jacumba

Fabio is now living, legally, in San Diego. I ask about village life. “In many ways it’s better in the States. I have a wife and three kids and I can put meat on the table. Over there (Jacumé) it’s always beans for supper, if you’re lucky. But the people in San Diego, they’re not friendly; I miss my family, my town. That’s why it’s really good to be able to come here and visit."

By Patrick Daugherty, April 19, 1990 | Read full article

People here will also tell you that life in the city — the San Diego-El Cajon grid — is scarcely worth living; they will extol the virtues of mountain life. But keep them talking long enough, and you’ll hear inklings of other things.

Dots on the Map

Bankhead Springs is wholly owned by Helen, an 87-year-old woman who purchased it m 1939 with her husband Alvan. (The place is named after Senator John Hollis Bankhead of Arizona, who was related to Tallulah Bankhead.) Alvan died a few years back; Helen continues living in a downstairs room of the hotel, which is otherwise closed — although she keeps the seven rooms furnished and clean in case friends stop by.

By Roger Anderson, Feb 22, 1990 | Read full article

Al Holden, McCain Valley. “He answered the door with a shotgun under his arm. We explained our situation, and he put us in his old pickup truck. Whether he was sleepy or drunk, I don’t know, but he was driving crazy, and we went sailing off the road into a meadow."

Saturday Hike into McCain Valley

“He answered the door with a shotgun under his arm. We explained our situation, and he put us in his old pickup truck to take us to a gas station, where we could get a wrecker to tow us. Whether he was sleepy or drunk, I don’t know, but he was driving crazy, and we went sailing off the road into a meadow. So we left him with the truck and started walking.”

By Jeanne Schinto, Jan. 23, 2003 | Read full article

“This place just grabs you. I just can’t leave it. Even though I’ve never seen it in its heyday, I just know something's going to happen, and I want to be here when it does."

The Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall of Warner Hot Springs

The five-man partnership that purchased it included Bing Crosby and A. Cal Rossi, and they paid a reported $2.8 million for the 2885-acre resort with its lodge, airstrip, golf course, riding stables, two swimming pools, and ninety-six cabins. Crosby was only a silent partner; the real mover behind the deal was Rossi, who had made a fortune renovating a number of historic hotels and other buildings and wanted to do the same with Warner Springs.

By Gordon Smith, April 15, 1982 | Read full article

“So far this looks like the hinges of Hades. It’s not. Every problem a place could have, we’ve had. I think the problems are being ironed out.”

Hell at the Hot Springs

One salesperson recalls a well-known San Diego businessman visiting the ranch in 1984 with a woman other than his wife. “It was kind of comical because he just showed up in his Mercedes and wanted to check out the golf course.” When told only ranch-owners could play the course, he introduced himself, perhaps thinking his weighty name would get him onto the greens. “I know who you are,” the salesperson told him.

By Jackie McGrath, May 4, 1989 | Read full article

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A darker shade of twilight
Jacumba Hotel. The thing that changed Jacumba was the construction of Interstate 8. It just missed Jacumba by two miles, leaving it stranded in the desert. - Image by Robert Burroughs
Jacumba Hotel. The thing that changed Jacumba was the construction of Interstate 8. It just missed Jacumba by two miles, leaving it stranded in the desert.

A Quiet Street and an Old Hotel

He smeared my whole body and face with mineral oil and began rubbing it around with a machine that whined and felt warm. A cord led from his hand over to one of the big black machines. An indicator needle jumped back and forth when he touched my body. The sign on the machine said it was an “Ultra Sonar.” I recognized this to be what some of the other guests at the hotel described as “Henry’s jackhammer.”

By Steve Sorensen, March 16, 1978 | Read full article

"Two times a week Willie takes a friend’s truck to get eggs up in Boulevard. The local sheriff, who knows the truck, knows Willie, pulls Willie over to search an uncovered, open truck with ten trays of eggs in it."

Jacumba: 90 Miles East of Here

“Let’s see, you oversee everything from the Imperial County to Tecate. How many people are working for you?”

“I’ve got them spread all over the place. There are 270 agents in the district.”

“How many illegals are you catching?”

“That fluctuates an awful lot. Last year at this time, we’d catch from three to five hundred a day. Now we’re catching under a hundred a day.”

That matches what Mitchell said. “Where have the illegals gone?”

By Patrick Daugherty, April 2, 1998 | Read full article

Jane lives in a 12-foot trailer in Jacume with no plumbing, no electricity. Used to live in Jacumba but made strategic error of sharing her house with a reported nine goats.

How They Ended up in Jacumba

Fabio is now living, legally, in San Diego. I ask about village life. “In many ways it’s better in the States. I have a wife and three kids and I can put meat on the table. Over there (Jacumé) it’s always beans for supper, if you’re lucky. But the people in San Diego, they’re not friendly; I miss my family, my town. That’s why it’s really good to be able to come here and visit."

By Patrick Daugherty, April 19, 1990 | Read full article

People here will also tell you that life in the city — the San Diego-El Cajon grid — is scarcely worth living; they will extol the virtues of mountain life. But keep them talking long enough, and you’ll hear inklings of other things.

Dots on the Map

Bankhead Springs is wholly owned by Helen, an 87-year-old woman who purchased it m 1939 with her husband Alvan. (The place is named after Senator John Hollis Bankhead of Arizona, who was related to Tallulah Bankhead.) Alvan died a few years back; Helen continues living in a downstairs room of the hotel, which is otherwise closed — although she keeps the seven rooms furnished and clean in case friends stop by.

By Roger Anderson, Feb 22, 1990 | Read full article

Al Holden, McCain Valley. “He answered the door with a shotgun under his arm. We explained our situation, and he put us in his old pickup truck. Whether he was sleepy or drunk, I don’t know, but he was driving crazy, and we went sailing off the road into a meadow."

Saturday Hike into McCain Valley

“He answered the door with a shotgun under his arm. We explained our situation, and he put us in his old pickup truck to take us to a gas station, where we could get a wrecker to tow us. Whether he was sleepy or drunk, I don’t know, but he was driving crazy, and we went sailing off the road into a meadow. So we left him with the truck and started walking.”

By Jeanne Schinto, Jan. 23, 2003 | Read full article

“This place just grabs you. I just can’t leave it. Even though I’ve never seen it in its heyday, I just know something's going to happen, and I want to be here when it does."

The Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall of Warner Hot Springs

The five-man partnership that purchased it included Bing Crosby and A. Cal Rossi, and they paid a reported $2.8 million for the 2885-acre resort with its lodge, airstrip, golf course, riding stables, two swimming pools, and ninety-six cabins. Crosby was only a silent partner; the real mover behind the deal was Rossi, who had made a fortune renovating a number of historic hotels and other buildings and wanted to do the same with Warner Springs.

By Gordon Smith, April 15, 1982 | Read full article

“So far this looks like the hinges of Hades. It’s not. Every problem a place could have, we’ve had. I think the problems are being ironed out.”

Hell at the Hot Springs

One salesperson recalls a well-known San Diego businessman visiting the ranch in 1984 with a woman other than his wife. “It was kind of comical because he just showed up in his Mercedes and wanted to check out the golf course.” When told only ranch-owners could play the course, he introduced himself, perhaps thinking his weighty name would get him onto the greens. “I know who you are,” the salesperson told him.

By Jackie McGrath, May 4, 1989 | Read full article

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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