The photo is from the book, Picturesque San Diego, which was published in 1887, and the caption reads, “View near entrance to Bear Valley.”
The description of “Bear Valley” accompanying the photo describes the area as “a very productive section, about 40 miles north of San Diego. Population about 1,000. Store, blacksmith shop, school-house, brick church. Productions: Fine stock, hogs, bacon and grain; some honey is also made. The rainfall in this Valley is more than three times as great as on the coast, and a crop failure has never been known there.”
Bear Valley also had a small post office, whose postmaster chose a name by which we’ve all come to know this section: Valley Center.
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It would be great to be able to find where the photo was taken to take another from the same spot. The change would be a great comparison.
Good idea! If there are any readers from the Valley Center area out there who recognize the spot, feel free to reply.