The Hot Sulfur Springs of the area brought tribal members of the San Dieguenos who sought the healing benefits of these hot waters and the abundant acorns of the area. They liked the area and began to stay rather than visit. Some say the name, Jacumba, which loosely means hut by water, had its origins from the nearness to the hot waters of the springs. The first permanent white settler was Peter Larkin who came to do cattle ranching around 1868. But the town didn't really begin until around 1907 when Jack and Grace Hauessler arrived and opened a general store. Later, in 1915, they also opened a post office. The railroad lines were laid and completed in 1919 and more development occurred. Bert Vaughn purchased the town in 1919. He built the Vaughn Hotel and opened it in June of 1925. It was a very fine hotel. This fact, along with the regular rail service through the area, brought many visitors to Jacumba, including famous people, such as Hollywood star, Clark Gable, and his friends. Jacumba was in its heydey during the 1920's with a population of over 5,000 people. Other than the railroad lines, it wasn't until 1927 that the Highway graded and paved the road from the top of Mountain Springs Grade to the desert floor.
when I-8 opened around 1967, the town lost its access as traffic flowed two miles from town, bypassing it. Though the spa tried to maintain, it became increasingly difficult to attract visitors. The Hotel changed hands and was finally destroyed by fire. It was later torn down in 1991.
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Jacumba is pronounced "ha-cum-ba"
Anza Borrego Desert State Park is about 15 miles from Jacumba. It is a large, varied area of canyons, mountains, desert and badlands
The local airport is used mainly on the weekends when sail planes brought in are towed aloft for pilots to catch the thermals above the town.
The town has a large, painted mural on a wall near the edge of town. The mural recalls the day a hurricane blasted the town, an occurrence very rare in California deserts.
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operated by the county of San Diego. The gravel runway extends for 2510 feet. The facility is at an elevation of 2820 feet at a distance of about one mile from Jacumba.
Phone: 619-956-3905 Jacumba
Miscellany The large Ketchum Ranch, as it was previously known, is now known as the Jacumba Valley Ranch Partnership. This area involves over 1,200 acres which the developers hope will one day house over 2,000 individuals. There are plans for many services, facilities and amenities here. The developers and community alike hope to re-vitalize the entire area with this development.
P.O. Box 522
Jacumba, California 91934
Phone: (619) 766-4884
Fax: (619) 766-0085