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There were three ranches in our area: El Cajon, Los Coches and San Vicente. The El Cajon Rancho was given out in 1845. The area it covered was about 48,800 acres. It was made up of what is now Lakeside, El Cajon, Bostonia, Santee and Flinn Springs.

California's smallest land grant, Rancho de la Canada de Los Coches (Glen of the Hogs), 28.37 acres, was completely surrounded by El Cajon Rancho. The Los Coches area had been in the hands of the mission Padres for many years and it was used as a grazing ground for the mission hogs. The property was sold several times and eventually sold in 1859 to Dona Perfecta and her husband Jesse Julian Ames.

Julian Jesse Ames courted Perfecta Espinosa of Old Town for 17 years and in 1838 they were married at the San Diego Mission. It was a big celebration and all the business were closed so all the residents of Old Town could attend the wedding. At the age of 56 (1859) he moved his family including eight children to the 28 acres on the Los Coches Rancho.

There with the help of his Indian friends he built an adobe home with several rooms near the Los Coches Creek. The Indians taught the family members how to select nuts and fruits that were edible and how to cook them. Julian Jessie raised cattle and sheep, grew corn and raised vegetables. He also had the first stone mill to grind corn and wheat which he grew in the El Cajon Valley.

Ames Adobe c.1880's

Ames Adobe c.1930's

In 1866 when Perfecta was to have her tenth child, Julian went to San Diego to get the doctor, and on the return trip his wagon wheel became stuck in the mud. When Julian attempted to lift the wagon wheel he fell over dead. Perfecta continued to operate the ranch until 1888. When the Ames family was no longer using the original adobe house the home was offered to be used as the first school in the area.

The AMES ADOBE was a school for a year and a half. Verification of the adobe school was made when at a family reunion the Ames decedents recalled the stories they heard about the home being used as a school because the area did not have a school district at that time. No school records have been found. Most information about the Ames Adobe is found in "Flossie’s Notes."

Stories were also told that Julian Jessie had hidden money in the adobe house. People came and tore down the house looking but not finding any money. The ranch was heavily mortgaged and any hidden money had been removed to keep the family on the ranch.

There were ten Ames children and many decedents. One girl named Mary was married to James Flinn in 1874. Another daughter married Jose Machado and lived in Lakeside. The youngest child was Nievas and she also lived in Lakeside. In 2011 there are Ames families living in Lakeside, north county and south bay.

Lakeview School c.1910

March 5, 1895 the Lakeview Grammar School District was formed by action of the San Diego Board of Supervisors. The Lakeview School was built and opened September 30, 1895. The enrollment at this time was 15 pupils, 13 in primary and 2 in upper grades, the teacher was Maude Allen, age 23. The school had one large classroom, a library room and a cloak room. The trustees were: D. F. Harbison, L. V. Hoover and D. S. Watson.

Wellington Hoover was born 1883 in Nebraska and came to Lakeside in 1895. As a young boy he attended the newly built Lakeview Grammar School. Elizabeth, his wife, came to Lakeside in 1902 and attended the Lakeview School 4th through the 8th grades. Wellington and Elizabeth married and raised fourteen children. All of the children attended Lakeview and Lakeside schools.

Wellington Hoover became the bus driver to take children from the Lakeview area to school. The amount he was paid varied as to the number trips taken and the number of pupils in each trip. 

When motorized vehicles arrived for transporting students, George Gibson recalls riding in Beaker's School Bus with its cloth top flapping in the wind, and the frequent breakdowns. Wellington Hoover transported many students from the Lakeview area.  

June 3, 1920 El Cajon, Hillsdale, Jamacha, El Capitan and Meridian School Districts united in forming the El Cajon Union School District. The Lakeview School closed when the district voted to join the El Cajon Union School District July 18, 1923. At this time the Lakeview School had an enrollment of 15 pupils and the district extended down to Orange Street (Castle Court Dr.) on the north boundary.

The majority of the Lakeview parents wanted to send their children to the Lakeside Grammar School even though they lived in the El Cajon Union School District. As the old laws were not rigid enough to force them to go to El Cajon most of the children came to the Lakeside Grammar School.

The new law was more rigid and obligatory that children must go to school within their districts. Both school boards must agree in order to allow the Lakeview children to attend Lakeside instead of El Cajon. So the Lakeview School District was divided. All children on the north side of Highway 80 attended Lakeside Grammar School and those on the south side of Highway 80 attended the El Cajon School. Lakeview School closed in 1920.

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Richard S. White