Mountain Empire Magazine
Mountain Empire Issue 1
country fact folklore and legend

Fact, Folklore, & Legend

Interesting facts about the Mountain Empire area of East San Diego County:

Tierra Del Sol:

In the early 1940's the town of Tierra Del Sol was known as Hi-Pass. that name dates back to when Mr. Spreckles, of San Diego, was building the railroad thru this area. The site of Hi-Pass was the highest point of the rail line. later, in the latter part of the 40's, the new owners of Hi-Pass had the idea of developing the area with solar powered electricity and hot water. Along that line they petitioned the Post
Office to change it's name from Hi-Pass to Tierra Del Sol (Land of the Sun). The idea was not popular with local residents, so as the story goes, the owners got the petition signed by residents in San Diego.

Despite the objections of the local people the name was changed. Unfortunately, the idea of solar electricity and solar heating of water on a large scale was a bit ahead of its time. The idea remained just a dream and Tierra Del Sol never lived up to its new name.


Campo was started as a U.S. Cavalry base back in the late 1800's. It was a strategic site used by the cavalry often from 1875 until the actual camp was

Col. James Lockett, Camp Lockett
erected. Campo was the site for Camp Lockett. Named after Col. James Lockett, a well decorated Army officer who served from 1875 until his retirement on June 30, 1919. Col. Lockett was in charge of Indian Affairs here and later fought in the Philippines in 1899, for which he was decorated with the silver star.


About ten to fifteen years ago local residents of the back country communities from Ramona and Alpine to Jacumba formed a group to study the possibility of forming their own county government (separate from San Diego County ) as Imperial County had done many years before.

Let's Vote!
The effort drew about fifty of the areas top leaders to study the proposal. Although the proposal was favored by most people in the group, and sentiment in the back country seemed to be in favor of it also, the plan never came to be. Sometime after Imperial county had separated from San Diego the state legislature had changed the rules. Now it requires a two-thirds majority of all voters in the entire county (not just the affected area). Because if did not seem financially feasible to wage a campaign in the entire county, the idea was dropped.

About the author:

Henry Siegel

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Horse Facts

One of the first horses was called a Hyracotherium. It lived about 50 million years ago and was as tall as a fox. It had toes! This horse changed over millions of years to become a modern horse.

Camargue horses are completely white as adults. Their babies are pure black when they are born.

There is a breed of horse from Russia called Akhal-Teke. It can go for days without food or water.

You measure a horse's height in hands. Each hand equals four inches. If you say a horse is 16.2 hands high, the 2 stands for 2 fingers.

You can tell how old a horse is by how many teeth it has. A horse gets all of its teeth by the time it is five years old. After that, they just get longer.

A female horse is called a mare. In the wild it is the mare that decides when the herd moves on to another spot to find food.