Julian Historical Tours is operated by me, David Lewis. I am the fourth of five generations of my family to live in the Julian area. My great grandfather, a school teacher, came here in 1887. You might assume that I came by my historical knowledge quite naturally. You would be wrong. Growing up with history at my doorstep likely caused me to take it for granted. The process of learning true and factual history has been a difficult one. Overcoming personal bias and learning objectivity is an ongoing struggle. In the end, the rewards far outweigh the pain.
Julian Historical Tours is the result of over ten years of research into the history of Julian. In 1999 I began to survey and create a map of the Julian Cemetery. As my work progressed, I began to understand that much more than mapping needed to be done. Oral interviews and the existing cemetery records lead me to believe there were many more people buried in the historic section than the markers indicated. I began searching for those graves, over seventy in all. So far, I have been fortunate to find over twenty of those graves. Over 9000 hours of research resulted in my authoring and publishing, Last Known Address, a history of the cemetery and the people buried there.
My research in the cemetery continues, but now I have expanded my work to include other historical projects. My current career as a civil designer has allowed me to participate in several historical projects throughout San Diego County. I have been fortunate to contribute my mapping skills for two archaeological projects conducted by San Diego State University; the Nate Harrison project on Palomar Mountain and the Whaley House dig in Old Town San Diego. I have also mapped the historic cemetery at Ballena, Ca.
Along the way I began to give presentations to various groups such as historical societies, archaeological groups, and schools. On a trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, I hired a private guide to tour me around the battlefield. It was a remarkable experience. It is this experience that I hope to impart to others who share an interest in history. Julian’s history has been portrayed in a variety of ways. It has been romanticized, exaggerated, and fabricated and everything in between. Julian history needs none of these antics to be interesting. Julian’s history is extraordinary, and the people who made it are no less compelling.
Julian’s history, is a story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. How they did them and why they did them is what I strive to understand. History is so much more than dates and places. It is a human story, a story I hope to see through their eyes.