California’s past is rich with so many cultures contributing to its simple beginnings. When the Spanish Missionaries settle here, they brought with them the first government. When the Missions found themselves abandon by Spain, they soon went into decay. The lands were taken over by the new free Spanish Don’s. El Cajon, meaning in Spanish, “Big Box Valley” was no exception to this rule. The whole El Cajon Valley was granted to Dona Maria Antonio Estudillo in 1845 that was once part of Mission San Diego de Alcalá. Although this vast land was owned by the family they lived in Spain. After the Civil War the area began to grow rapidly. In 1868, San Francisco entrepreneur, Isaac Lankershim bought up much of the land. After many years of litigation due to the vast amount of squatter’s, he was able to sell land in parcels and soon it was discovered that the soil was so rich, just about anything could grow here successfully.
By 1869, this area like so many others became popular with gold miners passing thru for supplies and searching for their next dig. Amaziah Knox moved here and was hired to manage Lankershim’s wheat farm and build him a house. For his services, he was paid a wage and given ten acres of land of his choice. He chose what is near Main Street and Magnolia Ave and built himself a hotel and corrals by 1876 to services the needs of so many travelers. It was here that was the first post office with him as the first postmaster.