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Roads Complement the History of Ramona

Many of the roads leading in and out of town are tied in with history of the area or the pioneers who were the early residents.

Mussey Grade was once the main thoroughfare for leaving town, offering the only egress going west from Ramona. The wagon road traversed to the town of Foster at the bottom of the grade. From there, travelers could make their way on into Lakeside and San Diego.

There was talk about extending the train tracks from Foster to Ramona, but nature took its course before that could happen. The railroad came to an abrupt end when the 1916 flood washed out the tracks. Foster was located where the San Vicente Dam stands today. When the dam was built, the town ceased to exist, along with most of the road. The reservoir soon covered the lower end of Mussey Grade.

On the other end of town, heading toward Julian, Ransom Hill Lane connects to the highway. It is a short lane, going off at an angle. It definitely brings to mind the name of the longtime Ransom family, but in particular, it was named for Eugene “Pete” Ransom.

His brothers, Robert and Stanley Ransom, arrived in Ramona in 1924 from Illinois and, at the advice of their father, Paul D. Ransom, purchased Bargar’s Lumber Company. Pete Ransom joined his brothers nine years later and went to work in the .

Pamo Road goes into Pamo Valley, named for the Pamau Indian tribe, shortened along the way to Pamo. The tribe had the largest Indian village in the county at one time. In the 1930s, Pamo Ranch was 1,460 acres strong and had a For Sale sign for $80,000.

San Vicente Road used to lead to several large ranches in the eastern section of Ramona. Now it leads to , a planned development that came into existence in the early 1970s. Street names in Country Estates have a history of their own, which Ramona Patch will cover in a later history column.

Research for this article was done at Ramona Library and in archival copies of Ramona News. Information also was found In the book Off the Main Road by Charles R. LeMenager.

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