Smith Pioneer Cemetery & Homestead
This late-19th-century cemetery is on top of a hill between the town of
Poway (formerly a rural settlement and stagecoach stop, now a suburb
northeast of San Diego) and the old Goodan Ranch (now the Sycamore
Canyon Preserve county park). There is a modern chain-link fence around
it, and a tombstone that appears to be mid-to-late-20th-century giving
five names and no further information:
Eliza A. Casky
Mary Winfree Campbell
Rev. Michal O. Smith
Michal O. Smith, Jr.
According to the 2008 book "Cemeteries of San Diego County" by D. Caterino and S. Mallios (ISBN 978-0-7385-5821-9), pp. 53-54, those buried here were pioneers who came from Kentucky in 1884 and built a house they named Longview. The cemetery is named for Rev. Michal Smith, who owned this part of the land and is buried here. The last burial was that of his sister, Nora Scroggs, who died "at the end of the 1800s." .
The "findagrave.com" website calls this the "Poway Creek Cemetery" and has a slightly different list of the people buried here from what the marker itself says, at least two of which are obviously errors because they are much more recent deaths and are probably people actually buried in Poway's modern Dearborn Cemetery instead.
The grave site is fenced off with a small plaque with the names of those interred within:
Beautiful, rolling hills behind. It is out yonder where the homestead lays!
A small hike out into the Sycamore canyon will take you to the homestead ruins that once housed those who are buried in the Smith cemetery. The house was built in the late 1880's and was known as the Winfrey/Smith homestead up until 1908 when it was burned down by apparent bank robbers! The home got its name "Longview" because of the endless view of sprawling hills, which was literally a long view.
In 1913 a man name Joe Sylvester purchased the property and owned it until 1940. It has since been known as the Swanner Ranch, which was allegedly named after a man named Charles Swanner who was an attorney that purchased the property after Sylvester. Okay then!
Special thanks to Allison Garton & Savoring the Sweet Life for the tips on these spots!
On our way to the Longview ruins, we came upon some other ruins maybe 100 yards away. I really wish I knew the story on it!
I love studying the foundation up close:
Okay, let's find the main home!
This is the back of the chimney, which was used to sweep the ashes out! Notice there's already graffiti. :(
The newest addition to our family: Sage!
There were even more ruins nearby! I wish I could get my hands on some photos of it before it was in shambles! Rumor is there are some photos out there!
THEN, my partner noticed something on top of the chimney. He said "Is that a model plane?" Sure enough it was! I asked the people of facebook how old they thought it was and here is a great response I got: "1950-1959 turboprop judging by the tail. Great find!!!! Bigger than a dc-3. Canada had a large turbo prop… haha all those years making plane models paid off." Works for me. How cool!
We also found an old toilet seat. :P
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