Guide to the Stuart Family Mount Laguna Collection MS 218

Finding aid prepared by Aimee Santos
Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.
San Diego History Center Document Collection
1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA, 92101
January 24, 2012

Title: Stuart Family Mount Laguna Collection
Identifier/Call Number: MS 218
Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 2.0 Linear feet (4 boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1915-1995
Abstract: This collection contains personal and business papers pertaining to the Stuart family of Mount Laguna from 1915 to 1995. The collection includes personal correspondence, lodge and cabin rentals and sales, and papers regarding their involvement in the Mount Laguna Post Office, Mount Laguna Improvement Association and Mount Laguna Protective Association.
creator: Stuart family

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Carrier’s Route Directory and Address Book cover partially detached from binding, as well as some pages completely detached from binding.

Preferred Citation

Stuart Family Mount Laguna Collection, MS 218, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Aimee Santos on January 24, 2012.
Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research. Original photographs previously separated to the SDHC Photograph Collection.

Conditions Governing Use

The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

Biographical / Historical Notes

Arthur Clay Stuart was born in Carthage, Missouri. He quit school after the sixth grade then left home at the age of thirteen. Despite his early departure from school, daughter Sue Martin expressed that “he read everything he got his hands on.” Eventually he would come to California during the depression to seek work. In 1936, Clay found employment with the Works Progress Administration Forest Service and was sent to a remote tent cabin in Mount Laguna, located in the Cleveland National Forest, to build a water system. Mrs. Ruth Marie Stuart followed as soon as she could. One of the original families in the area, Clay and Ruth made it home for the next fifty years. They were considered pioneers, devoting their time to develop and improve Mount Laguna.
In 1942, Clay bought the Laguna Mountain Lodge store and the Post Office building. In time he owned the Laguna Mountain Lodge, the Blue Jay Lodge, and the Pine House Café. He also ran the Blue Jay Dine and Dance Lounge, and Pine House Dining room and recreation center. Ruth, who was a licensed real estate broker, helped run the Lodge. She also served as Postmaster for the Mount Laguna Post Office from January 1942 to October 1965. Clay would serve as Postmaster from October 1965 to June 1972.
Clay was involved in the Mount Laguna Improvement Association, also known as the Burnt Rancheria – El Centro Improvement Association, which was responsible for the development and implementation of a water pipeline. The pipeline became known to the community as the “miracle well” because it brought a reliable source of water to the area. Clay also took part in the construction of the Mount Laguna Community Church, a one-room school house. For fifteen years, he served as chairman on the board of directors for the Mountain Empire Electric Company Rural Electrification Administration (REA). For an equal amount of time, Clay served as trustee and chairman on the board of the Mountain Empire School District. In the 1950s and early 1960s, he was chairman of the San Diego County Committee for School Reorganization. At different times, Clay and Ruth acted as secretary for the Mount Laguna Protective Association which dealt with electricity and the construction of the Laguna Highway.
Clay and Ruth lived with their two children above the Mount Laguna Lodge until Clay went into retirement and sold all his property in 1967.

Scope and Content

This collection contains personal and business papers pertaining to the Stuart family of Mount Laguna dated from 1915 to 1995. Significant documents include records of cabin sales and rentals as well as papers demonstrating daily functions of the Mount Laguna Post Office. There are also records from the Mount Laguna Improvement Association, responsible for drafting and operation of the water pipeline, and Mount Laguna Protective Association, involved in electricity and construction of the Laguna highway, including lists of permittees and subscribers, correspondence and finances.


Collection is arranged into five series:
Series I: Stuart Family Personal Papers
Series II: Laguna Mountains Lodge and Cabins
Series III: Mount Laguna Post Office
Series IV: Mount Laguna Improvement Association
Series V: Mount Laguna Protective Association
Items in each series are arranged by subject.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number 990601A.

Separated Materials

Original photographs separated to the SDHC Photograph Collection, Accession number 2002/050.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Blue Jay Dine and Dance Lounge.
Blue Jay Lodge.
Burnt Rancheria – El Centro Improvement Association.
Cleveland National Forest (Agency : U.S.).
Laguna Mountain Lodge.
Mount Laguna Community Church.
Mount Laguna Improvement Association.
Mount Laguna Protective Association.
Mountain Empire Electric Company.
Mountain Empire School District.
Pine House Cafe.
Pine House Recreation Center.
San Diego County Committee for School Reorganization.
Stuart family
Stuart, Arthur Clay
Stuart, Ruth Marie
United States. Works Progress Administration.
Cleveland National Forest (Calif.)
Mount Laguna (Calif.)
Mountains -- California
REA bulletin
Real property
San Diego (Calif.)


Series I: Stuart Family Personal Papers

Box-folder 1:1

Correspondence, 1968-1972 and undated

Box-folder 1:2

Address book, 1972-1979

Box-folder 1:3

Loose addresses, undated

Box-folder 1:4

Newspaper clippings, 1967-1995


Series II: Laguna Mountains Lodge and Cabins

Box-folder 1:5

Cabin and trailer owners, 1939 and undated

Box-folder 1:6

Cabin sales and rentals, 1948-1956

Box-folder 1:7

Finances, 1942-1945

Box-folder 1:8

Cabin rental request correspondence, 1947-1953 and undated

Box-folder 1:9

Photographs (copies), 1915-1942 and undated


Series III: Mount Laguna Post Office

Box-folder 1:10

"History of Mount Laguna Post Office" by Ruth Stuart, 1942

Box-folder 1:11

List of Postmasters, 1920 August 4-1991 January 24

Box-folder 1:12

Oaths of Post Office carriers and employees, 1933 June 28-1941 August 15 and undated

Box-folder 1:13

Inspections 1933-1940

Box-folder 1:14

Correspondence with Post Office Department, Washington, 1933 January 24-1944 January 13

Box-folder 1:15

Correspondence with Post Office Department, San Francisco, 1933 June 20-1944 March 11

Box-folder 1:16

Correspondence with the United States Department of Commerce, 1933 and undated

Box-folder 1:17

Correspondence with the American Surety Company of New York, Star Route Proposal, Bond and Oath, 1932 July 2-1934 August 27 and undated

Box-folder 1:18

Correspondence with the National Recovery Administration, 1933 and undated

Box-folder 1:19

Correspondence with the Postmasters’ Supply Company, 1933 June 29-1934 April 23

Box-folder 1:20

Notices and bulletins, 1932-1940 and undated


"The Postal Bulletin," April 14, 1934 (in Oversive Collections D3)
Notice: "Do you know: Parcel Post Service..." (in Oversize Collections D3)
Notices (4): Change in postal rates for Argentina; Conditions fabricated gold may be exported; Conditions silver or fabricated silver may be exported; and "Amendments to Postal Laws and Regulations" (in Oversize Collections D3)
Box-folder 1:21

San Diego Post Office contacts, 1935

Box-folder 1:22

Postmaster's Account Book, 1930 April 1-1933 June 29

Box-folder 1:23

Cash Book, 1931 April 20-1933 June 1

Box-folder 1:24

Postmaster's Account and Cash Book, 1933 May-1935 July 1

Box-folder 1:25

Postmaster’s Account and Cash Book, 1935 July 1-1936 June 30

Box-folder 1:26

Postmaster’s Account and Cash Book, 1936 July 1-1937 December 31

Box-folder 1:27

Postmaster’s Account and Cash Book, 1938 January 1-1939 June 30

Box-folder 1:28

Postmaster’s Account and Cash Book, 1939 July 1-1940 June 30

Box-folder 1:29

Postmaster's Account and Cash Book, 1940 July 1-1941 June 30

Box-folder 1:30

Stamp invoices, 1931 January 1-1942 March 31

Box-folder 2:1

Adjusted service bonds invoices and receipts, 1936

Box-folder 2:2

Remittance letters, 1934 March 31-1944 March 31

Box-folder 2:3

Certificates of Deposit of Surplus Funds, 1942 January 13-1944 March 25

Box-folder 2:4

Requisitions, 1935 October 1-1940 May 6

Box-folder 2:5

Window Registration Book, 1931 July 28-1937 June 12

Box-folder 2:6

Bills for box rent, 1928 May 15-1935 January 1

Box-folder 2:7

Bills for box rent, 1935 January 2-1936 September 25

Box-folder 2:8

Bills for box rent, 1936 September 24-1940 April 26

Box-folder 2:9

Register of Money Orders Issued, 1931 March 1-1941 January 23

Box-folder 2:10

Money order records, 1931-1945


Money order stubs
Application for Domestic Money Order
List of Paid Money Orders
Defective Money Orders Returned
Box-folder 2:11

Sender's receipt for insured mail, 1937 September 31-1942 December 5

Box-folder 2:12

Record and receipts of C.O.D. Parcels, 1931-1935 and undated

Box-folder 2:13

Coupons for Paying Office, 1934-1942 and undated

Box-folder 2:14

Special deliveries records, 1933-1935 and undated


"Records of Articles for Special Delivery" (in Oversize Collections D3)
Box-folder 2:15

Cancellations at Mount Laguna, 1935 May 20-1937 December 27

Box-folder 2:16

Cancellations at Mount Laguna, 1940 July 1-1942 January 23

Box-folder 2:17

Cancellations at Mount Laguna, 1942 January 26-1943 October 31

Box-folder 2:18

Change of address requests, 1933 June 28-1948 July 23 and undated

Box-folder 3:1

Carriers’ Route Directory - names and addresses, 1937-1950

Box-folder 3:2

Names and addresses, 1950-1962

Box-folder 3:3

Miscellaneous postal services and correspondence, 1928-1945


Receipt for registered article
Receipt between outgoing and incoming postmasters
Withholding tax report 1944
Registry dispatch receipt cards
Motor vehicle tax stamps
Post office supplies list
Correspondence and forms regarding improper treatment or loss of mail
Missing person notice
Telegram regarding service route
Box-folder 3:4

Miscellanea, 1933-1934 and undated

Scope and Content

Automobile insurance correspondence
Probation system notice
"The California District Postmaster," March 1934
Cards labeled "Mount Laguna Calif..."
Blank unemployment response forms

Series IV: Mount Laguna Improvement Association

Box-folder 3:5

Membership lists, 1968-1983

Box-folder 3:6

Members in favor of name change from Burnt Rancheria – El Centro Improvement Association to the Improvement Association, 1950

Box-folder 3:7

Permittees: Burnt Rancheria Tract, 1950

Box-folder 3:8

Permittees: El Centro Tract, 1950

Box-folder 3:9

Permittees: Boiling Springs, 1961

Box-folder 3:10

List of subscribers, undated

Box-folder 3:11

Term Permit – Permission to Use Lands, 1947

Box-folder 3:12

Drafts of water pipeline, undated

Box-folder 3:13

Association correspondence, 1939-1940 and undated

Box-folder 3:14

Correspondence: Subscriptions to the Water Pipeline, 1939-1950

Box-folder 3:15

Correspondence with the United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, 1939-1951

Box-folder 3:16

Construction: Receipts, Invoices, and Statements, 1940-1952

Box-folder 3:17

Checks and stubs, 1947 November 8-1948 June 19

Box-folder 3:18

Checks and stubs, 1948 June 19-July 26

Box-folder 3:19

Checks and stubs, 1948 July 27-1950 August 19

Box-folder 3:20

Checks, 1950 August 25-1951 March 20

Box-folder 3:21

Bank slips and statements, 1948-1951

Box-folder 3:22

Association employee hours worked, 1947

Box-folder 4:1

Association employee pay stubs, 1947-1950

Box-folder 4:2

Photographs (copies), 1957


Series V: Mount Laguna Protective Association

Box-folder 4:3

Record book, 1934 July 1-1942 May 30


Special Use Permittees
Constitution and By-Laws
Meeting Minutes
Accounts Received and Paid
Box-folder 4:4

List of Special Use Permittees, 1935-1962

Box-folder 4:5

List of Special Use Permittees, undated

Box-folder 4:6

Rural Electrification Administration (REA) Project Subscribers, 1940-1941

Box-folder 4:7

Special meeting attendance roster, undated

Box-folder 4:8

Meeting minutes, 1940-1947 and undated

Box-folder 4:9

Meeting announcements, 1939-1941 and undated

Box-folder 4:10

Meeting report announcements, 1939-1940

Box-folder 4:11

Correspondence: meeting invitations, 1935-1942

Box-folder 4:12

Correspondence: membership, 1935-1939 and undated

Box-folder 4:13

Correspondence: internal, 1939-1945

Box-folder 4:14

Correspondence with the United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, 1936-1941

Box-folder 4:15

Correspondence: REA and electricity, 1935-1941 and undated

Box-folder 4:16

Correspondence: Laguna Highway, 1935-1950

Box-folder 4:17

Congressional Bill to add land to the Cleveland National Forest, 1939 January 3-1940 February 17

Box-folder 4:18

"Mount Laguna Protective Association Financial Statement," 1939 August 22-1945 August 25

Box-folder 4:19

Financial correspondence, 1940 April 1-June 19

Box-folder 4:20

Membership dues and records, 1947 August 24-1948 August 9 and undated

Box-folder 4:21

Receipts, 1940 February 20-July 12


Office supplies
Used piano bench
Electrical service
Box-folder 4:22

Newspaper clippings, 1936 February 2-1940 December 2

Box-folder 4:23

Photograph (copy), 1970 October

Box-folder 4:24

Miscellanea, 1936 February 4-1942 September 19


Blank forms of Application for Membership and for Electric Service
Correspondence regarding tuning and repairs to piano
Mountain Empire Electric newsletter, January 1941