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Guide to the Stuart Family Mount Laguna Collection MS 218
MS 218  
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Collection Details
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  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Biographical / Historical Notes
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Separated Materials

  • 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    The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials.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.)