The George A. Ashley Collection consists of photographic material documenting minerals and mines in San Diego County. The
collection includes photographic prints, negatives and memorabilia compiled by George Ashley, a noted San Diego County miner
and lapidary artist.
George Alfred Ashley was born on November 24, 1904 near the city of Orange in Orange County, California. He moved to Ramona
when he was 11 years old and lived there for 20 years. He first became interested in minerals when he was in 4th grade when
some of his fellow students brought quartz and garnet crystals to school. George quit school by the end of his freshman year
of high school and instead focused on doing ranch work, cutting stones and making jewelry. He and a Ramona machinist designed
and built a faceting head for cutting gemstones. Ashley eventually learned to cut Mesa Grande and Ramona tourmaline. He met
Louis Spaulding, owner of the Little Three mine in Ramona, and re-discovered the McFall garnet mine situated several miles
southwest of Ramona. In 1947, he bought the entire Hiriart Hill including the San Pedro, Anita, White Queen, Naylor, Katerina,
El Molino, and Vandenberg mines located in Pala, California. This made him the dominant force in San Diego County morganite
and kunzite mining.