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Ashley (George A.) Collection
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Collection Details
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  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: San Diego Natural History Museum Research Library
    Title: George A. Ashley Collection
    creator: Ashley, George A. (George Alfred), 1904-1992
    Identifier/Call Number: LA.2018.0905
    Physical Description: 1 Linear Feet
    Date (inclusive): circa 1900-1988
    Abstract: 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.
    Container: 92

    Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open to researchers by appointment. Contact the Research Library Director, San Diego Natural History Museum.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Copyright may be reserved. Consult the San Diego Natural History Research Library Director for more information.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], George A. Ashley Collection (LA.2018-0905). Research Library, San Diego Natural History Museum.

    Biographical / Historical

    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.
    Known as one of San Diego County's pioneer miners and gemstone cutters, Ashley opened a room in his house for mineral displays and hosted school groups for lectures and tours of one of his mines. During the last 40 years he invented machines which turned blocks of gemstones into polished bowls earning him numerous local and national awards. Most of his bowls are carved gem materials found in western states with the exception of some bowls made of gems from other countries. Ashley donated his carved bowl collection and other items to the San Diego Natural History Museum on December 8th, 1990. He is believed to have died on May 31, 1992 of apparent heart failure in Pala, California.

    Scope and Contents

    The collection, spanning 1900-1988, consists of photographic prints, negatives and memorabilia compiled by George A. Ashley. The files in the collection contain 30 photographs in total; the majority are black and white prints with descriptive captions. The collection primarily documents minerals and mines in San Diego County. People featured in the collection include Josie Scripps and Frederick Sickler.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Mines and mineral resources
    San Diego County (Calif.)
    Sickler, Frederick M. (Frederick Marcellus), 1879-1963
    Scripps, Josephine L. (Josephine Louise), 1910-1992