Old Highway 80 – Buckman Springs Ruins, near San Diego, CA

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Amos Buckman arrived in San Diego in 1872.  A few years later, he heard of mineral springs east of San Diego, and in 1881, he moved to Buckman Springs, where he bottled water and built an eating house, a cabin and a hotel.  The local carbonated water, which was known as lithia water, was advertised as a cure for many ailments.  But the water had high concentrations of silica, iron and salt that gave it  an odd taste and an orange color, making it less appealing to drink.  Amos Buckman passed in 1898, and his daughter Winifred continued the business until 1946.  With disagreements over what to do with the estate, the business was ended.  The remains of the Buckman homestead lie on Old Highway 80 just north of the Buckman Springs Rest Area.

This is all that remains of main building.

Ruins of the Buckman homestead in Buckman Springs, CA. Amos Buckman bottled Lithia water here in the 1880s through the early 1900s. The water never really caught on, and the area faded as Old Highway 80 was replaced by US 8. Photo by Ming Lo.
Ruins of the Buckman homestead in Buckman Springs, CA. Amos Buckman bottled Lithia water here in the 1880s through the early 1900s. The water never really caught on, and the area faded as Old Highway 80 was replaced by US 8. Photo by Ming Lo.

 

Across the street, you can see the foundations of some of the former buildings. 

The foundations of an original Buckman Bottling Plant. Amos Buckman bottled Lithia water here in the 1880s through the early 1900s. The water never really caught on, and the area faded as Old Highway 80 was replaced by US 8. Photo by Ming Lo.
Ruins at Buckman Springs. Amos Buckman bottled Lithia water here in the 1880s through the early 1900s. The water never really caught on, and the area faded as Old Highway 80 was replaced by US 8. Photo by Ming Lo.

 

You can see these marked on the following map courtesy of Google Earth.  The cistern, which I missed, is also marked below.  

The main homestead, the cistern, foundations. Courtesy of Google Earth.

 

just a bit south of these ruins, you can see the remains of the old bottling plant.  

Remains of the Buckman Bottling Plant. Amos Buckman bottled Lithia water here in the 1880s through the early 1900s. The water never really caught on, and the area faded as Old Highway 80 was replaced by US 8. Photo by Ming Lo.
Amos Buckman bottled Lithia water here in the 1880s through the early 1900s. The water never really caught on, and the area faded as Old Highway 80 was replaced by US 8. Photo by Ming Lo.
Amos Buckman bottled Lithia water here in the 1880s through the early 1900s. The water never really caught on, and the area faded as Old Highway 80 was replaced by US 8. Photo by Ming Lo.
Amos Buckman bottled Lithia water here in the 1880s through the early 1900s. The water never really caught on, and the area faded as Old Highway 80 was replaced by US 8. Photo by Ming Lo.
Amos Buckman bottled Lithia water here in the 1880s through the early 1900s. The water never really caught on, and the area faded as Old Highway 80 was replaced by US 8. Photo by Ming Lo.

 

Here’s the bottling plant marked on the map from Google Earth.  Many also like to find the Amos Buckman grave site.  I missed it when I was there, but it’s across the street near the highway where the chain link fence forms a “V”

The bottling plant and the Buckman grave site. Courtesy of Google Earth.

 

As mentioned, the ruins are on Old Highway 80 just north of the Buckman Springs rest stop, and you can see it here on this map.  

Center map
Traffic
Bicycling
Transit

Sources:

http://exploresandiego.weebly.com/the-lonely-grave-of-amos-buckman.html

http://legacy.sandiegouniontribune.com/uniontrib/20080424/news_1ez24buckman.html

 

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