Enos T. and Rachel Mendenhall were married in 1848 and had 9 children. The daughters helped their mother run a hotel in Colfax, California.  Enos T Mendenhall came to Palomar in 1869 where their sons joined him to work with their father, mainly in the cattle business. 

At one point, the family owned approximately 12,000 acres in the area.  On the top of Palomar Mountain they first homesteaded what is now Mendenhall Valley (the east end still in the family), Love Valley (now National Forest), the Will Valley (still still owned by family), and even subdivided the "Campsites" in which is now the residential area of Crestline Road.

They also had a ranch at the foot of the mountain they called Rancho Portereo, now referred to as the Cuca Ranch across from Oak Knoll. Another property they called the 'Hermitage" was located at the top of the old Guejito grade where Jensen's Health Ranch is now located.

Two seasons of beauty! 138 years after Enos T. Mendenhall first came to Palomar, the Mendenhall Valley is still one of the most beautiful views from Canfield Road.

Meanwhile the Bergman Family had also been in the area since the mid 1800's. Orlando Bergman, known as "Arlie" asked for Annie Mendenhall's hand in marriage several times. He finally captured her heart and they were married in 1917 and lived in Aguanga on the northerly side of Palomar.

Well liked and respected cattle ranchers, they had four children: Ray, Arlie, Esther, and Carl who is known as 'Wog' on the Mountain. The four siblings attended Founder's Day in Colfax along with about 65 other Mendenhalls and Bergmans.

Click on the links for some history of founders of Palomar Mountain.  (We should have a 'Founder's Day'!!!)  We welcome any corrections, additions, and more links that tie in to this great mountain.


Bonnie Phelps
Editor, Palomar Mountain News since 1998