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Story and photos by Robert Gehr

August 29, 2014 (El Cajon)--Built in 1876 by Amaziah Lord Knox, this structure was a hotel and residence combined. It was located near what is now Main St. & Magnolia Avenue in downtown El Cajon. The place provided a comfortable place for weary travelers to spend the night when traversing back and forth from the Julian gold mines to San Diego.

The existing building is what remains of the original seven room, two-story hotel, which featured an indoor kitchen. Additionally, there were corrals for keeping horses.

A guided tour will show the visitor just how small the rooms are, especially when climbing up the very narrow staircase to the second floor. Yet function is obvious.

Each room is filled with period items from that era, and will give one a glimpse into what living was like in those days - without today’s modern conveniences. No indoor plumbing, no bathroom, no air conditioner--you get the idea.

The museum also includes artifacts from Native Americans, Mexicans and settlers who frequented the region in bygone days.

I have visited the place several times, and find it very interesting.

The Knox House Museum is located at 280 N. Magnolia Ave. in El Cajon.  It is open  Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.during the first four Saturdays each month.

For more information, visit

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