This museum in El Cajon in the San Diego area is a gem well-worth investigating. I can’t think of a college this size in the US with a museum attached to it that is this fine. Ruth and I had exhausted every San Diego possibility and were looking for something to do when we discovered it. The drive to its location in Rancho San Diego was no big deal and the welcome was warm. In fact, I was so enchanted by the personal guided tour by Noah that I left with rocks but no notes about what I had seen.
I called Noah who said he would send me information about this campus and the museum, but more than a week has passed and I have not heard back from him. I assume he got busy and had no additional time for the project he proposed. If he sends the info, I will pass it along. In the meantime I hope you learn something about this fine museum and Cuyamaca College. Cuyamaca is a community endeavor in El Cajon with fewer than 2,000 students and a 100% acceptance rate. It seems ethnic, perhaps Native American, but there is nothing about its students on the internet. All I do know is that this museum on the campus is praiseworthy.
Noah gave me a great tour of this museum that was divided into interest areas like archaeology and anthropology while Ruth talked to the staff and bought a bracelet she seldom removes and some rocks. Its Art Wing was especially exceptional. The archaeology wing strives to show how Native Americans lived in the Southwest before Europeans arrived. Noah got into the habit of pointing out special artifacts, like an Aztec Olmec Jadeite Necklace, so I would not miss something important. The anthropology wing was especially rich. Among it headdresses was a Delaware Eagle Feather War Bonnet and the headdress given by the Sioux Nation to Charles Lindbergh in 1927 after he completed the first transatlantic flight alone. There were examples of tomahawks, baby carriers, and robes to examine along with examples of scrimshaw, rattlesnake fetishes, and Kachina dolls.
The natural history wing contained lots of minerals. Its meteorites were both fascinating and the oldest items in this museum. I saw fossils and trilobites and duckbill dinosaur eggs. I saw artifacts that had once been in the La Brea Tar Pits and a 2000 year old jade burial suit from China’s Han Dynasty.
First opened in 1993, this great museum was the achievement of Bernard Lueck. He was a collector from Wisconsin and the source of this museum’s arrowhead collection. The jade burial suit was in the art wing. Also in this interest area and worth seeing were the “Faces of the Global Family”. BY Padre Johnson, these faces took more than 14 years to paint and represent 156 countries of the world. Seeing the Chinese Jade Dragon Ship was like being back in this culture. It had moving sails.
This museum is an exceptional experience.