Deep in the mountains of San Diego’s back-country lays a little slice of forgotten history: a small memorial/gravesite for 6 early pioneers. The bodies have since been exhumed and now lay in a private graveyard in Campo. The memorial remains though. The families who were buried here once called this beautiful area home where they raised livestock and lived the simple life.
One of those people that lived here was Archibald Campbell. Check out this newspaper article where he recounts the great flood that was allegedly caused by rainmaker Charles Hatfield. Archibald was a well-respected man in his community, immigrating from Britain when he was young in search of land.
He was already well-equipped with the knowledge of stock-raising and used this skill when he moved to America. Campbell and his friend William Chilwell ended up moving here in 1876 where they successfully raised cattle and sheep and raised their families.
Chilwell’s fateful end happened October 1888 after being thrown off one of his cattle and breaking his neck. He was the first of 6 descendants to be buried in this small knoll.
After Chilwell’s death, Archibald ended up marrying his wife, Louisa. Archibald continued ranching in the mountains with Chilwell’s son-in-law Trevor Kemp, who was also buried out here. A few dozen others lived in this meadow over the years as well as Kumeyaay natives.
If you make your way out here, look for the small memorial with the marble headstone that reads: “If you seek their monument, look around.”
Those that were buried in this small cemetery:
William Chilwell1847 -1888
Louisa Hunt Clark Chilwell Campbell 1855-1929
Nellie Chilwell Kemp 1887-1966
Trevor Langston Kemp 1892-1989
Flora Chilwell Money 1884-1972
Personal Experience: This is such a beautiful area to explore. I am yet to see it in springtime when the meadows are green, but the yellow is still as striking. There are a ton of hiking trails out here allowing you full-day adventures or several hours.