The McGinty Mansion has stood in skeletal ruins since 2007 when one of the many wildfires we experienced in San Diego wiped it out. Since then, it has slowly rotted away with man accelerating the process through vandalism and other forms of destruction. Up until recently, this home was a complete mystery to us. Who owned it? What were their stories? Was it a family compound or used for something more sinister? Perhaps it is the state that it is in today that would bring anyone’s thoughts to dark places.
As it turns out, these homes were once a very special place for one family and I am happy to finally shed the truth. The family that grew up here called their property the Martin House. The main house was here when they purchased it in 1967 and after that Bernard Martin continued building. The Martin’s lived here for 30 years and left in 1997. They were under the assumption that the house was bought, sold and still being loved, but sadly, that was the furthest from the truth.
When the Martin’s lived here, they had horses that were well-loved and taken care of and a horse corral which still stands on the property today. There was once a beautiful stained glass window in the main house that said “The Martin’s”, which is now shattered to pieces. Once thriving with plant life, the main house even had a tree growing inside the house that went through the roof. At the base of the tree was a small fish pond. They once had a grand organ inside the main house as well.
No one can explain the property better than the son himself. If you are intrigued by this home, take the time to watch this heartfelt video of him returning to his beloved family compound and telling stories of happier times:
The hike offers great views almost from the getgo. Make sure to hike in cooler weather as it gets HOT out here and yes, the rattlers do come out full-force!
You will most likely notice this chimney during your climb up the mountain. It turns out it’s been in ruins since at least the 60’s. The old homeowners of the Martin House believe the owner was once a watermelon farmer who lost his house in a fire before they had moved in. There used to be a reservoir over here as well which is not in our photos as I did not learn about it until much later:
And we made it!