Volcan Mountain Foundation

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San Diego County, California

Ironside Spring

How Did the Volcan Mountain Range Get It's Name?

There are differing sources and possible explanations as to how Volcan Mountain got its name.

Some have said that Volcan is a version of the word volcano and that early settlers thought they saw volcanic rock and ash. This is a little hard to believe as the range is covered with granite not volcanic looking rock. Perhaps a fire had recently occurred, yet we would expect people then to have been more understanding of nature and to know the differences between volcanic ash and fire ash. 

A Times-Advocate article dated 1972 was written on the naming of Volcan Mountain:

In around the year 1844 there was a man named Edward Stokes who was a son in-law of the Mexican land grant owner of Rancho Santa Ysabel, Jose Joaquin Ortega. Stokes and Ortega managed this land around the Mission in Santa Ysabel, as Ortega was a majordomo for a couple of the missions in what we now called San Diego County and knew the lands of the San Diego area.

With the cessation of California to the United States following the Mexican-American War, the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo provided that the land grants would be honored. The land was patented to Ortega and Stokes in 1872. The name of the ranch at that time was Rancho de Santa Ysabel Balcón. It is said by some that if you look at the valley of Santa Ysabel from west to east, the curvature of the mountain looks like a balcony of which the Spanish word is balcón.

On a map around 1860 there was a family said to be living on the mountain by the name of Vaulcan, yet this family name did not turn up on the official records at that time. There is a family living in Mesa Grande today by the name of Vaulcan.

We hope that this introduction explains how Volcan Mountain got its name and inspire more discussion about its history.