El Cajon in Spanish means “The Box”. It was named that since it is “boxed in” with mountains on all sides. It includes the neighborhoods of Fletcher Hills, Rancho San Diego and Bostonia. Each of those neighborhoods is very different with Rancho San Diego being the richest one by far. El Cajon is 14.4 square miles. The medium yearly income is $35,000 to $40,000. El Cajon’s real mark on San Diego was as a resting area for gold miners traveling from the west to the northern area of Julian and back to their families. El Cajon soon constructed hotels for the travelers to stay overnight. From there businesses start to be built for supplies, a Post Office, blacksmith soon joined the area. For the next 70 years the town continued to grow based on the needs of those traveling through its limits. Today, Main Street and Magnolia, the same area the miners stayed overnight, is a bustling street corner of activity lined with stores reminiscent of times gone by. Most of the city’s activities take place along these two streets today such as Classic Car Show, Parades, demonstrations, and community gathering place.
The climate is warm with yearly highs of 88 and lows of 40. It rains an average of 12 inches a year. The total population is just over 100,000 people within the city limits. El Cajon is a high density of residential neighborhoods with shopping centers geared towards the everyday needs of the community.
El Cajon has 17 parks, 7 community centers, 2 libraries and one Performing Arts Center. The East County Performing Arts Center offers seating for 1,200 people to enjoy community programs, touring groups, symphonies, orchestras, plays and concerts. Those who have graced the stage are Rosemary Clooney and the London City Opera as well as George Jones. It was built in 1977 and is well known for its near perfect acoustics.
El Cajon does not have a senior community center currently. However, El Cajon offers a great community to call home. A small town feel can be experienced in the downtown area of El Cajon near Main Street and Madison Avenue. Take in a play at the East County Performing Arts Center or enjoy one of the many parks, shop along Main and Madison or get to know your neighbors through the city’s annual events. It is worth considering as you consider a community to call home.