Jamul (which is pronounced “ha-MOOL”) is a census-designated place (CDP) in San Diego County, California, located about 20 minutes from downtown San Diego in the foothills of the Laguna mountains. Jamul is originally part of a Mexican land grant granted in 1831 by Governor Manuel Victoria to Pío Pico, the last Mexican Governor of California.[1] The grant extended from present day Jamul southeast to Dulzura.[2]

In 1837 the rancho was attacked by Diegueno Indians over a land dispute resulting in the death of four defenders as well as the kidnapping of two young women who were never heard from again.[3]  Following that episode, the rancho was largely abandoned, attracting a series of squatters until 1852, when another episode of violence resulted in the squatters being driven off the ranch.

By 1854, the rancho was being homesteaded by Captain Henry Stanton Burton while he served as commander of the Post at Mission San Diego de Alcalá. However, it is not clear that the land was ever transferred properly originally.

According to an affidavit made by María Burton and filed in the United States district court in 1880, Burton purchased the interests of Lopez and Crosthwaite in 1853; and the interests of Richard and William E. Rust in 1854.In 1867, nearly twelve years after the claim had been rejected, an appearance was entered in the United States district court on behalf of General Burton. In 1870, María Burton arranged for Pío Pico to declare that he had sold all his interest to Burton. In 1875, Nellie Burton, a daughter of Henry Stanton Burton and María Burton, married Miguél de Pedrorena (1844–1882). In 1876, the grant for Rancho Jamul was patented to the heirs of Henry S. Burton (María A. Burton, and her son, Henry H. Burton and daughter, Nellie Burton Pedrorena).

The rancho was used as collateral for mortgages, and numerous claims were filed against the estate and the litigation continued for years. The estate of Henry S. Burton was not settled until 1891.

The title changed hands repeatedly, until in 1915, John D. Spreckels sold to Rancho Jamul to Louis J. Wilde.