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El Cajon is a city located midway between the beautiful beaches of San Diego and the majestic mountains of the county’s most eastern boundaries. The population was 99,478 at the 2010 census and grew to 100,116 in 2011. Nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains, the city has a nickname of "The Big Box". Its name originated similarly, from the Spanish phrase "el cajón", which means "the big box" or "the drawer". El Cajon is bordered by San Diego and La Mesa on the west, Spring Valley on the south, Santee on the north, and unincorporated San Diego County on the east. It includes the neighborhoods of Fletcher Hills, Bostonia, and Rancho San Diego.
El Cajon used to be known as Knox’s Corners but was later renamed. In the year 1845 El Cajon was granted to Maria Antonia. As a New Englander, Amaziah Lord Knox established a hotel there in 1876 so that this area can cater the increasing number of commuters between San Diego and Julian. Located on the Rancho El Cajon land grant, El Cajon was incorporated as a city in 1912.
El Cajon provides a variety of educational opportunities. There are more than twenty elementary schools in this city and a dozen middle/high schools. Grossmont College, Cuyamaca College, and San Diego Christian College are also located in El Cajon.
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