Sage, earlier known as San Ignacio, had its beginnings as a store and then stop along St. John's Grade, an early road connecting San Jacinto to Temecula. St. John's Grade was named for either Stephen Merritt St. John, who traveled with the Mormon Battalion during the Mexican-American War before settling in San Bernardino in 1851, or his son Stephen Willard St. John, who settled in the area now called St. Johns Canyon.

The elder St. John assisted with a survey of what became St. John's Grade in 1859, when the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors sought to establish a road connecting San Bernardino to the Colorado River. In 1875, John Ticknor opened a store at the location called San Ignacio, thought to be an early Spanish name for a former Cahuilla village. In 1879, he moved to join his son and that same year the San Diego Board of Supervisors officially defined the road as stopping at St. John's House and Ticknor's Store. By the following year, the name St. John's Grade was adopted. San Ignacio subsequently developed as a small hamlet, changing its name to Sage around 1891.

Today, little Sage remains a quiet, oft-forgotten community with a rural lifestyle. A few adobe buildings stand in the center of town along Sage Road (old St. John's Grade) and even more foundations and ruins litter a field just to the south. About two miles south of Sage in the hills lies the old San Ignacio School, built 1919 and now a private residence.

I Visited Sage