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The first permanent European residents were Spanish missionaries who arrived in Lompoc in 1787. Lompoc was incorporated as a city in 1888.
The La Purisima Mission was established in 1787 on the southwest corner of present-day Lompoc. An aqueduct was completed in 1808 to bring water to the mission from San Miguelito Canyon. An earthquake in 1812 destroyed the mission, and a new mission was built northeast of Lompoc. The second mission also had an aqueduct that delivered water.
The City of Lompoc built a gravity water system in 1890.
Water is currently provided by the City of Lompoc.
1897 "Lompoc," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 4.
Mission Vieja de la Purísima on the Map, by Julia G. Costello,
Proceedings of the Society for
California Archaeology, 1994. Vol 7, pages 67·85.
Page 80: Water was brought to the Mission from nearby San Miguelito Canyon in an aqueduct completed between 1804 and 1808. This open ditch was in use through the turn of the century, and portions of it are still extant along the hillside. Water must first have been conveyed to a reservoir above the Mission to the south, from where it could be released either to the agricultural fields or to the residential area. Several remnants of the hillside distribution system were encountered when Santa Clara Drive was developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Water used by Mission residents commonly passed first through a filter house. At Mission Vieja, one covered channel below the filter house likely led down toward the cook house and the plaza pilares and lavandería. A second covered channel would have entered the quadrangle, serving another pilar located in the courtyard. A portion of this second channel was found underlying the 1802 church building, which it must predate. It likely continued on to the soldiers' residences.
Above the filter house, an open ditch carried water south to a small reservoir which served the mission's large walled garden. Completed in 1802, the garden was 183 m square (600 ft), surrounded by an adobe wall capped with tejas. The garden reservoir and wall are included in an 1883 sketch by Henry Chapman Ford.
2007 "Lompoc Water Department," Lompoc Legacy 98:1-7 (March 2007)
The Mission Period (1769–1833) & the Spanish & Mexicans in California
La Purísima Concepción, California Missions Resource Center
© 2015 Morris A. Pierce