Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
Pacific States
California Soledad

Soledad, California

The first permanent European residents at Soledad were Spanish missionaries who arrived in 1791.

The Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad was founded in 1791, the thirteenth of the 21 missions founded in upper California by the Franciscan order.  

"The acequia (aqueduct) was constructed between 1795 and 1801. 1795-96 is most likely due to increase in agricultural production in 1796. It brought water southeast from the Arroyo Seco to irrigate the crops at Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad. Historical accounts have recorded various lengths of the irrigation canal that served the Soledad Mission lands, however it appears that the original canal was approximately five miles in length. In 1816 it was augmented with another ten-mile section bringing the total to fifteen miles.
The acequia entered the Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad district from the east and ran parallel to El Camino Real. Similar to El Camino Real, none of the acequia is visible above ground and is buried and/or obscured under new construction and district alterations." (2014) 

The mission water works fell into disrepair in the 19th Century. 

Local resident Bey Wescott built the Soledad Water Works in the early 20th Century (or earlier). 

The City of Soledad was incorporated in 1921 and bought the Soledad Water Works in the early 1930s.

Water is currently provided by the City of Soledad.

1933 Joseph U. and Stanley B. Wescott authorized to transfer to city of Soledad, Monterey County, the Soledad Water Works.  Mar 27, 1933.  California Railroad Commission Decisions, 38:961 (1933)

1947 "Horton Elevated Tank 'rounds out' Soledad's Water Distribution System", Water Works Engineering, 100:383 (April 2, 1947)

2014 Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad Historic District.  The aqueduct is described on page 12.

© 2015 Morris A. Pierce