U. S. Mission Trail / The Mission Trail Today - The Spanish Missions in California
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Select photographs of my many visits to The Missions of the United States South and Southwest built by Spain and Mexico between 1565 and 1823.
All photographs taken by Kenneth A. Larson. All rights reserved. © 2008 - 2013.

Explanation.

#1, San Diego de Alcala

Photography Gallery

Mission Dam

San Diego
Mission
Main Page
Grounds
Grounds
Church
Church
Other Buildings
Other Buildings
Exhibits
Exhibits
Archeological Excavation
Archeological Excavation
Garden
Garden
Mission Dam
Mission Dam
Surrounding Area
Surrounding Area
Original Site - Presidio Hill
Original Site
Presidio Hill
About six miles upriver from Mission San Diego are the remains of the San Diego Mission Dam. The Dam site is now in Mission Trails Regional Park along Father Junipero Serra Trail, off Mission Gorge Road.

I found an accont of a dam "built three miles above the mission, a stone wall 250 feet long, 16 feet high and 10 feet thick was covered in cement. A tiled aqueduct, based on stones buried in cement, carried a stream of water a foot deep and two feet wide. This was the first irrigation system in the Western region."

The first time I visited San Diego Mission Dam was on January 11, 2004, shortly after the devastating fires that swept through San Diego that season. Most of Mission Trails Regional Park was closed and I was only allowed to go as far as the dam. I returned on May 14, 2006 and the park was open and there were hickers everywhere enjoying the many miles of hicking and bicycle trails. This time, I was able to hike to the overlook on the other side which I had seen from below the time before.

Photo Date: 5-14-06.
Missions Dam and Flume
After many attempts dating back to 1774 to provide a reliable source of water for crops and livestock for Mission San Diego de Alcala, a dam and flume system was finished between 1813 and 1816 by Indian laborers and franciscan Missionaries to divert water of the San Diego River for a distance of 6 miles. The Aqueduct system continued in existance until 1831 when constant flooding caused the dam and flume to fall into disrepair. They were not repaired due to secularization of the missions.
California Registered Historical Landmark No. 52.
First Registered Dec. 6, 1932. Plaque placed by the State Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with Mission Trails Regional Park, City of San Diego, and Squibob Chapter, E Clampus Vitus, May 2, 1992.
Plaque
Photo Date: 1-11-04.
The engraving says:

Old Mission Dam
Built 1813-1816
A part of the first permanent irrigation project by Padres and Indians in California. Marker placed by the San Diego Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. May 17th, 1941

Photo Date: 5-14-06.
Another plaque says,
Old Mission Dam
Built by Kumeyaay Indian Labor, under the direction of Franciscan Priests, between 1813 and 1816, to store water for the mission San diego de Alcala, located two and one-half miles downstream, the dam and flume are regarded as the first major irrigation-engineering project on the Pacific Coast of the United States.

The dam has been restored in several sections in years past, the original dam was approximately two hundred and twenty-four feet long, twelve feet thick, fourteen feet high and it is set on solid rock. The original dam created a reservoir with a capacity of fourteen acre-feet of water.

This dam is designated a City of San Diego Historic Site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark.

Photo Date: 5-14-06.
Mission Dam
Photo Date: 1-11-04.
Mission Dam
Photo Date: 1-11-04.
Mission Dam
Photo Date: 1-11-04.
Mission Dam
Photo Date: 1-11-04.
Mission Dam
Photo Date: 1-11-04.
Mission Dam
Photo Date: 1-11-04.

Photo Date: 5-14-06.

Photo Date: 5-14-06.

Photo Date: 5-14-06.

Photo Date: 5-14-06.

Photo Date: 5-14-06.

Photo Date: 5-14-06.

Photo Date: 5-14-06.

Photo Date: 5-14-06.

Photo Date: 5-14-06.

Photo Date: 5-14-06.

Photo Date: 5-14-06.

Photo Date: 5-14-06.

Photo Date: 5-14-06.
San Diego River
The mission was built aside the San Diego River. 1-11-04.
San Diego
Mission
Main Page
Grounds
Grounds
Church
Church
Other Buildings
Other Buildings
Exhibits
Exhibits
Archeological Excavation
Archeological Excavation
Garden
Garden
Mission Dam
Mission Dam
Surrounding Area
Surrounding Area
Original Site - Presidio Hill
Original Site
Presidio Hill

Sources:

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This page last updated: Sunday, 11-Aug-2013 02:25:55 EDT
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This page last updated: Sunday, 11-Aug-2013 02:25:55 EDT
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