Museums & History in the Lompoc Valley
The first settlers in the Lompoc Valley were the Chumash Indians. Lompoc is a Chumash word meaning lagoon, and here’s a locals’ tip: it’s pronounced LOM-POKE. The establishment of La Purisima Mission in 1787 marked the earliest European settlement of the Lompoc Valley. The restored mission is now a State Historic Park.
The Lompoc Valley Land Company was formed and incorporated in August of 1874. The Company undertook the settlement of Lompoc Valley as a temperance colony and it was incorporated as a City on August 13, 1888.
Early Lompoc was essentially agricultural, but the community economic and labor base grew and diversified. This was due in part to the establishment and growth of Camp Cooke Army Base, now Vandenberg Air Force Base. In the coming years, the community expects to continue to grow and diversify, while retaining the rich heritage and values characteristic of early Lompoc.
La Purisima Mission State Historic Park
History lives at La Purisima. The most extensively restored mission in the state, visit La Purisima Mission State Historic Park and explore California's heritage. In addition to the restored original buildings, the nearly 2,000 acre park is home to 25 miles of hiking trails, a modern Visitor Center and Exhibit Hall, and livestock.
Visitors are welcome to walk through the buildings and around the grounds or to hike the maintained trails. Equestrians are also welcome, though there are no local horse rentals. The Park is open everyday of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. There is a nominal parking fee and the hours vary with the season. Frequently the park provides a re-creation of life here during the 1820's, when the residents engaged in weaving, pottery making, candle making, blacksmithing, livestock production, and leatherwork. Click here to check the Mission's website for details on special events. The Mission is Located at 2295 Purisima Road.
Established in 1969, the Lompoc Museum documents the archeology and history of the Lompoc Valley and Santa Barbara County. The Museum was established in Lompoc’s former Carnegie Library to display the Clarence Ruth Collection of Chumash and other Native American artifacts. Open Tuesday to Friday 1:00pm - 5:00pm, Saturday and Sunday 1:00pm - 4:00pm and closed Mondays and Holidays.
The Lompoc Museum is located at 200 South H Street.
Lompoc Valley Model Railroad & Historical Society
The Lompoc Valley Model Railroad and Historical Society promotes the hobby of Model Railroading and Railroading in general. They operate a large HO scale layout. Open to the public every Tuesday and Friday from 7 - 9 pm and the following dates:
Saturday & Sunday after the Children's Christmas Parade (Date TBA)
Located at 428 North I Street.
Artesia School House Museum
The Artesia School Museum is a fully restored and furnished one-room country schoolhouse. Built in 1876, Artesia was the first country school in the Lompoc Valley. It remained in constant use until 1961. The historic school building was fully restored and refurbished by the Lompoc Valley Historical Society and the Lompoc Museum with many of its original furnishings and fixtures donated by former students. Through the combined efforts of the Lompoc Museum, the Lompoc Valley Historical Society, and the Lompoc Unified School District, the Artesia School Museum was opened to the public in 1995. A City and County Landmark, Artesia is open to the public the fourth Saturday of every month from 2 - 4 pm.
The School House Museum is located at Chestnut and H Streets.
Cabrillo High School Aquarium
The Cabrillo High School Aquarium began in the Fall of 1986 as a partnership between one student, one teacher, and a local physician/amateur aquarist who agreed to sponsor their project. Today, this unique program enjoys original partnerships among students, teachers, district staff, and members of the business community--locally and nationally. Thousands of visitors, including weekly guided tours for elementary students, have toured our cross-curriculum, hands-on learning laboratory. The program has received the President of the United States' Environmental Youth Award and the California School Boards Assoc. Golden Bell Award. It was recognized on the nationally televised "A Pledge And A Promise Environmental Education Awards" program as the most outstanding Marine Science Education Program. For information about upcoming events and open house dates, please visit the Cabrillo Aquarium Facebook page here.
Located at 4350 Constellation Road.
Visit Cypress Gallery
Founded in 1994 by the Lompoc Valley Art Association, Cypress Gallery showcases the art of over 60 well-known local artists. Art lovers will find a variety of fine art in the Gallery: watercolors, oils, acrylics, pastels, mixed media, photography, ceramics, jewelry, souvenirs, and great gift ideas.
Cypress Gallery is located at 119 East Cypress Avenue.
Tour the Historic Fabing-McKay-Spanne House
The Fabing-McKay Spanne House was built in 1875 and is home to the Lompoc Valley Historical Society. The home was named after the three families who had lived in it and has been fully renovated and furnished in true Victorian style. Although the home is not the typical “painted lady” style Victorian, it has elements typical of the period. There is no fancy gingerbread, turrets or stained glass. This was a Victorian “farmhouse” built for a working family.
The home is open to the public on the fourth Saturday of the month from 10 am to 1 pm. Also open on Mondays and Thursdays from 8:30 am to 11:00 am except major holidays. Special tours are accommodated by prior arrangement by calling (805) 735-4626 and leaving a brief message. There is no charge for admission, but donations are appreciated. Located at 207 North L Street.
Lompoc Mural Walking Tour
"City of Murals in the Valley of Flowers" - Like beautiful flowers blossoming along a vine, Lompoc's mural surprise and delight residents and visitors alike as they stroll the peaceful and friendly downtown area. The Lompoc Mural Project was conceived in 1988. The first mural was painted in 1989 by Santa Monica artist, Art Mortimer and featured the valley’s “Flower Industry”. Today, Lompoc has 30+ major commissioned murals in it’s inventory. The murals are located in Lompoc's historic old town area.
Pick up a mural map for a self-guided tour at the Chamber when you come to visit, or download one here in PDF format. If you are coming in a large group, guided tours may be accommodated by prior arrangement by contacting the Lompoc Mural Society here.
Old Town Lompoc Heritage Walk
An approximately one mile walk - allow yourself about an hour. Take a walk through the historic heart of Lompoc on a self-guided tour and learn about the sites that date back to the 1870's. The heritage walk map was an eagle scout project completed by Ryan Andersen, Troop 66 in April 2000. Click here to download an Old Town Heritage Walk brochure in PDF format.learn more >>
Vandenberg Air Force Base Tours
The 30th Space Wing Public Affairs office will begin hosting monthly visits to the Vandenberg Space and Missile Heritage Center. The monthly visits to the Vandenberg Space and Missile Heritage Center at Historic Space Launch Complex-10 are on the third Tuesday of each month at 1:00 p.m. Space Launch Complex-10 is the only landmark at Vandenberg AFB to be listed on the national Registry of Historic Places. It is the site of Thor missile tests and Thor/Agena space launches.
All participants in these visits must register and provide full name, date of birth, and driver's license number at least 10 days in advance. Click here for additional details.
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