Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mission Dam

I recently returned from an agency field visit for a project we have in the San Diego area. One enjoyable aspect of the trip was a visit to the Mission Dam.

The dam was built across the San Diego River in 1813-1816 to supply water and water power for the San Diego Mission. The Franciscans who ran the Mission used Kumeyaay Indian labor for the construction and an archaeological site north of the dam contains the remains of their work camp.
This gap in the dam was originally filled with a wooden frame that contained the mill wheel for a grist mill. You can still see some of the original brickwork used to anchor the frame. On the other side of the dam a flume channeled water for downstream use.

The area around the dam is now a park with hiking trails. You are urged to stay on the trails as this was a Marine Corps training camp during WW II and there is still some unexploded ordnance in the area. Wouldn't want to step on anything nasty.

A family of coyotes kept an eye on us during our visit. They obviously hadn't read the UXO sign.

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