Located in the beautiful
Lompoc Valley, the Lompoc Valley Historical Society
was founded September 5, 1964 as an outgrowth of the Lompoc Pioneer
Society. The mission of the
society is to provide a repository for historical artifacts and
documents pertinent to the history of the Lompoc Valley. The
secondary mission is to publish a book about the history of the
In 1968, the society learned that the
Victorian residence of N.L. Spanne was slated for
demolition. The home, constructed in 1875, was the first
two story wooden residence built in the newly founded town of
Lompoc. Directors of the Historical Society voted to purchase
the property for $15,000 and negotiated a 10 year loan, which was
paid in 8 years. The home was named the Fabing-McKay-Spanne
House after the three families who had lived in it.
Since that time, the home 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 was built by Henry Wadsworth Fabing
less than a year after the founding of the town of Lompoc.
Nicknamed "Fabing's Folly" by the townspeople, the home loomed forth
in the midst of vacant land. Until the home was built, there
were no permanent residences to speak of in the Lompoc Valley.
Local residences soon began sharing Mr. Fabing's faith in the valley
and followed his lead by constructing permanent, substantial
Mr. Fabing had
never completed the upstairs of the home. It was left as one
big vacant room with only a ladder to access it and the rooftop
cupola from the first floor. In 1902, the Fabings sold
the home to W.S. McKay, who had 6 daughters. It was necessary
to complete the upstairs, so the McKays created three bedrooms and
installed an elegant stairway which winds to the second floor from
just inside the front entrance.
In 1910, the McKays sold the property to Nis and
Karen Spanne. The Spannes lived in the house until Mrs.
Spanne's death in 1966.
Wadsworth Fabing was born in Ormersviller, France in 1833. His wife,
Amanda (Angle) Fabing, was born in Coleville, New York in 1841. Mr.
Fabing was a Blacksmith among many other things. Henry Fabing came
to California from Wisconsin. Mr. Fabing moved from Santa Clara to
Lompoc, arriving in Lompoc on April 10, 1875. Fabing was the first
foreman of the Lompoc Volunteer Fire Department, 1875. The Fabing's
built the house in 1875 and owned it
until 1902. Henry Fabing died in 1908 in Lompoc. Amanda Fabing
died in 1919 in Santa Barbara.
William McKay was
born in Ireland in 1837; Sarah (Kimball) McKay was born in Michigan
in 1854. The McKay's bought the house from the Fabing family in
1902. William McKay died in 1903 & Sarah in 1920.
Nis Lauritzen Spanne & his wife Karen
(Andersen) Spanne were from Denmark. They bought the
house from the McKay family in 1910. The house was in the Spanne
family for 56 years. Nis Spanne died in 1961 and Karen died in 1966.
The Lompoc Valley Historical Society has no paid staff,
nor does it depend on support from any governmental agency.
Operating income is derived from memberships, regular and
memorial donations, our annual Trash & Treasure Sale, fees
for providing research material and sales of books and
miscellaneous items. The
everyday business of the organization is handled by
The Lompoc Valley Historical
Society also maintains an exhibit downstairs in the Lompoc Museum,
200 South H Street.
The Fabing-McKay Spanne House is open to the public on
Monday and Thursday mornings (except legal holidays) from 9 to 11
a.m. and is also open on the fourth Saturday of the month
from 10 a.m to 1 p.m. PLEASE NOTE THE NEW
Special tours are accommodated by prior arrangement by
calling (805) 735-4626 and leaving a brief
Although we do not charge admission, we
ask that you leave a donation to assist us with the upkeep of the
Click here for
Lompoc Airport history.
School Alumni Association News HERE!
Click here to go
to the Lompoc Museum's new website
"I Had a Ball in Big L"
promotional Lompoc song from the sixties can be found at the bottom
of the Lompoc Links page
Information about W.C. Fields and
"The Bank Dick" on the Lompoc History Page
Follow us on our Facebook
2010 - Lompoc Valley Historical