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 Lompoc Museum TodayLompoc Carnegie Library 1911

The Lompoc Museum, located at 200 South H Street, is housed in a former Carnegie Library Building.  The Library was built in 1910 with a $10,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie, who believed all Americans should have access to library services. It was built in the Classical Revival (Type B) style. the architect was W.H. Weeks.  Construction was completed by A.D. Burke in 1911.

In 1969, the City of Lompoc constructed a new library and the Carnegie building was vacated.  About the same time, local educator and amateur archeologist Clarence Ruth donated his extensive collection of Native American artifacts to the City with the provision that they be kept on permanent display in an accessible, safe location.  This was the birth of the Lompoc Museum. 

Today, Mr. Ruth's collection occupies the entire top floor of the museum.  Many of the artifacts are from the local Chumash culture and are historically significant to the Lompoc Valley.  The Lompoc Museum has the most extensive collection of Chumash artifacts outside of large metropolitan museums.

The lower floor of the museum, the Historical Society Gallery, features artifacts set in re-creations of old Lompoc storefronts.  The gallery also includes a display regarding the Tragedy at Honda, the 1923 Naval shipwreck disaster, as well as information regarding the local diatomaceous earth mining industry.  The Centeno Gallery, adjoining the Historical Society gallery features rotating displays of art, photography and traveling exhibits.

The museum is managed by a staff consisting of a Director and an Administrative Assistant and is governed by a Board of Directors.  The Lompoc Museum Associates is comprised of members who share the common interest of supporting the mission of the museum.  To become a member of the Museum Associates, call 805-736-3888, or write the Lompoc Museum at 200 South H Street, Lompoc, CA  93436.  Like the Lompoc Valley Historical Society, the Lompoc Museum Associates is a non profit organization.  The Museum also has a program of very active docents, who are involved with staffing the museum reception desk, conducting tours and assisting with fundraising activities.

The Museum is open from 1 to 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays and 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.  It is closed Mondays.  Admission is $1 per person. 

The Lompoc Museum and the Lompoc Valley Historical Society joined forces to furnish the Artesia School House.  It is open to the public on the fourth Saturday of each month from 2 to 4 p.m. with Museum docents as the hosts.  Built in 1876, Artesia School was Lompoc's first country school, named after Artesian wells found nearby. Artesia School was in use until 1960, when the local school district unified and began bussing rural students to the "in town" schools.  The schoolhouse was orginally built 4 miles west of Lompoc on Central Avenue facing west.  Brisk west winds kept whistling through the building and blowing the doors open, so the school was turned around to face east.  Later it was moved to the corner of Central and Artesia Avenue. In 1972 it was moved to its present location in the 100 block of West Chestnut Avenue and restored by the Lompoc Unified School District. 

For further information, contact the Museum at 805-736-3888, or email lompocmuseum@verizon.net. Be sure to visit the Museum's new website: www.lompocmuseum.org.

 

Lompoc Library 1911


To learn more about California's Carnegie Libraries, visit http://carnegie-libraries.org/

 

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