Lompoc, California

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City of Lompoc
City
Historic downtown Lompoc at East Ocean Avenue and North H Street
Historic downtown Lompoc at East Ocean Avenue and North H Street
Official logo of City of Lompoc
Logo
Nickname(s): Flower Seed Capital of the World, The City of Arts and Flowers
Location in Santa Barbara County and the state of California
Location in Santa Barbara County and the state of California
Coordinates: 34°38′46″N 120°27′37″W / 34.64611°N 120.46028°W / 34.64611; -120.46028Coordinates: 34°38′46″N 120°27′37″W / 34.64611°N 120.46028°W / 34.64611; -120.46028
Country United States
State California
County Santa Barbara
Incorporated August 13, 1888
Named for (Chumash: Lompo', "Stagnant Water" [1])
Government
 • Mayor John Linn
 • Senate Hannah-Beth Jackson (D)
 • Assembly Katcho Achadjian (R)
 • U. S. Congress Lois Capps (D)
Area[2]
 • Total 11.675 sq mi (30.237 km2)
 • Land 11.597 sq mi (30.037 km2)
 • Water 0.078 sq mi (0.201 km2)  0.66%
Elevation 105 ft (32 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 42,434
 • Density 3,600/sq mi (1,400/km2)
Demonym Lompocan
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 93436-93438
Area code(s) 805
FIPS code 06-42524
GNIS feature ID 1652745
Website www.cityoflompoc.com
Lompoc, the City of Arts and Flowers

Lompoc /ˈlɒmpk/ is a city in Santa Barbara County, California, United States. The city was incorporated on August 13, 1888. The population was 42,434 at the 2010 census, up from 41,103 at the 2000 census.

Prior to the European settlements, the area around Lompoc was inhabited by the Chumash. The name of the city is derived from a Chumash word "Lum Poc" that means "stagnant waters" or "lagoon." The Spanish called it "lumpoco." In 1837, the Mexican government granted the land around Lompoc as the Rancho Lompoc land grant. After the United States gained control of California in the Mexican-American War, the valley was acquired by Thomas Dibblee, Albert Dibblee and William Welles Hollister, the latter of whom sold his portion to the Lompoc Valley Land Company. It is from that portion that the present-day Lompoc was established as a temperance colony. The town was originally intended to be called New Vineland, modeled after the temperance colony in New Jersey. Lompoc then became a military town with the completion of nearby Vandenberg Air Force Base. The city is known as the flower seed capital of the world.

History[edit]

Prior to the Spanish conquest, the area around Lompoc was inhabited by the Chumash tribe. Mission La Purísima Concepción was established in 1787, near what is now the Southern edge of the city of Lompoc. During the mission period, the Chumash spoke the Purisimeño language.[3] After an earthquake destroyed the mission in 1812, it was relocated to its present location 1 mile (1.6 km) northeast of the present city. In 1821, Mexico became independent from Spain, and subsequently secularized the California missions in 1833. Mission La Purísima gradually fell into ruins.

In 1837, the Mexican government granted the land around Lompoc as the Rancho Lompoc land grant. The United States gained control of California in the Mexican-American War, 1846-1848. The valley was acquired by Thomas Dibblee, Albert Dibblee and William Welles Hollister, the latter of whom sold his portion in 1874 to the Lompoc Valley Land Company. It is from that portion that the present-day Lompoc was established as a temperance colony. The city was incorporated on August 13, 1888 and the town was originally intended to be called New Vineland, modeled after the temperance colony in New Jersey.

The coastal branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad replaced ship transportation around 1900.The Dicolite Mine was a large employer in the early 1900s. Its remnants can still be seen at the northeast end of town. In 1909, the Sybil Marston, at the time, the largest steam schooner built on the west coast sank nearby carrying 1,100,000 board feet (2,600 m3) of lumber. Many of the older Lompoc homes are built with the strewn lumber from the shipwreck. Its remnants can still be seen south of Surf Beach.[4] A paved road linked Lompoc to Buellton, and the rest of California, around 1920. In 1923, the Honda Point Disaster, the largest U.S. peacetime naval accident occurred just off the coast, in which nine U.S. destroyers ran aground, with the loss of 23 lives. During the Great Depression, Mission La Purisima Concepcion was restored by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The W.C. Fields movie The Bank Dick (1940), was set in Lompoc (although the name was mis-pronounced as Lom' poc). During World War II, the coast west of Lompoc was the site of Camp Cooke, a U.S. Army training camp where large units could practice maneuvers.

Lompoc grew slowly until 1958, when the U.S. Air Force announced that the former Camp Cooke would be a test site for the Thor intermediate-range ballistic missile, and the first operational base for the Atlas intercontinental-range ballistic missile. Lompoc then began to grow rapidly to provide housing for thousands of civilian and contractor workers employed at what was soon named Vandenberg Air Force Base. Vandenberg Air Force Base was the first missile base of the United States Air Force. The Space Shuttle program was slated to begin launches in the late 1980s. The city experienced a boom in restaurant and hotel construction in the mid-1980s, due to the anticipated influx of tourists coming to see shuttle launches. However, when the Challenger exploded during take-off from Cape Canaveral in 1986, the West Coast Shuttle Program was terminated, leaving Lompoc in a severe recession.

Located close to Vandenberg Air Force Base is the Federal Correctional Institution. This is a low security facility for male inmates.

Today, the city of Lompoc is dubbed "The City of Arts and Flowers" and is also becoming known for its local wines after the movie Sideways was filmed in Lompoc (bowling alley scene), and east of Lompoc in the Santa Ynez Valley, Solvang and Buellton. In 2010, Playboy magazine named Jasper's, a local Lompoc bar, as one of the top 10 dive bars in the country.[5]

Geography[edit]

Lompoc is located at 34°38′46″N 120°27′37″W / 34.64611°N 120.46028°W / 34.64611; -120.46028 (34.646182, -120.460316).[6] Most of the city is in the valley of the Santa Ynez River at an elevation of about 80–100 feet (25–30 meters); recent expansion has been to the north, on higher ground known as Vandenberg Village, with elevations of 150–300 feet (50–100 meters). Like most rivers in Southern California, the Santa Ynez River does not have a surface flow for most of the year. Underground flow in the sandy river bed recharges the aquifer beneath the city, from which 9 wells, with a tenth one planned, supply the city with water. Unlike many other cities in Southern California, Lompoc is not connected to the State Water Project.

The city was long known as the flower seed capital of the world. Flower fields have diminished in recent years, so it's debatable whether that title still stands. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.7 square miles (30 km2), 99.34% of it land and 0.66% of it water.

The Federal Correctional Complex located between Lompoc and Vandenberg AFB includes both a medium and low security Federal Correctional Institution, and two minimum security camps. A Satellite Prison Camp and a Residential Drug Treatment Camp.[7]

Climate[edit]

Lompoc has a cool Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csb) typical of coastal California.The climate is mostly sunny refreshed by the ocean breeze. Fog is common. Snow is virtually unknown. The highest recorded temperature was 110 °F in 1987. The lowest recorded temperature was 15 °F in 2013.

Climate data for Lompoc, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 64
(18)
64
(18)
66
(19)
67
(19)
68
(20)
70
(21)
72
(22)
73
(23)
74
(23)
73
(23)
68
(20)
63
(17)
68.5
(20.3)
Average low °F (°C) 42
(6)
44
(7)
46
(8)
47
(8)
50
(10)
53
(12)
56
(13)
56
(13)
55
(13)
51
(11)
46
(8)
42
(6)
49
(9)
Rainfall inches (mm) 3.33
(84.6)
3.71
(94.2)
2.88
(73.2)
1.01
(25.7)
0.29
(7.4)
0.04
(1)
0.01
(0.3)
0.03
(0.8)
0.1
(3)
0.74
(18.8)
1.41
(35.8)
2.56
(65)
16.11
(409.2)
Source: Weather Channel [8]

Demographics[edit]

2010[edit]

The 2010 United States Census[9] reported that Lompoc had a population of 42,434. The population density was 3,634.7 people per square mile (1,403.4/km²). The racial makeup of Lompoc was 25,950 (61.2%) White, 2,432 (5.7%) African American, 750 (1.8%) Native American, 1,615 (3.8%) Asian, 186 (0.4%) Pacific Islander, 9,020 (21.3%) from other races, and 2,481 (5.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21,557 persons (50.8%).

The Census reported that 38,778 people (91.4% of the population) lived in households, 99 (0.2%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 3,557 (8.4%) were institutionalized.

There were 13,355 households, out of which 5,481 (41.0%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 6,323 (47.3%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 2,061 (15.4%) had a female householder with no husband present, 913 (6.8%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 949 (7.1%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 75 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 3,304 households (24.7%) were made up of individuals and 1,187 (8.9%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.90. There were 9,297 families (69.6% of all households); the average family size was 3.48.

The population was spread out with 11,188 people (26.4%) under the age of 18, 4,452 people (10.5%) aged 18 to 24, 12,233 people (28.8%) aged 25 to 44, 10,338 people (24.4%) aged 45 to 64, and 4,223 people (10.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.9 years. For every 100 females there were 114.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 118.7 males.

There were 14,416 housing units at an average density of 1,234.8 per square mile (476.8/km²), of which 6,493 (48.6%) were owner-occupied, and 6,862 (51.4%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.2%; the rental vacancy rate was 7.1%. 18,534 people (43.7% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 20,244 people (47.7%) lived in rental housing units.

2000[edit]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 43,284 people, 13,059 households, and 9,311 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,532.2 people per square mile (1,363.4/km²). There were 13,621 housing units at an average density of 1,170.5 per square mile (451.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 65.81% White, 7.34% African American, 1.58% Native American, 3.90% Asian, 0.32% Pacific Islander, 15.68% from other races, and 5.35% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 37.31% of the population.

There were 13,059 households out of which 41.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.0% were married couples living together, 14.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.7% were non-families. 23.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.88 and the average family size was 3.42.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.9% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 33.3% from 25 to 44, 18.5% from 45 to 64, and 9.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 113.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 116.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $47,587, and the median income for a family was $62,199. Males had a median income of $35,074 versus $26,824 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,509. About 12.6% of families and 15.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.8% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation[edit]

State Route 1 is the major north-south artery through Lompoc. State Route 246 heads east to Buellton and the Santa Ynez Valley.

The Surf Amtrak Station is located to the west in Surf Beach, and is served by the Pacific Surfliner line.

Education[edit]

Schools[edit]

Community College[edit]

High schools[edit]

Junior high/middle schools[edit]

  • Children's Montessori School
  • La Purisima Concepcion Catholic School
  • Lompoc Valley Middle School
  • Vandenberg Middle School

Elementary schools[edit]

  • Buena Vista
  • Children's Montessori School
  • Clarence Ruth
  • Crestview
  • Fillmore
  • Hapgood
  • La Cañada
  • La Honda
  • Los Berros
  • Miguelito

Local economy[edit]

Device used as logo for Lompoc on city documents, tourist information, etc.

Vandenberg Air Force Base dominates the economy, directly employing a large percentage of Lompoc's residents, and contributes $1.7 billion to the regional economy. Other mainstays of the economy include the Federal Correctional Institution, a diatomaceous earth mine, the Lompoc Oil Field and associated oil processing facilities north of town, and agriculture (especially seed flowers and vegetables). Since the end of the Cold War, many workers employed in Santa Barbara have moved to Lompoc to take advantage of lower housing costs, effectively making Lompoc a 'bedroom community' of Santa Barbara. The character of the town has changed considerably with the growth associated with this demographic shift; in addition, new housing developments are spreading into the adjacent hills on the north side of town.

Wine production and wine tourism comprise the rapidly expanding value-added agricultural sector of the Lompoc economy. Lompoc Valley is the gateway to the Sta. Rita Hills AVA wine appellation, internationally recognized for premium pinot noir and chardonnay. Thirty premium boutique wine labels are produced in Lompoc at wineries in the affectionately termed "Lompoc wine ghetto" industrial park and other locations across town. Numerous other wineries are located along California State Route 246, linking Lompoc with Buellton, and on Santa Rosa Road. Lompoc hosts the Santa Barbara County Vintners' Festival held at River Park in the spring. Wine tasting rooms are located in the "Wine Ghetto" and other locations in Lompoc.

Wineries and tasting rooms[edit]

Culture[edit]

For the final week of June, Lompoc is home to the Lompoc Valley Flower Festival, which features a parade, carnival and a craft show.[11]

The Lompoc arts scene features a number of upcoming musicians and bands, ranging from singer-songwriters to psychedelic blues-rock bands. At the center of this scene is Howlin’ Byroon’s Music Exchange, a music store and frequent venue for Lompoc’s musicians. The shop was opened in May 2009, and now offers guitar lessons, consigned musical instruments and live performances.[12]

Emily Wryn is a Lompoc songwriter who has been writing music since she was 13 years old. At age 18, one of her songs “Head on Straight” was played by influential DJ Nick Harcourt. Her music was also featured on NPR’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic.”[13] Her first EP Head on Straight was released in February 2012.[14] The album features cover art by Angelina LaPointe, who also created the cover for Saint Anne’s Place’s The Earth Shaker EP.[14] Wryn played the Indie Week festival in Ireland in April 2014.[15] Wryn also collaborates with the member’s of Saint Anne’s Place in a band called The Lights Electric.

Millions is the successor to the band “Le Petit Protest”, a vehicle for the songwriting of Randall Sena. Sena was dissatisfied with the live show of Le Petit Protest, causing him to disband the project. Millions is now playing gigs around the central coast.[16] Sena is a frequent collaborator with other artists in the Lompoc music scene. Sena recorded and produced Emily Wryn’s EP Head on Straight as well as Saint Anne’s Place’s Speak Easy in his recording studio, Certain Sparks.[14]

One of Lompoc’s most successful current artists is the rock band Saint Anne’s Place. The band was formed in 2008 and originally featured Jacob Cole, Samuel Cole, JT Wild, and Clive Hacker. The band began writing and playing music, but Hacker and Wild would eventually quit the band. Samuel and Jacob’s cousin, Joel, would join the band as bassist in April 2010, and the line-up has remained stable ever since.[17] The band’s music has been described as “blistering yet rustic mix of blues, psychedelia, and folk rock with the chops of players twice their senior.” [18] The members of Saint Anne’s Place grew up playing in their family’s blues bands, an influence that can still be heard in their music today.[19] The band released their first EP, Speak Easy in 2011. The EP featured five songs, including “Lazy Fingers.”

In 2011, the band would also win The Santa Barbara Independent’s 2011 battle of the bands.[20] After being selected through rounds of online voting, finally culminating in a set at a concert with three other finalists, voters chose Saint Anne’s Place. Saint Anne’s Place released their second EP, The Earth Shaker in December 2012. The eight song EP was critically acclaimed by local media.[21]

The Lompoc Theatre that sits by H and Ocean in Lompoc was constructed in 1927. The theatre was owned and operated by the Calvert family for many years.[22] Walter Calvert and his brother-in-law, William Baker, took over the Opera House, a different establishment, in Lompoc in 1912. The Opera House did not feature much opera, but under the direction of Calvert and Baker, the Opera House became a success, offering silent films and local events to the people of Lompoc.[22] In 1926, the Calverts purchased the building that would become the Lompoc Theatre. The theatre had its grand opening on May 27, 1927. The grand opening featured an organ solo by a blind judge, song and dance and music by an orchestra. The two comedy films, “Lost at the Front” and “Circus Daze” were shown.[22]

Walter Calvert’s son, Earl, became involved with the management of the theatre in 1929. The theatre continued to thrive for many years.[22] The theatre encountered financial trouble in the 1970s, due to competition from multiplexes and television. The last year a movie was shown on its screen was in 1985.[23]

In July 2003, a non-profit group, the Lompoc Housing and Community Development Corporation announced plans to restore the theatre. The LHCDC was able to raise funds with the assistance of the City of Lompoc to purchase the theatre. By March 2008, the cost of renovating the theatre was valued at just under 10 million dollars. During its time of ownership of the theater, the LHCDC was unable to raise the money needed for renovations, and the building accumulated three liens.[24] The building is still owned by the LHCDC. Currently, a grassroots group called the “Lompoc Theatre Project” is working to gain ownership of the building, and ultimately, renovate and reopen it. The group hopes to reopen the theatre in 2016.[25]

In 2002, the Floral Flag was planted by the Bodger Seed Company as a tribute after the September 11, 2001 tragedy. The Floral Flag is 740 feet by 390 feet, covers 6.65 acres, and is estimated to contain more than 400,000 larkspur plants.[26][27]

References in Popular Culture[edit]

  • In the late 1960s, Quaker Oats had a marketing campaign that pitted two of its cereal mascots, Quisp and Quake, against each other in a race from Long Island, NY to Lompoc.[28]
  • The 1960s animated cartoon series Roger Ramjet had many references to Lompoc due to the shows creators hailing from Lompoc, even having the titular character's hometown set there.[29]
  • The W.C. Fields movie, The Bank Dick is a film that is set in Lompoc, although it is mispronounced as Lom-pock.
  • Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures filmed at Mission La Purisima east of town to investigate claims of hauntings.
  • The movie Sideways was filmed in Lompoc (Bowling Alley Scene) and the Santa Ynez Valley east of town.
  • Referenced by a street name in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV, in the Bohan region of Liberty City. It is on Lompoc Avenue that Roman Bellic is held hostage by Russian Mafia in an abandoned warehouse.
  • Referenced in the 1990s television show Northern Exposure: DJ Chris Stevens sends best wishes to his friend locked up in "Lom-pock."
  • Featured in 1970s game show Hollywood Squares with the question "Lom-pock, fatal cattle disease or small California town?" The contestant answered correctly.
  • In season 3, episode 1 of The Closer, a few of the characters live and work in Lompoc. In one scene, a Lompoc cop comments that they rarely see any "action" in that city.
  • Referenced in the movie A Haunted House starring Marlon Wayans, Cedric The Entertainer mentions he was incarcerated in the Lompoc Penitentiary.
  • In the song "Yay Area," rapper E-40 mentions that he has friends "in Lompoc and Skeleton Bay" in reference to the prison.
  • In The Fast & The Furious (2001), Toretto says he spent "Two years in Lompoc. I'll die before I go back." Later in the series, in Fast & Furious (2009), Toretto was sentenced 25 years to life at the Lompoc Prison.

Notable people[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

The City of Lompoc has five sister cities:[42]

Tourist attractions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ McCall, Lynne; Perry, Rosalind (2002). California’s Chumash Indians : a project of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Education Center (Revised edition ed.). San Luis Obispo, Calif: EZ Nature Books. ISBN 0936784156. 
  2. ^ U.S. Census
  3. ^ "Purisimeño". Survey of California and Other Indian Languages. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  4. ^ Nisperos, Neil (January 29, 2006), "Merchant steamer ship visible at Surf Beach", Lompoc Record, retrieved June 9, 2013 
  5. ^ Glenn Wallace (2010-07-24). "Jasper’s makes list of top ‘dive bars’". The Lompoc Record. Retrieved 2010-07-25. 
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ BOP: FCC Lompoc
  8. ^ "Average Weather for Lompoc/Vandenberg AFB, CA - Temperature and Precipitation". The Weather Channel. Feb 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-23. 
  9. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Lompoc city". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  10. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  11. ^ Fodor's (21 December 2010). Fodor's Northern California 2011: With Napa, Sonoma, Yosemite, San Francisco & Lake Tahoe. Random House Digital, Inc. p. 70. ISBN 978-1-4000-0503-1. Retrieved 25 December 2011. 
  12. ^ [1] Untapped.
  13. ^ [2], Indie Music Reviewer.
  14. ^ a b c [3]
  15. ^ iwiAdmin99. "Categories Archives: 2013 Performers". Indie Week Ireland. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  16. ^ [4]
  17. ^ [5]
  18. ^ [6]
  19. ^ [7]
  20. ^ [8]
  21. ^ [9]
  22. ^ a b c d McReynolds, John (May 27, 2007). "Grand Lompoc Theatre once a showcase". The Lompoc Record. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  23. ^ Benham, Carol (5 August 2012). "Fate of Lompoc Theatre in hands of City Council". The Lompoc Record. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  24. ^ Benham, Carol (5 August 2012). "Timeline of LHCDC's plans for the Lompoc Theatre". The Lompoc Record. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  25. ^ Cruet, Gianna (21 February 2014). "Lompoc Theatre Project presents updated plans". The Lompoc Record. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  26. ^ "The 2002 Floral Flag". City of Lompoc. 
  27. ^ "Floral Flag". snopes.com. 
  28. ^ Montes, Steven. http://www.lompocrecord.com/news/opinion/editorial/commentary/mystery-two-cereals-race-to-lompoc/article_a2a20f8c-d6dd-11e1-b359-001a4bcf887a.html
  29. ^ Pierce, Leonard. http://www.tv.com/news/roger-ramjet-a-cartoon-for-the-ages--22053/
  30. ^ "Jeff Bettendorf Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  31. ^ "Michael Louis Bratz (Mike)". databaseBasketball.com. Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  32. ^ "Casey Candaele Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  33. ^ "Ryan Church Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  34. ^ "Brian Givens Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  35. ^ "Johnnie Lee Gray". databaseFootball.com. Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  36. ^ "Roy Howell Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  37. ^ "Bill Howerton Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  38. ^ "Napoleon Kaufman". databaseFootball.com. Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  39. ^ http://www.usatf.org/athletes/bios/TrackAndFieldArchive/2008/Solomon_Duane.asp
  40. ^ Tommy Thompson at CNN/Sports Illustrated online
  41. ^ "Danny Duffy Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  42. ^ "Our Sister Cities...". City of Lompoc. Retrieved 2010-03-24. 

External links[edit]