Today Kongo visits the Old Mission Dam in San Diego. Embarrassingly, Kongo has lived within a few miles of this interesting site for many, many years and this was his first visit. The dam was built on the San Diego river by mission padres and indians in 1813 to provide a regular water supply to Mission San Diego de Alcalá located five miles away. It was the first major irrigation project on the Pacific Coast.
The opening in the dam seen in the first photo once housed an adjustable spillway door that regulated the water in the dam and the supply downstream.
The Old Mission Dam is 220 feet long, 13 feet wide at the base, and is 12 feet high. It supplied power for a sawmill and water for irrigation that supplied the San Diego Mission downstream.
Boulders downstream from the dam make an interesting pattern with the water which had a thick layer of algae on its surface.
Kongo contemplates the dam while sitting on a boulder.
A marker left by the DAR.
California historical marker.
Another view of Old Mission Dam
A white egret looks for dinner in the waters just above the dam.
The Old Mission Dam is part of the Mission Trails Regional Park, one of the largest urban parks in the United States. You can hike or drive to the dam. Learn more about the dam and Mission Trails park here.