Early Manuscript Map of Santa Barbara & Vicinity, Showing The Mission Tunnel -- The Longest Water Tunnel In the World as of 1911
Manuscript map of the Mission Creek Drainage area, extending from the Crest of the Santa Ynez Mountains to Downtown Santa Barbara, drawn by A.S. Cooper of Santa Barbara.
The map's primary purpose is to identify the drainage of water from the Santa Ynez Mountains toward the town of Santa Barbara, including contour lines, Canyon names and a number of early roads.
While it is not identified by name, one of the primary features of the map is the location of the Mission Tunnel. Begun in 1904 and completed in 1911, the Mission Tunnel, stretching to the far side of the Santa Ynez River Watershed on the far side of the Santa Ynez Mountains, would become the primary water source for Santa Barbara. At a length of 3.7 miles, it was, at the time, the longest water tunnel in the world.
The map identifies Santa Barbara's early downtown street grid, Light House, several early piers and the line of the Southern Pacific Railroad. The map shows "Thompson" on Hollister Avenue (now State Street), just to the west of Mission Creek and the Mission. This is a reference to Alpheus Thompson, who settled in Santa Barbara in about 1830 and became one of its first prominent Anglo settlers.
The map locates the Potter Hotel, which was built in 1903 and destroyed by fire in 1921.
A.S. Cooper's name first begins to appear in Santa Barbara as a Notary Public circa 1876. Cooper served as Deputy County Surveyor in the late 1870s and ran for County Surveyor in 1880, a position he seems to have held for many years. He also served as State Mineralogist for a period of time around 1900. The last work we can find by Cooper is in 1917, where he is employed by the City of Santa Barbara to prepare 8 maps, and listing him as a Civil Engineer.