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Buried Pool May Be Buenaventura Mission Laundry

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Digging beneath a historic building across the street from the San Buenaventura Mission in Ventura, researchers have unearthed a tile-lined pool that may have served as the mission’s laundry.

The find came during a dig that started Tuesday beneath the southern half of Peirano Market, where a floor will be replaced.

The discovery is the first evidence of the mission’s satellite facilities south of Main Street, said Roberta Greenwood, whose firm is conducting the excavation.

“Part of the find’s importance is that with missions like Ventura’s, the city that has grown up around it has hidden, obscured or destroyed the outlying buildings,” Greenwood said. Peirano Market was erected on the site in 1877, and has sheltered the ruins beneath it, she said.

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Besides locating what may have been the mission’s lavenderia workers have also recovered enough artifacts to fill more than 15 archive boxes, she added.

Pipes similar to those already discovered at the mission were found at the site, as well as a plaster channel connecting to the pool, she said.

The pool, which measures about 26 by 30 feet, appears similar to lavenderias found at missions in Santa Barbara and San Luis Rey, Greenwood said.

“The reason we think it may be a lavenderia is that the walls are built from mission floor tile, but the floor is plastered to hold water.”

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The project will end next week, said Greenwood, whose firm in 1974 and 1975 excavated the five Mission-era foundations north of Main Street where the Albinger Archeological Museum is located.


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