Press Releases

Board Meeting Materials

Who is Metropolitan?

Doing Business with Metropolitan



Share |
March 13, 2014
Subscribe to Your Water – Metropolitan's E–Newsletter.

Compton Celebrates its 125th Anniversary

Grading backfilled trench in Compton, 1940.

One of the oldest cities in the Metropolitan family, Compton is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.

Since August, Compton has been “celebrating our city’s birthday in unity and strength, with a renewed strength.” Events have included ice cream socials, a parade, citywide prayer days, jazz and gospel festivals, and a gala finale on May 10.

Settled in the 1860s, Compton became a city in 1888. By the end of the 1920s, the city had its own airport and junior college, and was looking for a supplemental water supply. Metropolitan Water District had formed in 1928.

Compton citizens voted to join Metropolitan on June 2, 1931, and the Metropolitan board approved the annexation 10 days later. In 1935, Warren Butler was named as Compton’s representative, a position he held for 45 years. Compton was connected to the Metropolitan system in the 1940s, and those connections were expanded in the 1950s.

The city water department serves about three-quarters of Compton’s 10.5-square- mile territory. In recent years, Compton used federal and state funds to rehabilitate two drinking water wells, and now operates a total of seven, increasing its ability to draw on the Central Basin. Today, Compton gets roughly three-quarters of its supply from local sources and about one-quarter of its water from Metropolitan.

Douglas Dollarhide was elected the city’s first African-American mayor in 1969, and as it turns 125, the city has invited an increasingly diverse population to “celebrate with us…celebre con nosotros.” For most of its history, Compton prided itself on being the Hub City, with its location in the geographic center of Los Angeles County and its access to railroads. Today, in addition to being accessible to five freeways, Compton also is located on the Alameda Corridor and the Metro Blue Line.

In the time since Compton joined Metropolitan, its assessed valuation has grown from $10 million to $3 billion. Since the 1970s, Compton’s redevelopment efforts have produced Walnut Industrial Park, which houses several Fortune 500 companies, along with Gateway Towne Center and the MLK Transit Center. The city has also produced a long line of distinguished musicians, athletes, public servants and other notables.

Check out Facebook for more information on Compton’s 125th anniversary celebration.


This newsletter is produced by:
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
700 N. Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012