From the Oakland Museum's website (now offline):
In 1868 a dam was constructed on Temescal Creek creating Lake Temescal, a reservoir for Oakland's first municipal water supply. The earth dam was dug manually and was packed down by horses driven over it repeatedly. Pipes carried water to people's homes that had previously depended upon their own wells. It was on the banks of Lake Temescal that the immigrant English artist J.H.E. Partington lived in a tent with his family, upon their arrival in Oakland in 1889. In 1891 he established the Partington School of Art in San Francisco along with his son Richard L. Partington.Can you do that nowadays? That sounds pretty cool.
Here's the painting he did when he lived in the tent: