Short History of Sonoma
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of Nevada Press
Title Page, Frontispiece, Copyright, Dedication
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W hen I was in junior high school, my grandmother told me a story about the afternoon she had tea with Charmian London, widow of Jack London, the famous author. I remember being amazed at how casually she dropped the London name. I was a budding historian by this time, and her tale added to my already strong interest in Sonomaâs Both of my paternal grandparentsâ families arrived in the Sonoma ...
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T ourists and other travelers come to the city of Sonoma, California, today for its fine food, award-winning wines, and beautifully land-scaped central plaza. They can also visit the state historic park and its renovated mission, barracks, and old adobe homes, which exist side by side with trendy boutiques and old-fashioned bars. These contrasts make Sonomaâalso called the Valley of the Moonâone of the stateâs most ...
1. The Village of Huchi
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T he front page of the June 30, 1923, issue of the Sonoma Index-Tribune featured an eye-catching boldface headline: âMission Cen-tennial Starts Today.â The paper was filled to capacity with articles about the many activities planned for the five-day event, commemorating the establishment of Mission San Francisco Solano by the government of Mexico in 1823. There was a Spanish Ball, a mission play (complete ...
2. The American Era
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C alifornia history is full of people showing up when they are not wanted. Sonomaâs history is no exception, though some were more Under both Spanish and Mexican law, foreigners who wanted to settle in California and buy land had to convert to Catholicism, give up their former citizenship, swear allegiance to Mexico, and learn Spanish, which most visitors did. Many men also became naturalized citizens and mar-...
3. Sonoma’s Historic Architecture
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Sonomaâs history is also written in brick, wood, and stone. The build-ings around town that charm visitors today range from historic adobes to typically American stores and hotels, not to mention a for-mer Carnegie library. As Sonoma made the transition from its days as a Mexican military outpost to its new life as an American city, the past was not completely discarded. Like revisionist history, the original buildings ...
4. A Vine Tradition
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On June 6, 1863, the âMarriedâ column of the San Francisco Daily Alta California newspaper carried a brief announcement of a double wedding ceremony that took place in Sonoma on the first of the month. In two short paragraphs readers learned that Natalia and Jovita Vallejo, daughters of General M. G. Vallejo, had married A. F. and Arpad Haraszthy, respectively, and that the ceremony was observed at the home ...
5. Mr. and Mrs. London
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C alifornia has produced some of the worldâs most famous authors. A few were born in the Golden State, others chose to live and write within its borders, and some are deeply associated with the regions in equally tough Charles Bukowski exemplify the darker side of Los Angeles. Dashiell Hammett and Mark Twain were born in the East and Midwest, but both counted San Francisco home for a time and created ...
6. The Tourist Trade
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Visitors have made their way to the Sonoma Valley for more than 150 years, intrigued by its natural beauty, its quaint old adobes, Early in its history, men (usually) made the arduous trip from San Francisco or other parts of the state to take in the sights, go hunting and fishing, or enjoy some of the occasional festivals held on the Plaza. Many of them published their travels in Bay Area newspapers, some of which ...
7. More Famous Names and Faces
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Ever since the first adobe brick was set into the foundation of Mission San Francisco Solano, the town of Sonoma has been a lure for a great cross section of global society. Beyond missionaries, tourists, and entrepreneurs, Sonoma has hosted visitors and residents who hailed from the worlds of the military, business, food and wine, literature, and Hollywood. Some only passed through town; others visited frequently. A ...
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Sonoma is home to a fascinating mixture of multigenerational fami-lies and brand-new residents. Small as it isâthe population hovers around 14,000âSonoma offers everything that modern living requires, and augments that with the visible remnants and intangible benefits of During the 1960s, Mission San Francisco Solano, the former Mexican barracks, the Toscano Hotel, the Blue Wing Inn, the two-story ser-...
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Page Count: 224
Illustrations: 46 photos
Publication Year: 2013