Historical Markers in
Sonoma County, California

Bank of Guerneville Bill Soberanes Blue Wing Inn Bodega Bay Bodega Bay and Harbor Buena Vista Press House Buena Vista Winery and Vineyards California's First Windmill Cases Horseshoeing Charles J. Poppe Building Christo’s Running Fence Church of Saint Teresa of Avila Cloverdale Reveille Comstock House Restoration Cotati Downtown Plaza Depot Hotel – Cucina Rustica "Dos Piedras" Duhring Building – 1891 Duncans Mills Depot Museum Early Windsor's People: The Southern Pomo East Windsor: The First Gathering Place Embarcadero – St. Louis Eucalyptus - The Cash Crop that Failed First Power Commercial Sawmill First Time Poetry Left At Stage Holdup Fort Ross Fort Ross Chapel Fort Ross Cove Fort Ross Defenses Freestone House Glen Ellen Cannon Gould--Shaw House Guerneville Historical Marker Harazthy Villa Harmon Gregg Heald Historical Events from the 20th Century Hogan Building Hood House Horse Power and Manure Icaria-Speranza Utopian Colony In This Cemetery is Buried Capt. William Smith Isaac De Turk 1843 - 1896 Isaac E. Shaw Building Italian Swiss Colony Jack and Charmian London Entertained Here Jack London experimented Jack London Had A Dream Jack London Historical State Park Jack London Ranch Jack London's Terraces Shaped the Land for Preservation Kenwood Depot Korbel Station Lachryma Montis Lakeville-Donahue Landing Lee Bros. Building - 1906 Luther Burbank Home Luther Burbank's Garden March/Heald Flour Mill Mission San Francisco Solano Mission San Francisco Solano de Sonoma Mission San Francisco Solano Sacred Ground Nash-Patton Adobe Nature and Agriculture Penngrove Petaluma Historical Library and Museum Petrified Forest Petrified Forest Pioneers of Preservation Potter School Est. 1873 Present Day Windsor Raising of the Bear Flag Ray Adobe re-creating the Fort Ross Windmill Running Fence Salvador Vallejo Adobe Samuele Sebastiani Vineyard and Winery Sandy Beach Cove Santa Rosa Post Office and Federal Building Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery Sergeant Richard A. Penry Servants Quarters Shiloh Cemetery Site of Union Hotel and Union Hall Sonoma Barracks Sonoma Brewing Company Sonoma Depot Sonoma Valley Women’s Club Stormy's Sturgeons Mill Swiss Hotel Temelec Hall The Call Family Residence The Children's Bell Tower The End of the Mission Trail The Last Mission "The Main Building" The Moscow Barn The Native Alaskan Village The Old Winery The Poppe-Parmelee Building The Russian Cemetery The Russian Village Site - Sloboda The Sonoma Cheese Factory The Sonoma Community Center The Sonoma Index-Tribune The Willow Creek Inn The Wohler Ranch -- 1856 To Commemorate..."Petrified Charlie" Toscano Hotel Trinity Episcopal Church Vallejo's Petaluma Adobe Vasquez House Vella Cheese Factory Veronda/Falletti Ranch Volpi's Grocery Walters Ranch Hop Kiln Washoe House Watson School "We live in a beautiful part of the country." Welcome to Fort Ross West Windsor: The New Gathering Place Wilmar Union Elementary School District And Wilson Elementary School Windsor's Historically Important Families
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The California Gold Rush of 1849 brought a huge influx of people to the state. In just two years, the population of San Francisco grew from 1,000 to 25,000. However, only a small percentage of gold-seekers actually struck it rich, and many ended up in debt or poverty.
Sonoma County, located in Northern California, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Pomo, Miwok, and Wappo peoples. These tribes lived off the land, hunting, fishing, and gathering food from the abundant natural resources in the region.

The first European settlers arrived in the area in the early 19th century. Russian fur traders established Fort Ross in 1812, which served as a trading post and agricultural outpost. However, in 1841, the Russians sold the fort to the John Sutter Company, marking the end of Russian influence in Sonoma County.

The Mexican era began in 1821 when Mexico gained independence from Spain. Sonoma County was part of the Mexican province of Alta California, and the Mexican government granted land to various individuals, known as ranchos. The most notable of these was Rancho Petaluma, granted to Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, a prominent Californio. Vallejo played a significant role in the development of the region, establishing a military base and promoting agriculture.

In 1846, the Bear Flag Revolt took place in Sonoma County. A group of American settlers, unhappy with the Mexican government's rule, raised the bear flag and declared California as an independent republic. This revolt was short-lived, as California was soon annexed by the United States as a result of the Mexican-American War in 1848.

From the mid-19th century, Sonoma County experienced rapid growth and development. Agriculture, particularly wine grape cultivation, became a vital industry in the region, thanks to its favorable climate and soil conditions. Today, Sonoma County is known for its picturesque vineyards, charming towns, and thriving wine tourism industry.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Sonoma County, California.

  • Sonoma County is home to Native American tribes, including the Pomo, Miwok, and Wappo, who have been living in the region for thousands of years.
  • 1542 - Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sails along the California coast, but does not directly explore the area that would become Sonoma County.
  • 1775 - Spanish Lieutenant Colonel Juan Bautista de Anza leads a group of settlers on an overland expedition, establishing a route that would become known as the Anza Trail, which later passes through Sonoma County.
  • 1823 - The Russian-American Company establishes Fort Ross as a trading post and agricultural center along the Sonoma Coast.
  • 1834 - Pueblo of Sonoma is founded by Mexican General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, becoming the northernmost Mexican civilian settlement in Alta California. The area around the pueblo becomes known as Sonoma County.
  • 1846 - The Bear Flag Revolt takes place in Sonoma, as a group of American settlers rebel against Mexican rule, raising a homemade flag with a bear and star as a symbol of their independence. This event marks the beginning of the California Republic, which later joins the United States.
  • 1850 - Sonoma County is officially established as one of California's original 27 counties, after California becomes a state. It initially includes a much larger area than it does today.
  • 1871 - The first railroad line is completed in Sonoma County, connecting Petaluma to Santa Rosa. This improves transportation and spurs growth and commerce in the area.
  • 1906 - Sonoma County is heavily affected by the San Francisco earthquake, with significant damage occurring throughout the region.
  • 1920s - Sonoma County experiences a boom in agriculture, with vineyards and wineries becoming prominent. The region's favorable climate and soil conditions make it an ideal location for wine production, leading to the growth of the wine industry.
  • 1960s - Sonoma County becomes a popular destination for hippies and counter-culture movements due to its scenic beauty and alternative lifestyles. This era marks the beginning of Sonoma County as a hub for organic farming and sustainable living.
  • Today, Sonoma County is known for its thriving wine industry, picturesque landscapes, and tourism. It continues to be a significant agricultural region, producing various crops, including grapes, apples, prunes, and dairy products.