Santa Rosa, California (Images of America Series) By Simone Wilson $19.99 ~ In Our Book Department
The Santa Rosa Valley, once carpeted in wild oats and littered with
acorns from ancient oaks, was home to Pomo and Miwok Indians for
thousands of years. The cattle ranches and farms that displaced them in
the mid-1800s had already spawned a thriving commercial town named
Santa Rosa, the county seat, when the railroad arrived in 1870. That
railroad, and the commerce it brought, secured the city’s role as the
legal and financial nexus of Sonoma County and its most populous city.
When many of the downtown buildings collapsed in the famous 1906
earthquake, the community built itself back into a picture-perfect
all-American city, the setting for such films as Hitchcock’s Shadow of
Doubt and Disney’s Pollyanna. Another devastating quake in 1969 damaged
many structures, but once again that destruction prompted redevelopment
and renewed growth for Santa Rosa in the 21st century.
In this informed tour of Santa Rosa’s rich photographic past, drawn
from the collections of the Sonoma County Museum, Sonoma County Library,
Healdsburg Museum, and several private sources, author Simone Wilson
leads readers from ancient to modern times. The editor of Sonoma
Historian and the former features editor of the Santa Rosa News Herald,
she has published a history of Sonoma County and two other Images of
America titles, Petaluma and The Russian River.