Friday, November 14, 2014

Santa Rosa ~ Images Of America

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.

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