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Sonoma Plaza
-Sonoma City Hall
Photo by Rick Bolen, photo courtesy of www.sonomavalley.com

Sonoma Plaza, a National Historic Landmark, represents several important events in California's history. On July 4, 1824, Mission San Francisco Solano de Sonoma, the last of the chain of 21 missions, was founded by Father Jose Altimira. It was also the only mission established during the Mexican period. While the original mission buildings were wooden structures, the present mission church, located at 114 East Spain Street, is adobe. The Pueblo at Sonoma was established in 1835 by General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, Military Commander and Director of the Northern Frontier for the Mexican government. The pueblo was the military base and northern most pueblo under Mexican control. The end of Mexican control of California was precipitated by an event that occurred in Sonoma Plaza. In June 1846, a party of settlers occupied Sonoma Plaza, proclaimed a Republic of California, and raised the Bear Flag -- the inspiration for the state flag of California. William B. Ide was elected President of the new republic and declared independence from Mexico. On July 9, 1846, the Bear Flag was replaced by the flag of the United States. Today, a monument to the Bear Flag Revolt stands in Sonoma Plaza. The plaza is surrounded with buildings that reflect the history of the northern reaches of the state, from the Mexican era to the Victorian.

The Plaza is located in the center of Sonoma. There is a fee for visiting Sonoma State Historic Park, which includes the historic buildings in the Sonoma Plaza. For more information visit the park's website or call the Mission at 707-938-9560, Vallejo's Home at 707-938-9559 or the Barracks at 707-939-9420 . The admission charge allows you to visit the Sonoma Mission, Sonoma Barracks Toscano Hotel, General Vallejo Home, and the Petaluma Adobe on the same day the ticket is purchased. Park hours are from 10:00am to 5:00pm daily. The Historic Park sites are closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day. Sonoma is located on State Hwy. 12, 46 miles northeast of San Francisco.

 

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