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Sonoma
Sonoma County, California

Sonoma was the northern frontier of Spanish and Mexican California, and in 1834 General Vallejo was sent up from San Francisco to create a civilian settlement and military presence. This was because the Russians maintained a vague claim to northern California as an extension of Alaska, and had in fact established a settlement at Bodega and a fortification with cannons at Fort Ross.

Vallejo laid out a town following the traditional Spanish (actually Roman) pattern of square plaza and gridiron streets. Historic buildings, preserved as Sonoma State Historic Park, adjoin the plaza. In 1846 a rowdy gang of Americans (who were illegal immigrants to Mexican California) raised an improvised flag with a grizzly bear on it and declared the independence of the Bear Flag Republic. General Vallejo promptly surrendered on behalf of the Mexican government (but was imprisoned anyway). A monument to the Bear Flag incident stands in the plaza.


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Bear Flag Monument at Sonoma Plaza

Bear Flag Monument at Sonoma Plaza

Monument to the Bear Flag Revolt of June 14, 1846, in the Sonoma Plaza.

Sonoma State Historic Park, Sonoma, California

Date photographed: November 9, 2011
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Sebastiani Theater in Sonoma

Sebastiani Theater in Sonoma

Sebastiani Theater faces on to on Sonoma Plaza.

Sonoma Plaza, Sonoma, California

Date photographed: November 9, 2011
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Sonoma City Hall

Sonoma City Hall

Sonoma City Hall is in the center of the Plaza.

Sonoma Plaza, Sonoma, California

Date photographed: November 9, 2011
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Toscano Hotel on the Plaza in Sonoma

Toscano Hotel on the Plaza in Sonoma

The Toscano Hotel, flanked by the site of Vallejo's Casa Grande and the Sonoma Barracks, facing Sonoma Plaza.

Sonoma State Historic Park, Sonoma, California

Date photographed: November 9, 2011
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Inside the Barracks Room at Sonoma Mission

Inside the Barracks Room at Sonoma Mission

The Sonoma army barracks set up by General Vallejo.

Sonoma State Historic Park, Sonoma, California

Date photographed: November 9, 2011
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El Paseo in Sonoma

El Paseo in Sonoma

Shops and restaurants in El Paseo, just off the Plaza in Sonoma.

Sonoma Plaza, Sonoma, California

Date photographed: November 9, 2011
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Blue Wing Inn in Sonoma

Blue Wing Inn in Sonoma

The Blue Wing Inn opposite Sonoma Mission.

Sonoma State Historic Park, Sonoma, California

Date photographed: November 9, 2011
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