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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Napa, California History Revisited - Part 2

I was trying to hunt down some photos of General Vallejo's home in Sonoma, California.  My fourth grade field trip was to Sonoma, California which included the mission, the barracks and General Vallejo's home.  That sounds like a quick trip....not exactly.  Let's just say that as a 4th grader I probably did not have the level of historical appreciation that I do now for these locations.

Today you can visit the well preserved Mission San Francisco Solano de Sonoma and the Sonoma Barracks located right off the town square of Sonoma.  Town square you say?  Yes, and it is probably just as you might envision.  It is rather Americana but with a Sonoma Valley slant.  There are specialty retail shops around the square, historic buildings, the cheese factory, and some lovely places to eat and drink.  It is sophisticated history with a beautiful park setting in the middle.  My young children love the playground and picnicking at the park.  It is a little piece of heaven in my opinion.  General Vallejo's house is located just a quick drive away from the town square.

So why do I bring Sonoma up at this juncture in Napa history?  Well, it is hard to separate the two from each other when you talk about he Mexican Government and their occupation of the area.  General Mariano Vallejo was sent by his government as a military enforcer and leader for the area.  Salvador Vallejo, Mariano's brother, led soilders in battle in the Napa area against the local Indians.  He eventually ran cattle in the area.

Some of what I've gleaned from reading this book about Napa is in reference to several prominent families and their homes.  While it is interesting, I am looking for something with more depth than just wealth and prestige.  What about those who were just living a normal everyday life or those who were forgotten yet helped make Napa what it is today?

To be continued.................

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