River’s Perspective-Stories of Sonoma County from its Waterways

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Sonoma County has a rich and unique history within California. Home to a high concentration of microclimates, it is an incredibly fertile landscape that has supported people for thousands of years. The nature of Sonoma County’s environment has shaped the cultures and landscapes of this county. This is especially true for its waterways. This lecture series will present the history of this county from the
perspective of its waterways. We will wade into the rich cultural significance of these waters and their environments to the native peoples of the county, navigate the use of these rivers as political boundaries between the Russians and the Spanish in the 1800s, and then follow the rivers’ winding histories as increasing amounts of trade and agriculture shaped their banks. Lastly, we will attempt to bridge the gap between the past and the present, by taking a look at the county from the perspective of these waterways now. Come hear the stories from these rivers and the people they watered over the years.

Weekly Materials:

National Register of Historic Places: Sonoma County

Local Place Name Slides

  1. Week 1: ‘Native Peoples’ Handout

  2.   Additional Articles:

  3. Shellfish Transport, Caloric Return Rates, and Prehistoric Feasting on the Laguna De Santa Rosa, Alta California

  4. A Note Concerning the Archaeology of Annadel State Park

  5. The Archaeology of California

  6. Miwok and Pomo Myths

  7. Graton Rancheria Helps Restore Tolay Lake’s Place in American Indian Past – and Present

  1. Week 2: ‘The Russians are Coming’ Handout

  2.                (Read Glenn Farris’ full chapter “The Age of Russian Imperialism in the North Pacific”)

  3.   Additional Resources/Articles:

  4. A Virtual Tour of Fort Ross State Historic Park

  5. Fort Ross Conservancy

  6. Discovering a Shared History

  7. Week 3: ‘Arrival of the Spanish’ Handout

  8. Additional Resources/Articles:

  9. California Missions Resource Center (San Francisco Solano)

  10. Mission San Francisco Solano Virtual Tour

  11. California Missions: the quest to cast a spotlight on the darker side of the missionaries’ march

  12. The Great California Genocide

  13. US Army Corps of Engineers 1996 - Presidio collections (prepared for NAGPRA)

  1. Week 4: ‘Moving Up and Down the Rivers’ Handout

  2.                (Read the full “Sonoma County Watersheds and Subwatersheds” report)

  3. Additional Resources/Articles:

  4. Chinese Bunkhouse in Miller Gulch (Sonoma Coast)

  5. Yerba Buena Walk

  6.   Glimpses of the Ghost: tracing the route of the North Pacific Coast Railroad

  7. Sturgeon’s Mill: a working museum

  1. Week 5: ‘Growing Along the Rivers’ Handout

  2. Additional Resources/Articles:

  3. Sonoma County when hops was the ‘King of Crops’ (LeBaron)

  4. Sonoma County Crop Report - 2015

  5. Sonoma County Decennial Census Data (1860 through 2010)

  6. California Historical Landmarks (Sonoma County)

  7. (Brief) History of Petaluma Eggs

  8. Locality Research and Preservation (do you have a story?)

  1. Week 6:

  2.                     The Kashia Return to the Coast (Video)

  3. Additional Resources/Articles:

  4. Sonoma County Agricultural and Open Space District

  5. Colgan Creek Watershed Interactive Map

  6. Petaluma Watershed Interactive Map

  7. Russian River Watershed Interactive Map

  8. The Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation

  9. Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District

  10. Sonoma Resource Conservation District


© Mara Vejby 1 February 2018