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Below is some general information about Sonoma:
Sonoma is a historically significant city in Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California, United States, surrounding its historic town plaza, a remnant of the town’s Mexican colonial past. It was the capital of the short-lived California Republic. Today, Sonoma is a center of the state’s wine industry for the Sonoma Valley AVA Appellation, as well as the home of the nationally recognized Sonoma International Film Festival. Sonoma’s population was 10,648 as of the 2010 census, while the Sonoma urban area had a population of 32,678.
The region of Sonoma was originally the home of Native American Coast Miwok tribes as well as the Pomo people and Wintuns. Many of the Native Americans still remain, even after seven changes in government since the Spanish first explored and took over the region (see Sonoma County for governments.) The town of Sonoma began with the foundation of Mission San Francisco Solano in 1823 by Father Jose Altimira of the Franciscan Order. This mission was the farthest north of all 21 California missions, and was connected to the others by the Camino Real (Royal Road). Mission San Francisco Solano was the last of the California missions to be established, and the only one founded after Mexico’s independence from Spain.
Sonoma is known as the birthplace of American California, for it was in this town plaza that the Bear Flag Revolt took place and a Bear Flag was first raised on June 14, 1846. The rebelling men claimed to act on the orders of Col. John C. Fremont proclaiming independence from Mexican rule and a free country called the California Republic here. Sonoma served as the capital of the short-lived California Republic until the United States Stars and Stripes flag was raised during the Mexican-American war. General Vallejo was imprisoned during the Bear Flag Revolt of 1846, and he later transferred his allegiance to the U.S. and endorsed California statehood (1850). With his amassed land holdings, Vallejo guided the development of the town of Sonoma. He was one of the most powerful residents in the town’s history, dividing up the lands into large ranches for friends and family.
Sonoma is also considered the birthplace of wine-making in California, dating back to the original vineyards of Mission San Francisco Solano, then improvements made by Agoston Haraszthy, the father of California viticulture and credited with introduction of the Zinfandel/Primitivo grape varietal. The Valley of the Moon Vintage Festival takes place late each September, and is California’s oldest celebration of its winemaking heritage.
The principal watercourse in the town is Sonoma Creek, which flows in a southerly direction to discharge ultimately to the Napa Sonoma Marsh; Arroyo Seco Creek is a tributary to Schell Creek with a confluence in the eastern portion of the town. The active Rodgers Fault lies to the west of Sonoma Creek; however, risk of major damage is mitigated by the fact that most of the soils beneath the city consist of a slight alluvial terrace underlain by strongly cemented sedimentary and volcanic rock. To the immediate south, west and east are deeper rich, alluvial soils that support valuable agricultural cultivation. The mountain block to the north rises to 1,200 feet and provides an important scenic backdrop, around whose views the city’s original streetscape was carefully laid out.
Source: Sonoma on Wikipedia