Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sonoma Plaza

Sonoma is where "California" began. In this plaza the Bear Flag Revolt took place on June 14, 1846. John C. Fremont ordered his men to proclaim independence from Mexican rule and started the California Republic.

This is the Bear Flag Monument in the plaza. It was so overly emotional standing in this spot, it's hard to put into words my love and devotion to the place I call home.

At the Sonoma Barracks at the Toscana Hotel is a museum highlighting the revolt and history.

Mission San Francisco Solano is the last of the 21 California missions.

The mission is not an active church but is open for tours and has a few historical artifacts and paintings.

The famous mission bells that mark the El Camino, the road linking (or following) the twenty-one missions. When first they were built the missions were planned to be one day's horseback ride from each other.

If you think you can gently lean against a cactus and not get your butt poked, think again.

Most of the buildings in the Sonoma Plaza have historical significance. Most are now used for shops and restaurants, but each have a plaque outside with a blurb about what the building's name is and when it was built. In the visitor's center maps are provided with the names and locations of the historical sites, and maps are also available in the SHP gift shop.

If you have driven anywhere in California, chances are very good you have seen a California Historical Marker and/or a sign indicating an historical site. Whenever I see one I stop if time permits. My goal is to see all of the more than 1,070 sites. I have always seen signs announcing one landmark. Imagine my excitement when I saw this sign. I was brought to tears standing in such historical greatness.

I love you, California.

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