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Testimonios: Early California through the Eyes of Women, 1815–1848 translated by Rose Marie Beebe and Robert M. Senkewicz

In the1870’s, prompted by General Mariano G. Vallejo,  H.H. Bancroft began an oral history project with approximately sixty-two Californios. Of those Testimonios thirteen were women’s firsthand accounts from the days when California was part of Spain and Mexico. Having lived through the gold rush and seen their country change so drastically, these women understood the…

Early Chinese in Sonoma Valley presented by Peter Meyerhof

The Early Chinese of Sonoma ValleyPeter Meyerhof will discuss the forgotten history of the Chinese residents of the Sonoma Valley in the 19th and early 20th century. Contemporary records and oral histories show just how significant their contribution was to the Valley. At their peak in the 1880s, the Chinese represented 1/4 to 1/3 of…

Vallejo’s Silver a Gift Exchange in a Contested Borderland

Sonoma Valley Woman's Club 574 1st St E, Sonoma

Three silver spoons that once belonged to Mariano Vallejo, hint at the importance of gift exchange in a contested borderland. General Vallejo was the commandant of Mexico’s “Northern Frontier” and the founder of the town of Sonoma. The spoons were donated to California State Parks by one of his descendants.
The spoons bear identical hallmarks indicating when and where they were made (Fig. 2). All three were made in 1834, by a silversmith working in the Russian city of St. Petersburg. .