Sonoma Democrat > 26 November 1857
Visit to Sonoma.
— One day last week we visited the beautiful valley and city of Sonoma. It is one of the oldest settlements in the State, having been settled under the authority of the Mexican government, by Col. Vallejo, about the year 1830. Affording as this valley does, as great agricultural and grazing advantages as any portion of the State, added to the fact of its early settlement, we should naturally expect to find it presenting a most inviting appearance. But we must confess our surprise on visiting it, was of the most agreeable character. We saw several farms which gave evidence of industry, thrift and taste, which mark the valleys of California as presenting resources of untold wealth. Among these are the home farms of Gen. Vallejo, and Col. Haraszthy. This valley is watered by Sonoma creek, one of the most beautiful streams in the world, which is navigable to within three miles of Sonoma, and is bounded on the south by a range of hills literally covered with immense herds of cattle at all seasons. On the east it extends to the bay, and on the west to the Santa Rosa valley. The town of Sonoma is one of the most beautiful in the State, containing some ten or twelve mercantile houses, blacksmith shops, restaurants, churches, &c. To say nothing of the Union Hotel, kept by our particular friend Tony Oakes, than whom, by the way, there are none who know better how to give rest to the weary, or to provide comforts for the traveler, or extend courtesies where they are merited. Tony has our best regards. In our next we may take occasion to speak of the treatment of the grape and other useful vines and trees, and the manufacture of native wine in Sonoma valley. We visited several gardens, among which was that of Col. Harasthzy, from which we regaled ourself with some fresh grapes, figs, wines, apples, &c.