New History of Sonoma available June 1

A delightful account of one of America’s most picturesque towns

Sonoma by Lynn Downey
Sonoma by Lynn Downey

Sonoma, one of Northern California’s most desirable places to live and a popular tourist destination, combines small-town charm, a colorful past, and wonderful food and wine. Generously illustrated with period photographs, A Short History of Sonoma traces Sonoma’s story from the early Native American inhabitants through the establishment of a Spanish mission; the Bear Flag Revolt, early statehood days, and foundation of its wine industry.

Proximity to San Francisco and nearby hot springs helped make Sonoma and the surrounding Valley of the Moon a popular location for summer homes and resorts. This short history includes brief profiles of some of its intriguing residents, such as Mexican general Mariano Vallejo, the town’s first leader; Hungarian winemaker Agoston Haraszthy, who saw the region’s potential for wine; and writers Jack London and M. F. K. Fisher, who lived in the Valley of the Moon, drawn by its beauty and bucolic lifestyle.

Lynn Downey is a fifth-generation resident of Sonoma and historian at Levi Strauss & Co. She has published numerous books and articles on the West, including Wickenburg: Images of America, Levi Strauss & Co., and Fired By Ideals: Arequipa Pottery and the Arts and Crafts Movement. She is a frequent guest speaker and is available for interviews and author appearances.

This title is the fifth “Short History” from the University of Nevada Press, following histories of Lake Tahoe, Reno, Las Vegas, and Carson City.