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Living In Petaluma, California
Located north of San Francisco, Petaluma is a city in the Sonoma County of the North Bay sub-region of the San Francisco Bay Area. This northern California city is situated between the unincorporated communities of Penngrove to its north and Lakeville to its south.
Petaluma lies at the northern end of the Petaluma River and has a large part of its land in the river’s flood plain which overflows its banks every few years. The city has a mild Mediterranean climate.
The History Of Petaluma:
The Petaluma area was originally part of a 66,000 acres Mexican land grant given to Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo by Governor Jose Figueroa called Rancho Petaluma in 1834. The Peta Lummas were a group of Native Americans residing in a Miwok village at the base of the Sonoma Mountain and the General decided on the name for his Ranch. Some say it means ‘back’, some say it means ‘flat back’ while others say it means ‘hill backside’.
In 1868, Christopher Nisson founded the first commercial hatchery in the U.S.A; “Petaluma Pioneer Hatchery” and in 1878, the egg incubator was perfected in Petaluma by Lyman Bryce Petaluma.
In either the 1800s or 1900s Petaluma became known as the “Egg Capital of the World” with nicknames like “Chickaluma” for its major grain milling and chicken processing industries. Although it is no longer Egg Capital of the World, Petaluma is well known for its dairy farms, olive groves, vineyards and vegetable farms.
Petaluma is today the location of many distinguished, well-preserved pre-1906 buildings and Victorian homes on the western side of the river and it is no wonder that the city has been used as a filming location for various movie sets dating from the 1940s.
The Worlds Ugliest Dog Contest:
Petaluma hosts several annual festivals and contests with “The World’s Ugliest Dog Contest” which began in 1971 and the “Butter and Egg Days Parade” which holds every last Saturday in the month of April to celebrate its heritage as the “Egg Basket of the World” being the most popular.
The World’s Ugliest Dog Contest was adopted by the Sonoma-Marin Fair in 1988 and is now a trademarked event that occurs at the fair every summer.
Petaluma, California is home to various historical buildings and old Victorian mansions along the Petaluma River. With wineries, organic farms, festivals, restaurants, an adobe and more, Petaluma is a great place to visit.
Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park:
Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park is home to a major tourist attraction, Rancho Petaluma Adobe; a ranch house built from adobe bricks in 1836 by order of Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo. The Adobe is preserved as the centerpiece of Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park and is both a California Historical Landmark and a National Historic Landmark.
The park is home to the Adobe Creek which flows throughout the park, attracting birds and other wildlife. There is also a small museum of exhibits in the park. Admission to the park is $3 for adults, $2 for kids between ages 6 and 16, and free for kids under 5. It is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm.
The Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park is located on Adobe Road on the east side of the present-day town of Petaluma, California.
The Petaluma Creamery:
The Petaluma Creamery which was established by dairy farmers in 1913 is currently owned by Larry Peter and serves as a historic landmark. The Creamery supports the local farming industry and dairy production by using local raw products to make mouth-watering, all-organic products.
The Petaluma Creamery is a must-visit for dozens of local handmade organic butter and cheese like Petaluma Gold Cheese, Spring Hill Jersey Butter, etc. you
can also get homemade chicken soup, coffee, sandwiches, salads and over 40 flavors of ice cream at its kitchen.
Together with the 80 acres Alman Marsh and the 260 acres Ellis Creek, the 165 acres Shollenberger Park make up the 505 acres Petaluma Wetlands area.
The Park which is named after Park Chief Richard Shollenberger is home to over 200 species of birds some of which are threatened. Visit the Shollenberger Park and explore the trails and wildlife of the habitat. You can also go on tour courtesy of the Petaluma Wetland Alliance.
Helen Putnam Park:
Located in the Southwest of Petaluma, Helen Putnam Regional Park boasts 6 miles of looped system trails that explore oak woodlands and grassy hillsides. These trails include biking paths and are structured in a way that lets you pick your desired difficulty level.
The Park has a fishing pond, a playground, a picnic area suitable for the entire family including dogs and a gazebo for shelter.
Founded by Nan McEvoy 1990, McEvoy Ranch is known widely for its 100% organic virgin olive oil and handcrafted limited-edition wines. The Ranch also produces an ODE Natural Beauty Collection that is certified by Leaping Bunny and infused with botanicals and 100% organic olive oil.
Visit the McEvoy Ranch for wine or olive oil tasting, exploration of gardens, vineyards, orchards, and olive mill.
Additional California Cities
If you’re looking for additional information on another Northern California city please be sure to visit the main Northern California page.