Neighbors of my mother breed horses for olympic jumping competitions. On Easter Sunday, we went for a walk along the country road by my mothers and stopped in for a visit with the horses. This particular horse is a big, beautiful boy, and very friendly. He came trotting up to the fence and you could almost hear him say, "Please come rub my muzzle!" So, of course, I obeyed. We had a lovely time until he let go a mighty *snort* and sprayed me pretty well with blech... Ah well, the life of an animal lover! I wiped myself clean of most of the mess, blew in his nostrils, pet his muzzle and said goodbye for the day.
Mom bought some chicks last autumn and built a little chicken coop. Surprise -- one of those chicks was a rooster!
So recently one of the chickens found a spot on the patio, between the back of a sofa and a wall corner, laid some eggs and started sitting on them. After a while, one of the eggs hatched. Wow - a chick! Neat!
Mom was then concerned that the other eggs hadn't hatched, so maybe they weren't fertile. She picks up one and gently shakes it... and "peep!" says the egg! The next day... chick number 2!
So mom waits a few more days and still the other eggs are silent. She begins thinking of omlettes...
Then she picks up the eggs and gives them some gentle shakes... "Peep! Peep! Peep!"
Mom's turned in to a chicken rancher.
Although now surrounded by town, Santa Rosa's old cemetery still has a rather wild setting on a forested hill. The area consists of several theorestically different cemeteries, including the IOOF cemtery, but they all run together as one. It contains graves going back more than 150 years to the town's beginnings, as well as a number of small mausolea.
Because of its unkempt setting of winding paths over undeulating ground under knarly oak trees and the dilapidated condition of many of the old tombs and gravestones, many people consider it to be among the creepiest cemeteries in the western U.S., especially in autumn when the leaves are falling from the trees.
The cemetery is the location of a tree from which vigilantes hanged some criminals in one of California's last mob lynchings in 1920.
Next to the Franklin Avenue entrance is the grave and memorial to about 40 of those who died in Santa Rosa on 18 April 1906 in the 1906 "San Francisco" earthquake.
The oldest identifiable grave is from 1854, but there are many from the later 1850s on. As is common from the time, there are numerous graves of infants and young children. Some graves of Japanese residents are written in Japanese, although apparently in the past no Chinese were allowed to be buried here.
In the more modern memorial park area, in what is apparently the IOOF part of the cemetery (more manicured and less wooded) is the grave of Robert Ripley, creator of Ripley's Believe it or Not. He was a native of Santa Rosa. The tombstone also has his parents and states "Believe it or not!"
It is on Franklin Ave. in NE Santa Rosa.
The ruins of the Carrillo Adobe, essentially an empty shell of a building under a shed roof to protect it from the elements, stand in a field in eastern Santa Rosa. The adobe is on Montgomery Drive in the Montgomery Village area of town. The land is still apparently private proeprty, though, so I don't think anyone is actually free to go on it. The Catholic church, with St. Eugene's Cathedral next door, has long owned the property and recently a developer has put forth plans to buy it and develop it, but people are clamouring to preserve the adobe and have it open to the public to see. Hopefully, something like that will happen. Although there is not much there, it's an important site as it is one of the last and northernmost settlements of California's Spanish/Mexican era. The building dates from about 1836 and was the focal point of the Rancho Cabeza de Santa Rosa, home of Dona Maria Carrillo, mother-in-law to Mariano Guadelupe Vallejo, the famous local Mexican commandant-turned-Sonoma leading citizen and California politician. Her son, Julio Carrillo, helped found the town of Santa Rosa and lay out its original streets.
Located mid-way between Santa Rosa and Callistoga just off the Mark West Highway, Safari West provides a wonderful venue for those who like animals.
Day trips are accomodated, but staying there is much better. Accomodations are African Tent Cabins, imported just to set the theme. Rates vary with the season
Safari drives through the 400 acre wildlife preserve to view the animals up close are $60 for adults and $28 for children. Group rates provide discounts. The "tour" is 2.5-3.5 hours in length with part of the tour allowing you to walk among the animals.
During peak season and even at times in the winter lunch and diner are served in the "dining tent." The barbeque dining was very good. Continental Breakfast is included with accomodations.
If you're lucky (and my friend), you might get invited to a party at my mother's home. Here she is, with our friend Michael, getting an "egg-toss" event going on Easter 2003. She throws a *terrific* party, no matter the ocassion!
The Hood House is a large brick house built in 1858 and one of the oldest surviving buildings in the region outside Sonoma and Petaluma. It was made by William Hood from bricks fired on the property. The location was previously the Mexican Rancho Los Guilicos, belonging to a daughter of Dona Maria Carrillo, who settled Santa Rosa, and sister-in-law of Mariano Vallejo. It is situated in a picturesque location just outside Santa Rosa at the base of rugged Hood Mountain on a small rise overlooking the northern Sonoma Valley and the portion of Santa Rosa that extends into the valey.
Eventually, the building ended up with the State, which used it as part of the Los Guilicos juvenile detention center, built up around it. It was eventually trasnferred to Santa Ros Junior College and is being renovated.
The site is actually right on the way up to Hood Mountain park, which has hiking, etc., and one will go right past it when travelling between Santa Rosa and Sonoma or Kenwood.
Although the public cannot as yet enter the building, one can walk all around it and look in the windows. The grounds are interesting and the setting quite picturesque, still able to evoke feelings of early California in this rugged eastern edge of Santa Rosa, a large town mostly situated in gentle, rolling countryside. In addition, one can look at the interesting, derelict old Los Guilicos buildings, including several attractive old brick builduings from about the 1930s to 1940s, as well as newer buildings from the 1950s or so. One also cannot enter these due to safety issues and some areas are blocked off but it's interesting to wander around the abandoned sites with no-one else around.
To get here, follow 4th St/Hwy 12 east from Santa Rosa. As one is just leavivng the town, still with some Oakmont area development around, turn left onto Pythian Rd. There are signs for Los Guilicos juvenile facility as well as for the Hood House itself. Then, head left at the fork or keep going to the right toward Hood Mountain park but take the next available left. The house is the tall white building.
Santa Rosa High School, the 9th oldest chartered higgh school in California, was founded in 1874, although Santa Rosa had earlier had other schools. While Santa Rosa now has several high schools, this one is still in operation and it stands out as the most magnificent old school in the region. It consists of some beautiful old buildings in a very attractive setting.
While neither the original building, nor the grand Victorian building built in 1896 survives, Santa Rosa is fortunate to retain the campus and buildings which opened in 1924. The buildings are a brick Gothic Revival complex, complete with gargoyles. They were recently renovated inside and a brand-new building was constructed in 2005 in practically the same style., to be faithful to the architecural heritage of the campus.
As a result, Santa Rosa High School has a beautiful old campus that is exceedingly rare and is interesting to visit (even though one might not think of a high school as a place to see). Many people also consider it to be the "epitome" of the American high school, much Alfred Hitchcock used the town itself long ago as the epitome of the American small city. In fact, the school was used as the high school in the fim Peggy Sue Got Married, which otherwise was largely filmed in nearby Petaluma (Petaluma's old neo-classical high school having been torn down and replaced in 1958 with a "modern" structure that was apparently unsuitable for the film).
The campus and main building are generally open during the day until the afternoon in the summer time, when school is out.
It is located on the west side of Mendocino Ave., one of the main streets, north of College Ave., which is north of downtown. Mendocino Ave. runs roughly north-south and to the soutth goes through the heart of downtown, becoming Santa Rosa Ave. south of Old Courthouse Square. The school is adjacent to, and directly south of, Santa Rosa Junior College, a major junior college which also is worth visiting for its beautiful campus and similar brick neo-gothic buildings.
The Church of One Tree, an old Baptist church built in 1873, is at 492 Sonoma Ave., on the portion of Sonoma Avenue west of Santa Rosa Avenue. It is attached to, and just north of, the adjacent Julliard Park, from which one can also reach the church. It was originally on Ross St. downtown, but was moved in 1957.
It was, as the name implies, built out of wood from a single giant redwood tree cut down in the logging sites in the nearby redwood forest. The church was an early feature of "Believe it or Not!" by Robert Ripley, a native of Santa Rosa.
It's not used as a church anymore and was once used as a memorial for Robert Ripley. The building, after having fallen into some disrepair, was recently fully restored inside and out and is now in beautiful condition. Owned by the city, it is open for certain events and sometimes at Christmas or the like and can be rented out for weddings or other private parties. Therefore, a casual visitor will not usually be able to go inside, but one can always see the outside.