Oral History Project

Authors: 
Arthur Dawson
Publication Date: 
2002
Publisher: 
Sonoma Ecology Center
Publication Place: 
Sonoma CA
Abstract: 

Over a period of one year, long-time residents of Sonoma Valley were interviewed for the Sonoma Ecology Center’s Oral History Project. These elders graciously shared their recollections of Sonoma Creek and the local environment, giving a glimpse of living memory stretching back to the early 20th century. Many of these folks can recall a time when horses far outnumbered automobiles and farmers still used animal power to plow their fields. Together, these interviews represent over 500 years of human experience and observation in our watershed; it’s an astounding amount of information. Organizing it all into a coherent whole was at times a staggeringly complex task—the index alone runs to 27 pages! While everyone’s experiences are unique, the picture which emerges of Sonoma Valley’s past (and present) is surprisingly consistent, and is a rich and valuable piece of collective wisdom. The project describes many historical conditions "on the ground" in Sonoma Valley, including topics such as abundance of trout and salmon in Sonoma Creek, flow conditions on Sonoma Creek and tributaries, tree cover and other vegetation, groundwater resources, dredging and reclamation of the tidal marshes, gravel mining, and dams.

Keywords: 
Project report; Historical ecology; Fish abundance; Trout; Salmon; Stream flow; Vegetation; Exotic plants; Gravel mining; Dams; Wetlands; Tidal marshes
Progress: 
Complete
Name: 
Arthur Dawson
Organization: 
Sonoma Ecology Center
Address: 
P.O. Box 1486, Eldridge, CA 95431
Phone: 
707-996-0712
AttachmentSize
Sonoma_Valley_Oral_History_Report_2002.zip1.42 MB

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