View of Sonoma Mountain from the State Hospital

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Comment or Abstract: 
Bird's Eye View of Sonoma State Home, Eldridge, California


Sonoma Developmental Center 95433
Camera Location: 
Low hilltop near Harney
Camera Direction: 
Collection and License: 
Sonoma Valley Historical Society
Lindberg Collection
Commentary by SEC: 
This postcard shows the eastern slopes of Sonoma Mountain and the Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC) at Eldridge. Note how open the upper slopes are. The lack of trees is probably due to a combination of logging and woodcutting over the preceding decades, accelerated with the arrival of the railroad in the 1880s, which allowed easier shipment of firewood and charcoal to San Francisco and other areas. Jack London's nephew, Irving Shepard, observed that around that time "you could see cows grazing all ove rthe mountain." In the foreground are railroad tracks and a vineyard, then trees along Sonoma Creek and the State Hospital Buildings (central building still there in 2008), and finally Sonoma Mountain in the distance. Compare this photo with Watkins photo of the Hill property (link) which shows much of the same area from a different perspective, twenty years before.

View of Sonoma Mountain from the State Hospital data, by Station

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