🇺🇸 Santa Rosa is a city and the county seat of Sonoma County, in the North Bay region of the Bay Area in California. It is the largest city in California's Wine Country and Redwood Coast. It is the fifth most populous city in the Bay Area after San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, and Fremont; and the 25th most populous city in California.
History Before the arrival of Europeans, what became known as the Santa Rosa Plain was home to a strong and populous tribe of Pomo people known as the Bitakomtara. The Bitakomtara controlled the area closely, barring passage to others until permission was arranged. Those who entered without permission were subject to harsh penalties. The tribe gathered at ceremonial times on Santa Rosa Creek near present-day Spring Lake Regional Park.
Following the arrival of Europeans, initially Spanish explorers and colonists, the Pomos were decimated by violence, land theft, slavery, genocide and smallpox brought from Europe. Social displacement and disruption followed. By 1900, the Pomo population had decreased by 95%.
Santa Rosa was founded in 1833 and named by Mexican colonists after Saint Rose of Lima. The first known permanent European settlement here was the homestead of the Carrillo family of California, in-laws to Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, who settled the Sonoma pueblo and Petaluma area. In the 1830s, during the Mexican period, the family of María López de Carrillo built an adobe house on their Rancho Cabeza de Santa Rosa land grant, just east of what later became downtown Santa Rosa. By the 1820s, before the Carrillos built their adobe in the 1830s, Spanish and Mexican settlers from nearby Sonoma and other settlements to the south were known to raise livestock in the area.
They slaughtered animals at the fork of the Santa Rosa Creek and Matanzas Creek, near the intersection of modern-day Santa Rosa and Sonoma avenues. This is thought to have been the origin of the name of Matanzas Creek; because it was a slaughtering place, the confluence came to be called La Matanza.
By the 1850s, after the United States annexed California following its victory in the Mexican-American War, a Wells Fargo post and general store were established in what is now downtown Santa Rosa. In the mid-1850s, several prominent locals, including Julio Carrillo, son of Maria Carrillo, laid out the grid street pattern for Santa Rosa with a public square in the center. This pattern has been largely maintained in downtown to this day, despite changes to the central square, now called Old Courthouse Square.
In 1867, the county recognised Santa Rosa as an incorporated city; in 1868 the state officially confirmed the incorporation, making it the third incorporated city in Sonoma County after Petaluma, incorporated in 1858, and Healdsburg, incorporated in 1867.
U.S. Census records show that after California became a state, Santa Rosa grew steadily, though it lagged behind nearby Petaluma in the 1850s and early 1860s. According to the U.S. Census, in 1870 Santa Rosa was the eighth-largest city in California, and county seat of one of the most populous counties in the state. Growth and development after that was steady but never rapid. The city continued to grow when other early population centres declined or stagnated, but by 1900 it was being overtaken by many other newer population centres in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California. According to a 1905 article in the Press Democrat newspaper reporting on the "Battle of the Trains", the city had just over 10,000 people at the time.
The 1906 San Francisco earthquake essentially destroyed the entire downtown, but the city's population did not greatly suffer. However, after that period the population growth of Santa Rosa, as with most of the area, was very slow.
Since World War II Santa Rosa grew following World War II because it was the location for Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Santa Rosa, the remnants of which are now located in south-west Santa Rosa. The city was a convenient location for San Francisco travelers bound for the Russian River.
The population increased by two-thirds between 1950 and 1970, an average of 1,000 new residents a year over the 20-year period. Some of the increase was from immigration, and some from annexation of portions of the surrounding area.
In 1958 the United States Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization designated Santa Rosa as one of its eight regional headquarters, with jurisdiction over Region 7, which included American Samoa, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah. Santa Rosa continued as a major centre for civil defense activity (under the Office of Emergency Planning and the Office of Emergency Preparedness) until 1979 when the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was created in its place, ending the civil defense's 69-year history.
When the City Council adopted the city's first modern General Plan in 1991, the population was about 113,000. In the 21 years following 1970, Santa Rosa grew by about 3,000 residents a year—triple the average growth during the previous twenty years.
Santa Rosa 2010, the 1991 General Plan, called for a population of 175,000 in 2010. The Council expanded the city's urban boundary to include all the land then planned for future annexation, and declared it would be Santa Rosa's "ultimate" boundary. The rapid growth that was being criticized as urban sprawl became routine infill development.
At the first five-year update of the plan, in 1996, the Council extended the planning period by ten years, renaming it Vision 2020 (updated to Santa Rosa 2020, and then again to Santa Rosa 2030 Vision), and added more land and population.
Santa Rosa annexed the community of Roseland in November 2017.
2017 firestorm Beginning on the night of October 8, 2017, five percent of the city's homes were destroyed in the Tubbs Fire, a 45,000-acre wildfire that claimed the lives of at least 19 people in Sonoma County. Named after its origin near Tubbs Lane and Highway 128 in adjacent Napa County, the fire became a major section of the most destructive and third deadliest firestorm in California history. Most homes in the Coffey Park, Larkfield-Wikiup, and Fountain Grove neighborhoods were destroyed.
A notable exception to the destruction in the area was the protection of more than 1,000 animals at the renowned Safari West Wildlife Preserve north-east of Santa Rosa. All of the preserve's animals were saved by owner Peter Lang. At age 76, he single-handedly and successfully fought back the flames for more than 10 hours using garden hoses.
Geography According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 41.50 sq mi (107.5 km²). Of that area, 41.29 sq mi (106.9 km²) is land and 0.205 sq mi (0.5 km²), comprising 0.49%, is water.
The city is part of the North Bay region, which includes such cities as Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Windsor, and smaller cities as Sonoma, Healdsburg, Sebastopol. It lies along the US Route 101 corridor, approximately 55 miles (89 km) north of San Francisco, via the Golden Gate Bridge.
Santa Rosa lies on the Santa Rosa Plain. The city's eastern extremities stretch into the Valley of the Moon, and the Sonoma Creek watershed known as the Sonoma Valley. The city's western edge lies in the Laguna de Santa Rosa catchment basin.
The city is in the watershed of Santa Rosa Creek, which rises on Hood Mountain and discharges to the Laguna de Santa Rosa. Tributary basins to Santa Rosa Creek lying significantly in the city are Brush Creek, Matanzas Creek, and Piner Creek. Other water bodies within the city include Fountaingrove Lake, Lake Ralphine, and Santa Rosa Creek Reservoir.
The prominent visual features east of the city include Bennett Peak, Mount Hood, and Sonoma and Taylor mountains.
Seismicity Santa Rosa lies atop the Healdsburg-Rodgers Creek segment of the Hayward-Rodgers Creek Fault System. The Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities estimated a minimum 27 percent chance of a magnitude 6.7 or greater earthquake on this segment by 2037.
On November 21, 2005, the United States Geological Survey released a map detailing the results of a new tool that measures ground shaking during an earthquake. The map determined that the 1906 San Francisco earthquake was most powerful in an area between Santa Rosa and what is now Sebastopol, causing more damage in Santa Rosa (for its size) than any other city affected.
On October 1, 1969, two earthquakes of magnitudes 5.6 and 5.7 shook Santa Rosa, damaging about 100 structures. They were the strongest quakes to affect the city since 1906. The epicenters were about two miles (3.2 km) north of Santa Rosa.
Nature and wildlife Due to its population, much of Santa Rosa's remaining undisturbed area is on its urban fringe. However, the principal wildlife corridors of Santa Rosa Creek and its tributaries flow right through the heart of the town. Great blue herons, great egrets, snowy egrets and black-crowned herons nest in the trees of the median strip on West Ninth Street as well as along Santa Rosa Creek and downtown. Deer often are spotted roaming the neighborhoods nearer the eastern hills, as deep into town as Franklin Avenue and the McDonald area; rafters of wild turkeys are relatively common in some areas; and mountain lions are occasionally observed within city limits. Raccoons and opossums are a common sight throughout the city, while foxes, and rabbits may be regularly seen in the more rural areas. In addition, the city borders and then wraps around the northern end of Trione Annadel State Park, which itself extends into the Sonoma Mountains and Sonoma Valley. Trione-Annadel State Park also adjoins Spring Lake County Park and Howarth Park, forming one contiguous park system that enables visitors to venture into wild native habitats.
Neighborhoods Santa Rosa can be seen as divided into four quadrants: Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, and Northwest. U.S. Route 101 runs roughly north–south through the city, and divides it into east and west sides. State Route 12 runs roughly east–west, and divides the city into north and south sides.
Neighborhoods, including both current ones and areas formerly known and named, include: • Apple Tree I and II • Bennett Valley • Burbank Gardens Historic District • Cherry Street Historic District • Coffey Park • Dutton Avenue • Fountain Grove • Hidden Valley • Holland Heights • Indian Village • Juilliard Park • Junior College • Lomita Heights • McDonald Mansion Historic District • Monroe District, an area historically known, from 1870s on • Montecito Heights • Montgomery Village • Moorland Avenue • North Junior College • North West Santa Rosa • Oakmont Village • Olive Park • Railroad Square District • Ridgway Historic District • Rincon Valley • Roseland • Santa Rosa Avenue • Skyhawk • Spring Lake • Annadel Heights • South Park • St. Rose Historic District • Stonegate • Town & Country/Grace Tract • West 3rd • West End Arts and Theater District • West End Historic District • West Junior College • Valley Oak.
Economy Forbes Magazine ranked the Santa Rosa metropolitan area 185th out of 200 on its 2007 list of Best Places For Business And Careers. It was second on the list five years earlier. It was downgraded because of an increase in the cost of doing business, and reduced job growth—both blamed on increases in the cost of housing.
Economy: Top employers According to the city's 2015 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city's top employers are: 1 County of Sonoma; 2 Kaiser Permanente; 3 Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa; 4 St. Joseph Health System; 5 Santa Rosa Junior College; 6 Santa Rosa School District; 7 City of Santa Rosa; 8 Keysight /Agilent Technologies; 9 Amy's Kitchen; 10 Medtronic Aortic and Peripheral Disease Management.
Santa Rosa is also home to notable smaller businesses such as Moonlight Brewing Company, Russian River Brewing Company and ATIV Software.
Economy: Retail As of 2014, Santa Rosa has 12 neighborhood shopping centres and 17 commercial districts, including three sizeable shopping malls: Santa Rosa Plaza, with more than 100 merchants; Coddingtown Mall, with over 40; and Montgomery Village, an open-air mall with more than 70 shops, a supermarket, five banks, and a satellite U.S. Post Office.
Tourist Industry Santa Rosa sits at the north-western gateway to the Sonoma and Napa Valleys of California's famed Wine Country. Many wineries and vineyards are nearby, as well as the Russian River resort area, the Sonoma Coast along the Pacific Ocean, Jack London State Historic Park, and the redwood trees of Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve.
The City Council pays the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce to operate the Santa Rosa Convention & Visitors Bureau. The Chamber's visitors centre is in the city-owned old railroad depot at the bottom of Fourth Street, in Historic Railroad Square. The SRC&VB has been a California Welcome Center since 2003.
Downtown Santa Rosa, including the central Old Courthouse Square and historic Railroad Square, is an area of shopping, restaurants, nightclubs, and theaters. Downtown also includes City Hall, state and federal office buildings, many banks, and professional offices. The Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital medical centre is just to the east of downtown.
Although there are co-op network atms and several credit unions, there is no shared branching for credit unions in Santa Rosa.
The city council funds a private booster group, Santa Rosa Main Street, which lobbies the city to revitalize the traditional business district. Three new mixed-use, high-rise buildings, and a new city parking garage, are under development. The council and downtown business boosters hope condos atop the new buildings will house a population to keep the area active 24 hours a day.
The nearby cities and towns of Bodega Bay, Calistoga, Guerneville, Healdsburg, Petaluma, Sebastopol, Sonoma, and Windsor are popular with tourists and readily accessible from Santa Rosa.
Railroad Square is the portion of downtown that is on the west side of U.S. Route 101 and has the highest concentration of historic commercial buildings. Of particular note are the four rough-hewn stone buildings at its core, two of which are rare in that they predate the 1906 earthquake. They include the old Northwestern Pacific Railroad depot, prominently seen in the beginning and the end of the Alfred Hitchcock film Shadow of a Doubt, and the still-functioning Hotel La Rose, built in 1907 and registered as one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Historic Hotels of America. The area contains numerous other historic buildings, such as the former Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railroad depot, and the Lee Bros. Building, both at the corner of 4th and Wilson Streets. Near it in the West End district are numerous other old buildings, including not only many old houses but the masonry DeTurk Winery complex, dating to the 1880s–1890s, and the DeTurk round barn. Also of note nearby is the former Del Monte Cannery Building, built in 1894. One of the oldest surviving commercial buildings in town, it was renovated into the 6th Street Playhouse in 2005.
Colleges • Empire College • Santa Rosa Junior College • University of San Francisco (USF) – Santa Rosa.
Media: Print The Press Democrat is published in Santa Rosa and is the largest daily newspaper in the North Bay. It is descended from the Sonoma Democrat, founded in 1857. Local business papers include the North Bay Business Journal and NorthBay biz. The North Bay Bohemian is a free weekly alternative. The Sonoma County Gazette is a free monthly paper.
Sonoma Media Investments is a significant regional presence: besides the Press Democrat and the North Bay Business Journal as well as the Sonoma County Gazette, it owns important newspapers in the nearby cities of Sonoma and Petaluma.
Law enforcement The Santa Rosa Police Department currently has 259 employees, of which 172 are sworn peace officers. Its budget is more than $40 million, comprising more than one third of the city's General Fund budget. Police shootings in 2007 led to calls for an independent civilian police review board.
Fire department The Santa Rosa Fire Department provides fire protection and emergency medical services.
The Santa Rosa Fire Department, like many departments across the United States, made its start as a volunteer organization on February 12, 1861. Decades later in 1894 the department made its transition to a paid organization. In 1906 a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake destroyed most of Santa Rosa. The department grew to 100 firefighters in 1983 with the addition of the city of Roseland to the SRFD responsibility area. Many members of the department serve as part of the California Task Force 4, one of the eight FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces throughout the state. The team, which is deployed as part of the nation's response to disasters both within and outside of the United States, specializes in dealing with large-scale disasters.
Transport: Road The city sprawls along U.S. Route 101, about an hour north of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. Sonoma County Transit provides local bus service in the city. Into the 1950s, the Southern Pacific Railroad offered substitute bus service from Crockett in the north-western edge of the San Francisco Bay.
Transport: Rail Sonoma–Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) brought passenger railway back to Santa Rosa for the first time in 59 years, in 2017. It operates two railway stations within the city limits: Guerneville Road and Railroad Square. Trains serve locations as far south as Larkspur; SMART opened on August 25, 2017, Into the 1950s, the Northwestern Pacific Railroad operated a passenger train from Eureka, through Santa Rosa, to San Rafael at the north edge of the Bay.
Transport: Air Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport located just north of Santa Rosa is served by United, American, Alaska, and Avelo Airlines. Nonstop flights are available to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Burbank, San Diego, Santa Ana, Portland, Seattle, Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas, and Phoenix. Sonoma County Airport Express buses also connect Santa Rosa with Oakland International Airport and San Francisco International Airport.
Motor-minimal travel The Prince Memorial Greenway is a developed bicycle and pedestrian path along Santa Rosa Creek through downtown and out to the west of town. Near Railroad Square, it connects directly to the Joe Rodota Trail, a paved path which goes to Sebastopol. Santa Rosa is on the path of the partially-developed Great Redwood Trail which will run "from San Francisco Bay in Marin County to Humboldt Bay in the north".
Santa Rosa was ranked #330 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Santa Rosa has a population of over 176,753 people. Santa Rosa also forms the centre of the wider Sonoma County which has a population of over 494,336 people. Santa Rosa is the #121 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 4.1957 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores. Santa Rosa is ranked #385 for startups with a score of 0.582.
Twin Towns, Sister Cities Santa Rosa has links with:🇺🇦 Cherkasy, Ukraine 🇰🇷 Jeju City, South Korea 🇲🇽 Los Mochis, Mexico
Locations Near: Santa Rosa -122.716,38.4397
Antipodal to: Santa Rosa 57.284,-38.44