San Rafael
March 12, 2019
History of Healdsburg

About an hour north of the Golden Gate Bridge awaits a veritable country within a wondrous state, where natural beauty unites with world-renowned California artists and artisans to inspire the senses. They call it Healdsburg.

As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a population of 11,254. Healdsburg is a small tourist-oriented town in northern Sonoma County. Due to its three most important wine-producing regions (the Russian RiverDry Creek, and Alexander Valley AVAs), Healdsburg has been continuously awarded one of the top 10 small towns in America and is home to three of the top wineries in the United States.

Early inhabitants of the local area included the Pomo people, who constructed villages in open areas along the Russian River. Anglo-American (Mexican and Russian) settlement may have commenced in the mid-19th century, with a settlement nearby, established downstream along the Russian River near Graton, in 1836, and later the Rancho Sotoyome land grant, in 1844.

In 1857, Harmon Heald, an Ohio businessman who had been squatting on Rancho Sotoyome since 1850, purchased part of the rancho—giving the city its official founding date. In 1867, Heald’s eponymous small town was incorporated. Healdsburg is located within the former township of Mendocino. The San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad reached Healdsburg in 1872.

 

Panoramic map of Healdsburg from 1876 with images several area sites inset

Farming, especially orchards and truck farms, was common within the present city limits from at least the 1890s to 1940s.[17]

Whether you're visiting to sample from an abundance of world-class wineries to feast from the very best in farm-to-table dining or to just explore the picture-perfect countryside of lush valleys and redwood forests that cradle Lake Sonoma and the Russian River, you will delight in everything...but leaving.

KNOWN FOR

Healdsburg is a popular destination among foodies who are drawn to restaurants leading Sonoma County’s farm-to-table movement. Many of these establishments can be found along the streets lining the Healdsburg Plaza, including artisan bakeries, local wine bars, and restaurants with locally-sourced ingredients from the surrounding gardens and farms.

Healdsburg Market Report


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