“An old spanish mission”
Mission San Francisco Solano was founded on July 4, 1823, and named for Francis Solanus, a missionary to the Indians of Peru born in Montilla, Spain, known as the "Wonder Worker of the New World." Originally planned as an asistencia ("sub-mission") to Mission San Rafael Arcángel, it is the northernmost Alta California Franciscan mission (an attempt to found a twenty-second mission in Santa Rosa in 1827 was aborted). The mission is located in present-day Sonoma, California, at 114 East Spain Street. The mission was built by the Mexican authorities as a barrier to Russia's attempts to extend control to the federal territory of Alta California. During the years the Mission was active, General Mariano Vallejo resided in town. He was tasked with monitoring the activities of Russia at their nearby settlement of Fort Ross (krepost' rus'), and with establishing peaceful relations with the Native Americans of the region. Vallejo helped to build the town of Sonoma and even paid for the rebuilding of the small Mission chapel. There were always soldiers and settlers in the town of Sonoma during the Mexican period. The Franciscan Fathers grew grapes and produced sacramental wine from the first vineyard in the Sonoma Valley, which was first planted in 1825. By 1834, Vallejo had the Rancho Petaluma Adobe built a few miles to the west, which became a large agricultural body operation to support the Spanish military here.
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San Francisco De Solano
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