Cool Discoveries on Google

The Bancroft Library began working to create its first film project, the documentary “America’s Wine: The Legacy of Prohibition”. It was released in 2008, with a limited number of screenings.

UC Berkeley Bancroft Library
Regional Oral History Office
“America’s Wine: The Legacy of Prohibition”

"This documentary offers an unprecedented overview of the legacy of National Prohibition and its continuing impact on the wine industry and everyday lives of Americans. Marking the 75th Anniversary of Prohibition’s Repeal, it brings to life never-before-seen archival photographs and film clips, and features nearly forty interviews including those who experienced Prohibition, historians, winemakers, members of Congress, and public policy experts.

“Among those filmed are Kevin Starr, California Librarian Emeritus, Leon Panetta, former Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton, as well as legendary winemakers Brother Timothy, Robert Mondavi, and Ernest Gallo. The interviews chronicle the rebuilding of the wine industry and the emergence of a new American wine culture. Equally significant are the insights fueling the continuing societal debate over the issue of alcohol in America.”

· “Project History” (About)

· “Documentary Trailer”

Oral History Center of the Bancroft Library YouTube video
Trailer “America’s Wine: The Legacy of Prohibition”

November 9, 2009

· “Documentary Synopsis”:"This documentary offers an unprecedented overview of the legacy of National Prohibition (1920-1933) and its continuing impact on the wine industry and everyday lives of Americans.

"Covering a span of one hundred years of winemaking up to the present day, the film tells the story of how the leading entrepreneurial wine families overcame obstacles to rebuild the American wine industry, which had been decimated after National Prohibition and its Repeal.

"From within this historical context, the film also explores the most significant news-making subject areas in today’s media that reveal Prohibition’s legacy: laws governing direct shipping of wine to consumers; scientific research that influences alcohol and health policy; and the changing global marketplace. By examining these topical issues, the documentary directly connects our past to our present, and explains how two Constitutional Amendments enacted decades ago - the 18th and 21st - continue to uniquely affect the production, distribution and commerce of alcoholic beverages throughout the 50 states and overseas.

"Marking the 75th Anniversary of Prohibition’s Repeal, the documentary brings to life never-before-seen archival photographs and film clips, and features nearly 40 interviews including those who experienced Prohibition, historians, winemakers, members of Congress, and public policy experts. Contributing informed and balanced commentary, the documentary chronicles the rejuvenation of the American wine industry and the emergence today of a new American wine culture.

"Among those filmed are:

  • Dr. Kevin Starr, CA State Librarian Emeritus
  • Dr. Thomas Pinney, Professor Emeritus at Pomona University and author of, A History of Wine in America
  • Ernest Gallo (94 years old when filmed, since deceased), legendary marketer who, together with his brother Julio, created the largest family-owned winery in the world
  • Robert Mondavi (90 years old during this final interview, since deceased), winemaker instrumental in developing an international reputation for the California wine industry
  • Brother Timothy (92 years old during this final interview, since deceased), winemaker who helped rebuild the wine industry after Repeal
  • Abe Buchman (90 years old during this final interview, since deceased), Constitutional law expert who worked with wineries after Repeal
  • Dan Turrentine, (95 years old during this final interview, since deceased) former San Francisco journalist during Prohibition
  • Leon Panetta, Chief of Staff during the Clinton Administration who provided White House oversight for science and public policy
  • CA Congressman Mike Thompson (D), co-chair of the Congressional Wine Caucus
  • CA Congressman George Radanovich (R), co-chair of the Congressional Wine Caucus
  • Dr. Phil Lee, former Assistant Secretary of Health in both the Johnson and Clinton Administrations, Chancellor Emeritus of UC San Francisco
  • Art Libertucci, during his tenure as Head Administrator of U.S. Treasury’s Tax and Trade Bureau
  • Dr. Marion Nestle, Professor at NY University and best-selling author of What to Eat
  • Tom Shelton (since deceased), former President, Joseph Phelps Vineyards
  • Zelma Long, Owner and Head Winemaker, Vilafonte Vineyards, South Africa
  • Kathleen Sullivan, former Dean of Stanford University Law School who successfully argued the historic U. S. Supreme Court case Granholm v. Heald

"Particularly noteworthy is the never-before-seen footage from the private 70th Anniversary of Repeal Luncheon, held on February 20, 2003 in San Francisco, and the celebration of Brother Timothy’s 75 years as a Christian Brother, held on May 17, 2003 in Napa. These events inspired historic reflections by pioneering winemakers, including Ernest Gallo (since deceased), Gene Cuneo (since deceased), Bob Rossi, John Miramarco, Sr., Al Cribari, Lou Foppiano, Sr., and Eric Wente on behalf of his mother Jean Wente, who also attended. Recognized for their indomitable determination and ingenuity, this group has been called the ‘Phoenix Generation’, for, as John De Luca, former President and CEO of Wine Institute, comments during his interview, ‘they literally had to rise from the ashes of Prohibition.’ Highlighting what is for some their last, and for others their only, on-camera appearances, the documentary pays tribute to the passing of this historic generation.

“Enlivened with personal stories and informed with historical observations, this comprehensive documentary is unlike any other program about National Prohibition and the wine industry. It traces the origination of complex, commercial and national policy issues regulating the wine industry and how they affect the American public today. Equally significant are the insights fueling the continuing societal debate over the issue of alcohol in America.”
· "Director’s Statement: Carla De Luca Worfolk"

· “Interview Transcripts”

· “Relevant Resources”

UC Berkeley Bancroft Library
Regional Oral History Office

For those interested in scientific papers, I have shared links to theses and staff research from UC Davis’ Viticulture and Enology Department researchers.

UC Davis
Academic Programs: Viticulture and Enology
Thesis Papers

UC Davis
Viticulture and Enology Dept

- Viticulture
Faculty Research Projects & Publications (in progress)

- Enology
Faculty Research Projects & Publications (in progress)

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Chemist and viticulturalist Abraham Izaak Perold was a pivotal figure in early modern South African grape-growing.

from Wikipedia:

“…Perold is best known for developing the Pinotage grape variety in 1925 through crossing Pinot noir and Cinsault. Dr. Perold also introduced 177 grape varieties into South Africa and became the first Professor of Viticulture at the University of Stellenbosch, later becoming Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at the university.”

Hathi Trust
Some Viticultural and Oenological Experiments Conducted at the Paarl Viticultural Experiment Station During 1915-1916

by Abraham Izaak Perold
Publisher: Govt. Print. & Stationery Office, Pretoria (1916)

Hathi Trust
The Reconstitution of Vineyards in Lime Soils on Suitable American Stocks

by Abraham Izaak Perold
Publisher: Govt. Print. & Stationery Office, Pretoria (1913)

S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science
“Abraham Izaak Perold”:

Here are other updated TTB directories for other counties in CA:

Alcohol, Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB)
"Roster of Wine Producers & Blenders
Alameda - Monterey:

Includes the Counties: Alameda, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Kern, lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Monterey”
August 2, 2021

"Roster of Wine Producers & Blenders
Santa Barbara - Yuba:

Includes the Counties: Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Siskiyou, Solano, Stanislaus, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, Yolo, Yuba, None Shown”
August 2, 2021

"Roster of Wine Producers & Blenders

Includes the counties: Napa County”
August 2, 2021

TTB List of Permittees website:

The following +50 MB PDF download provides a wealth of information on the geology, geography, climate, history, etc, relative to Livermore Valley wine grape-growing.

“Exhibits to the Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay and Central Coast AVA Expansions”
(PDF Download)


· Map of original Livermore Valley AVA boundaries

· Map of proposed expansion to the Livermore Valley AVA boundaries

· “Final Rule to Establish the Livermore Valley Viticultural Area”

· A Companion to California Wine by Charles Sullivan, page 190, “Livermore Valley”

· Wine Atlas of California and the Pacific Northwest, Livermore Valley

· Wines and Vines, 1889, pages 154 through 166

· American Wines, pages 109 — 111

· Gorman on California Premium Wines, page 91

· The Winewrights Register, Livermore Valley

· Early Days in the Livermore-Amador Valley — regional map

· “Evaluation of Ground Water Resources: Livermore and Sunol Valleys”, from Department of Water Resources, State of California, 2 maps

· Valley Profiles, map of Livermore Valley

· Livermore Valley Wine Country, map of Livermore Valley wineries

· Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association 12/18/2001 letter

· Wente Vineyards 12/4/2001 letter

· “San Francisco Weather - Weird and Wacky”, San Jose Astronomical Association, July 2001 article

· Koeppen Classification for California map

· Koeppen Climate Chart

· California Geologic Data Map Series, 2 maps

· Livermore Valley Area Map Showing Original vs. Proposed Expanded AVA Boundaries

· “Final Rule for the San Francisco Bay Viticultural Area”, TD ATF 407, 1/20/1999

· Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association 12/18/2001 letter

Additional Resources:

TTB Reading Room
“Livermore Valley Petition” (PDF)

“Livermore Valley Final Rule” (PDF)

Google Books
Weather of the San Francisco Bay Region

by Harold Gilliam
University of California Press, 1962

Hathi Trust
Climatology of Summer Fogs in the San Francisco Bay Area

Clyde P. Patton
University of California Press, Berkeley (1956)

Google Books
Geography and Urban Evolution in the San Francisco Bay Area
by James E. Vance
Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California, 89 pages

This is too good a thread to be a monologue. Thanks for keeping it going.

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The UC Davis Library website hosts 86 digital images of Frona Eunice Wait’s “lantern slide” collection. The originals are kept at the Oakville Wine Library.

Links to some of my favorite photos are posted below.

UC Davis Library
Archives and Special Collections
Collection: “Wait (Frona Eunice) Lantern Slides of California Wine Country”

“Guide to Lantern Slides”

Napa Valley

Livermore Valley

Sonoma County

Today, Frona Eunice Wait is remembered best for her 1889 book Wines and Vines of California.

Below is a link to an online copy of this publication, as well as John Maher’s biography of Frona Eunice Wait for Wayward Tendrils Quarterly.

Hathi Trust
Wines and Vines of California: A Treatise on the Ethics of Wine-Drinking

by Frona Eunice Wait
Bancroft Co., San Francisco (1889)

Wayward Tendrils Quarterly
“Frona Eunice Wait: ‘Herculean Deeds of Worthwhile Achievement’” (PDF)
by John Maher
Alternate Link:
Wayward Tendrils Quarterly, Vols. 21-23 (PDF)

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Archived digital issues of Wine Country This Week are available on the Yumpu website.

Wine Country This Week
online issues

Wine Country This Week website:

The USDA National Agricultural Library Digital Collections contains thousands of published articles and reports on various fields of study, including viticulture and wine production.

USDA National Agricultural Library Digital Collections
Author Search: “Husmann”

“The Present Condition of Grape Culture In California” (1898)
by Husmann, G.

“Grape, Raisin, and Wine Production in the United States” (1902)
by Husmann, G.C.

“Some Uses of the Grapevine and Its Fruit” (1904)
by Husmann, G.C.

Organic Roots Collection
USDA Farmers’ Bulletin No.1689
Grape Districts and Varieties In the United States (1936)
by Husmann, G.C.

USDA National Agricultural Library Digital Collections
Subject Search: “Wine”

Final Report Project No. US-1018-85
The Effect of Viticultural Practices, Environmental Factors, and Enological Treatments on Specific Grape and Wine Volatiles and on Wine Flavor (1986)
by Ann C. Noble, Ben-Ami Bravdo, Janice C. Morrison, Raphael Ikan, W. Mark Kliewer, D.O. Adams, C. Loinger, & Shlomo Cohen

Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft + Technologie, Vol. 145, p.111333 (2021)
“Discrimination of the Geographic Origins and Varieties of Wine Grapes Using High-throughput Sequencing Assisted by a Random Forest Model”
by Feifei Gao, Guihua Zeng, Bin Wang, Jing Xiao, Liang Zhang, Weidong Cheng, Hua Wang, Hua Li, & Xuewei Shi
DOI: 10.1016/j.lwt.2021.111333

USDA National Agricultural Library Digital Collections website:

The WikiSource website contains countless archived books, magazines, and other freely accessible works.

In Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Silverado Squatters, I found a chapter on the estates of two Napa Valley wine producers to be a fun read.

The Silverado Squatters (1911)
“Part I: In the Valley”
by Robert Louis Stevenson

“Chapter 3: Napa Wine”

"…Wine in California is still in the experimental stage; and when you taste a vintage, grave economical questions are involved. The beginning of vine-planting is like the beginning of mining for the precious metals: the wine-grower also ‘prospects’. One corner of land after another is tried with one kind of grape after another. This is a failure; that is better; a third best. So, bit by bit, they grope about for their Clos Vougeot and Lafite.

"…‘You want to know why California wine is not drunk in the States?’ a San Francisco wine merchant said to me, after he had shown me through his premises. ‘Well, here’s the reason.’

"And opening a large cupboard, fitted with many little drawers, he proceeded to shower me all over with a great variety of gorgeously tinted labels, blue, red, or yellow, stamped with crown or coronet, and hailing from such a profusion of clos and ​châteaux, that a single department could scarce have furnished forth the names. But it was strange that all looked unfamiliar.

"‘Château X——?’ said I. ‘I never heard of that.’

“I dare say not,” said he. 'I had been reading one of X——‘s novels.’

"They were all castles in Spain! But that sure enough is the reason why California wine is not drunk in the States.

"Napa Valley has been long a seat of the wine-growing industry. It did not here begin, as it does too often, in the low valley lands along the river, but took at once to the rough foot-hills, where alone it can expect to prosper. A basking inclination, and stones, to be a reservoir of the day’s heat, seem necessary to the soil for wine; the grossness of the earth must be evaporated, its marrow daily melted and refined for ages; until at length these clods that break below our footing, and to the eye appear but common earth, are truly and to the perceiving mind, a masterpiece of nature. The dust of Richebourg, which the wind carries away, what an apotheosis of the dust! Not man himself can seem a stranger child of that brown, friable powder, than the blood and sun in that old flask behind the faggots.

“A Californian vineyard, one of man’s outposts in ​the wilderness, has features of its own. There is nothing here to remind you of the Rhine or Rhône, of the low Côte d’Or, or the infamous and scabby deserts of Champagne; but all is green, solitary, covert. We visited two of them, Mr. Schram’s and Mr. M’Eckron’s, sharing the same glen…”.

This geneology website article provides online links to books on the history of each county in California - except for Madera and Tehama.

In addition, several texts are identified that cover the history of the entire state, while others explore regions that encompass only a few counties.

Empty Branches on the Family Tree
“California: Links to Digitized County Histories”
by June Stufflebean
June 9, 2021

Sonoma County:

Hathi Trust
History of Sonoma County, California, Volume 1

by Honoria Tuomey
S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago (1926)

Monterey, San Benito, San Mateo, & Santa Cruz Counties:

Internet Archive
A Memorial and Biographical History of the Coast Counties of Central California : Containing a History of This Important Section of the Pacific Coast from the Earliest Period of Its Discovery to the Present Time, Together with Glimpses of Its Auspicious Future; Illustrations and Full-Page Portraits of Some of Its Eminent Men, and Biographical Mention of Many of Its Pioneers, and Prominent Citizens of Today

by Henry D. Barrows & Luther A. Ingersoll
Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago (1893)

The Sonoma County Wine Growers Association has a link to Western Weather Group’s detailed information (Forecast Links, Sonoma County Weather Data Links, etc).

Western Weather Group
Sonoma County:

Data is reported from over 47 individual stations across Sonoma County.

“Ampelography: The Art of Vine Identification”

by Tina Caputo
October 12, 2016

"Thanks to DNA testing, anyone can identify a mysterious vine simply by sending a sample off to the lab. But for Virginia-based vineyard consultant Lucie Morton, a world-renowned ampelographer, it’s still crucial to know how to distinguish vines the old-fashioned way: by sight and touch.

"It took Morton years to learn ampelography, a skill that few viticulturists in today’s high-tech world still work to master. ‘It’s like speaking a new language: practice makes perfect,’ she says. ‘Ampelography is really hard, and it takes a trained eye. I would compare it to what a sommelier goes through in identifying wines blind. It takes interest, practice, focus. You build on your knowledge, just like you do with wine tasting, layering your experiences.’

"With a name that comes from the Greek ampelos for ‘vine’ and graphe for ‘description’, ampelography was not widely practiced until the second half of the 19th century, when parasites and vine diseases introduced from America began wiping out European vineyards. The study of cultivars resistant to phylloxera and other vine-destroyers became hugely important in replanting the world’s vineyards, and ampelography played a role in identifying grape varieties and rootstocks.

It wasn’t until 1944 that Pierre Galet, viticulture chair at the École Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Montpellier, created the first dichotomous key for rootstocks cultivated in France. When he became Montpellier’s chief of viticultural control, Galet began teaching others how to identify rootstocks. In 1952, he published the definitive book Précis d’Ampélographie Pratique, a systematic guide to identifying grape vines based on their growing tips, leaves, and other physical traits.

"An English Translation

"There would be no equivalent guide in English until 1979, when Morton translated and adapted the fourth edition of Galet’s book, leaving out non-essential varieties and adding new sections for grapes grown in the United States and Canada. She called it A Practical Ampelography.

"Morton was not only a translator but also Galet’s graduate student and protégé. She was introduced to ampelography during her first field trip as a new student at Montpellier. She ended up in a car with Galet, unaware of his history or expertise. While driving to the research station in southern France, he said something that caught her attention. ‘He said, “Voila, Lucie, there is a fellow American.” I looked at the road and I didn’t see any people, so I asked him, “Where? All I see are wild grape vines.”’

"Galet pointed out that the vines were Vitis rupestris, one of the first rootstocks to help the French with the Phylloxera Crisis. When Morton asked how he was able to identify the American rootstock while speeding down the highway, he told her about ampelography. ‘It just hit my imagination that the personality of a vine is in its leaf,’ she says. ‘That its whole history, who it is, is right there.’

"As a student in the international viticulture program at Montpellier, Morton trained with Galet, and her knowledge of ampelography grew. When she returned home to King George, Virginia, where she’d planted a three-acre vineyard on her family’s farm, she quickly understood the usefulness of ampelography.

“‘I had ordered 10 different grape varieties that I thought were French hybrids, but when I got home, it looked to me like I had about 15, and one of them I recognized as Zinfandel,’ Morton recalls. ‘Back then, the nurseries would sell you who-knows-what. In my Seyval Blanc, I had three different red grapes - but thanks to Pierre and his book, I was able to figure that out.’

“With encouragement from American wine writer and historian Leon Adams and support from fellow viticulturists, Morton, who was only 25 years old at the time, convinced Cornell University to publish a translation of Galet’s guide. It took her six months to write the first sample chapter, as she struggled to accurately translate the complicated vocabulary of ampelography…”.

"Modern Applications

"During the last decade or so, DNA marker technology (also known as DNA fingerprinting) has largely replaced traditional ampelography as a means of identifying grape vines. The process involves creating a DNA profile for the vine in question, using samples taken from young leaves or growing tips, then finding a match in a database of ‘voucher vines’. The Foundation Plant Services department at UC Davis has thousands of profiles in its database.

"According to Dr. Carole Meredith, the grapevine geneticist who famously solved the mystery of Zinfandel’s origin, matching it to an identical Croatian variety, DNA testing has a couple of advantages over traditional ampelography. ‘DNA-based identification is objective,’ says Dr. Meredith, who spent 22 years as a professor in the viticulture and enology department at UC Davis. ‘In traditional ampelography, the evaluation of some characteristics is subjective, and thus experts can and do differ.’ Its other weakness, she says, is that the characteristics of some varieties vary by region and may not look identical, while DNA profiles are expressed as sets of numbers, which are easy to store and share.

“Even so, Meredith believes there is a place for traditional ampelography in modern viticulture, explaining, ‘An expert ampelographer can walk through a mixed vineyard and identify the different varieties on the go, so traditional ampelography can give very quick answers.’ DNA testing results can take up to three days, or longer…”.

Google Books
A Practical Ampelography: Grapevine Identification
by Pierre Galet
Comstock Pub. Associates, 248 pages

Wine Industry Advisor
“Lucie Morton: Enthusiasm and an Eye for Deep Insights with Viticultural Impact”

by Paul Vigna
January 15, 2021

New York Times
“Wine Talk: Enologist Sees ‘New Frontier’ East of the Rockies”

by Howard G. Goldberg
August 6, 1986

Sound Cloud
The Brutal Podcast
“Episode #16: Lucie Morton”

Drew Baker
Mar 1, 2021
Podcast Length: 1:18:46

Hilgardia Vol.11 #6 (p.227-293)
“Outline of Ampelography for the Vinifera Grapes in California”

by F. Bioletti
June 1938

Wine Travel Media
“The Evolution of the Science of Ampelography”

by Wink Lorch
April 24, 2016

With increasing regularity, droughts threaten California’s cities and grape-growing regions alike.

Below, from general to specific, are a number of online resources for monitoring current and historical drought data.

US Drought Monitor
“California Map”
United States & Puerto Rico Author(s): Adam Hartman, NOAA/NWS/NCEP/CPC;
Pacific Islands & Virgin Islands Author(s): Denise Gutzmer, National Drought Mitigation Center

National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)
“Current U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions for California”

State of California
Drought Web Page

California Dept of Water
California Water Watch

CA Dept. of Water Resources
California Statewide Groundwater Elevation Monitoring (CASGEM) Program

National Water Data Dashboard Map

“New Model Shows Sea-level Rise Can Cause Increases in Groundwater Levels along California’s Coasts”
by Pacific Coastal & Marine Science Center
September 30, 2020

SF Chronicle
“Bay Area Drought Map & Tracker”
By Chronicle Digital Team
August 16, 2021, updated June 7, 2022

“Track the water shortage status, reservoir levels and restrictions for the Bay Area’s largest water districts.”

The Sonoma Developmental Center, formerly known as Sonoma State Home/Hospital, and originally named the California Home for the Care and Training of Feeble-Minded Children, is located next to some of the most celebrated ancient vineyards in the Sonoma Valley.

Old photographs of the facility regularly include contemporaneous grapevine plantings. The land was sold by William McPherson Hill, a name well-known by those familiar with local wine history.

In the 1880s, Captain Oliver Eldridge helped Julia Judah and Frances Bentley buy the site for the hospital’s construction.

Social Networks and Archival Context
“California Home for the Care and Training of Feeble-Minded Children”

"Agency History: The California Home for the Care and Training of Feeble-Minded Children was created in 1885 (Statutes 1885, Chapter 156) and was originally located in the town of Santa Clara. The Home was charged with caring for children between the ages of five and eighteen who were ‘incapable of receiving instructions in the common schools.’ Soon after its official creation, the facilities proved to be inadequate.

"In 1889, the William McPherson Hill farm, some 1,660 acres and near the town of Glen Ellen, was purchased for $50,000 as a site for a new home. On November 24, 1891, the physical move was made to the new site. The name of the institution was changed to Sonoma State Home in 1915 (Statutes 1915, Chapter 60).

"Initially, Sonoma State Home existed more or less as an autonomous unit, although a uniform system of government for the state hospitals, under the control of the State Commission in Lunacy, had been provided as early as 1897 (Statutes 1897, Chapter 227). In 1921 Sonoma State Home was placed under the Department of Institutions, which was created to centralize authority, finances, and management at the various state institutions (Statutes 1921, Chapter 610). The Department of Institutions was later superseded by the Department of Mental Hygiene (Statutes 1945, Chapter 665). Sonoma State Home was renamed Sonoma State Hospital in 1953 (Statutes 1953, Chapter 661). In 1972, the Department of Health assumed the duties and responsibilities of the Department of Mental Hygiene (Statutes 1971, Chapter 1593). Yet another reorganization occurred in 1978, when the Department of Health was abolished and the state hospitals were placed under the newly created Department of Developmental Services (Statutes 1977, Chapter 1252). The Sonoma State Hospital was renamed Sonoma Developmental Center in 1985 (Statutes 1985, Chapter 582).

From the guide to the Department of Mental Hygiene - Sonoma State Hospital Records, 1885-1966, (California State Archives)
Glen Ellen Historical Society
“The State Home at Eldridge”

“In 1883 Julia Judah and Frances Bentley, two prominent California women who had children with developmental disabilities, established the California Association for the Care and Training of Feeble Minded Children. Its aim was ‘to provide and maintain a school and asylum for the feeble-minded, in which they may be trained to usefulness.’ After casting about for locations for their institution, Captain Oliver Eldridge helped them purchase 1,640 acres near Glen Ellen from William McPherson Hill, and on November 24th, 1891, the facility opened its doors to 148 residents…”.

Haerr Trippin’ Blog
“The California Home for the Care & Training of Feeble Minded Children”

May 28, 2020

Press Democrat
“Remembering the Sonoma Developmental Center”

by Gaye Lebaron
November 10, 2018

"…The man charged with finding a proper site was Oliver Eldridge, whose name would be permanently affixed to the area northwest of Glen Ellen.

"The impressive brick building was not quite finished when, on Nov. 24, 1891, 148 children with adult caretakers, arrived on the Southern Pacific Railroad at a stop called Gelston - soon renamed Eldridge.

"…The property nestled against Sonoma Mountain on what valley residents called ‘The Back Road’ was well positioned for their needs.

“The beauty of that area would, over the coming years, bring many ‘high-end’ neighbors, including World War II hero Gen. H.H. ‘Hap’ Arnold. The ‘Back Road’ now bears his name [Arnold Drive]…”.

Internet Archive
Kenwood Press
“What’ll It Be”

March 15, 2021

CA Department of Developmental Services
“Sonoma Developmental Center”

Sonoma County Library
Don Meacham Photography Collection, 1930-1985 (SPC.00012)
Image: “Home for the Feeble-Minded at Eldridge, CA, 1910”

Sonoma Developmental Center Specific Plan
“Site History”

Google Maps
Sonoma Developmental Center
15000 Arnold Drive, Eldridge, CA 95431

This website is a large repository of artwork. I found it to be very interesting!

ArtVee website: