Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park
About Petaluma Adobe SHP
Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park was the main residence of Rancho de Petaluma, the agricultural empire of General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, one of the most powerful men in the Mexican Province of California, from 1834 to 1846.
"The first view of the great valley filled me with emotion. It was a case of love at first site, which better acquaintance would only deepen...nowhere, was there a scene of such beauty and suggestion of everything desirable for man."
~Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo
A visit to the Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park will bring you back to the largest privately owned adobe building in Northern California in the 1830-40's and the center of activity on one of the most properous private estates established during the Mexican Period. The matanza (slaughtering season) has just ended in October on Rancho de Petaluma (as it was known) and the people living near the rancho are excited. The end of the matanza means the beginning of the Fandango (a celebration and dance). As you tour the rooms of the Adobe, you can feel the excitement as preparation for the Fandango is under way. The hides are drying on the racks, the animals are put away, and the music is playing as people start to put on their fancy clothes for the festivities.
"Many of the hacendados lived in the towns in the winter months; but in the spring of the year their households moved to their country homes where they generally remained until the autumn or close of the matanza season...in the evening a family baile (dance) was invariably heralded by the melody of the violin and harp.~" William Heath Davis
Although the Petaluma Adobe was not the summer home of the Vallejo's, it was the headquarters of the rancho, they did come out here to celebrate during the bailes. The Fandangos became the parties of the workers and the bailes became more formal for the rancho owners. Vallejo ran his cattle, hide and tallow business, raised sheep, bred horses, and grew numerous crops. The adobe contains authentic furniture and exhibits depicting early rancho life.
The park has shaded picnic areas with views of farmland and oak-studded hills.
Petaluma Adobe - 3325 Adobe Road, Petaluma, CA 94954 (707) 762-4871
Open daily 10 am to 5 pm, except on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Arrive by 4 pm as park staff begin securing the building around 4:30 pm.
The Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park entrance is located on Adobe Road in Petaluma between Frates Road and Casa Grande Road. ( insert Photo of park entrance) Drive past the unmanned park kiosk to the parking lot and walk up the path near the restrooms to the Adobe.
Business Address: Department of Parks & Recreation, Bay Area District, 845 Casa Grande Road, Petaluma CA 94954 (707) 769-5652
The weather is often changeable in Petaluma, though fairly predictable. Summer mornings are often foggy, with sunshine replacing the fog in the afternoon. The Adobe often has strong afternoon winds and Petaluma's rich grasslands are fed by often heavy winter rains. We recommend layered clothing for comfort. Collecting or destroying anything in the park, including mushrooms, is prohibited.
Volunteer in Parks Program
Curious about volunteer opportunities? Sonoma State Historic Park and Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park are closely related cultural history sites that thrive witih activity through a variety of volunteer roles.
Opportunities exist in docent tours, museum curation, bookstore sales, landscape maintenance, demonstrations, period clothing program and special events. Visit Sonoma Petaluma Parks, Inc. for events to attend and introduce yourself. We want to meet you!
To express your interest in the Volunteers in Parks Program (VIPP) with California State Parks, choose a link below to apply and specify your park of interest. Send application or additional inquiry to the VIPP Coordinator at Sonoma.VIPP@parks.ca.gov.