453 1st Street East, Sonoma, California, 95476
In A Tale of Two Valleys:
“Far in the distance, down a wide avenue, there was a soaring, slender palm tree in front of the creamy, rough-hewn stone of Sonoma’s old city hall. It stood at the center of the verdant town square, the Plaza, which was backed by a”“high vertical wall of mountains densely covered with green trees.” Page 36
In Real Life:
I drove into town along Broadway and found the lone palm tree punctuating the Sonoma Plaza. The plaza is the spot where many things happened in A Tale of Two Valleys. It’s literally the center of town and has been since way back in 1846. In fact, it’s hard to imagine now because the plaza is so beautiful – but back then – the plaza was treeless and dusty a place where ranchers slaughtered animals, so it stunk. There’s no stench these days though. Now, the plaza is a place for the farmer’s market on Tuesdays, festivals in spring and summer and it’s where the city hall is located. Not only that – the perimeter is lined with shops and restaurants and hotels. The plaza is also the largest town plaza in all of California.