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Welcome to the Sonoma County Gazette ARCHIVE of PAST EDITIONS. Our NEW WEBSITE is up and running, so GazExtra is serving as your path to archived articles. Thanks for being part of our Sonoma County community...stay in touch...e-mail me - VESTA

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lesa Tanner of Graton: Images of America

Graton's own Lesa Tanner, author is "Images of America: Graton" is a finailist in the Via Magazine "Best Travel Day Ever!" contest! Her story, one of six, really is the best - a story of redemption through the magic of nature.

Please go to this web site and vote for Lesa, if you wish - her's is essay #4. Votes must be in by June 1st. .

Please send this message on to as many others as you can! What fun to support someone from Graton! - HolLynn

Available locally at the Graton Gallery and Willow Wood in Graton and Copperfield’s Books in Sebastopol, Images of America: Graton,” written by native Gratoneer Lesa Tanner, is a must buy. (Also available at In particular, those with a Graton state of mind, the Grateronians will find the book invaluable in explaining exactly how Graton came to be the great social experiment that it is.

What is striking, looking at the old photographs of 1906 Graton, is the fact that there were few trees or other plants in the Graton environs, compared to the urban forest it is today. Only the Baker buildings on the south side of Graton Road remain as remnants of the old Graton. Sonoma County Regional Parks has expressed an interest in restoring the Baker buildings and creating a museum in honor of the Bakers. In the meantime, it’s wonderful to have the old buildings providing a sense of history to enrich the Graton environ, though it is sad to watch them decay.

The book has 205 photographs and a story for each one, such as the one about the bear in the tree house at Handy's corner and the “Graton Girls” baseball team of 1935. What a opportunity to find out about Graton’s colorful history, from being “hops and apple central” to its somewhat notorious 70's days as a dangerous den of brawling bars to the revitalized small town that it is today.

History of Graton revealed
Local author releases new book featuring stunning collection of vintage photographs

New from Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series is Graton. In over 200 vintage photographs, local author Lesa Tanner along with the Graton Community Club share the history of Graton in this new book.

The town of Graton is located in the beautiful and fertile Green Valley, which was first settled in the mid-1800s by pioneer families such as the Sullivans, Gregsons and Winklers. When the railroad came through the area realtor James Gray and banker J. H. Brush bought land and created one of the first subdivisions in Sonoma County. They named the streets after themselves and their children and in 1905 Graton was born.

Along with the agricultural industry in California, the town thrived until the 1970s and then declined only to be reborn in the 1990s. Throughout all of Graton’s phases, Oak Grove School (1854), the Pacific Christian Academy (1918) and the Graton Community Club (1914) remained vital. Graton is now part of a premiere wine-growing region, and visitors as well as locals are attracted to its vibrant downtown businesses, award-winning restaurants and artistic community.

Meet the author:
May 30th from 2-4pm
2825 Santa Rosa Ave, Santa Rosa

Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888)-313-2665 or

Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States. Our mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on the heritage of America’s people and places. Have we done a book on your town? Visit

You can find the book for sale at the following locations:
Copperfield's Books in Sebastopol
Willow Wood Market, 9020 Graton Rd., Graton
Graton Gallery, 9050 Graton Rd., Graton
Far West Trading Co., 9060 Graton Rd., Graton
West County Museum, 261 S. Main St., Sebastopol
Pacific Christian Academy, 8877 Donald St., Graton

by Lesa Tanner, Graton Community Club
Images of America series
Price: $21.99
128 pages/ softcover

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