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Sonoma County Gazette
Possibly the oldest photographs
Possibly the oldest photographs of the location are scenes of The Club House (Red roof in upper photo, shown on the Hotel Grounds map), Grahams Store, and other businesses, from around 1910. Lower photo: Dancing Pavillion Agua Caliente Springs, CA 1912. Photos:

Pictorial History Of The Springs
Dazzles And Delights!

Dec 26, 2019
by Thomas Martin


View The Saloons, Hotels, Swimming Pools, Baseball, and Railroads! 

Michael Acker has created a magnificent on line museum detailing the history of the Springs. It’s free on line at Michael has assembled a wealth of information from letters and photographs that will take you back at least one hundred years in Springs history.

See the Fetters Hot Spring Hotel, the Boyes Springs railroad stations, El Verano stores and homes, and the fun loving residents of Agua Caliente. Count the number of buildings still standing along Highway 12. See where the Pacific Coast League baseball teams, the San Francisco Seals and Oakland Acorns played. There is an excitement scrolling through the museum. Check out the names of many residents gone by whose offspring we know today! 

For a local history of interest to the man on the street, visit Michael Acker’s wonderful collection

A Few Things To Watch For In 2020….


The Boyes Boulevard Bridge project work to be done includes installation of a temporary pedestrian bridge, various utility relocations, demolition of the existing bridge, construction of the new Boyes Bridge. Photo:

It doesn’t look like the Boyes Blvd. bridge over Sonoma Creek will be finished soon. The base of the walk/cycle upstream road is in place, but the road surface hasn’t been placed yet. It doesn’t appear that work on the main roadway has begun. 

In any event, once completed, Springs residents will welcome the relief from detours on Varano and Agua Caliente. A note, let’s hope the architects recognize the beauty of Sonoma Creek and allow passers-by to view it. It’s very frustrating when one drives over the Ig Vella Bridge to not be able to see the Creek. Long Term Solution – the County to should create a park with trail along the Creek that all may enjoy.         


It’s hard to believe that its been twenty (20) years since the City voters approved an urban growth boundary (UGB) that limits growth into the surrounding hinterlands. However, it’s true. Twenty years have passed and in order for the UGB to remain in place Sonoma citizens will need to vote to extend it. 

Springs residents do not get to vote on this measure, but they will be affected one way or another. It will be important to listen to the voter arguments on the UGB, pro and con. Without a UGB would Sonoma be able to extend its boundaries into the Springs? What is the impact on housing, traffic, and water use for Springs residents if the UGB passes or fails. We don’t get to vote, but we will be affected. 


The Sonoma Valley Unified School District (SVUSD) has hired consultants to recommend different plans for electing Board members. Currently Board members are elected at large by all voters. A Board majority feels this may result in underrepresentation of voters in the Springs who are more often Latino and theoretically vote less often. 

The Sonoma Valley Unified School District (SVUSD) has hired consultants to recommend different plans for electing Board members.

The new proposal would provide for the establishment of five electoral districts based on population. Since the 1960’s the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that legislative districts must be “as nearly equal as practicable.” In practice this has generally meant each legislative district has to be within plus or minus (+/-) 15% of the district wide average. 

So, please attend school board meetings to watch this process unfold. The first meeting is January 7 at the District Office on Railroad Avenue. 

Once a legislative body goes to district elections “the other handle of a pair if pliers” comes to bear as the Court has explained. It is a question of how the district boundaries are drawn. We must watch against “gerrymandering” the boundaries to favor the election of one candidate or another. 


The residents of the Donald Street area claim they were never notified of their inclusion in the Springs Specific Plan (SSP). Since 2012 the SSP information and meetings were noticed in local papers. Over 100 residents attended meetings at Verano School. 

The North Sonomans have issues of housing density and growth. They need to attend future meetings wherever held. This process as was noted by the Planning Commission is not over. 

Springs Splash by Thomas Martin


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