Mission San Francisco Solano
114 East Spain Street
The building with a cross on top is the chapel of Mission San Francisco Solano, also known as Mission Solano or Sonoma Mission. It was started in 1823 and marked Mexico’s northern frontier. Our pueblo’s founder, Mariano Vallejo drew his 1836 map beginning at this corner.
Walk up close to the mission to inspect the walls. They’re made with mud and straw bricks called adobe. Can you find bits of mud and straw in the walls? Look up at the roof rafters over the walkway. Do you see leather strips that tie the roof sticks together? Why do you think they used mud, straw and leather to build the mission?
The mission was largely built by the forced labor of native men. Hundreds of Coast Miwok, Pomo, Wappo, Wintun and other people lived, worked and died here. This had been their home for thousands of years before Mission Solano ended their way of life.
Walk around the side of the mission on 1st Street East to find stones with names carved into them. It’s a memorial, a way to remember native people who died here. Those are not their native names but Spanish names given to them by the missionaries. Today, Coast Miwok, Pomo, Wappo and Wintun people still live near here. Touch the stone. Say their names.