A Short History of the Analy Township

From a History of Sonoma County, by J. P. Munro-Fraser (San Francisco: Alley, Bowen & Co., 1880), pp. 170 -172:

Geography.-- Analy township lies in the south central portion of Sonoma county. It is bounded on the north by portions of Redwood, Mendocino and Russian River townships, on the east by Santa Rosa and Petaluma townships, on the south by Marin county, and on the west by Bodega and Redwood townships. Its general outline, like that of every other township in California, is more the creature of circumstances and accident than of engineering skill. It has no streams passing through it of any importance. The Estero Americano is a swell stream flowing near its southern boundary. The Laguna de Santa Rosa traverses along its eastern side; Mark West creek skirts it on the north end; while Tusquadero creek rises on the eastern slope of the hills in the northern part of the township, and flowing through its entire length debouches into Mark West creek. It is said that the name of Analy was given to the township by Jasper O'Farrell in honor of his sister. The name is rather pretty at any rate, and we hope the story is true.

Topography.-- The topography of this township is as varied as that of any other in the county, but the changes are not so striking and prominent as in some others. In the southern portion of it the hills are not very high or steep, and are mostly all under a high state of cultivation. the valleys, such as Big and Blucher valleys and others, are broad and fertile. Farther to the northward the dividing lines run in the opposite direction, from north to south. Of this portion the western part of it is hilly and even mountainous, while the eastern part is a vast level plain. It is so level that the old Mexican grant was called "Llando de Santa Rosa" -- the "Plains of Santa Rosa."

From 1898 Sonoma County Map

Soil.-- The soil of almost the entire township is a sandy loam. There is no adobe in it, but there is some clay along the western sides. It is all very fertile and productive. This is especially so in the valleys. It is probable that there are no richer valleys in the State than those lying in this township.

Products.-- The principal product of this township and the principal export is potatoes. On every hand there are annually planted large and extensive fields of this vegetable, and the wonder is continually arising in the mind of a stranger, what can they do with all their potatoes. But these being of good quality find ready sale in the market, even when other varieties are scarcely saleable at all. All the cereals thrive well in all the farming sections of the township. Fruits and vegetables do extraordinarily well. Enormous quantities of fruits are grown here every year, also large quantities of grapes. The business of dairying is prosecuted quite extensively also, in all parts of the township. Taken altogether, it has probably as great a proportion of arable and productive land in it as any other in the county.

Climate.-- The climate of this township, especially the northern end of it, is far different from that of the coast townships. The range of mountains, lying along its western border breaks the fury of the ocean blast which sweeps up from the sea in a gale every afternoon during the summer season. The redwood forests on its crest also aid materially in effecting this change of climate by absorbing and condensing the fog with which the wind is laden. It is a well known fact that the leaves of the redwoods have the peculiar power of condensing the fog to such an extent that the ground around their roots is kept very moist. In fact, they have the capacity of self-irrigation. All this serves to make the climate of Analy township the most delightful and salubrious, being tempered by the sea breeze, shorn of its fury and its pernicious fogs.

Early Settlement.-- there is no doubt but that to Joaquin Carrillo belongs the honor of being the first settler in Analy township. He located and applied for a grant to the "Llano de Santa Rosa" rancho as early as 1844. In 1846 he built an adobe house on the western end of the rancho, within the present limits of the township, and near the present site of the town of Sebastopol. This was doubtless the first house ever built in the township. The remains of it are still standing. The tidal wave of American emigration did not seem to strike this township until 1850. During that year quite a number of families settled in the northern end of it in what is now know as Green valley. Among those who settled there during that year may be mentioned. J. M. Hudspeth, P. McChristian, and Judge Josiah Morin. Farther south, in the neighborhood of the present site of Sebastopol, Otis Allen, James Delaney, M. Gillian, James M. Miller, John Walker, and Orlando Sowers settled also in 1850, while W. D. Canfield was the only settler in that year in what is known as Blucher valley. It was not until the next year that any one made any permanent settlement in Big valley, in the extreme south end of the township. The very first man to pitch his tent upon a claim in that valley Wm. Abels. He was a man of family, and he and his estimable wife are still in the enjoyment of fine heath, and are residents of Santa Clara county. Their children and grandchildren are living in different parts of the State, and pint to the fact of first settlement in this section by their hardy ancestors with a just degree of pride. During the same year Elliot Coffer, Henry Hall, Wm Nutting, Robert Bailey, Geo. Woodson, G. W. Wolf, Edward F. Thurber, Mr. Larkin, W. P. Henshaw, L. D. Cockrill, Jacob McReynolds, Mr. Turtelot and Mr. McAllen came into this valley and settled. Nearly if not quit all of these men were unmarried, however, and did not prove to be permanent settlers. Of these we are unable to find any trace at present, except Mr. Thurber, who is now a well-to-do fruit-raiser in Pleasant valley, Solano county. There settled in Blucher valley during 1851, Martin Reed, Dr. W. G. Lee, John White, Samuel Powers, Thos. Miller, Gideon Miller, John Rice, Geo. Campbell, and W. Easeley. We are unable to discover the names of any who settled in the vicinity of Sebastopol that year, but in Green valley we find that Jas. Greyson, John Marshall, Henry Marshall, Major Isaac Sullivan, and Mitchell Gilham became permanent settlers during 1851. Some time during this year Major Sullivan and Miss Polly Gilham linked their destinies together in the silken bonds of marriage. This was probably the pioneer marriage in the township, and a right royal jolly time was at the wedding. In 1852, A. Stark, Robert Gordon, Wm. Jones, Wm. H. White, and a great many others came to Big valley; in fact, all the land was taken up during that year. Robert Gordon, Wm. Jones and Wm. H. White, however, are the only ones who are at present residing in the valley who came in that year. Robert Gordon, Wm. Jones and Wm. H. White, however, are the only ones who are at present residing in the valley who came in that year. During that year, A. T. Davidson, S. J. Smith, and D. Woodworth settled near Sebastopol. During this and the next year or two the settlement of the township was very rapid. The settlers of those early days were very migratory in their habits, and but few of them remained more than a year or two. The title to the land was not very good, and many of them were merely squatters, so that when ordered off they had to go. In Blucher valley the only original settler there now is W. D. Canfield. He and his wife have remained there almost thirty years. They were pioneers in the fullest extent of the word, and they had seen the rough side of that kind of life for many years, enduring all manner of hardships, even to passing through an Indian massacre, he barely escaping to the woods with his life, having an Indian bullet in his body, which he carries there to this day, and she and her children being captives among a hostile tribe of savages... In 1852 a postoffice was established at Miller & Walker's store, then located about one mile south of where Sebastopol now stands. The commission was issued February 20th, and James M. Miller was the Postmaster. The name of the office was Bodega, and it supplied all the section of the county lying west and north-west as far as the Valhalla River.

Schools.-- The educational interests are well maintained in this township. There are in all ten school districts in it, as follows: Redwood, Green Valley, Oak Grove, Canfield, Mt. Vernon, Spring Hill, American Valley, Bloomfield, and Pleasant Hill. All the school buildings are neat, well furnished, and kept in excellent repair. A splendid corps of teachers are constantly employed, and the prospect is certainly bright for the educational advantages of the on-coming generations.





Return to Home Page

This page created on 11/17/01 18:42. Updated 11/14/05 21:34.