*** Source: Thompson, Robert A., Historical and descriptive sketch of Sonoma County, California. Philadelphia: L.H. Everts & Co., 1877, 122 pgs. Notice: This data is donated to the Public Domain by TAG, 2004, and may be copied freely by anyone to anywhere. *** ---page 54--- white wings spread, appear in view-in the undulating air they seem to float above the level of the marsh; following their crooked course, they pass each other, to and fro, or circle around like sea-birds on the wing. Petaluma is one of the most healthful towns in the State; it lies within the influence of the daily sea-breeze, and bilious or malarious fevers are unknown. We have glanced hurridly at the city and its surroundings, and propose now to give a sketch of its early history and present status, more in detail. We have mentioned the trip of Padre Altimira, in June, 1823, from San Rafael to Sonoma, on a mission-founding expedition. He came upon the west side of the creek, passing over or near the site of the present city of Petaluma, turned the "point of creeks," as he called it, probably at the two ponds on the westerly corner of the farm of F. W. Lougee, and crossed the plain opposite the town to the site of the "old Adobe House." This was the first land expe- dition of the California padres to the country north of San Rafael. The mis- sion of Sonoma was founded in July, 1823, but no settlement was made in Petaluma valley. After the secularization of the mission property, General Vallejo received a grant of all the land lying between Sonoma creek on the east, the waters of the bay on the south, and Petaluma creek on the west. That portion of the city known as East Petaluma standing on this tract. General Vallejo occupied the Petaluma ranch from 1836, and built the first house in the valley. The land on the west side of the creek was claimed under a Mexican grant by Juan Miranda, who settled there in 1838, and built a small house about two miles from the present city of Petaluma. This was the first house or settlement on the west side of the creek. Over these rich plains, through wild oats that might be tied over the back of a horse, roamed herds of fat, sleek Spanish cattle and manadas of Mustang mares-their right disputed only by bands of elk and antelope, which equaled, if they did not surpass them, in numbers. The first settler, other than those mentioned or their retainers, was Dr. A. F. Heyerman, who, early in 1850, had a log-cabin on what was after- wards called the Rogers place, near Petaluma. Dr. Heyerman, under some pretext or other, set up a claim to the tract of land which he then occupied. In October, 1850, John Lockwood came up the creek with one or two others in a whale-boat, attracted by reports of the abundance of game. They camped under the oaks on the bank of the creek just above the town, on what is now known as the Bell place. Lockwood and party hunted for the San Francisco market, making regular trips to the city in the Spark, an they called their whale-boat. The next to come were Linus and Wiatt; Lockwood and Wiatt are still residents of Petaluma. Baylis and Flogdell, well known pioneers, came a week after Linus and Wiatt, and all camped near the same place, and hunted or purchased game, which they took to the San Francisco market. They gave Petaluma its first start as a shipping point. A good sized deer or ante- lope brought twenty dollars, the hind-quarter of a fat elk forty dollars, quail nine dollars a dozen, and ducks from ten to twelve dollars a dozen. Major Singley, the present agent of the San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad at Petaluma, was the next arrival. Two small trading posts were started near Lockwood camp; one by Baylis & Flogdell, the other by Linus & Wiatt. *** end ***