In the Gold Rush era, life became a bit boisterous in the square surrounding Sonoma Plaza. Businesses catering to men sprouted up and they didn't always add to the family environment that General Mariano Vallejo, the Mexican military commander, and his wife might have preferred, according to a story told by State Parks.
Vallejo was in charge of Sonoma's development until 1846. His first home, Casa Grande, is next to Sonoma barracks on East Spain Street.
The general bought property about half a mile west of the Plaza, on West Spain Street, on land surrounding a spring referred to by the native American Indians as "Tears of the Mountain." Vallejo kept the name but translated it into Latin: Lachryma Montis, according to State Parks.
Today, Vallejo's home and 20 acres of the original land, including a museum and guest house, are part of Sonoma State Park.
Vallejo named the guest house "El Delirio." During the quiet winter months, the location, with its cast iron swan fountain, creates a meditative spot where visitors can relax for a while, and soak up local history.
For more information on this part of Sonoma State Park, call 707-938-9559.