Guerneville - aka, "Stumptown"
Photo © unknown
The historic community of Guerneville on the Russian River in west Sonoma County found its roots with the logging industry in the mid 1800s.
The first settlers to the area were logging pioneers. During the mid to late 1800s, the gigantic coastal redwoods that had dominated the landscape for centuries were toppled creating the second largest lumber industry in northern California. Before getting its own post office in 1870, the community of Guerneville along the Russian River was simply referred to as Stumptown for obvious reasons.
By the turn of the century, the timber crop was exhausted and now railroad lines criss-crossed the area providing easy access. In the past, wives with children in tow had come to the area during the summer months to be with their hard working husbands. Now, since cabins, campsites, hotels and resorts were already in place, San Franciscans from all walks of life replaced the timber workers with tourists.
Guerneville and the surrounding area continued to thrive even through the Great Depression and both World Wars. During the Big Band Era of the 1930s and 40s, several local dance halls boasted the biggest performers of their time. A paddle-wheel boat named the "River Queen" could be seen running up and down the Russian River loaded with excited people visiting the area.
Today, the community of Guerneville is still a major tourist destination along the Russian River. The area is quite diverse and hosts many annual events bringing thousands to this part of Sonoma county.
Time Period Represented: 1850s to present
Seasons Open: Something of interest to everyone year round.