Sonoma State Historic Park is a state park located in the center of Sonoma, California. The park consists of six sites in Sonoma: the Mission San Francisco Solano, the Presidio of Sonoma or Sonoma Barracks, the Toscano Hotel, the Blue Wing Inn, and La Casa Grande and Lachryma Montis, the homes of General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, Military Commander and Director of Colonization of the Northern Frontier.
Mission San Francisco Solano was founded in 1823 by Father Jose Altimira. It was the last of the California missions founded and the only Mission founded under the Mexican government.
The original Spanish plan for missions was for a missionary to move into an area and gather up the indigenous peoples of the area to convert and train. At the end of 10 years, these people should be sufficiently prepared and the missionary could move on to a new area and leave a functioning pueblo or town with Spanish loyalties behind. Secularization orders, signed by Governor Figueroa in August of 1834, were intended to complete this process.
Adobe, which the mission is made of is thick clayish mud, straw and manure. Indian men would use their feet to mix all of the ingredients together. Then they would put the mixture into forms shaped like large thick bricks. The bricks would be left out in the sun and turned occassionally. When thoroughly dried they were ready for use.