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Sonoma League for Historic Preservation marks 45 years

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 | Posted by
The Sonoma League for Historic Preservation maintains the Heritage Center at the Maysonnave House, built circa 1910 on property once owned by Gen. Vallejo. (Photo courtesy of the Sonoma League for Historic Preservation)

The Sonoma League for Historic Preservation maintains the Heritage Center at the Maysonnave House, built circa 1910 on property once owned by Gen. Vallejo. (Photo courtesy of the Sonoma League for Historic Preservation)

When friends and members of the Sonoma League for Historic Preservation gather for an anniversary celebration this month, they’ll likely raise a toast to the memory of longtime Sonoma resident Henri Maysonnave.

As the league marks its 45th anniversary, the Heritage Center at the Maysonnave House is not only the setting for the celebration but one of its renovation projects.

The modest, wood-frame farmhouse just a few blocks from Sonoma Plaza was left to the City of Sonoma by Maysonnave in 1989 for use as a museum or cultural venue. Much of the structure was original; Maysonnave added only a half-bathroom and enclosed the front porch.

Built circa 1910 on property once owned by Gen. Vallejo, the home and long-neglected garden were restored by the league, which has a long-term lease for the property.

The center, opened in 2008, now is a gathering spot for meetings, receptions, lectures and special-occasion rentals to fund its maintenance.

The public is invited to celebrate the Maysonnave House renovation and the preservation of numerous properties and records during the league’s sapphire anniversary fundraiser from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20 in the gardens of the Maysonnave House, 291 First St. E.

The celebration includes Sonoma Valley wines, tapas, finger foods and live music by the Carrtunes. Tickets are $45.

Sonoma Mayor Tom Rouse will present a proclamation and presentations will look at the personal history of Maysonnave and the background and accomplishments of the league.

League President Barbara Wimmer said the event is to both “celebrate the league’s accomplishments and to honor those who’ve been integral to making it all happen.”

Founded in 1969, the all-volunteer organization is dedicated to the preservation of historic buildings, neighborhoods and landscapes within Sonoma Valley.

The league maintains and staffs two historic properties – the Heritage Center at the Maysonnave House and the Gen. Joseph Hooker House in the El Paseo on First Street East.

It also maintains an archive of documents and photos of local historic structures and keeps a list of buildings in the valley that are at least 50 years old. Records are available to aid local officials in development decisions.

Tickets for the sapphire anniversary can be purchased at sonomaleague.org, or by sending checks ($45 per person) to Sonoma League for Historic Preservation, P.O. Box 766, Sonoma 95476. Tickets will be held at the door.

Proceeds benefit the league’s preservation projects and maintenance of the Maysonnave House.

To help with the event, contact Prema Behon at (415) 215-8456 or membership@sonomaleague.org

For more information about the league, call 938-0169.

 

Writer Spotlight

Dianne Reber Hart is our Sonoma correspondent.

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