What is Petaluma CA known for

Petaluma, California - Petaluma, California

City in California, United States
City in California, United States
Clockwise: St. Vincent de Paul Church; Petaluma Historic Commercial District; US Post; Petaluma Public Library; Rancho Petaluma
Coordinates: 38 ° 14'45 "N 122 ° 37'53" W /. 38.24583 ° N 122.63139 ° W./38.24583; -122.63139 Coordinates: 38 ° 14'45 "N 122 ° 37'53" W. /. 38.24583 ° N 122.63139 ° W./38.24583; -122.63139
country United States
Status California
district Sonoma
Built-in April 12, 1858
• Art Council Manager
• Mayor Teresa Barrett
• Vice Mayor Kevin McDonnell
• City administrators Peggy Flynn
• A total of 37.61 km 2 (14.52 sq mi)
• Country 14.41 square miles (37.34 km 2 )
• Water 0.11 square miles (0.28 km 2 ) 0,74%
elevation 9 m
• A total of 57.941
• Estimate 60.520
• Density 4,198.40 / sq mi (1,621.00 / km 2 )
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific)
• Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
prefix 707
FIPS code 06-56784
GNIS function IDs 277575 , 2411407
website cityofpetaluma .net

Petaluma (/ p ɛ t ə lU m ə /; Miwok coast: PETA Lúuma ) is a city in Sonoma County, part of the North Bay subregion of the San Francisco Bay Area, located 37 miles (60 km) north of San Francisco. The population was 57,941 as of the 2010 census.

The Rancho Petaluma Adobe in Petaluma is a National Historic Landmark. Construction began in 1836 on behalf of General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, then commandant of the San Francisco Presidio. It was the center of a 66,000 acre (270 km 2 ) Ranch extends from Petaluma River to Sonoma Creek. The adobe is considered to be one of the best-preserved buildings of its time in Northern California. Other historic buildings include Washoe House, built in 1859, and Petaluma Creamery, founded in 1903, which recognized Petaluma as an agricultural center for eggs and dairy products.

Petaluma is a transliteration of the Coast Miwok phrase péta lúuma, What Hill back means. Péta Lúuma was originally the name of a Miwok village near the current boundaries of the city of Petaluma.

Petaluma has a well-preserved, historic downtown area with many buildings that survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.


BF Cox Express stall in Petaluma (approx. 1881–1890)

The coastal Miwok was located in southern Sonoma County, and Péta Lúuma was originally the name of a Miwok village east of the Petaluma River. A number of other Coast Miwok villages were also located in and around what is now Petaluma. Wotoki, immediately south of the village of Petaluma, on the opposite side of the river, Etem, Likatiut and Tuchayalin, near downtown Petaluma, and Tulme and Susuli, north of today's Petaluma city limits.

The area around Petaluma was part of a Mexican land grant from Governor Jose Figueroa from 1834 to Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo called Rancho Petaluma (270 km 2 ) from 1834. In 1836, Vallejo ordered the construction of his Rancho Petaluma Adobe, a ranch house in Petaluma that his family often used as a summer home while he lived in the neighboring town of Sonoma. Vallejo's influence and Mexican control in the region began to decline after Vallejo's arrest during the bear flag rebellion in 1846.

Pioneers moved to Petaluma from the eastern United States after James Marshall found gold in the Sierra Nevada in 1848. The city's location on the Petaluma River in the heart of a productive farmland was critical to its growth in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Sail scows like the scow schooner Alma (1892) and steamers rode the river between Petaluma and San Francisco and transported agricultural products and raw materials to the up-and-coming city of San Francisco during the California gold rush.

There were downtown brothels along Petaluma Boulevard, which was the main thoroughfare until US Highway 101 was built in the 1950s. The Petaluma Historic Commercial District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Sonoma County Bank Building was the home of the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company and the Petaluma Seed Bank until 2019. It was built in 1926.

Petaluma soon became known for its flour mill and chicken industries, which to this day make up a smaller part of its trade. At one time, Petaluma was known as the "Egg Capital of the World" and sparked nicknames like "Chickaluma". Petaluma hosts the only known poultry pharmacy and is the place where the egg incubator was invented by Lyman Byce in 1879. Petaluma, where Randall Smith founded Mesa / Boogie (also known as Mesa Technique), which produces high quality guitar and bass amplification.

One of the largest historical chicken processing plants is still in the central area of ​​the city. This brick building from the 1930s is no longer used for the chicken industry, but checked for preservation and changes in use. Although Petaluma is no longer known as the egg capital of the world, it now has a strong agricultural base with dairy farms, olive groves, vineyards, and berry and vegetable farms.

According to the Army Museum in the Presidio in San Francisco, Petaluma was relatively unscathed during the April 18, 1906 earthquake in San Francisco due to the substantial stable bedrock in the area. As one of the few parishes in the area to stand still after the earthquake, Petaluma was the starting point for most of Sonoma County's rescue and relief efforts.

Petaluma is now home to many prestigious, well-preserved buildings from before 1906 and Victorian houses on the west side of the river. Downtown has suffered many river floods over the years and trade declined during the Depression. A lack of funds prevented the old houses and buildings from being demolished. In the 1960s there was a counterculture migration from San Francisco to Marin County and southern Sonoma Counties in search of affordable housing in a less urban setting. The old Victorian, Queen Anne and Eastlake style houses have been restored. Historic iron-fronted buildings in the downtown business district were also rescued. Most of the traffic and new home development have been diverted east of downtown with the construction of the 101 freeway. The historic business district in downtown Petaluma is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The first official airmail flight took place in 1911, when Fred Wiseman was carrying a handful of mail from Petaluma to Santa Rosa, including letters from Petaluma Postmaster John E. Olmstead and the Mayor of Petaluma. Wiseman's plane landed at the National Air and Space Museum.

From the First World War there was a significant influx of Jewish residents. This community was formed from shared socialist ideals as well as religious and cultural ties. This is in the movie A home on the range (2002).

With its large inventory of historic buildings, Petaluma was used as a location for numerous films in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s (see list of films below). The historic McNear building is a common filming location.

Petaluma pioneered the timed development approach. After Highway 101 was realigned as a freeway in 1955, housing permits tripled from 300 in 1969 to 900 in 1971. Due to the increasing population in the region in the 1960s, the city issued the "Petaluma Plan" in 1971. This plan limited the number of building permits for a period of five years from 1972 to 500 per year. At the same time, Petaluma created a red belt around the city as a limit for city expansion for a certain number of years. Similar to Ramapo, New York, a housing control system was created to distribute building permits based on a point system that is consistent with the city's general plan to provide low and middle income housing and develop somewhat evenly between East and West Divide west and single-family homes and apartment building.

The stated goals of Petaluma's timed growth management were to ensure orderly growth. Protection of the small town character of the city and the surrounding green spaces; to provide a variety of housing options; and maintain adequate water supplies and wastewater treatment.

The controlled development plan caught national attention in 1975 when the city was brought to justice by the Association of the Construction Industry. The city's restriction was upheld by the 9th Circuit Court in 1975, and the Supreme Court rejected a petition for Certiorari's letter in 1976. This court ruling still forms the basis for most of California's local growth management ordinances.

Despite this history of planned development, Petaluma City Council voted on April 13, 2009 to delete the entire planning department and lay off all planning staff. The responsibilities of the planning department were then transferred to the consulting firm Metropolitan Planning Group, which hired some of the former planning staff and continues to provide planning services for the city.

In the late 1990s, Petaluma was also known as Telecom Valley because of the telecommunications startups that appeared to be proliferating and providing great wealth for early shareholders and employees. Two success stories were those of Advanced Fiber Communications (AFC) (now Tellabs) and Cerent, which Cisco bought. Some Cerent employees bought the Phoenix Theater, a local entertainment center that was once an opera house.

The city has identified about two dozen buildings and districts as Petaluma landmarks.


Petaluma has a total area of ​​37.6 km 2 . Of these, 37.3 km 2 Land and the remaining 0.3 km 2 Water. Water makes up 0.74% of the total area.

It is 32 miles north of San Francisco.

Petaluma is flanked to the north by the unincorporated parishes of Penngrove and Lakeville to the south.

Petaluma is at the northernmost navigable end of the Petaluma River, a tidal estuary that meanders south to San Pablo Bay. The once considerable pollution of the river has improved in recent years. A significant part of the city is in the flood plain of the river, which overflows its banks every few years, especially in the Payran district.

The main sources of environmental noise are US Route 101, Petaluma Boulevard, Washington Street, and other major thoroughfares. The number of residents living in a zone exposed to noise levels greater than 60 CNEL is approximately 4,000.


Petaluma has a mild Mediterranean climate. Its dry summer is characterized by typically warm days and cool nights with a strong degree of daily temperature fluctuations. Summer mornings often start out foggy and cool, but the fog usually clears around noon or so, giving way to clear skies and warmth for the rest of the day. August is usually the warmest month with average daytime temperatures between 28 ° C and 12 ° C. December is usually the coldest month, with average daytime temperatures between 14 ° C and 4 ° C. Winter is cool and rainy, and frosts occasionally occur on clear nights on.

The Weather Underground reporting station in Petaluma had a record temperature of 44 ° C on September 6, 2020. The record temperature of -9 ° C was recorded on November 14, 1916. and December 14, 1932. The wettest year was 1998 at 1,167 mm (45.93 inches) and the driest year was 1976 at 211 mm (8.29 inches). The wettest month was February 1998 with 498 mm. Most of the precipitation in 24 hours was 109 mm (4.29 in) on December 27, 2004. Although snow is rare in Petaluma, it fell 38 mm (1.5 inches) in January 1916 and about 76 mm (3 inches) in January 2002.

Climatic data for Petaluma, CA (Normals 1981-2010)
month Jan. Feb To damage Apr Can Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec year
Average high ° F (° C) 56,9
Average low ° F (° C) 37,6
Average rainfall inches (mm) 5,33


Historical population
census Pop. % ±
1880 3,326 - -
1890 3,692 11,0%
1900 3,871 4,8%
1910 5,880 51,9%
1920 6,226 5,9%
1930 8,245 32,4%
1940 8,034 -2,6%
1950 10.315 28,4%
1960 14.035 36,1%
1970 24.870 77,2%
1980 33.834 36,0%
1990 43,184 27,6%
2000 54.548 26,3%
2010 57.941 6,2%
2019 (est.) 60.520 4,5%
US Decennial Census


View from the wooden pedestrian bridge in the city center along the Petaluma River to the north
The Balshaw Bridge crosses the turning basin of the Petaluma River.

The 2010 United States census found that Petaluma had a population of 57,941. The population density was 2,599 / km 2 (3,998.9 people per mile). The racial makeup of Petaluma was 46,566 (80.4%) White, 801 (1.4%) African American, 353 (0.6%) American Indian, 2,607 (4.5%) Asian (1.3% Chinese, 0, 9% Filipinos, 0.8% Asians, 0.4%)% Japanese, 0.3% Vietnamese, 0.2% Koreans, 0.1% Pakistani, 0.1% Laotians, 0.1% Thais), 129 (0.2%) Pacific Islanders, 5,103 (8.8%) from other races, and 2,382 (4.1%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12,453 people (21.5%). The Latin American ethnic groups are Mexicans (16.2%), Salvadorans (1.2%), Guatemalans (0.6%), Nicaraguans (0.3%), Peruvians (0.3%) and Puerto Ricans (0.3% ).

According to the census, 57,217 people (98.8% of the population) lived in households, 361 (0.6%) in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 363 (0.6%) were institutionalized.

There were 21,737 households out of which 7,541 (34.7%) had children under the age of 18, 11,392 (52.4%) were same-sex couples living together, 2,257 (10.4%) had a female head of household without a husband currently 1,052 (4.8%) had a male head of household without a woman present. There were 1,319 (6.1%) unmarried same-sex partnerships and 207 (1.0%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 5,372 households (24.7%) were made up of individuals and 2,366 (10.9%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63. There were 14,701 families (67.6% of all households); The average family size was 3.14.

The population was distributed: 13,455 people (23.2%) under 18 years of age, 4,589 people (7.9%) between the ages of 18 and 24 years, 15,041 people (26.0%) between the ages of 25 and 44 years, 17,273 People (29.8%) aged 45 to 44 years 64 and 7,583 people (13.1%) who were 65 years or older. The mean age was 40.3 years. For every 100 women there were 96.3 men. For every 100 women aged 18 and over there were 93.8 men.

There were 22,736 housing units at an average density of 1,569.2 per square mile (605.9 / km 2 ), of which 14,159 (65.1%) were owner-occupied apartments and 7,578 (34.9%) were occupied by tenants. The vacancy rate for homeowners was 1.3%; The vacancy rate was 4.8%. 37,389 people (64.5% of the population) lived in condominiums and 19,828 people (34.2%) lived in rental units.


According to the 2000 census, the city had 54,548 people, 19,932 households and 14,012 families. The population density was 3,953 people per square mile (2,590 / km 2 ). There were 20,304 housing units at an average density of 568 / km 2 . The racial makeup of the city was 84.16% White, 1.16% African American, 0.54% Native American, 3.91% Asian, 0.17% Pacific Islander, 6.08% other races, and 3.98% from two or more races. Hispanic of any race was 14.64% of the population.

There were 19,932 households out of which 36.6% had children under the age of 18 with them, 55.3% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female head without a husband, and 29.7% were non-families. 22.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.16. The age distribution is: 26.2% under 18 years, 7.2% from 18 to 24 years, 31.5% from 25 to 44 years, 24.1% from 45 to 64 years and 11.0% over 65 years or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 women there were 95.6 men. For every 100 women aged 18 and over there were 91.9 men.

The median income for a household in the city was $ 61,679, and the median income for a family was $ 71,158 (those numbers had risen to $ 68,949 and $ 85,513, respectively, as a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $ 50,232 versus $ 36,413 for women. The per capita income for the city was $ 27,087. About 3.3% of families and 6.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.2% of those under 18 and 7.1% of those over 65.


Catholic Church of St. Vincent de Paul

Amy's Kitchen, Calix, CamelBak, Clover Stornetta Farms, Fire Department Fund Insurance Company, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Petaluma Poultry, and Athleta Inc. are based in Petaluma.

Top employer

According to the city's comprehensive 2019 annual financial report, the city's top employers are:

1 Petaluma School District 813 2,43%
2 Petaluma poultry processors 474 1,42%
3 Enphase Energy, Inc. 468 1,40%
4 Petaluma Valley Hospital 386 1,16%
5 City of Petaluma 364 1,09%
6 Lagunitas Brewing Company 350 1,05%
7 Old Adobe Union School District 286 0,86%
8 Santa Rosa Junior College 284 0,85%
9 Clover Stornetta Farms 256 0,77%
10 Hansel car 238 0,71%


US Coast Guard

The US Coast Guard operates the Petaluma Training Center just outside Petaluma near Two Rock. The company operates several Class "A" and "C" schools at TRACEN Petaluma, including the Electronics Technician (ET), the Culinary Technician (CS), the Health Care Technician (HS), the Information Systems Technician (IT) and the Operations Specialist ( OS). , Shopkeepers (SK) and Yeoman (YN) schools.

The Coast Guard also operates the Chief Petty Officer Academy at TRACEN. The academy trains chief petty officers for both the US Coast Guard and the US Air Force.

California National Guard

The California National Guard operates an Armed Forces facility in Petaluma at 580 Vallejo Street.

Parks and recreation

Immediately to the southwest is the Helen Putnam Regional Park, accessible via the Chileno Valley Road. This 216-acre park (0.9 km 2 ) has trails for walking, biking, and horseback riding, and is one of two mayors named Parks in honor of former Helen Putnam who served from 1965 to 1979; The other is Putnam Plaza on Petaluma Boulevard. Over the town of Petaluma on the northwest flank of Sonoma Mountain lies the Fairfield Osborn Preserve, a nature reserve with a variety of native plants and animals. Nearby in the southeast is Lake Tolay, where the Miwok and Pomo tribes prehistorically settled.



Petaluma mayor is Teresa Barrett, who was a former vice mayor and previously served on Petaluma city council. The other six council members are Kevin McDonnell (Vice Mayor), D'Lynda Fischer, Mike Healy, Gabe Kearney, Dave King and Kathy Miller.

In early March 2021, as part of the city's goal to be carbon neutral by 2030, the city council unanimously voted to ban the construction of new filling stations and streamline the addition of more EV charging stations and potential hydrogen filling stations.

State and federal representation

Under California law, Petaluma is located in the 3rd Senate District, represented by Democrat Bill Dodd, and the 10th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Marc Levine.

In the United States House of Representatives, Petaluma is split between the 2nd Congressional District of California, represented by Democrat Jared Huffman, and the 5th Congressional District of California, represented by Democrat Mike Thompson.

According to the California Secretary of State, Petaluma has 36,034 registered voters as of February 10, 2019. Of these, 18,779 (52.1%) are registered Democrats, 6,124 (17%) are registered Republicans, and 9,281 (25.8%) have refused to form a political party.


Public schools are administered by the Petaluma City School District. There are two major high schools in Petaluma: Petaluma High School and Casa Grande High School, whose sports teams are known as Trojans and gauchos, respectively. Casa Grande High School has a notable academic decathlon team that has represented Sonoma County competing at the state level for the past 27 years. There is an annual soccer game between the two school teams known as the Egg Bowl. The game was suspended in 2011 due to fights with players and fans, but brought back in 2017 when Petaluma won the game against Casa Grande (20-14). Petaluma’s two public middle schools are Kenilworth Junior High School and Petaluma Junior High School.

St. Vincent de Paul High School, a Roman Catholic private school, is located in Petaluma and its sports teams are known as Mustangs. Santa Rosa Junior College has a second campus in Petaluma and the non-accredited art school / studio l'Atelier aux Couleurs campus is in Petaluma. Harvest Christian School is a classic and Christian private school in Petaluma and serves the TK-8 class.



US Highway 101 is the main highway through the city. State Route 116 also runs through the city as the Lakeville Highway. Other major streets are East Washington Street, North and South McDowell Boulevards, and Petaluma Boulevard.

Petaluma is served by Petaluma Transit, Golden Gate Transit, and Sonoma County Transit buses. The SMART (Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit) rail line went into operation in August 2017 and serves the Petaluma-Downtown station next to the historic Northwestern Pacific Railroad depot near Washington Street. A second station, Petaluma - North, is planned for future construction and service.

The closest major airports are San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport. The Sonoma County Airport Express buses connect Petaluma to the above airports. General aviation is served from the Petaluma Municipal Airport. Charles M. Schulz Airport - Sonoma County is also north of Santa Rosa.

Notable people

Notable people from Petaluma, California.



Video game designer

  • Jake Rodkin, video game designer, graphic designer, podcaster
  • Bill Tiller (* 1967), computer game designer, writer and artist, known for his work at LucasArts.

Historical figures

Musicians and bands

  • Em Rossi (* 1998), singer and songwriter

Sports figures


  • Shirley Neilsen Blum (* 1932), American art historian, author, gallery owner, curator and professor; born in Petaluma.
  • Tobias Capwell (born c. 1973), American curator, military historian and jouster; born in Petaluma
  • Pauline Kael (1919–2001), film critic
  • Karen Kilgariff (* 1970), comedian, podcaster and author
  • Bill Pronzini (born 1943), mystery writer
  • Silver Tree, film writer and producer


In popular culture

  • The song "Petaluma Afternoons" appeared on the 1998 record album Time Between Trains the folk singer Susan Werner.
  • In the computer game Sim City 2000 "Petaluma" is often a neighboring community of the city that the player builds.
  • The novel Divisadero of Michael Ondaatje from 2007 partly plays on a farm near Petaluma.
  • A piece of music called And On The Seventh Day, Petal's Fur Fell In Petaluma, inspired by a garden in Petaluma, was created by Harry Partch in 1963.
  • Petaluma becomes a suitor in a comedy film Harold and Maude by Briefly mentioned in 1971.
  • As a result of the television broadcast M * A * S * H 'The Topper', character BJ Hunnicutt mentions a "Petaluma Lumberjack Festival".
  • In Nickelodeons The Mighty B! There is a Petaluma sign on a freeway overpass.
  • In the Peanuts comic series, Snoopy the Beagle is training for an arm wrestling event in Petaluma (but is disqualified for not having a thumb).
  • In an episode of the 1970s television series Emergency! , Fireman Chet Kelley mentions trying out for the Arm Wrestling Championship in Petaluma but loses to another contender before the trip.
  • Title in her song "Days of the Phoenix" from her September 2000 album The Art of Drowning , the punk rock band AFI makes reference to the Phoenix Theater on Washington Street in downtown Petaluma, the venue the band used to play on a regular basis.
  • In the movie "One Way Passage," starring William Powell, Kay Francis, Aline MacMahon, Frank McHugh and Warren Hymer, who plays a police officer, Hymer tries to woo actress Aline MacMahon by telling her he wants to quit police work and retire completely paid for chicken farm in Petaluma.


Petaluma Boulevard, from Washington Street
Bell tower on the corner of Petaluma Boulevard and Western Avenue

Petaluma has served as the filming location for many major films and television commercials including:

  • American graffiti (1973) - Sonoma was found on Old Adobe Road, Frates Road, Petaluma Blvd., Gilardi's Baitshop on Bodega Avenue for the liquor store scene, Petaluma High School, and the downtown parking lot for the police car scene (also in San Rafael) and Tamalpais High School in Marin County).
  • Heroes (1977) - Locations include Petaluma, California Petaluma Raceway.
  • The Grass Is Always Greener Above the Septic (1978) - Filmed in a house at 121 Rancho Bonito Circle.
  • Cujo (1983) - Locations are Petaluma, Santa Rosa and Mendocino.
  • Morning in America (1984) presidential campaign ad for Ronald Reagan by Hal Riney
  • Explorer (1985) - Locations include Petaluma.