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Infrastructure

Electricity

Electricity came to the valley in 1913, built by the California Light and Telephone Company. Work on the line was rushed to accommodate the nine wineries during the vintage season, with the various residences to be connected soon thereafter (Healdsburg Enterprise, September 6, 1913). Some areas, however, were not electrified until the 1920s, when a line was brought  down Canyon Road and north from Geyserville in 1925 (Phillips 1985a,b:6).

Roads & Bridges

The road up the east side of Dry Creek (Dry Creek Road today) was evidently in use from the earliest years of settlement in the valley. Certainly the route to the Peña adobe would have been established by the 1840s, and undoubtedly farther north. In the early 1850s, however, the public road did not follow today’s route, but led up through the bottomland of the valley (Dry Creek Neighbors Club 1979:1).

The northern segment of this road was declared a public road in April of 1872, noted as running from a station in the center of the Healdsburg and Skaggs Springs Road, near the end of the road dividing the lands of Lambert and Peck (present Lambert Bridge Road). It then continued northerly through the field of Snider and Allen, Oraden, O’Conner, Capell & Morris, Means & Black, Black & Vaughn’s pasture fence, in front of Bell’s barnyard, through a gate and lands of K. & S. Bell and G.K. Bell, J.S. Bell, J.D, Snider, Wm. J. Vaughn, Peter O’Connor, Andrew L. Maynes (who signed his name with an “X”), Jules Auradau, and W.T. Allen (Sonoma County Deed Book 39:260, filed April 6, 1872). The lower portion of the road was paved at some early date, but in 1928 pavement on Dry Creek Road was extended to Rogers Hill (Sotoyome Scimitar, November 23, 1928).

West Dry Creek Road was not completed all the way up the valley until the late 1920s. In the early years a crossing was made at present Lambert Bridge, which continued northerly up the valley. This road was surveyed in July of 1864 by J.W. Bagley and became an official county road. The map noted that it extended from the ranch of Richards to that of Pritchetts (Sonoma County Map Book A:43). On its southern end, as late as 1908, West Dry Creek Road ran north up the valley from Healdsburg to the center of Section 18, T9N, R9W (Reynolds and Proctor 1898, McIntire & Lewis 1908).

In a description of life at the Enzenaur Ranch on Wine Creek off West Dry Creek Road in 1895, Charlotte Enzenaur noted that there was no road to West Dry Creek, but that their deed  included rights-of-way through several other properties. Among other family papers was a deed with all the property owners from Lambert Bridge deeding 30 feet on each side of the road to the Allen property (Dry Creek Neighbors Club 1979:19). By 1934 the road had been connected all the way up the west side of Dry Creek (Peugh 1934).

Divided by Dry Creek, the two sides of the valley were connected in the early years by fords, then by wooden bridges, and later by metal and concrete structures. The bridges and culverts often washed out during flood season, and many times folk had to cross by swimming their horses through the raging waters.

The most historic extant bridge in the valley is Lambert Bridge, on Lambert Bridge Road, and named for pioneer settler Charles Lee Lambert who owned the land on which the bridge was built. The first bridge at the crossing was constructed in the 1880s, and replaced with the extant steel truss bridge constructed in 1915 (Figure 6). Designed by Malcolm P. Younker, and built by D.E. Alders of Santa Rosa and the American Bridge Company, responsible for building 25 percent of truss bridges built in California between 1911 and 1920. The bridge was built in 18 days, at a cost of $8,961, by a crew of ten men. A Parker Through Truss design, it was designated as a Sonoma County Landmark in 1999, as one of only seven still in existence in Sonoma County (Hoods 2000:3).

The most historic extant bridge in the valley is Lambert Bridge, on Lambert Bridge Road, and named for pioneer settler Charles Lee Lambert who owned the land on which the bridge was built. The first bridge at the crossing was constructed in the 1880s, and replaced with the extant steel truss bridge constructed in 1915 (Figure 6). Designed by Malcolm P. Younker, and built by D.E. Alders of Santa Rosa and the American Bridge Company, responsible for building 25 percent of truss bridges built in California between 1911 and 1920. The bridge was built in 18 days, at a cost of $8,961, by a crew of ten men. A Parker Through Truss design, it was designated as a Sonoma County Landmark in 1999, as one of only seven still in existence in Sonoma County (Hoods 2000:3).

The Yoakim Road Bridge is a modern concrete slab structure. It was named for the Yoakim family, whose home is located at the northeast corner of Yoakim Bridge Road and West Dry Creek Road.

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Landmarks Commission

Designates historic landmarks, reviews historic property development proposals, and administers the Historic Preservation Program.

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