Rohnert Park is a city in Sonoma County, California,
The population was 42,236 at the 2000 census. It was an early
planned city modeled directly after Levittown, New York and Levittown,
Rohnert Park is the sister city of Hashimoto in Japan.
Originally home of the Coast Miwok native people, the Mexican government granted
Rancho Cotate to Captain Juan Castenada in July of 1844 for his military
services in the region. The grant encompassed present-day Penngrove, Cotati and
Rohnert Park. "Cotate Rancho is a part of the Vallejo Township which is the
plain between Sonoma Mountain and Petaluma Creek San Pablo Bay, and an east and
west line dividing the tract from Santa Rosa Township."
Rancho Cotate was sold in 1849 to Dr. Thomas S.
Page, of Cotati, and eventually broken up and sold off piecemeal to incoming
settlers. The town of Rohnert Park was named after the Rohnert family who
owned the Rohnert Seed Farm. In 1929, a successful businessman, Waldo Emerson
Rohnert, (born 1869 - died 1933), a native of Detroit, Michigan, purchased a
large ranch here and minimized flooding in the fields with a crude drainage
system but died shortly after. His son, Fred Rohnert, a graduate of Stanford Law
School took over the ranch and developed a seed growing business, the Rohnert
Seed Farm, which turned into a major horticultural success for the county.
In the year 1956, only four adult residents lived within the district
boundaries, but in 1957 with the 101 Freeway newly completed at the Cotati
bypass, Rohnert Park began to be built and laid out as a planned city. In a
summer election of 1962, Rohnert Park was incorporated, comprised of 1,325
acres, housing an estimated 2,775 persons, the first town to incorporate since
1905. The historic neighboring town of Cotati, California voted to incorporate
the following year.
The Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District serves the city. The city of
Rohnert Park is home to Sonoma State University.
Rancho Cotate High School is the main comprehensive high school for both the
towns of Rohnert Park and Cotati. Technology High School is a small high school
located within the Sonoma State University campus.
Rohnert Park is also home to Sonoma County's only gravity hill, located on the
western slopes of Sonoma Mountain above Sonoma State University.