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About Sebastopol, California, 95472  Area code 707
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Sebastopol is a town in Sonoma County, California, United States, approximately 52 miles north of San Francisco.

The population was 7,774 at the 2000 census, but its businesses also serve surrounding rural portions of Sonoma County, totaling about 50,000 people, per the town's website. It is about a 20 minute drive from the Pacific Ocean, between Santa Rosa and Bodega Bay, and is known for its progressive politics and small-town charm. It was once primarily a plum- and apple-growing region; wine grapes are now predominant, and almost all ex-orchards are now vineyards. World-famous horticulturist Luther Burbank had gardens in this fertile region. The city hosts an annual Apple Blossom Festival and Gravenstein Apple Fair.

Sebastopol is the home of publisher O'Reilly Media, which publishes books on open-source software. Former Primus lead singer/bassist Les Claypool, singer/songwriter Tom Waits, singer/songwriter Nick Gravenites and actor Peter Krause currently reside in the area. Sebastopol is home to Analy High School, Laguna High School, Brook Haven Middle School, Gravenstein Elementary School, Hillcrest Middle School, Twin Hills Middle School, Pine Crest Elementary, Apple Blossom Elementary, along with many other private and charter schools. It is also the sister city of Chyhyryn, Ukraine, and Yamauchi-Machi, Japan.

The name of Sebastopol first came into use in the late 1850s as a result of a prolonged and lively fist fight in the newly formed town, which was likened to the long British siege of the Russian seaport of Sevastopol during the then-raging Crimean War. At one time, four other California towns were also named Sebastopol (specifically, one in Napa County renamed Yountville, and others in Tulare, Sacramento and Nevada counties). There is some debate in the rumour mill about how the name "Sebastopol" came into being. The town was originally called Pinegrove, and how the name change occurred is rumored to have something to do with a bar fight. The original name can be seen in the names of two of the longer standing downtown businesses, Pinegrove consignment store, and the Pinecone restaurant.

Sebastopol became known as the Gravenstein Apple Capital of the World. The apple industry brought a steady rural prosperity to the town. In 1890 the Northwestern Pacific Railroad opened a branch to Sebastopol. The town was incorporated in 1902 with schools, churches, hotels, canneries, mills, wineries, and an opera house to its credit. The 1906 earthquake reduced most of these early buildings to rubble, (Sebastopol is only seven miles from the city of Santa Rosa, the worst hit town in the 1906 earthquake) but as elsewhere in the county, the town was rebuilt.

In the second half of the Twentieth Century, the apple industry struggled to compete with other apple producing regions and has gradually declined in economic significance. With greater personal mobility and the rise of larger shopping centers in other Sonoma County communities, many residents now often commute to work and shop in the neighboring towns of Rohnert Park or Santa Rosa, while Sebastopol maintains its small town charm.

It is often incorrectly stated that until the 1990s, Sebastopol was the last remaining town in Northern California that still had working railroad trains going down Main Street. The tracks were actually removed in the late 1980s. Passenger service had ceased in the 1930s and regular freight service ended in the late 1970s, which Analy High School students documented in the 1979 video, Our Train Down Main: a History of the Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railroad. The canneries have disappeared from downtown, and the apple processing plant as well, while vineyards and new housing developments have replaced some of the apple orchards eliminating the need for a train service to town.

It is often also incorrectly stated that the tracks were removed in the 1990s when the downtown area was redesigned with two one-way streets to enhance traffic along Gravenstein Highway (Route 116). Main Street and Sebastopol Avenue were actually designated one-way streets in 1985 in a perhaps misguided attempt to deal with the town's perennial traffic problem.

Some famous residents of Sebastopol include: the horticulturist Luther Burbank who established an 18-acre Gold Ridge Environmental Farm in the township in the late 1800s; Willard Libby, inventor of carbon dating went to Analy High School; the cartoonist Charles Schulz; and the musicians Les Claypool of Primus and both Jerry Garcia and Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead.

The city council consists of five members, each serving four year terms. City council races are not partisan, so each member does not officially represent any party, however since 2000 there has been a decent amount of attention given to the individual party membership of city council members in Sebastopol. This happened because in 2000, with the election of Craig Litwin and Sam Spooner to the city council, the town had a Green Party majority. Or would have, if city council races were partisan. This was only the second time this had ever happened, the first being the town of Arcata, CA in 1996.

As this indicates, Sebastopol tends to support environmental policies. In 1986, the citizens approved an initiative declaring Sebastopol a "Nuclear Free Zone", The town does not use pesticides in city landscaping, and several years back, when the police needed a new vehicle, the city council voted to purchase a hybrid instead of a standard police car.

Current issues facing the city include a high cost of living and ongoing difficulties with traffic (the town has two highways going through downtown).

Sebastopol, while small, has several points of interest.

Luther Burbank Gold Ridge Experiment Farm *
The historic Hogan Building, Petaluma Avenue. This was the Power House for the Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railroad which was an eleCenteric railway. The first cars were run over the line in 1904, and the later named Hogan Building, built of stone from a local quarry, is one of the few in the area that made it through the 1906 earthquake.
West County Museum operated by the Western Sonoma County Historical Society in the former Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railroad passenger Depot on Main Street.
George A. Strout House, located on Florence Ave., home of sculptor Patrick Amiot and many of his eclectic sculptures *
Ives Park, summer home of the Sonoma County Repertory Theater (aka The Rep)
Ragle Ranch Regional Park
Joe Rodota Trail
West County Trail
Laguna de Santa Rosa
*National Registry of Historic Places

Trip Tip: You can get rates and make reservations for most hotels in the  Sonoma County by calling  1-888-254-0637   Outside the US please call 00-800-84469370 OR 1-210-507-5997 By giving code 3536 when calling you receive discount rates plus 110% guarantee. If you find the room cheaper elsewhere you get your money back plus 10% of the difference ion price.


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