General M.G. Vallejo played a unique and central role in California history. He is personally responsible for founding the city of Sonoma. Yet no suitable civic monument has been dedicated to this preeminent figure in our rich and varied history. On his 210th birthday, July 4, 2017, the General will receive a long overdue civic recognition — appropriate to his contributions to Sonoma.
A group of private citizens is working toward recognizing General M. G. Vallejo, by placing a noteworthy and interactive statue of him on the north side of the Sonoma Plaza. The Plaza, which was laid out by the General himself, remains one of his greatest gifts to us. This monument will allow the public – those who live here, as well as those who visit – to see and learn of General Vallejo and his legacy. It will consist of a life-sized bronze likeness of General Vallejo seated on a bench, gazing at the former site of his original home in Sonoma.
The General Vallejo Monument Committee was founded by the late Sheila Cole in 2015, and the project received the unanimous approval and support of the Sonoma City Council. The Committee has contracted Sonoma’s own Jim Callahan to create the monumental statue. Callahan was honored as the Sonoma Artist Treasure of 2000, was given the Key to the City of Sonoma for his contributions to the community, and has been recognized by the Sonoma League for Historic Preservation with its Award of Merit. Jim has worked closely with the General’s descendants and area historians to ensure that the monument is historically accurate and artistically notable.
The Committee is also working with Michael B. Ross, AIA, founding Principal of Ross Drulis Cusenbery Architecture regarding the design of a suitable surrounding plot for the statue. RDC is an award winning Sonoma-based architectural firm with a broad portfolio of national and local projects.