Graton sits in the middle of a beautiful valley bordered by Sebastopol on the south, Occidental on the west, Forestville to the north, and Santa Rosa to the east. It is historically known as the Green Valley area. The Pomo and Miwok Indians were the first inhabitants of what would eventually become Graton.
In the late 1800s, the area was nicknamed the “Gold Ridge” as settlers realized they could make more money in agriculture than in gold. Graton thrived in the first part of the 20th century, particularly in the apple industry. There were apple processing plants and canneries going strong, their seasonal loud noise and noxious smell unnoticed by the locals. However, the apple industry began to seriously wane in the 1970s.
The wine industry in Sonoma County began to grow, and Graton is now recognized as part of the premiere Green Valley wine-growing region. Graton is home to many artists, writers, and musicians, as well as working-class families, professionals, and retirees.
This history is from the book “Images of America: Graton”, by Lesa Tanner and the Graton Community Club, published by Arcadia Publishing and available for purchase at The Graton Community Club Flower Show and at the Willow Wood.