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Guerneville

Trip Planner USA  /  California  /  Sonoma County  /  Guerneville
(4.2/5 based on 1,400+ reviews for 5 attractions)
Things to do: nature, wineries, beaches
Guerneville is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County, California, United States. The town is historically known for the logging community that formed here in the later 1800s. Guerneville is also known for its natural beauty, liberal atmosphere, and proximity to wine-tasting and redwood forests. It was founded by the Guerne family in the 1850s.HistoryGuerneville is built adjacent to the Russian River. Redwoods grew in the riverbed with such vigor that just a few centuries ago, the valley had the greatest biomass density on the planet, according to local lore. The local Pomo Indians used the area as a summer camp and called it "Ceola" ( or cee-oh-lay) which meant "shady place." Except for a large, beautiful stand of truly ancient trees preserved in the Fife Creek watershed, now the centerpiece of Armstrong Woods Park, many of the trees were logged in the 19th century, giving rise to the first English name for the place – "Stumptown." The annual town parade still commemorates the old place name by calling itself "Stumptown Days." The present name Guerneville was introduced to honor Swiss immigrant George Guerne, a local businessman of the 19th century who owned the town's sawmill. By 1870, there was a U.S. Post Office in Guerneville; it was listed by the name "Guerneville". Although locals may be found selling T-shirts that say "Don't call it Guerneyville", many have called the town "Guerneyville" in spelling and pronunciation since the 1800s. The extensive redwood forests on the surrounding mountains are less than 200 years old, having been replacement plantings for much of the logging done in the 19th century.
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