The historical buildings on Stone Farm were dilapidated and unsafe for use when the Laguna Foundation began restoration of the site.
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Stone Farm is now the home to the Laguna Foundation's offices and the Great Blue Heron Hall (Environmental Center).
Laguna Environmental Center
Stone Farm History
In 1868, Harrison Valentine, one of Santa Rosa’s earliest settlers and a founder of its first Protestant church, purchased 320 acres in Santa Rosa which included the property of the future Stone Farm located on the north side of Occidental Road and just east of the Laguna channel. His widow sold the property to John Morrison in 1870 who then began construction of the farmhouse in approximately 1872. The owners of the property changed many times over the next 112 years until it was purchased by the City of Santa Rosa in 1984. In October 1988, the Santa Rosa Cultural Heritage Board designated the site City Cultural Heritage Landmark #1. In 2005, The Laguna de Santa Rosa began leasing the 4 acres surrounding the historic farmhouse.
Click here to see a detailed timeline constructed by the City of Santa Rosa.
The farmhouse is a T-shaped two-story Greek Revival (or Homestead) ranch house believed to be Sonoma County’s oldest surviving farm building still in its original rural setting. The California Department of Parks and Recreation Historic Resources Inventory report on the property describes the house as “an excellent example of rural Homestead architecture during the settlement and early American period.” The house has been unoccupied since 1984.
The small barn and hop barn, contemporary with the farmhouse, are of classic 19th century design with pegged mortise and tenon joints and square nails. The Historic Resources Inventory describes them as “unaltered...and typical of such ranch structures in the area.” These practical, well-built structures were erected in an era when Sonoma County was one of the most agriculturally productive regions, acre-for-acre, in the world.
As part of the lease agreement, the Foundation undertook the project of renovating the historic farmhouse and turning it into our administrative offices. Major work included building a new entrance on the historic alignment of Old Occidental Road, moving the house and constructing a foundation and then placing the house on the new foundation, a complete “gutting” and rebuilding of the inside of the old structure, the construction of a mound style septic system, and much more. All of this work was possible thanks to much community support in both financial and in-kind donations.
In July 2009, the Foundation moved its administrative offices into the restored farmhouse. The building was renamed the Churchill Farmhouse in recognition and thanks for the financial contributions and tireless efforts of Ken and Susan Churchill in helping complete the project. The Foundation is also very grateful to the City of Santa Rosa for its support in the form of a generous long term lease on the property.
The Administrative Office at Stone Farm is located at 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401