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Saint Francis Solano Catholic Cemetery in Sonoma


Welcome to Saint Francis Solano Catholic Cemetery in Sonoma.

We are located at:  550 East Napa Street, Sonoma, CA 95476.   Please see contact information and map and directions below.



History of Saint Francis Solano Cemetery

Established in 1835


Saint Francis Solano Cemetery was established in 1835 when Father Quijas, the Catholic Priest in charge of Saint Francis Solano Church at that time, approached Mariano Vallejo for a grant of land in the Pueblo of Sonoma to be used as a cemetery.  In the second half of the year, Vallejo, acting in his capacity as Commissioner of Colonization for the government of Mexico, granted a plot of land to the Church for a cemetery.  Apparently it was immediately fenced and consecrated and put to use as a cemetery, making it the oldest continuously used cemetery in the county. 


The deed for the cemetery was apparently destroyed in the Bear Flag Revolt and while the adjacent land changed title several times, the cemetery was the subject of a lawsuit in Pickett vs. Esser et al (Father Esser, Archbishop Allemany of San Francisco, and J. Cooper).  This was settled in 1885 when Judge Temple of Sonoma County Superior Court held that even though there was no record of the deed, the land had been openly in continuous, uninterrupted and exclusive use as a cemetery since 1835.and therefore was not part of the land quit claimed to Mr. Pickett. 

The Cemetery was administered by the parish of Saint Francis Solano Catholic Church until 1969.  At that time, Bishop Leo Maher of the newly formed Diocese of Santa Rosa changed the administration and control to the Department of Cemeteries.  The public mausoleums were built in 1974 and 1980.  Later on a columbarium (to house cremated remains) was added between the mausoleums.


Though the cemetery is still being used for burials, all graves have been sold and the only available casket space is crypt space or niche space is available for cremated remains.


New at Saint Francis Solano Cemetery

New Ornamental Iron Fence


Our Saint Francis Solano Cemetery in Sonoma has a beautiful new fence thanks to the support of Father Michael Kelly and the generosity of the Saint Francis Solano parishioners who donated almost $12,000 to make this a reality.  The unsightly thicket of bushes was removed and replaced with an attractive ornamental iron fence (photos below, click to enlarge).

Click photo to enlarge Click photo to enlarge

Sonoma - hedge before new fence

Sonoma - new fence replacing the hedge






Contact Information

Map and Directions


Saint Francis Solano Catholic Cemetery

550 East Napa Street, Sonoma, CA 95476

P.O. Box 2864, Petaluma, CA 94953

Map and Directions


Office Hours

By Appointment


Call our main office in Santa Rosa to Schedule an Appointment: (707) 546-6290


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Catholic Cemeteries - Diocese of Santa Rosa ~ PO Box 2098 ~ Santa Rosa, CA  95405
www.catholiccemeteries-dsr.org 2009