Great Value for Sebastopol Landlords
The area's first known inhabitants were the native Coast Miwok and Pomo peoples. The town of Sebastopol formed in the 1850s with a U.S. Post Office and as a small trade center for the farmers of the surrounding agricultural region. As California's population swelled after the westward migration and the California Gold Rush of 1848-1855, more and more settlers drifted into the fertile California valleys north of San Francisco to try their hand at farming.
There is some debate about how the name "Sebastopol" came into use in Sonoma County. At one time, four other California towns were also named Sebastopol:
The town in Sonoma County originally had the name Pinegrove; the name change (according to rumor) had something to do with a bar fight in the late 1850s, which was compared by a bystander to the long British siege of the seaport of Sevastopol (1854-1855) during the Crimean War of 1853-1856. The original name survives in the names of two of the longer-standing downtown businesses: Pinegrove consignment store, and the Pinecone restaurant.
Sebastopol became known as the "Gravenstein Apple Capital of the World". The apple industry brought a steady rural prosperity to the town. In 1890 the San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad connected Sebastopol to the national rail network. The town was incorporated in 1902, with schools, churches, hotels, canneries, mills, wineries, and an opera house to its credit. The 1906 earthquake reduced most of these early buildings to rubble (Sebastopol is only seven miles from the city of Santa Rosa, the worst-hit town in the 1906 earthquake), but as elsewhere in the county, the town was rebuilt.
In the second half of the 20th century, the apple industry struggled to compete with other apple-producing regions and gradually declined in economic significance. With greater personal mobility and the rise of larger shopping centers in other Sonoma County communities, many residents now often commute to work and shop in the neighboring towns of Rohnert Park or Santa Rosa, while Sebastopol maintains its small-town charm.