Sonoma Developmental Center

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Sonoma Developmental Center--Main Building
Sonoma State Home, Main Building, 15000 Arnold Dr., Eldridge, CA 6-12-2010 6-03-39 PM.JPG
Sonoma Developmental Center is located in California
Sonoma Developmental Center
Location 15000 Arnold Drive
Eldridge, California
Coordinates 38°20′50″N 122°31′7″W / 38.34722°N 122.51861°W / 38.34722; -122.51861Coordinates: 38°20′50″N 122°31′7″W / 38.34722°N 122.51861°W / 38.34722; -122.51861
Area 1,670 acres (7 km2)
NRHP Reference # 00001180
Added to NRHP October 6, 2000

The Sonoma Developmental Center is a large, state-run facility in California, United States, serving the needs of people with developmental disabilities. It is located in Eldridge in Sonoma County.


It opened at its current location on November 24, 1891, though it had existed at previous locations in Vallejo and Santa Clara since 1884.[1]

The facility's current name dates from 1986. Former names include:[2]

  • California Home for the Care and Training of Feeble Minded Children (1883)
  • Sonoma State Home (1909)
  • Sonoma State Hospital (1953)


1883 First home opened at White Sulphur Springs near Vallejo.

1884 Fasking Park, Alameda County

1885-1891 The Home was located in Santa Clara, California near the intersection of Market and Washington Street. 37.345807, -121.942783

1891 A new site for the Home was purchased from former State Senator William Hill for %51000. Two railroads ran through the site until World War 2. The superintendent was Antrim Edgar Osborn.

1903. Doctor Osborne was replaced by Dr. Lawlor.

1903. Lawor was replaced by Dawson

1913. Fred Butler was hired.

1918. A Spanish Influenza epidemic killed dozens of inmates. Dr. Lawlor was also killed.

1918. Dr. Butler becomes superintendent

In 2000, its main building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.[3]

In fiction[edit]

The Center provided the setting for Jack London's short story "Told in the Drooling Ward" (1914).[4]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]