If the Natives Sons are anything, they are about Community Service . . . and the Sonoma 111 Parlor has a fundraising calendar that would put most other service organization to shame. On top of sponsoring their own events like the annual Surf and Turf dinner, Chicken BBQ, Bear Flag Celebration, Battle of the Bars we have also been an intricate part of the volunteers that put on the 4th of July parade, Vintage Festival and Parade, BR Cohn Music Festival, NASCAR Save Mart 250, and NHRA races at Sonoma Raceway.
In between these major events we stay busy helping organizers by supplying volunteers for the Destination Race, Napa to Sonoma marathon, Healdsburg Wine Country marathon historical dedications, historical building restoration, cleaning our creeks and waterways and many more smaller community projects.
All of the money we raise goes back into our local community and to the foundations the Native Sons have started over the years. We contribute generously to the Sonoma Valley High School Scholarship fund, Cleft Palate Foundation, Individual Student Scholarships, Historical Preservation Foundation.
Join the Sonoma Native Sons of the Golden West Today!!
Gold and “newcomers” both have played a big part in the history of the state of California, and both of them played a big role in theWhat is a “Native Son of the Golden West”?
formation of the Native Sons of the Golden West.
The California Gold Rush was one of the unmatched marvels of American history. In 1848, California was a tranquil wilderness where the population density was so low that, on average, only one human being dwelt per each 528 square miles. But after President James K. Polk made the official announcement on Dec. 5, 1848 that gold had been discovered, things ramped up very quickly. Gold seekers (mostly young men) came in droves from all corners of the earth. Within a short time, 100,000 people were living in California. They were industrious, civic-minded people. They held a Constitutional Convention, and activated a state government on Dec. 20, 1849. They acted so rapidly that it took Congress almost a year to catch up with them because California was not officially declared a state until Sept. 9, 1850. It was an unparalleled phenomenon; no other American state has been organized in such “can-do” circumstances.
But by the mid-1870s, many more new residents were flooding into California. They were Civil War veterans seeking grants of public lands, and were people who could enjoy the convenient transportation of the newly completed transcontinental railroad. Old-timers shook their heads and worried that, with the nature of the population changing so rapidly, the colorful history of the Gold Rush and early-day statehood soon would be forgotten and neglected. So they hit upon an idea: Why not form an organization of men who had been BORN in California whose mission it would be to preserve the state’s history? And that’s exactly what happened, causing the Native Sons of the Golden West to be formed on July 11, 1875.
What is a “parlor”?
As you read about Native Sons, you may encounter – and be puzzled by – the term “parlor.” We call our chapters “parlors.” Why do we do that? There are two theories. First theory: In olden days, there were few public meeting halls; so chapters met in members’ parlors. Second theory: We did it just to be different.