To educate, promote interest in, and advocate for the preservation of historic buildings, neighborhoods, and landscapes in the City of Sonoma and Sonoma Valley.
The Maysonnave House
291 First Street East
Sonoma, CA. 95476
The house is open to the public April through October every Friday from 10 AM to noon and docents are available to guide a tour of the house and garden.
Prominent Sonoma businessman and winemaker, Camille Aguillon, a French immigrant, bought this land and much more to the west, north, and east from General Mariano Vallejo in the 1870s. Aguillon grew pears, grapes, and other fruit on the land and was one of the first to ship fruit out of Sonoma on the railroad.
This house was built by the Aguillon Family in approximately 1905/1906. It was rented by the Maysonnaves, another French family, from 1920 to 1952. Henri Maysonnave was 13 when his family moved in. His father, Fabian, was hired as the first full-time employee of the City of Sonoma, working on the maintenance of the buildings, streetlights, and roads. Henri’s mother, Marguerite, was well-known as a pie-baker and for her cooking. She made raviolis so well that she would teach local Italian women how to better their ravioli skills. Marguerite was also an expert mushroom hunter, taking them from the hills above the cemetery and drying them at home. The Maysonnave House was always a warm and welcoming place, and visitors usually came in through the back door to spend time visiting in the kitchen.
In 1952, the Maysonnaves bought the house from the Aguillon Estate. After the death of Henri’s parents, Henri continued to live in this house until his death in 1989. During Henri’s ownership, the only alterations he made to the house were to enclose the front porch after he developed tuberculosis and to add a small bathroom. He was Sonoma’s second alcalde and one of the most popular and civically-engaged people in the town’s history. On his death, Henri left two wishes: to be driven one more time around his beloved Sonoma Plaza and that his property be given to the City of Sonoma “for development as a memorial park or a museum facility.”
In 2007-2008, the Sonoma League for Historic Preservation, along with the City of Sonoma, restored the house and grounds to look like they did around 1910 when the railroad passed by to the north. Currently, the League uses Maysonnave House for its headquarters.
Please contact our Executive Administrator Robert Demler for inquiries about rentals for weddings, parties, receptions, celebrations of life and other special occasions. Robert can be reached at email@example.com or at (707) 536-6788.