Mapping Our Community:

Gaye LeBaron and the Stories of Sonoma County

Handwritten letter is the background with 4 images
Left to right: A WWII internment camp chest and letter, Gilbert Gray tribute image, sit-in at the Silver Dollar Saloon, and residents of Fountaingrove utopian community in the late 1800s

Mapping Our Community: Gaye LeBaron and the Stories of Sonoma County presents stories of individuals and communities that have shaped Sonoma County through the columns of the Santa Rosa (California) Press Democrat journalist Gaye LeBaron.

This snapshot of Sonoma County’s rich history originates from materials found in Sonoma State University’s Gaye LeBaron Collection as well as supplemental materials from additional historical collections. The Gaye LeBaron Collection reflects the journalist’s 60+ years of research and writing about the communities we call home.

Click on each image below to learn more about Sonoma County as experienced by some of its residents through Gaye’s writings and archives.

A woman wearing a green shirt and black sweater.
Gaye LeBaron’s community stories reveal the rich fabric of California’s North Bay.

The Bracero Program in Sonoma County

3 men in a field.
A federal program brings Mexican citizens to harvest crops in Northern California.

Japanese Americans and the Alien Land Law

4 people stand in front of a car.
Legislation deprives Japanese Americans of the right to call Sonoma County their home.

Utopian Communities in Sonoma County

a woman picking flowers in a field.
Various visionary groups settle in the North Bay in hopes of realizing their dreams of community.

Black Americans in Santa Rosa

4 men being served in a bar
In pursuing the California dream, Black Americans find success and bigotry in Sonoma County.

Sonoma State University’s Gaye LeBaron Fund

You are invited to contribute to the growth and vitality of the University Library's collections and services.

The LeBaron Fund provides support for the Library's Gaye and John LeBaron collections, which provide a vital resource to students and to scholars worldwide. Both offer unique primary source material, an essential component of the Library's mission to cultivate critical thinking skills among students.

Thank you

The Library Art Committee (Mary Wegmann, Catherine Fonseca, and Darren Sargent) would like to extend special thanks to Lynn Prime, Christine Hayes, and John Müller, without whom this exhibit would not have been possible.