These right-of-way appraisal files were developed by the California Highway Commission (which became the California Transportation Commission, or CalTrans, in 1978) to document the right-of-way access needed to build Highway 101 through Sonoma County between the 1940s and 1970s. Also included are some files for Highways 12, 116, and 1.
The collection contents represent an important milestone in the history of Sonoma County, the creation of Highway 101, which transects the county south to north. Materials include appraisals, photographs of properties, comparable property reports, economic and development appraisals, correspondence, reports, and detailed maps. The photographs provide valuable historic detail of architectural styles, automobiles, gardens, and scenes of parts of Sonoma County prior to development. The appraisal notes and reports are rich with detail and commentary on economic conditions, development plans, the impact of historic events, and the diverse inhabitants of these properties.
Donated by the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) in 2017. The materials are organized into 16 boxes, arranged geographically by highway number, then by city/town, south to north or west to east. Boxes contain economic reports, appraisals, photographs, legal documents, maps, ownership information, and correspondence.
The research material in the collection is available to view by appointment.