La Casa Grande Servants’ Quarters
General Vallejo’s first home, La Casa Grande, was one of the most imposing, and well-furnished private residences in California. Construction was underway in the late 1830s and occupied before the house was finished in 1840. Eleven Vallejo children were born in the house. Over the years, La Casa Grande became the center of social and diplomatic life north of San Francisco Bay. About 1843, General Vallejo added a three-story adobe tower to the southwestern corner of the house. From this vantage point it was possible to look out over several miles of the Sonoma Valley.
It was in La Casa Grande on the morning of June 14, 1846 that the general, his brother Salvadore, and his brother-in-law Jacob Leese, were confronted by leaders of the Bear Flag Party, and following several hours of negotiations, were taken prisoner and sent to Sutter’s Fort for detention.
In the early 1850s the Vallejo family moved about a mile west in Sonoma to their new estate, Lachryma Montis. The ground floor of La Casa Grande then was used as a retail store, city council chamber, and for other purposes until 1854 when the entire house was turned over to the Reverend John L. Ver Mehr for use as a girl’s school. The main wing of the house was destroyed by fire on February 12, 1867, leaving only the low two-story servants’ wing which is still standing today.