Located in rural Sonoma County in an area that colonial-era Spaniards called “El Valle de la Luna” or the Valley of the Moon, the Sonoma State Hospital is surrounded by chaparral shrubs, oaks, and low hills. In a region now known for agriculture, tourism, and vineyards, the hospital is an extensive complex that encompasses more than 2.6 square miles. During the twentieth century, It functioned as a total institution that operated similar to a small community as opposed to a strict medical facility. The grounds included cottages for patients and staff, a hospital, an assembly hall, a dairy farm, a tannery, a morgue, and post office. Sonoma State Hospital even had its own zip code.
Sonoma is still open today, and is now called the Sonoma Developmental Center. It houses about 400 patients. However, the institution is slated for closure in 2018.Scroll down or click on a location on the map to explore buildings at Sonoma.