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Take a Walking Tour of Santa Rosa's Railroad Square


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The Depot
Railroad Square Depot

The historic depot now houses the Santa Rosa Convention and Visitors Bureau

Photo © 2006 Maja Wood, licensed to About.com

Our first stop is the venerable depot. It was built in 1904, on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad line, to replace another depot which had burnt down. As well as being steeped in history, this particular building also enjoys an aura of glamour. It appeared in one of the classics of American cinema: Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt , which was shot on location in Santa Rosa. The legendary director called this his favorite film of all the ones he ever made. In it, Santa Rosa serves as the archetype of the idyllic, peaceful, all-American small town.

As the rising popularity of automobiles ended society’s reliance on the “iron horse,” the depot shut down and remained abandoned for many years. But, recently, it was renovated and is welcoming travelers once again as the site for the Santa Rosa Convention and Visitors Bureau and the California Visitors Center. Even if you don’t need any of the maps, brochures, or Santa Rosa souvenirs, stop in anyway just to see the new promotional poster up on the wall. It’s a picture of our governor sporting sunglasses reminiscent of his Terminator days. Written underneath are the words: “See California. You’ll Be Back!” ...only in California.

Now go back outside and let’s take a look at the statue in front of you. No, it's not a bust of an obscure historical figure. In fact, I’m sure you'll recognize these guys.
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