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Take a Walking Tour of Santa Rosa's Railroad Square


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Hotel La Rosa
Hotel La Rosa at Santa Rosa Railroad Square

The beautiful Hotel La Rosa is famous...and infamous.

Photo © 2006 J. Kamiyama, licensed to About.com

When you get to the end of the block, the beautiful Hotel La Rosa will be on your right. It is now one of Santa Rosa's more famous establishments. Way back when, it was a bit more...infamous. For example, the hotel’s bar supposedly served alcohol all through Prohibition. The story goes that a Santa Rosa policeman tried to close the bar down once. But, he came so close to being tarred and feathered, that neither he, nor anyone else, attempted that feat again.

Keep heading north on Wilson. You’ll come to the Redwood Gospel Mission which provides food and shelter to the homeless. Area merchants were once concerned that the mission's clients might make shoppers uncomfortable and keep them away from the area. Tensions between the two groups grew. One time, after someone had dropped off a huge bag of daffodil bulbs at the mission, a few of the men staying there went for a walk around Railroad Square. All the shops were closed, all the merchants were gone. And the men planted the bulbs in all those flower barrels lining the street. The following spring, the merchants were surprised when daffodils began to bloom. They were even more surprised when they found out how they got there.

The next step of the tour takes us a little off the beaten path. If you’d rather skip this step, turn left on 6th St. and continue to the corner of Adams St. Otherwise, continue up Wilson.
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