||The river comes in and the river goes back out-this was the central fact that dictated the ebb and flow of life in early Petaluma. This river provided a natural link with San Francisco, and Petaluma became a ready-made market and eventually a prosperous trading hub. Captured here in over 200 vintage images is the story of this once fledgling creek-side village, and its evolution into one of northern California's thriving commercial centers. As waves of American settlers besieged the area following the Gold Rush, the early cabins and shanties gave way to warehouses and storefronts. Pictured here are the elements that made Petaluma prosperous: the banks, parks, bustling hotels, lively businesses, and stately Victorian homes. From the first steamer Gold plowing its way with the region's wares down to San Pablo Bay, to the nation's first pioneering commercial hatchery, Images of America: Petaluma captures the spirit and ingenuity of this riverside town and its residents.