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Fabled building to take on a new role

  • The Stonehouse on Sonoma Highway is going to become a residential treatment center for women with chemical dependency. John Way, of the California Human Development Corporation looks over an old room that was last used as a hotel room.

The historic Stone House on Highway 12 in Santa Rosa wears many signs of its storied past.

A broad arch over heavy front doors was built with stones from nearby quarries and served as an entry way for the blockmakers the structure housed in the early twentieth century.

Dozens of wine glasses hang above the two-story building's hand-carved wooden bar, decades after the building housed a topless tavern. And a cafe table left by the previous owners when the building was an inn offers a chess set waiting to be played.

The Stone House

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The Stone House, built in 1909, transformed from boarding house for quarry workers to a bed and breakfast that never fully blossomed, and now it is about to undergo another transition.

This time the mansion with its rough-hewn walls and mighty chandeliers will become a residential treatment center for women struggling with substance abuse.

California Human Development, a non-profit organization, purchased the building for $1.1 million from Pacific Western Bank in San Diego. It will use the building for its program Athena House, which currently operates a residential treatment program in three different buildings in Sonoma County.

The group plans to move into the building in December.

Moving will allow the program to consolidate under one roof and expand the number of women it can serve from 33 to 40.

"It's just set up perfectly for our needs," said Jenna McAdam, program director for Athena House. "When women are in early recovery, they're going through a lot of emotional issues, and sometimes it's difficult when they're right on top of each other."

Athena House, which has operated for about three decades, provides counseling, training and relapse prevention to women who are addicted to drugs and alcohol.


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