It’s 1937 in Sonoma County. America is emerging from the Great Depression and Sonoma County residents are looking toward the approaching decade with optimism.

President Franklin Roosevelt’s “make work” programs provided jobs to millions of struggling Americas. We don’t have to look far to see how the New Deal affected our communities. The former Sonoma County Hospital on Chanate Road was built by the Works Progress Administration. Construction of the big amphitheater at Armstrong Grove and restoration of General Vallejo’s home for the State Parks system were also WPA projects.

1937 wasn't without challenges. A massive December flood left Russian River coastal residents struggling to recover.

Click through our gallery of Sonoma County in 1937 to get a glimpse at life 80 years ago.

If you go to elk

Where to stay

Harbor House Inn: Rooms from $350, prix-fixe dinner $150; 5600 S. Highway 1, Elk; 800-720-7474, theharborhouseinn.com

Where to eat

The Elk Store: Deli and grocery, 6101 Highway 1, Elk; 707-877-3544, theelkstore.com

What to see

Greenwood State Beach Visitor Center and Museum: 5980 Highway 1, Elk; hours vary; 707-937-5804

The Artist’s Collective: 6031 Highway 1, Elk; 707-877-1128, artists-collective.ne