Sonoma County was bustling with development at the turn the 19th century with luxury mansions springing up here and there to accommodate established residents and wealthy San Francisco elite.

Colonel Mark McDonald, who made his money in road construction, became one of Santa Rosa’s most famous early citizens. In the 1860s he purchased and subdivided the 160 acres of land in what became McDonald Avenue. The beautiful Victorian homes, many of which are still standing today, are some of the county’s best reminders of an opulent bygone era.

The landmarks on this famous street are not alone in our county, there are many marvelous mansions sprinkled throughout the Redwood Empire, each linked to an interesting story of the wealthy homeowner who commissioned the estate.

Click through our gallery above to see more of the opulent homes built in Sonoma County at the turn of the 19th century.

Auction Napa Valley Totals by Year

The annual auction raises money to benefit local nonprofits focusing on community health and children’s education.

2018 $13.4 million (projected)

2017: $15.7 million

2016: $14.3 million

2015: $15.8 million

2014: $18.7 million

2013: $16.9 million