The infamous Spreckels family made its fortune in sugar after the patriarch Claus allegedly acquired water rights in a poker game with the King of Hawaii. The plantations and refineries financed later ventures into real estate and transportation throughout California.

In the late 1800s, his son Aldolph and wife Alma Spreckels purchased land in Sonoma County as a summer retreat. The expansive “Sobre Vista” estate had man-made lakes, residences, a game reserve, pool, dance hall, golf course and a barn for raising horses.

In the early 1900s, the estate was an illustrious getaway for the who’s who of the era. The bohemian Alma, who made a name for herself in her early years as a nude model, entertained a host of guests including boxing champion Gene Tunney, banker A. P. Giannini, and movie stars Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin and John Barrymore.

By the late 1940s, the estate was broken up into several parcels and sold off to developers, but portions of the estate remain to this day.