The follow press release has been issued by the Blue Wing Adobe Trust:
The Blue Wing Adobe Trust (“BWAT”) today announced opening escrow to acquire the historic Mission Bell Farm in downtown Sonoma, a move that offers the Sonoma Valley community the best chance to forever preserve the iconic farmstead. For nearly a century, five generations of Castagnassos have raised Clydesdales on a property that holds a special place in the hearts of all Sonomans.
BWAT President Patricia Cullinan made the announcement, saying: “we are grateful to the Castagnasso family for being such loving stewards of this land and for trusting us to preserve their legacy on this property for future generations.”
She added, “being available for sale on the open market meant the farm was in danger of being sold for urban development. That’s why we have decided to lead a community effort to preserve and operate the farm.”
Assembling the required funds for the preservation of Mission Bell Farm isn’t easy. The BWAT has received initial support in order to open escrow and move forward with the acquisition.
However, the BWAT urgently needs additional support from the community, including both individuals and businesses. There is a short timeline in which to raise the funds necessary to purchase the farm. The BWAT has applied to both the Sonoma County Ag and Open Space District and the City of Sonoma for financial support. The BWAT is also working in partnership with the Sonoma Land Trust. However, this project will fail without additional funding from many members of our local community.
The BWAT has also requested the support of all our local officials for our grant application, and encourages the community to add your support to our online petition found at www.bluewingadobetrust.org.
“We hope the community joins us in our quest for funding to acquire and preserve this historic farm that is so vital to the special character and soul of Sonoma,” said BWAT boardmember Will Honeybourne.
The BWAT believes the preservation of this unique farmstead is important to telling the story of Sonoma’s agricultural traditions. It is both significant on its own and as a key component supporting all of the historic buildings, spaces, and national and state landmarks in and near the Sonoma Plaza. The farm buildings and infrastructure are an intact early 20th century working farm and most are in good condition. The farm is a symbol of Sonoma’s rustic authenticity.
“Our intent is to conserve and repair only to the extent of permanent sustainability. We plan to continue the use of the property as a working farm, and will include horses, small livestock, fowl with orchards and produce gardens,” said BWAT boardmember Ned Forrest.
The BWAT is a non-profit foundation formed in 2010 during efforts to steward the historic Blue Wing Inn. The organization aims to save historic buildings while preserving Sonoma’s one-of-a-kind story in California’s vast cultural landscape.
The BWAT hopes their plan will give Sonomans an opportunity to unite behind a common cause. “Let’s come together to preserve an irreplaceable part of Sonoma’s heritage and identity,” said BWAT boardmember Kelso Barnett.
Adds BWAT boardmember David Gould, “this is such a wonderful opportunity to continue the legacy in Sonoma of preserving the significant historical sense and pastoral heritage of our town. To provide us all with the connection to our past is so important and will be even more so for future generations. We all need to work together to find ways to complete this acquisition.”
BWAT President Patricia Cullinan appreciates the outpouring of concern from the community about the future of the farm property and invites everyone to help spread the word and make this project successful through donations and support. Adds Cullinan, “the future is up to us!”
For more information on how you can assist in our efforts, please visit www.bluewingadobetrust.org, or call 707.732.4511.