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The following is a summary of John H. DeClerq, A History of Rohnert Park - From Seed Farm to City.
The earliest known inhabitants of Rohnert Park were the Coast Miwok Indians, and were related to the Miwoks of Central California and the mid-Sierras as far as the Yosemite Valley. Their culture and lifestyle was molded by their environment; rolling hills, streams, lakes, woods, and plentiful fish, game and vegetation. That, along with the temperate climate, was ingredients for a generally comfortable life. These people were best known for the fine quality of the multi-purpose baskets that they wove.

Try these sites for more Miwok history:

The coast Miwoks inhabited about 885 square miles of Marin and southern Sonoma counties. At the turn of the 19th century, there were approximately 3,000 persons in about 40 villages. Each village consisted of 75 to 100 persons. The people of one such village near Tomales greeted Sir Francis Drake (see Marin History) when he landed in 1579. They also greeted John Reed (see Mill Valley), the first Anglo settler in 1827.

John Reed, a Dublin native of 1805, came to Northern California to establish a rancho. But, Presidio Commandant Ignacio Martinez informed him that the government would not grant him any land around the edge of the bay, for the government needed it for security reasons. They advised him to go north of Mission San Rafael. At 22, he set out from the mission with supplies and a guide to stake a claim in the Santa Rosa Valley. Reed built a small home on the east side of the valley, on a rise near Roberts Crane Creek (named for a settler who arrived in 1850). But the Miwoks were hostile, and burned Reed out before he was able to harvest his first crop. That was the last time John Reed saw Sonoma County. Reed returned to Marin, built a cabin near Sausalito, and received a large land grant, which he named Rancho Corte Madera del Presidio. He built a small mill, which cut wood for the Presidio, and for which Mill Valley was named. He also started the first ferry service from Marin County to Yerba Buena. Reed died of fever in 1843 at the age of 38, leaving his 26-year-old wife and four children wealthy landowners of 7,845 acres with over 20,000 head of cattle.

The Miwok continued to occupy an area around Cotate. It is believed that their local village and nearby mountain were named Kotate, and the hills "Lomas de Kotate". The word's meaning is generally unknown. There may have been a Chief Kotate, but there is little know history of him.

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