The earliest inhabitants of what is now known as Healdsburg were the Pomo people. The Pomo people are an indigenous group of California who resided in the Pomo territory, which we now know as northern California. The name “Pomo” translates as “those who live at red earth hole,” likely because of the red mineral magnesite that was mined and used to create various items for trade. In the area, the Pomo people built villages and lived along the Russian River.
Well after the Pomo people resided in the area, Harmon Heald came over and purchased part of the ranch that had been built by the first Anglo-American settlers a few years before. Heald’s purchase marks the city of Healdsburg’s official founding, for afterward, the town was officially incorporated. Railroads reached the city in the early 1870s with the population around 1700 people. The city continued to grow from its incorporation. In 1882, the Healdsburg College was opened by the city’s Seventh-Day Adventists. By 1884, the city had seven churches, a bank, a college, and two newspapers, increasing the population by almost 1,000 people.
Orchard farms and truck farms were prevalent in Healdsburg from the late 1800s to the 1940s, maintaining a strong economy and booming trade business in the city.