Tuesday, July 29, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Professional historian brings General Vallejo to life

general vallejo, 12/3/12

George Webber, of Sonoma, portrays Gen. Mariano Vallejo during a performance to Vanden High School Spanish students, Monday at the school. Looking on is the school's advanced Spanish instructor, Elaine Smith. (Brad Zweerink/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | December 04, 2012 |

FAIRFIELD — George Webber is a walking California history book.

The Sonoma resident, who does walking tours of Napa and Sonoma as Gen. Mariano Vallejo, makes his living portraying Agoston Haraszthy, the count who founded Buena Vista Winery in the Napa Valley.

That job takes him across the country dressed in circa 1840 finery, which provides for some interesting reaction as he walks in costume past some of Manhattan’s swankiest hotels. It’s not unusual for the hotel doormen to holler “looking good” at him from across the street.

Webber brought Vallejo to life Monday at the Vanden High School little theater for an audience of advanced Spanish students. Their instructor, Elaine Smith, had penned a California history lesson for them in Spanish. Inviting Webber, who donated his time, was an opportunity to make history real.

Smith told the students a famous Californian would be the guest. Senior Ben Dacy had thoughts of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger showing up at his school.

Webber didn’t disappoint as he stood on the stage, relating his story, including some history about Vacaville.

“This is pretty neat,” Dacy said.

He learned a lot of history about the Bear Flag revolt of 1846, in which Vallejo was prisoner, Dacy said.

Vallejo and his captors, on their way to meet Gen. John Charles Fremont – the man who instigated the Bear Flag Revolt– spent a night at Juan Vaca’s ranch.

“I had given him the land where Vacaville is today,” said Webber, portraying Vallejo.

Vaca founded the town of Vacaville. The town of Vallejo was named after the general.

A who’s who of Solano and Napa history was introduced to the students via Webber. Smith was dressed as Vallejo’s wife, Dona Francisca Benicia.

“Isn’t she beautiful?” Webber asked the student rhetorically.

Senior Brea Llopis agreed.

“That’s a wonderful costume,” she said of Smith’s attire.

The state’s first capitol building, which still stands, is located in Benicia, which was named after the general’s wife, who bore him 13 children. That fact was not lost on the high school students as some expressed amazement at the total.

What seemed even more surprising to the students was the fact that the couple was never allowed to spend time alone until they were married and that General Vallejo had to wait 18 months to get the necessary paperwork from Mexico so he could wed.

“This is what I said about making history real,” Smith said as the performance ended.

Mission accomplished, said junior Ren Littlepage.

“This was a good idea,” he said. “It was a learning experience for me. It was about making it real, like Miss Smith says.”

Webber, who does two to three school appearances a year, posed for pictures with the students and Smith. He noted that schools don’t have the funds to pay him.

“It’s a karmic thing,” he said. “It’s about giving back.”

Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or amaginnis@dailyrepublic.net. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey joined the staff of the Daily Republic in 1980. She’ll tell you she was only 3 at the time. Over the past three decades she’s done a variety of jobs in the newsroom. Today, she covers arts and entertainment and writes for the Living and news pages.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Rich GiddensDecember 04, 2012 - 9:12 am

    Thanks Amy. I enjoyed this article immensely and I discussed Vallejo and Fremont last week with my 11th grader who's taking AP American History this year. I was shocked to find out Fremont was originally from Charleston SC and was a graduate of the College of Charleston. Fremont also got court martialed for BS reasons too

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Library teens plan summer reading party

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3

 
Weather for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
Big-rig driver strikes telephone lines in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A6, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: July 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: June 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Caltrans makes I-80 lane change

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

 
Fairfield tries to end Cordelia Road detour

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 15 Comments | Gallery

 
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ primed for big screen

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7 | Gallery

.

US / World

 
Sacramento Gold Rush Days canceled due to drought

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Man charged in teen’s 9-month disappearance

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Deal to improve veterans’ health care costs $17B

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment | Gallery

Suspect dead, 2 marshals and cop wounded in NYC

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
New fears about Ebola spread after plane scare

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

In Iraq’s Mosul, radicals unleash their vision

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 2 Comments

 
Fighting in Ukraine prompts residents to flee

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Witnesses: Thunderstorm hit beach without warning

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Suspect’s mom also charged in Long Beach burglary

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
City: Emails show ‘cozy’ ties of PG&E, regulator

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Pool water dumped in South Tahoe; resort fires 3

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Additional charge filed in California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page:

California governor takes dig at Texas guard plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 2 Comments | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Editorial cartoons for July 29, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page:

 
 
.

Living

Horoscopes for July 29, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Today in History for July 29, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

I don’t want to have intimate contact since learning I had a STD

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page:

 
Community Calendar: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

.

Entertainment

Kevin Bacon brings his ‘Six Degrees’ to Comic-Con

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Sarah Palin launches online subscription channel

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment | Gallery

‘Sharknado’ sequel has bite and lots of laughs

By Frazier Moore | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
TVGrid July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

.

Sports

Giants lose 5th straight, 5-0 to Pirates

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
 
Lakers finally confirm Byron Scott is new coach

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Raiders relying on healthy Watson to solidify line

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
This date in sports history for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Quarterback Johnny Manziel’s day at Browns camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Judge OKs record-setting $2B sale of Clippers

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Humphrey to savor Hall of Fame day with ‘wingman’

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Rays’ Archer: ‘Never saw Hank Aaron flip his bat’

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Reed HOF induction gives Bills cause to celebrate

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

In the Pits: Gordon eyeing 5th title after big Brickyard win

By Jenna Fryer | From Page: | Gallery

 
Marketing agreement an obstacle in US bid for 2024

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Sailors to navigate dirty water in 1st Rio test

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Manningham back with Giants, with no guarantees

By The Associated Press | From Page:

.

Business

Contracts to buy US homes slip in June

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
FAA proposes to fine Southwest Airlines $12M

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Stocks pause as traders await key economic news

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Zillow buying Trulia to build real estate titan

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Dollar Tree steps up fight, buys Family Dollar

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

B.C. July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Crossword July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Garfield July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Word Sleuth July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

For Better or Worse July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Bridge July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Wizard of Id July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sudoku July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5