Tuesday, September 2, 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

Labor Day not a holiday for everyone

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 4 Comments | Gallery

 
Labor Day breakfast introduces union-backed candidates

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

Pool provides last dose of summer fun in the sun

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
SafeQuest schedules peer counseling training course

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 31, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Aug. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

VP Biden says workers deserve ‘fair share’

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Obama: ‘Revving’ economy calls for higher wages

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 3 Comments | Gallery

Senegal monitors contacts of 1st Ebola patient

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
San Francisco to be 1st to test urban farming law

By The Associated Press | From Page:

GOP challenger tries novel tactics against Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
US eating habits improve a bit – except among poor

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 3 Comments | Gallery

 
No gray area: Beliefs shape views of Brown killing

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

Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Iraqi prime minister pledges to root out militants

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Poland’s PM: Ukraine’s war must be stopped now

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Pro-Russian rebels lower demands in peace talks

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

US helicopter crashes in Gulf of Aden; all rescued

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Sept. 2, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

 
.

Entertainment

Inquiries begin into nude celebrity photo leaks

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

 
‘Guardians’ tops Labor Day, summer box office

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

Kirk rallies to win the Deutsche Bank

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Rockies top Giants after losing end of suspended game

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Dunn homers in 1st at-bat as A’s top Mariners

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Right guard Boone passes physical, rejoins 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Raiders name rookie Derek Carr as starting QB

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Armijo beats Vanden 2-0 to claim All-City boys soccer title

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Armed with new deal, Chiefs’ Smith looks forward

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Column: Stewart’s Chase status doesn’t matter

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Raiders ink CB Dowling, 9 others to practice squad

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Serena Williams, Djokovic roll to US Open quarters

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Houston Astros fire manager Bo Porter

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Hamels, 3 Phillies relievers no-hit Braves

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Business

Markets drift as Wall Street has day off

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Austerity debate flares as Europe recovery fades

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Civil disobedience expected in fast-food pay fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 8 Comments | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Beetle Bailey Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Zits Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Blondie Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sudoku Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
B.C. Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Crossword Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Dilbert Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Cryptoquote Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Garfield Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Word Sleuth Sept 2

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7