City of Sebastopol Chamber of Commerce School District Demographics
The City of Sebastopol is a small semi-urban community located on the western edge of the Santa Rosa plain. It is 50 miles north of San Francisco, 8 miles west of Santa Rosa, 10 miles from Bodega Bay, and about 15 miles from the Russian River. The City, incorporated in 1902, currently has a population of about 7,900 people and serves a trade area population in excess of 35,000 people.

The name of Sebastopol first came into use in the late 1850’s as a result of a prolonged and lively fistfight in the newly formed town, which was likened to the long British siege of the Russian seaport of Sevastopol during the then-raging Crimean War. Britain, France, Sardinia and Turkey fought Russia in this war, one of the first wars to be directly reported by journalists and photographers. The Crimean War was also the origin of improved medical care of the wounded, primarily due to the efforts of Florence Nightingale, who formed a nursing corps to care for wounded British soldiers. Evidently, many Americans in the west sympathized more for the Russian than for the British cause as there were at one time four other Sebastopol’s in California; one in Napa County, renamed Yountville, one each in Tulare, Sacramento, and Nevada counties.

The apple industry brought a steady rural prosperity to the town and Sebastopol was incorporated in 1902 with schools, churches, hotels, canneries, mills, wineries, and an opera house to its credit. The 1906 earthquake reduced most of these early buildings to rubble, but as elsewhere in the county, the town was rebuilt.

In the second half of the Twentieth Century, the apple industry struggled to compete with other apple producing regions and gradually declined in its economic significance. With greater personal mobility and the rise of larger shopping centers in other Sonoma County communities, Sebastopol changed from a full-service town with a complete range of stores to one with a more limited range of goods and services.

Today Sebastopol has a Council-Manager form of government, with five Council members elected at-large. The City has its own Police, Fire and Public Works departments, as well as other city departments. With a very low crime rate, Sebastopol remains among the safest cities in Northern California.

Sebastopol’s public schools rank among the highest in the area in terms of student achievement, and also enjoy strong community and parent support.

 There are a diversity of housing types in the Sebastopol area, ranging from 100-year old Craftsman bungalows and farmhouses to modern subdivisions, apartments and condominiums. In the countryside surrounding Sebastopol, properties with vineyards, apple orchards, redwoods, streams and other features are not uncommon. Home prices and rental rates tend to be higher than some other areas of Sonoma County.