The first American Hotel was built on Main Street in 1852, six years before Petaluma became an incorporated city. It was a one and one-half story hotel, used as a boarding house, erected by George B. Williams, but destroyed by a fire in 1862. It was replaced by a brick building that was also gutted by fire in 1873. A third American Hotel was built on the same spot, but the city condemned it and tore it down in 1966. The site became a vacant lot.
80s, and her good friend Dorothy Bertucci decided that Petaluma needed a memorial in her name, downtown. She was able to convince her brother, Fred Mattei, who was also Mayor, that this vacant lot would be an ideal location for this idea. Mayor Mattei was able to convince the Council that such a park would “help” change the Boulevard between Western and Washington from seedy second hand stores to a vibrant restaurant and shopping center. Putnam Plaza was officially dedicated in November, 1987 in honor of Mayor Helen Putnam (1965-79).
(Photographs courtesy of the Petaluma Historical Museum & Library)