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Site History

Retreat in Ukiah's oak woodlands

The land on which Mariposa Institute rests has a rich and storied history; as the traditional ancestral territory of the Northern Pomo people, development during the early 1970's back-to-the-land movement, use of the grounds as a school for children, and now as a retreat center. Get to know our history and our team members below, or come out and meet this land and us.


Site History

The ancestral stewards of the valley called Yokaya (meaning "deep valley," the place now known as Ukiah) are the Northern Pomo people. The small bands of indigenous people collectively known as Pomo people have a culture based largely around acorn harvesting and processing done by women, though other edible plants, salmon, and wild meats also were main food sources pre-contact with colonizers. Pomo basketry is highly complex and beautiful, and is made from cactus, grasses, sedges, barks, and roots. The Pomo people spoke seven distinct, mutually unintelligible languages before Spanish colonization. Today there are about twelve Pomo language varieties that are still spoken by Pomo people. There are currently twenty-one federally recognized Pomo tribes in the counties of Sonoma, Lake, and Mendocino. 


In the mid 1800s, when the first white settlers came to Ukiah Valley and eventually made the town the county seat, hops were the main agricultural commodity. In the 1940s, the town grew in proportion to the lumber boom, when harvesting local redwood became the main economic driving force.


In 1971, Mariposa Institute was established as a XXXX. The land is 115 acres of oak woodland, with madrone and Douglass fir, and redwoods interspersed throughout. The main building was constructed in XXXX, and additional buildings were built between the years of XXXX and XXXX. The Institute became a school for nine- to twelve-year-olds that instilled in its students a respect for the contentedness of all things. In this idyllic setting, students learned communication skills, cooperation,ecology and a love for their surroundings.

In XXXX, Mariposa became a retreat center. Our peaceful surroundings, classic infrastructure, and accessibility to Ukiah and the San Francisco Bay Area make Mariposa Institute an exemplary retreat space. Book a retreat or come visit us today to get a taste of the peace, quiet, and soul-affirming nature that this space can provide.

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