The Camellia Inn is part of the history of Healdsburg, California. Lucy Lewand is proud to be part of the longest family-owned and operated Inn in the Healdsburg, striving along with her innkeepers, to combine modern business innovations with the charm and hospitality that made her parents so popular as innkeepers years before.

Built in 1871

The building that is now the Camellia Inn played a role in the history of Healdsburg. Contractor, William H. Middleton built the Inn as a home for pioneer Ransome Powell in 1871. Powell, the son of a Tennessee farmer, was a tailor before fighting in the Mexican War. He came to California in 1849 with the Gold Rush. Failing to find gold, he began to earn a living by hauling freight. Settling in Healdsburg in 1856, he began several ventures, but it was in real estate that he made his fortune.

History of Healdsburg: the 1st Healdsburg Hospital

In 1892, Powell built a new home and sold the North Street residence to Dr. J. W. Seawell in 1908. Dr. Seawell established the first Healdsburg hospital in the east wing of his home. It was a five-room sanitarium, called Healdsburg General; a doctor’s visit cost $2.00. Dr. Seawell and his partner, Dr. Frank E. Sohler, were hard-working physicians who insisted on the best equipment and the latest medical technology for their north county hospital. Learn more about J. Walter Seawell, M.D., a Healdsbburg Legend on a page we’ve dedicated to teaching others about his legacy.

The Seawell Family

The hospital eventually expanded and moved to a new location. The Seawell family retained ownership of the home until 1969. Mrs. Hooper, the new owner, and her twin daughters kept the gold lettering “Dr. J. Walter Seawell,” on the transom window until 1975.

The Current Owners

The current owners purchased the home in 1981. Looking for a small-town atmosphere, the Lewands moved from Southern California and opened the Camellia Inn as one of the first licensed bed and breakfast Inn in the area. Daughter Lucy joined them in running the Inn after completing her Masters in Business Administration from the University of California at Los Angeles. Ray and Del were involved in the daily running of the Inn until Del’s passing in 2006.

History of Healdsburg : A Happy History

Although the Inn has a long and colorful history and has rooted itself in the history of Healdsburg, it must have been a very happy history as since the removal of the water-tower it is poltergeist-free.

Healdsburg is a city located in Sonoma County, in California's Wine Country. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 11,254. Healdsburg is a small tourist-oriented town in northern Sonoma County. Due to its three most important wine-producing regions (the Russian RiverDry Creek, and Alexander Valley AVAs), Healdsburg has been continuously awarded one of the top 10 small towns in America and is home to three of the top wineries in the United States.[

Healdsburg is centered on a 19th-century plaza that provides an important focal point for tourists and locals.

Early inhabitants of the local area included the Pomo people, who constructed villages in open areas along the Russian River. Anglo-American and Russian settlement may have commenced in the mid-19th century, with a settlement nearby, established downstream along the Russian River near Graton, in 1836, and later the Rancho Sotoyome land grant, in 1844.

In 1857, Harmon Heald, an Ohio businessman who had been squatting on Rancho Sotoyome since 1850, purchased part of the rancho—giving the city its official founding date. In 1867, Heald's eponymous small town was incorporated. Healdsburg is located within the former township of Mendocino. The San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad reached Healdsburg in 1872.

The Healdsburg Carnegie Library, now the Healdsburg Museum, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as is the Healdsburg Memorial Bridge.

The City Council of Healdsburg has identified 13 important Historic Structures and Districts.

Farming, especially orchards and truck farms, was common within the present city limits from at least the 1890s to the 1940s.


The city has a total area of 4.464 sq mi (11.6 km2). 4.457 sq mi (11.5 km2) of it is land and 0.007 sq mi (0.0 km2) is water. The total area is 0.15% water.[19] It lies on the Russian River, near a point used as a crossing of the river since the 1850s that is now the site of the Healdsburg Memorial Bridge.

Foss Creek traverses the city from north to south, flowing into Dry Creek near the U.S. 101 Central Healdsburg interchange.


Healdsburg has cool, wet winters and warm to hot, dry summers. In January, the average high temperature is 57.6 °F (14.2 °C) and the average low is 38 °F (3 °C). In July, the average high temperature is 88.8 °F (31.6 °C) and the average low is 52.7 °F (11.5 °C). There are an average of 54.6 days with highs of 90 °F (32 °C) or higher and an average of 20.1 days with lows of 32 °F (0 °C) or lower. The record high temperature was 116 °F (47 °C) on July 13, 1972, and the record low temperature was 14 °F (−10 °C) on December 22, 1990.

Annual precipitation averages 42.2 in (1,070 mm). There are an average of 73 days annually with measurable precipitation. The wettest year was 1983 with 96.25 in (2,445 mm) and the driest year was 1976 with 13.67 in (347 mm). The most precipitation in one month was 29.9 in (760 mm) in January 1995. The most precipitation in 24 hours was 8.18 in (208 mm) on December 3, 1980. Snow is relatively rare, with none in most years. The highest yearly snowfall totaled 0.8 in (20 mm) in 1976.


An intrinsic element of the city's natural environment is the riparian zone associated with the Russian River that flows through Healdsburg. City residents support recycling by use of the Healdsburg Transfer Station. The city has shown an interest in creating a quiet environment by creating a Noise Element of the General Plan, which defines baseline sound level contours and sets forth standards of quiet for each land use category.

State and federal

In the California State Legislature, Healdsburg is in the 2nd Senate District, represented by Democrat Mike McGuire, and in the 2nd Assembly District, represented by Democrat Jim Wood.

In the United States House of Representatives, Healdsburg is in California's 2nd congressional district, represented by Democrat Jared Huffman.

According to the California Secretary of State, as of February 10, 2019, Healdsburg has 6,913 registered voters. Of those, 3,624 (52.4%) are registered Democrats, 1,262 (18.3%) are registered Republicans, and 1,680 (24.3%) have declined to state a political party.