If you’ve ever heard California called the “Bear Republic,” that’s largely due to William B. Ide, who, as a pioneer, was a primary figure in the “Bear Flag Revolution” of 1846, proclaiming California independent from Mexico. The “republic” lasted only 25 days, until the U.S. Army defeated Mexican forces in Monterey and claimed California as its own. Although it was short-lived, the republic’s legacy lives on in the state flag and elsewhere. The lore and history of that crucial time in California’s history also lives on at the William B. Ide Adobe State Historic Park where the monument to the man is also a park that allows visitors to immerse themselves in history. A restored adobe house built in 1852, and originally thought to have belonged to Ide, is the only remaining Gold Rush-era adobe house in the north valley. There is also a blacksmith shop, woodshop, smokehouse and heritage garden. If you can, time your visit to one of the park’s yearly events when volunteers dress up and craft, dance and bake like homesteaders! Open every day from sunrise to sunset. $6 per vehicle parking fee.