Vallejo ( or ; Spanish: ) is the largest city in Solano County, California, United States. The population was 115,942 at the 2010 census. It is the tenth most populous city in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is located on the northeastern shore of San Pablo Bay. Vallejo is named for General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo (the neighboring city of Benicia is named for his wife).
Vallejo is home to the Six Flags Discovery Kingdom theme park (formerly Marine World and Marine World Africa USA); the now-defunct Mare Island Naval Shipyard; the regional office for Region 5 of the United States Forest Service; the California Maritime Academy (part of the California State University system); the Vallejo Center campus of Solano Community College; and Touro University California, a graduate school offering programs in osteopathic medicine, education, pharmacy, physician assistant studies, and public health. Ferry service runs from a terminal on Mare Island Strait to San Francisco, through the BayLink division of SolTrans.
Vallejo has twice served as the capital of the state of California: once in 1852 and again in 1853, both periods being brief. The State Capitol building burned to the ground in the 1880s and the Vallejo Fire Department requested aid from the Fire Department at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. As there were no bridges at that time, the Mare Island Fire Department had to be ferried across the Napa River, arriving to find only the foundation remaining. This was the first recorded mutual aid response in the state of California.
Vallejo was once home of the Coastal Miwok as well as Suisunes and other Patwin Native American tribes. The Columbus Parkway EIR documents three confirmed Native American sites located in the rock outcrops in the hills above Blue Rock Springs Park. The California Archaeological Inventory has indicated that the three Indian sites are located on Sulphur Springs Mountain.
The city of Vallejo was once part of the Rancho Suscol Mexican land grant of 1843 by Governor Manuel Micheltorena to General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo. The city was named for this original Mexican (originally from Spain) military officer and title holder, who helped to settle and oversee the north bay region. General Vallejo was responsible for military peace in the region until 1846, when independence-minded Californians rose up against the Mexican government of California in 1846 in the Bear Flag Revolt, followed subsequently by the annexation of the California Republic to the United States. General Vallejo, though a Mexican army officer, generally acquiesced in the annexation of California to the United States, recognizing the greater resources of the United States and benefits that would bring to California. He was a proponent of reconciliation and statehood after the Bear Flag Revolt, and has a U.S. Navy submarine, the , named after him.
In 1850, Vallejo proposed plans for a new city, to be called Eureka, with the capitol, university, botanical garden and other features. After a state wide referendum, his proposal was accepted, although a new name was decided upon: Vallejo. In 1851, a commission appointed by the Senate found a site on a hill that overlooked the bay and could see San Francisco on a clear day, and it was approved for its symbolic strategic value. In 1851, Vallejo was the official state capitol, with the government prepared to meet for the first time the following year. In 1852, the legislature convened for the first time. Unfortunately, Vallejo didn't follow through with building a capitol for them to meet in. After being forced to meet in a leaky building, sitting on barrels, they motioned to move sessions to Sacramento, and served there for the remainder of the session after only 11 days. In 1853, it was again the meeting place for the legislature, solely for the purpose of moving the capitol officially to Benicia, which occurred on February 4, 1853, after only a month. Benicia is named after Vallejo's wife, Francisca Benicia Carrillo. After legislature left, the government established a naval shipyard on Mare Island, which helped the town overcome the loss. The yard functioned for over a hundred years, finally closing in 1996.
Although the town is named after General Vallejo, the man regarded as the true founder of Vallejo is John B. Frisbie. After his daughter Epifania married Frisbie, General Vallejo granted him power of attorney for the land grant. It was Frisbie who hired E.H. Rowe, the man who designed the city layout and who named the east-west streets after states and the north-south streets after California counties.
In the early 1900s, Vallejo was home to a Class D minor-league baseball team, referred to in local newspapers sometimes as the "Giants" and other times simply as "The Vallejos." Pacific Coast League star and future Chicago White Sox center fielder Ping Bodie played for Vallejo during the 1908 season, in which the team reached the California state title game. The team was disbanded in the early 1920s.