This town, this place at the end of the “El Camino Real” (The Royal Road), was once on the wild side. In the olden days, when the Plaza was full of grazing cows and there were no tourists, Sonoma had its share of petty crimes, drunken brawls and horse thefts.
Occasionally, the local sheriff had to round up a posse to find a horse thief. Those posses were usually comprised of the men who were not drunk. The sheriff armed this random, rotating group of men and charged them with enforcing the law.
Nowadays, the word “posse” has a much less minacious meaning, and can refer to any large group gathered with a common interest, such as architects designing a new city.
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