Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday Search Challenge (April 6, 2011): What's that odd building near Geyserville?

One of the joys of living in northern California is that we're close to some beautiful grape-raising country.  Gently rolling hills covered in springtime mustard, great wines, fantastic restaurants, wonderful places to go hiking.  
But I saw something that surprised me when traveling north on 101 through the California wine country the other day.  Just past where this picture was taken I noticed a really big set of buildings very near the De Lorimier winery in Geyserville.  It's a group of 4 large buildings, one that's sort of silvery and looks something like a hangar (with rounded ends).  It's in a striking location, perched high above the valley floor with the Mayacamas mountains in the background.   Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of it with me, although someone mentioned to me that it's on Indian reservation land.  

So I have three questions for us: 

   1.  What is this building?  
   2.  How high above the valley floor is it? 
   3.  Is it really associated with an Indian tribe?  If so, which one?  

(I genuinely don't know the answers to these questions and will have to figure it out with the rest of you.)  



  1. 1. What is this building?

    River Rock Casino

    2. How high above the valley floor is it?

    Approx. 150-160 meters(?)

    3. Is it really associated with an Indian tribe? If so, which one?

    Yes it is associated with the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians

    How I got the info:

    Started with a search in Google Maps for [De Lorimier winery Geyserville] and looked around for the buildings described. Zoomed in and found the label River Rock Casino.

    Still unfamiliar with Google Maps in gaining more info so went into Google Earth zoomed in to get the approximate altitude. It's on a hill so there was a range.

    For the 3rd part I went to the casino's web site and then that gave me

  2. Dan -- Could it be the River Rock Casino, which is located near De Lorimier? Here's a Google (what else?) satellite view:,+Geyserville+Unified,+California+128,+Geyserville,+CA&aq=0&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=34.313287,75.761719&ie=UTF8&hq=De+Lorimier+Winery,+Geyserville+Unified,+California+128,+Geyserville,+CA&hnear=Mosaic+Vineyards+%26+Winery,+2001+California+128,+Geyserville,+California+95441-9489&ll=38.703413,-122.86427&spn=0.007837,0.018497&t=h&z=16. And here's a lower angle aerial view (found via Google Photos), which shows the middle building looking like a hangar with rounded ends: . If this is the place, then it is on Indian lands, as the casino is associated with the Dry Creek Band of the Pomo Indians (Source:

    I can look for the elevation next.

    Best wishes,

    -- Mike Ross

  3. Dan -- Regarding the elevation of the River Rock Casino: On p. 1-4 of this environmental review of the tribe's economic development master plan (, the casino site sits 450 feet above mean sea level. Fig. 1-2 on the preceding page shows the valley floor to have an elevation of about 180 feet ... so the casino is about 270 feet above the valley floor.

    BTW, the formal name of the Indian owners of this land appears to be the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of the Pomo Indians.

    Best wishes,

    -- Mike

  4. Looks to be about 500ft elevation, which is 300ft above the valley floor. It is run by the Dry Creek Rancheria tribe of Pomo indians.