The History of the Bancroft House

The Bancroft House on Broadway at the Corner of Chase Street was the home of Dorothy Bancroft Dresel for 64 years.

She moved to Sonoma from Pennsylvania with her parents in 1917 and opened her florist shop at that location in 1923.

Dorothy was really the florist of Sonoma Valley. While she kept many of her flowers on her enclosed porch, the home’s living room was where many of the completed arrangements were displayed until they were picked up.

It was a home-based business from the time it started in 1923 until it moved

Her nephew, Roger Bancroft and his wife, Jean, moved to Sonoma in 1984 to assist her in running the shop. Dorothy died in 1987.

In 1988, Roger and Jean moved the shop across the street to the corner of Andrieux st. and Broadway (behind where Dutch Bros. is today).

- Bill Lynch

A large Victorian house at 786 Broadway that was most recently a private residence, has been reborn this fall as a small bed and breakfast. The Bancroft House was purchased in June by Lauren and Cale Miller. Lauren’s mother, Camille Hall, is running the property.

Built in 1889, the house, formerly light blue in color, has, in recent years, been a wine office, a private residence and a B&B.

“We love history and the charm of a historical property,” said Cale Miller.

The team started taking reservations about a week ago. Hall will be onsite daily, serving as the innkeeper. She is an interior designer, with a background in hospitality.

The San Francisco-based Millers are both in their late 30s and have two young children. Cale works in commercial real estate.

The Inn offers four guest rooms with various levels of space and amenities, as well as a two-bedroom suite for two couples or a small family. The entire house is also available on Air BnB for around $1,200 a night.

The team is partnering with as many local vendors as possible for the breakfast foods they serve (the Basque), the toiletries they offer (McEvoy Ranch) and even their laundry products (Sonoma Suds).

“We love the community in Sonoma,” said Cale. “Everyone we’ve met has been really supportive.”

Email Lorna at lorna.sheridan@sonomanews.com.

The History of the Bancroft House

The Bancroft House on Broadway at the Corner of Chase Street was the home of Dorothy Bancroft Dresel for 64 years.

She moved to Sonoma from Pennsylvania with her parents in 1917 and opened her florist shop at that location in 1923.

Dorothy was really the florist of Sonoma Valley. While she kept many of her flowers on her enclosed porch, the home’s living room was where many of the completed arrangements were displayed until they were picked up.

It was a home-based business from the time it started in 1923 until it moved

Her nephew, Roger Bancroft and his wife, Jean, moved to Sonoma in 1984 to assist her in running the shop. Dorothy died in 1987.

In 1988, Roger and Jean moved the shop across the street to the corner of Andrieux st. and Broadway (behind where Dutch Bros. is today).

- Bill Lynch