Fremont isn’t just an East Bay town or a popular roadhouse diner. John C. Frémont was one of the key figures in U.S. history in the mid-1800s, an Army officer, western explorer and first Republican Party presidential candidate (Lincoln came second).

He may also have been a key player in the 1846 Bear Flag revolt, according to Dave Brummett and Jim Danaher, a pair of instructors who like to call themselves “The History Boys.”

They point out that Frémont was in Mexican Alta California in the months leading up to the June 14 Bear Flag Revolt, when American immigrants captured and imprisoned Gen. Vallejo, raised a handmade flag over the Sonoma Plaza and declared California an independent republic.

Twenty-five days later, the California Republic’s militia joined Maj. Frémont’s California Battalion, and on July 9 the Bear Flag was taken down, and the Stars and Stripes raised over Sonoma.

In a May 17 lecture at Mission San Francisco Solano, Danaher and Brummett will unpack Frémont’s movements and activities in and around Sonoma during the time of the Bear Flag Republic. They will also delve into the previous and subsequent career of Frémont in a fast-paced presentation about American history with special relevance to Sonoma.

Danaher was a California Central Coast Junior College Speech instructor, as well as a State Park Guide at Hearst Castle and Sonoma State Historical Park. Brummett was a high school, college and television instructor in Missouri and Virginia.

This lecture is presented by SPParks, the non-profit cooperating association of Sonoma State Historic Park. Join the History Boys on Thursday, May 17, at 7 p.m. in the chapel of Mission San Francisco Solano, 114 E. Spain St. Admission for the general public is $10 at the door, SPParks members pay $5, docents and park staff are free. More at