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Those who entered without permission were subject to harsh penalties.The tribe gathered at ceremonial times on Santa Rosa Creek near present-day Spring Lake Regional Park.
However, after that period the population growth of Santa Rosa, as with most of the area, was very slow.
Before the arrival of Europeans, the Santa Rosa Plain was home to a strong and populous tribe of Pomo natives known as the Bitakomtara.
The Bitakomtara controlled the area closely, barring passage to others until permission was arranged.
Upon the arrival of Europeans, the Pomos were decimated by smallpox brought from Europe. The first known permanent European settlement of Santa Rosa was the homestead of the Carrillo family, in-laws to Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, who settled the Sonoma pueblo and Petaluma area.
In the 1830s, during the Mexican period, the family of María López de Carrillo built an adobe house on their Rancho Cabeza de Santa Rosa land grant, just east of what later became downtown Santa Rosa.