Excerpt: Freestone Historic District Survey and Design Guidelines, Sonoma County 2010 Update.
Under California Register of Historic Resources Criterion 1, the Freestone Historic District is significant as a place that has made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of local history. The Freestone community was established during 1860-1870 as a rural community engaged in farming and logging. The growth of Freestone is closely intertwined with the development of the North Coast Pacific Railroad, a narrow gauge steam railroad that carried redwood lumber, local dairy, agricultural products, and passengers from Marin and Sonoma counties. The development of the community of Freestone was spurred by the construction of the railroad, which initially brought railroad labors to the area and provided transportation of goods from this region to the San Francisco Bay Area. Freestone as a community reflects geographical patterns associated with its settlement and growth and railway transportation.
Under CRHR Criterion 3, the Freestone Historic District is significant for its distinctive characteristics of style and period. Freestone is a small but cohesive collection of residential and a few commercial buildings from the mid to late 19th century in the Greek Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, and Vernacular styles. These buildings retain a good level of architectural integrity and exhibit many of the typical character-defining features listed below. The buildings in Freestone are well constructed and designed; the Freestone Historic District embodies a collection of elements of architectural design, details and materials that represent a small rural community of late 19th century Vernacular architectural styles in Sonoma County.