Peterson 100year Anniversary
A 100 Year Foundation for the FutureA 100 Year Foundation for the Future
100 years
of service

In 1915, Ed Peterson started a plumbing and tinning company on First Street West in Sonoma, CA.

Now, 100 years later, Peterson Mechanical has spanned four generations of the Peterson family and tackled increasingly complex projects in the fields of health care, technology, education, wineries, hospitality, and more.

Throughout it all, our commitment to our customers has been unwavering.

Here we are proud to share some highlights of our history as we look forward to the future.

Checkout a recent article we're featured in: Better Construction Coordination Reinforces the General-Contractor–Subcontractor Relationship

Business heats up

In the early years of his business, Ed Peterson was a plumber and also a dealer of tanks, pumps, water pipes, windmills and brass faucets. He brought the latest technologies to his customers, including Crane automatic water heaters in the 1920s.

Start of a tradition

Rich Peterson, who was a member of the Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce board of directors, designed and built a rotisserie for the chamber's first ox roast fundraiser in the 1960s. Photo from Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Father and son

Les Peterson, left, became the third generation of Petersons to join the business in 1973. He's seen here with his father, Rich Peterson, in front of the First Street East building that the company occupied from 1963 to 1999. Photo from Sonoma Index-Tribune, July 1979.

Healthcare history

Peterson has worked on numerous hospital projects over the years, including Hillcrest Hospital in Petaluma in 1973. Because patients' well-being is at stake, hospital mechanical systems must be built to high standards of reliability and redundancy.

Solar solutions

Peterson Mechanical was at the forefront of solar energy systems. A solar home Peterson worked on was featured on the cover of Sunset magazine in the 1970s. Instead of using photovoltaic (PV) cells to capture the sun's energy, a technology that wasn't commonly used in homes until later, the system relied on solar-heated water.

Computer-aided systems

Peterson Mechanical uses the latest CAD, CAM and BIM technologies, as seen in this recent photo. But their use of computer-aided design began in the 1980s, when the introduction of CAD revolutionized engineering.

Pristine environment

In 2003, Peterson Mechanical installed HVAC systems for Agilent Technologies' clean room facilities, a project that required precise control of temperature and humidity and highly purified airflow. But clean rooms are not new to Peterson, which completed its first clean room project in 1969 for a printed circuit manufacturer.

In good form

In 2004, Scott Peterson joins the company, becoming the fourth generation of Petersons to work in the business. Here Scott, Les and Rich Peterson, from left, look over sheet metal forms at their Eighth Street East building. Photo by Robbi Pengelly for Sonoma Valley Business, 2006.

Community involvement

The 1931 Model A Ford owned by Peggy and Les Peterson is popular at community events, including this 2005 Fourth of July parade. Rich Peterson is seen in the passenger seat. The car originally belonged to a chauffeur at the estate of sugar-fortune heir Rudolph Spreckels.

Culinary endeavors

Peterson's work with restaurants was taken to a new level in 2011 with the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena. Peterson helped construct the expansive student cooking facilities, including exhaust hoods, hot water and natural gas, in the former monastery-turned-winery.

Let the music begin

In 2012, the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University presented a unique challenge for Peterson. Not only did the HVAC system need to be quiet enough to not interfere with musical performances, but zoned temperature control for the audience and performers needed to function even when the facility is opened to the outdoors.

Modern-era hospital

Peterson Mechanical played an integral role in construction of Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital, which opened in October 2014. Peterson built mechanical systems including hot and cold water, waste, and medical gases for the $284 million hospital, which has its own water storage and delivery system.

Latest Posts

Petersons are Boys & Girls Clubs’ “Sweethearts”

Peggy and Les Peterson of Peterson Mechanical Inc. have been named Sweethearts of 2015 by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley.

The organization chooses a Sweetheart each year, with the title going to someone who has been pivotal to the clubs’ success. The Petersons have contributed time, money and construction services to the club, said Rachel Cusick, director of development…

Collaborative construction method benefited Sutter project

The recently opened Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital is not only a state-of-the-art facility in the health-care arena — its construction methodology is also drawing attention.

Jeff Burroughs, HVAC manager for Peterson Mechanical Inc., explained during an Associated General Contractors meeting in January how Integrated Project Delivery kept work on the hospital moving smoothly.


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