Blog Roll

A Boy’s Life

by Nancy B. Wilson, guest contributor This story concerns some anecdotes about the life of my grandfather, J. Edgar Beard, and his good friend Gaillard Stoney. My grandfather died before I was born, and I have spent much time trying to know him by surviving letters,...

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Congratulations Scott Sedgley!

Recently, NCHS had the privilege of watching Scott Sedgley receive an award from the Conference of California Historical Societies. The CCHS held its annual symposium in Southern California on June 25, 2016, and Sedgley was honored with an Award of Merit for his...

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The Moore Family of Moore’s Creek

by Marie Bowen Moore Creek runs southerly year-round from its source high on the eastern side of Howell Mountain, and joins with Conn Creek before emptying into Lake Hennessey at what is now Moore Creek Park. On the way it passes through Las Posadas State Forest, land...

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You Can’t Get There from Here…

by Marie Bowen “The Valleys of Napa County,” a May 23, 1998, Napa Valley Register supplement, celebrates the 23 valleys within our county.  Eight of the 23, as many of us know, were named for easily identifiable pioneer individuals or families: Berryessa, Brown,...

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History of Berryessa Valley

What follows is a transcription from a photograph album in the NCHS collections called “The Buildings of Lake Berryessa.” This album was the property of Paul C. Donovan, a park ranger at Lake Berryessa. The document was used for a tour by land and air, possibly on...

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Guy Fling: George Yount’s Guide

By Marie Bowen Many Napa County historians concede that George Yount first visited Napa Valley in early 1831 guided by Guy Freeman Fling, the man sometimes referred to as the first American to explore the Napa Valley. They traveled over an old Native American trail...

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The Ride to Creston Station

By Marie Bowen Tracing the California Pacific Railroad (later Southern Pacific) tracks across the 1876 and 1895 “Official Map of Napa County,” one often encounters railroad depots named for nearby residents, past or present:  Buchli, Thompson, Trubody, Bale, and...

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The Crowey Family

By Lauren Chevlan The story of the Crowey family is one of achievement and lost potential. George Washington “Wash” Crowey was said to have been left on the doorstep of his adopted parents, John and Susannah Hall Garner of Granville, North Carolina in 1812. However,...

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Ups and Downs of the Napa Valley Opera House

By Ted Tyson Beginning in June 1879, George Crowey and Ellen Hogan commenced designing a new opera house with architect Ira Gilchrist and contractor John Cox. In association with Joseph and Samuel Cather Newsom, they worked out their dream in what was then Napa’s...

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Harvey Milk Day

by Kilian Fitzgerald Harvey Bernard Milk was born on May 22, 1930 in Woodmere, New York, to a middle class Jewish family. After graduating from Bayshore High School, Milk attended New York State College for Teachers. Graduating in 1951, Milk enlisted in the US Navy...

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2016 Napa Valley History Tour

On April 14-16, 2016, Napa County Historical Society hosted its fourth annual Napa Valley History Tour. This year we shook things up a bit with some new sites and activities. On the first day we offered guided tours of the Ackerman Heritage House, formerly known as...

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Pope Valley’s Blacksmith

by John Holt Henry Haus came to the U.S. from Neftenbach, Switzerland, and settled in Pope Valley in the late 1880s. Henry, born in 1873, had an older brother named Ed who also immigrated to Pope Valley. The original blacksmith shop was built in 1890 by a man named...

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Henry Haus Blacksmith and Wagonmaker Shop

by John Holt Long before there was a garage or service station on nearly every corner to keep modern fine-tuned vehicles and machinery in proper working order, the transportation go-to place was the blacksmith shop. Vital to that earlier distribution and...

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The Battery “B” Mystery

by Marie Bowen, NCHS volunteer A small book with photographs pasted on the blank pages entitled On the Trail of the Kaiser was found recently among NCHS’s collections. The item had no donor or accession number and was a complete mystery. I was asked to find, if...

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César Chávez Day in Napa

by Kilian Fitzgerald One of the major issues of the 2016 Presidential election is illegal immigration and how to respond to it. In the spirit of César Chávez Day, let’s take a look at his life  and the impact his movement had on California and the United States....

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Ellen and John Hogan

Born in Tipperary County, Ireland on May 29, 1837, John S. Hogan immigrated to New Orleans in 1849 where some of his other relations already resided. New Orleans had a thriving Irish community at the time, and many lived in the neighborhood known as the Irish Channel....

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