2016 Napa Valley History Tour

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...
Owen Kenny

Owen Kenny

As part of our First Annual Napa Valley Lodging Industry Hall of Fame Ceremony, we have compiled a series of biographies of the historic inductees. Local historian Tom Spaulding has contributed the fourth of five articles. Long-time Calistoga innkeeper and postmaster...
Sam Brannan

Sam Brannan

As part of our First Annual Napa Valley Lodging Industry Hall of Fame Ceremony, we have compiled a series of biographies of the historic inductees. This short history of Sam Brannan, written by Kathy Bazzoli of the Sharpsteen Museum, is the second of five articles....
Judge Palmer

Judge Palmer

Augustus Caesar Palmer was born in Virginia about 1838. He married Indiana native Serilda, born in 1848, about 1868. They came to California and had a child, Frank. On March 5, 1869, the Palmers filed for bankruptcy, but by 1870 they were living in Napa where Augustus...
Charles and Sarah Grace Crouch

Charles and Sarah Grace Crouch

Charles Wiley Crouch was the younger of two boys born to New York natives Francis Asahel Crouch and Rachel Wiley Dutcher in Canandaigua, Michigan, on July 21, 1867. The Crouch family headed west when Charles was ten, and settled in Calistoga. Francis rented the Greer...
Winemaking in Calistoga, pt. 1

Winemaking in Calistoga, pt. 1

Sam Brannan was one of the first people in the Calistoga area to commercially produce wine. By 1862 he had several thousand acres of land on which he planted nearly 20,000 French vine cuttings. Within five years he was producing 23,000 gallons of wine and brandy. His...
Winemaking in Calistoga, pt. 2

Winemaking in Calistoga, pt. 2

The origins of Prohibition in the United States run as far back as the 17th century when there were strong religious objections throughout New England. The Puritans did not ban drinking alcohol itself, but did outlaw drunkenness. “This lasting connection between...