About Us: The Research Library
The Napa County Historical Society operates a non-circulating Research Library that is open to the public. If you have a question about Napa history, need to conduct research, or would like to donate an item to our collection, you can stop by the library during our regular business hours or by appointment. If you would like to ask a question by email or phone, we can answer questions requiring brief research into our collection free of charge. If you wish to ask us to aid you in a research project or conduct more extensive research, we are happy to help but an hourly or project-based fee is charged.
The Research Library is open
The Move is Complete!
We are located in the old office at Tulocay Cemetery, while the Goodman Library undergoes earthquake repairs. It is the stone building located through the main gates of the cemetery (pictured above). The street address for the cemetery is 411 Coombsville Road, Napa, CA 94558.
Thanks to the Tulocay Cemetery Board of Directors for their generous invitation to relocate to the beautiful Juarez building. We would also like to offer our sincere thanks to Community Projects and the Community Foundation’s Community Disaster Fund for Earthquake Relief for their financial support of this project.
Explore thousands of historic photographs, manuscripts, scrapbooks, maps, blueprints, books, and ephemera on Napa County history in our online catalogue.
Napa County Historical Society was founded in May 1948 by locals passionate about preserving local history. In the late 1970s, then Executive Director Jess Doud secured the Goodman Library to house their ever-expanding historical research library, as well as for use in displays, exhibits, and educational programs.
Our active Board of Directors, Executive Director, and Research Librarian keep the organization running, and our corps of volunteers and interns assist with research, cataloguing, and publication. We are a small non-profit sustained by your membership and donations.
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...read more
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,...read more
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...read more
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...read more
by Kate Todd, NCHS intern TW for racist language. Japanese immigration to California increased rapidly during the Meiji Restoration (1868-1912). Prior to the Restoration, Japan was closed to outside trade and most specifically Western influences. Japan was also...read more
TW for racist language. The Chinese Exclusion Act was passed in 1882 and was further amended in subsequent years. The act severely reduced Chinese immigration, especially for women and children. Those who remained in California often worked in agriculture, and there...read more
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...read more
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...read more
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...read more