Our Mission

The mission of Napa County Historical Society is to discover and keep history alive through exhibits, lectures, and events, as well as research, publications, and educational activities. We are a membership-based archival and educational organization dedicated to the discovery, preservation and presentation of the people and history of Napa County and its place in California history.

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
Monday-Wednesday-Friday, 10am-4pm.


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.


Online Catalogue

Explore thousands of historic photographs, manuscripts, scrapbooks, maps, blueprints, books, and ephemera on Napa County history in our online catalogue.


Contact Us

Get in touch with NCHS.

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook.


Visit our shop to buy books, postcards, photo prints, and more!

Our Story

Jess and Mary Doud, ca. 1979Napa 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.

Blog Roll

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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Napa County and the Anti-Chinese League

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...

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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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