NAPA


History and Map

In 1776, a fort was erected by the Spanish Governor, Felipe de Neve a short distance northwest of Napa, on an elevated plateau. Russians from Sonoma County’sFort Ross grazed cattle and sheep in the Napa Valley in the early 19th century and in 1841 a survey party from the fort placed a plaque on the summit of Mount Saint Helena.

Francis Castro and Father Jose Altimura were the first Europeans to explore the Napa Valley in 1823. White settlers arrived in the early 1830s.

George C. Yount was an early settler in Napa County and is believed to be the first Anglo-Saxon resident in the county. In 1836 Yount obtained the Mexican grant Rancho Caymus where he built what is said to be the first log house in California. Soon afterward, he built a sawmill and grain mill, and was the first person to plant a vineyard in the county. Following Yount’s death in 1865 at age 71, the town of Yountville was named in his honor.

Following his marriage to General Vallejo’s niece Maria Guadalupe Soberanes, Edward Turner Bale became a citizen of Mexico and was granted Rancho Carne Humana in the northern end of the valley. Bale completed building the Bale Grist Mill a few miles north of St. Helena in 1846. Colonel Joseph B. Chiles a guide for one of the earliest immigrant trains to California, was granted Rancho Catacula in 1844.

John Patchett opened the first commercial winery in the county in 1859. The vineyard and wine cellar were located in an area that is now in the city limits of Napa. After working as a winemaker for Patchett, Charles Krug founded his own winery in St. Helena 1861.

In the mid-1880s, entrepreneur Samuel Brannan purchased land in the northern end of the valley at the foot of Mount Saint Helena and founded Calistoga.


State Historical Landmarks