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 the Gifford House, in Napa. This newly reopened Napa gem was originally constructed in 1888 by the famous local architect Luther Turton. The owner who has just wrapped up an extensive, multi-year restoration project was on hand to reveal the secrets of the house, and the local historian writing a book on the history of the property discussed the house’s remarkable past.
The second day took us up to Calistoga for a brand new, never before seen guided tour of the town. With the assistance and insight of the Sharpsteen Museum, we took attendees to sites not usually on tours, such as Sara Adelaide Badlam’s cottage, Calistoga’s Chinatown, and Winan’s Vault. The Sharpsteen Museum also offered a tour of their fascinating museum.
Finally, Saturday was all Pope Valley all day long. Sites like the Pope Valley Winery, Aetna Township (a private mining museum), Aetna Springs Resort (staffed by the St. Helena Historical Society), Pope Valley Store, and the Henry Haus Blacksmith Shop were open for attendees to visit. The current owners of the Pope Valley Store, a former stagestop, general store, and inn built about 1875, reopened the store for the first time since purchasing it. Pope Valley Winery offered wagon rides, live music, and tours of their historic blacksmith shop and winery. Blacksmith Jerry Coe gave demonstrations of his art as well as tours of Haus’ blacksmith shop, built in 1890 and operated by Henry Haus, the younger brother of Ed Haus, owner of Pope Valley Winery.
Thanks to those who came to the Napa Valley History Tour, and for those who weren’t able to attend, we hope to see you next year!