Echoes of Napa Valley

The Napa County Historical Society is pleased to announce the addition of a Sound Exhibit, Echoes of Napa Valley. We will rotate four themes through August 15-May 15, 2021 Beginning in August with Women in the Valley, Dorothy MacLean gives a delightful rendition of the Camp Fire Girls’ songs in her 1987 oral history interview. Then in October, follow us as we journey North from the Napa Valley Marina to the Third Street Bridge. Jess Doud and Erna Hammerich talk of their research and personal family history of Riverboats and the River. The third sound exhibit theme at the Napa County Historical Society,The Working Pioneer, explores the ventures of early Napans throughout the county. From the first school in front of the Bale Mill, the start of the Sawyer Tannery along the river, and how the early settlers worked their way to California on the first wagon trains. Finally we end in March with Architectural Highlights around the County with Luther Turton and the Calistoga Hotel.

Access the Sound Exhibit Webpage

Echoes of Napa Valley

Record Your Story

Napa County Historical Society is collecting oral histories from Napa residents on a number of subjects. For information about participating and recording your story, click here. 

Enjoy a sample of our storytelling collection by listening to “Easter at the Ink House.”

Voices of the Napa Valley

Among the grassy hills and stone monuments of Tulocay Cemetery lie buried a thousand stories waiting to be told.

In October 2020, the Napa Valley Shakespeare Festival (NVSF) partnering with the Napa County Historical Society launched the first phase of NVSF’s Voices of the Napa Valley, an ongoing project to tell Tulocay’s stories through interactive, self-guided and virtual tours of the Cemetery and the surrounding community narrated by historical figures. Beginning with Maria de Jesus Higuera Juarez (1815-1890), history came to life in the premiere on October 29, 2020, produced by NVSF and hosted by NCHS.

In 2022, Napa Valley Shakespeare Festival and Project Director Mary Fullerton launched the first phase of their interactive history tour on Otocast, featuring original monologues written by Cris Eli Blak and Michael Waterson and performed by NVSF actors. The tour is available through the Otocast app and on the Otocast website.

Listen to the NCHS audio collection at California Revealed

The Camp Fire Girls, as described in song by Dorothy MacLean on February 16, 1987. Listen to the full oral history.

Erna Hammerich details the history of her family and the sailboats they owned that navigated the Napa River at the turn of the 20th century. In conversation with Dorothy MacLean on February 19, 1983. Listen to the full oral history.

Leila Crouch presented the History of Our Upper Napa Valley on October 7, 1974 at the monthly meeting of the Napa County Historical Society. Listen to the full oral history.

This project is supported by California Revealed and administered in California by the State Librarian. The program is made possible by funding from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.

The NCHS also thanks Community Projects inc. in Napa as a contributor for the speaker display.

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