Napa county is a rich tapestry of stories. It takes many voices and various perspectives to capture all the stories about different places, people, livelihoods, leisure activities, and politics. NCHS is partnering with Arcadia Publishing and Valley organizations to highlight the stories that have been told, and shine a light on the stories that still need telling. Who Tells Our Story, covers the time between 1830 and 1930, featuring five sub-themes that explore the Valley from different perspectives — Places, People, Livelihoods, Leisure, and Governance. The exhibit uses the books published by Arcadia Publishing as pivot points in examining the Who, How, and What have been captured in the stories told about Napa County. The exhibit mines the photographic collection and ephemera collections of the Historical Society to enhance and illuminate the rich history of this period. Also on display are a number of items generously loaned to the the Historical Society from partners and family collections.

Don’t miss the programming that is associated with our exhibit. We will have monthly presentations by authors, virtual tours with Q&A, in addition to the rich educational programs linked here from partnering organizations. Follow along this October 2020-January 2021 as we publish educational resources from our exhibit sponsors.

Up first, are links to the Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District trails, highlighting The Bale Mill, The Oat Mill Mine, The Cove, and The Wetlands. Other historical trails such as Moore Creek Park, Suscol Headwaters Preserve, and Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, are also linked. These trails highlight the early industries, leisure and resources of Napa County. The trails are open and welcome visitors but please practice social distancing, stay aware of current weather conditions, and make way for emergency services.

>Next, The Suscol Intertribal Council has graciously provided a reading list of recommended literature that delves into Native American stories and history in the area. From Senator Inouye’s dramatic recounting of early American history and a call for reform in his respected book Exiled in the Land of the Free to Greg Sarris’ lovely compilation of stories in The Sounds of Rattles and Clappers, the list provides readers with a compelling journey in the ongoing quest of Native Americans of the Napa Valley.

We will continue to publish additional resources here on the website so you’ll want to check in regularly.

About the Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District

Also known as the Napa Open Space District, the District is dedicated to preserving, restoring, educating about and providing access to Napa County’s water, wildlife, open spaces and historical resources.

Since its inception, the District has protected more than 5,000 acres of watersheds, forests and other open spaces, built and now operates Ecocamp Berryessa as a youth outdoor education camp, and constructed and/or operates over 75 miles of recreational trails. Confronted with their planned closure by the State, in 2012 the District took over operation of Bothe-Napa Valley State Park and the Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park, and has successfully operated these two parks ever since. As of early 2020, the District operates Robert Louis Stevenson State Park as well.

More details at

Bale Grist MillPlaces, People, Livelihoods

Oat Hill Mine TrailPlaces, Livelihoods, Leisure

The CovePlaces, Leisure

Wetlands EdgePlaces, Leisure, People

  • History with Native Americans and as landfill site that’s been restored
  • Current very heavy community use
  • Mike Thompson Hike & Bike Loop
  • Cooperative partnership with City of American Canyon

Moore Creek ParkPlaces, Leisure

  • Cooperative partnership with City of Napa

Suscol Headwaters PreservePlaces, Leisure

Robert Louis Stevenson State ParkPlaces, People, Leisure

  • Heavily visited by hikers/cyclists/climbers
  • Trail to Mt. St Helena
  • Access to the scenic Pallisades Trail over to OHMT

Founded in 1972, the Suscol Intertribal Council provides support to Native Americans living in and around the Napa Valley, as well as counseling perspectives to local and state government and agencies. The Suscol Intertribal Council secured property in Chiles Valley in 1998, on which the group has now erected a sacred garden, as well as an area for festivals, and presentations. The reading list provides a broad perspective on Native American cultures and important insight.

Suscol Intertribal Council suggested reading, Native American Books, 9/30/19:

American Holocaust by David E. Stannard (PDF download via Google Books)

Exiled in the Land of the Free: Democracy, Indian Nations, and the U.S. Constitution with foreword by Peter Matthiessen
Preface by Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Emory Dean Keoke, Kay Marie Porterfield

The Book of Elders: The life stories of great American Indians by Sandy Johnson

Remember Your Relations: The Elsie Allen baskets, family & friends by Suzanne Abel-Vidor, Dot Brovarney, Susan Billy

Watermelon Nights by Greg Sarris, Gratton Rancheria Tribal Chair

The Sounds of Rattles and Clappers: A collection of New California Indian Writing by Greg Sarris, Gratton Rancheria Tribal Chair

Mankiller: A Chief and her people by Wilma Mankiller and Michael Wallis

Where White Men Fear To Tread: An Autobiography of Russell Means by Russell Means & Marvin J. Wolf

The Ohlone Way: Indian Life in the San Francisco-Monterey Bay Area by Malcolm Margolin, illustrated by Michael Harney

A Time of Little Choice: The Disintegration of Tribal Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1769-1810 by Randall Milliken

The Costanoan/Ohlone Indians of the San Francisco and Monterey Bay Area, and their neighbors yesterday and today by Lauren S. Trexeire

There There by Tommy Orange’

Decolonizing mental health: The importance of an opression-focused mental health system

For further research, see Heyday publishers, Berkeley California.