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 Napa County California

Napa County. Organized in 1850. Bounded north by Luke, northeast and east by Yolo and Solano, south by Solano, and west by Sonoma. Area, 828 square miles. Assessed valuation of property in 1874, $8,028,824.

County seat, Napa. Principal towns, Calistoga, Monticello, Silverado, St. Helena and Yountville.

Resources, agricultural and mineral, the former greatly predominating; but recent developments of silver, gold, quicksilver, medicinal springs and other minerals, indicate that the latter interest win rival, if it does not surpass, the former in the employment of capital and value of products. The county is composed of valley and mountain, the first lovely and fertile, the other romantic, interesting, and singular in geological formation.

The principal valley gives its name to the county, and extends, with slight interruptions, from San Pablo Bay, or the estuary of Napa creek, to Calistoga, a distance of forty miles, and has a breadth of from one to six miles. The Napa Valley Railroad runs through it from Vallejo to Calistoga, giving cheap transportation to its varied products. Berryessa Valley, enclosing the head of Putah creek, in the northeastern portion of the county, comprises some thirty thousand acres, is very fertile, and being enclosed on all sides by mountains, presents the appearance of a grand park.

Pope and Chiles Valleys are pleasant and prosperous localities. The first is surrounded by quicksilver mines, and at the latter are extensive beds of iron ore. St. Helena is the highest mountain, attaining an elevation of 4,343 feet. This has generally been regarded as volcanic, and the neighboring country gives evidence of the existence of internal fires at the present time, as shown by the numerous hot springs in the vicinity. However, the mountain is largely composed of granite, and gold and silver bearing veins of quartz seam its sides, and are worked at great profit.

The discovery in 1873 of a rich quartz vein in St. Helena, created quite an excitement, but its existence and value have been demonstrated by deep explorations and the milling of the ore, from which the stream of bullion commenced to how in October, 1874. The Calistoga mine is about six miles northwest of the town from which it was named, and is a silver mine with ore also rich in gold. The explorations have proven it a true fissure vein, and the returns from the ten-stamp mill connected with it are proof of the value of the ore. Other veins have been found and mines opened in the vicinity, and the town of Silverado is growing upon the mountain side as a consequence. The quicksilver discoveries have also been of great importance, and several mines in various parts of the county are successfully worked. Gold is reported in rich veins near the town of St. Helena, rich deposits of iron at Chiles Valley, excellent sandstone for building and ornamental work on Putah creek, water lime cement in Napa Valley, coal near Monticello, and valuable minerals of all kinds seemingly everywhere. If developments follow prospects, this will soon be classed as a mining county, and its broad grain fields and beautiful gardens, its teeming orchards and wine-flowing vineyards, will be passed and overlooked in the greater attention to the new interest.

Napa is also distinguished for its medicinal springs, those of Calistoga, White Sulphur and Soda Springs being the most noted. Near these, villages have sprung up, extensive hotels built, giving elegant accommodation to a great number of visitors, and have become places of fashionable resort during the summer months.

This volcanic region is very favorable to the production of every kind of fruit, particularly grapes, and large quantities of wine and brandy are manufactured, the wine product of 1874 being near one million gallons. Among the mountains and hills of the northern part of the county are numerous small streams, coursing through the most charming valleys, furnishing attractive sites for fanciers' homes.

Officers: Thomas P. Stoney, County Judged Chauncey B. Seeley, Clerk, Recorder and Auditor; Dennis Spencer, District Attorney; L. M. Corwin, Sheriff and Tax Collector; A. G. Boggs, Treasurer; B. W. Arnold, Assessor; T. J. Dewoody, Surveyor; Frederick W. Coleman, Coroner and Public Administrator; G. W. Ford, Superintendent Public Schools.

California Gazetteer | AHGP California

Source: Pacific Coast Business Directory for 1876-78, Compiled by Henry G. Langley, San Francisco, 1875

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