The name “Napa” may come from “Napato,” a clan of the Wintun Indians who once lived along a river that flows into San Francisco Bay. In the 1850s, miners sought refuge in the young city that grew up by the Napa River, living in tents along its main street. Later they and other newcomers found work at businesses and nearby ranches while Napa City flourished as goods and produce from all over the valley were loaded onto steamers bound for San Francisco. Shortening its name in 1900, Napa continued to provide housing and shops, utilities and transportation for a growing agricultural center, and it shared the valley’s economic hard times through Prohibition and the Great Depression.
About the Author
Award-winning author Lin Weber has previously written another Arcadia book, Napa Valley Wine Country, and three other histories of the valley. A Napa resident for more than 30 years, she has searched the photographic archives of the Napa Valley Museum, the Napa County Historical Society, and many private collections to provide these fine images, small portholes overlooking the vast currents of time that continue to shape Napa.