Skip to main content
  1. Travel
  2. City Guides

Napa City, rich history California style

See also

When we think of Napa we immediately think of Napa Valley, one of California’s celebrated wine regions, or the world famous Napa Leather, which was invented by Emanuel Manasse in 1875. We do not instantly think of the City of Napa which was founded by Nathan Coombs in 1847 and has a population of approximately 77,000 people, making it one of the larger cities in California.

More Photos

The territory was home to Native American Indians and was first explored in 1823, led by Padre Jose Altimira, the founder of Mission San Francisco Solano in Sonama. The missionaries converted some of the indigenous people, but farmers arrived in early 1830 and changed the native landscape.

In the 1850’s the California Gold Rush took over, which included Napa City. Miners who were looking for shelter during the cold winters also found work in local sawmills and cattle ranches, after they had exhausted their hopes for quick riches. In 1858 the great silver rush began and miners again flocked to the region to try their luck. At this time the first Chinese immigrants arrived in California and at Napa County, being imported as cheap laborers by bankers and trading companies.

By the 1870’s most American Native Indians had vanished and only a few servants working for whites remained. Besides these few remaining natives and the Chinese, most of the other influxes of laborers were poor, uneducated immigrants from Italy, which signed on to come to the Promised Land.
In 1874 Napa was incorporated as the City of Napa and its first mayor was Louis Bruck of Bremen, Germany, a pioneer who had arrived twenty-four years earlier. Napa City did not become an economic center with flourishing businesses until the 20th century.

Today, Napa’s downtown environment includes locally owned shops as well as department stores and restaurants. There are specialty shops with plenty of outdoor seating and pedestrian walkways. The city brims with history, wonderful art and wine tasting facilities - a treat for all who want to explore the significant growth on Main Street.

More info:


Today's top buzz...

  • Google patents contact lens camera
    Google has filed for a patent to develop contact lenses capable of taking photos
    Tech Tips
  • Glen Campbell
    Learn all about 'Glen Campbell … I’ll Be Me,' a documentary of his final tour
    9 Photos
  • Rabbit owners
    Bringing home the bunny: Important information for rabbit owners
    7 Photos
  • Thomas Haden Church
    Thomas Haden Church's thoughts on his latest film ‘Heaven is for Real'
    'Heaven is for Real'
  • Soft drink fine
    South Carolina man faced a big fine for refilling his drink at the VA Medical Center
    Strange News
  • Dog's Easter basket
    How to fill your dog’s Easter basket with the perfect toys
    Easter Basket

Related Videos:

  • Come play tourist at Legoland
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • Flying the not so friendly skies of American Airlines
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518042753" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • Hilarity Ensues on Southwest Airlines
    <iframe width="600" height="450" src="//;autoplay=1"></iframe>

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!