Lost Napa Valley

By Lauren Coodley

Napa Valley, once known for its cattle and silver mines, has grown into an international wine destination. On the way, many buildings and institutions have vanished. From the Von Uhlit family’s fruit farm in Napa to the Wheeler Ranch in St. Helena, fields and orchards became neighborhoods and vineyards. The Dolphin, a steamboat that once delivered travelers from San Francisco, was replaced by faster transport, and the Napa State Hospital’s original “castle” was demolished. The Sawyer Tannery, in operation for over one hundred years, closed its doors in 1990, and destinations like the Kay Von Drive-In and the Bel Aire Bowl now live on only in memory. Join author and historian Lauren Coodley as she celebrates these once-beloved landmarks in California’s Wine Country.

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