A Window to the Past: Napa County Historical Society

Churchill Manor has an interesting link to the Napa County Historical SocietyThe Napa County Historical Society provides a window to the past—one that goes hand-in-hand with the history of our own Churchill Manor.

Located in the Goodman Library, the research center and the Napa County Historical Society itself catalogues the history of Napa County from its earliest native residents thousands of years ago, through the development of the region in the 1800s by Spanish and pioneer settlers, to the region’s now world-renowned wine growing.

The Goodman Library Napa

The Goodman Library itself carries an impressive historical distinction. It is the longest continuously operating library in the state of California! This building, historic in its own right, was donated by banker and philanthropist George Goodman. Goodman Bank, as it happens, was the very reason Churchill Manor’s first owner, Edward Churchill, came to California from New York. He served as cashier of the bank.

Originally providing billiards upstairs for the gentlemen and a tea room downstairs for the ladies, the English-architecturally inspired Goodman Library still stands out for its style while housing the historical society and the research library.

There are a few standout features to notice…

  • The only sign placed in the building on behalf of George Goodman is a marble-engraved inscription on the foyer ceiling: “God and My Mother.”
  • The circulation desk is the original from the library’s opening in 1902.
  • The stairs have three sets of rails: the taller for adults; the lower for children when the building served as the children’s library in 1939; and the newest brass railing, which was added in a seismic retrofit in the early 2000s.

Churchill Manor’s Connection

The home of the Napa County Historical Society and Churchill Manor were contemporaries. Actually, Churchill Manor was built before the library, in 1889. One of a few notable mansions in the area at that time, Churchill Manor maintained the distinction of being the largest at 10,000 square feet.

Churchill Manor and historic sites like the Goodman Library provide a window into the past and offer a glimpse at life in Napa during one of its most formative times. The architecture and indeed the legacy of the barons of that era are still distinctive features.

You’ll learn about all of this and more with a visit to the Napa County Historical Society.

Napa County Historical Society Tours

If you enjoy biking, the Napa Valley History by Bike Tour would be a great way to spend a leisurely afternoon. You can actually choose from five different tours under the History by Bike umbrella: Napa City, Napa Area, Yountville Area, St. Helena Area, and Calistoga.

You can walk through one of the oldest planned neighborhoods in the county on the Historic Napa River Tour, taking in the sights of Napa Abajo.

These tours are all downloadable for you to self-guide at your own pace. Just check them out on the Napa Valley Historical Society tours web page.

Stay With Us at Churchill Manor

Booking your stay at Churchill Manor will round out your historic Napa Valley experience. Our mansion, a Napa County landmark, has seen the boom days and the depression days, but now its restoration and beauty tell the best story of our region. Take your pick of our beautifully crafted guestrooms or delightful vacation packages. We can’t wait to see you in Napa Valley soon!

Don’t forget to download our free area Vacation Guide to help plan your Napa getaway!