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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Napa, California History Revisited - Part 3

Ebb and flow.....Sometimes overflow and flood.......In 1986, the worst of 23 floods in all recorded history of Napa, California occurred, killing 3 people.  A few hundred homes were destroyed.  My own family in Napa at the time escaped any injury or damage. 

Yes, the Napa River runs north to south through Napa, California.  It certainly does flow and overflows sometimes.  Do uncontrolled waterways overflow their banks?  They do and Napa has flooded on a number of occasions as I mentioned above.  There is no levy system along these banks and no real intention of ever putting one in. 

At this point in the life of the Napa River, there are areas designated as "overflow" areas set in place as part of the Napa River Flood Project that was started in 2000 and will be completed in 2015.  Much of the project restores wetlands and, in turn, is intended to prevent major flooding in the downtown and populated areas of Napa.  Flooding along the Napa River is an important part of the city's history.

Earthquakes have impacted the City of Napa, California in its history but that is sometimes considered rather commonplace in this part of the country.  I did not see much of a mention about earthquakes in this book.  Actually, the book has lots of photos of some places that I have been and others that I haven't.  Lake Berryessa is mentioned under which the old town of Monticello rests.  I've waterskiied on that lake plenty.

What I miss is the mention of all of the cultures and people who helped form Napa.  There were plenty of Italian and German immigrants to this area who bascially started making wine by the 1860s or thereabouts.  There were also Chinese immgrants who settled in Napa, California.  These were people who for many years have been the forgotten in Napa history.  I did find them mentioned in this book.  They were in the valley until the Chinese Exclusion Act of the 1880s.  Chinatown in Napa was located in a sandy stretch of First and Second Streets near Soscol Avenue.

So...."Images of America, Napa"...It's an interesting photo book with some facts about the history of Napa.

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