Hilos Visible/Visible Threads Exhibit, October 2022

  SHHS Hilos Visible exhibit runs through march 2023

The St. Helena Historical Society is partnering with the Napa County Historical Society to present a new exhibit, Visible Threads. Students and other groups have created quilt squares that tell their immigration stories or what it means to be Hispanic in Napa Valley. The quilt squares can be about a person, a place or a thing that provides inspiration. With themes of family, unity, country, ancestors, faith and love, the art "untangles the invisible threads that tie us all together to make visible the individual stories of our community," quilt artist Arlene Correa Valencia.

Hilos Visible is a county-wide project

It includes contributions from students and other groups who are telling their stories with quilt kits that are available at local libraries. The exhibit will be on display at both the Heritage Center Museum in St. Helena and the Napa County Historical Society through March 2022. For SHHS, part of Hilos Visible will become part of our permanent exhibit showcasing the importance of the Hispanic culture in the Napa Valley.

  • For Semaria, "Being here in the U.S. is “the biggest blessing of my life. I’m grateful to my mother for the sacrifices she made to come here. I just went to Disneyland with my daughter. I love the United States. There have been a lot of changes lately that give me promise of a brighter future.”
  • For Clara: "I’ve been given the chance to become what I am. I’m happy. I work at the library and the school. I’ve found the American dream."

While the exhibit runs through March, the initiative is ongoing. The St. Helena Historical Society is collaborating on this effort with the Napa County Historical Society.

Spirits of St. Helena Discovery Cemetery Walk 2022

SHHS annual cemetery tour #3

SHHS annual cemetery walk #1SHHS annual cemetery tour #2

Annual Cemetery Tour, October 2022

After a two-year Covid hiatus, we hosted our annual cemetery tour. We partnered once again with the high school drama department, and our local students reenacted the lives of our early Italian and Italian-Swiss settlers. This included familiar old family names, such as Pestoni, Rossi, Mondavi, Forni and Romano.

Open House and Launch of History of Firefighting Exhibit

SHHS art carr firefighting exhibit

May 1, 2022, at the Heritage Center

The History of Firefighting in St. Helena, with a presentation by longtime volunteer fireman Art Carr

  • This event is SHHS's annual membership meeting.
  • Look forward to wine and bites and opportunity to gather together with our community.
  • Art Carr will be sharing anecdotes along with his collection of artifacts, including helmets that date back to the late 1800s.

Being able to respond to fires and building a fire department were important parts of the town's infrastructure

The first hose cart was purchased and arrived in the fall of 1878 and housed on Spring Street. A group of businessmen donated funds to purchase a fire bell which was installed in a 20-foot tower in front of company headquarters. The bell rang every night at 7:45.

By 1881, fire assets included a one hose-cart, six hundred feet of hose, hooks, ladders, lanterns, axes, etc. The Company numbered twenty-two members. There were ten (10) hydrants, and the head of water was strong enough to force a stream over the highest building in town. Hydrants were located six on Main Street, two on Spring and one on Charter Oak.

HV hilos visible 2

Spirits of St. Helena Discovery Cemetery Walk

Annual Spirits of St. Helena Cemetery Tour

Vive le Vin: French Winemakers at St. Helena Cemetery, September 2019

  • Our guided walks through the cemetery begin at 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm
  • Feature actors from St. Helena High School Drama Department
  • Each tour visits selected grave sites

“This event paid homage to the French who brought their culture to St. Helena more than 150 years ago. Winemakers on the tour included Jean BrunAdrien ChaixHenry PelletGermain Crochatplus others who made a difference but were long forgotten,” explained Mariam Hansen, Research Director for the St. Helena Historical Society. Participants learned life in St. Helena and the contributions of these immigrants to the development of St. Helena.

2019 marked 163 years since the first burial at St. Helena Cemetery. Our annual Spirits of St. Helena Cemetery Tour celebrates the listing of St. Helena Public Cemetery on the National Register of Historic Places.

Jean Brun - French winemaker in St. Helena

Jean Brun, one of several French and Swiss winemakers who brought their culture to St. Helena over 150 years ago.



Our 2019 poster features an image of Emma Roxanne Davis, from the Money family.
Each year's Museum for Day event gives us a glimpse into a different aspect of of St. Helena history.

Museum for a Day

Founding Families of Napa Valley

There are many multigenerational families that live in St. Helena. They are born here, grow up, marry and come back to raise their families right here in St Helena. In 2019, the Bedolla, Lincoln, MacDonald, McCormick, and Money families shared their family’s stories with us.

These are the histories of the Bedolla, Lincoln, MacDonald, McCormick, and Money families.

In 2017, the biannual event honored Hispanic families who have shaped the culture and history of St. Helena. Besides the family displays, attendees were entertained by Ballet Zenoalxochiti dancers and the Gastelum Family Band.

"Gleaners" by Christine Olivo, to be auctioned at the event.
SHHS History becomes art fundraiser

St. Helena Historical Society’s third annual History Becomes Art fundraiser was a tremendous success, thanks to artist participation and turnout from our community.

What: Original Art Auction with Devon Bell

When: A Saturday afternoon in March 2019, from 1:00-4:00

Where: The Gallery at Brasswood Estate

What made this event special: Artisan hors d’oeuvres , live music, Local wine from Brasswood and other vintners

Help us raise funds to establish a permanent home for our collection. With such a facility, the public will be able to learn about the history of our area and enjoy some of the amazing historical artifacts that have been so generously donated to us over SHHS' 20 years.