Monday, April 30, 2007

General Erasmus Darwin Keyes - Creator of the Edge Hill Estate

This site is being brought to you by Wine Country Marketing and Promotions (WCM&P).
Click here to go to our home page >WCM&P (Contact us at:
To visit our other divisions, click on the URL's shown below:
(1) Home Page of The Wine Country Club (TWCC)
(2) Home Page of The American Wine Industry Taster's Choice Awards and Hall of Fame Inductees
(3) Home Page of The Winegrowers & Other related Links of the USA

We have provided the site visitor with an (Click here>>) INDEX PAGE which lists all the URL postings for all our Web sites so our viewers can quickly get to the parts that interest them the most.
Creators and Re-builders of the Great Edge Hill Estate
(by John M. Olney)
General Erasmus Darwin Keyes
He was born in Brimfield, Massachusetts on May 29, 1810. His father was a renowned physician and surgeon. Instead of pursuing the same path, Erasmus decided to pursue a military career enrolling in West Point and graduated in 1832. He was transferred west in 1849, with orders to suppress Indian hostilities in California, Oregon and Washington Territories. He traveled directly to the Presidio in San Francisco, which the Army had officially taken over from the Mexican Government in 1848. Keys was the sixth officer to assume the role of “Commanding Officer” of the site upon his arrival in May 1949 and was the ranking senior officer a total of seven (7) times during the period 1849-1858.

Because of the 1849 gold rush many of his men, officer and enlisted alike, deserted the Army to seek their fortune in the Gold Country. The costs of goods had risen so quickly during this frenzied period, that the Army allowed its officers and enlisted men to hold outside jobs. Keyes began “surveying and a real estate business and was soon was receiving $1,000 a month in rentals” (source: Presidio Military Museum which was a substantial amount of money in those times. Keyes was the leader of the team that set out the boundaries of what would become Presidio grounds as we know them today consisting of about 1,543 acres.)

During the civil war, Keyes quickly rising to Major General, however he ran afoul of the senior Generals and was relegated to desks jobs. Quickly disappointed, in 1864, Keyes resigned from the service and returned to San Francisco where he became involved in the savings and loan business and was a Vice President in a Mexican gold mine He also became a gentleman farmer in Napa Valley with the creation of what became the Edge Hill vineyard, winery, and distillery estate. He hired a local, James Dowdell, as foreman of his estate. (Dowdell would later move on and operate his own winery in St. Helena.) Keyes served as vice president of the California vine-culture society from 1868 to 1872. General Keyes died in France at the age of 85 in 1895.
(Photo by John Olney. The winery building undergoing massive refurbishment. Timbers in foreground appear to be headed to the caves which are entered through the ground floor doorway in the center of the building)

Edge Hill in Transition
For reasons yet to be discovered by this writer, only two years into its operations, Keyes sold his estate property to another Civil War soldier, General Richard L. Heath in the same year (1872) that he concluded his position in the California vine-culture society. General Heath died in 1875 and his son, Richard S. Heath, took over the operation but soon found himself bankrupt.

(Photo by John M. Olney taken of artist rendition of estate. The rendition is inside the distillery building and shows the Edge Hill winery in the foreground and the residential building at the top of the picture)

The next owner was William Scheffler. He too served during the Civil War time. While he was in the employment of the David Fulton winery family and operating another St. Helena winery, Monongo (owned by John Weaks), in the early 1880’s, Scheffler purchased the Edge Hill estate, to which he added numerous buildings.

Scheffler also leased vineyards from the very wealthy William B. Bourne family who had constructed “Greystone” (now Culinary Institute of America), owned the Crystal Springs water supply for all of San Francisco, and owned the very rich strike called “Empire Gold Mines.” Scheffler was obviously a sought after winemaker and manager as he continually expanded his holding. He became a Director in the Napa Valley Wine Company (founded by the likes of Tubbs of Chateau Montelena, Charles Krug and many other significant players of the times).

Scheffler knew that the wealthy of San Francisco frequently visited the beautiful soda springs resorts of Napa Valley and he apparently sought this market for his wines. He purchased the White Sulphur Springs Resort in the mid-1880s in the hopes he could market the guests to purchase his wines. However, this purchase proved his undoing as he had become way overextended and in 1887 he was forced to bankruptcy.

The Resurrection of a Majestic Estate

With onslaught of phylloxera, then Prohibition, the property remained dormant until a gentleman named Louis M. Martini came out of the central valley to start up production in Napa. He purchased the Edge Hill Estate property and used it as a private residence while he refurbished the former winery of the Rennie Brothers and an adjacent site of the Brockhoff winery. He used these properties for wine storage in the 1930‘s in anticipation of the Repeal of Prohibition which allowed the Martini family to quickly supply a demanding market for wine. These Zinfandel Lane sites would eventually become the location of the production facilities of the present day winery, Flora Springs. The Martini Family winery, located in South St. Helena, was purchased by E & J Gallo in the early 2000’s.

Leslie Rudd arrived on-scene to resurrect the former fame of the Edge Hill Estate. Rudd is a very successful businessman and developer who is CEO and principal owner of the Kansas-based wine and liquor distributor Standard Beverage Corp., luxury foods purveyor Dean and DeLuca, Rudd Winery (located at the intersection of Oakville Crossroad and Silverado Trail) and Edge Hill Estate. The distillery building is in process of being converted into a rather attractive hospitality center. The winery building has undergone major renovation and refurbishment while the caves are currently undergoing massive reconstruction. Rudd produces “Distillery No. 209” gin at his property located in San Francisco along the piers adjacent to McCovey Cove/China Basin

(Photo by John M. Olney. This is the distillery building which is being refurbished into a hospitality center.)

Rudd most recently purchased the Oakville Grocery Store chain (based in Oakville, Napa County) and Gordon’s Cafe and Wine Bar (located in Yountville, Napa County).

Sunday, April 29, 2007

About Historical Sketches

This site is being brought to you by Wine Country Marketing and Promotions (WCM&P).Click here to go to our home page >WCM&P (Contact us at:
To visit our other divisions, click on the URL's shown below:
(1) Home Page of The Wine Country Club (TWCC)
(2) Home Page of The American Wine Industry Taster's Choice Awards and Hall of Fame Inductees
(3) Home Page of The Winegrowers & Other related Links of the USA

We have provided the site visitor with an (Click here>>) INDEX PAGE which lists all the URL postings for all our Web sites so our viewers can quickly get to the parts that interest them the most.

I am an amateur historian focusing on the great old wineries of Napa Valley built before or around the 1900s. My historical glimpses begin long before the era of the new arrivals like the Mondavi’s (now owned by Constellation), the Martini’s (now owned by E & J Gallo), the McCrae’s (Stony Hill winery), the Taylor’s (Mayacamas winery) and Lee Stewart (Souverain - now known as Burgess winery.) My stories deviates from most that are written about the great wineries of Napa Valley in that I delve into the backgrounds of the men who really invested the money to make Napa Valley what it became. What I found so interesting was that for the majority of names little was mentioned about them of any significante in the literature of the owners operating at that site today.

I suggest this situation is inevitable given the amount of money it usually requires each subsequent new owner to invest in his or her purchase of the property. It could probably be argued equally strongly that it is the ego of the new owner that pushes former owner names to the background. Then there are the constraints of time and space. There are only so many signs the property owner can hang about the property. There are only so many inches of text that can be allowed in brochures before the reader loses interest in continuing to read instead of taste. The media probably compounds this problem. For the printed media, they too are limited in column inches allowed by the editor. Television networks and producers have only so many minutes within which to present the subject matter of the show and that must be sandwiched in between the much-needed sponsor's commercials.

My research to date reveals about 100 winery sites that were constructed between 1860 and 1900 that can still be visited or at least viewed from the roadside today. Most of these sites remain in the winegrowing business, some have been converted into use by other business types and the balance was converted into residential use. In the process of researching each site, I visited the property myself where possible, and when not, I have examined old books and websites to find pictures in attempt to get a feel of what it must have been like operating such facilities back in those original production days.

I hope you enjoy these histories. Good sipping to you!

John M. Olney

There are a few Web sites that offer the opportunity for Internet users to vote their opinions on the value of wine-related Web sites to that user's wine information needs. TWCC is listed on the following and we hope that you will take a moment and cast your vote for us accordingly for what we are attemptng to accomplish.

Chef2Chef. We are currently ranked #87 (12/1/06).

Local Wine Events. We started being listed on 11/16/06.

Friday, August 19, 2005

The Elegant Old Winery By Silverado Resort And Country Club


Morris M. Estee Creates
Hedgeside Winery & Distillery
(Now occupied by Del Dotto Vineyards)

Copyright by John M. Olney, May 9, 2005

The following historical review was first published under the purview of
Suite, in its History Category, under Elegant Old Wineries.
Sources: (1) Historical and Descriptive Sketchbook of Napa, Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino, Menefee, C. A., 1873, Reporter Publishing House (1993); (2) Illustrations of Napa County, California: Historical Sketch, Oakland, 1878, Smith & Elliot; (3) History of Napa Co. California, Palmer, Lyman L.-Historian, 1881, Slocum, Bowen & Co. Publishers; (4) History of Napa County, Wallace, W. E., 1901, Enquirer Print; (5) Wine Country - A History of Napa Valley - The early years: 1838-1920, Heintz, Wm., 1990, Capra Pres: (6) Old Napa Valley - The History to 1900, Weber, Lin, 1998, Wine Ventures Publishing; (7) California’s Napa Valley-One Hundred Sixty Years of Wine Making, Heintz, Wm., 1999, Scottwall Associates; (8) (Masonic lodge)

Morris M. Estee was born in 1833, within Warren County, Penn. He was a teacher in Pennsylvania before gold fever possessed his being. He came to California in 1853 first settling in 49’er country where he was a gold miner from 1853 to 1856. But his known oratory talents could not talk the gold out of “d’em dhar hills” to provide him a livelihood. He quit mining and returned to his former occupation as a teacher in the town of Volcano, California. He had been advised that his oratory talents made him an excellent candidate for a law degree so he undertook such study. Upon successful completion of his law education, he went to work for a law office in Sacramento (the state capital) during the period 1857-1859. He then broke away and established his shingle in the same town.

Politics became the next step in his illustrious career. In 1862, he was elected to the state Assembly representing Sacramento County. He served as the elected District Attorney for the City and County of the same from 1863 to 1866. He then relocated to the city of San Francisco. There, he campaigned for his friend, Newton Booth, to become Governor, which occurred in 1871. During this timeframe he was selected to be Secretary of the State Republican Central Committee, a powerful political force in California. Subsequently, 1875, Estee was elected again to the Assembly but this time representing San Francisco.

Meanwhile, Estee was establishing his law office, which had grown quite substantial, and he ventured into other business opportunities. Estee purchased about 600 acres of land to the northeast of the city of Napa. The land was adjacent to the property owned by General John F. Miller -- This latter site is now known as the very popular and prestigious Silverado Resort and Country Club. Estee and his family spent about two thirds of the year residing on the Napa property and the balance of time at their residence in San Francisco.

In 1869, Estee, along with his Napa neighbor, General John F. Miller (an associate of Gustav Niebaum founder of Inglenook Vineyard Co., and both owners in the Alaska Commercial Co.), and three others, formed the Napa and Vallejo Water Co. In the Slocum, Bowen & Co., Publishers book of 1881, “The History of Napa County, California,” Historian-Author, Lyman Palmer said, “He is one of the leading Horticulturists of Napa County, having at this time a vineyard of about 300 acres and owning in Napa Valley in one body about six hundred acres of land under a high state of cultivation.” -- I only mention this quotation because there are other historical books written in the 1990s which keep citing 1881 as the year Estee purchased the property. Vineyards require at least three to five years to reach maturity. Based on Palmer’s observations about “300 acres of vineyards” and “high state of cultivation, “ coupled with Estee’s involvement in a 1869 water company, it seems clear that the land was purchased well before 1881.

During the late 1870s and into the mid-1880s, Estee’s political career included two nominations for the U.S. Senate and one for Governor of the State of California; all were unsuccessful campaigns. During his tenure as Speaker of the Assembly, (1873-1874) he was an ex-officio Regent of the University of California Board of Regents.

The Napa Viticultural Society was formed in 1881 and Estee was selected to be its first president. In 1885 he completed construction of his “Hedgeside” winery and co-located distillery operations and caves. The design consultant for the complex was none other than Captain Hamden W. McIntyre who, in 1881 commenced winemaking in California at Captain Niebaum’s Inglenook Winery. McIntyre had been an “Agent” for the Alaska Commercial Co. prior to his arrival in Napa. He was involved in the final designs of a number of the great old graceful wineries built during the 1880s and 1890s. (Go to for more information on the Alaska Commercial Co. and Inglenook winery- now owned by movie mogul, Francis Ford Coppola- and

Estee was involved in the community in many ways. Deputy Grand Master Morris M. Estee laid the Corner Stone of the South San Francisco Masonic Lodge in 1888, and a year later, as Grand Master, he dedicated the temple. The temple and the adjacent South San Francisco Opera House, both owned by the lodge were located on the corner of Third and Newcomb streets.

He reached the political high of being elected chairman of the 1888 Republican National Convention held in Chicago where he shepherded the candidacy of Benjamin Harrison through the floor successfully gaining him the party nomination. Estee was the nominating speaker. In 1889, Harrison subsequently won the Presidential election becoming the 23rd President of the United States (His grandfather was William Henry Harrison, the 9th President). In 1890, Estee was rewarded for all his efforts with appointment to the U.S. District Court in Hawaii. (Hawaii became a Territory of the U.S. in 1900 and the 50th state in 1959).

Morris M. Estee died in the year 1903 in the Territory of Hawaii.

The history of the use of Estee’s building complex is murky during the timeframe from his death until Prohibition, implemented in 1920, forced its shut down. Similarly, I have not yet identified what was happening to the site during the entire 14 years Prohibition prevented it from producing alcohol. At the start up of WW II, the government took over the site (1944) and produced pure alcohol for use in the war efforts.

In 1954, the Buller family purchased the site. They converted the distillery into their home and subsequently leased out the winery buildings to a number of enterprises.

Hedgeside Winery & Distillery
Becomes Home to Other Winegrowers
(Now occupied by Del Dotto Vineyards)

Copyright by John M. Olney, June 8, 2005
First published under auspices of, an online University.
Reference and Bibliography Materials (1) Ghost Wineries of Napa Valley, Haynes, Irene w., 1980, Sally Taylor & Friends. (2) The Pocket Encyclopedia of California Wines, Thompson, Bob 1980 Simon & Schuster . (3) A Sunset Book Guide to California's Wine Country, Thompson, Research & Text, Sep 1982 (3rd ed 1st Pub), Lane Publishing Co. (4) Pocket Encyclopedia of Wine, Johnson, Hugh, 1985, Simon & Schuster (5) Vintners' Choice, Lee, Hilde Gabrial, 1986, Ten Speed Press. (6) Wine Country - A history of Napa Valley - The early years: 1838-1920, Heintz, William, 1990, Capra Press. (7) Wine Spectator’s California Wine, Laube, James, 1995, 1st ed., Wine Spectator Press. (8) The Connoisseurs' Handbook of the Wines of California, Robby, Norman F. and Olken, Charles E., 1998, Alfred Knopf ( 9) Wine Spectator’s California Wine, Laube, James, 1999, 2nd ed., Wine Spectator Press.
( 10)

As I reported in the first part, the winery and distillery operations were shut down by the implementation of Prohibition in early 1920. In the mid 1940s the government reopened it to produce industrial grade alcohol during World War II. This production lasted a short period.

In the mid-1950s, The Buller family purchased the property but no wine was fermented nor brandy distilled in the building compound from the 1950s until about 1975 (3) To date, my research efforts have not identified any commercial winery operations at the Hedgeside complex between the U.S. Governments’ production efforts during WW II until 1975, when a John Beckett refurbished the winery building and caves for his wine operation. However, Beckett’s tenure was short lived and he ceased operations after about two years.

The history of wine operations at the building complex started up again with the arrival of Quail Ridge. This winery was founded in 1978, by Elaine Wellesley and her husband, Jesse Corello, but was operating to the west of the City of Napa, in the Mt. Veeder area. Wellesley is related to Richard Colley Wellesley (1760-1842), the first Duke of Wellington. Corello was a movie production manager.(5) She and her deceased husband had started their winemaking careers as home winemakers in the Los Angeles area. They then moved to Napa in 1976. She went on to UC Davis and earned a related degree.

Their future was promising. This is what renown wine writer, Bob Thompson, had say in 1980, " After one stunning success with a basement lot, Jesse Corello decided to launch a winery devoted principally to Chardonnay. First crush, 1978,..released 1980 to instant acclaim." (2) Then in 1981, while tending to a controlled burn in the vineyard some sort of change in wind conditions occurred and Corello was caught in the fire and died. (5) Wellesley was unwilling to stop what the two off them had started. She acquired a new partner.

Leon Santoro’s mother had made wine back when Leon was but a boy growing up in Villa Santa Maria, Italy. He was trained as a chemist but never made wine before.(10 ) He migrated to California, and specifically to Napa California the year after he heard about Steve Spurrier’s French tasting results of 1976. He bounced around several vineyards and wineries, doing odd jobs, anything he could to learn how to make the best wines. His last position was a brief stint at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars with Warren Winarski.

The next step for Wellesley and Santoro was to move the business into the former Hedgeside winery in 1981. This writer was fortunate enough to met them at this winery site in 1986 when I was searching for labels to include on my wine label -poster-map of Napa Valley. They were quite delighted to let me use their label. When I met with them, they were using only the half of the winery building that lead to the caves. The other side was leased to a wood worker. There was nothing elegant about the interior of the old stone winery, especially on the woodworker’s side, where wood chips and dust were flying and adhering to everything. The poster-map was printed and released in 1987, the same year they decided to take their winery operation public via the Toronto Stock Exchange. This is where conducting historical research becomes important. There are two versions about why Quail Ridge was sold the following year.

In the first version, by 1988 the old stone winery building required renovation and improvements were needed to the winemaking equipment. These capital-intensive requirements were beyond the financial means of the Quail Ridge owners. Meanwhile, The Christian Brothers were shopping for a small volume winery with a “hand-crafted image.” Quail Ridge and The Christian Brothers winery operations were a match. (8) No sooner had The Christian Brothers decided to purchase Quail Ridge and make improvements, plus purchase additional vineyard lands, then they alternated their whole business strategy and sold all of their Napa Valley holdings to Heublein, Inc. of Connecticut. Heublein already owned two of the other great wineries of Napa Valley: Inglenook Vineyard Co. (Now known as Niebaum-Coppola Estate Vineyards) and Beaulieu Vineyards. Heublein owned a vast amount additional property in other winery-oriented counties.

In the second version, Leon Santoro describes the sale as coming about following the collapse of the Toronto stock market in November of 1987 which resulted in the subsequent financial collapse of the winery. It was then taken over by The Christian Brothers in the spring of 1988. (10 ) Shortly after that, The Christian Brothers sold off all their Napa Valley holdings to Heublein. Wellesley was retained to continue making the Quail Ridge wine. Santoro moved on to other winery endeavors.

What happens next was a second tragedy for Wellesley. Heublein no longer wanted to continue with the Quail Ridge label. It, along with others, was sold to a new start-up operation called “Rutherford Benchmark” which operated for about three years and then went bust. Wellesley had already moved on to other wine ventures. The label was eventually sold off to Bronco Wine Co. and became one of the six defunct Napa Valley wine labels -- one of which includes the now famous “Two-Buck Chuck” (Charles Shaw) label.

The next winery operation to occupy Hedgeside is that owned by David and Yolanda Del Dotto. They opened their retail winery operation in 1995 at the Hedgeside winery site on a lease, but their 11 acre vineyard estate is located on the southwest corner of the intersection of Zinfandel Lane with Hwy 29/128 which is situated just south of the City of St. Helena. It appears that the actual owner of the property is his father, John Del Dotto. ( 9)
The Del Dotto winery web site is short of spectacular but that should not surprise anybody! This is the same David Del Dotto who ran afoul of both state and federal laws including Hawaii and Wisconsin and the internet is filled with pages and pages discussing the ventures of David Del Dotto. What his winery web pages do not show are the many court documents exposing general unpublished facts about Del Dotto Some of these facts are: (1) The IRS lien on his Hawaii house in 1993. (2) Hawaii sued him for nonpayment of $5,000,000 in loans in 1995. (3) In 1995, he filed for Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy. (4) In the same year, his corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In 1996, he agreed to pay a $200,000 fine to the Federal Trade Commission of the U.S. Government for misrepresentation in his real estate “get rich quick schemes.” All of this, and he still lands on his feet in Napa Valley producing highly rated and respected wines on some of the most expensive property in the valley.

The Del Dotto’s have invested heavily in renovating the Hedgeside facility into an absolutely spectacular hospitality tool by which to sell their very expensive wines. Just a view of their website will show you what I mean. You can find out all you want to know about David Del Dotto by just running a general internet search on his name. Be prepared to click on to many sites to read and draw your own conclusions.

Creation of Niebaum-Coppola Estate (Inglenook Vineyards)

The following historical review was first published under the purview of
Suite, in its History Category, under Elegant Old Wineries.

The Stories Underlying
The Niebaum-Coppola Estate
( Owned by Movie Mogul Francis Ford Coppola
Their web site: )
Part One- The Real Origins of Inglenook Vineyards
Copyright: By John M. Olney, June 20, 2005

Sources: (1) -- The Cabin Boy Who Became a Multimillionaire, K-G Olin; (2) web site “” (3) INGLENOOK - GUSTAVE NIEBAUM (4) (5),

Inglenook vineyards and winery existed before the arrival of Gustaf Ferdinand Nybom -- later he would Americanize the name to Gustave Niebaum -- when a portion of the property was owned by one William Campbell Watson (See separate story on same). But, it was Gustave who would be one of the early winegrowers to establish the reputation of Napa Valley to produce fine wines equal to the quality of the French. The story of Niebaum’s arrival in Napa Valley is filled with associations with many men who would also claim Napa as their home and/or major vacation spot away from “The City.” The associations would prove fruitful among all of these “Gentleman Winegrowers of San Francisco. “

Born in Helsinki, Finland in 1842, Gustave apparently had a fondness for the seas of the world. At age sixteen, in1858, he became a cabin boy aboard one of the ships of the Russian American Company who had established a flourishing fur trading business throughout all of Alaska. Following his first voyage, he obviously fell madly in love with the high seas as he immediately began his formal schooling to earn his qualifications as a ship’s Master at the age of nineteen. Only two years later he was Captain of his own ship plying the waters of the North Pacific once again for the Russian American Company.

During the next three years, Gustave navigated throughout the Aleutian Island and mainland villages of Alaska, the Bering Sea and Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia negotiating with the village for the fur skins of almost any animal in the region. He had become an expert on the water, land, animal resources and human inhabitants of the entire North Pacific. This expertise was about to place him in high demand with prominent businessman of San Francisco.

The company constructed forts in Alaska and California. Fort Ross, just north of San Francisco, was the southern-most outpost of the Russian America Company and was used as a great farmland to provide provisions for the Alaskan-based employees of the company and their families. (When the Russians shut down operations, John Sutter - of Sutter’s Fort fame - bought all the Fort Ross property) Originally a private business concern, the Russian American Company had been on the decline for a number of years and the Russian government was compelled to take it over. Eager to avoid the continual drains on the Russian economy to support the declining fur trade business, the Russian Czar saw the sale of the territory as a means to improve cash flow and to rid itself of a barren wasteland. Little did the Czar know what resources “Seward’s Follie” held for others to exploit!

Part Two- The Real Origins of Inglenook Vineyards
Copyright by John M. Olney, June 20, 2005

Sources: (1) -- The Cabin Boy Who Became a Multimillionaire, K-G Olin; (2) web site “”; (3) INGLENOOK - GUSTAVE NIEBAUM ; (4) (5) ;

William H. Seward was a lawyer and politician. In 1856, he lost the presidential nomination to John C. Frémont, the primary undeclared force behind the Bear Flag revolters who staged the take-over of California by capturing General Mariano Vallejo in the town of Sonoma. In 1860, Seward ran again but his success was doomed by a man named Abraham Lincoln. Being a good party man, Seward threw his support behind Lincoln and proceeded on a speaking tour on his behalf throughout the western U.S. during 1860. For his loyalty and support, Abraham Lincoln appointed Seward to the cabinet position of Secretary of State in 1861; the same year the Civil War began. Ironically, Seward was a victim of an unsuccessful assassination attempt (repeated stabbings) on the same day that Lincoln was assassinated - April 14, 1864. The perpetrator was a known associate of Booth who had shot Lincoln. Andrew Johnson followed Lincoln as President and reappointed Seward to continue as Secretary of State.

As Secretary of State, Seward fought for the purchase of the Alaskan frontier as a believer in the concepts of “Manifest Destiny,” and the continued western expansion of the U.S. It was Russia who initially approached the United States about selling the territory during President James Buchanan’s tenure (1857-61), but the coming of the Civil War trumped any meaningful negotiations. However, following the conclusion of the war in 1865, Seward picked up the cause for purchasing the massive territory. A great number of Congressional representatives did not agree with him, nor did many in the press for it was the latter who nicknamed the efforts “Seward’s Follie” or “Seward’s Icebox,“ and “Johnson’s Polar Bear Gardens.“ In the end, however, Seward prevailed but by the slim margin of only a single vote in the Senate (held on April 9, 1867). The purchase was effective on March 30, 1867; the day the Treaty was sign with the Russian Government. The actual withdrawal of Russian occupancy of Alaska did not occur until mid-October of the same year. Alaska celebrates the purchase on “Seward‘s Day,” the last Monday of March.

In the same year, all of the assets (stores, ships and miscellaneous properties) of the Russian American Company were divided and purchased between two U.S. companies: Hutchinson, Kohl & Co. and Hansen, Nybom & Co. The latter company included the young Finlander, Gustaf Ferdinand Nybom (later changed to Gustave Niebaum). Niebaum foresaw the potential for full commercialization of the massive territory. He made full use of this rare opportunity of being “at the right spot at the right time.” He had already developed a sizeable collection of sealskins as well as other valuable furs. With the sale of Alaska to the United States completed, Niebaum commenced his journey to San Francisco loaded down with his valuable furs. In 1868, at the age of only twenty-six, he arrived in San Francisco Bay with a fur skin cargo estimated to be worth over half a million dollars.

The two companies in turn merged to become the Alaska Commercial Company (ACC) in 1868. The founders of the Alaska Commercial Company were among the prominent Jewish families of San Francisco. The company’s first president was Louis Sloss, and Lewis Gerstle was its first vice-president. Among the original stockholders were Simon Greenewald, Hayward M. Hutchinson, Albert Boscowitz, William Kohl, August Wasermann Gustave Niebaum, and General John F. Miller. Sea Captain Niebaum's extensive knowledge of the waters, animals and inhabitants of the territory would prove invaluable to the new company and its partner-owners; so much so that they made him the youngest partner in the operation.

Part Three- The Real Origins of Inglenook Vineyards
Copyright By John M. Olney, July 2, 2005 All rights reserved

Sources Books: (1)Historical and Descriptive Sketchbook of Napa, Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino, 1873, Menefee, C. A., Reporter Publishing House (1993); (2) Illustrations of Napa County, California: Historical Sketch, Oakland, 1878, Smith & Elliot; (3) History of Napa Co. California, 1881, Slocum, Bowen & Co. Publishers; (4) History of Napa County, Wallace, W. E., 1901, Enquirer Print; (5) Wine Country - A History of Napa Valley - The early years: 1838-1920, Heintz, Wm., 1990, Capra Pres:
Sources Internet: (1) -- The Cabin Boy Who Became a Multimillionaire, K-G Olin; (2) web site “”; (3) INGLENOOK - GUSTAVE NIEBAUM ; (4) (5) ; (6) ; (7) website:

The cast of characters associated with and/or surrounding Gustave Niebaum and his involvement in the Alaska Commercial Company (ACC) in the late 1870-80s reads like a who’s who of business and politics of both the developed USA (east of the Mississippi) and the developing state of California. He had partners in the ACC who were already entrenched in the business and social structure of Napa Valley. He would marry into the “right” San Francisco family and he would become the head of what was obviously one the most important companies operating out of San Francisco. I compare the ACC in its day to the modern multi-millionaire-generator, Microsoft. Many early ACC shareholders, and especially its original founders, were made millionaires off the company’s business success.

In 1869, Serranus Clinton Hastings, California’s first Chief Justice (1850s)of the State Supreme Court and winegrower in Napa Valley traveled with his friend, William H. Seward, to the Alaskan territory. This was Seward’s first visit to the newly acquired property he had fought so hard for among the two legislative bodies of Congress. Another soon-to-be Napan located in Alaska at this time was John A. Fuller. He arrived there in 1866 and became a Councilman for the town of Sitka, which is located on the Pacific Coastline, west of Juneau. His civilian job was agent for the Russian American Company in its closing days. Fuller had arranged for a large amount of yellow cedar to be milled and given to the then-Governor Seward for his library in New York. Fuller would, in 1872, come to Napa and become a prominent citizen of the community holding such prestigious positions as Mayor of Napa (1899). Today, he is honored with a park on the western outskirts of downtown Napa named after him.

Following a two-year stint as Chief Justice, Hastings became California’s Attorney General for a term of two years. In 1853, the Judge retired from government serve to focus his attentions on his various investments in private enterprise which were mostly concentrated in Napa and Lake Counties.. He moved from his San Francisco home to his property in Rutherford, located just south of St. Helena in Napa Valley. He named this property, “ Madrone Villa,” and he owned vineyards and a small winery that he called “Nook Farm.” His property consisted of three parcels: “Home Farm” was 28 acres southwest of Rutherford; closer to Rutherford were two parcels one 33 acres and the other 43 acres, all planted in grape vines mostly of foreign varietal. All of this property was on the western side of what is now known as Highway 29.

In 1878, he provided a gift of $100,000 to the State, to establish what became the now famous ”Hasting College of Law,” located in San Francisco and is part of the University of California system. He was appointed its first dean.

At the intersection of Highway 29 and Rutherford Cross Road, on the western side, was located the vineyards and winery of William Campbell Watson who had originally designated the name of his property as “Inglenook,” which is Scottish and translates into something like “fireside corner.” Watson was born 1843, and moved to California in the early 1860s. In 1864, he married Elizabeth Anne Davis, a native of San Francisco California. Her Grandfather was George Yount, the first frontiersman to settle in Napa Valley and the first to receive a Mexican Land Grant (Rancho Caymus) back in 1838. Her elder sister was the first Anglo-Saxon child born in San Francisco in April of 1845. The town of Yountville - originally called Sebastopol - was named after George Yount.

Watson was a director at Bank of Napa. He was one of the original officers of the Bank which was organized in 1871. His position was Secretary and Cashier. He remained Cahier for 10 years. He purchased his land in the mid-1800s. It was part of the original Mexican Land Grant given to George Yount. Watson created a magnificent estate on the property which stretched west from what is now called Highway 29 up the rolling hills of the Mayacamas Mountain range. In 1879, Watson sold his property to Gustave Niebaum. I still have not found the reason why Watson decided to sell off the great estate but my research continues.

Two years after he established the Hastings Law School. in 1880, Judge Hastings sold his Nook Farm To Niebaum As can been seen from the previous summaries of Judge Hasting business involvements, it appears that Judge Hasting and Sea Captain Niebaum had many common associates. Why Hastings sold his Rutherford holdings when he did has not yet been revealed to me, but I continue researching for an answer.

Completing land buying spree of Niebaum, was his purchase of “Mrs. D. S. Ruhlwing's farm.” Located adjacent to the Inglenook property. To date I have found little discussion about this property but my research continues for more information.

The winegrowing business had been good to all, especially in the north valley area around St. Helena. All of the directors of the newly formed Bank of St. Helena in 1882 came from the winegrowing industry. They included Charles Krug (of the great Krug Estate now owned by Peter Mondavi Family), Seneca Ewer (of Ewer & Atkinson - now Beaulieu owned by Diageo of Great Britain), Judge Serranus Clinton Hastings (of Nook Farms in Rutherford, which was also purchased by Niebaum and absorbed into the now much larger Inglenook Vineyard Company). William Whittingham Lyman (now El Molino winery), William Scheffler (of Edge Hill winery/distillery - now owned by Leslie Rudd), Gustave Niebaum ( Inglenook Vineyard Company- now owned by Francis Ford Coppola), Henry W. Crabb (of To-Kalon vineyards - purchased by Robert Mondavi Winery who is now owned by Constellation), and other major winery and vineyard owners of the times. (Incidentally, today, the Bank of St. Helena building is one of the hot nightlife clubs in Napa County. It is called the “1351 Lounge” and named after the street address. Even the original bank vault door remains in the back of the club.)

The second of Hastings’ four daughters, Flora A. Hastings, married W. S. Keyes, the son of General Erasmas D. Keyes who created what would become “Edge Hill Winery & Distillery,” located on White Sulphur Creek Road, St. Helena. (now owned by Leslie Rudd). in 1888, W. S. and , Flora Keyes built “La Liparita Vineyard” winery (now owned by Bob and Fern Burrows), located up on Howell Mountain, just south of the city of Angwin. Judge Hastings died in 1893

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Copyright by John M. Olney, March 11, 2005. All rights reserved.

Bouchaine Vineyards
(Now owned by Gerret & Tatiana Van S. Copeland, a duPont heir)
Progression of ownership
Boone (a.k.a. Boon) Fly
Johnny Garetto
Beringer Brothers
Gerret Copeland, et al
This property lies within the region known as the Spanish name “Carneros”, which translates to “sheep” in English. It is one of a few appellations, which cross county lines as it contains wineries located in both Napa and Sonoma Counties.

The first owner to grow grapes on this land was a man named Boon (a.k.a. Boone) Fly. Although my research to date has revealed little about the individual, he was apparently a man of some significance in the region as sites named after him such as “Fly’s Landing” in the marshlands along the Napa River approaching San Pablo bay. From what I can gather, he was primarily a general farmer on property he purchased in the early to mid 1850s. He grew a limited number of vineyard acres.

Another man who became well known in Napa County worked on the Fly farm. Theron H. Ink was born in New York in 1831. In 1852, he heard about the land and prospects of the newly opened state of California from friends he made while he was a schoolteacher. With these friends he completed the journey by wagon train arriving in the Sacramento-Stockton area. He tried his hand at gold digging and was somewhat successful in the town of Colma: town in which the sawmill worker, John Marshall found the first gold on John Sutter’s property in 1848. In fact, Ink’s claim was almost on top of the stream area where Marshall made his find. Ink was able to earn up to about $200 per day working his claim. When it dried up, he moved on to American Flat, along the American River. Here, he hired on with a company using flume technology in attempt to extract gold. It bellied up and Ink and expended most his savings in hope of riches.

He then moved to Napa Valley in 1853 and hired on at Jonathan Hungerford’s farm who lived off Sonoma road. He left there and went to work for Boone (a.k.a. Boon) Fly plowing fields hauling wood and threshing. In 1854, Ink and a man named Reese Smith rented Fly’s place. Ink and Reese planted and cultivated 200 acres of wheat. Unfortunately they lost all but a few acres to a wheat disease. (Why Ink rented it out is not explained. I am still seeking an answer in my research work).

Ink is next found working land on property owned by one T. O. Larkin. Ink had been informed that the property was Government land but he learned that it was not. He was forced to buy the 240-acres of land that required him to incur heavy debt financing. He lived and farmed the land until 1860. San Francisco was his principal market that he delivered to by boat. In 1861, he sold his interests and moved to Marin County. (See my expanded research on Mr. Ink and his return to Napa Valley in another chapter of my stories.)

The next time I read about Boone (a.k.a. Boone) Fly, it is on the website “” where the write-up indicates that Fly was growing grapes and fruit tries on his property in the late 1880s. (I am still attempting to collaborate this statement).

From the Bouchaine website, I find that about 1900, Southern Pacific railway built a station near Fly’s property, which was called the “Bulchi Station.” This still requires research to confirm, but I’m pretty sure that this done near or on the land of John M. Buchle (a.k.a. Bulchi). He was born in Switzerland, in 1843 and migrated to California in 1870. In 1882, he purchased his Carneros region ranch where he maintained cows, six acres of vineyard and a small winery where he produce wine from his own grapes.

One reference, “,” records a Johnny Garetto as having built a winery on his place: the former Fly property, in 1899. However, the following extraction from the Bouchaine website seems to indicate that Fly still owned the property: “Around the turn of the century the Southern Pacific Railroad erected Buchli Station in the lower part of Napa Valley to accommodate all the commerce going in and out of this agricultural paradise. Livestock fruit grains wines (including Garetto’s wines) and people all departed from Buchli Station for adventures around the globe.”

I contacted the Carneros Quality Alliance and by e-mail received a reply that indicated Garetto purchased the Fly property in 1927 and began construction of a winery shortly thereafter. The site indicating that the date was 1929 and that Garetto was an “Italian home winemaker.” Then, in ___(ref.)____ , it was alleged that Johnny Garetto might have been “bootlegging" wine during the years of Prohibition. The Carneros Quality Alliance e-mail said the following: “John Garetto built the first winery building on the property before Prohibition but it was the only one in Carneros that survived Prohibition.” Most of the reference resources kind of come together about the year 1935 as when Garetto completed his winery and become a bonded producer. The site indicates that Garetto’s winery was the first post-Prohibition winery to operate in the entire Carneros region.

It seems to this author that everybody is walking lightly about the Prohibition era and trying not to get pinned down to saying that Johnny Garetto ran illegal wine during Prohibition. It really does not matter, as the whole 14-year period of Prohibition was a silly exercise in attempting to legislate social behavior. Those who were caught selling booze during that period were really no more or less guilty than their buyers, few of which were ever prosecuted for illegally drinking an outlawed beverage. There, I said it! I got my biased opinion out there! I am attempting to meet with some of the old Napans from that era and area who are still with us to develop a census opinion as to what happened to and on Fly’ property during the 1900 to 1933 timeframe.

The next owner of the property was Beringer Vineyards. The Beringer family bought the property in 1951 for use as wine blending and storage facility. For more information on this period, please refer to my separate story on the Beringer Brothers (now owned by Fosters of Australia).

About 30 years later, in 1981, the owners of Beringer no longer wanted the property and it was sold to group of investors composed of Gerret Van S. Copeland (an heir of the duPont family), Richard Sutton and Austin Kiplinger (publisher of the” Kiplinger Washington newsletter” and "Changing Times" magazine.) They originally renamed the winery “Chateau Bouchaine.” The old white barn-like building was remodeled into a modern winery.

About Richard Sutton. (In research)

About Austin Kiplinger. His father, W.M. Kiplinger, created a form of business journalism --”Kiplinger Washington newsletter” -- that simplified complex financial matters so the average reader could grasp them and make monetary decisions. Although Austin worked at his father’s newsletter when he was growing up, he sought a different career. He was a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle just before he served in the navy during WW II. Following the war, he returned home and assisted his father in the start up of the publication, “Changing Times” magazine in 1946.

He still wanted his own career, so departed and joined the “Chicago Journal of Commerce” as a columnist. About this time television was making itself felt in the media and he saw opportunity. So while still in Chicago, he jumped to NBC and ABC to cover politics. He was the first broadcaster on TV business news.

In 1961 he succeeded his father as editor-in-chief of the Kiplinger newsletter that were collectively renamed, “Kiplinger Personal Finance.” He also became involved as a member of the board of directors in a number of community projects.

About Gerret Van S. Copeland. Gerret is the son of Lammot duPont Copeland, the 11th president of duPont and his wife, Pamela Cunningham duPont. Both parents are deceased. The du Pont family members are no longer active in management of the duPont business. Lammot du Pont Copeland was the last family member to head the firm and hestepped down in 1968.

It is estimated that the family members, on a whole, control about 20% of the company’s stock, thus, the can still exert their influence on the operations of the great company. The duPont family heirs who remain shareholders receive a private meeting once a year with senior executive and management about the status of the company.

The Copeland’s are involved in a number of community charities and projects in the home state of Delaware.

In the early 1990s, the Copeland’s (Gerret and Tatiana) bought out the interests of the other partners, renamed the winery property, “Bouchaine Vineyards,” and set about to totally upgrade the facilities again.

When I first arrived in Napa County back in 1984, I visited the winery to solicit use of their label on my first wine label poster-map featuring 85 labels from different Napa Valley wineries. I received their permission and the label is displayed on my first wine-label poster-map. I have witnessed the growth and changes in the look of Bouchaine over the years.


Preliminary Draft -- History in Development
Copyright by John M. Olney, March 11, 2005 all rights reserved

Alfred Lovering Tubbs
(1827 - 1896)
The Major Business Enterprises
Tubbs Cordage Company, San Francisco
Tubbs Hotel, Oakland
Hillcrest Estate & Chateau Montelena Winery, Calistoga

Part 1 - About The Tubbs San Francisco, California Operations

Alfred L. Tubbs, born in Deering, NH, in 1827, came to California in the early 1850s with his older brother, Hiram, (also born in Deering, but in 1824). Alfred married Miss Elizabeth Chapin and Hiram married Abby Ann Stanyan. Apparently Alfred became a member of the San Francisco Vigilance Committee immediately upon his arrival for his signature is shown on the roll sheet of a _______, 1851 meeting of the Committee. Others in attendance who had business interests in Napa also signed in at this meeting. They were Sam Brannan, California’s first millionaire and creator of Calistoga, and Jacob P. Leese, who received one of the 14 Mexican Land Grants given out by General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo in the mid-1830s.

The brothers started the Tubbs Cordage Company in 1856 and they built their business on a site now occupied by San Francisco’s Muni’s Woods Yard. (See my photos coming soon). Originally the land was owned by the De Haro family. Prior to them the land was had been used for cattle and goat grazing. Review of the Sanborn Insurance maps of 1899, shows that Tubbs Cordage Company was located on a parcel encompassed by today’s streets of Iowa Street (west side), 22nd Street - formerly known as “Sierra Street“ (north side), 3rd Street (east side) and 23rd Street (south or bay side). (See my map coming soon ) They were producing rope and selling it to ship riggers and mining companies throughout the Western United States, Mexico, Peru,China and Japan.

This area is known as the “Potrero Hill” and Potrero Point” area located just south of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge about three miles from Market Street. The deep water adjacent to Potrero Point created an excellent opportunity for industrial development. The first to operate there were shipbuilding, ship repair and gunpowder storage. In 1854, E.I. du Pont de Nemours Company, one of the largest manufacturers of black gunpowder in the United States, constructed their first powder magazine on the West Coast near the corner of Maryland and Humboldt Streets, now the site of P.G. & E’s Potrero Power Plant. In 1855, Hazard Powder Company (Don’t you love that name!) constructed their gunpowder manufacturing facility on 23rd Street, between Maryland and Louisiana Streets. They built wharves for loading kegs onto ships. These gunpowder manufacturers continued operations until the encroachment of other bus- inesses and labor resource housing made it too dangerous to have people and hazardous materials in close proximity to each other. By 1881 both companies sold their plants to Claus Spreckels (the sugar giant) and moved to rural Contra Costa County. (See the history and growth of Port Chicago)

The establishment of San Francisco Cordage Manufactory (a.k.a. Tubbs Cordage Co.) at Potrero Point in 1856 had much to do with the industrialization of Potrero Point and the demise of the gunpowder manufacturer’s. These new industries also required land with deep-water access. The initial Tubb’s building was a 35’ x 1,000’, one-story, wood-frame shed that extended in a southeasterly direction from the present-day intersection of Iowa and 22nd Streets to a wharf in the bay (see artist rendition). Inside the shed was the ropewalk: initially about 1000’ long, it was eventually extended another 500’. The workers used this shed to twist strands of yarn made from hemp and abaca fibers into ropes. There was also a 1500-foot ropewalk extending to the bay shoreline, which was probably used as a wharf. This shed/rope walk reached the original shoreline right about 22nd and _______. Today, the shoreline, developed after massive landfill, is a good ______ away from the original site shoreline. Tubbs was also a ships’ chandlers company. (See Part 2 to my Tubbs saga)

In 1862, The Cordage Company, of San Francisco, became a full-fledged corporation with the filing of articles of incorporation in Sacramento. It was capitalized with $100,000 and it. Trustees were Alfred L. and Hiram Tubbs, James C. and Edward P. Flint, and George H. Kellogg. (My research on the latter three continues)

By 1889 the company was renamed Tubbs Cordage Company and it became one of the largest employers in the community of “Dogpatch” that had grown up just north of the plant in the l870s and 1880s. “Dogpatch” included roughly a nine-block area of residential housing of the industrial workers employed by the Potrero Point industrial companies. The neighborhood contains about 100 flats and cottages, and numerous commercial, industrial and government buildings. The area was developed between 1870 and 1930. The earliest surviving dwelling in Dogpatch was constructed in 1872 for a boat builder named William J. Thompson, employed by a local boat builder in the proximity of Illinois Street.

In addition to Tubbs Cordage Co., the Coast Survey Map of 1883 -- the first was taken in 1869 -- listed the following significant industries along the shores of the landfill area:

The boatyards (REWRITE BELOW)

The early shipyards illustrated the potential of the district as a major shipbuilding center, a realization not lost on the owners of Union Iron Works and other major San Francisco manufacturers. Most important to the history of Dogpatch, the boat yards began to attract a significant residential labor force to the area.

In 1862 John North, San Francisco’s most prominent shipbuilder, led the way by relocating his shipyard from Steamboat Point on the northern edge of Mission Bay to a large site near the foot of Sierra Street (now 22nd Street) on Potrero Point. Other boat and ship builders followed North to Potrero Point. The construction of boatyards began to change the landscape of Potrero Point. The 1869 Coast Survey map shows five wharves and shipways along the rugged coastline of Potrero Point, two blocks east of what is now Dogpatch ( See Figure __).

San Francisco Gas Light Company (later known as Pacific Gas & Electric),

The San Francisco Gas Light Company commenced operations in 1872 and parts of it exist today in the present plant owned by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Construction began in 1870 in four- block area fronting the bay and stretching between Humboldt and Sierra (now renamed 22nd) Streets. In 1873, the City Gas Company merged with the Metropolitan Gas Company and the San Francisco Gas Company to form the San Francisco Gas Light Company. In 1899 the company expanded its physical presence in Potrero Point by constructing a large power house, machine shop, meter house and purifying house on Humboldt Street to the southeast of the survey area (these buildings still stand).

Pacific Rolling Mills (Becomes Bethlehem Steel) On May 10, 1866 Pacific Rolling Mills was organized by the industrialists William Alvord, John Bensley and D.O. Mills. In that year they successfully received a grant of submerged land north of Potrero Point from the State Legislature. Alvord, the president of Pacific Rolling Mills then purchased approximately twenty acres on the north shore of Potrero Point and began building wharves and buildings at the foot of Napa Street (now 20th Street). In July 1868 Pacific Rolling Mills began producing rolled steel, the first product of this kind on the West Coast. Pacific Rolling Mills turned out about 30,000 tons of iron and 10,000 tons of steel annually and gradually specialized in the manufacture of rails, locomotive parts, marine and engine forgings, bolts, nuts, railroad spikes, track nails, washers and coil chains.

In the mid-1890s Pacific Rolling Mills was renamed Risdon Iron & Locomotive Works and the company changed its emphasis to building dredges,which had been invented by the company in 1897 to support gold mining operations. In 1911 Bethlehem Steel bought out Risdon and merged the plant with their adjacent San Francisco Yard.


Union Iron Works was founded in 1849 by the brothers Peter, James and Michael Donahue and although little more than a blacksmith’s shop, the business was the first iron works established on the West Coast. Gradually, Union Iron works bought out its nearby competitors at Potrero Point,including Atlas Iron Works and Risdon Locomotive Works. In 1862 the company became known as Donahue Iron & Brass Company.

In 1865 Union Iron Works built the first locomotive on the West Coast for the San Francisco-San Jose Railroad. Within the next decade Union Iron Works was manufacturing most of the heavy machinery used by mining companies working the Comstock Lode. By 1865, Donahue had sold his interest in the Union Iron Works and it became known as H. J. Booth & Co. I n the early 1880s, Booth & Co. in turn was reorganized under the management of partner Irving Murray Scott and renamed Prescott, Scott & Co.

The first military contracts completed were the battle cruisers Charleston and San Francisco, which were launched in 1888, the first cruisers launched on the West Coast. Then came the cruiser Olympia and the battleship Oregon (launched in 1893).

In 1902 the United States Shipbuilding Company, a trust headed by Lewis Nixon and Charles Schwab, acquired Union Iron Works, as well as seven other major shipyards in the nation. After the company went into receivership Charles M. Schwab successfully bid $1,000,000 for the Union Iron Works on behalf of Bethlehem Steel, at a public auction in 1905. Schwab appointed Joseph J. Tynan as the new superintendent of Bethlehem Steel’s San Francisco Yard, as Union Iron Works was renamed. In 1911 Bethlehem Steel purchased Risdon Iron & Locomotive Shipbuilding Works (formerly Pacific Rolling Mills) and added them to the San Francisco Yard.

Sugar Refineries (REWRTE)

Sea Island Sugar House

In 1863, Claus Spreckels sold his store for $50,000 and his brewery for $75,000 and organized the small Bay Area Sugar Refinery in San Francisco, and this business, like those before, boomed. In 1866, he reorgan- ized and built the California Sugar Refinery in San Francisco to produce 12 tons per day. By 1869, he was producing 60 tons per day. By 1871, 125 tons per day. The brand name for the Spreckels product was "Sea Island Sugar."

California Sugar Refinery.

In 1881, Spreckels purchased a five-block site (former gunpowder manufacturers) on the south shore of Potrero Point, east of Louisiana and south of Humboldt Streets, and commenced construction of the California Sugar Refinery. The massive brick buildings which comprised the plant included the Melt/Filter House, the Wash House and the Char House. All of this was from sugar cane imported from Hawaii, the Philippines, China, Java and the Sacramento River Delta (by barge). The plant produced 900 tons per day.

The California Sugar Refinery was purchased by the American Sugar Refining Company in 1891 and renamed the Western Sugar Refinery by its new owners. In 1949, California & Hawaiian Sugar Refining Corporation bought the Refinery. After determining that the plant was too old to be refurbished and modernized at a cost that would make it profitable, the machinery was sold for scrap in 1951 and the building demolished.

California Poppy Soap Company (My research on this industry continues)

California Barrel Company

First established at Potrero Point in 1884 on Louisiana Street, between Humboldt and Nevada Streets, the company was one of the earliest barrel manufacturers in San Francisco. In 1900 the factory was relocated to Sierra and Illinois Streets, where it remained in operation until 1956. The site is now occupied by a P.G. & E. parking lot.

Arctic Oil Works

San Francisco was the biggest whaling port in the world during the during time- frame of 1882-1908 and this company was part of it. (My research on this industry continues) The site was eventually replaced by Union Oil's petroleum depot by the turn of the 1900s.

Farming & Ranching

Ramon-Hawes Ranch

Charles Hawes build a fairly good size home and established the Ramon-Hawes Ranch with the Ramon family. They had a cattle barn and large windmill on the property all of which they operated until 1912.

Southern Pacific Cattle Yards

(My research on this industry continues)

Preliminary Draft - History in Development

SEE PART 2 for more stuff on Tubbs & Chateau Montelena

Preliminary Draft - History in Development
Copyright by John M. Olney, March 11, 2005

Folger & Tubbs, ship chandlers, 49 Pacific, San Francisco was another of the Tubbs Brothers enterprises in San Francisco. (more text coming here soon)

About the Tubbs Oakland, California Operations

In 1870, after amassing quite a fortune from their business enterprises, the Tubbs brothers created a magnificent hotel in the _________ area of Oakland. It was simply called “Tubbs Hotel,” but it was not a simple looking facility. (See picture coming soon) Its size was quite impressive. It occupied all the land between 4th and 5th Avenues and East 12th and East 14th Streets in Oakland. The brothers even constructed a streetcar system to transport vacationers and businessmen between their hotel and downtown Oakland.

Included in their guest lists were Anthony Chabot who’s brother built the Villa Remi winery near the St. Helena Hospital in Deer Park, along the road to Angwin in Napa County, California. Another prominent guest was Robert Louis Stevenson, the author who wrote about Jacob Schram’s winery (now Schramsberg winery) in his book, “Silverado Squatters,” after he and his bride visited Calistoga, California in 1880. Famous author-genius, Gertrude Stein and her brother, Leo, stayed at the Tubbs Hotel before she left America in 1904. She did not return for almost 30 years.
Sadly the hotel suffered the most common calamity of the times- massive fire - and burned to the ground in 1893.

About the Tubbs Napa Valley, California Operations

In the late 1870s, Alfred Tubbs and his family frequented the White Sulphur Springs Resort located just to the southwest of downtown St. Helena. The owner of the property at that time was Swen Alstrom who was a major partner in the San Francisco hotels Oriental and Lick House (corner of Sutter and Montgomery, San Francisco- burned down following the 1906 earthquake). (MORE HERE)

In 1882, Tubbs purchased the John Hoover farm (200 acres) and the J.M. Wright farm (122 acres) at the southern base of Mt. St. Helena in Calistoga. First he built his home, a magnificent mansion on a hill and a wood-frame winery with a reported capacity of 150,000 gallons. The 1st crush was in 1886. This wooden winery was later destroyed by fire. The estate consisted of 322 acres of vineyard and pasture lands upon the hillside as well as the flatlands of the valley. He had planted 110 acres of vines and envisioned planting another fifty with Cabernet Sauvignon. Tubbs retained Hoover to manage the estate property.

The Ch. Montelena website indicates that "by 1896 his stone winery (2nd he built), christened Chateau Montelena (a contracted form of Mount Saint Helena), was the seventh largest in the Napa Valley." The capacity of the cellar was reportedly 265,000 gallons.

Jerome Bardot was the cellar master. He was native of Arbois, in the Jura, France. In 1878 he came to Napa County and worked for Jacob Schram - now known as Schramsberg winery -who shared wine with the famous author, Robert Lewis Stevenson (wrote Silverado Squatters, Treasure Island among other great books). He remained with Schram until mid-year 1884. The wines he made earned gold metals at Sacramento and at London, England, for superior excellence. (GET EXACT YEAR AND VARIETAL) In 1885, Bardot made an extended visit throughout all the wine regions of Europe. He took with him a collection of the California wines and offered his contacts tastes of what could be made in Napa.. When he returned to California in 1885, he went to worked for the Napa Valley Wine Company (NVWC) which had been formed in 1883 by Tubbs, Charles Krug and others. In 1886, Tubbs stole Bardot away from the NVWC and he became cellar master at Chateau Montelena.

In 1891, Tubbs went on a buying trip to Europe where he purchased vines from the Liebfraumilch vineyard at Johannisburg, Chateau Yquem, and Chateau Latite to be used to further upgrade the quality of his wines.

Alfred L.Tubbs death came in 1896. His brother, Hiram, died a year later in 1897. In San Francisco, The street between 22nd and 23rd, and stretching between Indiana and Tennessee was named “Tubbs” in their honor. It is interesting to note that all of the male children and grandchildren of the Tubbs brothers’ were identified with the Tubbs Cordage Company in one capacity or another. Also, it should be noted that some of the husbands of the daughters of these two men were bookkeepers with the Tubbs Cordage Co.

Alfred and his wife, Elizabeth Chapin, produced three sons and one daughter. They would continue both the San Francisco and Napa Valley businesses. All three of his sons graduated from Harvard University.

Austin C. Tubbs, the third son, married Miss Anne Tallant, daughter of the late Drury John Tallant and they had two children. Austin C. Tubbs died in November 1899 (check shown by Pacific Club) The older son, Austin, died in 1901. Tallant, the younger son, was employed by Tubbs Cordage. However, his career took him to many endeavors. During the period 1925-1937, he served as a state Senator. In the year 1932, the Democratic party supported his canididcy for U.S. Senator. (MORE RESEARCH AS TO ELECTION OUTCOME)
The second son, William Bray Tubbs, also worked for the Tubbs Cordage Company until his death in December 1915 shown by Pacific Club. He married Jennie Filkins, and they had two children: Chapin Filkins Tubbs and Emilie Tubbs.
The first son, Alfred Steward Tubbs, assumed presidency of the Tubbs Cordage Co. He married Miss Alice Hagar, and they had no children as of 1924 . (NEED MORE HERE)

Alfred and Elizabeth Tubbs only daughter was Nettie Kellogg Tubbs. In 1892, she married Joseph S. Oyster, a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. (My research continues on her).
Tubbs Holdings following repeal of Prohibition (REWRITE ALL)

Prohibition brought about the closure of the Tubbs family winery operation in Calistoga; however, they continued to be in the grape growing business. Tallant Tubbs was active during the period of Prohibition in generating political support to repeal the 18th Amendment The Tubbs family continued to use the Hillcrest Estate until 1958 when they sold the property. It was good fortune that they sold when they did because the giant Hanley Ranch fire in 1964 swept through their former property totally destroying the mansion and farm building sparing only the stone winery nestled safely against the hillside.

San Francisco City Directories reveal that Tubbs Cordage Company remained a major manufacturer in San Franciscoand employer in Dogpatch from the late 1870s until the San Francisco facility was shut down in 1962. The complex was gradually demolished and in 1978 the last remaining buildings were replaced by a bus yard for the San Francisco Municipal Railway system.

In addition to having a Potrero area street named after him, the Tubbs Cordage Company office building was salvaged and moved to the Aquatic Park area at the north end of Hyde Street, near Fisherman’s Wharf, where it can be viewed as a National Historical Building. In addition to the above recognition, the most northern street north of Calistoga was named after Tubbs. (It crosses the valley floor and connects Hwy 128 going to Santa Rosa and Hwy 29 going to Clear Lake)

The Yort Wing Frank Era at Hillcrest/Chateau Montelena (REWRITE ALL)

“York and his wife Jade (SOME SOURCES SAY HER NAME WAS JEANNE - CONFIRM HER NAME) bought the property and converted the upper floor of the building into their residence. He did not use the winery facility however he created the Oriental Water Garden, which remains on the property today. It includes a 5-acre lake surrounding four island interconnected by curved oriental design walking bridges, and replica of a Chinese Junk.” (JUNK GONE ON MY MAR 10, 05 VISIT TO PROPERTY)
Jade Lake is considered one of Napa Valley's most beautiful sanctuaries home to a variety of fish and wildlife and surrounded by weeping willows and native fauna.”

“During the long interval between Tubbs proprietorship and the current one, one owner, Yort Frank began to make the property into a showcase Chinese garden. His legacy --a lake with a tea houses on islands-- makes a serene setting for picnics."

The Rebirth of Winegrowing at Chateau Montelena (UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

In 1968, Lee and Helen Paschich purchased the winegrowing property and they too resided in the converted second floor of the winery. They were joined shortly thereafter by two partners: James L. Barrett, a Southern California lawyer, and Earnest Hahn, a Chicago area supermarket developer and Southern California Mall developer. (more to come here)
Preliminary Draft - History in Development
"Part Two - Chateau Montelena Reborn" will be available shortly.


Part 1 --Charles Krug Era (Duration: 1860-1892)
(Now owned and operated by the Peter Mondavi Family)

Source (s): (1) History of Napa Co. California, 1881, Slocum, Bowen & Co. Publishers; (2) Memorial and Biographical History of Northern California, The Lewis Publishing Co., 1891; (3) History of Napa County, Wallace, W. E., 1901, Enquirer Print; (4) Wine Country - A history of Napa Valley - The early years: 1838-1920, Heintz, Wm., 1990, Capra Pres; (5) Old Napa Valley - The History to 1900, Lin Weber, 1995, Wine Ventures Publishing; (6) American Vintage - The Rise of American Wine, Paul Lukacs, 2000, Houghton Mifflin Co.
Charles Krug came to San Francisco, California from Philadelphia in 1852 and was a journalist-editor for Staats Zeitung, the first German newspaper published in California. It originated in New York in 1834. Krug remained at this position until 1854. {The German-American Herman Ridder bought out Staats Zeitung in 1892. Under his ownership it became an American corporate empire known as the media giant Knight-Ridder.}
Krug them moved to the Crystal Springs area of San Mateo where he worked a land claim in attempt to grow grapes. Colonel Agoston Haraszthy was also working grapes in the area. He would become labeled as the man who initiated California wine. How long, and the extent to which these two men knew each other in San Mateo, appears to be undocumented. They did however quickly learn that the cold, damp environment of the peninsula was not at all suitable to wine grape production. Then both men were next found working at the new San Francisco Mint constructed in 1855.
One can only presume that either Haraszthy or Krug, or both, conducted some sort of research in order to determine that they best move to the more agreeable grape growing conditions that could be found north of San Francisco, because that’s where they were subsequently found together in the Carneros area jointly shared by Napa and Sonoma Counties.
The origin of the great Charles Krug ranch begins with his introduction to the family of a man named "Dr." Edward T. Bale. Let me explain the importance of this introduction before going on any further about Krug himself. In 1840, Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, the Mexican government’s military authority in the northern California area, appointed Bale to be the surgeon-in-chief of his Army. None of my research reference material reports on exactly how he became a “doctor.” Apparently Dr. Bale had no degree and had not been formally trained as a physician. However, there was sufficient evidence of his talents to give Vallejo the confidence to choose him as his surgeon-in-chief. In 1841, when Bale married Maria Guadalupe Soberanes, the niece of Vallejo, he received a 17,000-acre land grant from the Mexican Government via Vallejo’s authority. It was only the fourth land grant awarded since the Mexican's wrestled sovereignty over Mexico -- and its northern area known as Alta California -- away from Spanish rule. Bale’s property stretched from the northern boundary of George Yount's land (the first land grant made in the area), all the way to about Tubbs Lane (Named after the creator of Chateau Montelena winery) in Calistoga. Dr. Bale constructed a gristmill on the western side of his property along the gentle sloping portion of land at the foot of the Mayacamas range.

For those readers unfamiliar with this equipment, it a building in which wheat is separated to extract the grain which in turn is ground under a very large stone wheel to produce flour. During this timeframe, the primary source of power was stream water dropping onto a paddlewheel connected through special gearing that turned the grinding stone.

On the eastern boundary of his land grant, along the Napa River, he constructed a sawmill.
{California State Historical Landmark No. 359 - Old Bale Mill -- The restored gristmill can be visited in the historical park of the same name located on the west side of Hwy 29/128, between St. Helena and Calistoga. Federal listing - Bale Mill (added 1972 - Building - #72000240)}
In 1858, Isadora married a man named Louis Bruck. Following Bale’s death, she received the gristmill and surrounding property as part of her inheritance. The subsequent relatively rapid dilution of the land grant property resulted in the creation of a number of well known, and still standing, wineries including Ehlers Estate, Beringer Brothers, Lyman’s winery-now El Molino, Tychson’s winery-now Freemark Abbey, General Keyes’ Edge Hill winery & distillery-now owned by Leslie Rudd, Greystone-now Culinary Institute of America, and other wineries, White Sulfur Springs Spa & Resort, and the city of St. Helena itself.The Bruck’s would sell the gristmill property about the same time that Louis became aware of the winemaking talents of Charles Krug.
Bruck’s interest in Krug was generated by the latter’s efforts with a John Patchett located in the town of Napa. Patchett met Krug in 1858 when he took a trip to Sonoma. Krug was working with Colonel Agostin (also sometimes written as Agiston or Agoston) Haraszthy -- often called the “Father of California Viticulture” -- and others on a 20-acre vineyard site in Sonoma (eventually known as Buena Vista Society winery). He liked what he saw and asked Krug to come to his winery in Napa and make wine for him using Patchett’s grapes crushed in a cider press. The only other commercial wine production of any significance prior to Krug’s effort for Patchett was that conducted by Colonel Haraszthy in Sonoma in 1857 and Charles Kohler of the San Franciscan wine merchant firm of Kohler & Frohling in 1855 {The wine was probably made at their large Petaluma winery site). Although many writers credit Krug with the first commercial winery building in Napa County, it is probable that that honor should rightly belong to John Patchett since Krug would not build his own winery until two years later.

In 1859, Krug made wine for Louis Bruck on the Bale Mill property and a year later for the county’s first Caucasian settler - George Yount. Making wines for the early pioneers David Hudson, John York, George Tucker and Henry Owsley quickly followed these efforts, all located in or near the heart of the “Hot Springs Township“ now divided into the two towns known as St. Helena and Calistoga. Based on all of these efforts, it could be said that Charles Krug can lay claim to being the “First Consulting Winemaker in Northern California.”

{California State Historical Landmark No. 564 - George Yount ‘s original settlement - Located off Hwy 29, go north of Yountville, turn on to Yount Mill Road and follow it easterly as it bends back towards Yountville along the banks of Napa River. There you will find the marker and across from it still stands remnants of the old sawmill}

{California State Historical Landmark No.’s 682 & 683 - Sites of the York and Hudson cabins originally erected in 1845. They were both located on the SW corner of the intersection of Kortum Canyon Rd.-Lincoln Ave. and Hwy 29/128 in Calistoga. You may have to move the bush branches and weeds around to read the plaque. York is credited with discovering the White Sulphur Springs, which later became the first California resort spa. Hudson would buy property from Dr. Bale that would become part of the Beringer Brothers winery compound}.
About the time Krug was working with Louis Bruck, he met the other Bale daughter, Caroline, and in 1860 they married. The dowry for this marriage included over 500 acres of the Bale land grant bordering Napa River just north of the town of St. Helena, which included the Bale Sawmill. Krug built his first winery on this land in 1861. It was a small facility, half dug into the earth and having only a straw roof over the interior. In 1868, he started construction of a second and much larger complex on the property. It was to include a two-story stone winery, distillery, stables and homes. Then in 1874, the interior of the second winery building was destroyed by fire. His general manager/winemaker at the time was a young aspiring vintner named Jacob Beringer who would in turn become a well-known figure in producing quality wines. Beringer was reported to have personally attempted to extinguish the fire but to no avail. Because of Krug’s strong drive he immediately began reconstruction of the facility. Jacob Beringer would leave the Krug ranch in 1878 to work exclusively with his brother, Frederick, on the development of his own winegrowing business. Somewhere about this timeframe, Louis Bruck became Forman of the Krug ranch.

{California State Historical Landmark No. 563 - Founded in 1861 by Charles Krug (1825-1892), this is the oldest operating winery in Napa Valley. The pioneer winemaker of this world-famous region, Krug made the first commercial wine in Napa County at Napa in 1858. Federal Historical listing -Krug, Charles, Winery (added 1974 - Building - #74000542)}

Krug would, over the remaining 18 years of his life, become a major keystone to the development of the winegrowing industry of not only Napa Valley, but for all of California; indeed, for the nation itself. In 1875, Charles Krug founded the St. Helena Viticultural Society along with other prominent winegrowers of the time. One of those men included Seneca Ewer. {Ewer was co-owner of Ewer & Atkinson winery that would eventually be purchased by Georges de Latour and become Beaulieu Vineyards. It is now owned by Diageo, plc, which is the result of the merger of Grand Met and Guinness; two British giants.} Krug was the first president of the Society that would swell in membership over the next few years. Although the Society was originally formed to spread the word about the tiny louse, Phylloxera, and its catastrophic damage to the sensitive European varietals, it appeared to grow into a technical information sharing organization as well as a marketing arm for the encouragement of new people to join in on winemaking in upper Napa County. The Society could be viewed as a forerunner of the present day Napa Valley Vintners Association as well as the Wine Institute.

In the late 1870s, the industry had grown to such size that most knowledgeable growers and vintners were concerned with over-production, use of inferior varietals, misrepresentation in labeling and even wine diluting by eastern brokers, and the news of the tiny louse, Phylloxera, that was destroying the great vineyards of France. Political forces were at work pushing the legislative bodies in Sacramento to come to the rescue of the vineyard owners and winemakers. Along with other important men of the industry, Krug spoke to the body in February of 1880 to encourage them to support creation of a state board to look out for the interest of this rapidly growing agricultural economic base. They met with success and in the spring of 1880, and the Board of State Viticultural Commissioners was created. There were seven districts throughout California, each with a Commissioner appointed by the Governor plus two at-large Commissioners. Therefore, it can be said politics probably played an important role in the selection process for designation of each Commissioner. Krug was the first Commissioner to represent the Napa-Solano-Contra Costa district. He was also selected to be one of the three officers of the Board: he was chosen to be Treasurer.

In the early 1880s, Krug and others formed the Napa Valley Wine Company. It was designed to market the company’s wines on a national basis to counter the often fraudulent (watering down) and deceptive (using European names on labels) practices of eastern wine brokers and wholesalers.The winegrowing business had been good to all, especially in the north valley area around St. Helena. All of the directors of the newly formed Bank of St. Helena in 1882 came from the winegrowing industry. They included Krug, Ewer (of Ewer & Atkinson - now Beaulieu), Judge Serranus Clinton Hastings (of Nook Farms in Rutherford, which was also purchased by Georges de Latour and absorbed into Beaulieu, and Hastings Law College at UC Berkeley), William Whittingham Lyman (now El Molino winery), William Scheffler (of Edge Hill winery/distillery - now owned by Leslie Rudd), Gustave Niebaum (of Inglenook - now owned by Francis Ford Coppola), Henry W. Crabb (of To-Kalon vineyards - now owned mostly by the recent Robert Mondavi/Constellation merger), and other major winery and vineyard owners of the times.

{Today, the Bank of St. Helena building is one of the hot nightlife clubs in Napa County. It is called the “1351 Lounge” and named after the street address. Even the original bank vault door remains in the back of the club.}

However, the 1880s saw the influx of the dreaded phylloxera and year-by-year large acreage of vineyards were producing seriously lower tonnage or just simply died off. Winegrowers were challenged by the costs to replant and then wait for commercial yields to be produced, which amounted to four to five years of growth. By the middle of the decade, like many other great winegrowers of the time, Krug was suffering economic set back. By the beginning of the 1890s about half of the vineyards of Napa County had been lost to this tiny bug. Many winegrowers were over-extended relying heavily on loans to carry them through and Krug was no different. The Napa County Reporter newspaper published an article in 1885 listing all of the debts owed to others by Krug including personal loans from some of the original directors (Carver, Ewer and Niebaum) of the Bank of St. Helena as well as the bank itself. Add to these creditors, the Bank of Napa, Jacob Levi, Sr. (of Levi-Straus), Alfred Tubbs (Chateau Montelena winery) and many more.Wineries began to collapse. Scheffler bellied up in 1887, Krug finally was forced to insolvency in 1891, about year before his death. Other great winegrowers in financial trouble were Gottleib Groezinger’s winery & distillery operations in Yountville (now known as Vintage 1870 Stores) which went under in 1891, Alfred Tubbs’ Chateau Montelena winery discontinued operations in 1899 and Ewer’s partner, J.B. Atkinson’s vineyard (now part of St. SupÈry winery), also went down in 1899. H.W. Crabb’s To-Kalon winery (vineyards now mostly owned by the R. Mondavi -Constellation merger.) went bankrupt.

Compounding the Phylloxera problem was the growing temperance movement. Even in Napa County, where so much of the economy had become based on the production of wine, there were serious candidates running under the banner of the Prohibition Party. Maine was the first state to vote itself dry in 1851. However, the real struggle to abolish alcohol as an evil beast of mankind had begun in the post-civil war era. It took a strong hold on the public’s conception of alcohol consumption in the mid 1870s with the formation of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). It gained its most significant notoriety with the axe-welding Carrie Moore Nation. Kansas was the second dry state (1880), and over the decade, at least five more state would vote to go dry.

In 1888, William B. Bourn, II, and Everett J. Wise envisioned a sort of communal economic approach to solving the dreadful social and economic dilemmas that seemed to be facing the industry. They began construction of the Bourn & Wise Winery; probably the largest and most expensive stone winery to be built in California, if not the entire wine world. It was the first to use the newly discovered source of power called electricity and light bulbs to provide continuous and safe illumination after dark fell. What the partners offered was to build a facility in which they would crush the grapes and the participating growers could store their wine in their own space, until Bourn & Wise found a buyer at the price that grower could accept. The grower would be paid when Bourn & Wise were paid from the buyer. Alternatively, the grower could go ahead sell the grapes directly to Bourn & Wise for immediate payment. However, the growers were not fond of this method of resolving the agricultural crisis of the time and it was never implemented. In 1891, Wise sold his interest to Bourn.{The Bourn & Wise Winery probably became best known when it was under ownership of the California Wine Association, then by The Christian Brothers, and today by the Culinary Institute of America.}

Charles Krug died in November of 1892, just a couple years shy of the formation of the great California Wine Association (CWA). The original membership in the Association consisted of the Napa Valley Wine Company (which included Charles Carpy and all of his holdings -- Uncle Sam winery, Greystone - now the Culinary Institute of America, and C. Carpy & Sons -- Krug and others), the four major wine broker-merchants located in San Francisco (Kohler & Frohling, Kohler and Van Bergen, S. Lachman & Co. and B. Dreyfus & Co.), and others. The formation of the CWA would ensure the failure of the Bourn and Wise scheme and thus their winery. Bourn himself had given up and sold “Greystone” to Charles Carpy in the year the CWA was formed, although the Bourn family continued to own their original family estate and winery south of St. Helena.