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NB + Napa Library // Hidden History of Napa Valley, Alexandria Brown

  • Napa Public Library 580 Coombs Street Napa, CA, 94559 United States (map)

Napa Valley is known for its wine and winemakers, but just beneath the fertile soil lies another, more complex version of its history.

Uncover the story of Napa’s first Chinatown—once home to nearly five hundred immigrants—that dwindled to fewer than seventeen residents before the last buildings were razed in the early twentieth century. Meet the small but determined group of African American farmers and barbers who called Napa home and the indomitable May Howard, a successful businesswoman and brothel owner. Learn about the Bracero Program that kept many of Napa’s wineries, including Krug, Beaulieu and Stag’s Leap, thriving during World War II.

Join author Alexandria Brown as she explores these lesser-known stories of the ordinary people who helped shape Napa Valley.

Alexandria Brown grew up in Napa and attended Mills College, San Jose State University and Adams State University. She has a MS in library and information science and an MA in U.S. history. She was the head of the Research Library at the Napa County Historical Society and is currently on the board. She is a high school librarian and writes for In everything she does, diversity, equity and inclusion are at the forefront. Alexandria lives in the North Bay with her pet rats and ever-increasing piles of books. She can be found on Twitter (@QueenOfRats) and on her blog (

Hidden History of Napa Valley (Paperback)

By Alexandria Brown


ISBN: 9781467138994

Availability: On Our Shelves Now

Published: History Press - March 4th, 2019

Earlier Event: March 21
Napa Bookmine Book Club
Later Event: April 13
Poetry Crawl at Feast it Forward