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A Brief History of Napa County

Napa County was created 1850. It was named after Napa Valley. The word 'napa' is of Indian derivation and has been variously translated as "grizzly bear," "house," "motherland" or "fish." Of the many explanations of the names's origin, the most plausible seems to be that it is derived from the Patwin word napo meaning house.

In the 1830s, the Napa valley became one of the first in California to be settled by American farmers. When California was granted statehood in 1850, Napa Valley was in the territory of California, district of Sonoma. In 1850, when counties were first being organized, Napa became one of the original 27 counties of California with "Napa City" (later shortened to Napa) as the county seat.

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