The Silverado Trail

The first permanent road referred to as “the old back road” was built from Napa to Calistoga in 1952.  Around 1858, silver mining became popular in the hills at the northern end of the Valley.  Mr. Patchett, a local landowner, saw an opportunity to sell wine to the miners flocking to the area and began producing wine with the help of a cider press.  By 1872, elder miners moved to the southeastern corner of Mt. St. Helena creating Silverado City.  Several businesses and a hotel grew up around the claim and the population swelled to 1,500.  The silver vein had played-out by 1875 ending the short lived silver rush, and the miners moved on.  While on his honeymoon, Robert L. Stevenson found an abandoned shack in Silverado City in 1880, by then a ghost town.  Short on cash, he and his bride stayed for 3 weeks.  In 1883, he published Silverado Squatters, memoirs of his stay in Silverado City where he calls the old back road The Silverado Trail.  In 1921, the old back road was officially named the Silverado Trail.

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