Just finished reading a very interesting book about the City of Napa by Lauren Coodley with Paula Amen Schmitt titled “Napa The Transformation of an American Town“.
Couple of facts I discovered from reading it:
- “In 1924 Rudolph Boysen, a farmer and amateur horticulturalist, developed the boysenberry while living on Third Avenue, by combining pollen from a blackberry and “some other kind of berry.” When he left for Anaheim in 1925, he took six vines with him, which he planted in an orange grove. His new berry was 50 percent bigger and juicier than the blackberry, but no one was interested until 1932, when George Darrow, a scientist from the U. S. Department of Agriculture, went to Anaheim to find him. Darrow asked Walter Knott, a local berry expert, for help in the search. The two of them tracked down Boysen, who had become a city parks superintendent. He led them to the orange grove where the vines remained half dead, on the verge of extinction. They transplanted vines to Knott’s farm, and began selling berries at their farm stand in 1935. The size and popularity of what Knott dubbed “boysenberries” led to the sucess of Knott’s Berry Farm.”
- “A spectacular event occurred on F Street in 1915. Napa Register reporter Phyllis King described it as “the sounds of music and voices heard throughout the city seeming to come from the heavens. Many thought the world was coming to an end and scrambled for cover.” The sounds were produced by Peter Jensen and Edwin Pridham, who had moved to Napa from San Francisco to work on a new type of telephone receiver. Jensen recalled that “San Francisco businessman Dick O’Conner sent us out in the country where we could work undisturbed.” They bought their bungalow at 1606 F Street for $2,500. When they developed the “dynamic loud speaking telephone,” Jensen wrote, “It was the first `great voice’ … which became the voice of public speakers, the voice of film, and last but not least, the voice of radio.” Jensen and Pridham entertained Napans by playing records over their loudspeaker all that summer. The two left Napa in 1916 to establish a factory in Oakland, naming their company Magnavox, the Latin word for “great voice.””
- “Theresa Tamburelli owned and operated the Depot Restaurant along with her husband Joseph. The Depot was next to the train station, across the street from Rough Rider and the Brooklyn Hotel, next to the train station. In 1930, Tamburelli ran out of pasta dough while cooking for a visiting team from San Francisco baseball players. Remembering her mother’s cooking, she boiled up tiny dumplings of ravioli filling, and named it “malfatti”.”
I truly enjoyed reading this book and hope you will consider it. ENJOY