The Mayacamas Indians who lived in the Napa Valley region were the original beneficiaries of the natural hot springs in the area, then early Spanish settlers. Eventually Napa became known for its farmland, and winemakers began moving in. Sam Brannan, who had amassed his riches selling shovellers to gold prospectors, bought much of the land at the northern end of Napa Valley, intending to make the area the "Saratago Springs of California." Legend has it that one night, while a bit drunk, he was speaking of his plans and proclaimed, ""I will make this place the Calistoga of Sarafornia."
Whether or not the legend is true, the name stuck, and Sam Brannan's Hot Springs Hotel, opened in 1860. Others ...Read More