Conchita Marusich has published a book about her great-great-grandfather, William Wolfskill, mountain man, trapper, explorer of the Santa Fe Trail and trailblazer of the main route of the Old Spanish Trail.
She will be signing copies of "In Search of William Wolfskill: Journey to the Find the Legacy" on Saturday, Nov. 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Copperfield’s Book Store at 3740 Bel Aire Plaza in Napa, next to Whole Foods.
"My book is really about two stories," Marusich said. "It recounts the thrilling adventures of William Wolfskill. His historic journeys over the Santa Fe Trail in 1822 and the Old Spanish Trail in 1830 are packed with exciting stories as he made his way westward toward California.
"George Yount, a trapper friend from Missouri, was a member of the Wolfskill expedition over the Old Spanish Trail, Marusich said. Wolfskill finally settled in the small town of Los Angeles in 1831 and became a leading citizen while Yount headed north to the Napa Valley."
Wolfskill married Magdalena Lugo and went onto become known for his citrus orchards and vineyards; he was a founder of California’s commercial citrus industry and an important figure in the growth of California’s early wine business.
"The second story details my journey of discovery as my husband, Rich, and I retraced William Wolfskill’s footsteps through Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada and California," Marusich said. "We wanted to meet William in his environment, which meant going to where he had lived, trapped and traveled. Throughout the book, I include information that helped me dig deeply into our family’s roots and find pieces of our genealogical puzzle."