Steve Simich, St. Helena Public Cemetery

Steve Simich, owner of Napa Marble & Granite Works, installed the plaque marking St. Helena Public Cemetery as listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The plaque will be dedicated on Sept. 22 at the beginning of the “Spirits of St. Helena” Cemetery Walk at 1 p.m. St. Helena Public Cemetery is the final resting place of many of the founders of the Napa Valley wine industry, as well as the people who founded the town of St. Helena.

The St. Helena Historical Society’s 17th annual “Spirits of St. Helena” Cemetery Tour is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 22.

In 2018 the St. Helena Public Cemetery was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. A historic plaque marking the entrance will be dedicated at 1 p.m. Sunday at the beginning of the tour. Local dignitaries are invited to witness the short ceremony.

The event will take place from 1 to 4 p.m., with tours departing from the front gate at 1 and 2 p.m. Each tour will visit selected gravesites on the grounds.

This year’s theme is “Vive Le Vin: French Winemakers at St. Helena Cemetery,” highlighting the stories of French and Swiss French winemakers who settled here. In partnership with St. Helena Drama, local drama students will step into the 1800s and tell about French and Swiss French winemakers who are buried in St. Helena Cemetery.

The St. Helena Public Cemetery is at 2461 Spring St., St. Helena. Tours will take place rain or shine. Please wear comfortable walking shoes. The entire community is encouraged to attend this fun and educational event. Admission is $10; no RSVPs are necessary.

“This event pays homage to the French who brought their culture to St. Helena over 150 years ago. Winemakers on our tour will include Jean Brun, Adrien Chaix, Henry Pellet, Germain Crochat, plus others who made a difference but were long forgotten,” said Mariam Hansen, research director for the St. Helena Historical Society. “You will learn about life in St. Helena and the contributions of these immigrants to the development of St. Helena.”

This year marks 163 years since the first burial at St. Helena Cemetery.

For more information, call 967-5502, email shstory@shstory.org, visit shstory.org, or find the historical society on Facebook.

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