For a walk through Napa's history, there's no better place to visit than Tulocay Cemetery, an open-air museum of the county's past.

Tulocay was founded as the community's burial ground in 1859, just 12 years after Nathan Coombs laid out a grid for the first streets, launching Napa as a pioneer riverfront town.

A century and a half later, Tulocay is still there, a leafy resting spot for tens of thousands of people, including Coombs. 

Here are buried the bankers, merchants and developers whose names still adorn downtown buildings, landmark houses and street signs. Here are also the graves of many unsung residents, whose legacy is the message on their tombstones.

Much of Napa's early history is gone from today's landscape. But stroll the rolling lawn at Tulocay and watch the past come alive.

Nancy Brennan, Tulocay's historian, has put together three walking tours that allow visitors to make their way to monuments and mausoleums with a story to tell.

For a copy, visit

-- Kevin Courtney, Napa City Editor