National Register of Historic Places in Napa County

National Register #92000996: Thomas Earl House in Napa, California 12 November 2004
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National Register #92000996
Thomas Earl House
1221 Seminary Street
Built 1861

The Thomas Earl House evolved to its present appearance over a period of thirty years.

The original part, built in 1861, had a scored stucco exterior over the lime-and-gravel concrete walls. In 1878, a stud wall was added to the exterior and horizontal board siding applied. The current porch treatment, bay windows, and rear addition were in place by 1886. Since then, changes have been minimal.

The house is significant for its association with Thomas Earl, one of Napa's leading citizens for four decades.

Thomas Earl was born in Canada in 1825. Orphaned at the age of six, he learned the harness and saddlery trade. He moved to the United States in 1840. In 1851, he came to California to try his luck in the gold fields. He soon moved to Napa and opened a saddlery business in 1851 when the town had about two hundred residents and only a few permanent buildings.

By 1861, Earl's real estate projects were so profitable that he sold his saddlery business. From then on, Earl promoted the general welfare in Napa County through a series of endeavors including two terms as County Administrator.

Earl is remembered as one of Napa's founding fathers and one of the most influential people in the formation and growth of the city.

Source: Adapted from the NRHP nomination submitted in 1992.

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