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Barbara Bales Hoffman
Old Napa Bridge Landscape

1948

$1,300
$1,85029% Off

About

Rare image of the bridge to Menticello now under Lake Berryessa. Serene and substantial oil painting titled "Bridge on road to Monticello" by Barbara Bales Hoffman (American, 20th century). Signed "B. Bales Hoffman, 1948" lower right and titled and signed on verso. Presented in a giltwood frame. Image size, 9"H x 12"L. The Hoffman and Bale family were early settlers in the Napa wine region. In 1896, a heavy stone bridge with three large arches was built across Putah Creek near Monticello (now Lake Berryessa), along the road leading to Napa. The bridge was the largest stone bridge west of the Rocky Mountains and was so sturdy it was decided not to move the bridge to higher ground, prior to flooding for the reservoir. The painting is a lasting testament to the Napa Monticello Road history. Prior to its inundation, Monticello was an agricultural region, whose soils were considered among the finest in the country. Monticello, was abandoned in order to construct the reservoir. This abandonment was chronicled by the photographers Dorothea Lange and Pirkle Jones in their book Death of a Valley. Construction of Monticello Dam began in 1953, completed in 1958, and the reservoir filled by 1963, creating what at the time was the second-largest reservoir in California. Barbara Bales lineage dates back to Dr. Edward Turner Bale, surgeon on the English ship Harriet, came to California in 1837, practiced medicine for several years in Monterey, and in 1840 was appointed surgeon of the Mexican army. In 1841 he married María Ignacia Soberanes, the niece of Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo and was granted the Carne Humana Rancho in the Napa Valley. From that date until his death in 1849, he made his residence there and began his work as one of the early promoters of industry north of San Francisco Bay. Among his important accomplishments were the construction of a water-power flour mill in 1846 and the erection of a sawmill in 1848. The ground on which St. Helena stands was first owned and occupied by Edward Bale, who procured it by grant from the Mexican Government. Monticello was a town erected within Rancho Las Putas, a Mexican land grant of 35,516 acres (143.73 km2) given in 1843 by Governor Manuel Micheltorena to José de los Reyes Berreyesa and Sexto "Sisto" Berelleza, members of the Berreyesa family of Californios.[2][3] The grant was enclosed in a river valley with Putah Creek running through it. After California was ceded to the United States in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the Berreyesas filed the claim with the American Public Land Commission in their wives' names in 1852, and the grant was patented to them in 1863.[4][5] By 1853, José de Jesus and Sisto Berelleza had sold minor parcels of Rancho Las Putas, referred to as Berryessa Ranch by the American settlers,[5] to pay gambling debts. They owed Edward Schultz $1,645 but couldn't pay him in cash; Schultz petitioned the county to auction a major 26,000-acre (110 km2) section of the Berreyesa holdings. In the auction, Schultz paid only $2,000 for the huge parcel, and quickly resold it for $100,000 to a consortium of developers. In 1866, the developers holding the majority of land in the valley divided Rancho Las Putas into smaller parcels to sell to farmers, and platted a town called Monticello. Within a year, the valley was filled with farmers who enjoyed mild winters and bountiful harvests, especially of wheat.[3] By 1870, Monticello contained a cemetery, a general store, blacksmith shops, hotels and various other businesses.[2] In 1875, a former toll road through the valley was opened to become a public road, maintained by the county. A four- and six-horse stagecoach ran from the 300 men[6] working at the remote quicksilver mining town of Knoxville south through rocky hills to Monticello, where the horses were changed, then west to Napa.[2] The Berreyesas moved from their original hacienda holdings to smaller dwellings. The large adobe estate house belonging to Sisto Berreyesa was left to ruin, but a second, smaller one, was held by a settler named Abraham Clark.[5] In the late 19th century, the valley floor was covered with family farms whose land titles could be traced to the Homestead Act of 1862. Much of the valley floor was covered with dry-farmed wheat and barley fields, with some orchards and grapevines mixed in. Ranching was mostly in the foothills. In 1900 and 1901, news of a high-quality oil strike in Berryessa Valley brought speculators and experts in drilling, but no results.[6]

Details

  • Creator
    Barbara Bales Hoffman
  • Creation Year
    1948
  • Dimensions
    Height: 14 in. (35.56 cm)Width: 17 in. (43.18 cm)Depth: 2 in. (5.08 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
    Rustic period frame.
  • Gallery Location
    Soquel, CA
  • Reference Number
    Seller: N24301stDibs: LU5421129673

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Soquel, CA
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 14 days of delivery.

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