Historical Timeline

Napa Chamber Timeline - 1950-1980

compiled by Napa County Historical Society


  • A 1950s Napa Chamber of Commerce brochure stated: “Characteristics of this community are definitely industrial, with an estimated employment of 7,265. Approximately 1400 persons are employed in Government establishments in the community, including those working at two large Government hospitals. Food processing, garment manufacturing and glove manufacturing establishments hire a large number of women…..Wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing and service industry are the leading employers.”
  • 1955 Chamber started Business-education day, a program in which Napa teachers are taken through city businesses and factories and later entertained at luncheon.
  • Jan. 1956 NSJ article stated the Senator Nathan Coombs would be attending the Chamber’s annual dinner and installation of officers. Bert Stewart, public relations head of the National Automobile Club was the principal speaker. William Blanckenburg became new Chamber president.
  • November 1954 article Chamber announces it will be conducting a Treasure Hunt contest to attract additional industry to the Napa area. $1000 will be awarded for top suggestions on industrial possibilities.
  • June 1957 Chamber Bulletin reports on the results of  a questionnaire filled out at the Industrial Conference and by chamber members.  In reply to the question, What steps do you recommend to expedite industrial development?  64% indicted that they felt the need for more effective planning for industry, more favorable community attitudes toward industry and the rendering of technical and promotional assistance by the C of C to industrial developers. 45% indicated that more funds should be spent for increased promotion.”
  • July 1959 Chamber sponsors first  Sidewalk (Sale) Day
  • Oct. 1959 Napa County officials and civic leaders gathered at Silverado Country Club as guests of Napa Chamber to welcome the new district and division offices of the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co.


  • 1961 Napa Junior Chamber of Commerce was started
  • 1961 Chamber Annual Report: “ A consumer education program was carried out with splendid cooperation y the press and radio Many different unethical or fraudulent operations were publicized, the Napa CC won statewide recognition for its efforts in this field by the State Office of Consumer’s Council.”  Also reported: “All new residents to Napa re provided a complete kit of information regarding schools, history of the area, organizations, churches and other related matters, in addition to the membership directories.”
  • 1965 Chamber publications reports: “Some 200 business and community leaders decided to prove their intentions of wanting more industry by cold cash. GNID, Greater Napa Industrial Developers, was incorporated in 1962 with an aggregate of all shares of $250,000 for the express purpose of buying land and / or building facilities for a prospective industry. The corporation was set up so as to be able to work with the Small Business Administration, if need be, for the purpose of obtaining additional capital.”
  • 1964 Chamber mailed promotional material on Napa County to areas throughout CA, the nation and to foreign countries.
  • 1963 Annual Report of Chamber: Chamber helps both businesses and residences during the emergency flood in Jan. [check flood folder?]
  • Jan. 1965 NR article “Leadership Sometimes Lacking in Community Affairs: Marshall” stated that the “Directors of the Napa Chamber of Commerce agreed informally yesterday to take a more decisive role in community affairs.” Problem areas included: water, sanitation, better street lights, fair business practices, beautification of the Napa River, good schools, low taxes, improved recreational facilities, art, music and drama, the ball part at Napa Fairgrounds….!!!


  • April 1970 the Chamber passed a “Resolution Relative to the Truman-Hobbs Act” to be sent to several local and state officials and organizations requesting the “establishment of a high priority on the application for Truman-Hobbs funds and construction of the improvements at the earliest date to correct  these [see actual resolution, copy in 1970-74 Chamber folder] obstructional structures on the Napa River…”
  • 1971 Feb. “the Chamber assisted the city council in its court battle over the urban renewal project, and both agencies were successful in seeing a suit tossed out of court that would have halted the needed civic redevelopment proposal.”
  • Oct. 1972 “A chamber Ambassadors Club was formed, with chamber directors appointed to officiate at special civic functions and occasions.” Chamber directors “reaffirmed their stand on the airport master plan and endorsed a facility that could accommodate medium sized jets with the next 20 years.”
  • May 1973 “The chamber continued its “A Day With Your Legislator” program last May and took 15 local students to Sacramento to learn first hand the inns and outs of CA government.”
  • June 1973 “Good and bad points associated with population growth were tackled by a chamber panel of experts in July. Upshot of the affair was a city policy change establishing a “slow growth” philosophy within the framework of the city’s general plan.”
  • May 1974 “Chamber directors fervently backed the long-delayed southern crossing project, and in May began to circulate petitions directed at the California Highway Commission relative to the need for project  funding.”
  • May 1976 Chamber director went on record supporting the formation of a special Narcotics Enforcement team. They also took stands opposing legislation giving government employees the right to strike and supporting legislation requiring a two-thirds vote of the legislature to raise taxes.