Angwin Sign
About Angwin...
Angwin is a community of about 3000 residents on Howell Mountain. We are in a coastal range of northern California, about 70 mi. north of San Francisco.
The Village ranges from 1600 to 2200 ft. elevation, overlooking the scenic Napa Valley. It is surrounded by vineyards and forests.
Many Angwin residents work for Pacific Union College, a liberal arts college with a national reputation, or the nearby St. Helena Hospital.

The story is in the statistics
A few weeks ago, we introduced viewers to our two new advertisers. But we didn't provide much information about them, so here it is. Just look at these numbers.
Angwin Dental..39 years, 10,000 patients
Dr. Robert Williams pioneered dental service in Angwin. He opened his office here 39 years ago. Since then he has served more then 10,000 patients. Tally those two figures and they spell one word...Experience. And a lot of Angwin people to whom he gave healthier teeth and brighter smiles. The other person on the Angwin team is Dr. Susan Fjarli, who came aboard in 2003, after serving as president of the Multnomah Dental Society and clinical professor at Oregon Health Sciences University. Another cheerful, competent person. Dr. Williams opened a Napa office in 1985, which his son, Dr. Jeff Williams, took over 10 years ago. Building a family tradition.
Advanced of the bunch
Angwin old timers, and some not so old, travel to Napa where Geoffrey Calkins and Elizabeth Gilson listen to our hearing problems and get us listening better. They face challenges and find solutions. In 2010, the independent "Bay Area Consumers' Checkbook" took a survey of 45 hearing aid centers throughout the Bay Area. Advanced Instruments hit the top of the list in six categories. Look at these scores:
Promptness of service
Quality of products
Variety of products
Ease of testing products
Overall quality
What can we exclaim about these two professional offices which have racked up years of service and statistics like these?
Something like "Wow!" comes to mind.
Angwin Dental ad Napa Sleep/Angwin Dental ad

Advanced Instruments ad


Recent Articles heading
Aug 6, 2012

Recent Stories...Click to view

Residents of Angwin are invited to attend the upcoming international assembly of scholars devoted to the saga of the mutiny on the Bounty and contemporary life on Pitcairn Island. The date: August 19-21 in the Fireside Room of the PUC church complex. Contact Herb Ford for the schedule of events and registration fee.

The Morris family ranch
An Angwin chapter in American history
If you were a 4-H Club person, you would know about the little cemetery on the knoll right beside the Club camp down the canyon behind the Las Posadas fire station. But it is a secret place to most of the residents of Angwin.
The March and June l956 issues of the California Historical Society Quarterly ran lengthy reports on the Morris family which purchased squatter's rights in l878 to the lower end of the canyon formed by the creek which runs from Las Posadas Road down the eastern slope of Howell Mountain. The introduction to these articles reads: "This recital of the acquisition and utilization of a piece of virgin wilderness has intrinsic value in the reflection it gives of the courage, resourcefulness, and energy shown by the pioneers of American agriculture."
Yes, the story of the Morris family on Howell Mountain is a chapter in American history. The full account is fascinating, but we will open just a few pages here.
It begins with Milton Morris, born in Virginia in 1807. He was an itinerant, poorly paid Methodist minister. He married a Vermont girl, daughter of another minister. They were godly people, who served Indians in their desperation and supported the anti-slavery movement. The story of these two people is a story of exceptional personal values, but lives of uncertainty and hardship.
They crossed the plains to California in l857, looking for something better.
It was their son, John, who when he was 43, found the land on Howell Mountain which lifted the family out of poverty. John had worked at many different trades--storekeeper, farmer, miner. He was a travelling book agent, criss-crossing northern California and Oregon, when he decided he had to settle down. He liked what he saw up on Howell Mountain, and in l878 purchased the squatter rights to a distant section of what we now know as the Las Posadas State Forest. He paid $1,000 for the claim, built a tiny two-room house, and began a new life. In his memoirs he said, "We felt we were monarchs of all we could see, for we claimed all the lands our eyes could behold."
John spoke of the beauty of his property. The pigeons which gathered so thickly that "I never could have believed their number .. blackened the sky and when they flew the roar was like distant thunder." There were speckled trout in the creek and the woods were full of deer. He spoke of the large redwood forests. Over time he bought more land, at first for $6 an acre. Later, 80 acres at a time for $500. The Morris ranch grew to 640 acres. By 1881, the family was harvesting garden vegetables and blackberries, walnuts and hickory nuts. When Edwin Angwin developed his health resort, he wanted "more vegetables and berries than we could raise," John wrote. Howell Mountain was becoming famous as one of the healthiest places in California. "The mountain was full of healthseekers," he said. Fishermen and hunters came to fish and hunt, families came to picnic here.
In spite of the remoteness and the two-hour buggy ride up the hill from St. Helena, Angwin had become a "destination."
1881 was the year the first school was built on Howell Mountain, for the handful of families farming here. It must have been a very small structure.
In the winter of l882, the snow fell so deep that it killed nearly half of the Morris' flock of sheep.
Other Angwin farmers had begun raising grapes for wine, but Morris stuck with blackberries, raspberries, gooseberries, apples, peaches, plums and pears.
We read these stories of how settlers in the 1880's yearned for new homes and new lives in wild environments. It happened up here in Angwin, too, on the slopes overlooking Pope Valley. Our own chapter in American history.
4H clubbers maintain Morris family cemetery

John Morris picked a little knoll on which he wanted to be buried, surrounded by his family as they passed on. It is the most modest cemetery one can imagine, with just one large monument. Some of the individual burial sites were marked with small stone slabs with just the initials of family members.
In time the Morris Ranch land was deeded to the State of California and became part of the Las Posadas Forest. But 4-H Club people have undertaken to care for the historic site which is close to their Angwin camp. This year they once again cleaned the monuments and swept the grounds. The Angwinites below are Catherine Heywood, camp counsellor, with Emily Griffith and Carson Heywood, both 17 now. The cemetery knoll is fenced now to protect it from vandalism.
Morris family cemetary maintained by 4H volunteers

Save Rural Angwin initiative
headed for the November ballot
For decades residents of Napa County have been going to the polls voting to protect agricultural lands and forests from subdivision developments. The Ag. Preserve, Measure J and Measure P - all have won handily.
It was in that honored tradition that Save Rural Angwin (SRA) started the initative process several weeks ago to protect some such lands in Angwin. The organization has been working since then to get its measure onto the November ballot. It has been jumping through all the hoops successfully. Its petition drive was completed in record time, with more than 6,000 county residents signing up in support, well above the required number. The County Board of Supervisors has undertaken a study of potential impacts and voted to approve the initiative on the November ballot. It will be labeled Measure U.
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SRA is seeking changes in the designation of just two areas, both of them on PUC land.
1) One would seek the redesignation of a swath of the green fields stretching from the tennis courts northward to the Angwin Plaza. The initiative would designate that stretch as Agricultural, Water Shed and Open Space (AWOS). That is the very same designation which covers the adjoining stretch southward from the tennis courts and accommodating the college's ball fields. The whole stretch of green fields has been farmed or open space for many decades, and the initiative would conserve the entire stretch in that category.
2) The other area is in what is known as the college's "old farm, " but which was designated decades ago as Urban Residential. SRA seeks to have that designation changed to Institutional, the same as covers the existing campus. That designation would prevent the college from selling the land for public commercial or residential, but would permit it to build any educational facilities it desires, dormitories and faculty-staff housing. In essence, it would expand the existing campus area to permit its long-range goal for 2300 students, or more.
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In the case of both areas, the effect would be to prevent the college from building what could be hundreds of houses on those two locations. SRA remembers when the college proposed 580 housing units surrounding the campus and paving over the green fields. And the disturbing fact is that the college is still pursuing a policy of selling off almost all of open space and agricultural land.