March 2, 2014

First vineyard abutting PUC campus
In 2002, the Pacific Union College Board of Trustees adopted a policy of selling hundreds of PUC acres for housing, vineyards and wineries. The policy soon thereafter produced a proposal for 580 houses in Angwin.
When that, and subsequent proposals, went down the drain, the promotional emphasis shifted to agricultural lands. The college's real estate broker produced a brochure touting the potential of 600 acres in Mill Valley for vineyards and boutique wineries. Mill Valley is east of the airport, kind of out in the boonies.
However, it turns out that the first parcel sold for vineyards comes up to the PUC property line, and only a short distance from two small dormitories in the woods. The high visibility of a vineyard immediately adjacent PUC will come as a shock to some Adventists and conservationists.
PUC Property with Abreu property lines marked
Proximity of Abreu parcel to PUC property. No. 1 is
president's house, #2 is small girls dormitory, #3 is
small boys dormitory and commencement grove
Meanwhile, word on the street is that PUC has reached agreement with another developer for a sale expected to finalize in February. No disclosure about who that would be, or the size and location of the parcels, or whether it will be developed into housing, commercial, or more vineyards. A mystery.
The 12 years since the monumental 2002 decision has produced numerous lot line adjustments to make parcels more acceptable to prospective purchasers, controversial reports about the actual value of the college's acreages, and ongoing opposition to college plans by a conservation group, Save Rural Angwin.
Trees being cut down for Abreu Winery
Clear cutting last week on the 42-acre Abreu parcel.

It ran right through what is now the PUC campus . . .
The old Howell Mountain Road
In 1909, Ellen G. White and other Adventist leaders rode in a horse-drawn buggy up a dirt road to buy Edwin Angwin's health resort for a new college.
Old Howell Mnt Rd Start
The primitive Howell Mountain Road, which they took, began its way at the Silverado Trail opposite the Pope Street Bridge.
Going up Old Howell Mnt Rd
It meandered up the hill for about 10 miles
View near top of Old Howell Mnt Rd
They probably stopped the buggy occasionally to enjoy the views.
At what is now Four Corners, where the new Deer Park Road is terminated, the Howell Mountain Road took a sharp right turn northward toward Angwin.
Start of Caiocca Pass bypass
Until about 1960, the Road did not go through the cut which we know as Caiocca Pass, but wound around that knoll. Starting here.
Conn Creek Bridge
It crossed over Conn Creek on a stone bridge, now abandoned.
Linda Falls Trail beginning
It passed the trail to Linda Falls, familiar to generations of college students.
Exit Caiocca bypass to Howell Mnt Rd in Angwin
And emerged here. A place where past meets present.
Going past PUCE
It passed what is now the front of the PUC Elementary School,
Going past PUC Prep
up the slope and past where PUC Prep now stands,
Going past PUC Library
then past where the library stands, now the heart of today's PUC campus..
Going past Public Safety
After it passed what is now the boys' dormitory, it slipped below the Public Safety building and through the woods. Some PUC people still walk to and from work here.
Public Safety Rd turns into a path
It dwindles into a footpath today. At one point, a small spring maintains a puddle.
Path emerging back to Howell Mnt Rd N.
And rejoins the present Howell Mountain Road a few steps south of Clark Way and resumes its original winding way down toward Pope Valley.
*  *  * 
Howell Mountain Road down the hill from Angwin to Pope Valley remains what it has been for more than 100 years, a series of curves. It challenges the modern automobile, navigating one sharp turn after another. There has been a fair amount of traffic up Howell Mountain from the Pope Valley side, as ranchers drove up and over to St. Helena.
Aetna Springs Entrance
Also, visitors to the Aetna Springs Resort in Pope Valley, went through Angwin, after the ferry and train rides from San Francisco to St. Helena. A long, tiresome trip.
1920's truck
In the early l920's, a magnesite mine was developed in Pope Valley and the ore was hauled up and over Howell Mountain. The road was muddy in February 1921 and the trucks bogged down in Angwin. The truckers had to wait for the road to dry before they could resume the trip. (photo courtesy of St. Helena Historical Society)
Flash forward: Rush-hour through Angwin in 2014 . . .
Today's escape down the hill from Angwin to the Napa Valley is definitely not down what we now call the old Howell Mountain Road described above. It is on Deer Park Road, a major engineering project for Napa County in the early l960's. Deer Park Road provides a way for today's Angwin residents to work and shop in St. Helena, Napa and Santa Rosa; for Angwin teen-agers to take the yellow bus to St. Helena High; for PUC students to get off the hill for pizza and a movie at the Cinema.
Cars lined up at blinking lights intersection
The rush-hour traffic down the hill in 2014 carries numerous commuters from Berryessa Estates also. In spite of the speed limit signs, they push 40 mph as they pass up and over Howell Mountain. The stop sign in Angwin halts them only for half a second, and they zoom past the college. But the flashing red traffic signals at the Silverado Trail bring them to a full stop.
We have come a long way from the days of when San Francisco visitors to Edwin Angwin's health resort and then Ellen G. White's horse and buggy labored up the original Howell Mountain Road with its dirt surface and country curves.
So there's a little bit of Angwin History 101. Now wasn't that fun?