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Our Historic "Parker" Mansion

Mansion front image

The Historic Mansion at La Residence has a very interesting story to tell. Built around 1870, the following information was obtained from the Napa Historical Society and offers more insight to its initial owner, Harry C. Parker. This stunning building is preserved and maintained to carry on it's story for many years to come.

Harry C. Parker -  

Harry C. Parker - Whose portrait appears in this work, was born on Staten Island, of English parents, January 9,1816. During his infancy his father was engaged in the Mint at Philadelphia; and while he was yet a child they moved, to New York City, and resided there until he was twelve years of age, when his father and mother died within one year of each other, leaving him an orphan without a relation whom he had ever seen.

Mr. Gibson, being a friend of his parents, cared for him by taking him to his home, which was located where Brooklyn now stands. Here he remained one year. At the age of twelve he began the seafaring life, and followed it until his eighteenth year. He then went to New Orleans, and was employed until the winter of 1837. In this year he began the study of the navigation of the river as pilot, and subsequently followed this occupation for twelve years. In June, 1849, he left New Orleans on the bark "Seneca" for Chagres. Arrived in Panama July 1st, and celebrated our seventy-third national birthday in that city. Left Panama in this month on the hark " Wilhelmina," and landed in San Francisco September 11,1849. Pitched his tent in " Happy Valley," near where is now Mission and First streets.

1876 land map of Napa

After a few days he proceeded with his traveling companion, Alex McKenzie, to the mines, halting at Woods Creek, near Sonora. They found that the Mormons had been there before them, and after consultation they took their departure for Indian Bar, Tuolumne River, and commenced operations with rocker and bowl (first experience in rocking the cradle), which they followed till November, when the river rose and floated off their entire mining outfit. Mr. Parker then returned to San Francisco and remained till February, 1850.

Mansion image 1878

Rendition of the Harry C. Parker Ranch 1878 - Note that the Napa Valley Wine Train still uses the same rail road today.

Having shipped merchandise from New Orleans on the bark " Madonna " previous to leaving there, and which then arriving, he took his goods to Stockton and commenced a mercantile business, in which he continued till December, 1852, having suffered loss by the customary casualty of being burned out in May, 1851. In 1853 he went to San Francisco and entered as a partner in the firm of J. Y. Halleck & Co., in which he continued until 1864. In that year he retired from business. The following year he purchased his present home, four miles north of Napa, and has since been engaged in farming.

Today, the Historic "Parker" Mansion offers La Residence 8 of our 26 rooms. The charm and structure of the building is retained where possible to offer spacious and relaxing guest rooms.

THEN - 1900