The Napa Valley and Calistoga

Fine wines. Natural wonders. Hot springs and mudbaths.
Welcome to the Napa Valley and Calistoga,
Northern California’s premiere spa town.

Napa Valley in 1940 was a far more rural place than today’s weekend winery getaway. Dirt roads, cattle farms, leather factories, shipping … and, in the middle of the lush vineyards and dark green plains, a vast, hulking Victorian complex: the Napa State Hospital, also known as the Napa State Asylum.
Calistoga is the premiere spa town, boasting one of the world’s most dependable geysers, and a unique brand of mud-bath sanitarium.
But Miranda finds that all is not what it seems in the Napa Valley …

Map of the Napa Valley

1940 map of the Napa Valley
A gorgeous map given out by Beringer Brothers Winery in St. Helena. San Quentin is on the map, but not the Napa State Asylum … move your mouse over the image for a close-up.


Calistoga in the 1940s

A view looking north up Lincoln Avenue near the Calistoga bridge; 1940s. Most of the main business in Calistoga was located on this main road, including Nance’s Sanitarium.

Early color postcard of Calistoga

An early color postcard showing bucolic–and supposedly peaceful–Calistoga.

Spas and Hotels

The Mount View Hotel in Calistoga

The hotel where Rick stays in CITY OF SECRETS. It’s been remodeled–but it’s still in business.

Postcard of Nance's Sanitarium
An older postcard–probably from the 1920s–but probably still in use during Miranda’s visit.

Services at Nance's Sanitarium
Some of the services at Nance’s … at least, the ones they advertise. Mouse over for a zoom on the text.

Exterior color view of Nance Sanitarium Color
An image of Nance’s from closer to Miranda’s visit.

Napa Valley State Hospital

Napa State Hospital
This 1909 view makes the infamous Napa State Mental Hospital (still in use today) look like the Magic Kingdom.

Napa State Asylum

Another early view of the Napa State Mental Hospital. If it reminds you a little of “The Shining” … it should.