NVGS LogoNapa Valley Genealogical Society
and Library

Researching Family Stories for 50 Years

Celebrating A Milestone: Our 50th Anniversary Party

Nearly 50 members and invited guests celebrated 50 years of researching family stories at the NVGS anniversary event held on June 29th.

The event kicked off with a buffet lunch provided by Small World Restaurant. Attendees enjoyed Mediterranean fare and sparkling beverages under umbrellas on the library courtyard. Many guests appreciated exhibits of our society's history on display in our stacks throughout the event.

Napa Leaders Offer Congratulations

NVGS President Mark Perkins hosted the formal program, which began with a reading of the City Proclamation by Mayor Scott Sedgley. The mayor reflected on his years with the fire department when he drove by the library wondering what was inside the building. He praised the extensive collections and facilities that he could see around him.

Former Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht followed with observations about the society’s contributions to the community and its collaboration with other organizations like the Historical Society.

Founding Members Recall Early Days

Two charter members of the society, Kelly Wheaton and Linda van der Veer, charmed the audience with their humorous recollections of the early days of the society.

As the youngest members of the group, they brought innocence and energy to the fledgling enterprise. They each described our founder, Marian McGuire, as a “force” and a “visionary” who got things done. 

They also emphasized the importance of preserving family stories in addition to the names and dates we gather in our genealogical research.

Our Generation, Our Turn

Jeanine Layland, NVGS treasurer, made the case for supporting NVGS into the future. She cited the uniqueness of our library and used the phrase “It’s Our Turn” to call upon members and guests to consider what they might do to sustain the society as a valuable resource in the community.

Raffle tickets for an antique quilt were sold, and donations were gratefully accepted toward several items on our wish list. Guests were able to commemorate their donations by writing the name of an ancestor on a paper leaf, which will be placed on our "Gifting Tree" in the library. 

Memorial Installed in Courtyard

Toward the end of the program, NVGS Vice President Sally Perkins expressed gratitude for the ongoing contributions of society volunteers. She then introduced a memorial dedication for members who have passed away, expanding that remembrance to include all ancestors who have enriched our lives.

As an expression of our gratitude, she described the old-fashioned well pump now placed in our library courtyard. The pump works if it is primed with water from a previous pumping, a symbol for the value of stories for future generations.

Inspiring Music Concluded the Program

The program concluded with a rendition of the song “Water from Another Time” written by folk musician John McCutcheon and performed by Juliane Poirier and Bill Pramuk. Moist eyes in the audience affirmed the message that stories passed down can quench our souls and minds “like water from another time.”


Enjoy these photos from the party!

Many thanks to Shannon Kuleto and Mike Songster for contributing these photos

Give to Honor Our 50th

Your gift made in honor of our 50th anniversary will help secure the future of our Library and NVGS


Napa Valley Genealogical Society

Library & Mailing Address:

1701 Menlo Ave

Napa, CA 94558

Corner of Menlo Ave and California Blvd


(707) 252-2252

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