After their wedding San Francisco on May 19, 1880, Fanny and Robert Louis Stevenson set off on an adventurous honeymoon to the Napa Valley. Stopping briefly for a night in Vallejo, the Stevenson’s boarded a train to carry them (and their dog Chuchu) to Calistoga at the north end of the Napa Valley.
They spent the remainder of May in Calistoga, at one of the Hot Springs Hotel cottages. Then, once joined by Fanny’s son Lloyd Osbourne, the family made their way up the grade of Mount St. Helena to the Toll House, from which they found their way to the abandoned Silverado Mine bunkhouse where they would “squat” until the end of July.
Today, visitors to the Valley can follow in Stevenson’s footsteps by visiting many of the surviving sites which featured in Stevenson’s travelogue The Silverado Squatters.
“Calistoga was a pleasant place to dwell in; beautifully green, for it was then that favoured moment in the Californian year, when the rains are over and the dusty summer has not yet set in…”
-from Stevenson’s “The Silverado Squatters” (1883)
By horse and trap the Stevensons rode down valley to St. Helena to taste wine. They stopped here but had little to say about it – perhaps because the lovely Rhine House was not built yet. Be sure to see this beautiful 1884 Victorian.