The Old Adobe Cirica 1845

History

KNOWN LOCALLY AS THE “OLD ADOBE”, IT STANDS AS NAPA’S OLDEST BUILDING AND LANDMARK AT 174 YEARS OLD , THE OLD ADOBE IS THE OLDEST REPRESENTATION OF THE MEXICAN ERA IN NAPA COUNTY AND THUS A VALUABLE REMINDER OF THE AREA’S HERITAGE. THE OLD ADOBE WAS ORIGINALLY CONSTRUCTED IN  1845 AS THE RESIDENCE OF MEXICAN ARMY SOLDIER DON CAYETANO JUAREZ, A NATIVE CALIFORNIAN. 

THIS PIONEER OF PIONEERS WAS BORN AT MONTEREY PRESIDIO, FEBRUARY 24TH, 1809, WHERE HE GREW UP WITH LIFE LONG FRIEND GENERAL MARIANO VALLEJO. IN 1827, DON CAYETANO ENLISTED IN THE MEXICAN ARMY, AND WAS STATIONED AT THE PRESIDIO OF SAN FRANCISCO. WHILE UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF GENERAL MARIANO VALLEJO, JUAREZ WAS ASSIGNED AN ACTIVE ROLE IN MANAGING THE LAND AND ASSOCIATED NATIVE POPULATION IN THE NAPA/SONOMA COUNTY REGION. IN 1835, DON CAYETANO MARRIED MARIA DE JESUS HIGUERRA, THE SPANISH DAUGHTER OF FRANCISCO HIGUERRA, A FORBEAR OF SAN FRANCISCO.

AFTER TEN YEARS OF SERVICE,, DON CAYEATNO WAS HONORABLY DISCHARGED ON FEBRUARY 19, 1836. DURING THE WINTER OF 1837-38, DON CAYETANO BROUGHT HORSES AND CATTLE INTO NAPA VALLEY, HERDING THEM DURING THE DAY AND RETURNING AT NIGHT TO SONOMA. BY 1838 DON CAYETANO THEN BECAME MAYORDOMO OF SONOMA. 

…IN 1840, DON CAYETANO ESTABLISHED RANCHO TULUCAY ON THE EASTERN SIDE OF THE NAPA RIVER AFTER RECEIVING A LAND GRANT  OF 8,865.58 ACRES. THE RANCHO WAS GIVEN TO CAYETANO JUAREZ BY GENERAL MARIANO GUADALUPE VALLEJO AS A REWARD FOR HIS DECADE OF SERVICE IN THE MEXICAN ARMY.DURING THE YEAR 1840 DON CAYETANO JUAREZ BUILT HIS FIRST SMALLER ADOBE HOUSE, WHICH NO LONGER STANDS, AND IN 1845 HE BUILT HIS SECOND AND LARGER ADOBE, WHICH HAS NOW BECOME THE OLD ADOBE.. *TO PUT YOU IN THE PERSPECTIVE OF THIS TIME PERIOD, THIS WAS 5 YEARS BEFORE CALIFORNIA WAS EVEN APART OF UNITED STATES AND 15 YEARS BEFORE ABRAHAM LINCOLN BECAME THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. 

CAYETANO AND WIFE MARIA DE JESUS HIGUERA, WERE POPULAR MEMBERS OF THE LOCAL COMMUNITY. THEY HAD 11 CHILDREN AND WERE KNOWN FOR HOSTING FIESTAS AND RODEOS TYPICAL OF THE MEXICAN PASTORAL PERIOD. CAYETANO WAS ALSO INVOLVED IN THE BEAR FLAG REVOLT OF 1846, ATTEMPTING TO RESCUE HIS FRIEND GENERAL MARIANO VALLEJO FROM CAPTURE. IN 1859, JUAREZ DONATED APPROXIMATELY 48 ACRES OF THIS LAND TO THE CITY OF NAPA TO ESTABLISH TULOCAY CEMETERY, WHERE HE WOULD EVENTUALLY BE BURIED. IN 1872, HE PROVIDED 192 ACRES TO THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE NAPA STATE ASYLUM FOR THE INSANE.

DON CAYETANO AND MARIE DE JESUS HIGUERA ARE FOREBEARERS OF NAPA AND THE OLD ADOBE WILL FOREVER BE A TESTAMENT TO NAPA VALLEY’S MEXICAN HERITAGE.

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