Ken Taplin's and Petite Abruzzini's memories were recorded by Historical Society interviewers in July, 2008.

The St. Helena Historical Society Oral History Program:
“Voices of St. Helena”

The mission of the “Voices of St. Helena” program is to collect historical information about the people, events and ways of living that shaped the St. Helena area and the settlements that predate the town. By recording the memories of narrators with firsthand knowledge, the Historical Society seeks to bring our history to life for future generations of researchers, curious descendents and others interested in hearing these original stories.  Our intent is to collect these memories with the highest of academic standards, to preserve and care for them and to make them accessible to the public. We will use them for research, to inform and bring exhibits to life and to help to bridge the interests and understanding of successive generations of St. Helenans.


“Voices” was developed beginning in 2005 by Historical Society intern Pat Alexander during her studies as a history major at Napa Valley College and Sonoma State University. Pat developed the program under the guidance of a Historical Society board internship oversight committee and in association with professionals in the field.  In the first three years, volunteer interviewers were trained and conducted oral history interviews with 15 individuals, of which 9 have been transcribed and indexed.


Do you want to get involved?  Do you have an interest in conducting oral history interviews or know someone who should be on our list to interview? After a long haitus, the Oral History Program is launching again under the able guidance of Bonnie Thoreen, but we need more interviewers. You can do this! No special background required. Bonnie’s team will provide fun and easy training. Please call the historical society at 707-967-5502 or email us at, or email Bonnie directly at

Oral Histories

Listed below, are the interviews completed to date.  Please make arrangements with Bonnie Thoreen by phone or email at the addresses listed above if you would like to listen to or read an interview.

The following interviews are available in print:
Tala De Wynter, Charlie Varozza, Marie del Bondio, Mike Robbins, John Aquila, Ken Taplin, Alston Hayne, and Marjorie Markel.  Also available are several interviews of adults and children taken at Museum for a Day in 2005.

The following interviews are available on CD:
Greta Ericson, Petite Abruzzini, Sandra Nichols, Laurie Woods, Kenneth Grant Cairns, along with the more recent interviews with Guy Kay, Nancy & David Garden, Chuck O’Rear, John & Joanne Sales, Rudolph & Terese Frey, Helen Christianson, Larry Bettinelli, Marsha Bettinelli, Marilyn Coy, Tom Wilson, Chauvani Lyman, Hope Lugo.