Native Culture, New Trails and Where the Wealthy Go to Be Seen – Enchanted Hills Retreat and Mt. Veeder: The History Will Fascinate You

Enchanted Hills has a rich and intriguing history. This is the first of six segments on Enchanted Hills Retreat, where we will feature the natural history, local attractions, winery spotlights and culinary delights of the area. Here we touch on the history of Mt. Veeder, the Wappo Tribe, later settlers, a summertime resort and the makings of a world renowned wine appellation.

For many centuries, Mt. Veeder was inhabited by the Wappo Indians who subsisted off the plentiful wild game and plants of the area. Spear points and stone implements from their civilization are still occasionally recovered in the area. The Native American word for elk was “Lokoya”, a word that remains in use today in the name of one of the few roads on the mountain, and at Enchanted Hills where our lake is still called Lokoya Lake.

Loggers were the first Europeans to come to the area. In the 1800’s a sea captain, Stalham Wing, initiated plans for a stagecoach trail up the eponymously named Wing Canyon. At one time the trail was wide enough to accommodate a four-horse stagecoach. The old stagecoach route can still be traversed through the wilds of Enchanted Hills. Wing is also credited with the birth of viniculture on the mountain where in the 1860’s he grew and produced the first wines of the mountain. The higher elevations of the mountain were the domain of sheep and their shepherds. One of the oldest buildings of Mt. Veeder still standing is an old sheepherder’s shelter that is now the stone tasting room at the Mayacamas Vineyard.

Later in the century the area became known as the Napa Redwoods, a destination for well-healed people from San Francisco who traveled by train, ferry, buggy and stagecoach to the Lokoya Lodge, a seasonal resort. Just like today, the dappled light and plentiful springs offered a haven from the bustling pace of daily life.

There’s much more for you to discover. Are you looking for a location full of history, great amenities and natural beauty for a group get-together? Enchanted Hills is the most affordable retreat setting in wine country. To reserve Enchanted Hills for your family reunion, church group or corporate off-site with 20 to 120 attendees, please call (415) 694-7310 or go to www.enchantedhillsretreat.com.

Old postcard showing a drawing of Lokoya Lodge