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About Our Location

Welcome to Coleís Chop House and the circa 1886 Williams-Kyser Building. For over a century, this building has been home to a variety of businesses and the scene of memorable moments in local history.

Location

Named after its original owners, the Williams building was the first commercial block constructed north of the Napa creek. The hand-hewn native stone structure cost $26,000 to build and its designers were San Francisco architects Wright and Saunders.

While owned by the Williams family, the Main Street structure was used as an exhibition hall during the 1890 Napa and Solano counties fair. Three years later, the building was outfitted to be the temporary home of the local armory. At about the same time, D.S. Kyser became a tenant when he relocated his furniture and undertaking business to the Main Street block.

In 1897, the Williams Building became the site of both civic pride and notoriety. Shortly after the arrival of that year, January 15, 1897, the Napa County Courthouse was the scene of the last public execution held in California. That day, Billy Roe was hanged for murdering Lucina Greenwood of Napa in 1891. Kyser attended the execution in an official capacity as the Napa County Coroner. Eventually, Roeís remains were delivered to Kyserís Main Street undertaking business.

Since the early 1900s a long list of businesses have occupied the historic Williams-Kyser Building, including Napa Beauty College; E.G. Lohmanís agricultural implements-tractors; Napa County Superintendent of Schools office; Valley Vacuum, Copy Corner, the Oberon Gallery and many more. The two most unique tenants were the Duck Pin Bowling Alley in the early 1940ís and the Feminist Connection which was described in the 1979 directory as a senior womens organization.

Food-related businesses have also been regular Williams-Kyser tenants. They have included Mac Marrís Grocery as well as Vi and Stellaís Lunch Box Cafe and now, amidst the rich historical ambiance of the Williams-Kyser Building, there is Coleís Chop House.

Researched, compiled and written by: Rebecca A. Yerger

*ALL RIGHTS TO THIS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ARE RETAINED EXCLUSIVELY BY REBECCA A. YERGER AND GREG COLE.

PERMISSION TO REPRINT THIS PIECE EITHER IN PART OR FULL MUST BE GRANTED BY YERGER AND COLE PRIOR TO PUBLICATION.



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