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California Beat Hero: George Calvert Yount


George Calvert Yount

May 4, 1794 – October 5, 1865

Napa Valley Pioneer

George Yount is an honored name in California. Unfortunately most people probably don’t know who he is. However his name is an important one in the Napa Valley as he was the starting point for a region which has become one of the state’s most important.

Coming to California in 1836, he steps into California history by being the first American citizen to be granted land in the Napa Valley by the Mexican government. In 1855, he contributed to the Napa Valley again when he hired a surveyor to establish the town of Yountville.

The California Beat recently visited the town of Yountville and we were greatly impressed by it. 



In 1959 he received perhaps the ultimate honor; his grave being designated California State Historical Landmark # 693. At his grave you can find the State Historical Landmark plaque a few feet away from his marker. In addition, you can also find a boulder placed on May 4, 1994 in honor of his 200th birthday.

So if you happen to be in Yountville, stop by and pay respects to this California pioneer. Where is his grave you may ask? Fittingly he now rests at the George C. Yount Memorial Pioneer Cemetery & Ancient Indian Burial Grounds.

“The deer, antelope and noble elk . . . were numerous beyond all parallel. In herds of many hundreds, they might be met, so tame that they would hardly move to open the way for the traveler to pass. They were seen lying or grazing, in immense herds, on the sunny side of every hill, and their young, like lambs were frolicking in all directions. The wild geese, and every species of waterfowl darkened the surface of every bay and firth, and upon the land, in flocks of millions they wandered in quest of insects, and cropping the wild oats which grew there in richest abundance. When disturbed they arose to fly, the sound of their wings was like that of distant thunder. The rivers were literally crowded with salmon . . . It was literally a land of plenty, and such a climate as no other land can boast of. “                  -George Calvert Yount

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