Saturday, July 4, 2009

the wabe

There is a wabe in Napa County.  A wabe is defined as, "The grass plot around a sundial. It is called a "wabe" because it goes a long way before it, and a long way behind it, and a long way beyond it on each side." 

This is a rare wall mounted sundial - missing its gnomon.  The gnomon is the piece that casts the shadow on a sundial.  This building is one of the last unrestored "ghost wineries" of Napa County - a winery built before the Volstead Act - known as "Prohibition" -- 1920 - 1933.  This winery site was also the home of a real ghost resulting from an awful murder in the 19th century.  Our hope is that the ghost of Jules Millet has finally reached a peaceful rest.

Practicing in the area of historic architecture has many rewards (mostly uncompensated) because the stories are so rich and varied - stories told by the owners, the buildings, old photographs and historical documents.  If we successfully obtain a Use Permit and zoning text amendment for this site, it will thrive again as a winery.  In September we will know...



John Poole said...

Juliana - I am really glad you wrote a posting on this sundial. I know you left a comment on my blog not too long ago about the Napa winery with the wall sundial missing it's gnomon. It was great to see the picture! And good luck in obtaining that use permit. Hope it all works out. It would be great to see that place running again! ~John

juliana inman said...

Thanks, John. We are trying for a "text amendment" to the zoning ordinance. How wineries are defined in Napa County is a big deal - and parcel size is one of the issues. We shall see... the building is so great and yet so fragile, that if the project is not approved, it will be a pile of rocks in a couple of years... I will post some more pictures in another post.

Lucy O'Neil said...

Hi Juliana,

Was the project approved? Interesting post. I'd never heard of a wabe.


Lucy O'Neil from the Old house Web