- Galleries & Public Art:
A Tribute to the Author in the Valley He Loved
Adjacent (appropriately enough) to the St. Helena public library, you'll find this one-room museum devoted to Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, A Child's Garden of Verses and Treasure Island, among other classics.
A museum dedicated to a Scottish-born writer might seem odd here in the Napa Valley, but Stevenson spent his honeymoon on the slopes of Mount St. Helena, romantically roughing it with his new wife in the rickety bunkhouse of an abandoned mine. His account of those two idyllic, sun-drenched months was published in 1883 as Silverado Squatters.
A first edition of that very book sparked a lifelong a passion that led to an 800-piece collection of Stevensoniana and the dream of a museum to house it in. Norman and Charlotte Rouse's dream became a reality with the opening of the Robert Louis Stevenson Silverado Museum in 1969.
Today, the collection includes more than 9,000 items, including first editions and manuscript pages of Stevenson's works, portraits of the author, childhood letters, drawings and toys, books from his personal library, and even the desk on which he wrote numerous novels. Displayed in a warm and welcoming environment, the collection appeals to Stevenson fans of every age.
TOUR HOURS: Tuesday-Saturday: 12:00P - 4:00P
ENTRY FEE: FREE
Insider Tip: The Robert Louis Stevenson Museum is just one homage to the author in the Napa Valley. If you're looking for a complete tour, why not take a hike at the nearby Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, or give a nod to the writer when passing by Napa Valley's famous highway sign: "Wine is Bottled Poetry," is actually a Stevenson-derived excerpt!
Did You Know? Though he had a great love for adventure, Robert Louis Stevenson was plagued with chronic respiratory illnesses all his life. Napa Valley's sunshine and fresh air soothed his lungs, and the swaggering stage coach drivers, thuggish highwaymen and other characters he met here fueled his imagination.