Vineyards introduced to Gasquet in mid-1800s

July 06, 2007 11:00 pm
This view of Gasquet Village shows the extensive vineyards in the foreground. Horace Gasquet imported many different varieties of grapes from France to establish his vineyards, which produced excellent wines. (Photo submitted by The Del Norte County Historical Society).
This view of Gasquet Village shows the extensive vineyards in the foreground. Horace Gasquet imported many different varieties of grapes from France to establish his vineyards, which produced excellent wines. (Photo submitted by The Del Norte County Historical Society).

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Settler Horace Gasquet, who arrived in Crescent City in 1855 seeking gold, brought a nugget of his own here – grapes from his native France.

The gold effort didn't pan out for him. But building businesses for that industry and others in the region did. Gasquet and his wife, Madeleine, added vineyards to the village of stores, hotel, mining camps and roads that they built using Chinese immigrants for labor.

Madeleine Gasquet's cooking and hotel management business skills helped the resort become a popular health spa that attracted visitors year-round. The spot also hosted weddings and events.

Madeleine Gasquet died in 1889, and her husband died seven years later.

But part of their efforts remain.

"The altitude and sunshine still support Horace's grape vines, growing on hillsides," according to the Redwood Empire Association, a California marketing group.