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Sam Brannan

Meet Sam Brannan. In 1846 Brannan landed the ship “Brooklyn” in Yerba Buena which is now San Francisco. In 1859 he purchased 2,000 acres and founded the town of Calistoga to build a spa that was reminiscent of Saratoga Springs in New York. He also founded the Napa Valley Railroad in 1864. These are only a few of the highlights of his life which can be viewed on the floor-to-ceiling timeline located next to the diorama.

Brannan Cottage

Go from miniature to life-size as you walk into an authentic Sam Brannan Cottage as depicted in the large diorama. One of three surviving cottages from the original Hot Springs Resort, this historic landmark (#675) was moved and fully restored and now adjoins the museum as a permanent exhibit. Inside are authentic vintage furnishings as they would have been seen in Napa Valley parlors and homes of the late 1800s. 

Large Diorama

Highlights include an extensive, highly detailed yet whimsical 30-foot diorama known world-wide, which offers a glimpse of 1860s Calistoga and its Hot Springs Resort developed by Sam Brannan, California's first millionaire and the founder of Calistoga. Be sure to look closely to see all the miniature people, horses, chickens and the like in their animated states as they go about vacationing at the Resort. It’s truly remarkable!

Ben Sharpsteen

Explore the artistry and vision that Ben Sharpsteen and his many talented designers put into this incredible museum. Paintings on every wall and around every corner feel like you could walk right into the scenes of yesterday. See an actual light table used by Ben to create Disney animation page by page. Don’t miss a ‘real Oscar’, one of 11 won by Ben during his 30-years with Disney. Ben’s creative talent is everywhere!

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