Napa Valley and the new Interactive Census Map

Anyone who’s ever researched family history knows the value of the US Census. But the key political use of the census is to determine, every ten years, how many seats in the US House of Representatives each state merits due to its increase or decrease of population. Enter this cool new interactive “Historical Apportionment Data Map” from the U.S. Census Bureau.

 The 2021 interactive Census Bureau map showing changes in Congressional seats over 100 years.
Link to the Census Bureau’s interactive map

No 2020 numbers show on the map yet, as of this date in March 2021, but you can see displays of the changing apportionment of Congressional seats over 100 years–from 1910 to 2010.

CALIFORNIA BY THE NUMBERS: California, for example, was just beginning to grow at the turn of the century, with only 7 seats in the 1900 elections. Contrast that with the state’s 2010 results: 53 seats–the most of any state. (Texas is next with 36.)

CA DELEGATION 1900: Congressional Rep in 1900 for Napa Valley (and a huge portion of Northern California) was a Napa native–Frank Coombs, son of Nathan Coombs, the gent who laid out the City of Napa back in 1848.

Coombs and all 7 of these fellas were Republicans, the party of President McKinley and veep Theodore Roosevelt (and the Railroad Barons). The Dems of that day were doing their damndest to gerrymander that winning team out of power!

ST HELENA SIDE NOTE: The bust outside St. Helena’s historic Elementary School honors President McKinley, whose assassination in 1901 had rocked the nation. McKinley was an Oddfellow and St Helena’s Odd Fellow Lodge #167, still active, placed the sculpture. For more backstory on why McKinley stands in front of the school, read Lin Weber’s account in the St Helena Star back in 2006.

“He lingered eight days before succumbing, and when he died The Star wrote an obituary rimmed in black. A crowd gathered on Hunt Street to hear local politicians eulogize the fallen leader, and city councilman Owen Wade proposed that McKinley be memorialized in a monument to be erected at the elementary school.St. Helenans immediately contributed more than $200 to the cause.” 

Lin Weber, St Helena Star 2006