Born in Sweden, Swen Alstrom traveled and worked in several hotels in San Francisco. In 1861, he bought the White Sulphur Springs Resort in St. Helena. He lived there for 20 years, but in 1875 it burned down. He rebuilt it, but then sold it.

In 1881, Alstrom built this 2-story Italianate style wood frame hotel building. It had a dining room and kitchen on the first floor and 28 rooms on the second floor. It is now called Hotel St. Helena. The hotel has been operating for 135 years!

The Alstroms had 11 children. Mr. Alstrom died at age 60 in 1885. He was remembered as “generous to a fault.”

The stucco finish on the front elevation was applied when the front porch was removed in 1925.

The street level has housed a clothing store, a real estate and insurance firm, a newspaper, and a bank.

At street level are now Kokopelli Gallery, AF Jewelers, and Brav Fashion & Perfume. Hotel St. Helena continues to occupy a lobby at street level and rooms on the top floor.

1305 main street st. helena