OREGON NATIVE SON HISTORICAL MAGAZINE
Vol. 11 Dec., 1900 No. 7

Shematic Emmigration to the Pacific Northwest


The Pacific Northwest had been known to the world, from the time of its discovery up to 1849, through expeditions thereto by both sea and land, and by emigration of pioneers. But, up to the latter date none of the descendents of Shem had ever come, so far as known, within the borders of the vast territory which it comprised.

The first of the race to put in an appearance were a couple of merchants, Goldsmith & May, in the fall of 1849. They conducted a general merchandise store in Portland for about two years, when they sold out and removed to San Francisco.

In 1850 J. Kohen opened a store in Portland, and the firm of Dusenberry & Mitchell began merchandising in Oregon City. Soon afterwards Haas Bros. began business in Portland. A short time after their advent, some brothers by the name of Weil arrived, but did not permanently locate anywhere, occupying themselves with peddling from town to town. They were the first peddlers in the Pacific Northwest.

The next arrivals were the brothers, J. and S. Blumauer, the former reaching here in May, 1851, and the latter in September of the same year. The first Jewish lady to come was Mrs. Weinshank, the wife of a Portland merchant of that name. She arrived in 1854. The second was Mrs. S. Blumauer, recently deceased. Her eldest children, Louis, the senior partner of the Blumauer-Frank Drug Co., and Mrs. May, were the first children born of Jewish parents in the Pacific Northwest.

The first marriage ceremony performed, both the contracting parties being Jews, was that of Mr. and Mrs. S. Rosenblatt. This was in February, 1859. To this couple was born the first child [a son, now deceased], born to Jewish parents who were married in the Pacific Northwest. L. Bettman was the first of the Jewish race to settle north of the Columbia river. He located at Olympia, Washington, and conducted a store there for many years.

In later years numbers of others came. Many of them are quite wealthy and are identified with some of the leading enterprises on the coast. Some of them have received high honors at the hands of their fellow citizens. Among them being Hon. Sol Hirsch, ex-minister to Turkey, and Joseph Simon, at present a United States senator from Oregon.

The first Jewish congregation in the Pacific Northwest was organized in 1858 in Portland, Rev. S.M. Laski being chosen reader. The first meetings were held in Burke's Hall. In the fall of 1861 a building was erected on Fifth and Oak streets, which was given the name of Beth Israel. Rev. H. Bories was chosen minister of the congregation, remaining thus employed until 1863, when Rev. Dr. Julius Eckman was elected rabbi, the first in the Pacific Northwest.



Return to Native Sons Index, Dec. 1900
"A Place Called Oregon"