Home February 2012 Celebrating Orange County’s Jewish History

Celebrating Orange County’s Jewish History

One of the earliest recorded fires in Orange County history occurred in Santa Ana on February 22, 1892, at the Stern-Goodman Store on West 4th Street.  The Santa Ana Fire Department, established in 1883, was run by a three-man Board of Fire Commissioners consisting of William Spurgeon, Henry Neill and Jewish pioneer Levi Gildmacher.  Gildmacher was well known for his ethical business dealings and was a successful merchant in Santa Ana for over 26 years.  The Stern-Goodman store was owned by two other Jewish Orange County pioneers, Jacob Stern and Joseph Goodman, and was part of the first chain store in California.  The building was saved, and stayed open in Santa Ana into the early 1900s.

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