What is known today as Orange County began over a century and a half ago as an agricultural experiment by two Jewish German immigrants, Charles Kohler and John Frohling, who were in business together as liquor merchants. On February 24, 1857, Kohler and Frohling convened a meeting in San Francisco to create the Los Angeles Vineyard Society, specifically to grow grapes in what was then Los Angeles County, for the rapidly expanding California wine industry. The partners recruited 50 investors for what would become the town of Anaheim. Most of the original settlers were fellow Germans, and a good amount were Jewish as well. Frohling and Kohler were also well known musicians; Frohling played the flute and Kohler the violin, and they continued to write music and play throughout their careers.
Dalia Taft is the archivist of the Orange County Jewish Historical Society and highlights images from the archives every month. For more information, please visit www.jewishorangecounty.org/historical. You can also contact Dalia at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (949) 435-3484, ext. 296.