Gertrude Asher, pictured here in her “royal carriage” with her two ladies-in-waiting, was the queen of the Santa Ana Products Carnival (an early version of the Orange County Fair) in 1909. Gertrude was the daughter of Isadore and Ida Asher, who both immigrated from Germany, and was born and raised in Anaheim. Her father co-owned Asher & Falkenstein Mercantile, located at 105 W. Center Street (now Lincoln Ave.), and her mother was one of 11 children from the Harris family, a prominent Southern California Jewish family known for its Harris Department Stores. Two other Harris daughters married Jewish Orange County businessmen: Emma married Simon Goldsmith, a shoe merchant in Santa Ana, and Regina married William Falkenstein of Anaheim.
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.
Gertrude Asher, Queen of the Santa Ana Products Carnival, 1909