HomeDecember 2021Specializing in the Sale of Orange Groves

Specializing in the Sale of Orange Groves

Felix Stein and Fred Strauss were German Jewish immigrants who came to America as teenagers in the early 1900s, eventually making their way from New York to Fullerton. Both found work at Stern & Goodman Mercantile, and in 1916 Stein purchased the store from the original owners.
    Strauss, meanwhile, had opened his own shop around the corner; in 1925 they merged and started the Stein-Strauss Company, which remained in business until 1970. Originally a general store, it expanded into a much larger affair that included a grocery store on Commonwealth Avenue and a men’s clothing and shoe store on Spadra Road (now Harbor Boulevard).
    But it took a slight turn at the end of World War II, when returning soldiers settled in Orange County in large numbers and were eager to buy land and live the California Dream. It’s not clear how long Felix and Fred stayed in the real estate business, or why they chose the men’s clothing store and not the grocery store to locate their citrus venture, but it is interesting to think of two German Jewish immigrants adding orange groves to their list of items for sale!


Dalia Taft, archivist of the Orange County Jewish Historical Society, highlights images from the archives every month. For more information, please visit www.jewishoc.org/history. You can also contact Dalia at daliat@jccoc.org or at (949) 435-3400. The Orange County Jewish Historical Society is a program of the Merage Jewish Community Center and is fully funded by the Jewish Community Foundation Orange County.



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