Lazar E. Blochman, Early Jewish Pioneer Businessman, Architect, & Phialthopist of Santa Maria, CA

Lazar E. Blockman

Values Codes I-E-L-P


Lazar E. Blochman  was born in San Francisco in 1856, the eldest of 5 children of Emanuel & Nanette Blochman

Santa Maria

Lazar Blochman  came to the small central California town of Santa Maria when its population was just over 500.

There he designed and build his house on the property that now holds the Santa Maria Inn.

The Santa Maria Inn on site of Lazar Blochman’s first home.

He supported himself as a weather forecaster, and architect and an agricultural land developer.



Union Oil’s Famous Gusher Santa Maria, CA

On his property, called Cat Canyon, oil prospectors brought in 2 successful wells, relieving the Blochman’s need for income.

For his “day job” he worked at the retail business of Weilheimer & Coblentz.


Both Lazar and his wife Ida, were active in the town’s cultural life and known as philanthopists.

Ida was Vice-Principle of Santa Maria Union High School, and later a member of the Santa Barbara County Board of Education – the first woman to hold such a position.


In the 1890s, Lazar Blochman conducted High Holy Day Services, attended by nearly 100 people, at the Masonic Building in near-by San Luis Obispo.

Berkely, California

The Blochman’s moved to Berkely, California in 1909.

Lazar enrolled as a Freshman at the University of California, Berkely, majoring in geography and meteorology.


In 1888, Lazar Blochman married Ida Twitchell (1854-1931.

Unable to bear children, they adopted two boys, Harry and Leo.

Harry was murdered at the age of 13.

Ida Twitchell Blochman passed away in 1931.

Lazar Blockman passed in 1946 – when hit by an autobile in San Francisco.

Lazar, Ida and Harry are buried in the Santa Maria Cemetery’s Jewish Section.

Linda Kern is the Curator of this Blockman exhibit.