Values Codes I – E – L – P
Joseph Boscowitz was born in Germany in 1834.
He came to Victoria from San Francisco where he was well known.
In 1858, Joseph Boscowitz owned a fur store on Wharf and Bastion Streets, in Victoria.
For a short time, he owned a tobacco store at 7 Yates Street.
In 1868, the stock of the firm L. & J. Boscowitz was sold, and he entered Victoria’s tiny sealing industry.
In 1871, Boscowitz, had stores in Clayoqout Sound and Washington state.
By 1886, Joseph Boscowitz’s new firm had become a leader in the sealing industry.
He also operated several stores in northern and central Vancouver Island, where it traded seal skins with Indians still hunting from their own canoes.
Sealing developed into one of the colony’s most important industries – operating ships and schooners in the North Pacific.
Joseph Boscowitz partnered in The British Columbia Merchants Line. One ship had a semi-monthly schedule between Victoria, Nanaimo, New Westminster and San Francisco.
The Merchants Line Fleet included their new steamer, “Barbara Boscowitz,” named for his daughter.
Boscowitz, with partners and various sea captains, founded the Boscowitz Steamship Co. with a fleet of “steam schooners” catching pelagic seals in the North Pacific and Behring Sea, selling these seal skins in Victoria, San Francisco, New York and London.
Throughout the years, Joseph Boscowitz continued in businesses variously as Boscowitz & Son, J. Boscowitz, and then J. & A. Boscowitz (1895) on Wharf and Fort Streets.
By 1896, Joseph and his sons, David and Leopold, became involved in the early financing and development of the Britannia Mine “a mountain of copper” on Howe Sound.
It eventually became the largest copper mine in British Columbia.
Mrs. Boscowitz was prominent in the Victoria Jewish Ladies’ Benevolent Society.
Joseph Boscowitz married Leah Phillips about 1846.
Four children were: David Aaron, born 1866; Leopold, born 1868; and Barbara, born 1869; and Leah, born 1871.
Joseph Boscowitz died in 1923
- Pioneer Jews of British Columbia, Cyril Leonoff, editor, Western States Jewish History, Vol. 37, Issue 3/4
- Archives of Sarah H. Tobe, Cyril E. Leonoff, Christopher J.P. Hanna, and David Rome.
Sarah H. Tobe is Curator of this Joseph Boscowitz Exhibit.
Any additional information or family pictures would be appreciated.
More people will see this Exhibit if you “like” it and “Share” it on your Facebook Page.