Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco was selling seats in the Synagogue as early as 1866.
What is most interesting is that the seats were handled like real estate and registered with the County of San Francisco – complete with a United States Inter-Revenue Tax Stamp.
And – Congregation Emanu-El collected fees in Gold Coin!
Not a bad idea today.
State of California
City and County of San Francisco
Know all Men by these Presents
That Mr. S. Sweet has purchased and paid the sum of four hundred and fifty Dollars in United States gold coin for seats 7, 8 & 9, Bench E, Section 2 in the SYNAGOGUE EMANU-EL, situated on the North Side of Sutter Street, between Stockton and Powell Streets, in the City and County of San Francisco.
Said L. Sweet, his heirs and assigns are to have and to hold the same forever, subject nevertheless to all and every tax, rate, assessment, condition, restriction or regulation as may from time to time be levied, imposed or created by, through, or under any By-Laws or Constitution of the Congregation Emanu-El, now existing or that may hereafter as any time exist.
In Witness Whereof, said Congregation Emanu-El have set the corporate seal of said Congregation hereto, and caused the same to be attested by the President and Secretary thereof, this Second day of April, 1866.
Lewis Sachs, President
From the Archives of Western States Jewish History
Signature researched by Ann Sinatra of Pennsylvania. Thank you!