Reuben Goldstein & Family, Pioneer Jewish Fur Traders and Merchants in Juneau, Alaska

Reuben Goldstein 

Values Codes: I-E-L

Reuben “Robert” Goldstein was born in 1831 in Russia.

Along the way . . .

As a youth, Reuben Goldstein went to London to work in the fur trade.

Reuben Goldstein then moved on to Canada.

Alaska

In 1883, Reuben Goldstein headed for Juneau, Alaska with his teenage son, Charles. 

Tingit Totem in Juneau

Tingit Totem in Juneau

They arrived in 1884, and the rest of the Goldstein family soon followed.

Goldstein became the first Jewish fur trader in Juneau.

He opened his two-story trading post on the Gastineau Channel beach.  His family lived on the second floor.

Goldstein traded with the Tlingit and Haidas Indians.

Tingit and Haidas Indians

Tingit and Haidas Indians

 

Furs were exchanged for tickets – worth $1 and up – which were used to purchase mercantile goods from the Goldstein Store.

Family

Reuben Goldstein married Anna (1845-1910) in England in the late 1860s.

They had eight children: Charles (1869-1961), Molly, Flora, Minnie, Will, Isidore (b.1883) and Belle (1885-1985).

Isidore Goldstein was a miner during the Iditarod Gold Rush.

He served for six terms as the Mayor of Juneau and four terms as a City Councilman.

Belle Simpson (nee Goldstein) was a promoter for the artist, Sydney Laurence, whose paintings of Alaska she sold at her successful gift store, The Nugget Shop.

The Nugget Shop, Junaeu, Alaska, Vintage PC

The Nugget Shop, Junaeu, Alaska, Vintage PC

Charles Goldstein built the Goldstein Building located at 130 Seward Street.

Charles Goldstein Co. Juneau, Alaska, Vintage Postcard

Charles Goldstein Co. Juneau, Alaska, Vintage Postcard

Belle’s husband, Robert Simpson, built the Simpson Building next door to Goldstein’s building.

Juneau, Alaska Vintage Postcard

Juneau, Alaska Vintage Postcard

 

Reuben Goldstein died in 1900.

He is buried in the Bikur Cholim Cemetery in Seattle, Washington.

 

Sources

  • Eisenberg, Matthew.  The Last Frontier: Jewish Pioneers in Alaska Part II.  Western States Jewish History. 24(2): 119-135.
  • Goldstein, Robert. Goldstein. Juneau-Douglas City Museum. http://www.juneau.org/parkrec/museum/forms/GCM/readarticle.php?UID=867&newxtkey=

Samantha Silver is Curator of this Exhibit

Other family information and pictures would be greatly appreciated.