Henry Getleson and Abraham Friedberg, Early Jewish Pioneers of Calistoga, California

Henry Getleson and Abraham Friedberg

Values Codes  I-E-L


Trained as a sculptor in Germany, Henry Getleson came to Calistoga, California in 1866.

Henry Getleson, by the invitation of Sam Brannan, built the town’s first general store at Washington and Lincoln Streets.

A sister store in San Francisco was operated by Russian born Morris Friedberg.

The Calistoga store boasted the first private telephone line in town.


Getleson & Friedberg Adv.

Getleson & Friedberg Adv.

In 1871, Henry Getleson became partners with Morris Friedberg’s brother, Abraham Friedberg.

After a year, Henry Getleson left the partnership.

Felix Grauss, Sr. clerked for the firm for many years before going into business for himself.


It is thought that the disparaging portrait of the Jewish store owner, Kelmar, in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Silverado Squatters was based on Abraham Friedberg.



For more information, see:

Under the Vine and the Fig Tree: The Jews of Napa Valley, by Lin Weber, ISBN 0-9667014-4-5, 2003

Napa Valley’s Jewish Heritage, by Henry Michalski and Donna Mendelsohn, ISBN 978-0-7385-8898-8 Arcadia Publishers

Both books are available thru the Jewish Historical Society of Napa Valley, info@jhsnv.org



Click on photos to enlarge them.

Lauren Chevlen is curator of this Getleson and Friedberg Exhibit.