Adolph Gartenlaub, Jewish Pioneer “Dean of Raisin Row” in Fresno, California

Adolph Gartenlaub

Adolph Gartenlaub of Fresno

Adolph Gartenlaub of Fresno, CA

Values Codes I – H – E – L – P


Adolph Gartenlaub was born in Kolomea, Austria in 1854.

When just a lad of 13, Gartenlaub organized 200 men and women to work with him on a harvesting expedition in Romania.

At age 17, he went to Constantinople, Turkey and engaged in a merchandising business.

He was also a master of seven languages.


Along the Way

In 1876, Gartenlaub arrived in Philadelphia, where he also had a merchandising business.

His next merchandising adventure took him to Sydney, Australia for several years.

Adolph Gartenlaub merchandised in Boston in 1882.

Retiring from merchandising in 1886, Gartenlaub went to San Antonio, Texasand invested his money in cattle.


Fresno, California

Feeling restless, Gartenlaub moved to Fresno, Californiawhere he purchased a ranch and made a huge success with cattle, orchard crops, and vineyards.

In 1895, he organized the Phoenix Packing Company in Fresno.

Gartenlaub was president for many years of the Pacific Seeded Raisin Company.

In 1904, he formed the United States Consolidated Seeded Raisin Company.

“One proof of his popularity was that he was loved by his competitors.” 

— Rabbi Martin Meyer, 1916

Gartenlaub was regarded as the “Dean of Raisin Row.”

Fresno Raisin Party, Vintage Postcard

Fresno raisin party, vintage postcard

In 1900, Adolph Gartenlaub moved his family to San Francisco.



The Gartenlaub family was were actively involved with the Infant Shelter in San Franciscowhere Adolph’s wife Alice Gartenlaub was recording secretary.



Adolph married Miss Alice Gertrude Belcher in 1884, during his time in Boston.


Adolph Gartenlaub died in 1914.


  • Martin A. Meyer, The Jews of San Francisco (San Francisco: Emanu-El, San Francisco, 1916).
  • Fred Rosenbaum, Visions of Reform, Congregation Emanu-El and the Jews of San Francisco, 1849-1999 (Berkeley: Judah L. Magnus Museum, 2000).

David Epstein is curator for this Adolph Gartenlaub exhibit.