Isaac Goldstein: Jewish Pioneer Merchant & Rancher of Tulare County, California

Isaac Goldstein

Isaac Goldstein of Visalia, WSJH, V2/#3, 1970

Isaac Goldstein of Visalia, WSJHQ 2/3.

Values Codes I – E – L


Isaac Goldstein was born in Bavaria in 1839.

His father, Simon Goldstein, was a cattle buyer.

The family came to the United States and settled in Connecticut.


Along the way

After a few years of schooling, Isaac sailed for California in company with United States Senator John Weller, who was later elected Governor of California.

Isaac Goldstein, then 16 years of age, found work in the store of the Acherman Brothers in San Francisco and later clerked for Godchaux’s Department Store in that same city.

In 1858, he ventured into the Gold Country, eventually heading south into the lower San Joaquin Valley, where he worked for S. Sweet & Co.


San Joaquin Valley

In 1862, Isaac Goldstein went into partnership with D. R. Douglas and Marshall Johnson, which only lasted for a short time.

Then, Goldstein entered a new partnership with his brother-in-law, S. H. Collins, and S. Reinstein, as Goldstein & Company.

Check issued by Goldstein's Store, 1911.

Receipt issued by Goldstein’s Store, 1911.

In 1876, Isaac Goldstein left the mercantile business and became actively engaged in the buying and selling of livestock.

The range of the Lower San Joaquin Valley was open, and feed was no problem.

The principle expense was hiring vaqueros to round up the stock and drive hogs, cattle, and sheep to market.

Goldstein had herds of cattle and hogs feeding around the now dry Tulare Lake.

He also ran sheep and cattle in the Sierra Nevada in today’s Kings Canyon National Park.

Goldstein Peak is named for him.

Kings Canyon National Park. One of the peaks is "Goldstein Peak." Vintage Postcard

Kings Canyon National Park; one of the peaks is “Goldstein Peak,” vintage postcard


Isaac Goldstein married Rebecca Abrahams, a native of England, in 1868.

They had 6 children: Henry, Sarah, Albert, Madaline, Ralph, and Fanny.


Isaac Goldstein passed away in 1908.


  • Annie R. Mitchell, “Pioneer Merchants of Tulare County, California,” Western States Jewish History 2/3.