San Diego Honors Rose Family, Pioneers Settling of the West
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San Diego Honors Rose Family, Pioneers Settling of the West

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The city planning commission has given approval for the placing of a tablet here in memory of the Louis Rose family, after which Rose Canyon and Roseville are named. The San Diego Historical Society will place a bronze tablet on a large boulder at the head of Rose Canyon, main entrance to the city.

Louis Rose was the first Jew who came to San Diego in 1850. The town at that time consisted of a settlement of a few adobe huts. The period was shortly after California had passed from the Mexican flag to the Stars and Stripes. Although the inhabitants were mainly of Spanish descent his name soon became foremost, He helped build a city which takes its place among the most modern and foremost communities in the state.

He built and operated the first tannery in the southwest, and manufactured harnesses and boots. The first commercial bricks turned out were from his kilns. The ruins are still there, and the region is called Ladrillo (brick) to commemorate its early adventure. He also prospected for coal, copper and silver in the country.

He erected the first hotel in Roseville, the first white man’s dwelling on Point Loma and La Government, was built by Rose. A bronze tablet marked “Here Louis Playa, which are mentioned in Dana’s “Two Years Before the Mast.” The first wharf at Quarantine Station, now used by the Rose Founded Roseville, 1869″ is on a giant eucalyptus tree.

He served as postmaster for ten years, as trustee and supervisor, and was a member of the first grand jury. He was also treasurer of the first railroad organized there, the San Diego and Gila, Southern Pacific and Atlantic Railroad.


Louis Rose founded the first Masonic lodge, still in existence, San Diego No. 35, which met in his home for many years. The first newspaper, the San Diego Herald was published in his home. As soon as more Jewish families arrived he organized the first congregation, Adath Yeshrun (now Beth Israel), with Marcus Schiller, J. S. Menasse, Rudolph Schiller and I. J. Ascheim, and held services in his home. Five acres of land were donated by him to the Jewish community as a cemetery, where his remains and those of his wife rest, near Roseville, the most exclusive residential district of the city. Thus he laid the foundation for the present Jewish settlement.

During a depression he lost his entire fortune, but his creditors, knowing his honesty, offered him a release in full. He refused, and later, prospering again, paid all his obligations in full, both principal and added interest.

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