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Leadville and the Jewish Emigrants

Jews migrated to the West and to Leadville, Colorado for many of the same reasons other people did—to improve their social and economic status, to find adventure, and to reinvent themselves, among other reasons. During the California Gold Rush of the 1850s, many Jewish merchants rose to social and economic prominence.


Once silver was discovered Leadville, the mining economy exploded and the population grew to approximately 30,000 residents, of which about 300 were Jews. By the late 1870s, an influx

of migrants flooded the small mountain town. People from a variety of backgrounds, mostly from Europe, made Leadville their home.


Patterns for establishing communal and financial stability was found in many Old West towns of the 1800s. Typically, one family member went ahead to a small town to initiate a business outpost. Later, cousins, brothers, and other male relatives would join them to help run the business.

Photography Studios in Leadville in the late 1800s

Leadville was home to many photography studios. Many of the studios moved to different buildings and some joined or split partnerships over time. This list reflects simply an inventory of the studio names as taken off cabinet cards. Over time, more information and details will be added to make this list more useful.

  • Payne & Stockdorf, 613 Harrison Avenue
  • Payne & Stockdorf, 413 Harrison Avenue
  • O'Keefe & Stockdorf
  • Dave Endsley & Company, 219 Harrison Avenue
  • Leadville Art Gallery, 219 Harrison Avenue
  • F. O'Keefe
  • Luke
  • W. O. Luke
  • Wing's Gallery, 506 Harrison Avenue
  • F. W. Grove
  • Grove & Helme
  • Grove's Studio
  • E. N. Clements, located opposite the post office
  • Brisbois
  • The Leadville Traveling Cabinet Photo Gallery

Temple Israel Foundation

208 West 8th Street

Leadville, Colorado 80461


Temple Israel Museum

201 West 4th Street

Leadville, Colorado 80461

Hebrew Cemetery

Within Evergreen Cemetery

North end of James Street, Leadville

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