Guide to the Gosliner Family Collection (1820s-1950s)

Overview +


Collection Number



This collection was assembled by Mrs. Lewis Weil and contains the possessions of the estate of Barbara Gosliner, daughter of Flora and Aaron Gosliner and sister to Hiram and Joseph Gosliner. It was gifted to the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History on August 19, 1981.


Number of Containers: One Box
Linear Feet: o.42 Linear Feet


A research file on the Gosliner family is available in the archive. A rough summary of the items in this collection in included in the collection’s box. Also in the box is an incomplete collection guide and biographical notes on the family. This information has been added to the updated collection guide.


Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, Archives
705 Front Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060


This collection consists of family photographs, postcards and documents relating to the Gosliner family of Santa Cruz whom owned a shoe store on Pacific Ave. The items in this collection concern events in the family’s life such as military service, vacations, and the partnership of Aaron Goslner with Sussman Shoes. An example of items in this collection include: thirty-five postcards from Hiram Gosliner’s European tour with the American Legion, which include cards from Venice, Italy; Geneva, Switzerland; Rome, Italy; Paris, France; and Germany among other places, as well as several scrapbooks and an 1821 book full of quotations from famous personages and poets. This book was 150 years old in 1971 according to an inscription inside and came with its owner to San Francisco . Other items include family portraits and military enlistment papers from World War I as well as photographs of military camps and soldiers from World War I. This collection spans a date range of 1821-1956.


The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, Santa Cruz, CA

Preferred Citation

The Gosliner Family Collection, The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, Santa Cruz, CA

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the head of Archives at MAH. Researchers may be responsible for obtaining copyright permission to use material not produced by museum personnel.

Process By

Renata McRee (re-written and processed 2015) and Lauren Janet Takemoto (2004)

Date Completed


History +

Aaron Gosliner ( born 1854-1931) Owner of Gosliner’s Shoe Store

Aaron Gosliner, a native of Germany, was in the general merchandise business with his brother in Colusa County, California. After traveling along the California coast Aaron decided to settle in Santa Cruz to start his own business. In 1888 he arrived in Santa Cruz and became a shoe merchant on Pacific Avenue after discovering that Horace Randall Shoe Store was for sale. There he began a partnership Mr. Sussman for two or three years, opening up Gosliner and Sussman Shoes Store on Pacific Avenue. In 1889 he married Flora Solomon (1864-1958), who was born and reared in San Francisco, the daughter of a pioneer California family; they wed at Saratoga Hall. Aaron became a leading businessman and a spirited citizen in the community. Aaraon and his family resided at 231 Walnut Street in Santa Cruz. Aaron and his two sons Hiram (1890-1949) and Joseph (1891-1960), would own Gosliner’s shoe store from 1888 until 1956. Hiram and Joseph worked at the popular store with their father, except for the years when they served in the Army in WWI. Joseph gained the rank of Sargent First Class while his brother served as a Private at Camp Kearney, CA. Aaron Gosliner’s daughter Birdie (Barbara a.k.a. Brydie and/ or Bertie) Gosliner (1893-1981) was a Santa Cruz High School graduate and a classmate and longtime friend of actress Zasu Pitts. The Gosliner family were members of the local Jewish community. Images in this collection are of the Gosliner family and include military images of Joseph Gosliner as well as a trip to Yosemite (Source: MAH Collection Guide by Laura Janet Takemoto, 2004).

Arrangement +


Subseries I.A. Birdie Photos
Subseries I.B. Army Photos
Subseries I.C. Miscellaneous Photos


Subseries II.A. Autograph Book
Subseries II.B. Framed Portraits
Subseries II.C. Wedding Invitation




Contents +

SERIES I. PHOTO ALBUMS (1915 – 1920)

Three (3) Albums, Three (3) Folders

Series Scope and Content Summary:

This series consists of three (3) photo albums containing photographs of the Gosliner family and their acquaintances. These albums include one containing primarily photographs of soldiers and army barracks during World War I, and album of miscellaneous photos of the Gosliner family including photos of them engaged in various activities such as baseball; and an album primarily of photos of Birdie Gosliner.

This series is divided into the following subseries:

Subseries I.A. Birdie Photos
Subseries I.B. Army Photos
Subseries I.C. Miscellaneous Photos


One (1) Photo Album, Ono (1) Folder

Subseries Scope and Content Summary:

This subseries consists of one (1) approx. 9 (height) x10” (length) photo album bound in thick brown paper with flowers on the cover and the words “Photos”. Inside are approx. twelve double-sided paper pages containing black and white 2×3” and 3×4” photos pasted or loose in the pages. A printed notecard states that these photos depict Birdie Gosliner during her childhood as well as her schoolmates, and a photo of her mother Flora Gosliner. One page, along with a photo appears to be cut in half. The photos are in otherwise good condition, though some are coming loose from the pages. The photos depict: young women at Mt. Tamalpais; a young man in a uniform (possibly World War I); young man in Naval uniform; scenes of the beach, waterfalls; photos of groups of people and individuals out in nature and on boats; in the snow (possible Yosemite) and much more. These photos are a nice look into family life during the 1900s-1920s.

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One (1) Album, One (1) Folder

Subseries Scope and Content Summary:

This subseries consists of one (1) approx. 9” (height)x13” (length) photo album bound in black cloth. Inside are approx. sixty (60) black paper pages, fifty of which are covered with 2×4” and 7×4” black and white photos. These photos primarily depict the Gosliner family at Yosemite Falls, and the Camp Kearney drill field and the officer’s row of tents for the 160th Infantry most likely from World War I. The photos depict tents, a young man in a gas mask, and groups of men in uniform; a few of the photos are captioned and one is dated 1918. Other photos include: photo of young man in a navy and/or sailor’s uniform on a boat dated 1918; uniformed men in trenches, possibly during military training; man in aviator’s uniform with caption “Just finished my ‘Solo’ flight”; young women at the beach; Yosemite Falls; several photos of people in an automobile; Mirror Lake and much more. These photos are in primarily good and intact condition; some are loose in the pages, one has been torn. Date range: 1918-1920s

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One (1) Photo Album, one (1) folder

Subseries Scope and Content Summary:

This subseries consists of one (1) approx. 6.5” (height) x 10”(length) photo album made of brown and tan paper with the symbol of a squirrel surmounting what appears to be a shield or acorn with a camera inside, embossed on the cover. Inside the album, are approx. twelve double-sided tan paper pages bound with red string. These pages contain 4×3” and 3×5” black and white photos depicting people engaged in various activities and scenes of buildings and sculptures. These photos include: photo of an unidentified ship; Studio portrait of a young girl, approx. 2-3 years of age taken by Edouart’s Photographic Gallery of Kearney, Cor. And S.F. California; photos of men playing a sport, possibly baseball; photos of an arch and fountain possibly in France; photo of women near sculpture of Abraham Lincoln; photos of various other unidentified buildings and sculptures possibly in Europe; photo of the Santa Cruz Public Library; a dome that resembles the one at Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco; and much more. Date range: 1915-1920s

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Four Items, four (4) folders

Series Scope and Content Summary:

This series consists of four (4) items in four (4) 9” (height) x 6” (length) acid-free envelope “folders”. These items include two (2) studio portraits in black and gold oval frames, one of a young man and the other of an infant; one c.1821 autograph book; and an 1889 wedding invitation for the marriage of Flora and Aaron Gosliner. Date range: 1820’s-1900s

This series is divided into the following subseries:

Subseries II.A. Autograph Book
Subseries II.B. Framed Portraits
Subseries II.C. Wedding Invitation


One (1) Book, One (1) Folder

Subseries Scope and Content Summary:

This subseries consists of one (1) approx. 3 ½” x 6” book bound in brown leather with the word “Autographs” written in gold on the cover. The book features gold-edges pages and an inscription inside the first few pages near the cover that states that the book belonged to Bertha Solomon, grandmother to Brydie (also known as Birdie) Gosliner who brought the book to San Francisco and that the book was 150 years old in 1971. Inside the book are approx. sixty pages with quotations written in gold ink intersperse3d throughout the pages. The quotations include passages from poets such as William Wordsworth, John Keats, Byron, (Sir) Thomas Moore, Benjamin Franklin and more. Date range: 1820s

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Two Items, Two (2) Folders

Subseries Scope and Content Summary:

This subseries consists of two (2) portraits in black and gold frames. These frames are approx. 5” to 6” high and contain studio photographs, one of a young man about 18-26 years old sitting at a desk near a trunk and suitcase (Folder 5) and the other of a young girl standing, age 3-5 years old (Folder 6) These photos are unidentified and undated and in fairly good condition except for some heavy dirt and dust obscuring the portrait of the young girl. Estimated date range: late 1890s mid 1900s

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1:5 and 6


One (1) Item

Subseries Scope and Content Summary:

This subseries consists of one (1) approx. 3” (height) x 4” (length) wedding invitation dated 1889. This wedding invitation features an announcement stating that Mrs. B. Solomon requests the presence of guests for the marriage ceremony of her daughter Flora and Aaron Gosliner t Saratoga Hall. The announcement is printed on thick beige paper or cardstock with a decorative jagged edging colored in yellow, red, and green. Date range: 1889

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Three (3) Items, one (1) folder

Series Scope and Content Summary:

This series consists of three (3) documents that were in an envelope with the return address “Office of County Recorder Mrs. Belle Lindsay, Santa Cruz, CA”. These documents include: recommendation for military service written by the Secretary Local Board for the County of Santa Cruz, CA concerning Joseph Gosliner and his suitability for service, written 1918; 1956 copy of a document from the Records of Santa Cruz County, requested at the request of Joseph Gosliner in 1921, concerning his vocation and condition when discharged from military service; enlistment record and honorable discharge papers for expired term of service for Sargent Joseph Gosliner from the United States Army dated 1918. These document are in a 12 x 9” envelop folder and are in good condition. Date range: 1918-1950s

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One (1) Folder

Series Scope and Content Summary:

This series consists of one (1) folder filled with forty (40) postcards in plastic protective sheets. These postcards were written by “Hi”, likely Hiram Gosliner and are addressed primarily to B. Gosliner, his sister and appear to be from his tour with the American Legion. He writes about his travels and some postcards concern the American Legion Convention. There is also a postcard from J ? Llewellynn concerning Santa Cruz’s representation in the [American] Legion Parade where Hiram Gosliner “carried the colors”. These postcards from the 1920’s (most dated 1927) are in very good condition with black and white and color scenes of places throughout Europe. These places include: Place du Carrousel in Paris, France; Florence, Italy; St. Mark’s Square in Venice, Italy; some of the American Legion Parade of 1927; Locarno, Switzerland and Montreux, Switzerland; Heidelberg, Germany, and much more. Date range: 1927

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Twenty Photos, one (1) Folder

Series Scope and Content Summary:

This series consists of twenty (20) loose photos contained in protective plastic sleeves. These photos are of various Gosliner family members. These photos include: studio photo of a young girl age 6-8 in a sundress in front of a beach backdrop (unknown studio, unidentified girl); portrait of Joe Gosliner age 12-14 by Mckean of Santa Cruz; 9×10” photo by McKean & Ort of Pacific Ave. Santa Cruz, showing children at a table; photos of people dressed as Native Americans and of a parade; 11×10” photo of Joseph Gosliner dated 1938; studio portrait by Kramer of Santa Cruz of Hiraam Gosliner (no date); 10×6” photo mounted on carboard of infants and children from an 1889 birthday party; 6×11” photo of women on an American Legion and Auxillary float during a parade; 10×6” studio portrait of Birdie Gosliner age 5-6 by Elite Studio of 144 Pacific Ave.; photo or copy of a photo taken in 1888 of Aaron Gosliner and Fred Kober in front of Gosliner & Sussman shoestore; photo of Birdie Gosliner’s 7th grade class, studio photos of Birdie Gosliner and Hiram Gosliner (age a few months-1 or 2 years) taken by Grove Studios and Mckean Studio of Santa Cruz, and much more. Date range: 1880s-1940s

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