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May 2000 Vol. XXIX No. 8
 
CALENDAR
Thursday, June 8 @ 7:00 p.m.
LHG Meeting, Camegie Bldg.
Saturday, May 27 Duarte Garage, Livermore Heritage Guild Annual Auction and spaghetti dinner. Auction preview begins at 5 p.m., dinner starts at 6 p.m. and the auction starts at 7 p.m. Tickets for the dinner are $6.00 and can be purchased in advance at the Carnegie Library Bldg. or at the door that night. This price includes spaghetti dinner, soft drink or coffee and dessert. The auction itself is free.
 
HERITAGE GUILD HAPPENINGS
It's still not too late to make donations for this year's LHG AUCTION. The auction will be upon us soon. Donations of goods and services are greatly appreciated. All usable items will be accepted except books, clothing and furniture (unless considered antique). Unfortunately, computer equipment not working or more than 4 years old also cannot be accepted. Time to clean out those garages and let us help you dispose of those items that need a new home. Phone 449-9927 for pickup. This has been a fun event for everyone and we look forward to seeing you at the auction!

Setting the Record Straight
By Larry Mauch

In 1992, 1 wrote an article about the Livermore Soda Works. I had collected information on the soda works for some time before I wrote the article. Julius Jacobs, one of several owners, purchased the soda works in 1895 and built his home and a new soda works plant on K street on adjoining lots. The plant was torn down in 1930, but the house still stands today. Several years earlier l was shown a charcoal sketch of Julius Jacobs by his niece, Adele Kruger. Adele's mother, Lillian Kruger, was the sister of Julius Jacobs' wife. Photographs of the sketch of Mr. Jacobs has been published several times since then, including most recently in the Guild's year 2000 calendar.

Julius Jacobs sold the soda works and moved to Santa Cruz in 1902. He purchased the Santa Cruz Soda Works that same year. In 1905 he and his partner were killed when an explosion occurred while filling seltzer bottles.

Recently I had an opportunity to acquire an interior photo of the Santa Cruz Soda Works. There were two men in the photo, Julius Jacobs and his partner, Adolph Von Thum. Much to my surprise neither was the man previously identified as Julius Jacobs. After some research, it appears the photo previously identified as Julius Jacobs is actually a member of the Reimers family. The confusion appears to have started because Julius Jacobs' wife was Lena Reimers.

 Page 2


Interior of the Santa Cruz Soda Works

 The first photo is undoubtedly one of Lena's relatives (probably her brother, John Reimers). It should be noted that Julius Jacobs died before Adele Kruger was born.

Recently found in a box lot of photos from Adele's estate, was a tintype photo of the same man in the Santa Cruz Soda Works photo, only about ten years younger. This would have been when Julius Jacobs owned the Livermore Soda Works- In Barbara Bunshah's index to the Livermore newspapers I found a reference to a tintype photographer being in town and set-up on J Street for several days in December 1897. The tintype photo was of Julius Jacobs taken in December of 1897.

1 decided to drive to Santa Cruz and look for more information on Mr. Jacobs from the local newspapers there. After several hours of research I found out the following

Julius Jacobs purchased the Santa Cruz Soda Works and operated it in the original location for several years. In May 1905, he relocated to a new plant. The photo of the interor of the plant is probably taken just after he relocated. On July 12th Julius Jacobs and Adolph Von Thum were getting ready to fill soda bottles when Lena Jacobs (Mr. Jacobs wife) charged the system to 100 lbs pressure. The metal pressure tank exploded, breaking apart at the welds, inflicting massive head wounds to Von Thum and several severe head wounds to Julius Jacobs. Miraculously, Lena Jacobs, only six feet away was not hurt. Julius lay in a coma in their house for three days, awaking only once. It seems Una's brother, John Reimers, was removing the damaged tank from the soda factory next door when Julius heard the noise and sat up in bed long enough to remark, "Tell those fellows not to fool with the at machinery, it costs money". Julius Jacobs fell back in bed and died, he was 35 years o I d.

 Page 3

Lena (Reimers) Jacobs sold the soda works and returned to Livermore. Lena Jacobs passed away in June 1948. Note: Lena's brother, John Reimers, operated Reimers Mortuary in Livermore for many years before selling the

Tintype of Julius Jacobs, ca. 1897

business to Leo Callaghan in 1948. Local residents report that for many years Mr. Reimers stored his hearse in the garage of the old home on K Street built by Julius Jacobs.

John Reimers?, ca. 1905

 

 Page 4

Julius Jacobs' Home as it looks today

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November25, 2000