Levy Brothers Built a Small Empire of General Stores (5)

I wrote this in 1977. All research for this story was done at the San Mateo County History Museum, Redwood City.

While Joe Levy wed Hannah Maria Walker [daughter of Half Moon Bay’s prominent druggist, Samuel Walker], his brother Fernand still searched for a soul mate. Before long, Fernand went back to France where he courted Josephine, the daughter of a family friend–and between acts at a romantic opera he boldly proposed marriage to her.

But Josephine expected Fernand to observe European tradition and consult her father and mother first. When he explained that Americans viewed marriage with less formality, she turned him down.

Still determined, Fernand returned to Europe, and on this occasion, Josephine agreed to marry him [on one condition: that they live in America temporarily and return to Europe as soon as possible].

Josephine found herself a non-English speaking resident of Half Moon Bay in 1883. That same year, the Levys bought a third store from Supervisor John Garretson in Pescadero. Joe, who ran the business, moved his family onto the Swanton House [the famous Pebble Beach resort was located across the street from the store.]

(Next: Part 6]

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