Saturday, November 17, 2007

Andrew Kohler - Piano Retailer

[Photo by Michael Colbruno is of grave of Louisa Kohler, his daughter, who died at age five; Historic photos from SF Library]

Andrew Kohler left the East Coast for San Francisco in 1849. Shortly after his arrival he rented an old barn on Broadway Street and set up his collection of various musical instruments that he had carried across country.

Since it was the only music store in the city, business thrived and he soon moved to Stockton Street at Jackson. Although he initially had a difficult time stocking his store, once the Pacific Mail steamship line began regular service his store quickly filled the needs of the music hungry prospectors streaming into San Francisco. Before long he entered into a partnership with a Maine transplant and pioneer named Quincy A. Chase and the business became Kohler & Chase. Chase quickly put a plan in action to expand the business throughout California and Kohler & Chase moved to bigger stores over the ensuing decades.

Kohler & Chase pianos remained popular for many decades in America.

Andrew Kohler also owned land in what is now known as the Temescal district in Oakland. Quincy Chase is also buried at Mountain View Cemetery.

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