Another for my Labor Day photo series…
My great grandfather was Charles Mazeres . Charles was from Ogeu les bains, France. He made his way to San Francisco in the early 1890s. He and my grandmother, Brigitte Breilh, owned French Laundries. The earliest laundry I’ve documented is the one he owned in Modesto, California, 1903. By 1910, they owned at least two in Oakland, California.
My great grandfather died on Christmas Day in 1925. My great grandmother took over management of the laundries and ran them herself with help from her daughter and family.
They weren’t the only ones on my Dad’s side who owned French Laundries. Several of his relatives had their own businesses in San Francisco and Oakland (Breilh, Segalas, and Lascurettes families to name a couple). As my Uncle once told me, it was a cheap business for an immigrant to start with. You only needed a way to wash clothes and some irons to open business. If you did well, you could expand and buy better equipment.
This is my great grandfather with his delivery carriage sometimes around 1910.
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com