Calvo Family Photograph Collection, circa 1905-1925

Overview of the Collection

Calvo, Fortuna, b. 1908
Calvo Family Photograph Collection
circa 1905-1925 (inclusive)
11 photographic prints (1 folder)
Collection Number
Photograph collection including images of Seattle Sephardic Jewish pioneer Solomon "Sam" Calvo along with his family, friends, and business - the Waterfront Fish and Oyster Co. in Pike Place Market.
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 2065431929
Fax: 2065431931
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

By 1906 Seattle, Washington, was home to a small community of 18 Sephardic Jewish immigrants (descendants of Jews who had been expelled from Spain in 1492), including 17 bachelors and one young woman. A co-founder of the Sephardic Jewish community in Seattle, Solomon “Sam” Calvo, came to Seattle in June 1902 from the Turkish island of Marmara with his friend Jacob Policar. By late 1903 Calvo and Policar became friends with Jack Levy, another Sephardic recent arrival from Marmara. Because they could understand Greek, but not the Yiddish spoken by the German and Eastern European Jews already settled in Seattle, Calvo and his friends spent much of their spare time in a Greek coffeehouse. There, in 1904, they met Nessim Alhadeff, the first Sephardic Jewish immigrant in Seattle, who came from from the Greek island of Rhodes.

Calvo was one of many Sephardic Jews in Seattle who began working in the fish and produce trade. In his first years in the city, he peddled fish from a cart at the foot of Madison Street in downtown Seattle. He also worked at Western Fish & Oyster Co., which in 1908 became his business, Waterfront Fish & Oyster Co. Calvo was a founding member, along with fellow Marmara Jews, of the Congregation Ahavath Ahim (Brotherly Love) synagogue in 1909. He later became a member of Sephardic Bikur Holim congregation, B'nai B'rith, and the Seattle Sephardic Brotherhood. In 1906 Calvo returned to Turkey to bring his bride, Luna, to Seattle. He and his wife had two sons, Jack and Mark, and three daughters, Fortuna (the first Sephardic girl born in Seattle), Violet, and Shaya. Calvo died in Seattle on February 21, 1964.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection includes 11 photographs of Sephardic Jewish pioneer Solomon "Sam" Calvo, his family, Sephardic friends, and fish business in Seattle, Washington. Family photographs depict his wife and young children. In addition, there are photographs of Calvo working at his fish business, Western Fish and Oyster Co. (later Waterfront Fish and Oyster Co.), both located in Pike Place Market. There is also one photo of young Sephardic men working at a shoeshine stand on Yesler Way. All photographs were made in Seattle from approximately 1905-1925.

Other Descriptive InformationReturn to Top

Forms part of the repository's Jewish Archives.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact the repository for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

Donor: Fortuna Calvo, July 1982. Fortuna was the daughter of Solomon Calvo.

Processing Note

Processed by Linda Corets, 2005.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top


Container(s) Description Dates
Folder item
1 1   Sephardic pioneers in Seattle
Back row, left to right: Mashon (Patatel) Eskenazi, Jacob Policar, and Moshan Adatto; front row, left to right: Solomon (Sam) Calvo and Nessim Alhadeff.
1 2   Sephardic shoeshine men in front of stand at Yesler Way, between 1st Avenue and Occidental Avenue
Left to right: [unknown], Raliamin Calderon, Edward Tarica, Sam Amon, Ralph Policar, [unknown], Albert Ovadia, and Isaac Eskenazi.
1 3   Luna Calvo undated
1 4   Solomon "Sam" Calvo and wife, Luna Calvo undated
1 5   Calvo and Levy family members
Left to right: Marco Calvo (7 months old), Esther Levy, and Fortuna Calvo (2-3 years old).
1 6   Salti Levy (left) and Solomon "Sam" Calvo (right) in front of Western Fish and Oyster Co., Pike Place Market
The store, later known as Waterfront Fish and Oyster Co., was located at 819 Railroad Avenue, Pike Place Market. Railroad Avenue later became Alaskan Way.
1 7   [Solomon Funes?] (left) and Salti Levy in front of Western Fish and Oyster Co., Pike Place Market undated
1 8   Solomon "Sam" Calvo holding large fish in front of Waterfront Fish and Oyster Co., Pike Place Market
The store was previously known as Western Fish and Oyster Co.
1 9   Solomon "Sam" Calvo (left) and Fred August stand in front of Waterfront Fish and Oyster Co., Pike Place Market circa 1918
1 10   Solomon "Sam" Calvo (left) and another worker hold large salmon in front of Waterfront Fish and Oyster Co., Pike Place Market undated
1 11   Levy-Calvo family in car
Left to right: David Levy, Solomon "Sam" Calvo, Fortuna Calvo (in her father's arms), Mrs. Levy, Mrs. Luna Calvo, and unidentified man.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Fish trade--Washington (State)--Seattle--Photographs
  • Immigrants--Washington (State)--Seattle--Photographs
  • Jewish families--Washington (State)--Seattle--Photographs
  • Jewish pioneers--Washington (State)--Seattle--Photographs
  • Jews, Turkish--Washington (State)--Seattle--Photographs
  • Jews--Washington (State)--Seattle--Photographs
  • Sephardim--Washington (State)--Seattle--Photographs

Personal Names

  • Calvo family--Photographs
  • Calvo, Solomon, 1879-1964--Photographs

Corporate Names

  • Waterfront Fish & Oyster Co. (Seattle, Wash.)--Photographs
  • Western Fish & Oyster Co. (Seattle, Wash.)--Photographs

Geographical Names

  • Seattle (Wash.)--Emigration and immigration

Other Creators

  • Corporate Names
    • Jewish Archives (University of Washington)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Visual Materials Collections (University of Washington)