One of the local history treats of 2008 was the hardcover publication of Frances Dinkelspiel‘s Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California. Dinkielspiel, an award-winning journalist, researched and wrote this fascinating biography of her great-great grandfather, financier Isaias Hellman.
For those of you who think that the biography of a financier must be an incredibly dry read, I suggest you watch this Frances Dinkelspiel interview.
Interesting stuff, huh? But what does this have to do with Seal Beach?
First and foremost, Isaias Hellman was instrumental to the growth and development of California in the latter part of the 1800s and the beginning of the Twentieth Century. Hellman helped nurture Southern California into a thriving and prosperous region and thus set the stage for the creation of cities like Seal Beach. If you truly want to understand the world of Philip Stanton and the other founders of Seal Beach, you should learn how Isaias Hellman created it.
The other connection with Seal Beach is more personal. Isaias Hellman and the Bixby family bought Rancho Los Alamitos in the early 1880s. The southern region of the Rancho Los Alamitos property became the Hellman Ranch, and Isaias Hellman once rode horses and raises crops on the land now known as Seal Beach.
The trade paperback edition of Tower of Gold was just published on January 5th. You can buy it at a local bookstore (they need the business), or you can order it online at the following links:
To learn more about Isaias Hellman and Tower of Gold, visit Frances Dinkelspiel’s web site.