Louis Family Papers


The Louis Family Papers contains nineteenth- and early twentieth-century business records and personal papers of the Louis family, a prominent and pioneering mercantile family in San Luis Obispo, California. Born in China, Wong On (Ah Louis) migrated to the United States in 1861 and opened a Chinese mercantile store in San Luis Obispo in 1874. Included are the records of Louis' children, of which Howard Louis' records comprise the bulk. The collection is comprised of approximately 20 linear feet of family correspondence, financial and legal records, and business correspondence and financial records. More information available at https://oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/c8348mwz/


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Local Identifier

Photo of men and horses working in a brickyard. Caption reads: 'Ah Louis bricks were originally made by crude methods with clay-dirt from the hillside of the San Luis Mountain. But the product proved to be strong and durable for numerous structures built about the turn of the century in the City of San Luis Obispo, have withstood severe storms, and the ravages of the elements and earthquakes. They were eventually deliberately torn down due to building restrictions. Some of these were the old Andrews Hotel, the original county courthouse, the Southern Pacific Railroad Roundhouse, the east wing of the Old Mission Church, and the El Monterey- Obispo Theatre building. Still standing and still being used is the original Sperry Flour Company building (now the Furniture Warehouse and Sport Shop), nearly all of the Andrews Bank block, Sinsheimer Bros. Store and the Ah Louis Store.'

Local Identifier

Letter reads: 'Sept. 18; Ah Louis, San Luis Obispo: Dear [?] [You?] will please sack for us 60 sacks of the potatoes that have been dug 2 weeks or so to weigh about 105 to the sack and let us know what day the first of the week we can send a [?] for them. Yours and etc., Herron and Baker Co.'