Downtown North Tour
Maier Zunder House
352 Orange Street
Maier Zunder House, 2016. Courtesy Jewish Historical Society of Greater New Haven Archives.
Maier Zunder (1829–1901) emigrated from Bavaria as a young man in 1848, fleeing from the German revolution and revolts of that year. He came to New Haven in 1852, following the death of his brother Samuel who had owned a grocery store at 54 Church Street. He turned the store into a large wholesale house, M. Zunder & Sons, which included groceries, especially imported foods from France and Germany, wines and brandies (until Prohibition in 1919), and tobacco. He soon became one of the leading entrepreneurs in the community. In 1866, he became one of the incorporators of the former Mechanics Bank, and was elected its President in 1872. He is credited with helping to establish two Jewish lodges in New Haven, the Horeb Lodge of B’nai B’rith for men and the Jochebed Lodge of the United Order of True Sisters for women. He was elected in 1868 to the New Haven Board of Education, where he served for twenty-four years, promoting bilingual education for immigrants, free school books, integrated schools and a curriculum that included the arts and physical education. He was honored by having a school named for him, the Zunder School (formerly located on George Street near College Street.) He also served as Treasurer for Congregation Mishkan Israel for twenty-five years and was active in numerous other community societies and organizations.
He owned two townhouses on Orange Street, numbers 348 and 352, and lived in one of them from 1860 to 1901. They are now combined and serve as a law office.
- Text source courtesy Jewish Historical Society of Greater New Haven Archives.
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