Letters to the Editor

Fire stirs memories for Armenians

Our Armenian community was saddened to read of the recent fire at 121 N. U St. in downtown Fresno.

Constructed in the American Foursquare (or Prairie Box) style in 1905, the residence was the original home of Gabriel M. Michaelian, early-day émigré to Fresno, proprietor of the Fresno Jewelry House, and a pioneering member of the First Armenian Presbyterian Church.

The home, listed on the Local Register of Historic Resources, later passed to Mr. Michaelian’s step-daughter and son-in-law, Narti and Henry Gerlitz. The Gerlitzes resided in the home for more than three-quarters of a century. They were active in the good works of the Armenian American Citizens’ League and the California Armenian Home Guild. A survivor of the Armenian genocide of 1915, Mrs. Gerlitz worked tirelessly in the settlement of displaced persons of Armenian descent in the years following World War II. She passed away March 22, 2000.

Philip Tavlian, Fresno