More than a Market

A Community of Markets Content Block 3

In the late nineteenth and early decades of the twentieth centuries, German families settled north of the city center along North Avenue and side streets, creating a vibrant, close-knit community that also included French-Canadian, Irish, and Jewish families. In addition to the German-owned Kieslich’s Market at 203 North Avenue, the neighborhood supported two popular, Jewish-owned markets—to the south on North Avenue was Saiger’s (later, Colodny’sMarket and to the north was Rosenberg’s Market 

Rosenberg’s Market, A.C. & S.F. Rosenberg, “Quality–not Quantity.” Courtesy of Aaron Goldberg.

Proprietor Abe Rosenberg’s father, Isaac, arrived in Burlington in the late 1800s and worked as a peddler for several years before opening a market with his wife, Zelde, at 217 North Avenue, a few buildings north of Kieslich’s Market. This in itself was unusual, as most Jewish entrepreneurs opened their businesses in a neighborhood several blocks to the east that became known as Little Jerusalem 

The Rosenberg and Kieslich families supported each other as friends and business owners. As Abe Rosenberg grew older, he began to limit the selection in his store. If someone wanted something that he did not have in stock, he would say, “I’ve got it in the back.” Then he would walk over to Kieslich’s Market, enter through the back door, and borrow what he needed to sell.


JV Kieslich (left) and Isaac Rosenberg with his son Abe, c. 1912 (right). Photos courtesy of Sr. Marie Kieslich (left) and Aaron Goldberg (right).

Jewish families varied on how strictly they observed the Jewish Sabbath, which forbade all work activities from sunset Friday to Saturday night. It was common in Burlington for non-Jewish neighbors to turn on the lights and light the ovens in the homes of Jewish friends—a favor assigned to the Kieslich childrenThey also opened the door to Rosenberg’s Market on Saturday morning and cashed out the store on the Sabbath, although the Rosenbergs were in the shop and served customers on Saturday.


Left: The Rosenberg family, c. 1930. Left to right: Abraham (Abe), Isaac, Sarah, Zelde, Hyman, and Maurice (Sam not present). Abe and his wife, Sara (Flax), assumed ownership of the market after his father, Isaac, passed away. Right: Three generations of the Kieslich family: Albert Kieslich with his son Dick (left) and Jim (right) and grandson Jeffrey. Photos courtesy of Aaron Goldberg (left) and Sr. Marie Kieslich (right).