Southwest Corner of Main and Taylor Streets
Site of D. Epstin's Clothing Shop
Polish immigrant Philip Epstin (1836-1921), a founder and later president of the Tree of Life Congregation from 1899 to 1901, opened D. Epstin's Clothing Store with his brother, David (b. 1824), in 1867 on the ground floor of the Columbia Hotel, located on the corner of Taylor and Richardson streets. The brothers arrived in the capital city during its post-Civil War rebuilding and were among several Jewish families who helped resurrect commerce on Main Street during the Reconstruction era. In 1893, following a brutal attack in which he was horsewhipped by assistant Fire Chief W. J. May and strong epithets were exchanged, Philip Epstin sued for $10,000 but the jury awarded him a scant one cent in damages.