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Isadore Meyerowitz

Isadore_Meyerowitz:_A_Tragic_Drowning_in_Honey_Lake Card IconIsadore Meyerowitz: A Tragic Drowning in Honey Lake

  • descent
  • ill-fated
  • valuable
  • dialects
  • pointless

Isadore Meyerowitz is a man of mystery. No one knows when or where he was born or how to spell his last name! It is thought he was of Russian or Polish descent.

In his early 30's, Isadore was a faithful traveling companion of Peter Lassen for seven years. He was described by writers of his day as intelligent, likeable, generous, gentle, and kind. Isadore was a valuable companion because he knew the local Indians well and spoke their dialects.

After several years of living between Indian Valley and Honey Lake Valley, Isadore settled in a home he built in Buntingville, between present-day Standish and Janesville. George Lathrop, William Reed, Jack the Sailor, and a Native American woman were living with the Meyerowitz.

In July 1856, Jack and Isadore decided to build a boat to sail on Honey Lake. They made the "boat" by removing the wheels of a pioneer wagon box. Neighbors warned them against sailing it. Despite these warnings, Isadore, the Native American woman, Lathrop, Reed, Jack the Sailor, and R.J. Scott sailed the boat.

A gust of wind turned the boat over and threw them into the lake. They clung to the side of the boat or got up on the bottom of it. The Indian woman slipped from the side of the boat. Isadore kept pulling her back. Finally he tired and she drowned. Tired himself, he gave up hope and let go of the boat.

Lathrop decided he would swim to the shore. He, too, tired and almost gave up, but he discovered the water was waist deep. He walked to shore! People discovered how shallow Honey Lake was and determined the ill-fated drowning of Isadore and the woman was pointless. Their bodies were never found.

Map Drawing of the Honey Lake Valley
Pioneer Map of Honey Lake
photo of trees and blue sky
1 Short-Lived Explorations of Isadore Meyerowitz, Levenson, A.

Information presented on this page was researched and contributed by:

Holly Azevado
Marilyn Chapman
Heather Cluck