That day in 1874 hardly seemed unusual. Julius Gumpertz went to work while his wife, Nathalie, attended to their apartment in 97 Orchard Street. Come nightfall, though, the day took a terrible turn: Julius failed to come home. He was never seen nor heard from again.
In dire need of money, Nathalie transformed her apartment into a garment shop. By making dresses for other German women in the neighborhood, Nathalie was able to support herself and her three daughters.
Nine years later, Nathalie's life again took an unexpected twist: she secured a $600 inheritance left to her missing husband. Nathalie used the money to closer her shop and move to a German neighborhood on what would become Manhattan's Upper East Side.