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Charles Izmirian immigrated to America in 1895. It was not long before he acquired the language skills and funds necessary to put his Old Country trade into a new business in New York City, the Charles Izmirian Roofing and Cornice Works.
Although that business was successful, Charles, his wife Satenig, and their two small children joined the Armenian migration to California's San Joaquin Valley in 1917 to try their hand at farming. That character building exercise ended in 1924 when Charles again moved the family to the small but promising town of San Mateo to re-enter the roofing and sheet metal business. Charles opened the business in what was a pool hall opposite the San Mateo train depot. Although greatly expanded, the business remains in this same location.