Charles was born on this day, June 1, 1871 in New York. His father, Martin Joseph Kreling, born in Germany, moved the family (wife Barbara and 6 kids), soon after to San Francisco.
In 1877 Mr. Kreling thought that San Francisco needed music. Determined to fill that need, he a gave concerts in a former mansion near the foot of Eddy Street by performers that included a ladies’ orchestra from Vienna. When the craze for Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore swept across America, Alice Oates and company performed it in San Francisco, and soon afterward other comic opera companies appeared on the horizon. Kreling hired various members of these companies and with them founded his own opera company in 1879.
Charles grew up with performers and perhaps that is how he came to know Jauquin Miller who he accompanied in 1897 to the Klondike. Charles was a photographer by trade and took photos of the trail and Dawson, although I have not actually seen any of these photos. Charles Kreling died in 1951 in San Francisco.
Seen above is a photo taken in 1878 of the Tivoli Opera House in the Tenderloin of San Francisco.
cameraworkes directory online; J.Miller site; 1880 SF census; SS deth index