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E.R. Sawyer Jewelers
638 Fourth Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95404


A man by the name of John T. Sawyer left Omaha, Nebraska in 1878, departing for the Redwood Empire of Northern California. Settling in Santa Rosa, he opened a watch and clock shop in a location shared with a candy store. The business prospered and in 1879 he moved into his own store.

In 1884, when John Sawyer became ill, his son, Elbert R. Sawyer dropped out of high school to work in the store. Five years later in 1889, he took over the business from his father, and renamed the store E.R. Sawyer, Jeweler. One of the most respected merchants in the community, Elbert saw the store grow under his guidance for more than fifty years.

Elbert died in 1948. Following his death, E.R. Sawyer, Jeweler was purchased from his widow in 1949 by Allan and Virginia Flood, in partnership with Allan's uncle, Orrin Magoon. The company's name was modified to E.R. Sawyer Jewelers.

When Orrin retired in 1962, Robert Van Dyke began working in the store, learning the jewelry business from Allan Flood, who was his father in law. The Flood's retired in 1978, and the business passed on to Robert and Kathleen Van Dyke. Kathleen was Allan and Virginia's daughter.

Douglas Van Dyke began working at E.R. Sawyer jewelers in 1987, the fifth generation to join the family business, continuing tradition into the company's second century.

In 1996 Gary Bayless, designer and Master Goldsmith, was welcomed to the E.R. Sawyer jewelers team. After 20 years, he chose to close his own business, "A Study in Gold," allowing him the opportunity to dedicate his talents on custom designs and jewelry restoration.

As far as records show, the store has been open for business each and every scheduled work day, with the exception of one. On the fragile yellow pages of old store records, there are entries on the day before the Great Quake of 1906. No entries can be found on the actual date of the Great Quake, April 18th. Continuing entries of the next day indicate it was back to business as usual.

Over the years E.R. Sawyer jewelers has done business in several different locations in the downtown area of Santa Rosa, following the central business core as it moved. Both "A" Street and Hinton Avenue have had the store there. Previous to its current site, E.R. Sawyer Jewelers was at 628 Fourth Street for thirty years. E.R. Sawyer Jewelers has been in its present store at 638 Fourth Street since 1981


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