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Thursday, May 30, 2024

2:29 pm edt 

Swart Jewelry: “The Tower” Jewelry Store


Swart Jewelry Timeline:

1869 – Opened (S. Linn St., West Bay City)

1891 – Built the Swart Block

1905 – Stephen Swart Died

1906 – A.T. Swart Jewelry opened by Aurthur T. Swart

1909 - Closed

Founder: Stephen Swart   “Was One of the Best Known Jewelers in the State …”  (Bay City Times, September 11, 1905, 1)

Stephen Swart was born in Lapeer County in 1845.  At the age of eight, his family moved to Goodrich, Genesee County, where he worked in his father’s general store.  He served one year in the Civil War with the Union Army under the Eighth Michigan Infantry. In 1868, Swart married Charlotte Woodruff, and they had four children.  The family moved to West Bay City in 1869 and opened Swart Jewelry on S. Linn St.  

In 1891, the city approved the construction of the Swart Block. The building was designed by P.C. Floeter, a local architect, in the Romanesque Revival style. The front was made with Michigan buffstone and adorned with a clock tower. Swart’s jewelry store and work rooms were on the first floor, and offices for rent were on the second floor.  Swart was well-known across the state for his craftsmanship.  He specialized in watch and jewelry repair, diamond settings, and optical fitting.

Swart died suddenly in September 1905 from a cerebral hemorrhage.  The downtown business closed during the hour of the funeral to honor his memory. He left one son, Arthur T. Swart, also a jeweler, who took over the business and renamed it A. T. Swart.  The jewelry store closed in 1914 and Arthur relocated to California.


Bay City Times, January 7, 1894, 2

Bay City Times, September 11, 1905, 1

Bay City Times, August 29, 1991, 8

Bay County Historical Society Research Library

2:27 pm edt 

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