Sylvan Brothers

5:05 PM


I was looking through photos that I had taken, but never posted. One of those was of Sylvan's Jewelers at 1500 Main Street in Columbia, SC.

In 1890, brothers Gustaf (Gus) Jonson, a watchmaker, and Johannes (Joe) Bengtson Sylvan, a jeweler, left their home in Sweden to seek their fortune in America. They booked passage to the port city of Savannah, Georgia and both found work there.

After that the brothers split up. In 1897 Gus opened a business in Columbia, SC. Joe joined him in 1898. In 1905, the brothers acquired a Second Empire style building on the corner of Main and Hampton Streets, the first large building constructed in Columbia after the Civil War.

They opened at the new location on June 24, 1905, where Sylvan's Jewelers is still headquartered today. In 1906, the brothers installed a beautiful four-sided clock on the sidewalk in front of the store, now a beloved local landmark.

You can learn more about the history of this location here.


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