Andrews Jewellery in St. Mary’s
Last week we were filming in St. Mary’s Ontario. We needed a period jewelry store and the one we found is virtually the same as the day it was built in 1885.
The stone and brick commercial building was constructed in 1884 for William Andrews, Jeweller, in the Second Empire style. It is an outstanding example of the work of local architect William Williams, and a showcase for the skills of local and area tradesmen. Unique original interior features are still in place. Its imposing storefront surmounted by the ornate clock and tower makes the building a focal point in the downtown core.
William Andrews operated his first jewellery store for 15 years before building 135 Queen St E. His father was a stone mason who emigrated from Torquay, Devon to Canada in 1855 and came to St Marys 2 years later.
William Williams was not only an architect but also the town clerk, private banker and the Anglican Church’s choirmaster.
Stone work on the building was done by John Grant who had previously been in charge of the masonry for St Marys Presbyterian Church. Plastering was done by Fred Patterson and painting and glazing was done by John Williard who 8 years later were contractors on the town hall.
I was also interested in seeing the upstairs apartment and the clock tower.
Made by the Seth Thomas Clock Company in Thomaston Connecticut
Seth Thomas Clock Company was one of the most prolific and long lived clock companies. The quality of their products was always maintained at an above average level. Seth Thomas must have sold many clocks in the Lafayette, Indiana area, for out of all the antique clocks we repair, about 40% are made by Seth Thomas.
Many American clock factories in the 19th century suffered factory fires but Seth Thomas was fortunate in this respect. Through conservative growth and taking advantage of the new ideas of others, Seth Thomas was able to enjoy financial stability, whereas many other companies faced financial difficulties.
Seth Thomas was born in Wolcott, Connecticut in 1785, went to work for clockmaker Eli Terry in 1807, bought out Terry’s factory (together with Silas Hoadley) in 1810, and in December 1813 bought out Heman Clark’s clockmaking business in Plymouth Hollow.
Thomas continued Clark’s wooden movement tall clock production, and about 1817 began making the wooden movement shelf clock. These were cased in pillar and scroll cases until 1830, when the bronze looking glass and other styles became popular. In 1842, brass movements were introduced, and first cased in the popular O.G. case (which was made until 1913). Wood movements were phased out in 1845. In 1853 Mr. Thomas incorporated the Seth Thomas Clock Company, so that the business would outlive him. Mr. Thomas died in 1859, and Plymouth Hollow was renamed Thomaston in his honor in 1865.
Mr. Thomas was very conservative, and after his death many new styles of clocks were introduced by his sons. Regulator clocks were introduced in 1860. The patterns and machinery for these had been purchased in 1859 from the creditors of bankrupt clockmaker Silas B. Terry. Spring driven clocks were introduced ca. 1855—1860. Perpetual calendar clocks were made from ca. 1863—1917. Some of the most popular later types include walnut kitchen clocks, made from 1884—1909; marble clocks, 1887—ca. 1895; black (Adamantine finish) wood mantel clocks, ca. 1885—1917; black enameled iron cased clocks, 1892—ca. 1895; oak kitchen clocks, 1890—ca. 1915; tambour clocks, introduced in 1904; chime clocks, introduced in 1909; and electric A/C clocks, introduced in 1928.
Many Seth Thomas clocks from 1881 to 1918 have a date code stamped in ink on the case back or bottom. Usually, the year is done in reverse, followed by a letter A—L representing the month. For example, April 1897 would appear as 7981 D.