130 South Broad Street


Joseph A. Jerger immigrates from Baden, Germany to the United States with his wife Mary Heller Jerger. He soon settles in Thomasville where his brother Louis operates a small tailor shop. There is some dispute over what the middle initial “A” stands for; although some 20th century documentation states his middle name is Anton, other branches of the family and older records indicate his middle name was likely Adolph, and the Jerger family may have made an unofficial posthumous name change to avoid any obvious associations following World War II.


A small, one-story brick building is built on the lot that would later be 130 South Broad Street; it had several uses through the years, most notably as a tailor shop.

1857 03-17

Joseph A. Jerger opens his first jewelry shop in Thomasville; it was located on the north side of Remington Avenue between Broad Street and Madison Street, above what was the post office at the time:

1858 03-23

“Uncle Peter” Lindsay opens a tailor shop at 903 Broad Street, the future 130 South Broad Street lot.  Uncle Peter was a colorful Scottish immigrant who by way of the Thomasville Times newspaper was constantly losing his temper or doing good works around town:

1860 11-28

Joseph Jerger moves his home and business to the adjoining buildings at 901 and 902 Broad Street, which later would be 132-134 South Broad Street, and finally just 132 South Broad Street:


Joseph Jerger volunteers to fight for the Confederacy during the Civil War.  He was injured in the Battle of Atlanta in 1864 and taken to a Union prisoner of war camp in Chicago, where he was held for six months.  He was released at the end of the Civil War and returned to Thomasville, where his wife Mary Heller Jerger had kept the business open during his absence.


Joseph A. Jerger Sr. with his wife Mary Heller and children Louis Henry, Mary, and Joseph A. Jr.:

1866 12-20

Advertisement for Jerger Jewelers, now featuring instruments.  It was still located at the corner of Broad Street and Remington Avenue at this time:

1873 04-30

Uncle Peter Lindsay is still operating his small tailor shop in the one-story building on the future 130 South Broad Street lot:

1874 02-28

A small fire at the tailor shop at the future 130 South Broad Street causes Uncle Peter to “get his Scotch up”:


Uncle Peter’s tailor shop and Joseph Jerger’s jewelry shop appear in an 1877 stereoscopic photograph of Broad Street.  While the lots slightly shifted, the three-story building in the right of the picture, where Grassroots Coffee is today, acts as a reference point in determining the building at 130 South Broad Street before the current building was built in 1885:

1884 04-05

Joseph A. Jerger Sr. hires acclaimed hotel architect J.A. Wood to design a new store for him.  Wood built numerous hotels in the Catskills in New York, the Royal Hotel in Tampa, and was in Thomasville at the time for the building of the Piney Woods Hotel:

1884 05-07

Jerger receives the architectural plans for his new store from J.A. Wood:

1884 12-06

A fire consumes the buildings of Uncle Peter Lindsay and W.B. Gunby, the two small stores on the lot that became 130 South Broad Street. Joseph Jerger’s store was spared, and he soon bought the burned lot to build his planned store:


903 Broad Street (130 South Broad Street) appears on the first Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of Thomasville. As noted in the vacant space the buildings were previously in, they were destroyed by a fire:

1885 08-08

Construction begins on Jerger’s new store in the vacant lot at 903 Broad Street:

1885 08-22

Jerger sells a copy of his architectural plan to his new neighbor at 904 Broad Street, Dr. Peter Bower, who plans to build an identical building:

1885 08-29

Local contractor Henry Arnold breaks ground for the foundation of the new Jerger building:

1885 09-12

Henry Arnold lays the first bricks for both the Jerger building at 903 (130 South) Broad Street and the identical Bower building at 904 (128 South) Broad Street:

1885 10-24

The Stallings brothers of Augusta place the first stone trim in the front of Jerger’s building:

1885 12-05

The finishing work is being done to the new Jerger Jewelers building. Not mentioned in the article are the custom cabinets made in Cincinnati, Ohio:

1885 12-19

Jerger Jewelers opens in their new building, just in time for Christmas:


The new Jerger Jewelers building appears on the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of Thomasville for the first time. Its address has now changed to 104 Broad Street from 903 Broad Street. Its twin building, owned by Dr. Peter Bower, is also visible on the map for the first time. The pink color indicates it is made of brick, and the duel lines with slashes in the back of the building indicates windows on the second floor and openings on the first floor, likely doors. The open circle in the lower right corner of the drawing indicates a slate or tin roof:

1894 02-27

Thomasville announces it will implement the “Philadelphia System” of house and building numbering; Broad Street is declared the meridian for streets going east-west, and Jackson Street for streets going north-south, with odd numbers on one side and even numbers on the other, numbers increasing the further they moved away from the central axis, and blocks being numbered by hundreds. This is when the current building numbering system was implemented, and 104 Broad Street became 130 South Broad Street, the address it has had ever since:


Joseph A. Jerger Sr. sits for a portrait at Moller Studios in Thomasville:


A portion of 130 South Broad Street is visible in a photograph for the first time:


130 South Broad Street appears on the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of Thomasville for the second time. There are no changes from 1889:


Following an economic depression, Jerger Jewelers goes bankrupt. The building and business were seized and a placed-on auction by the Sheriff of Thomas County – it was purchased by Louis Henry Jerger, Joseph A. Jerger Sr.’s oldest son.

1898 01-08

An advertisement for Jerger Jewelers:

1899 04-22

Jerger Jewelers advertises “Cyrano de Bergerac” bead chains:


The Louis Henry Jerger family at their home at 129 Remington Avenue. In the photograph from left-to-right are: Mary Sheldon Jerger; Louis Henry Jerger Sr. (seated); William Davies Jerger (being held); Mary Sheldon Remington Jerger; Edward Remington Jerger; Mary Tyler Sheldon (Mary Sheldon Remington Jerger’s maternal aunt); Joseph Jerger; Louis Henry Jerger Jr. (seated):


130 South Broad Street appears on the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of Thomasville for the third time. The map indicates a minor change of windows/opening on the second floor, and now indicates the location of the stairs, and that its twin building at 128 South Broad Street has been converted to a bowling alley. No other changes are evident:


Louis Henry Jerger Sr., Edward Remington Jerger, and an unidentified man inside of Jerger Jewelers at 130 South Broad Street:


130 South Broad Street appears on the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of Thomasville for the fourth time. There are no changes evident from 1900:


Photograph of the twin buildings at 130 South Broad Street and 128 South Broad Street before facade changes began on 128:


Photograph of Jerger Jewelers at 130 South Broad Street. From left-to-right are: William Davies Jerger; Louis Henry Jerger Sr.; Joseph A. Jerger Sr.; and Joseph Jerger:


130 South Broad Street again appears on a Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of Thomasville for the fifth time. While there are no marked changes to the building, the southern elevation is now adjoining the newly built 132 South Broad Street:


Louis Henry Jerger Sr. sits for a portrait at Moller Studio in Thomasville:


130 South Broad Street appears on the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of Thomasville for the 6th time. No changes are evident from 1912:


A portion of 130 South Broad Street and 128 South Broad Street appear in a photograph:


130 South Broad Street and 128 South Broad Street appear in a photograph; while there are no changes to 130, 128 has undergone a major façade change after being purchased by Commercial Bank:

1925 12-23

Joseph A. Jerger Sr. dies:


130 South Broad Street appears on the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of Thomasville for the seventh time. No changes are evident from the 1920 map:

1935 06-15

Louis Henry Jerger Sr. dies, leaving the business in equal parts to his five children; his second son, Joseph Jerger, had followed him into the jewelry business and after the five siblings incorporated the business, appointed him as general manager:


130 South Broad Street appears in an aerial photograph of Downtown Thomasville:


Photograph of 130 South Broad Street, taken for a Chamber of Commerce booklet. The photograph shows the display windows have been modified, with a higher brick base and higher display floor in the show window to exhibit merchandise to potential buyers:


Joseph Jerger finishes buying his siblings’ portion of the business, becoming the sole owner of 130 South Broad Street.


130 South Broad Street appears on a Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of Thomasville for the eighth time. The only structural change marked on the map is the addition of a wood-frame awning in the front of the building:


Jerger Jewelers further modernizes their storefront, raising and widening the display windows again:


In the background of a Rose Festival Parade photograph, the newly renovated façade of 130 South Broad Street can be seen. The decorative engravings on the window were painted white along with the rest of the front of the building, and the roofline adornments were removed to create a flat, rectangular front with exception to sunken brick around the second-floor windows:


A cleaner photograph of the modernized façade can be seen in the background of the “Community Chest” Parade on Broad Street:


Joseph Jerger Sr. retires, turning over the business to his son, Joseph Jerger Jr. The two are photographed along with Joseph Jerger Jr.’s son, Joseph “Jay” Jerger III:

1972 09-16

Joseph Jerger Sr. helps Joseph Jerger Jr. hang an ornamental oversized pocket watch outside of Jerger Jewelers. Although non-functional, the decorative timepiece hung outside of Jerger Jewelers before their current building was constructed in 1885; it is believed to have been made in 1875:

1975 04-14

Joseph Jerger Sr. dies:


Work commences to remove the modern façade that was added in the 1950s:


Work is complete on the restored storefront:


Joseph Jerger Jr. brings in Terrell Johnson as a major investor into the business, changing the name to Jerger-Johnson Jewelers. Jerger continues to manage the store while Johnson acts as president of the new corporation.

1985 07-16

Joseph Jerger Jr. dies unexpectedly.


Terrell Johnson buys out the remaining shares from Muriel Jerger, Joseph Jerger Jr.’s widow. For the first time in 130 years, Jerger Jewelers is no longer owned by a member of the Jerger family.


Gary Sheppard and Philip Faulk purchase Jerger-Johnson Jewelers and change the name back to Jerger Jewelers.


Philip Faulk becomes the sole owner of Jerger Jewelers.


Philip Faulk closes Jerger Jewelers, liquidating the remaining inventory and eventually selling the custom-made display cabinets. After full liquidation, the building is sold to Jack and Patricia Wilson.


Jack and Patricia Wilson sell 130 South Broad Street to Heather and Kelly Abbott.


Heather and Kelly Abbott sell 130 South Broad Street to Diane and Robbie Brinkley.