Built on Tradition

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Our History

Herman Hiss & Company is proud of its tradition and history, extending back to the very beginnings of Bay City. Our legacy began when John Rose opened John Rose Jewelers at the corner of Water and Center streets in 1867, just two years after Bay City was incorporated. A few years later, the store moved to its current location on Washington Avenue. Herman Hiss worked for John Rose as a watchmaker for several years before purchasing and re-naming the Bay City landmark.

Nick Schwall

Registered Jeweler, Graduate of Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

Nick started working side by side with his wife, Christine, in January 2008. Nick and Tom work together to handpick every diamond and piece of fine jewelry in the store. Nick is an expert in bridal jewelry, watches and unique gemstones.

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Christine Schwall

Family-gift buyer

Under the guidance of Christine and her mother, Barb, Herman Hiss has become the preeminent source for gifts for weddings, baptisms, baby showers, retirement parties, housewarmings and more. Christine and Nick’s son, Hunter, represents the 6th generation.

It was 1937 when Sally Hiss began working in store at the age of 12. Sally married Thomas Tabor in 1947. Tom Sr. became a registered jeweler with the American Gem Society, which brought the number of jewelers in the business to two. Sally developed the gift selection: including the Bridal Registry, and china and silver departments of the Herman Hiss Store.

Herman’s son, Florian, began working in the store at the age of 8. In 1910, Herman and Florian selected a larger store location for the growing business. In the early months of 1929, Florian began construction of the current store at 905 Washington Ave., which had become the “Main Street” of the town’s business district.

In 1867, John Rose opened a jewelry store on the corner of Water Street and Center Street in Bay City, then the center of downtown activity. Later, Herman Hiss would buy the landmark business and change the name. From the beginning, his objective was to provide high quality jewelry, watches, optometry, and gifts at a fair price for the people of Bay City.

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