WASHINGTON, N.C. (WITN) - It's hard to tell from the outside, but if you look closely, the windows are covered in paper, and on the inside of Washington Jewelers, you'll see lots of sale signs.
"I feel like we provided a great service that they could come and buy jewelry here and know they had someone to carry it back to when they had a problem with it," says Jimmy Fortescue, the owner.
After 54 years of business, Washington Jewelers on Main Street is closing for good.
"Mr. Jimmy's fully retiring this go-round and we'll be gone," says Crystal Taylor, the sales manager.
"Taking off some and being with my family," Fortescue explains.
For people who work downtown, the news is a hard pill to swallow.
"I just couldn't believe it," says Corky House, who works in Downtown Washington. "They've been here so long. And they're an anchor store downtown. We're just surprised."
House says the first job she ever had was wrapping presents at Washington Jewelers when she was 15 years old.
"At the end of the season, there was a musical Santa that I just loved," House says. "And on Christmas Eve night, when we walked out and closed, Mr. Jimmy gave that to me. And actually my daughter has that now."
Memories from a family business in the heart of Downtown Washington.
"It's hard to describe what that means to me," Fortescue explains. "I appreciate it so much."
"We appreciate everything that they have done for us in, I mean, 54 years," says Taylor. "We're really gonna miss them. Thank them for supporting us. And being so faithful to us."
Washington Jewelers say the big sale begins Tuesday at 9:15 a.m. They say everything must go, and while they're trying to keep the sale going until Christmas, once everything is sold, the doors will be closed for good.
The business celebrated their 54th birthday in October.