Huntley’s Patrick Michael Jewelers comes full circle, occupying space that housed jeweler in 1890s

A historic photo of Main Street in Huntley. Patrick Michael Jewelers is located in the building with a sign reading "drugs and jewelry", which was once home to a jewelry store

As fate would have it, Patrick Michael Jewelers in downtown Huntley inhabits a space that began its life as a jewelry store.

However, the Groves family, who owns the business, had no idea that their store turned the building it occupies back to its previous life.

“We knew we wanted to be on the Square,” Lisa Groves said.

The Patrick Michael building has stood in that location for more than a century, debuting around the 1890s as the Cook building with a sign out front reading, “Drugs and Jewelry.”

The Patrick Michael Jewelers storefront Feb. 22, 2024

Since that beginning, the building has experienced lots of change over the decades. The building was originally two stories tall, but Groves said a fire in the 1950s destroyed much of the second floor, which was later removed.

In 2021, when Patrick Michael Jewelers bought the space and opened, the building once again was home to a jeweler.

Though the building has history, the company also has a backstory.

Patrick Michael, Groves’ son, is the third generation of his family to be in this line of work. His grandfather ran a coin and jewelry store in Elgin and his father ran a jewelry business.

Patrick Michael Jewelers opened its store on the Square in December 2021, relocating from a space on Algonquin Road in Algonquin.

“I knew there was a calling for us in Huntley,” he said.

Before the jewelry store moved in, the building was painted “battleship gray” and the Groves family gave the space, both indoors and outdoors, an updated look.

“It’s a good vibe,” he said.

He added he makes many of the engagement rings himself. They get designed on a computer; then the customer gives their approval before the piece is created.

Patrick Michael of Patrick Michael Jewelers poses inside the store Feb. 22, 2024

While the company specializes in custom engagement rings and jewelry, it’s also come full circle in operating a jewelry store on the Huntley Square.

He added that people sometimes come in the store, unaware of its past life and believe the building is new. He then tells them about the backstory of the space they’re standing in.

“It’s been here for quite some time,” he said.