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By Stacy Drake
A picture-perfect transition
Another Rogers joins Rogers Picture Framing
Rogers Picture Framing, located at 210 Spring Street, has been in business for over 50 years in downtown Nevada City and even though Allan Rogers is beginning to pull back from his long career of picture framing and fine art restoration, he and his nephew, Jeff Rogers, and wife Aurlia D’Andrea-Rogers will carry on the family business even though in a different mode.

Jeff and Aurelia have moved back to Nevada City after living for 6 years in Paris, France to join Allan and help create a new and distinctive business. After a job as tour guide following the Tour de France, Jeff managed a bike-tour company near the Eiffel Tower that took tourists to famous landmarks around the city, including Versailles and Giverny. Aurelia still maintains her job as a freelance writer and editor as well as being the creative director for Swell! Magazine and travel and beauty editor for VegNews Magazine. She also teaches transitional vegan classes at Briar Patch Food Co-op Community Cooking School and vegan 101 workshops at Sierra College.

Allan and Betty were quite the world travelers before settling down in Nevada City. Allan joined the U. S. Air Force and served in the Korean War. He served with the Air Force intelligence and was attached to the First Marine Corps during his tenure in Korea. After he was discharged he and his wife, Betty, moved to Sacramento. After living in California for several years, he and his family moved to the Marianas Islands where Allan worked as a manager for the Micronesian Development Corporation. He oversaw the building of a new grocery and meat market on Guam and project manager for the construction of a new luxury hotel on Saipan. After typhoons wiped them out in 1965 the decision was made to return to California and join his brother, Gary, in the picture framing business.

Gary designed a pre-made frame for the Photo Design Systems Company and employed 17 people. The frames were made at the now-empty building that still stands on Hwy. 20 East just outside of Nevada City. Companies from the Far East soon copied this design and in 1977 Rogers Picture Framing had to downsize. Gary took the wholesale portion while Allan kept the retail gallery business at 104 N Pine St.

Allan decided that his work needed an added focus and studied fine art restoration at U.C. Davis under the direction of Dr. Charles Muskovich and became a fine arts appraiser and fine arts restorer as well as continuing his custom picture framing and art gallery.

Even though Allan is a certified art appraiser and restorer of paintings, sculpture and furniture, he also has another unique distinction: “because of working for years in my dad’s meat and produce market in Sacramento as a young boy, I can proudly say I am a journeyman meat cutter too.” Allan says with a laugh.

In 1982, Allan relocated his business to the current location of 210 Spring Street in a portion of the rear lower floor of the Nevada City Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) and together they created the space that Rogers Picture Framing now occupies. The space was formerly a hole-in-the-wall, dingy dining hall. Allan designed the current façade and storefront and was honored with the Architectural Design Award by the Chamber of Commerce.

He had already embarked on other such projects in Nevada City. He was instrumental in the renovation of the old Nevada City Theatre as a member of the Theatre Commission, earlier known as the Liberal Arts Commission. Because the building couldn’t be used due to public safety issues, Allan approached Old Town Sacramento architect/engineer, Bob McCabe, who was the engineer responsible for the success in reopening the theatre. Rogers served on the Planning Commission for eight years and had a hand in creating the Historical Ordinance of Nevada City, gas lamp project, underground power lines and the elimination of neon signs. In doing so, some of the ones he worked alongside on those projects includes Bill Wetherall, Osbourne & Woods, Sally Lewis, Dr. Leland Lewis, Lon Cooper, Fred Forsman, Marian Ghidotti, and John Hensley.

As a result of his improvement to the old Odd Fellows Building, The Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Oustomah Lodge #16 invited Allan into the fold. Allan accepted. He soon began managing the building his shop was attached to. As an Odd Fellow, he has served as Noble Grand (President), District Grand Master and Grand Chaplain for the State of California. A little-known fact about the Odd Fellows, the oldest fraternal organization in the nation, is that they are a fraternal group who “bury the dead and take care of widows and orphans,” says Rogers. “Back then in the 1800’s there wasn’t any government to take care of people, it was all a local effort.” The Rebeccas are the Ladies arm of the Odd Fellows. Allan makes the building available to tour the museum and the grand Inner Sanctum where meetings are held. Allan also holds title as Past President for the Nevada City Rotary Club, of which he has been a member since the early 1970’s. He truly believes in service to his community and fellow man.

By the mid 1980’s the picture framing business was thriving and Allan brought his son, Jim, into the business where they worked together until Jim’s untimely death in 2010 in a bike vs. car accident. It was then that Allan went to appointment-only store hours after the loss of his son and partner.

Today, Allan and Betty are happy to be introducing Jeff and Aurelia into the family business in the town they all have loved and participated in preserving. “I’m glad to be going into this partnership with Jeff and Aurelia, we are already working on new and different ideas for the business. I know they will do very well and the community will love them and appreciate their work,” says Allan.

“We loved our six years in Paris, but after Jeff’s dad died, we realized the importance of family,”, says Aurelia. “That’s why we’re excited by the potential that this collaboration – and this space – holds.”

For more information about Allan, Jeff and Aurelia, the Odd Fellows Hall or Rogers Picture Framing, call 530-265-4248. Hours are Saturdays 10-4 and weekdays by appointment.

Aurelia and Jeff Rogers with Allan (right) in their gallery located at 210 Spring Street in Nevada City.
Photo by Staby Drake