George R. Thayer, the senior member of the firm of Thayer & Peters, proprietors of the Riverside Carriage Company, came to Riverside in 1879. He first located at No. 386 Magnolia avenue, about five miles south of Riverside, and devoted himself to horticultural pursuits and also purchased a twenty-acre tract about one mile south of his home place, which he planted with orange trees and raisin grapes. He old that twenty-acre tract to George Crawford in 1883. In addition to his horticultural interests he sought other means of occupying his business talents, and in 1886 accepted the agency of Porter Brothers & Company, of Los Angeles and San Francisco, in their fruit packing enterprise in Riverside. In 1887 he sold his orange grove on Magnolia Avenue, and in November of that year purchased the Riverside Carriage Works, and in partnership with William L. Peters established the firm of Thayer & Peters. His business house is located on the south side of Eighth Street, between Main and Orange streets, where the firm have extensive wardrooms and well-appointed repair shops. He is at the head of one of the largest establishments of its character in San Bernardino County, having branch houses in San Bernardino and Redlands. The firm has the agency of some of the most noted carriage works of the East, among which are the Columbus Buggy Company, Mitchell Wagon Company, Bain Wagon Company, Watertown Spring Wagon Company, and the Hiram W. Davis Company. Among other agricultural implements and machinery are to be found the well-known Standard mowers and rakes. Considerable manufacturing is done by this firm, but by far the largest portion of their stock is imported from the East. Mr. Thayer is keenly alive to the business demands of Riverside and the county, and has built up a large trade. He is a director and stockholder of the Colton Marble and Lime Company, and a liberal supporter of other enterprises that have built up Riverside and vicinity.
Mr. Thayer is a native of Weymouth, Massachusetts, dating his birth in 1840. His father, Nicholas Thayer, was a native of Maine. Mr. Thayer was reared and schooled in his native place, and early in life engaged in mechanical pursuits in the shoe factories of his city. Early in 1862 he entered the military service of his country as a private in Company H, Thirty-fifth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. He participated in the Maryland campaign with the Army of the Potomac, and was engaged in the battles of South Mountain and Antietam. In the latter battle he was wounded, and was for some months in the military hospitals. His wounds and ill health unfitted him for further military service, and in 1863 he received an honorable discharge. Mr. Thayer then returned to his home, and for the next twelve years was engaged in the boot and shoe manufactories, most of the time as foreman in charge of one of the several departments. In 1875 he established himself in the manufacture of the Gaff & Feichman compressed yeast, and built up a large trade in that industry, which he conducted until 1879, when he established himself in Riverside.
He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and also a member of Riverside Lodge, No. 282, I 0. O. F., and Star Encampment, No. 75, of the same order. He retains his membership in the Grand Army of the Republic, and is affiliated with Reynolds Post, No. 58, of Weymouth, Massachusetts. Politically he is a stanch Republican. In 1863 Mr. Thayer was united in marriage with Miss Sarah E. Spear, a native of Thomaston, Maine.