Drug stores used to be SO much more than a place to get your prescription drugs.

Many of them were like malt shops and lunch counters; you could go in and have some ice cream, or even a burger and fries while mom did a little shopping while she waited for her prescription.

But there was so much more! The drug store where I grew up had a great record selection, comic books, and candy...a great place for kids. Most drug stores now have eliminated the fun stuff and just carry apothecary items: catheters, groin straps, and adult diapers. Definitely not a place kids enjoy anymore.

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Adults enjoyed 'em just as much as kids. It was a place to gather and talk, buy some smokes, and have a cool drink.

The debate as to where/when was the very first American drugstore continues. Some say the first was in New Orleans, opening in 1823. Others argue it goes back to the Revolutionary War period, in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Martha Washington was supposedly a customer.

So who really knows? All I know is, Michigan had a terrific selection of drug stores: complete with soda fountains and all the fun stuff for kids.....and adults as well. So take a look at the gallery below for 100 photos of some of Michigan's old drug stores, from the 1890s thru the 1950s! I sure wish they were still like these!


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