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“I’m trying to remember the name of a drug store chain from the 1950s, 1960s…”

“I’m trying to remember the name of a drug store chain from the 1950s, 1960s.  There was one near where I lived in Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C., and I remember there was also one in Youngstown.  The one in Washington was replaced by Gray Drugs. Can you find the name of the store for me?”  Questions such as this one are always intriguing, requiring extra thought as to how to approach finding something which has since been replaced by something else.

Initially our online search took us to the article, GRAY DRUG STORES, INC. – The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History [http://ech.case.edu/cgi/article.pl?id=GDSI].  This was a joint effort by Case Western Reserve University and Western Reserve Historical Society.  According to the article, Gray Drug purchased Rinks and Drug Fair, before it was taken over by Sherwin Williams. Their Gray Drug division then took over Cunningham Drug Stores. None of these chains were the one for which our patron was looking.

Continuing the search, we changed our focus from the history of Gray Drug, to the 1950s drug stores located in Dupont Circle.  The website greatergreaterwashington.org has the article, Then and Now: Dupont’s drug store by Kent Boese  [March 25, 2009]. Boese writes about the Peoples Drug at P street and Dupont Circle in 1968. Another site, www.streetsofwashington.com, posted the article The Once-Ubiquitous Peoples Drug Stores on December 5, 2011. In 1974, the Ohio-based drug store chain, Lane Drug Corporation, not Gray Drug, gained a controlling share of Peoples’ stock. These stores have all been renamed and are part of CVS. Streets of Washington has some wonderful photographs of the old Peoples stores. We spoke again with our patron and as soon as we said Peoples, her response was positive.

For answers to your questions, visit the Newton Falls Public Library, 204 S. Canal Street, Newton Falls or phone 330-872-1282. For information about all the free library programs or hours, also visit our website at www.newtonfalls.org or our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/NewtonFallsLibrary.

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