Thomas Drug Store receives historical marker | Lifestyles

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John Lee of the Nansemond Chapter, National Society Colonial Dames Seventeenth Century, placed a bronze plaque at the Thomas Drug Store, 108 South Broad Street, circa 140th or 152nd Co., 1869.

The drugstore has the distinction of being the oldest in Georgia in continuous operation.

A special guest at the celebration was Grady Clay Davies, great-great-great-nephew of Mr. WE Davies, the aforementioned founder of the drugstore.

One of the current owners of the building, James A. Thomas Jr., MD presented the story of the Thomas Drug Store. WE Davies, a noted pharmacist in Thomasville, bought property 108 on South Broad Street, built a business, and opened it in 1869 as a “drug company.” In 1881 Robert Thomas bought the business and renamed it the Thomas Drug Store. Thomas advertised “Drugs, Medicine, Patent Medicine, Lightfoot Lung Syrup, Garden Seeds, School Books, Stationery, Recipes and Rye Whiskey [sic]. “The prescriptions had to be put together by the pharmacist on site. That was 40 years before penicillin was discovered.

In the 1880s, Thomasville was a Mecca for wealthy northerners because of the fresh, pure pine air, and the railroad also ended here. Up to 9,000 winter guests once lived in hotels, guest houses and country estates. They needed a pharmacy, and the Thomas Drug Store was.

In 1891 the blue and white mosaic tiles were installed which are still visible and visible in the sales area of ​​the store. Large recipe books from the 1880s contain a full list of recipes. Various compounding devices, scales and scales are still kept in the warehouse.

In the 1920s, when prohibition was the law in the country, the sale of alcohol became illegal. The number of recipes for grain alcohol “exclusively for medical purposes” rose at Thomas Drugs.

In 1954 the Thomases built a branch on Gordon Avenue across from the John D. Archbold Memorial Hospital. In the 1970s, stores started placing drugs in blister packs for customers.

In 1983 the drugstore bought their first computer and it was the size of a refrigerator. It was said to be one of the first drug stores in the country to have a computer.

For decades the property was bequeathed to the Thomas family. To this day it is the same store, the same location and supplies its customers as it did in 1881.

The historic bronze marker on the front of the building reads THOMAS DRUG STORE ESTABLISHED 1881 SUCCESSOR OF WE DAVIES & CO., 1869 THOMASVILLE, GEORGIA OLDEST DRUG STORE IN GEORGIA, THAT’S BUILT BY JOHN LEE FROM NANSEMOND CHAPTY NATIONAL CURDA XVI.

After the impressive ceremony in front of the building and the unveiling of the historical marker by the members of the Thomas family and the owners of the building, Dr. James A. Thomas and Margaret McCollum, the ladies and guests adjourned for lunch at The Plaza Restaurant (1916), the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Georgia opened in December 2020 by John Lee of the Nansemond Chapter, National Society Colonial Dames Seventeenth Century , was awarded.

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