Who’s that Girl and is she on Dead Fred?




Photo-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


A few months ago I  found this picture at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. Curator Jennifer Fenwick Irwin debated whether it was iconic local author Mary Cook as she worked as a teenager for Asseslstine’s Drugstore where this was taken.

I emailed Mary and she confirmed it wasn’t her– but we both agreed it was one terrific picture. Remember the old drugstores? You used to walk in the door and you were family instantly.

In the 1930’s and 1940’s, it seemed there was a drugstore on nearly every corner. The drugstore was the place to be– to get your prescriptions filled, buy some penny candy or a magazine. But remember the days of cash prizes to druggists who had the best window displays of the pharmaceutical companies product. You could get your photographs developed and whatever you needed, they had it! In those days, druggists weren’t mere pill pushers as there weren’t many effective drugs, and those that existed were often mixed right in the store. It has been told to me that making pills was considered somewhat of an art. Change was accelerated in the 1940’s, hurried along by Government aid, particularly with the development of powerful new antibiotics to help the servicemen in World War II.

Indeed, powerful social and economic forces are reshaping the practice of community pharmacy now. The increasing concentration of drugstores in suburban shopping malls and the rapid proliferation of chain stores are both working to undermine the small local pharmacist. Competition from doctors who are dispensing drugs themselves is hurting as well. And the growing efforts by government, employers and the public to reduce the cost of health care have had considerable impact. Some consumers are even filling prescriptions by mail.

So now time has stood still for this photograph of a lovely woman filling a prescription at Asselstine’s. Oh, if I could only go back and find out who she was.

Did you know there was a site called Dead Fred with lots of old photos people have submitted and some of your people might be on it. Who knew– but sad to say there is no one there with my last name:) CLICK HERE for DeadFred.com


We found out who the woman was — it was Betty Findlay

Want to see more? Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News

Who was the “Drugstore Woman” in Asselstine’s Rexall?

I Will Take Some Opium to Go Please —The “Drug Dispensary” at the Chatterton House Hotel

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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