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

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

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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