Ice Cream Soda Anyone? See Maine’s Vintage Drug Stores & Soda Fountains
We can learn so much about our fellow Mainers of days gone by through photographs. The Maine Historical Society has an impressive selection of photos stretching back to the 1800s showing the daily life of Maine's people, including where how they spent their spare time and extra dimes. Soda fountains at local drug stores were a popular spot. They poured delicious ice cream sodas for the bargain price of 10 cents and served as a social hub for local people.
Take a peek back in time at these charming little soda fountains in Maine's vintage downtown areas.
Interior of Porter's Drug Store, Boothbay Harbor, ca. 1930
Kids loved hanging out at drug stores and snacking on penny candy. According to the Boothbay Region Historical Society, this drug store in Boothbay Harbor was one of two Porter Drug Store locations.
Babcock & Sharp Drug Store, Lewiston, 1899
The calendar on the wall reads June 12 and this soda counter at Babcock & Sharp Drug Store in Lewiston was prepared to serve up ice cream sodas to it's patrons. I'd love to waltz into a place like this today and sit down for a root beer float.
Dr. Clearwater's Pharmacy, Hallowell, ca. 1904
The casual lean of the customer in the center of this photo almost seems like the cover of a rock album, not a vintage photo of a drug store just after the turn of the century. According to Hubbard Free Library, "Dr. Clearwater bought the Hawes drugstore and started to specialize in medicine for the relief of heart troubles."
Vallee Pharmacy, Westbrook, ca. 1910
Note the sign advertising Moxie as "Very Healthful". Would it pass as a healthy drink today?
FUN FACT: Vallee Pharmacy was owned by Charles Vallee, the son of singer Rudy Vallee. Rudy was responsible for the Maine Stein Song, according to Walker Memorial Library.