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Schmitt's Drug Store



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Schmitt's Drug Store


Schmitt's Drug Store (Woodstock Va)


This photograph of bicycles for sale at the Schmitt Drugstore in Woodstock was taken sometime in the late 19th century. Around that time the country was experiencing a “bicycle craze.” This new form of transportation was popular among the members of the nation’s middle and elite classes.
Schmidt’s drug store would have taken advantage of the phenomena. Founded in 1834 by Dr. John G. Schmitt, a Swiss immigrant, the institution not only produced prescriptions, it also sold a variety of general merchandise items and operated a soda fountain. The store, located on Main Street, was one of the most popular in Woodstock, their eatery became a social attraction, and the Schmitts became community leaders.
They were also an authorized Columbia Bicycle dealer. Pictured here is the company’s model 1879 high wheeler. Schmitt’s decision to carry and display such a large number in front of their store means it must have been very popular locally.
In 1885 a new drug store building was built on the same site as the old store on Main Street. In this picture we can see the front steps of that new building. This fact, coupled with popular demand for, and Columbia’s release of a new “safety” bicycle with two equal size wheels in 1890, indicates the picture was taken between 1885 and 1890.
Schmitt’s drug store would continue to operate through the mid part of the 20th century. In 1944 it was purchased by long time employee Joseph B. Clower who managed operations until 1956 when the business was sold to its local competitor Walton and Smoot who closed the drug store. The building would be sold again in the 1980s and in the early 2000s. It has been recently remodeled and now houses a branch of the First Bank and Trust Company and the All things Virginia store at the Farmhouse.


Newspaper Clippings Collection


Shenandoah County Library


ca. 1890


Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC-BY-NC-SA)

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“Schmitt's Drug Store,” Shenandoah County Library Archives, accessed May 28, 2022,



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