Schmitt's Drug Store

In 1834 Dr. John G. Schmitt, a Swiss immigrant, arrived in Woodstock Virginia. Schmitt, who was physician, soon opened a drug store on Main Street. In those days, before modern medical practices, a doctor often served as both your doctor and druggist. You would be diagnosed and then given a series of drugs, which were mixed in the store, to cure your ailments.

Over time the store expanded its retail operations. The store would eventually sell a variety of general merchandise, operate a lunch counter, and serve as a soda shop. This site was one of the most popular in Woodstock, their eatery became a social attraction, and the Schmitts became community leaders.

The store was also a popular bicycle dealer. Starting in the 1880s when a bicycle craze swept across the country, and continuing into the 20th century, Schmitt’s was the place to buy your bicycle in Woodstock.

In 1885 a new drug store building was built on the same Main Street site by John’s descendent Bernadotte Schmitt. This structure original combined the drug store and the family’s residence. Its high gabled roof, a defining feature of the Italianate architectural style that the building was designed in, is a unique feature in downtown Woodstock.

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.

Images

Schmitt's Drug Store

Schmitt's Drug Store

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. | Source: Newspaper Clippings Collection View File Details Page

Schmitt's Drug Store, "The Store of Quality" Woodstock Va.<br /><br />

Schmitt's Drug Store, "The Store of Quality" Woodstock Va.

Color postcard with a picture of the interior of Schmitt's Drug Store in Woodstock Virginia. | Source: Herb Parker Postcard Collection View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Shenandoah County Library, “Schmitt's Drug Store,” Shenandoah Stories, accessed September 19, 2018, http://archives.countylib.org/tour/items/show/42.

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