Dec. 25 , 2006

The gift of nostalgia at Howard Lake Drug

By Jennifer Gallus
Staff Writer

Give yourself the gift of nostalgia by taking a tour of Howard Lake Drug.

A lot of history is on display all over the pharmacy. John and Marilyn Ringold, the owners, have taken good care of original pieces of history.

Sixty-nine years ago, you would have walked into the front door of Howard Lake Drug to find holiday cheer spread throughout the store.

That is true today as well, but there’s always something very romantic about holiday decor of yesteryear.

Long time Howard Lake resident Verna Glessing moved to the town in 1934. She remembers Main Street having shops such as a taylor, dress shop, possibly a bakery, drug store, Judd’s shop (men’s dress shirts), and a doctor’s office.

“Santa Claus came during Christmas time and gave bags of candy to the children,” Glessing said.

“He was probably at the city hall. People brought their own cameras. They didn’t have a professional photographer there, but they did in the city,” she laughed.

Howard Lake Drug has a very long and interesting history, but a brief synopsis includes two pharmacists who had separate stores in town partnering to form Howard Lake Drug in 1917, explained John Ringold.

“The two pharmacies were once called Workman Drug and Pioneer Drug,” he said.

“I’ve never been able to document the exact year the pharmacy was built, but we guess it was built in 1911. It was The Cash Store until 1917, before it was turned into the pharmacy,” Ringold said.

“The Cash Store was a clothing store. All the original shelving that the store still has was filled with shirt boxes at that time,” explained Marilyn Ringold.

The Ringolds bought the pharmacy in 1978 and have been there ever since.

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