There aren’t many places where you can find an antique leech jar, asthma cigarettes, advertisements for hysteria cures, and an antique soda fountain all under one roof. However, in Guthrie, Oklahoma, all of these things can be found inside the territory’s first drug store, now known as the Oklahoma Frontier Drug Store Museum.
The idea was conceived by pharmacist Ralph Enix during the 1970s and ultimately opened in 1992. The museum exists inside a fully restored pharmacy. Visitors will find a vast and detailed collection of pharmaceutical memorabilia from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Don’t be shy when making your way around the museum; visitors are encouraged to weave in and out of the traditional counters.
Begining in 2006, the museum opened a neighboring Apothecary Garden. The garden is a museum unto itself, as many of the plants were key to early frontier medical practices. It offers museum-goers a relaxing stroll and a crash course in the significance of the surrounding plants.
Know Before You Go
Guthrie is about a 20-minute drive north of Oklahoma City and is easily accessible by Interstate-35. The Oklahoma Frontier Drug Store Museum & Apothecary Garden is located in the Gaffney Building on the corner of 214 West Oklahoma Street. Both the museum and garden are free to enter, although donations are encouraged to help defray maintenance costs.