Way Back When... 1845
Owned by the Cody family since 1918, the original building on Main Street was torn down in 1965 and the Historical Society constructed a museum to the left side of the Town House in 1979 to house and display the artifacts of the Drug Store.
Opened in 1845 by Samuel Silliman and his family, it was the first drugstore in New Canaan. The New Canaan Drug Store was then owned by Lucius Monroe and his family before passing it to the Cody’s in 1918.
The setting displays in great detail the medical (and social) aspects of daily life in the 19th century. The soda fountain, installed about 1880, attracted women and children to patronize the drugstore with its homemade ice creams and “phosphates.” The exhibit features merchandise arrayed in original display cases, as well as some of the fixtures and items salvaged and donated to the Society when the Pharmacy was torn down.
The show globes, which now adorn the windows, actually hung in the original drug store. Containing alcohol mixed with dye, they are symbols of the pharmaceutical profession, appearing first in American apothecaries as early as the 1790s.
Other noteworthy items include herbal ingredients found in most of the medicines, a tablet mold, a purse made by Native Americans who sold his patent medicines in the Drug Store, and samples of “miracle cures” for assorted ailments.