Oklahoma Frontier Drugstore Museum: Guthrie, OK

Hey friend! Welcome to another post! Today, we’re talking about the Oklahoma Frontier Drugstore Museum in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Rumor has it that some of the pieces from this museum we used in a movie being released later this fall (2022)! Keep reading to find out which movie… Let’s get started!

Museum History

The Oklahoma Frontier Drugstore Museum opened in 1992 in the Gaffney Building and is managed by the Oklahoma Pharmacy Heritage Foundation, Inc. The Gaffney Building was opened in 1890.

The idea for the frontier drugstore museum had actually begun in 1970s – inspired by Ralph Enix and his colleagues. They wanted a space to preserve and share the history of pharmacy in Oklahoma.

Museum Collection

The collection in this museum contains items that relate to frontier drugstores which were crucial to keeping communities healthy in the 19th and 20th centuries. It showcases how medicine slowly moved westward across the United States. Many of the communities didn’t have reliable access to a doctor in territorial days, but they sometimes had access to a drugstore.

Medicines of all shapes and sizes line the walls of this unique museum. Many of the bottles contain their original labels and some even have their original contents. In addition to medicine, the museum has an old soda fountain, beauty supplies, and cigar memorabilia. There are several mortar and pestles scattered throughout the museum which were used for compounding different types of medicine.

One thing I learned from this museum was the history of “show globes.” These are glass containers which have different colored liquid medicine in them. They are often on display in windows of drugstores. If you scan the shelves in the slideshow above and below this paragraph, there are different show globes on the tops of various cabinets – look for red, blue, and green liquids in the glass containers!

The museum website says you can hold many of the objects in the museum, but the historian in me just couldn’t start grabbing things. So, I just walked through, looked at things, and took a lot of photos.

The Dentist

The photos below were taken in a small room tucked away in the museum. This is set up like an old dentist office. I would not have wanted to sit in a dentist chair like that… ouch.

Movie Appearance

According to one of the museum staff members – these pieces were used in the new movie coming out this fall, “Killers of the Flower Moon.” A majority of the movie was filmed in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. If you haven’t read the book, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI (2017) by David Grann then I highly recommend checking it out!

Apothecary Garden

Established in 2006, the Apothecary Garden is located next door to the museum and provides a beautiful place for people to walk through in the Historic District of downtown Guthrie. An apothecary garden is a place where herbs and plants have traditionally been grown for medicinal purposes. Apothecary gardens have been around for centuries!

The Centennial Clock was added as a part of The Oklahoma Centennial Celebration in 2007. The clock was donated by the citizens of Guthrie – it cost $40,000 to install! It stands in the center of the Apothecary Garden.

Concluding Thoughts

The Oklahoma Frontier Drugstore Museum and Apothecary Garden in Guthrie, Oklahoma were interesting places to visit. I didn’t know many details about medicinal history before going to this museum. Needless to say, I learned quite a bit and am very thankful for modern medicine. I hope you’ll swing by this museum if you ever get the chance!

Happy Traveling! I’ll talk to ya soon! 🙂

Visit

214 West Oklahoma

Guthrie, Oklahoma 73044

Sources

Oklahoma Frontier Drugstore Museum – Website

One thought on “Oklahoma Frontier Drugstore Museum: Guthrie, OK

  1. Thanks so much for a great article on pharmaceutical history! The collection is amazing. When we first came to Harrah in 1971 there were two drugstores: Maples and Bob’s. They had soda fountains, were great druggists and just plain fun to visit. I’m sure they didn’t have a room for dental work though. Thanks again for bringing the great piece to us!👏🥰

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: