From the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, February 9, 1965, p. 7
Saranac Lake Pharmacy Had Cheap Whiskey in '94
(Editor's Note: The following came In the form of a letter from Dr. John N. Hayes of Saranac Lake. After he had made some notes and shown them to several long-time residents he was persuaded that the story told had general interest to Enterprise readers. We agree and thank Dr. Hayes for sending them to us.)
I recently had the opportunity of looking into the account book of Mr. John R. Hogan, Pharmacist, at a time when his pharmacy was on Main Street opposite the old Riverside Inn. This account book extends from February 26, 1894 to September 29, 1894. I have no means of knowing whether the items are the total daily sales or only charged accounts. It is probable that these items are only the credit accounts because relatively few of the prescriptions are itemized (eg) Prescription 3 was filled on March 5, 1894; No. 62 on April 30, 1894 and No. 239 on Sept. 5 1894.
The customers included the names of many pioneers of the Village - The Millers; Bakers; Wallace Murray; W. Mussen; Cantwell; W. S. Fowler; Fred Duso, Fred Isham; A. D. Manning; Danforth; Hamner; Reverend Larum; Branch and Callanan; Blood; Berkeley; Aaron Goldsmith and many more... prices were comparatively low, (200) 1/4 gr codeine tablets were $.90. A box (small) of cigarettes was $.05; ice cream sodas were $.10. The drug stores sold alcoholic beverages. A pint of whiskey was $.75; a quart of alcohol was $.85; brandy, $.25; gin, $.75; Sherry, $.65.
In this popular fishing area, you could buy a rod from $2 to $4.25. A line for $.35; a reel from $1 to $2.75. Hook and sinkers were $.05, flies were $.10. Handy to take with you bite the woods Insect powder. Sad to relate the Riverside Inn needed bed-bug powder at $.25 but let us blame a transient visitor.
I recognized old favorites such as Carter's Little Liver Pills for $.20; Huyler's Candy for $.40. It must have been a visitor who bought the Spruce Gum for $.10 because the natives would get his gum from the nearest tree (this is excellent for sore throat and cough.)
The drug store served many needs — indelible ink, $.25; ball of twine. $.10; nipples, $.05; medicine, stamps, razors for $.1.75.
I looked through this old account book with affectionate memories of John, the Old Grafter (and this is true. In his back yard behind his store, he had an apple tree which bore eight varieties of apples — all grafted by him.)
In 1920 I sent my first prescription for him to fill.