Gaffney Building (1890)
You don’t have to travel far in almost any small town in America to find a local museum filled with treasures connected to the town’s history. And the Oklahoma Frontier Drugstore Museum in historic downtown Guthrie, Oklahoma is one of those treasure troves. This museum reaches back in time to document the medical profession from Indian Territorial days and early Oklahoma statehood.
Believed to be opened on the original site of the first drugstore to open in Guthrie, the museum is housed in the historic Gaffney building built in 1890.
The Gaffney building stands among the Victorian Commercial Architecture that placed Guthrie on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, as the largest contiguous historic district in the nation. Guthrie made the list of National Historic Landmarks in 1992.
Apothecary jars, mortars and pestles line the front windows of the Oklahoma Frontier Drugstore Museum in historic downtown Guthrie, Oklahoma.
A collection of Cures, Curios, and Curiosities all related to medical and pharmaceutical items used in Territorial Oklahoma and early Oklahoma statehood are housed in the Oklahoma Drugstore Museum in historic downtown Guthrie, Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma Frontier Drugstore Museum opened its doors in 1992, in the historic downtown district of Guthrie. Guthrie became the first capital of Oklahoma after the Land Run of 1889.
A large glass show globe filled with glistening gold colored water hangs in the window identifying the store as an early 20th century pharmacy. Colored water-filled show globes were common in early pharmacies, I’m told.
Inside the Museum
Pills, potions, poultices and a plethora of 19th century and early 20th century pharmacopoeia line the walls of the museum from floor to ceiling.
Apothecary cabinets filled with tinctures and tins, poultices and potions meant to soothe, ease pain and offer comfort line both walls. Among the medicines you will find memorabilia, advertisements, cosmetics and hair care products and so much more displayed at the Oklahoma Frontier Drugstore Museum.
Authentic 19th Century Soda Fountain
Once a gathering place for young and old, this authentic 19th century soda fountain represents a sense of community for early settlers. Although no longer in operation, the fountain still has syrup dispensers and ice chests behind the counter. At first glance, all the counter needs is a soda jerk.
The museum houses collections of medical bags, cigar boxes, tobacco tins, soda bottles, cameras and more. There’s even a Leeches jar that still has the awful smell of the leeches inside.
Pharmacist Ralph Enix and his colleagues got together in 1970, to begin collecting and preserving medical and pharmaceutical objects dating from the Oklahoma Indian Territorial days and early statehood of Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Frontier Drugstore Museum is a dream come true for the group.
Today, the museum is owned and operated by the nonprofit Oklahoma Pharmacy Heritage Foundation. Admission is free. But donations are always welcome.
If you’re in the area be sure to visit the Oklahoma Frontier Drugstore Museum. Allow 30-minutes to an hour to see the antiques and artifacts displayed. And you may want to take time to walk the historic bricked streets of Guthrie to admire the Commercial Victorian Architecture.
Hours of Operation: The museum is open from 10:am to 5:pm, Tuesday through Saturday, and closes on major holidays.
Address: Oklahoma Frontier Drugstore Museum, 214 W. Oklahoma, Guthrie, Oklahoma 73844 PH: 405-282-1895
Location: Guthrie is located in Logan County on U.S. Highway 77, about thirty-three miles north of Oklahoma City. Coordinates: 35°51′23″N97°26′9″W
*Also visit the beautiful Apothecary Garden next door to the museum.