Bassett's Drug Store

Sturgeon Bay Drugstores of the Past  

The Door County Historical Society will host its monthly dinner program, “Sturgeon Bay Drugstores of the Past” presented by Mary Grota and Ginny Haen of the Peninsula Genealogical Society on Monday, October 23, at the Moravian Church in Sturgeon Bay. Mary and Ginny promise to explore “your sources for drugs, sundries, and liquor (medicinal, only of course!).”

Drugstores sell drugs, but in their research Mary and Ginny found that they sell any number of additional items that you might not expect to find there. Now, each town or city has several large drugstores scattered throughout the town, but in the past, several smaller ones were located in a short stretch of the main downtown street. This is similar to how you would find multiple groceries and meat markets throughout the town in early days. Mary and Ginny, with a little help from some friends, will share the locations of the many drugstores and some fun stories they discovered about these them by searching through the old Door County newspapers. The newspapers are searchable online through Door County Library’s portal beginning in 1862 and continuing until 1979.

Mary and Ginny have each been researching their families’ history for over 30 years. They have learned that names and dates alone don’t make for an entertaining story, but the little extra details do. As longtime genealogists, they find that they can’t ignore any historical mystery that is just waiting to be solved, even if it’s not about their own families, but a subject like drugstores. This program was first presented by this “detective duo” for the Peninsula Genealogical Society a couple of years ago; Society members that were present were so entertained by their witty presentation that they coaxed Mary and Ginny to revive the program.

The Monday, October 23 dinner includes green salad with apples and maple vinaigrette, cherry Jell-O, Swiss Steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, braised red cabbage, rolls, choice of coffee, tea or milk, and bread pudding with citrus sauce for dessert.The dinner and program will be held at the Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church located at 323 S. Fifth Avenue, Sturgeon Bay. Dinner and program fees are $21 for Society members and $25 for guests. Please plan to arrive a few minutes early for check in and seating; dinner will be served promptly at 6:00 pm.

Please make your reservation by sending payment to the Door County Historical Society, P.O. Box 71, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235. The reservation deadline is Monday, October 16. If you would like to attend the program only, please make your reservation by the deadline; the fee is $5 and the program time is 6:45. For further information, contact the Door County Historical Society at (920) 421-2332 or

Founded in 1926, the Door County Historical Society keeps history alive for future generations through the collection, preservation and sharing of the heritage of Door County. The Society is a membership organization that operates two interpretive sites: Eagle Bluff Lighthouse in Peninsula State Park and the Heritage Village at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay


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