Business

Hilton Pharmacy celebrates 90 years Oct. 1-3

Hilton Pharmacy owner Mary Kirkland shows off some of the antique tools of her store
Hilton Pharmacy owner Mary Kirkland shows off some of the antique tools of her store's trade, as she prepares for Hilton Pharmacy's 90th anniversary.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — Hilton Pharmacy on Third Street is celebrating its 90th year with a celebration of its history Oct. 1-3.

On Dec. 7, 1919, Mary Kirkland's great-grandfather, Jeffrey Hilton Sr., purchased Marysville's earliest drug store from W.E. Mansfield and called his new business the Hilton Drug Company, but Kirkland decided to start the party early.

"We'll be having an open house during those three days, with music from the decade that my great-grandfather took over," said Kirkland, who purchased the store from Clyde Lashua on Jan. 1, 1984, and has run it ever since. "We'll be serving root beer floats, since Hilton Pharmacy used to have a soda fountain in its front window, and we'll find ways of focusing on the year 1919. For instance, we'll be giving away Life Savers, since they settled on their five flavors that year."

Among other touchstones of the era in which the Hilton family originally took over the pharmacy, Kirkland expects to have a display of period clothing and other memorabilia, including antique bottles and weighing scales, as well as pictures of her great-uncle and great-aunt.

Before it was bought by Jeffrey Hilton Sr., what would become the Hilton Pharmacy started out in 1896 as the Marysville branch of the Everett Drug Company, owned by George Woodruff. Several others owned the pioneer drug store before the Hiltons, including W.K. Bartells, who only owned it for a week in 1898, and Edgar Blair, a pharmacist from Everett who bought it from Bartells and renamed it the City Drug Store. Blair's store was originally located on the north side of Front Street, near the corner of what now is First Street and Beach Avenue, and remained under Blair's ownership until October of 1910. The store was sold to Carl Stanley, then Robert Bell in 1911, followed by W.E. Mansfield in 1913.

Hilton Sr., a local immigrant farmer, bought the store in 1919, and moved it to its current location at the corner of Third Street and State Avenue in the late 1920s. It passed to Jeffrey Hilton Jr., who owned and operated the store until its purchase by Lashua, who had worked for Hilton Jr. for several years. Before she purchased the store from him, Kirkland had worked for Lashua since 1969.

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