Hilton Pharmacy and Mary Kirkland each celebrate anniversaries on Third Street

MARYSVILLE — This year marked both the 90th anniversary of Hilton Pharmacy on Third Street and Mary Kirkland's 40th year as its owner, and the store shared its celebration with its customers Oct. 1-3.

Kirkland's great-grandfather, Jeffrey Hilton Sr., purchased Marysville's earliest drug store from W.E. Mansfield on Dec. 7, 1919, and subsequently moved it to Third Street, so this year, the store offered sales of $19.19 on various items, as well as giveaways of rolls of Life Savers. The candy was invented in 1912, but came up with its five flavors in 1919, and its inventor was inspired by watching his druggist make pills.

Commercial radio broadcasts also started in 1919, so Kirkland displayed a few antique radios, as well as some period dresses and other clothing items, while old-time music played on the store's speakers. Kirkland also set aside an area of the store for artifacts from the original Hilton Pharmacy, including antique bottles and weighing scales, as well as pictures of her great-uncle and great-aunt, from 1919-1930.

Perhaps the most popular aspect of the store's 90th anniversary celebration was its "soda jerk," Ryan Vonderhorst, the son of one of Kirkland's friends. As a callback to the days when Hilton Pharmacy had its own soda fountain, Vonderhorst served up free root beer floats to all the store's customers Oct. 1-2, with an "understudy" filling in for him Oct. 3.

Kirkland began interning at the store in 1969 under former owner Clyde Lashua, a "great man" who mentored her through her college years and until she bought the store from him on Jan. 1, 1984. As a child, she remembers being at eye-level with the hot cashew dispenser on the counter, as her mother picked up the family's prescriptions. As an adult, she's worked with "a lot of wonderful people," including interns, clarks and pharmacists.

"Best of all have been our customers," Kirkland said. "They've become really good friends with us for a long time."

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