Howard’s Pharmacy, located at 102 South Main Street in the heart of downtown Simpsonville and currently owned by Scott and Deborah Causey, underwent its first interior renovation earlier this year. During that remodeling, they uncovered some unusual things which Scott said was like opening a time capsule.
The building, constructed in 1912, was originally occupied by Simpsonville Pharmacy. When that business vacated, Deborah Causey’s great grandfather, Dr. Andrew Howard, purchased the building. Howard’s Pharmacy opened its doors in 1934 with Fred Howard, Andrew’s nephew, as its first owner and pharmacist. Sometime before this, a second floor had been added to the structure.
During its rich history, the facility housed a popular soda fountain, which thrived during the 1940’s through 1960’s. When Simpsonville wanted to update its downtown area, the owners covered the worn brick with siding. Later, in the early 2000’s, they removed the siding and restored the original brick exterior. When the Causeys purchased Howard’s Pharmacy in 2015, ownership returned to a Howard descendant for the first time since 1998.
During the interior makeover, they pried open nailed-shut cabinets located to the rear of the pharmacy. Within the cabinets, they found a saddle bag, a leather box containing vials of medicinal powders, and a doctor’s bag with obstetrical instruments wrapped in a red cloth and a prescription scale dated 1895. Although the exact age of all these items remains unknown, Scott felt that they reflected the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The family believes the doctor’s bag may even have belonged to Deborah’s great, great grandfather, Dr. William Pliney League, after whom a Simpsonville street has been named.
Under the floorboards, they recovered old medicine bottles caked in dirt. Scott said that the extra bevel found on the neck of these bottles indicates that they most likely were manufactured more than 80 years ago. Back in those days, they would save and reuse bottles. One unearthed soda bottle bore Nu Grape and 3-9-1920 date upon it.
During the renovation, they discovered several pieces of soda shop equipment once used for serving up fountain treats. Old empty bottles labeled with the strange medicine names of a bygone era, such as Neurosine and Creomulsion, were uncovered. Other bottles once contained past formulations of medicines still prescribed today.
Scott plans to display these items throughout the pharmacy so everyone can share in this unusual find. Come visit Howard’s Pharmacy for a fun history lesson and a dash of nostalgia thrown in!