Rudell Drug Store

1900 – 1969
The Rudell Drug Store was the oldest drug store in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, at the time of its closing in 1969. William Alexander Rudell established his drug store at the corner of Ashmun and Maple Streets in 1900. His daughters, Frances and Marjorie, were tutored by him and later attended pharmacy school and became the Saults’ first registered women pharmacists. The family watched the drug store change from herb-based medicines to mostly chemicals and synthetics. Their earliest recollections are of such diseases as rickets and diphtheria which are practically extinct today. At the time they closed their drug store, the largest percentage of prescriptions they filled were for heat trouble and gastric problems. Retail goods carried by the store changed from items such as soap tree bark or red clover tops to the newest shade of hair dye and iridescent lipstick. After the closing of the store, the family wanted it to remain in Michigan and be preserved as it was in 1900, and the Grand Rapids Public Museum took that responsibility. W.D. Frankforter, Museum Director, arranged to have all of the contents of the drug store brought to Grand Rapids to fit in with the Museum’s long range program of building a street of early 20th century stores and shops.
Related Maker/Donor
Marjorie Rudell Goetz