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From the desk of Alison Gibson, Director
We still get a kick out of postcards that are just of houses—no special event, no special resident at the time, just a house picture. Wish there were more, but glad there are some. Both of these houses look remarkably the same then as today—paint might be different, and Second Street doesn’t have trees on the street side of the sidewalks, but both cards here could stand in for an almost current picture of the dwelling.
The West Second Street (today known as North Second Street) was published by the Red Cross Pharmacy. Not nearly well known as Ripley’s Bristow or Maddox Pharmacy, it still has a place in Ripley history. Looking through the newspapers, the first year it appears in 1907, but seems well established, so may have been in business for some time. It was located at the corner of Third and Main Streets. In early 1907, the owners were Wamsley and Crook, but by mid 1907, Crook bought out Wamsley and was sole proprietor. Not only did the pharmacy sell drugs, but house paint, varnishes, window glass. Later they sold seeds by the pint or pound, none of those little seed packets for them! They were quick with the postcards—by April of 1907, they had sets of 5 flood picture postcards that had happened in mid-March. The cost was 10 cents for the set.
In 1911, H. W. (or W. H.) Bristow purchased the Red Cross from J. O. Arnold, who had owned the business for less than a year. In the spring of 1912, Criswell and Bristow moved to their new location, corner of 2nd and Main. Fun to look at the old advertisements—when Bristow was at the Main and Third location, it was always Bristow, The Druggist.
We’ve got gardening books for inspiration—certainly the warmer weather should be getting you thinking about what flowers, herbs and veggies you might try this year. We’ve noticed that perhaps we didn’t weed well enough last fall around the library, as the Creeping Charlie, onion grass, dandelions and hairy bittercress (you know, the plant that if you let go to seed pops its seeds when you try to pull it out…) are doing quite well with the spring rain and the tease of warmer days. We welcome you to come on in to check out our gardening and landscaping materials.