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Remember the Drug Store?

Do you remember going to the drug store, taking a seat on a stool at the soda fountain and enjoying a delicious treat? In Millinocket in 1946, you could do this at three different locations on Penobscot Avenue! In that era and for a few years after, soda fountains were commonly found at drug stores. Gonya’s Pharmacy was started in 1926 by Harry Gonya and was located for many years on the corner of Penobscot Avenue and Central St. (Moose Drop-In today). It was one of the few (or maybe the only one) pharmacies north of Bangor to be air-conditioned! The local paper in 1946 described Goyna’s soda fountain as “a spot for the business and professional people on the main street, where they gather for lunches or a mid-day cup of coffee. The Blue Room is one of the outstanding features of the store where children can meet and spend hours reminiscing over school sports activities. It is interesting to note that when tourists come to town, usually the first place they stop is Gonya’s Pharmacy.” Down the street was the soda fountain located inside Emerson’s Pharmacy. This business was started in 1933 at another location and then in 1943 it moved to the Masonic Block where it remained until a few years ago. Emerson’s soda fountain “featured Sealtest ice cream which was served at the fountain and in take-out packages. The hardening cabinet is always well stocked.” Whalen’s, the Rexall Store, also had a soda fountain that carried all flavors of ice cream and sauces and had a special of the month ice cream. Comfortable booths were an added attraction. Like today, those early drug stores/pharmacies carried a varied line of goods in addition to having a pharmacist on duty. At Gonya’s, Emerson’s and Whalen’s, a customer could purchase cosmetics, sweets (candy, chocolates, nuts), gifts for Christmas, greeting cards and more. The 1946 Millinocket Journal that this information is from also mentions that these businesses were now restocking their shelves with many items they had not been able to acquire due to WWII. Some of the 1946 employees are also named in the articles, including one of the museum’s favorite people, Joyce Morgan Robinson (at Gonya’s).

Museum open Thursday, Friday, Saturday Noon-3PM In the Museum Store! ***2022 Calendars, Everybody Loves a Parade! $14.00 each, add $5 each by mail *** Preowned yearbooks - $10.00 each. *** Matted photos, various prices – GNP mill, Little Italy, river drives, Mt. Katahdin. *** DVD’s, Little Italy Part 1 and Part 2 available at the museum ($15 each) or mail order ($15 each). ***Books: “Within Katahdin’s Realm, Log Drives and Sporting Camps” (Bill Geller) $30.00; “Logging Towboats & Boom Jumpers” (Moody) $18.00; “Tanglefoot,” (Edwards) $15.00; “The Nighthawk,” (Edwards) $15.00; “Millinocket” (D. Duplisea) $20.00; “A Little Taste of History” cookbooks - $15.00; both Laverty books, $25 history & $10 architecture; “Our Real World,” (M. Murphy) $15.00; “No Time for Moss (McKeen) $15.00 and several preowned books (out of print) by local authors. *** All items may be mailed – add $5 SH each item. *** For information, groups or appointments, contact Curator Trudy Wyman, 723-5477. *** By mail at Millinocket Historical Society, P. O. Box 11, Facebook or by email at or

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