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15 Oct 2021, last revised 11 Jul 2022

Macdonald's pharmacy was one of the pioneer drug stores in the Copper Country, and also one of the longest running. It arguably had the oldest pharmacy bottle embossed with a Copper Country name. The business started with D. T. Macdonald and continued with his son, Norman Macdonald.

Daniel Turner Macdonald was born in Scotland on 07 Nov 1821 (23). He graduated from the Glasgow Apothecary Hall in 1846 (25). He was then employed as an mining agent in Scotland, Norway, Ireland, and Germany (25,30). He and his wife, Anne Marie Holst, who was born in Norway (23), had their first three children, including Norman, in Germany (1). They immigrated to the U.S. in 1868 (25). Since Norman was born on 16 Aug 1863 (24), he would have been 5 years old when he arrived. Daniel first worked at a silver mine on the north shore of Lake Superior for 1.5 years (25). When the mine closed, he moved the family to Red Jacket, where he purchased the corner lot, erected a store, and started his druggist business in Aug 1869 (25). He was the pioneer druggist in the village (25). The 1870 U.S. Federal Census placed them in Calumet Township (3) and D. T. Macdonald was listed as a druggist in Calumet in the 1873 Michigan State Polk directory (4).

Newspaper ad - Northwestern Mining Journal, 04 Jun 1873
Newspaper ad - Jun 1873
Polk directory ad - Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory 1881
Polk directory ad - 1881

In Jun 1872, D. T. Macdonald built an addition onto the drug store to serve as the justice office (28). In Apr 1880, the current store location was being converted into a residence, and a new store was being built on the north side of the property (27). The renovations were completed by Aug 1880 (29). The 1895 Polk directory listed the store at 102 N 5th St, Calumet (5). We see a drug store labeled at this location on the Jul 1888 Sanborn map, although the addresses were numbered differently on the map. In Jan 1897, the store moved to the other side of the building (8), at 100 N 5th St. (6). The building was remodeled as a drug store with new shelving, counters, other furniture, and fixtures, and that it was expected to take all week to move the stock of drugs and various novelties (7,8). The Dec 1897 Sanborn map shows the store in its new location, on the northeast corner with Scott St.

Sanborn map, North 5th St., Red Jacket - July 1888
Sanborn map - July 1888
Sanborn map, North 5th St., Red Jacket - Dec 1897
Sanborn map - Dec 1897

In 1897, D. T. Macdonald was listed as the druggist and Norman Macdonald as the manager (6). After suffering ill health for several years (30), Daniel died on 23 Nov 1898 at the age of 77, and was buried in Lake View Cemetery, Calumet (9,23). In Sep 1899, the drug store building, homestead, lot upon which they stood, and lease on adjacent lots owned by the Calumet & Hecla Mining Co. were sold for the heirs of the Macdonald estate with Norman offering the winning bid of $17,000, considered to be a good bargain (32). Subsequent directories listed Norman as the druggist at the 100 5th St. location with his residence being the same (10,11,12).

In May or Jun 1903, the drug store was sold to Vastbinder & Read (31). Norman was no longer listed as a druggist in the 1905 directory (13), and he had moved to Laurium by the 1907 directory (14). On the U.S. Federal Census, Norman's occupation was listed as retired in 1910 (15), none in 1920 (16), and retired in 1930 (17); however, he was listed as the vice president of the Merchant & Miners Bank in the 1930 directory (26). He died on 09 Sept 1949 at the age of 86 and was buried in Lake View Cemetery, Calumet (24).

Newspaper ad - The Copper Country Evening News, 11 Oct 1899
Newspaper ad - Oct 1899

Even though the drug store started in Aug 1869, the use of embossed pharmacy bottles did not start until about the late 1870s to early 1880s. The earliest Macdonald bottle, #31, is the only known Copper Country pharmacy bottle with a Millville Round shape, which was patented by Whitall Tatum & Co. on Jan 22, 1878 (20). Another early bottle is #33, which has a Chicago Oval shape, patented by A. M. Foster on May 15, 1888 (21). The later bottles with the script D. T. Macdonald probably date to after 1900 and thus show that Norman continued to use his father's name for the business.

After Vastbinder & Read moved to a new location in May 1911 (33), the building was occupied by a branch of Superior Pharmacy (22), first run by MacQueen & Sibilsky (18) and then by Uno Montin (19).

References

  1. U.S. Census Bureau. 1880 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  2. U.S. Census Bureau. 1900 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  3. U.S. Census Bureau. 1870 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  4. J.E. Scripps & R.L. Polk, compliers. 1973. Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1873. Tribune Book and Job Office. Detroit.
  5. R. L. Polk & Co. 1895. Houghton County Directory 1895-96. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  6. R. L. Polk & Co. 1897. Houghton County Directory 1897-99. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  7. anonymous. (1897, Jan 08). untitled. The Copper Country Evening News (Calumet, MI). p. 8.
  8. anonymous. (1897, Jan 11). untitled. The Copper Country Evening News (Calumet, MI). p. 8.
  9. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics; Lansing, Michigan; Death Records (accessed on ancestry.com).
  10. R. L. Polk & Co. 1899. Houghton County Directory 1899-1900. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  11. R. L. Polk & Co. 1901. Houghton County Directory 1901-02. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  12. R. L. Polk & Co. 1903. Houghton County Directory 1903-04. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  13. R. L. Polk & Co. 1905. Houghton County Directory 1905-06. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  14. R. L. Polk & Co. 1907. Houghton County Directory 1907-08. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  15. U.S. Census Bureau. 1910 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  16. U.S. Census Bureau. 1920 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  17. U.S. Census Bureau. 1930 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  18. R. L. Polk & Co. 1912. 1912 Calumet, Hancock, Houghton and Laurium Directory. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  19. R. L. Polk & Co. 1916. Houghton County Directory 1916-17. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  20. Lockhart, B., P. Schulz, B. Schriever, B. Lindsey, C. Serr, and B. Brown. 2020. Whitall Tatum - Part I - Whitall Tatum & Co. In: Encyclopedia of Manufacturer's Marks on Historic Bottles. posted on Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website. https://sha.org/bottle/pdffiles/WhitallTatum1.pdf
  21. Lockhart, B., B. Schriever, B. Lindsey, C. Serr, and B. Brown. 2013, revised 2021. A.M. Foster & Co. In: Encyclopedia of Manufacturer's Marks on Historic Bottles. posted on Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website. https://sha.org/bottle/pdffiles/AMFoster.pdf
  22. anonymous. (1911, May 23). Laurium briefs. The Calumet News (Calumet, MI). p. 7.
  23. Find a Grave. accessed Oct 2021. Daniel Turner "DT" MacDonald. findagrave.com/memorial/107106643/daniel-turner-macdonald
  24. Find a Grave. accessed Oct 2021. Norman Stuart MacDonald. findagrave.com/memorial/210142331/norman-stuart-macdonald
  25. anonymous. 1883. History of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Western Historical Company. Chicago, IL.
  26. R. L. Polk & Co. 1930. Polk’s Calumet (Michigan) Directory 1930. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  27. anonymous. (1880, Apr 22). Out on the Range. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  28. anonymous. (1872, Jun 27). Red Jacket Items. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  29. anonymous. (1880, Aug 12). Out on the Range. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  30. anonymous. (1898, Nov 25). Another Pioneer Gone. The Copper Country Evening News (Calumet, MI). p. 5.
  31. anonymous. (1903, Jun 02). untitled. The Native Copper Times (Lake Linden, MI). p. 1.
  32. anonymous. (1899, Sep 21). Macdonald's Good Bargain. The Daily Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 5.
  33. anonymous. (1911, May 12). Will Move Next Week. The Calumet News (Calumet, MI). p. 1.

31
D. T. Macdonald bottle
2 oz
color: colorless
top: cork top - tooled
base outline: base shape C
date: late 1870s to early 1880s
capacity - H x W - base mark - rarity:
2 oz. - 10.3 x 3.8 cm - W. T. & CO / PAT JAN / 22 78 / 0 - extremely rare
  • capacity not marked on bottle

32
D. T. Macdonald bottle
1 oz
color: colorless
top: cork top - tooled
base outline: base shape M
date: late 1880s to early 1890s
capacity - H x W - base mark - rarity:
½ oz. - 6.8 x 2.9 cm - s in diamond logo - extremely rare
1 oz. - 8.9 x 6.3 cm - s in diamond logo - extremely rare
  • the book states "no makers mark" but these specimens had a maker's mark
  • capacity not marked on bottle

33
D. T. Macdonald bottle
4 oz
color: colorless
top: cork top - tooled
base outline: base shape R
date: early 1890s
capacity - base mark - rarity:
1 oz. - M / PAT MAY 15. 88 / D. F & D - rare
2 oz. - PAT MAY 15TH 88 / D. F. & D. / M - rare
3 oz. - M / PAT'D MAY 15. 88 / D. F. & CO. - rare
4 oz. - M / PAT'D MAY 15. 88 / D F & D - rare
6 oz. - M / PAT D MAY 15 88 / D. F. & CO. - rare
  • capacity marked above the plate

34
D. T. Macdonald bottle
7 oz
color: colorless
top: cork top - tooled
base outline: base shape P
date: late 1890s
capacity - H x W - base mark - rarity:
1 oz. - 9.0 x 3.3 cm - (none) - extremely rare
2 oz. - 10.8 x 4.3 cm - (none) - extremely rare
3 oz. - 12.4 x 4.8 cm - (none) - extremely rare
4 oz. - 13.6 x 5.0 cm - (none) - extremely rare
6 oz. - 15.5 x ? cm - (none) - extremely rare
7 oz. - 16.7 x 6.3 cm - (none) - extremely rare
16 oz. - 20.2 x 7.6 cm - (none) - extremely rare
  • capacity not marked on bottle

s69
D. T. Macdonald bottle
2 oz
color: colorless
top: cork top - tooled
base outline: base shape G
date: early 1900s
capacity - H x W - base mark - rarity:
1 oz. - 9.2 x 3.4 cm - (none) - ?
2 oz. - 11.5 x 4.1 cm - (none) - ?
  • capacity not marked on bottle

s79
D. T. Macdonald bottle
3 oz
color: colorless
top: cork top - tooled
base outline: base shape F
date: early 1900s
capacity - H x W - base mark - rarity:
3 oz. - 12.4 x 4.6 cm - (none) - ?
  • capacity not marked on bottle

35
D. T. Macdonald bottle
16 oz
color: colorless
top: cork top - tooled
base outline: base shape L
date: c.1900
capacity - H x W - base mark - rarity:
2 oz. - 11.3 x 4.0 cm - (none) - common
3 oz. - 12.6 x 4.8 cm - (none) - common
4 oz. - 14.2 x 5.4 cm - A. M. F & CO. - common
6 oz. - 15.8 x 6.0 cm - A. M. F & CO. - common
8 oz. - 18.3 x 6.5 cm - A. M. F & CO. - common
16 oz. - 21.8 x 8.0 cm - A. M. F & CO. - common
  • capacity marked on 4, 6, and 8-oz sizes

36
D. T. Macdonald bottle
8 oz
color: colorless
top: cork top - tooled
base outline: base shape D
date: early 1900s
capacity - H x W - base mark - rarity:
½ oz. - 7.3 x 2.8 cm - A. M. F & CO. - common
1 oz. - 9.8 x 3.5 cm - A. M. F & CO. - common
2 oz. - 11.2 x 4.4 cm - A. M. F & CO. - common
4 oz. - 14.1 x 5.3 cm - A. M. F & CO. - common
6 oz. - 16.1 x 6.0 cm - A. M. F & CO. - common
8 oz. - 17.8 x 6.7 cm - A. M. F & CO. - common
16 oz. - 21.5 x 7.7 cm - A. M. F. & CO. - extremely rare
  • capacity not marked on bottle