logo2

18 Dec 2021, last revised 27 Jun 2022

Laurium was home to two long-lived pharmacies, Laurium Pharmacy and Superior Pharmacy, but only Superior Pharmacy used embossed bottles.

Superior Pharmacy was first listed in the 1901 Polk directory, with Dr. Donald K. MacQueen as proprietor (1), suggesting that he started the store. The 1903 directory then listed MacQueen & Sibilsky as proprietors, indicating that Tony W. Sibilsky joined the firm (2).

Superior Pharmacy c.1910<br>Courtesy of National Park Service, Keweenaw National Historical Park, Foster Collection, C&H Lib Card #232
Superior Pharmacy c.1910
Polk directory ad - Houghton County Directory 1901-02
Polk directory ad - 1901

Donald K. MacQueen was born on 06 Jan 1866 in Ontario, Canada (3), and immigrated to the U.S. in 1890 (4) or 1891 (5). Tony W. Sibilsky was bone on 21 Apr 1879 (6) in Eagle River, MI (7) to immigrants from Germany (5). The 1910 U.S. Federal Census recorded MacQueen as a physician in general practice and Sibilsky as a druggist in his own store (5).

The drug store was first located at 333 Hecla St. in Laurium (1). The Sanborn maps did not mark this address, but a building where this address should have been located was labeled as a drug store. It was located on the east side between 3rd St. and 4th St. The 1907 directory stated that the store will move to the First National Bank Building when completed (9), and this building was then stated as their location from the 1910 directory (10). The First National Bank Building was located on the southwest corner of 3rd St. and Hecla St.

Sanborn map, Hecla St. - Sep 1900
Sanborn map - Sep 1900
Sanborn map, corner of 3rd St and Hecla St. - Sep 1917
Sanborn map - Sep 1917

In 1911, the pharmacy opened a branch store in Red Jacket (11,12). Vastbinder & Read moved their business to a new location and Superior Pharmacy occupied their previous location (11,12). In Nov 1913, the Red Jacket store was sold to Uno Montin, who was formally on staff at the Laurium store (13); and earlier in his career, was employed at Macdonald's drug store (18). Phil Furlong, who was managing the Red Jacket store then resumed his previous position as head pharmacist at the Laurium store (13).

Newspaper ad - The Calumet News, 01 Jun 1911
Newspaper ad - Jun 1911
Newspaper ad - The Calumet News, 11 Mar 1914
Newspaper ad - Mar 1914

MacQueen and Sibilsky continued to be listed together. The 1916 directory listed Superior Pharmacy as a Rexall Store (8). The 1930 directory listed Sibilsky for Superior Pharmacy at 303 Hecla St. and MacQueen as a physician at 301 Hecla St. (14). Donald MacQueen was recorded as a medical doctor on the 1940 U.S. Federal Census (15). He then died on 17 Oct 1949 at the age of 83 and was buried in Lakeview Cemetery, Calumet (3). Anton Sibilsky was recorded as a proprietor on the 1940 census (15). Superior Pharmacy was still listed at 303 Hecla St. in a 1947/1948 business directory (17). Sibilsky died on 11 Aug 1969 at the age of 90 and was buried in the same cemetery (16).

Given that the drug store was on the 1900 Sanborn map, it probably started in 1899 or 1900. It is unknown when the store closed, but evidently sometime after 1947. Their bottles bear the mark of the Western Bottling Manufacturing Co. The first two bottles (#12 and #s32) have a similar design and they date to 1901-1907. Their last bottle (#13) has First Natn'l Bank Bldg as the location so it probably dates to 1907-1910, or slightly later.

Pharmacy bottle label<br>Courtesy of the Richard Dana Collection
Pharmacy bottle label
Pharmacy bottle label<br>Courtesy of the Richard Dana Collection
Pharmacy bottle label

References

  1. R. L. Polk & Co. 1901. Houghton County Directory 1901-02. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  2. R. L. Polk & Co. 1903. Houghton County Directory 1903-04. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  3. Find a Grave. accessed Dec 2021. Dr Donald K. MacQueen. findagrave.com/memorial/213281540/donald-k-macqueen
  4. U.S. Census Bureau. 1900 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  5. U.S. Census Bureau. 1910 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  6. U.S. Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. (accessed on ancestry.com).
  7. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 for Anton W Sibilsky (accessed on ancestry.com).
  8. R. L. Polk & Co. 1916. Houghton County Directory 1916-17. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  9. R. L. Polk & Co. 1907. Houghton County Directory 1907-08. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  10. R. L. Polk & Co. 1910. 1910 Calumet, Houghton, Hancock and Laurium Directory. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  11. anonymous. (1911, Apr 11). Branch Store in R. J. The Calumet News (Calumet, MI). p. 7.
  12. anonymous. (1911, May 23). Laurium Briefs. The Calumet News (Calumet, MI). p. 7.
  13. anonymous. (1913, Nov 24). Pharmacy Changes Hands. The Calumet News. (Calumet, MI). p. 8.
  14. R. L. Polk & Co. 1930. Polk’s Calumet (Michigan) Directory 1930. R. L. Polk & Co., Publishers. Detroit, MI.
  15. U.S. Census Bureau. 1940 United States Federal Census. accessed on ancestry.com.
  16. Find a Grave. accessed Dec 2021. Anton W. "Tony" Sibilsky. findagrave.com/memorial/219531160/anton-w-sibilsky
  17. The Daily Mining Gazette. 1947 or 1948. Copper Country Classified Business and Professional Directory. Houghton, MI.
  18. anonymous. (1898, Aug 11). untitled. The Copper Country Evening News (Calumet, MI). p. 8.

12
Superior Pharmacy bottle
8 oz
color: colorless
top: cork top - tooled
base outline: base shape S
date: 1901-1907
capacity - base mark - rarity:
2 oz. - W. B. M. CO. - extremely rare
4 oz. - W. B. M. CO. - extremely rare
8 oz. - W. B. M. CO. - extremely rare
  • capacity marked above the plate
12a
Superior Pharmacy bottle
2 oz
capacity - base mark - rarity:
2 oz. - (none) - extremely rare
4 oz. - (none) - extremely rare
  • same plate
  • no maker's mark
  • capacity marked above the plate

s32
Superior Pharmacy bottle
2 oz
color: colorless
top: cork top - tooled
base outline: base shape Q
date: 1901-1907
capacity - base mark - rarity:
2 oz. - BREED / W. B M CO. - extremely rare
4 oz. - BREED / W. B M CO. - extremely rare
  • different bottle shape
  • includes BREED mark
  • capacity marked above the plate

s59
Superior Pharmacy bottle
1 oz
color: colorless
top: cork top - tooled
base outline: base shape Q
date: c.1905
capacity - base mark - rarity:
1 oz. - W. B. M. CO. - extremely rare
  • lacks location in bank building
  • capacity marked above the plate

13
Superior Pharmacy bottle
4 oz
color: colorless
top: cork top - tooled
base outline: base shape Q
date: 1907-c.1910
capacity - base mark - rarity:
4 oz. - W. B. M. CO. - rare
8 oz. - W. B. MFG. Co. - rare
16 oz. - W. B. M. CO. - extremely rare
  • capacity marked above the plate