J.A. Merriam Drug Store


The building to the left in the topmost photo above holds South Park City's drugstore. Originally a pioneer feed store in the town of Alma, it was moved to become the J.A. Merriam Drug Store in the late 1950's, and its contents have a fascinating story to tell.

It starts in a basement store-room in the old silver town of Westcliffe, Colorado. In this basement the 1880 druggist, J.A. Merriam, would store obsolete drugs, signs, and all kinds of paraphernalia used in the drug business. He was known to be a bit of a packrat, and extremely thrifty. It is said he would cut peppermint pellet candies in half so that his customers' received only the exact weight of candy for their nickel, and not a fraction more.

Eventually the Merriam family quit the drug business, and in the years that followed J.A.'s incredible collection remained untouched in the basement storeroom. Finally in 1958 this historical treasure was discovered, and moved to its current location to make up the most complete line of 1880 drugs, patent medicines and early day notions of any exhibit in Colorado and possibly the United States.