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Campbell's Drugs: Forest Drive: 1980s   8 comments

Posted at 12:41 am in historic,landmark,stores

Campbell's Drugs was the anchor store for the old Forest Lake Shopping Center at the corner of Trenholm Road and Forest Drive, across from Trenholm Plaza.

Originally, Forest Lake Shopping Center was kind of a "double" strip mall with Campbell's on both the front (Forest Drive) and back (parking lot and cut-through over Gill's Creek). On the front with Campbell's were a 7-11 (later a Majik Market), a barber shop and a hardware store. (The hardware left early, and was replaced, possibly, with an ABC store). On the back were Dodd's, a fabric store of some sort, a formalwear store and some others that changed from time to time, and never really sparked my imagination.

Campbell's was an old-school drugstore, not affialiated with a national chain as far as I can recall, and boasted a soda fountain and short-order counter. If you came in the front door, the lunch counter was on your left leaving a corridor of general merchandise on your right which you walked down to get to the perscription area which was in the back of the store. I don't recall much about the store's stock aside from the usual Whitman's samplers and greeting cards, but it did have a paperback spinner rack from which I once talked my mother into buying me an Arthur C. Clarke short story collection. I do recall that there wasn't much about the stock to strike a kid's interest, so waiting to have a prescription filled could be kind of boring. Past the pharmacy area was a back door, with a sidewalk going down the hill to the back side of the shopping center.

Because of its location fairly near to our house, and on the way home from Dr. Harvin's Office, Campbell's was where we got all our perscriptions filled. Before Jack Rabbit set up in Trenholm Plaza, it was usually where we dropped our film off as well. They didn't have processing facilities, but would send your film off to a regional lab and you could pick it up a week or two later (color took longer, I think). I recall one time that we were dropping off film, and I didn't feel like going inside with my mother and sister while they took care of that and picked up a few things. Since it wasn't considered child abuse at the time, my mother let me stay in the car with my book and our dog. I apparently had strict instructions to roll the windows mostly up if I got out of the car, but in the event when I got bored and went inside, I couldn't be bothered and our dog (a sweet tempered Cocker Spaniel) took the opportunity to jump out of the window and make a run for the Cooper Branch. Since this involved crossing Trenholm, and since Trenholm was even then a pretty busy road, and since my mother had to go racing after her, I was in very bad graces for a while thereafter (she was fine though!)

Sometime, I think in the early 80s, Forest Lake Shoping Center was "remodeled", which in this instance meant tearing down the bulk of the original main strip. The auxiliary strip with the old Colonial store (now Coplon's), Sakura and Forest Lake TV remained, but Campbell's and all of the other main strip stores were torn down to make way for a new First Citizen's bank and Talbot's. I'm sure that given the trends in the pharmacy industry, Campbell's would probably have to have sold out to a chain by now as Cedar Terrace Pharmacy, The Big T and Parkland Pharmacy did. Still, I was sad to see it go.

Written by ted on November 17th, 2008

8 Responses to 'Campbell's Drugs: Forest Drive: 1980s'

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  1. Campbell's was the place to cash in the free ice cream cone certificates we received after visits to Dr. Schmidt's office behind the mall by the creek, "For Bravery in the Dentist's Chair."

    Even then I thought it was funny that a dentist was pushing sugary desserts. Herr Doktor Schmidt, God bless him, was strictly old school in his chairside manner, and going to the dentist was something for a child to dread. Not at all like today's specialists in child dentistry, with their arcades and balloons and movies and degrees in child psychology. My son thinks going to the dentist is fun.

    Dennis

    17 Nov 08 at 9:41 am

  2. Campell's pharmacy as well as Cornell Arms was originally owned and operated by my grandfather John T. Campbell. I spent many years as a child exploring the store and the surrounding shops. As I recall there was also a five and dime just down the sidewalk out back. Good memories there although my favorite was the original Campbell's on Devine.

    John

    1 Nov 09 at 7:22 pm

  3. The dime store was Dodd's, where I bought my Beatles 45s. My strongest connection to Campbell's (at this location) was that our dentist, Dr. Schmidt, in his little building way down at the end of the parking lot, gave certificates for free ice cream cones at Campbell's to reward "bravery in the dentist's chair."

    I'm sure he was a nice man and a good dentist, but he had a German accent, never smiled or made small talk, and his hands tasted like soap. He terrified me!

    Dennis

    1 Nov 09 at 8:26 pm

  4. Yes, I remember my family had an account there a the store. You could purchase something from the pharmacy and just put it on your account. I also remember if you entered from the Forest drive entrance there was a phone booth inside the pharmacy to your right. When was the last time anyone saw a phone booth?

    William

    19 Oct 11 at 9:47 pm

  5. There were still some enclosed phone booths on the Russell House patio when I started USC in 1979. I think they lasted throughout my stay there. I think those were the last I saw.

    ted

    19 Oct 11 at 10:08 pm

  6. tonkatoy

    1 May 13 at 11:08 am

  7. Hmm. I can only find two pictures tagged "Campbell's Pharmacy" there, and from the outside view, it would appear that this Campbell's was in Cornell Arms..

    ted

    1 May 13 at 11:00 pm

  8. Yeah, it was in the Cornell Arms. I was wondering if it was an affiliated location, based on John's Nov 09 Comment.

    tonkatoy

    2 May 13 at 6:40 am

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