Nelson Pharmacy, 1978

February 13, 1978

This building at 19th Avenue East and Superior Street soon will be without a pharmacy for the first time since 1908. (Duluth Herald)

Neighborhood loses pharmacy after 70 years

Duluth Herald

For 70 years there has been a pharmacy at the northwest corner of 19th Avenue East and Superior Street. After Wednesday, there will be no more.

Daniel G. Remick Sr., owner of Nelson Pharmacy at 1831 E. Superior St., is closing out the business and will take over the Tronsdal Pharmacy, 2822 Piedmont Ave., which will be renamed Piedmont Pharmacy.

Remick said he is “quite sure” there is no pharmacy in Duluth that has operated longer in a single location than the one he is closing. Others may have a longer history but not in a single location, he said.

“It has got to the point where you can’t meet inflation with a store this size,” Remick said. “You have to have something bigger – carry more merchandise.”

Nelson Pharmacy owner Daniel G. Remick Sr. gets ready to move to a new location in February 1978.

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His store, which shares a building with Mr. Frank’s Pizza East, contains 800 square feet of retail space. At Piedmont he will have 3,200 square feet.

The building he now occupies was erected in 1906 and first housed a grocery store. In 1908, Ben Beyers opened a pharmacy there. It was taken over subsequently by Earl Nelson, who remodeled the space in 1939 and gave it its name. Remick bought the business 17 years ago.

Remick said he will continue to serve the old neighborhood with delivery service and is taking with him all its old prescriptions, which number more than 400,000. All seven employees, including himself and his wife, June, will join in the shift to the new location. Three additional employees will be added, Remick said.

Lester Johnson, who operated the Tronsdal Pharmacy, is joining the staff at the Clinic Pharmacy in Cloquet.

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This archive article seemed timely, given the recent demise of the Falk’s Pharmacy chain in the Duluth area.

The Nelson Pharmacy storefront, as seen in the first photo, now is home to The Amazing Alonzo bookstore, which has been at that location since 1982. The bookstore’s storefront is seen below in July 2010, in a News Tribune photo by Bob King:

Share your memories of Nelson Pharmacy by posting a comment.

4 thoughts on “Nelson Pharmacy, 1978

  1. Didn’t Grant ? someone own Mr. Franks Pizza? Did they also have a west end shop? I am thinking Lees’ Pizza in the west end used to be a Mr. Franks. Whatever happened to Mr. Franks Pizza. It was good pizza, as I recall……
    Gee, wish I would have known the pharmacy had a soda fountain…..only stopped by to pick up Mr. Franks Pizza…..who knew? Only the neighbors is my guess…..

  2. I have fond memories of Nelson Pharmacy’s soda fountain where I often enjoyed a wonderful chocolate malted milk served in a tall, frosted glass accompanied by the metal mixer container containing about 1/3 more of the delicious, creamy mixture. There was also a large shelf along the inside of the east front window where the latest comic books were available. No one objected as many of us kids sat by the window and read comics.
    I also recall that the drop-off point for the evening Duluth Herald was on that corner and “paper boys” would gather there each evening to pick up their delivery bundles. They were regular daily soda fountain customers having a “coke” or malted milk before heading out on their routes in the summer.

  3. I lived upstairs of the pharmacy (and Mr Frank’s) in the 70s. For a while they carried bread and dairy products, which was handy for someone without a car. Near the parking lot behind the store, I once found a very old medicine bottle with the pharmacy name inscribed on it. Moved away from that area in the 80s, but still have the bottle in my kitchen.

  4. Remember it well, friends lived on the corner across the street, we used that phone booth alot and bought lots of pizza and pasta next door at Mr. Franks…

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