The Georgia Trust

2015 PLACES IN PERIL: PORTAL DRUGSTORE, PORTAL, BULLOCH COUNTY

THE STORY
Dr. Stewart, Portal's first doctor, built this drugstore in 1907, a year before the town was incorporated. The small wooden building served as a pharmacy, doctor's office and soda fountain over the years, and Dr. Stewart was known to do surgery in the back of the drugstore while his wife tended the soda fountain in the front. The drugstore also housed Portal's first telephone, which was used for long distance calls, and served as the center of the community for many years. Though the drugstore closed in 1950, its interior remains largely intact. With medical books and instruments, stocked shelves and the soda fountain still inside, this is perhaps the most thorough and authentic example of an early community pharmacy in the entire state.

THE THREAT
In 1990, the building and its artifacts were given to the Portal Heritage Society, which hosted tours for school groups and the community until 2012. Unfortunately, the building was found to be structurally compromised and tours were discontinued in 2012 due to safety concerns. The Portal Heritage Society maintains two other historic properties in the town, but lacks the necessary resources to properly preserve the drugstore. The city may condemn and demolish the building if it is found to be a safety or fire hazard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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