Brookline Pharmacy - 1936
This is Brookline Pharmacy at 502 Brookline Boulevard in 1936. After World War II, the pharmacy was taken over by Charles and Lois Haley. Chuck's uncle had owned the drug store and trained him as a pharmacist. Mr. and Mrs. Haley ran the Brookline Pharmacy together for forty years, until 1986, when the store was closed.
The Haley's outgoing and caring personalities were what made the Brookline Pharmacy a favorite among their patrons. Mrs. Haley recalls, "Our customers were like our family, and just like you help family whenever they need it, Chuck would get up at all hours to fill a prescription."
The business was expanded to incorporate the adjacent cafe at 504 Brookline Boulevard, and extensively remodeled, in the 1950s. The facade featured a pale gray ceramic clock in one corner and a large thermometer in the other corner. Brookline Pharmacy's clock and thermometer became Boulevard icons, easily visible to passing motorists and pedestrians.
The 504 side of the building was the pharmacy was located, operated by Mr. Haley. The 502 side was where a customer could find Mrs. Haley, tending to the needs of her little store. Together, the husband and wife team managed the family enterprise like a well-oiled machine.
At one time the pharmacy included a soda fountain, with booths and counter seating. Ice cream cones were five cents while sodas and milkshakes could be purchased for fifteen. An ice cream sundae would set you back twenty pennies (up from ten cents in 1936). For several years there was also a doctor's office and a dentist occupying the second floor of the structure.
By 1960, the soda fountain had been removed, but there was still plenty of penny candy and other treats, like Whitman's chocolates. The candy and variety store remained a favorite place for the local children for the next three decades. Also, from 1972 through 1980, Brookline Pharmacy was the sponsor of a Brookline Little League team.
After nearly sixty years as the western bookend of the Brookline Boulevard commercial district, the Brookline Pharmacy closed it's doors in 1986.
In 1999, the building was razed to make room for a new CVS Pharmacy at the corner of Brookline Boulevard and Pioneer Avenue. The modern commercial drug store chain may be more in keeping with the times, but it can never replace the charm and personal touch that the Haley family and Brookline Pharmacy brought to the community for over half a century.
Since retirement, and the passing of her beloved husband Charles, Lois Haley has remained active in community affairs. From working the polls on Election Day to helping with the many events at Resurrection Church, she remains a vibrant, spirited and caring individual.
Note: Mr. Charles Haley served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. He was involved in five Pacific island invasions, including the Battle of Iwo Jima.
* Information obtained in part from the Brookline newsletter - December 2012 *
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