Canfield Corner Pharmacy

Marilyn Monroe… And Me
Canfield Corner Pharmacy, Woodbury

cp1I had some grand romantic idea to visit all the authentic soda fountain pharmacies left in Connecticut. I figure there can only be a few left, but I’m left with the problem of finding them. I found one (CTMQ’s visit to the James Pharmacy here) and I knew about this one in Woodbury from some book I’d read. But beyond these two… I have no idea. Eh, CTMQ is a lifelong pursuit.

So really, what can I possibly write about this place? For one, it’s an impossibly quaint little store in the impossibly quaint antiquing hotspot Woodbury. Once inside, the floors creak, telling of its very old age.

Aside from the usual sundries, there is a huge collection of milk bottles and old pharmaceutical bottles high up on the walls. I’m sure they’re worth some real money, but I’m also sure the owners won’t be parting with them any time soon. They really give the place a Mayberry or Norman Rockwell atmosphere.

cpThe women working there were smiley and pleasant. Whoa? Where was I? Certainly not in any of the ten CVS’s or Walgreens near my house.

The soda counter is not functional, but it is intact and I’m sure old-timers like to come in here and reminisce about the dates they took to have a malted here.

And perhaps – just perhaps – one of those old timers tells the story of how they came in for some ointments and ran into Marilyn Monroe. She used to live nearby (I assume with Arthur Miller) and apparently and got some prescriptions from this very store.

I know, I know… Marilyn Monroe enjoyed a billion prescriptions from a million pharmacies, but here’s one of her bottles to prove it, from an online auction site I found:

“Marilyn Monroe personal prescription medication bottle measuring 2 1/2 in. tall from the Canfield Corner Pharmacy, North Woodbury, Connecticut. There is no date or doctor listed on the label.”

So that’s pretty cool.

3 responses to “Canfield Corner Pharmacy”

  1. Dianne Martiny Strong says:

    My family bought the 1867 Canfield building in 1950. After my pharmacist father died in 1954, my mother, Vera Taylor Martiny, became a licensed pharmacist. Arthur Miller lived in nearly Roxbury and had been a customer in our store since we took it over. In June 1956 when he married his 2nd wife, Marilyn Monroe, she also became our customer (Roux hair bleach and the New York Times). Phenobarbitol was regularly prescribed by doctors in the 1950′s as a sleeping pill. As a barbiturate, it is a controlled drug. My mother wrote the label: 1/2 grain. She had beautiful handwriting. Vera was adamant that when Marilyn died in California of an overdose of Nembutal on Aug. 6, 1962, she did NOT die using prescriptions drugs from Canfields. We have many fond memories of Marilyn, having visited the Roxbury farmhouse. One of the red stools in front of the soda fountain has been christened “The Marilyn Monroe Stool.” Vera’s other 2 daughters, Mary and Ruth, are now the “pharma-sisters” who will fill your prescription. Marilyn changed Mary’s diaper in the store one day.

  2. Daniel G. says:

    Well, that’s about as good a comment as you’ll ever find.

  3. Jim Conway says:

    I’m looking forward to picking up a persciption there on Thursday. I live about 200 strides away from there. I’ll have to ask Mary if they saved that diaper!

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