Craig’s Drug Store celebrates 150 years
CAMBRIDGE — A fixture of the downtown Cambridge community, Craig’s Drug Store kicked off their 150th anniversary celebration with a ribbon cutting on Flag Day, Tuesday, June 14.
When the business was founded by Charles P. Craig in 1867, Andrew Johnson was the President of the United States, the American Flag only had 37 stars and Alaska had just been purchased from the Russian Empire.
Karen Kelly, wife of owner and pharmacist Chuck Kelly, said that the historical facts help to put in perspective just how long Craig’s has been around. She has worked diligently to collect and preserve the history of the business.
“We have been in downtown Cambridge for 150 years, and I think that’s pretty phenomenal,” said Mrs. Kelly.
The Kelly family’s involvement with Craig’s began with Charles
“Pop” Kelly, who worked for Craig’s Drug Store delivering prescriptions in the early 1900’s. After he returned from war, he went to pharmacy school, graduated in 1949, and began his career as a pharmacist at Craig’s. He and partner Clarendon Gould bought the business in 1957.
His son, current owner Chuck Kelly, graduated from pharmacy school in 1972, and became sole owner of Craig’s Drug Store in 1987.
“I’m very proud of the fact that Craig’s Drug Store has been here for 150 years. I’m actually humbled by it,” said Mr. Kelly.
Mr. Kelly said that when he first began work as a pharmacist post-graduation in 1972, Craig’s had 6 employees and he filled prescriptions with a typewriter. Today, the business has 35 employees, and their home healthcare division operates throughout the Eastern Shore.
“We are grateful and thankful to each and every person that walks through the door of Craig’s Drug Store,” Mr. Kelly said. “In one sense, we’re celebrating Craig’s, and in another, we’re thanking the community for supporting us.”
Chuck’s daughter Jaquelyn Kelly, sister Jennifer Kelly-Grier and brotherin-law Lee Grier have all worked as pharmacists at Craig’s Drug Store. The rest of the family has been involved in the business in some capacity or other over the years.
“Thank you. You’ve carried on a magnificent legacy of support and care for our community,” said Cambridge Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley. “You two are an example of how, if you stay together as a family, and you work together as a community, great things happen.”
Maryland Sen. Addie Eckardt, R-37-Mid-Shore, presented citations from the Maryland Senate and from Gov. Larry Hogan.
“Friends, relatives, and others are here to celebrate this wonderful family and their legacy here in Cambridge. Without vision, the people will perish, and this family has vision,” Eckardt said.
Delegates Johnny Mautz, Chris Adams and Sheree Sample-Hughes echoed Eckardt’s congratulations to the Kelly family and presented a citation from the Maryland House of Delegates.
On behalf of the Dorchester County Council, District 1 councilman Don Satterfield presented a citation as well, commending Craig’s Drug Store on 150 years of dedicated ser vice.
The Kelly family’s commitment to their community is great, evidenced by the several charitable donations they made in honor of their anniversary.
As staunch supporters of public safety organizations, donations were presented to the Cambridge Police Department, the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office and Rescue Fire Company. Mr. Kelly praised these three departments for their protection of the community, excellent service and willingness to help. The drug store also made a donation to Dorchester County Public Schools for Autism Awareness.
Additionally, all proceeds from the sale of hot dogs, chips, and drinks at the celebration will be donated to the operation of the Skipjack Nathan of Dorchester.
The Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce and the community celebrate the 150th anniversary for Craig’s Drug Store in downtown Cambridge Wednesday, June 14.
Del. Sheree Sample-Hughes, D-37A-Dorchester-Wicomico, right; Del. Chris Adams, R-37B-Wicomico; and Del. Johnny Mautz, R-37B-Talbot; present state citations to Craig’s Drug Store owners Karen and Chuck Kelly at the drug store’s 150th anniversary celebration Wednesday, June 14.
Craig’s Drug Store owners Karen and Chuck Kelly present a donation to Cambridge Rescue Fire Company Past Chief Bob Phillips Wednesday, June 14.
Sen. Addie Eckardt, R-37-Mid-Shore, presents state citations to Craig’s Drug Store owners Chuck, left, and Karen Kelly, right, at the drug store’s 150th anniversary celebration Wednesday, June 14.
Craig’s Drug Store owners Karen and Chuck Kelly present a donation to Cambridge Police Chief Mark Lewis Wednesday, June 14.
Craig’s Drug Store owners Karen and Chuck Kelly present a donation to Dorchester County Sheriff James Phillips Wednesday, June 14.