Craig’s Drug Store cel­e­brates 150 years

Dorchester Star - - FRONT PAGE - By VIC­TO­RIA WIN­GATE vwingate@ches­

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.

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