A Hot Water Bottle and A Ticket to Ride at Fifth and F

“Changed Hands” was the header on a short item in the San Diego Evening Tribune on Wednesday, November 6, 1901. It was about the change of ownership at what had been Chase’s Drug Store at Fifth and F in downtown San Diego.

Mr. Chase was retiring, the article explained, and selling his business to “Mr. Hazelrigg, an Indiana man, who has been clerking at one of the large stores in Los Angeles for the past four months.”

Dyar C. Hazelrigg was indeed a native Midwesterner, like a lot of others who flocked to California in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born in Greensburg, Indiana in 1866, he graduated from the Chicago College of Pharmacy in 1890. As late as June 1900, he was still in the Midwest, working as a druggist and living in the town of Rushville, Indiana with his wife Grace. Dyar was 33 and Grace was 28, as recorded in the 1900 U. S. Census.

Yet within a year the young couple had pulled up roots and headed to southern California, where Dyar soon took over a thriving business and set about making it his own. The ads he ran regularly in San Diego newspapers in his first few years, while having his name in large letters, also always reminded people that he was “Successor to Chas. A. Chase.”

An ad that regularly ran in the Evening Tribune in early 1902 began with a list of “Mid-Winter Suggestions.”

“A hot water bag is good for various little aches and pains, and is most excellent for cold feet. We have a good one for 75 cents,” was one suggestion. Another: “That cough is beginning to trouble you is it? Our Syrup of White Pine with Honey is good. It goes to the spot and quickly gives relief. 25 cents per bottle.”

You can learn a lot about the state of pharmacy in times past by looking at old pharmacy ads. Sometimes you might learn more than you’d really care to know. I won’t go into any more detail on what problem “De Witt’s Little Early Risers” were supposed to be good for, but Hazelrigg’s sold them too.

His drug store was, for a time, a regular stop for stagecoaches as well.

“The Escondido Stage Line leaves Hazelrigg’s drug store, Fifth and F, and Strahlman-Mayer drug store, Fourth and D, daily at 8:15 a. m.,” stated an ad in the San Diego Union’s transportation pages on November 12, 1902.

The store continued as a transit hub for a time as horse-driven stages were replaced by motorized ones, as shown by this ad in the Union from June 1908 for the “Escondido Automobile Line”:

“Automobiles carrying passengers, light express and mail, will leave Hazelrigg’s Drug Store, 5th and F, 7:30 a. m. daily, except Sundays, making trip in 3 hours. For reservations call or phone drug store, Main 461, or Home 1461.”

Sources for this post included historic San Diego newspapers, U. S. census records, and The Journal of San Diego History.

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