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McNamara's Drugstore (Pharmacy)

Remembering McNamara’s 

Many Warwoodians have shared memories of McNamara's Drugstore on N 18th St. in Warwood: buying packs of baseball cards and chewing gum, going to the soda fountain to drink cherry Cokes served by “Alice,” and wandering over to the magazine racks and booths in the back of the store to sit and look at comic books.

Thanks to the kindness of Marla and Greg Crabtree (left), the Ohio County Public Library has (through January 2024) one of those original, McNamara booths on display as a part of its "On Every Corner" exhibit.

The booth has been dressed up appropriately as it might have looked on an afternoon in 1976, when a certain local history specialist stopped in on the way home from Corpus Christi Grade School to pick up some comic books and a Walter Payton rookie card (not included in display).

Anyway, we hope you'll stop and visit. If you look closely, you can see names and initials carved in the wood. You can also read memories shared by people, and, through the kindness of  Marla and Greg, you are permitted to sit in the booth for a photo!

Just don't drink my cherry Coke or “borrow” my completely worthless display-only comic books!















“This is a photograph of my grandfather, William Edward McNamara Sr., standing in front of ‘the drug store’ in Warwood. The entrance door in the background was the stairway up to my Dad's office. You can see part of his name on the wall. Just to the right of the sign between the two buildings was the spot where Jim Guthrie and I would tear open our packs of (5) baseball cards and a stick of bubblegum and made ‘trades.’ We would buy all the packs from my Uncle Rich or from my grandfather. They were kept in the candy counter immediately on the left as you walked into the store. Opposite the candy counter was the soda fountain on the right side of the store here we'd drink chocolate cherry Cokes until we were out of coins. Even then, ‘Alice’ might slip us a refill on the sly. The cash register was on the right side past the soda fountain, and the magazine racks and booths were in the back of the store. It was tough to get a seat there at lunch time during the school year, even if your name was McNamara! Between the pharmacy and the medical office, lots of great stories were lost along with that building, and even more great memories.”

~William McNamara

Greetings and Thank You Ohio County Public Library Staff and Historians:

We are still thrilled to have had the opportunity to visit your Library and sit in my Wheelingite Grand-father’s (William E. McNamara Sr.) historic Ohio County Public Library exhibit. 

This opportunity stirred the BEST of my childhood memories in Warwood and Wheeling.

Historically speaking, I believe that I (Scott A. McNamara) have been the first McNamara to have the opportunity to visit and sit. ;-)

We traveled from Washington D.C. just to see (and sit). It’s been years since we’ve been able to visit Wheeling and had only just recently learned of the Ohio County’s McNamara Drugstore exhibit...Thank you and your entire staff for all their efforts on not only this McNamara Drugstore exhibit, but all the Wheeling Historic treasures preserved. Your facility is a County treasure.

It was just like the excitement of the kids consuming “Cherry Cokes” at the McNamara Pharmacy in Warwood.

~Scott A. McNamara

Dr. Scott A. McNamara sits in his grandfather’s McNamara Pharmacy booth at the Ohio County Public Library. Nov. 11, 2023.

Memories of McNamara's

“If it weren't for the comics racks and selection at McNamara's Drugstore in Warwood, I would not have been inspired to have a 40+ year career writing, editing, publishing comics! It's been a great life, a wonderful career. (Thank you, Alice!).” ~ David Campiti (Read David's amazing full story)

“Bought many cherry cokes in that drugstore. Dr. MAC delivered both my children who are now in their 60s. Where does time go?” ~ Judi Warren

“I remember drinking a coke and buying the balsa wood Airplane for 5 or 10 cents great memories.” Henry Thompson

“Lived down the street. Doc Mac, upstairs delivered me and my sisters. Caught the bus out front of the place to go to wheeling. Bought groceries across the street at Carole’s on credit. They also delivered. Went to dentist one block south. The bank too. There were two beer joints within a block and a pizza place as well. Who needed a car? The Lincoln movie theater was a block away. For a time there all you needed was a funeral home within the block and you would have been set for life and death.” ~Leonard Cross

"I loved McNamara's. Their vanilla cokes, a bag of chips and a comic book while sitting in a little wooden booth was awesome!” ~Joy Caldwell Thomas

“I remember skipping out of church on Sunday and going to McNamara's drug store and drinking cokes and reading the comic books while sitting in the booths in the back. Alice kept a small note book in her purse she would let you charge a few cokes during your visits after school and keep track of what you owed in her note book. You then would settle up with her after you got your allowance or somehow earned a few bucks. I guess she taught us our first lessons on the responsible use of credit. I also remember Mr. McNamara sitting in his chair and only got up to fill prescriptions in the back room.”
 ~ Paul Zogg

“Many of us at Warwood HS would go in there at lunch for a bag of chips and a pop. We never realized back then just how wonderful that store was. It sure was something to treasure and be thankful for. These days, one doesn’t find that type of small hometown store, where everyone knew each other and cared you were there.”
~Jo Ann Bertol Brown

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