Think about it. How many people can say that they are customers of the very same drug store as was their parents, their grandparents, their great-grandparents, even their great-great grandparents? Well, here in Warren, there's probably quite a few.

I’m in Warren to visit Gaughn's Drug Store.  It was founded by Joseph Gaughn in 1917.  It's been located at its Pennsylvania Avenue West location in downtown Warren since 1922. Ownership has changed hands five times over the years but Gaughn's has always been locally owned.  The current owners are Scott and Kelly Newton.

"I grew up here," says Scott.  "I was born and raised in Warren.  So when I had the opportunity to come back and purchase this and be part of the legacy, it's pretty cool."

History is important here. The store still has its original tin ceiling. In the back of the pharmacy is an old cash register. There's old cigar boxes that contain patient prescriptions from the early days of the business.  Scott showed me a very interesting one from 1922.

"That says cocaine right there,” he said.  “Cocaine hydrochloride."

The ingredients for medicine were mixed at the pharmacy in those early days. The equipment is still around.  There's not much mixing these days but the counting and distribution of pills still must be done. Everything is now high tech and computerized.  Some things at Gaughn's may never change.  This drug store still makes home deliveries.  Of the 5,000 individuals who are customers here, 1,000 have their medicine delivered.  Yes, people in Warren still love their family-owned, independent pharmacy.

However, there are challenges.  Reimbursements to pharmacies negotiated by insurance providers and drug manufacturers have been reduced. So, Gaughn's must do new, exciting things besides filling prescriptions.   The store is now selling products made by local entrepreneurs.

"We have a gentleman who makes these little hats.  So we sell them,” says Kelly.  “One of the guys who just walked in here is a teacher and he sells coffee.  So we buy his coffee."  

Since Gaughn's is already on the road making deliveries, Scott and Kelly reached an agreement with Amazon to deliver packages for that company.  In an era when a lot of pharmacies are closing, Gaughn's continues to be a popular community drug store.

There are so many interesting facts and figures about Gaughn's Drug Store and its 117 year history.  The business survived two floods and one major fire.  Some of the relics from the early days of the pharmacy were destroyed during that fire.