Platts Drugstore

Then and Now – Platts Drugstore in Port Sanilac

Platts Drugstore in Michigan’s Thumb was typical in its day. It had a bit of everything. This historical drugstore is deemed as being Michigan’s longest family-owned, continuously operating pharmacy in Michigan. It was founded by Frederick Platts in 1865 and operated it until 1880 when his son Rudolph Platts took over the business. Rudolph operated the drug store until he died in 1925 when his son Guy D. took over the business. Guy was a graduate of the Ferris Institute in Big Rapids and a registered pharmacist for 50 years. Guy passed away on Sept. 7, 1960, and the pharmacy was turned over to his son, Charles Platts, and daughter, Ruth Glencer. Together they operated the business until October of 1980.

Platts Drugstore
Platts Drugstore c 1930s

This black and white photograph of the Platts Drug Store was likely taken in the 1930s. High in the cournice of the building it notes that it was established in 1880.

Port Sanilac Plat Map Downtown
Port Sanilac Plat Map Downtown – University of Michigan Collections

One of the adjoining buildings west of the drugstore was donated by Charlie Platts and his sister, Ruth Platts Glencer, and moved as part of the fantastic building collection in the Sanilac Historical Society Museum and Village. The Cash General Store offers a view of what a typical retailer would have looked like at the turn of the last century.

Site of the Former Platts Drugstore - Google Earth
Site of the Former Platts Drugstore – Google Earth

Today, the former Platts Drugstore/General Store is now the site of a real estate office. Despite the changes over the years, you can still make out faint outlines of the original building.

Thompson General Store

A close facsimile to the old Platts drugstore is across the street at the East Port Exchange Shop. This building was once the Thompson General Store.

Thompson General Store Port Sanilac
Site of the Former Platts Drugstore – Google Earth

Local artists, and retailers offer handmade jewelry, greeting cards, paintings and pottery. Several boutique antique dealers are on hand too. The East Port Exchange Shop offers a variety of new retail items including beach towels and sand toys, as well as beautiful household items and clothing accessories.

The historical store also serves as the Village Welcome Center. Port Sanilac is one of our stops on shore of Michigan’s Thumb in our Michigan Day Trip Around the Thumb.



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4 thoughts on “Then and Now – Platts Drugstore in Port Sanilac”

  1. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the article. The second picture is actually a different building. My father owned Platts in the’80s and’90s so I essentially grew up there. The Platts building is now a realtor … or it was the last time I was through town a few years ago. It would be just out of the picture to the right.

    • Thanks…the Thompson General Store and your dads drugstore had, at one time practically the same look. I will be updating the post shortly. You wouldn’t happen to have any pictures of that drugstore, inside or outside. Personal stories or anecdotes too. People are fascinated about this topic.

      • HI Mike, yes they really do look like the same building almost … actually the Thompson General Store in its current form looks more like the original Platts Drug Store … they added on in the 50s or the 60s I believe and my Dad had the large windows removed in the late 80s or early 90s … which really changed the face of the building. It was also moved back off the corner in the 40s or something like that … long before we moved to the town in ’75. Thanks for the update. Sorry for the ‘criticism’ … a few people contacted me about it and asked if it was correct. I like your work. I now live in Asia and like to look back at my time in the Thumb … very nostalgic …

  2. As for photos, I really don’t think I have anything. Old stories, there are many … but my time there was really in the ’80s … I was good friends with Ollie Raymond when I was a boy as I delivered newspapers to him and other members of his family so I used to get some great stories about growing up in the early 20th century. Our house was a hotel that was used to run liquor out of Canada to various cities during prohibition.

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