This history installment comes courtesy of reference librarian Gregory Klein and the Islip Public Library. Klein wrote and researched the below blurb.
Allen’s Pharmacy was located just west of the Orowoc Hotel on the south side of Main Street and was still in business in 1938.
John Allen Jr. was known as “Doc” to the Islip residents and began his career in Millbrook, N.Y., in 1896, three years before his graduation from the Albany College of Pharmacy. After 10 years in the drug store business in Millbrook, Mr. Allen moved to San Diego, Calif., where he was in the same line for two years.
He then came back east and settled in Newburgh, N.Y. where he was a pharmacist for five years. Then, for the next five years, he was the proprietor of a drug store in Central Valley.
Mr. Allen then made his way out to Long Island where he settled in Islip, N.Y. in his little home on Allen’s point right at the water’s edge.
This timeline would suggest Mr. Allen opened his pharmacy in Islip around 1918, however, a 1932 article (in the Islip Public Library vertical file where this timeline is cited from) claims his Islip pharmacy opened in 1912.
The numbers do not add up in the 1932 article so, we’re led to believe Allen’s Pharmacy opened sometime between 1912 – 1918. According to the 1932 article, Mr. Allen had been the Islip druggist for the past 20 years. He followed his family’s line of work, as his father and grandfather were also druggists.
His father had been manager of the Parke-Davis Co. branch in Sydney, Australia, for the past 50 years (as of 1932) and John Allen Jr. was awarded a gold membership card in the 40-year service club during the same year.
Today, Lily Flanagan’s is located in the Allen’s Pharmacy building.
Clara Allen, wife of Mr. Allen, was also the librarian and first formal public library director for the Islip Public Library in 1925. (Located on the ground floor of Islip High School at that time.) Her service to the Islip Public Library would span the next 30 years.
If anyone has any information about when Mr. Allen opened his pharmacy in Islip, please contact the Islip Public Library at (631) 581-5933 and ask to speak with Reference Librarian Gregory Klein.
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