Mary Greenan from the Hancock County Historical Society provides us with this photo of Gable Pharmacy in Greenfield, circa 1890.

I never heard of it before, have you? Do you know the location?

Harry Pierson had a drug store here in 1848. In 1880, the druggists listed included F.H. Crawford, E.B. Grose, and V.I. Early. The 1916 directory of Hancock County shows three druggists in Greenfield: Early Drug Company, W.P. Johnson, and H.H. Zike.

In the 1920s, Early’s Drug Store was located on the corner in the now-empty Christian church parking lot. It was also the location of the old Sears Building. I know that everyone remembers Thomas Drug Store.

But in doing this research, I discovered there was a Gamble’s Hardware beside the Gooding Tavern lot on the west side of the building, which was torn down when the bank was built. The hardware store was there in the 1940s and 1950s, or maybe earlier.

Is it a possibility that this is Gamble Hardware and not Gable’s Drug Store? I would be interested in your thoughts.

I had a very nice conversation the other day with Tom Freeman from Superior Mowers. Tom is 78 and was raised in the Blue River Township and the Westland area.

He remembers walking to the Landis Westland General Store to get a Coke when he was a kid. Of course, it was a warm Coke, since the store had no refrigeration. The store carried mainly bread, cigarettes and other essentials.

The concrete steps to the road are all that remain of the store.

Freeman attended the Westland School until the fourth grade, when it burned down Jan. 23, 1947.

First through fourth grades finished their school year in Westland Friends Church. Grades 9 through 12 went to Charlottesville and grades 5 through 8 to Brandywine School. The Westland School was never rebuilt.

Tom recalls Nameless Creek camp as very primitive, and at first, he believes, it was a Girl Scout camp.

He and some other boys went into Tuby Toms Cabin on the property and says it was full of beer bottles. The cabin was never locked and you could go in it when it rained.

Freeman remembers Tuby for his weather-predicting ability. Toms would say if the corn shuck was sparse on a ear of corn then we were in for a tough winter. Toms would drive all over the countryside looking for animals to help detect the weather.

Freeman also tells when he was in the second grade at Westland School in 1945 or 1946, 20 military planes landed on the school property. The medical man in Blue River Township in those days was Dr. Masaw, who had some interesting home remedies like lye and vinegar for stomach problems. Mr. Freeman is a good guy if you have a chance talk to him.

Enough. I have told you everything that I know and some things I don’t. Talk to me.

Author photo
Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or