What we're looking at here is a copy of a page from an Altadena Chamber Of Commerce-sponsored soft backed book called "Altadena Welcomes You", printed around 1935 by the Altadena Press. This particular page details Webster's Pharmacy, but more importantly, gives a picture of the founder, Harold Frank Webster. Frank, as his friends called him, had moved up to Altadena from the orange groves that his father owned in South Pasadena. While attending USC for his doctorate, Frank took a job at a pharmacy on Lake and Mariposa, and bought it from the original owner in 1926.
Frank had the foresight to purchase that particular pharmacy. Why? Because it resided right next to a liquor store, which he also bought. Remember, these were the years of Prohibition in the U.S., in effect from the ratification of the Volstead Act in 1919 until its abolition in 1933. The purchases were a stroke of genius, as liquor could be acquired by a doctor's prescription, and who better to fill it than a pharmacy next to a liquor store? Patronage of the pharmacy was ensured, also, by the soda fountain you see in the left side of the photo, above. As a matter of fact, that soda fountain grew to a complete lunch counter in later years, as evidenced in this picture below. The picture shows Frank Webster grabbing a quick lunch, with his son, William Webster (looking off to the side), sitting with friends, across from his dad.
Unfortunately, Scott never got to meet the patriarch of Webster's - his Grandpa Frank passed away long before he was born. His dad, Bill, doesn't talk about him much, but that's understandable. Bill himself was only 19 when Frank passed, so much about the man remains a mystery to us now. His legacy lives on, though, in the shops at Webster's, as iconic to us here in Altadena as the slopes of the San Gabriel Mountains that rise above them.
Join us in honoring our grand paternal founder and his vision, while we move forward with the times. As we wax nostalgic over our past, let us not forget to celebrate our future as we give three cheers for Grandpa Frank!
|Photo Credit: Salina Curtis|
Have a wonderful Father's Day, friends, we'll be back next Sunday with another post. Until then, enjoy your week!
Lori and Scott