Between 1908 and 1979, the Rexall Drugstore was a central part of daily life in McGill. During those years, McGill was a company town responsible for smelting the copper shipped in from nearby Ely. McGill—and the drugstore—enjoyed many prosperous decades before the copper industry entered a sharp decline in the late 1970s.
When McGill’s pharmacist passed in 1979, there was no one available to take over the store. With few options, the owners were forced to lock up shop—leaving everything as they found it. Fortunately, the store was later acquired by the county and converted into a museum in 1995.
Today, visitors find the McGill Drugstore Museum virtually unchanged from how customers would have seen the shop decades ago. The store’s shelves are still filled with faded products dating back to the 1950s including shampoos, nail polish, toys, candy, and everything in between. There is no shortage of interesting relics to discover, from the soda fountain to the prescription log dating back to the 1930s.
The drugstore has many treasures to discover, but it also serves as a snapshot of what daily life once looked like for the average citizen—a perspective not often seen in museums.
Visiting the McGill Drugstore Museum Today
Though this business was originally just a drug store and pharmacy, the McGill Drugstore Museum now also includes relics important to the McGill and eastern Nevada story. You’ll see marching band uniforms from White Pine County grade and high schools on the walls, as well as yearbooks dating back to the 1940s. Take a peek behind the original pharmacy counter, still brimming with many original prescribed medicines and records, then pony up to the original milkshake counter for a tasty, malted treat.
Travel Nevada Pro Tip
The McGill Drugstore Museum is open from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM Thursday through Sunday. If you’d like to arrange a private tour during off hours, please call Keith at (775) 235-7276 to plan your visit.
The McGill Drugstore is a free, public museum with one mission in mind: to preserve the era of small town soda fountains, drugstores, and pharmacies. Donations are welcome to continue preserving this eastern Nevada cultural center.