A longstanding fixture of historic, downtown McGill, the Rexall Drugstore served this company town for decades—that is, until the resident pharmacist passed away, nobody took over his business, and the town truly locked the door and forgot about the place. Sitting nearly 30 years completely untouched, what you’ll find inside this historic pharmacy is exactly what you would’ve seen as a customer years ago… shelves lined with faded products dating back to the 1950s, ranging from shampoos, to nailpolish, Ipana toothpaste and the once popular Dippity-do styling gel. That, along with a fully stocked pharmacy with handwritten prescription records, and of course a working soda fountain makes visiting this museum feel like stepping into a time machine.
Though this business was strictly a drug store and pharmacy, visiting the place today means experiencing a true time capsule, loaded with relics important to the McGill story and eastern Nevada story. On the walls, zero in on marching band uniforms from White Pine County grade and high schools, and yearbooks dating back to the 1940s. Or, take a tour 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 is a free, public museum with one mission in mind: to preserve the era of small town soda fountains, drugstores, and pharmacies. Regular hours are Thursday through Sunday from 10:00 to 4:00 PM, and if you plan to visit the Ely and McGill area outside of regular hours, please get in touch with Keith for a private appointment to tour the museum at (775) 293-0713. If for some reason you can't reach Keith for an appointment, try SueAnn at (775) 296-2355.
Though admission to the McGill Drugstore Museum is free, this incredible, eastern Nevada cultural center depends on donations. These contributions help with establishing and preservation of current exhibited items, and supports future additions to the property. Please consider making a donation when stopping by!