On the corner of Maine Street (Route 1) and North Street stands a three-story brick building with a unique history. Built in 1847, the building was part of a bustling community where apartments and successful businesses occupied every building.
This particular building had three floors. The first floor was retail, the second apartments, and Dr. Thomson Medicine Company and Laboratory occupied the third floor. This business produced a wide variety of so-called medicines and other products. The most well-known was Dr. Thomson’s Sarsaparilla – the tonic that “Cures where others fail.”
The background on Dr. Robert Thomson himself is questionable. The local historical society discovered that he died in 1883, long before the Thomson Medicine Company started selling potions.
This was in a time of tonic remedies that contained all manner of ingredients, the most notable of which were alcohol, opium, and cocaine. These tonics were extremely popular for all manner of sickness and a true representation of the remedy being worse than the illness.
The Sarsaparilla Building has had the original advertisement repainted and still stands in remarkable condition on the outside, having recently had a new roof and brickwork restored.
Amy Jeanroy ME Calais Sep 13, 2022 Abandoned Places Back in Time Visual Arts