On December 31, 1960, Bob and Eilene Blake purchased Woehle Pharmacy from W.E. Woehle, and they didn’t look back. The first customer at Blake Pharmacy was Ernest Hatton, who purchased two prescriptions for his father, W.R. Hatton at 8:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, 1960. Over the years at the West Union location began to grow and become one of the most successful businesses in Adams County, C. Robert Blake opened up a store in Peebles in November 1976. Ten years later, the Blake’s purchased Bristow Drugs in Manchester in October 1986.
For many local residents, Blake Pharmacy has been a part of their lives for many years. Blake Pharmacy has continued to keep up with technology by being the first computerized pharmacy in Adams County and have always been available for 24-hour emergency service. Even though the stores have kept up on the cutting edge of drug information, drug counseling, and technology, they have also been able to retain the feeling of an “old time” pharmacy. In fact, the West Union store is home of the popular hot-spot, Blake’s Soda Fountain, it has been reported that our local fountain is one of only three left in the state of Ohio. And, in case you are wondering, a milkshake is only $1.00 and they still serve nickel Cokes.
Much has changed on the Courthouse Square in West Union since Blake Pharmacy first opened. At the time in 1961, the pharmacy joined six grocery stores and 24 other businesses.
On Labor Day in 1967 construction was started on the present-day Blake Pharmacy building under the supervision of Russell Jones, a local builder. The building was occupied in 1968. During June of 1968, Robert Applegate of Manchester joined the staff as a Registered Pharmacist. Hugh McGovney joined the staff after his graduation from University of Cincinnati College of Pharmacy in 1971. Applegate has since retired and McGovney passed away several years ago.
Blake was able to open the “Blake Hallmark Shop” in July 1981 in the old location of Blake Pharmacy. The store remains in the same building today.
In August 1986, C. Robert Blake welcomed two of his children, Robert Allen and Kathleen Diane to the staff as Registered Pharmacists. Blake’s youngest son, Michael Joseph later became a Pharmacist in 1988, however, he is now a successful patent attorney in Kingsport, Tennessee.
In the past decade, Blake Pharmacy has continued to hire additional staff to keep up with the demand of the growing business. Patricia Shoemaker joined the Peebles store as a Registered Pharmacist in 2000, and in 2005, Dustin Campbell and Aaron Tolle joined the West Union store as Pharmacists. Also in 2000, C. Robert Blake’s son, Robert, known as “Bobby” took over ownership of the West Union store.
Since the 50th anniversary celebration of the business, two beloved family members have passed away. Eilene Blake, who co-founded Blake Pharmacy sixty years ago passed away on December 3, 2012 and Patricia Ann Blake, who co-owned the West Union and Peebles location with her husband Bobby, passed away on December 3, 2018.
“Sixty years has taught us that our loyal patrons are the reason why we have been able to conduct our pharmacy for so long, and that everyone deserves to be served with the same careful attention and courtesy one gives a friend,” said Blake. “We are grateful for each and every customer, and are humbled by the opportunity to serve this community,” Blake concluded.
The Blake’s have three grown children: Kathleen D. Hill, Robert A. Blake, and Michael J. Blake. They also are proud grandparents of five grandchildren: Becky Blake-Lewis, Kelly Blake-Caraway, Kathryn E. Blake-Sheeley, Mary K. MacDonald, and Hannah A. Hill. In 2014, Kathryn graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Pharmacy, making her the third generation to serve the business as a Pharmacist.
Over the next week, Blake Pharmacy will be holding a large anniversary celebration. In honor of the West Union store’s 60th anniversary and the Peebles store’s 45th anniversary; they invite you to visit their West Union location for a large selection of door prizes, commemorative gifts, and special deals throughout the store.