AUGUSTA — The Kennebec Historical Society welcomed visitors to its Winthrop Street headquarters for a Victorian tea Sunday.

To help set the tone, Joyce Fessenden played holiday tunes on the piano and Sally Joy and Val Morin did some impromptu singing.

The event’s aims were to showcase the circa 1836 Fuller-Johnson Fisher House at 107 Winthrop St., which was decorated for the holidays, and to carry on a tradition of afternoon tea.

In the front hall, visitors were immediately attracted to a glass-shelved case which held items once belonging to Louise E. Stackpole, longtime pharmacist, at her family’s drug store at Cony and Bangor streets.

In 1952, Stackpole was the first woman elected president of the Maine Pharmaceutical Association. Stackpole took over her father’s pharmacy when he died in 1925 and became a registered pharmacist herself in 1928.

Her belongings, including the gavel she used, an event program from her swearing-in, and a congratulatory letter from then-Gov. Frederick Payne are on display along with a glass medicine bottle and photos of displays in the pharmacy window. Stackpole’s niece, Judith J. Stackpole of Cambridge, Mass., donated the memorabilia.

Roger Pomerleau of Augusta, treasurer of the historical society, reminisced about the pharmacies that used to be in downtown Augusta.

He said he passed Stackpole’s Pharmacy on his way to Cony High School.

“Houdlett’s and Sexton’s were on Water Street,” Pomerleau said. “Houdlette’s had a cat, a Persian that used to sit in the window. I still remember her name, Suzie Q.”

Stackpole owned property at nearby Patterson Street.

As Bruce Kirkham and Ernie Plummer, both on the board of directors of the historical society, talked about Stackpole, John Robertson, who lived on Patterson Street for more than 40 years, said he recalled Eugene Stackpole — one of Louise Stackpole’s relatives — who operated a Shell gas station at Patterson and Bangor streets for more than 35 years.

Current projects of the society include verifying thousands of photos of homes in Augusta taken by the Works Progress Administration in 1938 and preserving black-and-white prints of Kennebec Journal photographs.

Upcoming public events include a 6:30 p.m. presentation by Kevin Stoehr, professor of humanities at Boston University, on “The Irish in John Ford’s Life and Films.” The venue will be Augusta City Center, 16 Cony St.

More information about the historical society is available on the Web at

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

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