Enjoy lunch and old fashioned treats at Doc’s Soda Fountain, a local
gathering place. Visit the Drug Store Museum which contains items dating
back to 1884.
Doc’s Soda Fountain (217) 627-3491
9am-5pm Mon-Fri 9am-3pm Sat (217) 627-3401
Illinois Route 66
The History of Deck's Drug Store began on March 7, 1884, when it was purchased from George A. Post by
Lewis C. Deck and B. F. Clark. A few years later, L. C. Deck became the sole proprietor. At this time the store sold
drugs, groceries and hardware,. The store was dubbed "The White Drug Store" as it was the only building's front
on the Girard Square that was painted white from top to bottom. The second floor was used as a doctor's office,
first by Dr. George Hill and later by Dr. John R. Sharp.
This was time of tonics, remedies, liniments and cures. Pills were made by hand by carefully mixing the
ingredients together, using a pill roller to form them into long pipes, then cutting the pipes into specific sizes and
allowing them to dry before dispensing. No special training was required to be a pharmacist at that time. L. C.
Deck continued in the business until his death in 1918.
After the death of their father, Lewis W. Deck and Harry L. Deck continued on with the family business. Lews W.
Deck became a registered pharmacist in 1917 after 2 years of college. Harry as an assistant pharmacist. Many
changes took place during the years that Lewis "Bill" and Harry "Pete" operated the drugstore. No longer could the
word "cure" be used on labels. No longer did they make pills by hand. The most significant change was in 1929
when they added the soda fountain that is still in use today! This was the main "hang out" on weekend nights for
many teen-agers and adults. Along with a variety of phosphates, cones, their famous milk shakes and different
flavored Cokes was a wide range of "penny candy" to choose from. Harry L. Deck passed away in 1947 and lewis
W. Deck in 1960.
Brothers Robert "Bob" and Wyman "Bill" Deck, sons of Lewis W. and Naomi Deck, became the third generation to
operate the drugstore when they took over in 1960. Times certainly changed from their grandfather's days. To
start, Bob had to attend college for 4 years before becoming a registered pharmacist and Bill was an apprentice
pharmacist, later becoming a pharmacy technician. There were stricter regulations on drugs and the introduction
of generics just to name a few. Through all the changes, the charm of an old fashioned drugstore remained. The
familiar marble top soda fountain, the original hardwood floor and older shelving and showcases greeted the
After a lifetime of serving the Girard area, Bob and Bill decided to retire in 2001. This ended 3 generations and
117 years of the Deck family operating the drugstore.
Mike and Patty Makuta became the first owners that did not belong to the Deck family. The Makutas purchased
the drugstore on July 1, 2001. Mike Makuta was a registered pharmacist and Patty, his wife, managed the retail end
of the business. After about 2 years, the Makutas closed the drugstore. This is the first time in Girard's history that
Girard does not have a drugstore.
In 2007, Bob and Renae Ernst, the owners of The Furniture Doctor in Girard, purchased the drugstore building
calling their new business "Doc's Soda Fountain". The old soda fountain is once again in operation and lunches
are served. The stylish decor is in Coca-Cola colors. Also at Doc's are up-scale gifts.
Bill and Bob Deck were asked if they would be willing to move their pharmcy museum into the building as well, to
which the Decks obliged. On display are old patent medicines and remedies, early equipment and fixture,
advertising, and many interesting items from years past dating back to when the drugstore began in 1884
Doc's Soda Fountain is a great addition to Girard's business district and has become a tourist attraction for those
people traveling Historic Route 66