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The Oldest Drug Store

CIRCA 1873

Historic Marker number seven is located at 500 Simonton Street at the corner of Simonton and Fleming Streets.The building's exact date of origin is unknown but it can be traced to city maps in 1849.It is best known as the oldest remaining drug store building in Key West.Dr. John Maloney opened the Key West Drug Company with a partner in 1903. Less than a year later the partnership dissolved and Dr. Maloney became the sole proprietor of the business.Dr. Maloney was the surgeon for the Florida East Coast Railroad during the building of Henry Flagler's Overseas Railroad to Key West.In 1908 a construction explosion up the Keys injured many workmen and they were sent to Key West. The Island City could not accommodate so many patients at one time so the doctor hurriedly had beds set up in his office building at 532 Fleming Street, next door to the pharmacy.The emergency crystallized the doctor's ambition to have a hospital in which to perform operations. It is believed that with the help of Henry Flagler he purchased the office building, moved it to the back of the lot and enlarged it. On October 6, 1908, the Louise Maloney Hospital, named in honour of his wife, became a reality.The hospital proved to be too small so he bought the adjacent home at 504 Simonton Street and connected the pharmacy and the hospital on Fleming Street with an elevated walkway.Upon Dr. Maloney's death in 1916 the hospital was renamed the John B. Maloney Memorial Hospital.