2015-05-29 / Community

A Window on the Past

Schlotterbeck & Foss apothecary
By Kathryn DiPhilippo
South Portland Historical Society

Schlotterbeck & Foss was located in an area that is now known as Legion Square. (Courtesy photo) Schlotterbeck & Foss was located in an area that is now known as Legion Square. (Courtesy photo) The accompanying photograph is another gem from the Hobbs Collection at South Portland Historical Society, recently donated by Jeff Hobbs. It is a tremendous image of the old Schlotterbeck & Foss apothecary that was found in City Square in Knightville in the late 1880s to early 1890s. City Square is the old name for Legion Square, the intersection of Cottage Road, Ocean Street and E Street. The name Legion Square became popular due to the American Legion hall being located on E Street for many years.

Schlotterbeck & Foss has historically been considered a Portland business, so we were delighted that this photograph came to light to show that they did operate a drug store here in South Portland (then known as Cape Elizabeth) from about 1888 to at least 1892. The company had its start as an apothecary, founded in 1866 by Augustus Schlotterbeck and Charles Foss. I’ve seen many Schlotterbeck & Foss apothecary bottles over the years, although all have had the Portland, Maine, location listed on them. If anyone out there has a bottle that identifies it as being from South Portland or Cape Elizabeth, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach the South Portland Historical Society at 767-7299.

Over the years, Schlotterbeck & Foss grew and changed, but it remains a Maine-based business. Its main offices recently moved from Portland to Westbrook and an additional warehouse facility is still located in Portland. Schlotterbeck & Foss has become a manufacturer and supplier of specialty sauces, condiments, salsas, salad dressings, syrups and other flavorings.

Kathryn DiPhilippo is director of South Portland Historical Society.

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