2 Pennywise Lane
Now this is an interesting one. Situated near the southern end of Old Saybrook’s beautiful Main Street, it is not only an “open to the public” Freedom Trail site, but it is an “open for business” one as well. And what a business it has done over the years – selling items to the Marquis de Lafayette and Katherine Hepburn, who lived a short ways away.
We stopped in for a treat from the 19th century soda fountain, which is unique enough to warrant its own page. But since you’re here, you’re wondering what’s so Freedom Traily about the James Pharmacy…
Anna Louise James (1886-1977), licensed in Connecticut as a pharmacist in 1911, operated her pharmacy from that year until 1967, when she retired. James was the first African American woman, and one of the first women, to become a pharmacist in the state. She was also among the first women who registered to vote when women’s suffrage was passed in 1920. In 1974 the Old Saybrook Veterans of Foreign Wars gave James its Citizen of the Year award.
This site is also the birthplace of James’ niece, Harlem Renaissance writer Ann Petry (born 1908), whose most famous work was the novel The Street.
Definitely one of the best stops along the Freedom Trail.