Dutrow's Soda Fountain North Market Street Frederick MD
Early 20th Century Postcard of Downtown Frederick Maryland

Richard S. J. Dutrow was an entrepreneur, druggist, and later a confectioner in the town of Frederick, Maryland. His shop, located at 31 North Market Street in downtown Frederick sold confections, as well as had a soda fountain.

Dutrow is listed in the State of Maryland’s Annual Directory from 1905 through 1908. However, his store is confirmed to have existed from 1901 to at least until 1915 at that location.

R.S.J. Dutrow, Confectioner
‘Maryland Bulletin’ Newspaper, Wednesday January 9, 1901

Period Soda Fountain

On or about April 15th 1915 the building that Dutrow occupied suffered a catastrophic collapse. Situated in a 3 story structure, maintenance workers were renovating its facade when one of the building’s brick piers crumbled, sending all three floors cascading to the sidewalk below.

Fortunately no one was seriously injured. However, the event forced the closure of Dutrow’s business. Quickly thereafter, the stricken building was razed and a new one was constructed in its place. However, it is unknown specifically whether Dutrow resumed his soda business at this same location.

The 1920 Census includes an entry for Dutrow and his family, and lists his occupation as “Proprietor.” However, no further detail has thus been ascertained about the business or where it was subsequently located. It can be surmised, however, that given this listing, his store did continue.

Not much more can be published at the moment about Dutrow†, except that he was born August 21, 1866, graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in 1885, and died April, 1929.

Numismatic Specimen

Below please find one of his soda tokens. Neither Rulau or Schenkman list this token in their catalogs. However, in the Maryland Token and Medal Society’s Addendum, a listing is given, denoted as 410-D5-1.

The specimen was photographed using axial lighting with clear glass angled at 45 degrees. Its grade is approximately Choice Very Fine.

Dutrow's Soda Fountain Token Good For 1 Glass Soda Water MD-TAMS 410-D5-1
MD-TAMS 410-D5-1 Dutrow’s Soda Fountain & Confectionery Soda Check

Aaron Packard [End Mark]

Notes and Sources

  1. The Cumberland Road Project, Frederick MD. Postcard photo courtesy of Steve Colby.
  2. 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908 Annual Report of the Bureau of Statistics and Information of Maryland, Maryland Bureau of Statistics and Information, pgs.111-113
  3. Reflections of the Past – Historic Signs of the Frederick Town Historic District, The City of Frederick Planning Department
  4. MD-TAMS Token Supplement
  5. Library of Congress Digital Archives
Aaron Packard

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