James Pharmacy

Old Saybrook

Mary Ponessa

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. This building is on the National Register of Historic Places and is privately owned and not open to the public.

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