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This stunning room has been renovated as a tribute to Anna James — the first African American female pharmacist in Connecticut. She ran the James Pharmacy and soda counter for 55 years.

 
 
 

THIS ROOM'S AMENITIES:

 
  • Dual armchairs for relaxing conversation

  • Luxurious robe and slippers, Italian Frette sheets, duvet and towels

  • Stearns and Foster handmade mattress

  • Oversized shower in sparkling subway tile

  • Gas fireplace

  • Overdyed rug in emerald green

 

 

ABOUT MISS JAMES (1886–1977):

Miss Anna Louise James, born as the eighth child of eleven children, was a small woman with a soft soul and a no-nonsense attitude. She grew up with her ten siblings and her father, an escaped slave named Willis Samuel James, who married three times (all to women named Anna!) In 1902, when Anna was sixteen years old, she ran away from her home in Hartford to live with one of her sisters in Old Saybrook. This sister, Bertha Lane, was married to Peter Lane, the pharmacist at Lane’s Drug Store. Working under her Uncle’s tutelage, Anna became the first African American female pharmacist in CT, and the first African American woman to graduate from the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy. In 1922, Peter was called away to World War I and he left the Lane Pharmacy with his sister-in-law, Anna Louise James. She took over the business, eventually renaming it James Pharmacy, and dispensed medicine (and ice cream sodas!) to the community until 1967 when she was 81 years old – an astonishing 55-year career. She continued to live upstairs until her death in 1977. “Miss James” (as she was known to the townspeople) received the Citizen of the Year award from the Old Saybrook Veterans of Foreign Wars in 1974 for her exemplary service to the town.