by Shannon Butler

One of the requests that we get here in the Local History room sounds something like, “Hey, I just bought this old building and want to know if you’ve got any old photos of the inside of it.” For the most part, the answer is no. It is generally very rare for an interior photo to be kept unless it was deemed worthy enough to be a postcard or end up in someone’s family photo album. Think about it for a second; how many photos have you taken of the inside of your house? Today, we certainly take more pictures than say 100 or even 50 years ago, but generally, the only time we really try to get good interior views of our homes or buildings is when we are trying to sell them (i.e. Zillow, Trulia, and so forth). What few interior images we have in our collection are fun to see, not only because they are rare, but because they show how things have changed over the course of a century. So let’s take a look at some!

The first two images on the right show us the inside of a building that is no longer standing. Peter M. Howard started a drug store in 1868 at 265 Main St. He would continue to improve on his space by adding a marble front to the store in 1875 and selling just about anything one could want. They had ready made paints, seeds for your garden, medications of all sorts, and a soda fountain. We can see the very detailed countertops and shelves with glasses filled with dry goods to be sold. Howard was only 36 when he died in 1879 and the building would continue to serve as a pharmacy for sometime. Today, this is all long gone and we find an open space and Mural Square. Speaking of the interiors of old drug stores, the next image shows the inside of Poughkeepsie Drug Co. which was once located at 229 Main Street (modern day site of the Civic Center).

If you were in the market for shopping for some new furnishings, a possible place to find something elegant was G. Schlude & Sons at 150 Main Street. In an advertisement from 1908, they proclaimed “scores of exceptionally handsome odd chairs are offered during this sale” (because who doesn’t want a handsome odd chair?). But of course they did have some major competition just up the street with the ever popular Luckey, Platt, and Company. This giant store on the corner of Main and Academy streets was the one stop shop for anything! They built a separate building just for their furniture department. In this photo we can see a department that is dedicated to floor coverings. Of course today we know that the old Luckey-Platt building has been converted into apartments and office space.

Our next two images are interiors of spaces that nobody really wanted to see, and if you did manage to catch a glimpse, then you had probably managed to get yourself into some form of trouble. The inside of the Poughkeepsie Police station in 1890 looks much different from modern day stations with no computers or weapons of any kind. This station was located on Union street just west of Market street (this portion of Union is now the parking area behind the Courthouse). Perhaps you had to spend some time in court, which is what we see in the next image inside the old courthouse on Market Street. This photo was captured by Frank B. Howard in 1908. If you needed to pay a fine for your crimes you could cross the street to the Poughkeepsie Savings Bank (seen right) with the beautiful Hudson Valley scene made from stained glass.

Make sure to check out photograph collection on our website Main and Market.

Poughkeepsie Eagle News – 21 Nov 1868, 08 Mar 1879, 10 Oct 1908, 20 Jun 1936,

01 – Interior view of Howard’s drug store, 265 Main St., 1878 – LH Collections
02 – Interior view of Howard’s drug store, 265 Main St., 1878 – LH Collections
03 – Interior view of the Poughkeepsie Drug Co, 229 Main St., 1909 – LH Collections
04 – Interior view of G. Schlude + Sons shop, 150 Main St., 1909 – LH Collections
05 – Interior view of Luckey, Platt, and Company’s Floor covering department, 1912 0 LH Collections
06 – Interior view of the Poughkeepsie Police Station in 1890 – LH Collections
07 – Interior view of the Dutchess County Courthouse in 1908 – LH Collections
08 – Interior view of the Poughkeepsie Savings Bank on Market St., 1920 – LH Collections