Southern hospitality at a business: Hot Springs Pharmacy in Virginia

Adjacent to the Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia is a sweet little indie pharmacy with a vintage feel. Hot Springs Pharmacy — with the 1920 painted on its front window — has your modern day needs covered, but brings you back to yesteryear.

With it’s wooden shelves and wide aisles, unusual finds are arranged attractively. In a town that’s been famous for its spa and wellness for over 250 years, the smart money is on locally made beauty products. I’ve always been of the mind that there must be beauty — and life — secrets in artisan, locally-made goods. As you might imagine, I have quite the collection: part fountain of youth, part Holy Grail. I’m totally convinced that one of these days, one of these products is gonna fix everything what ails me. It’s definitely part of the thrill of traveling for me, bringing these things back home!

I found this “Natural Miracle Conditioner” by Tate’s, a family-run company in Ohio. It’s said to have about a dozen or more uses, made from: water, apple, orange, strawberry, rose, clove, pineapple, ginger, cranberry, blueberry, geranium, raspberry, coconut, magnolia, pine, pine balsam, jasmine, thyme, cherry, cinnamon, lemon, “peace and hugs, smiles and love”. It feels like glycerine, though it doesn’t have any. Reminiscent of Dr. Bronner’s labels, Tate’s has some thought-provoking life advice — “Love will not age you. Never say goodbye, say I love you, see you later.”

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The other treasure trove I got was several scents of Bate’s Family Farm goat milk lotions, made in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. I had actually first tried their cream at a consignment store in Baltimore . . . that family really gets around! I had been surprised how rich and good it is. I have creams from very expensive department stores all over the world and these products stand up well to all of them. I love that there were little travel sizes: good for carrying and the budget.

They have an antique scale that also spits out fortunes for a quarter. The ladies behind the counter gave me the lowdown. It gives everyone the same fortune: “You’re turning around the corner of life.” But the scale works. Who needs that?

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