Ernest L. Robey

Company Names, addresses, dates:
  Ernest L. Robey, Fairfax VA
  Ernest L. Robey, Herndon VA
  Ernest/Frank Robey, N. Capitol & H Streets NW, Washington D.C. (1911-1922)
  Frank Robey, 200 Upshur St. NW, Washington D.C. (1922-?)


        Ernest Lee Robey (b. August 8, 1870, d. Sept 4, 1938) 1
Ernest Robey was married to Edith B. Robey. He had 2 brothers and 3 sisters.
Besides the drugstore business, Ernest was also a banker in Herndon. By 1930, Ernest had left the drugstore business, and was an Insurance agent. On September 4th, 1938, Ernest died of heart disease.3

        Herndon Drug Store
Ernest and his father William I. Robey Sr, started a drugstore in Herndon VA about 1888. His father left the store in Ernest's hands in November 1900. The drug store was located on Pine Street, next door to his house. In 1917, there was a large fire in Herndon that burned down (or at least damaged) the store. 3 The new store was housed in the building that is now the Zeffireli restaurant. 2

        Fairfax Drug Store
Ernest opened a second drugstore, this one in Fairfax, about 1902. Dr. Harry L. Burrows managed the Fairfax store. Harry died on June 10, 1927. In September of that year, Robey sold the Fairfax store to T. Ramsay Taylor of Norfolk VA although it appears that the building remained in the ownership of one of Ernest's brothers, attorney George B. Robey. 3

        Washington DC Drug Store(s)
Ernest opened a third store, this one in Washington DC, in March of 1911. At some point, this third store was taken over by Frank Robey, Ernest's brother. In 1922, the store became a People's drug store, and Frank opened up a new drugstore at 200 Upshur Street, NW. 3


robey_01 Clear 5.5" (4 oz) bottle embossed:
horizontal at the top: 3 iv
vertical: Ernest L. Robey / DRUGGIST / HERNDON, VA. - FAIRFAX, VA.
base: W.T. CO. / U / U.S.A.
robey_02 This bottle comes in at least 3 sizes (5.5" 4oz, 4.5" 2oz, and 3.7" 1oz) as pictured here. The tallest one is the same bottle that is pictured above. They are all embossed the same, other than the size (3iv, 3ii and 3i) and the middle letter on the base ("U", "R" & "I").
horizontal at the top: 3 iv
vertical: Ernest L. Robey / DRUGGIST / HERNDON, VA. - FAIRFAX, VA.
base: W.T. CO. / U / U.S.A.

robey_03 This photo (taken May 2010) is of the Zeffireli restaurant on the corner of Station & Pine Streets. It is the building that housed Robey's Herndon drugstore. 2
robey_05 This postcard shows the Chamblin's drug store on Station Street in Herndon. Ralph Von Sickler Chamblin bought Robey's Herndon drug store just after the US entered WW I4. So this might have also been a building that housed Robey's drug store.
robey_06 This postcard (postmarked 1913) depicts Robey's drug store in Fairfax VA. Compare it to the photo below, which seems to be same building (but without the chimneys).
robey_04 This photo (taken May 2010) is of the Bellissimo restaurant. It is the building that housed Robey's Fairfax drugstore (based on comparing it to a photo in the postcard above).

Drugstore items listed for sale in Robey's newspaper ads:
Drugs & Patent Medicines
    Robeys Syrup White Pine Compound
    Robey’s Emulsion Cod Liver Oil
    Robey’s Little Liver Pills
    Eumenthynol Toilet Cream
    Chest Protectors
    White Lead
    Window glass
Food & Drink
    Lowneys Chocolate Bonbons
    Sanitary Ice Cold Water
    Ready mixed paints, all colors
    Paint brushes
    Carriage paints
    Linseed Oil
    Castor Oil
    Floor Oil
Toilet articles
    Toilet soaps
    Hair Brushes
    Tooth Brushes
    Nail Brushes
    Infant Brushes
    Flesh Brushes
Tobacco & Cigars
Stationary, School Supplies

1 U.S. Census
2 Book: "Herndon in Images" by Charles V. Mauro
3 Various newspaper articles and ads from the Herndon Observer and Fairfax Herald newspapers
4 Obituary in Herndon Observer 22-Sep-1938 p.1

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This page last updated on January 4, 2014.