Wayfinding: Timberman Brothers

The Timberman brothers owned pharmacies in Alexandria throughout the 20th century. The store at 106 N. Washington Street operated from around 1950 to 2004, and its neon sign is now in the collection of The Lyceum: Alexandria’s History Museum.

Page updated on Mar 28, 2018 at 4:02 PM

Timberman Brothers

824 King Street
100 N. Washington Street
106 N. Washington Street

Timberman sign (click for larger image)At the turn of the 20th century, Alexandria was home to at least a dozen pharmacies, two of them associated with the name Timberman. Charles Parke Custis Timberman and older brother John Elmer Winfield Timberman were born near Pohick Church in 1878 and 1876 respectively, and their early years were spent at “Rosehill Farm” just outside Alexandria. However, during their late childhood, the family moved to 209 S. Fairfax Street, which was considered the family homestead for many decades.

Charles Timberman operated a pharmacy with Richard Gibson, known as Gibson & Timberman, at 824 King Street until 1904, when their partnership was dissolved. He then moved to Philadelphia to accept a position with a drug firm in that city. He died in 1917 and was buried in Alexandria.

John Timberman took the state examination to become a pharmacist in 1895, and soon after took a position at a drug store located at King and North Washington Streets, owned and operated by Ernest L. Allen. After Dr. Allen’s death in 1906, he took over the proprietorship. The pharmacy, pictured here in the 1920’s, was known as Timberman’s Drug Store. Although John Timberman retired in 1943, the pharmacy retained his business name under the leadership of Francis X. Nugent, who began work at Timberman’s in 1917 and remained there until 1973. Around 1950, Timberman’s relocated next door to 106 North Washington Street when the estate of Ernest Allen’s son, William, decided to sell the property. At the new site, Nugent added an angled neon sign to highlight the otherwise non-descript façade, and that sign was incorporated into the collections of the Office of Historic Alexandria when the drug store finally closed in 2004.

Although the handsome 19th century structure was demolished in 1954 to make way for a more modest two story structure, the “ghost” of its roofline can still be seen on the east side of the building at 703 King Street.

Where to find this sign

In Old Town, mini kiosks are located at designated intersections along King Street, Cameron Street, and the Waterfront to provide an orientation for pedestrians. 

This wayfinding sign is located on King at the corner of S. Washington Street. (For those taking the King Street Trolley, please check the schedule as times may have changed.)