Friday, January 6, 2012

Justin Gates Ad-1855

This ad appeared in the 1855 Sacramento City Directory. Justin Gates, along with brothers D.V and James, was the proprietor of the Miner's Drug Store at 72 K and 218 J Sts in Sacramento. Justin remained in Sacramento and eventually changed the name of his drug store to "The Golden Mortar". In 1861 James went to San Francisco and clerked for Richard Hall of Hall and Langley. By 1866 James was in partnership with Hart Shepardson doing business as Shepardson and Gates at the corner of Sansome and Commercial. In 1869 he again went to work with his brother, Justin, at a branch store at 219 Montgomery St. Justin remained in Sacramento, commuting to SF when necessary, but left that office to James alone by 1874. Back in the Capital Justin operated his Golden Mortar at the corner of 6th and J Sts until 1879. By 1880 his business was sold to Charles Bell and Fred Kolliker and he left Sacramento for good, returning to SF where he opened another wholesale and retail drug store and Russian and Turkish Baths at 722 Montgomery St. He ran this business until his death in 1888. For a few years after the address of 722 Montgomery was listed as the Estate of Justin Gates.


  1. Mike,
    Interesting fellow, that Justin Gates. I think we should explore Mr. Gates and his products on this blog.
    Thanks for bringing him to light.
    Did Gates buy the Miner's Drug Store from the traveling medicine show of McDonald & Levy?

  2. Somewhere there is an ad showing Justin Gates and his traveling Miner's Drug Store, but it was McDonald and Levy who owned the Sacramento store by that name. Gates had the "Golden Mortar" name established by the early 1860s. I have cards and receipts from several of the early pioneer drug stores of the 1850s.

  3. I know the Dr. Barne's Ess Jamaica Ginger bottles run from the R. Hall to Shepardson & Gates to Gates -- but that's James in SF. What Sact'o bottles have the Gates name on them? Oil of Gladness? I can't think of the others. Sact'o is not my area of expertise - such as it is.