Read's Drug Store- Havre de Grace, Maryland

Site of a Successful Sit-In

Read's Drugs was a prominent 20th century chain of drug stores around the Baltimore region. The stores contained lunch counters that were segregated by race until 1955.

Read's was a popular chain of drug stores/luncheonettes in the 20th century with approximately 39 outlets around Baltimore, scattered around central Maryland; It was the Walgreens of its day, with lunch spots.

Like many establishments of a similar nature (such as Woolworth's) across the South, Read's segregated its lunch counters by race. This all changed in 1955 after a successful sit-in campaign in Baltimore led by Morgan State University students and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).

In downtown Havre de Grace, Maryland, the local Read's also faced a protest, led by a woman named Sarah Davis around this same time. The Harford Civil Rights Project documented her story in an oral history interview with Havre de Grace native Lenora Robinson in 2019.


Desegregating Read's Drug Store in Havre de Grace
In this oral history clip, Lenora Robinson recalls the civil disobedience of a a local resident (Sarah Davis) in desegregating Read's Drug Store in Havre de Grace: a local pre-cursor to the 1961 Freedom Ride on Route 40. [Interviewer Mike Dixon,...
View File Record



226 North Washington Street, Havre de Grace, Maryland ~ The building is located on N. Washington Street in downtown Havre de Grace between Pennington Avenue and Green Street. In 2021, it housed a restaurant: the Abbey Burger Bistro.