Sarsaparilla Building

Submitted by Al Churchill - The Hill Brick Block, also known as the Sarsaparilla building, at corner of Main and North Streets has been deteriorating to the point where it was questionable whether it could be saved. The Historical Society was distressed at the prospect of losing either this building or the McAllister Building just down the street as the aesthetic and historical appearance of Calais would have been irreparably damaged by their loss. Thankfully, historic downtown Calais has been saved through the efforts of Jim Porter, City Manager and two local businessmen, Tex Young and Dave Seavey. The Historical Society wants to extend our gratitude to these folks. Tex and Dave have acquired both buildings and plan to restore them as nearly as possible to their original condition, an ambitious undertaking to  say the least, but they are clearly serious as evidenced by the photo above. The community owes them its thanks and support in this effort. 


The Hill Block acquired its nickname after the Civil War when a St. Stephen doctor named Robert Thomson returned from the Civil War and used its upper floors to manufacture patent medicines and the tonic Sarsaparilla which was claimed have amazing health benefits. The lettering on the front says SARSAPARILLA, Cures When Others Fail, The Great English Remedy.