Scottish Smoke Shop

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Among Alexandria’s early settlers were Scottish merchants, one of whom, John Carlyle, those of you who visited this blog at the end of October will know. The John Crouch smoke shop is another reminder of that long gone age.

Update: Ruth of East Lansing Daily Photo posted a photo of a cigar store wooden Indian on November 24, complete with a link to the interesting history of the association between wooden Indians and smoking. Thanks to Kate of Visual St. Paul for bringing this serendipitous coincidence to our attention.

10 Responses to Scottish Smoke Shop

  1. Olivier says:

    c’est marrant, j’ais jamais compris pourquoi devant beaucoup de boutiques de tabac aux USA il y a une statue d’indien. c’est quoi le rapport ?

    it is funny, I board ever understood why in front of many shops of tobacco in the USA there is a statue of Indian. it is what the report ?

  2. photowannabe says:

    In this era of anti-smoke everything its interesting to see an old fashioned smoke shop. I’d like to know the answer too about the cigar store indian.

  3. mariemcc says:

    Olivier and Photo, I wouldn’t be able to answer this if I hadn’t just seen a program on The History Channel about the pilgrims coming to the New World. Tobacco apparently was unknown to the Europeans before the New World was colonized, but the native peoples of the New World were very familiar with it and taught the Europeans to smoke it. Tobacco then became a commodity that was traded and in some cases even took the place of money. So I think that’s why the Indians are associated with smoke shops.

  4. Kate says:

    Tobacco is also an important cultural symbol, used in rituals by the Native Americans. Recently two young boys, ages 2 and 4, literally disappeared from the Red Lake Reservation in MN. Before starting the search, tobacco was used ritually as part of their spiritual and real search for the boys. Tragically they have not been found, altho the search has been called off, an unofficial search continues. Recently someone (can’t recall) posted a beautiful photo of a wooden Indian on their blog. If I recall, I’ll be back to let you know. Marie, the photo is another one that shows the charm of your area.

  5. Kate says:

    Marie, Just remembered the post–by Ruth in East Lansing (who takes great photos!). Go to her site and go back about 4-5 days from today to the smoke shop post. It is a beautiful carving of an Indian.

  6. Ruth says:

    Thanks to Kate I came for a visit to see your cigar store Indian! I found and learned interesting things about their history when I did my post (

  7. James says:

    Ah, the Native American! Good to see some traditions never die.

    THEME DAY tomorrow! I’m posting, are you?

  8. isabella says:

    The southern colonies made a fortune in tobacco – once the English got hooked, they could not get enough of it. I’m willing to bet, that the Native Americans did not partake in the riches…

  9. photowannabe says:

    Marie, thanks again for all your information and taking the time to write me. Much appreciated.

  10. Nathalie says:

    Can’t think that smoking is a good thing but I love your photo. Everything about it makes the shop so inviting, the warm colours, the lovely ancient sign…

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