Drug store interior featuring an ice cream soda fountain

Ice Cream Soda Fountain inside the Remedy Store, Mendocino. (Gift of Carl A. Moore)

In 1928, Dr. Russell Preston, beloved Mendocino physician, purchased the town’s only pharmacy, Pioneer Drug Store, located in the building just to the east of here on Main Street. There had been a drug store in that location since 1877, operated by a series of druggists including R. H. Witherell, C. O. Packard, and Horace Nichols. Dr. Preston changed the drug store’s name to The Remedy Store, emphasizing his own patent remedies.

Less than 2 years later, Dr. Preston moved The Remedy Store into this building, located at 45094 Main Street (most recently Highlight Gallery), and Perley Maxwell completely renovated the inside. “New windows have been put in and the entire interior of the store has been remodeled. A fancy lattice work partition separates the ice cream department from the rest of the store. Glass showcases line the walls, containing confectionery and other merchandise in attractive packages. The rear of the building is fitted up as an office and prescription room. They are the agents for Haas candies and have a very attractive display in their new windows.” In addition to ice cream and candy, the Remedy Store carried film, gifts, and (after the end of Prohibition) wine, beer, and liquor. It was also a newsstand, and people would pick up their newspapers and magazines here.

Walking Tours of Historic Mendocino – Join our expert docents for a stroll and lively commentary. You’ll pass by early pioneer homes, historic meeting places, and buildings that make up the the Mendocino Historic District.