The Remedy Store

The distinctive round Remedy Store sign outside the store’s second location at 45094 Main Street in Mendocino. The Bank of America building and Chet Bishop’s General Merchandise Store can be seen in the background. (Gift of Carl A. Moore, Lee Burleson Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

In 1928, Dr. Russell Preston, beloved Mendocino physician, purchased the town’s only pharmacy, Pioneer Drug Store. There had been a drug store in this Main Street location since 1877, operated by a series of druggists including  R. H. Witherell, C. O. Packard, and Horace Nichols. In addition to renovating the store and stocking a complete new line of drugs and sundries, Dr. Preston also changed the store’s name to The Remedy Store, emphasizing his own patent remedies.

Less than two years later, Dr. Preston moved The Remedy Store into the building just to the west, 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, wine, beer, liquor, and gifts. It was also a newsstand, and people would pick up their newspapers and magazines here.

In 1940, Dr. Preston sold The Remedy Store to William Larkin, who operated  the business for many years before selling to Don and Lee Burleson. When the Burlesons took over the Remedy Store in 1953, the store was the sole newspaper dealer in all of Mendocino, handling the Examiner, the Chronicle, the Oakland Tribune, and the Sacramento Bee. People paid the Burlesons for their subscriptions, and picked up their paper in their assigned cubbyholes.

The Burlesons sold The Remedy Store in 1957, and the new owners changed the business name to Shrode’s Sundry Shop. The Shrodes operated their store here until 1963 when they moved to Lansing Street across from Mendosa’s.

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.