Photo: Copyright, Claudia A. East
At the corner of Miner Street and Broadway sits the IOOF building, and for many years the Yreka Drug Store (Or, Y-D as it was lovingly called) operated at the street level of this building. Today it houses Bella Arts and their delightful "old time" ice cream fountain!
The Yreka Drug store used to have the full quintessential 1930-40ish fountain where businesspeople, kids, teens, and families would frequent to purchase that great sandwich, special ice cream treat, or fountain drink! Today only a portion of the old fountain remains much to the great sadness of many, but the memories of past days are very much alive!
It was in January, 1935 that the Siskiyou News announced that Merle Wood, the former manager of the Golden Eagle Drug store, would open a new store in the IOOF building, The Yreka Drug. The building was "completely" remodeled and modernized both inside and out with a "modernistic" (1935) front replacing the old simple brick front. There were two places of business occupying the downstairs at this time, the east side was an office for Dr. Albert Newton who practiced there from 1935 until 1952, and the west side was the Yreka Drug. It is not clear how many times this building may have been remodeled or updated prior to 1935, as it was originally built in 1859. However, in 1935 the contractor for the job was a William Potter and he concentrated on the main portion of the ground floor. New shop windows were installed to permit better display of goods and a new entrance replaced the previous pillars on the Miner Street portion of the building. The new store carried all the "latest merchandise" and stocked drug sundries, toilet articles, stationery and prescription goods.
If you are a visitor to our fair town, be sure and stop in and visit Bella Arts and their charming soda fountain, you can get a tiny glimpse of what life in town was like from the 1940s and 50s by just walking into the building! Don't forget, however to try one of their most delicious ice cream treats!
Copyright: Claudia A. East, 2009