Corner Drug is Woodland’s independent, family owned and operated pharmacy. The pharmacy is owned by Lisa Shelley and operated by her daughter Sara.
The Early Days
Built in the 1890s, Corner Drug was originally known as the New York Store, a dry goods business operated for several years by brothers Joseph and George Jacobs. In 1897 Wallace Pond switched the business to a drugstore and it has remained one since. H.P. Elder ran the business for several years, as did Fred Lawhead, an adopted son of Dr. Hiram and Lydia Lawhead.
In the early years, the store was also home to physician’s offices, among them Dr. Lawhead and his partner, Dr. Fred Fairchild. Dr. Charles Noble, a long-time Woodland dentist, also had offices upstairs.
Richard Alge, owner of the adjoining Armstrong & Alge building, used the building as rental property until selling it in 1934 to Jess Vickery who named it the Corner Drug Company.
Corner Drug became the first Walgreen franchise in California. In 1959 Howard Gregg and Karl Hanke became partners with Vickery. Hanke, who became the sole owner in 1980, began working at Corner Drug in the 1940s as a delivery boy. After the Second World War Hanke graduated from UCSF pharmacy school and returned to Woodland, where he met his wife Eldrid Olsen at Corner Drug where she worked as a clerk. Karl and Eldrid’s daughter, Lisa, graduated from the UOP School of Pharmacy and joined the staff at Corner Drug working as pharmacist alongside her father. Her husband Ed took on the role of manager and oversaw the retail side. A family business was born.
Woodland’s Family Pharmacy
While Karl couldn’t imagine retiring completely, he handed over the business and daily operations to Lisa in 1999. Lisa oversaw many advancements in the pharmacy including adding a computer system and their first use of pharmacy robotics. She also expanded their delivery business, adding two SMART cars to the Corner Drug fleet. Under Lisa’s watch the business expanded to delivering prescriptions to Davis and the countryside. Corner Drug also became a participant in Woodland’s First Friday art walk, hosting live music and art shows every month.
Lisa’s tenure as the owner of Corner Drug solidified the business as a responsible member of the community and as an anchor business of historic downtown Woodland.
The Next Generation
Lisa’s daughter, Sara, followed in her mother’s footsteps and graduated from UOP in 2008. Joining her mom at the store, Sara quickly established herself as a leader who excelled at pairing cutting edge technology with compassionate patient care. Sara and her husband Erik took over daily operations of Corner Drug in 2016 and are devoted to upholding its legacy and further its role as Woodland’s premiere center for health.
Corner Drug was originally designed in Victorian Italianate style, but in the early 1900s it became one of Woodland’s first Mission Revival style buildings with a facelift of stucco, bracketed tile hoods above the corner windows and classic curved roof parapet adorned with a quatrefoil. The neon sign, an often-photographed staple of downtown Woodland, was erected in the 1948.