The Corner Store, as we,
today know it, is a far cry from the original setup. Step by step it has grown until today it
is the largest store in Lake county whose annual volume of business far
exceeds any other like business in the county; in fact, its volume is only
exceeded by possibly one or two of our huge resorts.
In April of 1943 the Herrick
Co business was bought. In the fall
of 1943 the competitive Rood grocery store business was bought, located in
the IOOF building.
This business was closed out
and a lease taken on the building.
In the spring of 1944 this was opened as a separate grocery store,
arches cut through to the Herrick building and the original store converted
strictly to a hardware and appliance business.
In 1945 the partners
purchased the building between the IOQF building
and the post office but did not make use of it until 1952 when it was
completely remodeled to become the clothing store. In 1949 the Herrick building was
purchased and the upstairs changed from
lodge hall to a modern
department. This was operated here until 1952 and the
move downstairs to the new, present location.
In 1946 a walk-in
refrigerator was built back of the store and in 1952 a huge warehouse was
constructed on their property back of the clothing store.
Several years ago appliances
were moved from the hardware store to the section of the IOOF building which forms the entrance to the upstairs
At the present time they are
engaged in moving the office from the rear of the hardware store to the
upstairs where modern
offices are being
In commenting on their
growth, the boys pay tribute to Frank Piner of
the Bank of America at Calistoga.
Going into business with little capital and needing stock to sell to
customers, he has stood steadfast back of them in lending sound advice and
financial aid whenever it was needed.
A Statement of Community
Faith By the Owners
Ten years ago when starting in business we felt that a
complete lines of hardware, groceries and dry goods had a
place, and that a business with good products at fair prices could succeed.
You—our customers—have proved we were right.
We of the Corner Store take this opportunity to thank
you, the people of our community, for making it possible to have a tenth anniversary
in our business.
It is only by your loyalty and patronage that we have
had any small measure of success in our business.
We hope that we may continue to warrant the faith and trust
you have placed in us and that we will be able to give you good nationally
branded merchandise of high quality at fair prices, with all the services
you have a right to expect, for many years to come.
Once again we thank you our customers for being our
John Irwin Reed Hardester
The Corner Store barbecue – July 1953
row: Reed Hardester, Bob Knowles, Mr. Martin,
John Irwin, Charlotte Fuller, Hap Brookins, Sis
Huston, Eva McDonald, Ruth McDonald
row: Marion Hardester, Linda Brookins,
Martin’s wife, Margaret Springston, Cecil Fuller,
Rod Huston, Betty Irwin
row: Harry McDonald, Rex McDonald, Sylvia Irwin, Mary Knowles & Rusty
John Irwin –
June 24, 1966
The past 23 years as a partner in The Corner Store with
Reed Hardester have passed quickly and have been
very rewarding. The only regrets that I have in retiring, is that I will
miss the daily contact I have had with the whole community.
On selling out to Reed and Wally, I feel that Middletown
will continue to have what I think is the best store in Lake Co. and that
its customers will always be fairly treated by getting the best in
merchandise and service.
I want to thank the people of Middletown and Cobb Mt.
for all that they have done for me in being my customers all the years;
everything I have has been made possible by the support given to me.
Best wishes and lots of luck to Reed and Wally, and
thanks again to the people of the area for the breaks they have given me
while I have been in business.
John Irwin Sr.
A Tribute To America
The story of the Corner Store
Middletown's largest local Industry-
is a story we can only
expect In America; and can only find
in this land, of all the countries we know
It is a story that should be
an inspiration to all our young
Americans now fast approaching
manhood and at a
point where their future course of action must soon be decided.
It bears witness once more that America is
the kind of opportunity—a place where a man or woman can find the chance
awaiting him to carve out his or her own niche in a land steeped with
tradition - a fertile ground for the
person with the ambition and courage to move ahead in this life.
To us, this is the greatest
lesson in the success of the Corner Store - a lesson and an added tribute
to America and the intrepid people who have built—and are continuing to build
The history and success of
the Corner Store is but the history and success of a million businesses and
industries in the United States; and one duplicated over and over in lesser
or greater degree by many right here in our own community. They all are shinning
examples of American ambition and the opportunity that exists in
America. In paying tribute to the
Corner Store this week we also pay like tribute to the countless more who have seen this opportunity and had the willingness
and the fortitude to carry on through adversity and success to also reach
their ultimate goal.
The success of these boys in
their Corner Store is the story of all America -- it is the result of our
heritage and our ability to grab hold and ride'er
to the ultimate goal or conclusion.
We salute you Corner
Store—and all the rest of you who have had the courage and energy to reach
your goal of success.
Note: Ed RUNYON was
Editor-Publisher of the Middletown Times Star all during the birth and
growth of the CORNER STORE