Independent Washington pharmacy closes after 126 years

November 6, 2015

The Fairhaven Pharmacy in Bellingham, Washington closed its doors on Oct. 20, 2015.

The Fairhaven Pharmacy in Bellingham, Washington closed its doors on Oct. 20, 2015, bringing to an end more than a century of serving the community that even included taking free photos of children in their Halloween costumes.

Owner Rob Johansen, 68, owned the pharmacy since 1991 and had worked as a pharmacist there for 45 years. He recently retired, but was unsuccessful in finding another pharmacist to buy the business.

“Financially it is almost impossible to run an independent pharmacy because of the way the healthcare system currently operates,” Johansen toldThe Bellingham Herald. “It’s a frustrating field to be in right now.”

Prescriptions from the pharmacy have been transferred to the local Walgreens pharmacy.

From delivery boy to pharmacy owner

The Fairhaven Pharmacy opened in 1889 as D.P. Mason Drug. It had been located in its current building since 1929. According to the newspaper, several of the owners of the pharmacy began as delivery boys and worked their way up to pharmacist.

Those included George Finnegan, Rene LaCasse, and Gordon Tweit. Johansen bought the pharmacy from Tweit in 1991. And Johansen had also gotten his start at the pharmacy working as a delivery boy.

 

At least one of the pharmacy’s traditions will continue. The local historical society announced it has hired a photography company to continue the tradition of taking photos of children in their Halloween costumes for free.

“We felt we couldn’t let that tradition go away,” John Servais of Historic Fairhaven Association told the newspaper. “It is close to the hearts of so many.”