Modern times have caught up with the venerable Fairhaven Pharmacy in the southside of Bellingham. As of 6 p.m. this evening, they are closing - going out of business - locking their doors. All customer accounts will be transferred to the new Walgreen's Pharmacy on Samish Way.
Rob Johansen, owner of the pharmacy and pharmacist for 45 years, said today that the business has come to an end. He will retire. There was some effort to find a new pharmacist, but the days of the small neighborhood independent pharmacy are gone. Of the three long-time employees, Marsha and Georgiana will also be retiring. Janet is, in the words at the shop this afternoon, “up for grabs” and not sure what she will do.
The pharmacy may be the oldest business in Bellingham and Whatcom County. It was started 126 years ago in the Sycamore Square building, kitty-corner from its present location at 12th and Harris. It is a Fairhaven institution and will be missed by all.
The Halloween photos of the little goblins and monsters will continue. The Historic Fairhaven Association leadership scrambled this afternoon and have nearly finalized plans for how it will be done. The plans are to stage the photos in the Atrium of Finnegan's Alley - across the street from Fairhaven Pharmacy. A professional photographer has been contracted already, and Gordie Tweit has agreed to donate his long-used backdrop for this. Plans are for photos to be printed immediately and given to the parents. And, of course it will all be free. Jody Finnegan, owner of 12th Street Shoes on the main floor of Sycamore Square, and a past president of the association, took the lead in getting this all together in about three hours today. The association will send out press releases as soon as it is sure of the plans. (disclaimer: I'm VP of the association)
Dave Gallagher of the Herald has written a more in-depth article on the closing and the history. Plus there are 10 photos. Plus a nice video by Phil Dwyer.