If you’ve ever been caught on a long waitlist to eat at the Black Cat, located on the third floor of 1204 Harris Ave. in Fairhaven, there’s a good chance you meandered the hallways and saw a nugget of history on the wall: a framed photo from 1902 titled, “Inside the Fairhaven Pharmacy.”
The business, which operated from 1889 to 2015, was one of the oldest in Bellingham and had several locations, including the Harris Avenue building that is now home to 12th Street Shoes, and a myriad of restaurants and other small businesses.
Minor surgeries were supposedly performed in the back room, according to a plaque beneath the photo. The pharmacy moved across the street to 1115 Harris Ave. in 1929, to its most recognizable facade, and where it closed its doors.
One of the most renowned owners, Gordon Tweit, began as a delivery boy for the pharmacy when he was 14 years old. He took ownership of the business in 1962 and is known for starting a small museum in the basement of the business. The collection of antique pharmaceutical equipment and other historical memorabilia was open for the public’s viewing each Friday.
When the pharmacy closed, much of the collection was transferred to Whatcom Museum, said Maria Coltharp, curator of collections.
“We’re excited to have it, and working on cataloging it,” Coltharp said.
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