Lopez Island Pharmacy (originally known as Fisherman Bay Pharmacy) opened in 1978 with Dana Arnold as the pharmacist and owner. For many years Dana tirelessly served the Lopez community. Many long time residents still comment how difficult it was to get medications flown or ferried over from Friday Harbor, before Dana opened the first pharmacy on Lopez. Tragically, Dana perished in a plane crash on Lopez in 1985. At the original Fisherman Bay Pharmacy Dana’s sister (Adrienne Arnold Wiseman ) also worked. Adrienne also worked for Rick and Marge McCoy when the pharmacy was located on Village Road and in the new location on Lopez Road. She can still be seen from time to time at “Paper Scissors on the Rock“
After Dana’s tragic plane crash the Arnold family tried to continue operating the pharmacy. In an attempt to keep the pharmacy open they hired pharmacist Ian Ingram in 1985. Ian continued to serve as the island’s pharmacist until 1988. It is very difficult, if not impossible,for a small pharmacy to pay a pharmacist who is not the owner and remain viable. Unfortunately in 1988 the pharmacy on Lopez was forced to close.
For several years Lopez was without a pharmacy. Once again medications had to be brought over from either the mainland or Friday Harbor. While vacationing on their boat, Ron and Karan Buckmaster were drawn to Lopez. Having sold his pharmacy in Florida State,Ron decided to hang out his shingle here. With the help of many Lopezians, Ron was able to reopen Fisherman Bay Pharmacy in 1989.
Ron and Karan reopened the pharmacy at its old location on Fisherman Bay Road and introduced the idea of adding an old-fashioned soda fountain. As Ron will tell you a pharmacy in a small town needs the complete support of the community. Lopez delivered that much needed support, allowing the pharmacy to grow and finally move to its present location in the Village. The winter
weather was not friendly for the move, but even Larry Schulze ( Former Fire Chief) helped with the final move on Super Bowl Sunday.
In 1994 Ron decided to sell the pharmacy. Into the picture came Rick and Marge McCoy of Denver,Colorado. Both pharmacists, the McCoys had owned two pharmacies in Colorado. Rick and Marge fell in love with Lopez and felt it would be a wonderful place to raise their two children, Megan and Evan. Evan had some serious respiratory problems in Denver and the move to Lopez was sensational for his health. The following pages show some of the pictures from Rick and Marge’s first pharmacy. They had everything from prescriptions to a full liquor license. They ran Park Hill Drug for 10 years before moving it to a new clinic location nearby. The McCoy’s new store, Med-Comp Pharmacy, was opened in 1988 and operated by Rick and Marge until their move to Lopez in 1994.
Marge, Megan and Evan have been blessed with the friendliness and warmth of the people of Lopez. With continued community support, we too have been able keep a pharmacy on Lopez. Daily we are challenged by managed care and the ever-changing health care arena. We have tripled the inventory in the pharmacy and continue to strive to put affordable high quality products on our shelves. In 1998 we expanded our popular Old Fashioned Soda Fountain and now have the only air-conditioned restaurant on Lopez. The Soda Fountain continued to run after we moved to our new location until the summer of 2014, we hope that someday it will reopen.