Local pharmacy closes its door

COPAKE–At the end of the day Tuesday, April 24, the Copake Pharmacy closed for business and the building is up for sale.

The pharmacy, which in addition to medications carried everything from bedpans to balloons, may have been the last independently-owned drug store in Columbia County and the only pharmacy in the Roe Jan area of southeast Columbia County.

The CVS/pharmacy chain has purchased the pharmaceutical portion business and all the prescriptions currently on file at the Copake Pharmacy have been transferred to the CVS pharmacy on Route 44, Millerton.

Owner Hugh “Rus” Davis, who has operated the pharmacy for 26 years, is just the third owner since the pharmacy opened in 1936, according to the press release from CVS.

Mr. Davis is retiring, but will work at the Millerton CVS for the next month to assist with the pharmacy transition.

Other than Mr. Davis working as a consultant, no details of the deal were announced Friday, April 20, when news of the sale and relocation of the pharmacy service was released.

The nearest pharmacies to the community, besides Millerton, are now in Hudson and Greenport, the Dutchess County Town of Pine Plains and Great Barrington, MA.

At the website info.cvscaremark.com CVS Caremark describes itself as “the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States,” with 7,327 retail stores plus other specialty pharmacy stores and health clinics. The company, headquartered in Rhode Island, employs 200,000 people in 44 states and reported annual revenues last year of $107 billion.

Scott McElfresh, region manager of CVS/pharmacy said in the release that the company would make the transition as easy as possible for Copake customers.

“It has been an honor to serve this wonderful community for almost three decades. I have made countless friends at Copake Pharmacy while helping my customers with their health and medication needs,” Mr. Davis said in the release.

Since news of the drug store closing broke in the hamlet, patrons stopped by to say farewell to Mr. Davis, who told The Columbia Paper in an email, “I have truly enjoyed serving this community and I will miss the daily activity that came with being in the store. The friends that I have made throughout the years are wonderful and I will miss the daily visits.”


Mr. Davis spearheaded the restoration of the Copake memorial clock last year, served on the Comprehensive Plan Committee and organized the annual sponsorship and placement of lighted Christmas trees around the hamlet during the holidays.


On Monday about 40 people gathered at the Key Bank next door to prepare and sign a giant homemade card for Mr. Davis. They all walked over to the pharmacy together to present him with it, congratulate him and wish him well on his retirement.


“Thanks for being here when we needed you,” they said and “We will miss you,” interspersed with hugs, kisses and a champagne toast.


According to photographer Chris Quinby, who photographed the good-bye, Mr. Davis said he will spend his retirement working on his cars, riding his motorcycle and paying attention to his wife.

To contact Diane Valden email .


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