Did you know that the oldest brick building in Washington State is in Bellingham ?

Built in 1858 when there was a gold rush on the Fraser River in nearby Canada. Bricks were made in Philadelphia and shipped around South America (before the Panama Canal was built) to the west coast. Building has served as a jail, Whatcom County court house, Jehovah's Witnesses hall, taxidermist and many small businesses. It is still home of a small business today. 

This little building was two stories when it was built, but the waterfront has been filled in since. It is now one story and a basement. Near it are several houses that have moved their front doors to their second story windows as the filled in waterfront turned their first floors into basements.

Native Americans were the first residents in the area, but they didn't write history books, so people often think of the first White settlers as the start of Bellingham's history. 

In the beginning, or at least the white settler's beginning, the economy was based on lumber, fishing, coal mining and farming. This was around the mid 1800s. By the late 1800s, there were several towns where Bellingham now resides. Fairhaven was a booming center. There are still many old buildings left over from Fairhaven's hay days. It is now the Fairhaven district in Bellingham. Some other communities in the area were Whatcom, New Whatcom and Sehome.

Over several years, the towns started merging. By 1903, they all were merged into Bellingham; named after Bellingham Bay. It was written that one person lived in 3 different towns with out moving from her house. She could do this as the towns, her house was in, kept being swallowed by other towns.

Another old building, built in 1892 as a city hall, is now the Whatcom Museum of History and art.


(from a postcard)


National coming out day in the 70s in Bellingham

Spooky floors above the Rouge Hero

Big Ole steam whistle

Bland employment office where Light Catcher Gallery is now

Now YMCA.  Was Hotel Henry and before that Exchange Building

Logo too professional?

Took a while to restore Waldron after panic of 1893

Where steel in Depot Market Square came from

Some of Fairhaven's less yuppie days

Mid 1980s conference, trying to pump up Bellingham

Old street car power house

All my blog posts on Bellingham History


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