Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bellingham in Whatcom County, Washington — The American West (Northwest)
 

Early Bellingham Bay

 
 
Early Bellingham Bay Marker <i>(lower panel)</i> image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, July 21, 2021
1. Early Bellingham Bay Marker (lower panel)
Inscription.  
Spanish explorers, the first Europeans to enter this bay in 1791, named the open, 50-square-mile body of water Seno de Gaston (Gulf of Gaston). The following year, on June 11, 1792, the British, under Captain George Vancouver, put their own name upon the water, Bellingham Bay, in recognition of the Sir William Bellingham, controller of the British Navy stores who had provisioned the expedition. Throughout the Northwest and coastal British Columbia, names still reflect their Spanish and British origins, from the Strait of Juan de Fuca, to Vancouver, British Columbia.
Three natural resources - timber, coal and fish - fueled the early development of Bellingham. 'Blanket' Bill Jarman, a sailor and adventurer who came to the area through the Hudson Bay Company trading post at Victoria, was the first white settler in Whatcom County, establishing a claim and settling in the area with his native wife in 1848.

Following the California Gold Rush, and to meet strong demand for lumber following great fires in San Francisco, Henry Roeder and R.V. Peabody formed a partnership, traveled north in 1852, and built

Early Bellingham Bay Marker <i>(upper panel)</i> image. Click for full size.
circa 1900
2. Early Bellingham Bay Marker (upper panel)
Lumber and coal were the primary shipping activities on Bellingham Bay, here pictured about 1900.
Click or scan to see
this page online
a lumber mill where Whatcom Creek meets the bay. By 1858 the little hamlet of Whatcom had grown to 100 inhabitants, but was soon inundated by thousands of fortune seekers following the great Fraser River Gold Rush and seeking a short cut to the gold claims up the Fraser River in British Columbia.

For a period during the 1850's mines on and near the shore of Bellingham Bay were the exclusive source of coal shipped to San Francisco. Three ships routinely made the 15-day southerly trip, returning with goods from California to serve the frontier community.

During subsequent decades, the four original towns on Bellingham – Fairhaven, Bellingham, Sehome and Whatcom alternately grew and shrank depending upon the various fortunes of lumber, coal, mining, colonization, shipping and railroads. They ultimately united under the single name of Bellingham in 1904.

 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ExplorationIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical date for this entry is June 11, 1792.
 
Location. 48° 43.321′ N, 122° 30.761′ W. Marker is in Bellingham, Washington, in Whatcom County. Marker can be reached from Harris Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 355 Harris Avenue, Bellingham WA 98225, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Original Inhabitants of the Area (a few steps from this marker); Fairhaven

Early Bellingham Bay Marker - wide view image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, July 21, 2021
3. Early Bellingham Bay Marker - wide view
(a few steps from this marker); Pacific American Fisheries (a few steps from this marker); Northwest Shipbuilding Company (within shouting distance of this marker); Schooner Zodiac (within shouting distance of this marker); Commercial Point Shipyard (within shouting distance of this marker); The 1909 Fairhaven Empress Tree (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Site of Puget Sound Sawmills and Shingle Company (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bellingham.
 
More about this marker. This marker is the third of nine related markers surrounding the perimeter of the Bellingham Cruise Terminal.
 
Marker inset: "Blanket" Bill Jarman image. Click for full size.
4. Marker inset: "Blanket" Bill Jarman
"Blanket" Bill Jarman, the first White settler on Bellingham Bay, won his name for a ransom of blankets paid by to his Indian captors.
Marker inset: the town of Sehome image. Click for full size.
1885
5. Marker inset: the town of Sehome
In 1885 the town of Sehome, now downtown Bellingham, was a small cluster of wooden buildings, later merging with three other settlements to form today's Bellingham.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 27, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 27, 2021, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 77 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 27, 2021, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.

Share this page.  
Share on Tumblr
m=178096

Paid Advertisement
Nov. 28, 2021