Early Bellingham Bay
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
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
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Exploration • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & 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
More about this marker. This marker is the third of nine related markers surrounding the perimeter of the Bellingham Cruise Terminal.
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.