“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers in Whatcom County, Washington

Clickable Map of Whatcom County, Washington and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil;; J.J.Prats/dc:title> Whatcom County, WA (39) Okanogan County, WA (18) San Juan County, WA (0) Skagit County, WA (27)  WhatcomCounty(39) Whatcom County (39)  OkanoganCounty(18) Okanogan County (18)  (0) San Juan County (0)  SkagitCounty(27) Skagit County (27)
Bellingham is the county seat for Whatcom County
Adjacent to Whatcom County, Washington
      Okanogan County (18)  
      San Juan County (0)  
      Skagit County (27)  
Touch name on this list to highlight map location.
Touch blue arrow, or on map, to go there.
1 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — Bellingham bloomed during its Tulip Festival in the 1920s
Throughout the 1920s, the first week of May saw Bellingham transformed into "Tulip Town" as the city hosted its perennial Tulip Festival. Businesses competitively decorated the downtown streets and buildings, festooning them with bunting and . . . Map (db m177826) HM
2 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — Bellingham grew up along its streetcar lines
In the pre-automotive era, the electric streetcar or trolley profoundly influenced Bellingham's development. Both New Whatcom and Fairhaven built streetcar systems in 1891, but due to municipal rivalry refused to link tracks. To get from one town to . . . Map (db m177824) HM
3 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — Bellingham Public Market Had Everything Under One Roof!
Bellingham's Public Market opened May 1, 1909 and was a seasonal operation. Farmers came from as far as the San Juan Islands to sell their agricultural harvests and associated products. A much larger year round market opened in 1916 with 22 . . . Map (db m177790) HM
4 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — Charles X. Larrabee1843 - 1914
Benefactor of Fairhaven & Bellingham With His Wife Frances Payne Larrabee Donors of Larrabee State Park Fairhaven Park Elizabeth Park Land for Fairhaven Library Land for Fairhaven Middle School Land for Larrabee School . . . Map (db m143272) HM
5 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — Commercial Point Shipyard
Unable to rely on private carriers to serve its far-flung canneries from Southeast Alaska to the Aleutian Islands, Pacific American Fisheries built it's own shipyard to produce a line of vessels to insure the transfer of crew, materials and . . . Map (db m186507) HM
6 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — Counterfeiters' Hide Out
Counterfeiters' Hide Out 1905 $5 and $10 dollar pieces passed in saloons on weekends Map (db m140921) HM
7 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — Daylighting Padden Creek
After flowing in an underground tunnel for over 120 years, a section of Padden Creek is open to the daylight again. The Padden Creek Daylighting project restores fish passage, reduces flooding risk, and improves water quality in our . . . Map (db m177810) HM
8 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — Downtown was the hub of commercial activity
In May of 1905, the great undertaking of photographing 300 store fronts in Bellingham was completed by the Rembrandt studio. These photos were mounted in albums for a Whatcom County exhibit at the Lewis & Clark Exposition in Portland, Oregon. . . . Map (db m177802) HM
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9 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — 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 . . . Map (db m178096) HM
10 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — Fairhaven
One of the original four communities founded along the shore of Bellingham Bay, Fairhaven's colorful history derives much of its hue from its founder, 'Dirty' Dan Harris, noted for his plug hat, shabby frock coat over red undershirt, . . . Map (db m177991) HM
11 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — 9 — Fairhaven Canning Company
The Fairhaven Canning Company was built on pilings over the water at this site in 1897, became a PAF building.Map (db m140917) HM
12 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — Fairhaven LibraryDedicated 1904
Land deeded by C.X. Larrabee Building funded by A. Carnegie Plaque donated by Friends of Fairhaven Library to commemorate the Centennial 2004Map (db m197211) HM
13 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — It Takes A Community
Bellingham's desire for a waterfront park started in the late 1960's when industry closures brought about available, vacant property. Civic leaders acquired land and committed funding. The result of this community effort: Boulevard Park and . . . Map (db m143693) HM
14 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — Metasequoia glyptostroboides (Dawn Redwood)
This tree was originally only known from fossil remains dating back 70 million years until living specimens were happily discovered in China in 1944. Some of the seeds gathered in a 1947 expedition were given to Carl S. English, horticulturist . . . Map (db m177764) HM
15 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — Northwest Shipbuilding Company
From 1942 to 1944, Pacific American Fisheries leased its shipyard to the Northwest Shipbuilding Company, which formed in response to World War II to construct military vessels for the US Army and US Navy. The Northwest Shipbuilding Company . . . Map (db m179196) HM
16 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — Old Telegraph Road
Penetrating northward through this point, toward wilderness areas of British Columbia and Alaska, a telegraph line was partially built in 1865-1867 to connect New York with London via the Bering Strait Cable and a line across Russia. A single-wire . . . Map (db m224319) HM
17 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — Original Inhabitants of the Area
Along the western shore of Bellingham Bay lies the Lummi Peninsula, named for the native American people who still derive their traditional livelihood from harvesting seafood, particularly salmon. Before the arrival of pioneer settlers to Whatcom . . . Map (db m179052) HM
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18 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — Pacific American Fisheries
The historic link between Fairhaven's shore and coastal Alaska is long and enduring. The Bellingham Cruise Terminal is built on the former site of the Pacific American Fisheries salmon canning complex which, during the 1940's, was the . . . Map (db m179132) HM
19 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — Performance Theater in Bellingham
Performance theater has had an extensive history within the original towns around Bellingham Bay. The first theater, the Purdy Opera House was built in 1888 in the town of Whatcom. Additional entertainment houses now gone included the Casino, . . . Map (db m177797) HM
20 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — Phoebe Goodell Judson
This building is dedicated to the memory of Phoebe Goodell Judson 1832-1926 Phoebe Goodell married Holden A. Judson in Vermillion, Ohio in 1852. They crossed the Plains by covered wagon in 1853. Their son, La Bonta, was born . . . Map (db m177792) HM
21 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — Pickett Bridge
First built in 1857 as a Military Bridge by Captain George E. PickettMap (db m53921) HM
22 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)1835 - 1910
Mark Twain, American humorist and celebrated author, visited Fairhaven on August 14-15, 1895 as part of his worldwide lecture tour. He stayed at The Fairhaven, a magnificent Victorian hotel located at the NE corner of 12th Street and Harris . . . Map (db m141195) HM
23 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — Schooner Zodiac
Bellingham: Homeport to the Historic Schooner Zodiac The Schooner Zodiac is one of the largest working sailing vessels on the west coast. She was launched in 1924 from the Hodgdon Brothers shipyard in East Boothbay, Maine – the . . . Map (db m178230) HM
24 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — 4 — Site of Puget Sound Sawmills and Shingle CompanyRail Trail Historic Site
Former site of the Puget Sound Sawmills & Shingle Company, the largest shingle mill in the world at that time.Map (db m177819) HM
25 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — The 1909 Fairhaven Empress TreePort of Bellingham
With a normal lifespan of 70 years, this, is one of the oldest Empress trees (Paulownia tomentosa) in the United States. The tree was presented to E.B. Deming, President of Pacific American Fisheries, on August 24, 1909; a gift from . . . Map (db m177791) HM
26 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — The Great Water Fight
By mid-1891, the original four towns of Whatcom, Sehome, Bellingham and Fairhaven had consolidated into two, Fairhaven and New Whatcom. On June 22, 1891, the first train of the Canadian Pacific Railway was scheduled to arrive in New Whatcom. It was . . . Map (db m177766) HM
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27 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — The Legacy of Byron Elmendorf
Boulevard Park and Taylor Dock were just a few of the many efforts led by Byron Elmendorf, the first Director of the Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department. Under his leadership, determination and collaboration efforts, Bellingham's park . . . Map (db m143685) HM
28 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — Town Pillory
Location of town pillory 1890 Map (db m140926) HM
29 Washington, Whatcom County, Bellingham — Washington State's Oldest Brick BuildingWashington Territorial Court House — 1308 E Street —
Washington Territorial Court House 1308 E Street Bellingham Washington Washington State's oldest brick building, built in 1858 with bricks made in Philadelphia and shipped around Cape Horn. Erected as a combination store, commission . . . Map (db m53542) HM
30 Washington, Whatcom County, Diablo — A Park From the People
The first of many attempts to create a national park in the North Cascades occurred in 1906. But it was not until Senator Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson took the issue to the people "for guidance and direction" that the park became a reality. In what he . . . Map (db m129307) HM
31 Washington, Whatcom County, Diablo — Chain of Dams
The first construction work to harness the Skagit River took place in 1924 in the gorge below. A low wood and rock spillway diverted water into a tunnel dug through the mountainside to a powerhouse in Newhalem. Bigger dams followed, culminating in . . . Map (db m129279) HM
32 Washington, Whatcom County, Diablo — Gorge High Dam
A strong dam depends not just upon the concrete you see, but on the unseen structure beneath river level. During construction, engineers drilling to find bedrock encountered deep, unstable deposits of glacial silt – loose gravel and sand. . . . Map (db m129280) HM
33 Washington, Whatcom County, Diablo — The North CascadesDedicated to Senator Henry M. Jackson
The North Cascades "The North Cascades is an area I hiked and explored as a boy. Each time I return, I gain a new appreciation of its natural beauty and its power to impress the spirit. The towering peaks and glaciers and the alpine scenery of . . . Map (db m129310) HM
34 Washington, Whatcom County, Diablo — Transmission Lines
Transmission lines are a visible link between these remote mountain lakes and densely populated urban areas. Gorge was the first of the Skagit power projects to go on line. On September 17, 1924, President Calvin Coolidge pressed a gold telegraph . . . Map (db m129281) HM
35 Washington, Whatcom County, Newhalem — Electric Forest
Superintendent of Lighting J.D. Ross wanted his visitors to believe that “anything was possible with electricity” including heating the ground to accommodate tropical plants such as banana and palm trees. In the wilds of the North . . . Map (db m129278) HM
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36 Washington, Whatcom County, Newhalem — Gorge PowerhouseProducing Power Since 1924
The powerhouse in front of you sent the first electric power from the Skagit Hydroproject to Seattle in 1924. The rushing water underneath the powerhouse has just produced up to 170 megawatts of power, enough to light up almost 9,000 homes. . . . Map (db m129273) HM
37 Washington, Whatcom County, Newhalem — Lighting of the Falls
Superintendent of Lighting J.D. Ross was fascinated with artistic lighting early in his life. In 1929, the US Forest Service granted Ross permission to manage Ladder Creek Falls in order to illuminate the falls with changing colors. “ . . . Map (db m129289) HM
38 Washington, Whatcom County, Newhalem — Welcome to Ladder Creek Falls & Gardens
The gardens were the creation of James Delmage (J.D.) Ross, Seattle City Light’s second superintendent. J.D., the son of a Scottish horticulturist, combined his love of plants with his interest in electricity. Beginning in 1925, J.D. Ross created a . . . Map (db m129277) HM
39 Washington, Whatcom County, Point Roberts — Point Roberts Boundary MarkerThe Evergreen State
One mile west stands a granite obelisk, the first of a series of similar markers along the 49th parallel, defining the Canadian-American line from the Strait of Georgia to the summit of the Rocky Mountains. The official survey, begun at Point . . . Map (db m60819) HM
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Dec. 9, 2023