The first piece of legislation enacted in 1893 was an ordinance to prohibit cows from walking the city streets at night. The building became Bellingham City Hall after Fairhaven merged with the newly renamed city in 1903. The city government continued to work out of this building until a new city hall was built on Lottie Street in 1939. The Victorian building was then converted to the Whatcom Museum of local history and art.|
A fire in 1962 ruined the roof, the bell tower and one of the cupolas. The Whatcom Museum Society raised the funds needed to completely restore the building & the restoration was completed in 1968. The Whatcom Museum continues to be the community's pride & is among the finest small museums in the United States. It was was placed on the National Historic List in 1972.