|Explore North America United States Washington|
This photo journal, part 1 or a 2 part Bellingham set, features historic buildings in Bellingham. The city has several (8+) national historic districts whcih can be located on this map: http://www.cob.org/services/neighborhoods/historic/tour/images/bellingham-historic-sites-map-large.jpg
Great historical building site including photos: http://myweb.facstaff.wwu.edu/talbot/BhmCityCenterPixHTM/HistResList.htm
Some hisotry: The history of Bellingham in the NW corner of Washington State, involves the settling of Whatcom County in the mid-to-late 19th century. The name of Bellingham is derived from the bay on which the city is situated. George Vancouver, who visited the area in June 1792, named the bay for Sir William Bellingham, the controller of the storekeeper's account of the Royal Navy.
Bellingham was officially incorporated on November 4, 1903. It was the result of the consolidation of four towns initially situated around Bellingham Bay: Whatcom, Sehome, Bellingham, and Fairhaven.
The original settlement was named Whatcom after Whatcom Creek which empties into the bay. A stockade, "Fort Bellingham", was built on Peabody Hill, and commanded by Captain George E. Pickett, later to become famous as a Confederate General in the American Civil War. Pickett's house remains to this day as the oldest house in the city.
In 1858, the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush caused thousands of miners, storekeepers, and scalawags to head north from California. Whatcom grew overnight from a small northwest mill town to a bustling seaport, the basetown for the Whatcom Trail, which led to the Fraser Canyon goldfields, used in open defiance of colonial Governor James Douglas's edict that all entry to the gold colony be made via Victoria, British Columbia. The boom soon went bust with the miners being forced to stop at Victoria, B.C. for a permit before heading to the mining fields. Whatcom's population dropped almost as quickly as it had grown, and the sleepy little town on the bay returned.
Industry: Coal mining was commonplace near town from the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries. The last mine closed in 1955. Lumbering is still an important industry. Fishing has also played an important part in the development of the region. By 1925, eight salmon canneries were doing business in Whatcom County - two on Bellingham Bay. (Bellingham had the worlds largest fish cannery at one time.) However, Increased efficiency in the canneries, combined with the the banning of fish traps in 1930, forced the canneries to move their fish-catching operations to Alaska, where salmon were still abundant and traps were still legal.
More history info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Bellingham,_Washington
article published 6/20/2012