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Bellingham, Whatcom, Washington, USA


Notes: Bellingham, Washington is the county seat of Whatcom County in the U.S. state of Washington. It is situated on Bellingham Bay, which is protected by Lummi Island, Portage Island, and the Lummi Peninsula, and opens onto the Strait of Georgia. It lies west of Mount Baker and Lake Whatcom (from which it gets its drinking water) and north of the Chuckanut Mountains and Skagit Valley. Whatcom Creek runs through the center of the city.
Census Bureau estimate placed Bellingham's 2003 population at 71,289, and a recent calculation pushes it to 74,770. Bellingham has recently experienced an increase in real estate prices. As of Fall 2006, real estate prices seem to be leveling out.
The boundaries of the city encompass the former towns of Fairhaven (now home to the southern ferry terminus of the Alaska Marine Highway System), New Whatcom, and others. Bellingham is home to Whatcom Community College; Bellingham Technical College; and Western Washington University, which includes, among others, Fairhaven College, Huxley College, and the Woodring College of Education.
The Bellingham International Airport offers regularly scheduled commuter flights to and from Seattle and Friday Harbor, WA, and regularly scheduled jet service to Salt Lake City, Utah; Las Vegas, Nevada; Reno, NV and Columbus, OH, and seasonal service to Palm Springs, CA. The airport is home of the first Air and Marine Operations Center, to assist the US Department of Homeland Security with border surveillance.
Amtrak Cascades provides Bellingham with regularly scheduled passenger rail service to Seattle and Vancouver, BC.
The name of Bellingham is derived from the bay which the city is situated on. 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.
The first white settlers reached the area in 1854. Local history and legend credit one "Blanket" Bill Jarman as the first white man to reside in the area. The original settlement was named Whatcom, located where Whatcom Creek empties into the bay. 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 first brick building in Washington was built at this time, the T.G. Richards brick warehouse. The first newspaper in Whatcom County, the Northern Light, was published by William Bausman during the boom. Just as soon as it started, the boom 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.
Coal mining was commonplace near town, with the Blue Canyon mine at Lake Whatcom being the site of Washington's worst industrial accident, which occurred April 8, 1895. In time, the mines were closed down and sealed off.
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. A fictionalized account of the history of Bellingham in this era is "The Living" by Annie Dillard.
In the early 1890s, three railroad lines arrived, connecting the bay cities to a nationwide market of builders. The foothills around Bellingham were clearcut after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake to help provide the lumber for the rebuilding of San Francisco. In time, lumber and shingle mills sprang up all over the county to accommodate the byproduct of their work.
The Bellingham Riots occurred on September 5, 1907. A group of 400-500 white men with intentions to exclude East Indian immigrants from the local work force mobbed waterfront barracks.
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, the rest at Lummi Island, Semiahmoo and Chuckanut Bay. Together, they packed nearly a half-million cases of salmon one year.
Increased efficiency in the canneries, combined with the cold efficiency of the fish traps, decimated the area's salmon runs. Traps were banned in the 1930s, prompting canneries to move their fish-catching operations to Alaska, where salmon were still abundant and traps were still legal.
Bellingham's proximity to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and to the Inside Passage to Alaska helped keep some cannery operations here. P.A.F., for example, shipped empty cans to Alaska, where they were packed with fish and shipped back for storage.


City/Town : Latitude: 48.750178, Longitude: -122.474975


Matches 1 to 1 of 1

   Last Name, Given Name(s)    Birth    Person ID 
1 Visser, Lambert  20 Sep 1923Bellingham, Whatcom, Washington, USA I653804


Matches 1 to 4 of 4

   Last Name, Given Name(s)    Died    Person ID 
1 Andriessen, Clara  16 Jan 1976Bellingham, Whatcom, Washington, USA I19575
2 Bierlink, Freda  06 Feb 1971Bellingham, Whatcom, Washington, USA I653835
3 Dinger, Frank  Apr 1991Bellingham, Whatcom, Washington, USA I396515
4 Parenteau, Mary Agnes  Abt 1998Bellingham, Whatcom, Washington, USA I447388



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