*About WCHS

The Whatcom County Historical Society is a registered 501(c)(3) organization. Our mission to teach and preserve the history of the county and its people through public programs and our Journal of the Whatcom County Historical Society and occasional books.

Membership is tax-deductible, except for value of gift items.

Whatcom County Historical Society
PO Box 2116
Bellingham, WA 98227


21 thoughts on “*About WCHS

  1. Hello,
    I am doing research for the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation on the current status of the Old Granary Building. I know that at the time of nomination for the Trust’s Endangered Properties list the City Council and the Mayor were supportive of renovation. If you have any follow-up information for me regarding the Granary Building any and all would be much appreciated!

    Jeana C. Wiser
    Master of Urban Planning
    College of Built Environment
    University of Washington

    • I haven’t been really following this as I worked at a Skagit Museum until recently. Dean Kahn at the Bellingham Herald might have done some articles on the Granary. Call him.

    • I did know someone on the local committee who was interested in preserving it. Have you talked to Jeff Jewell at Whatcom Museum Archives?

  2. I am new to the area from the East Coast. I have discovered that a branch of my family moved to Whatcom County in about 1889. Where is your reading room for research?

    • Hi Claudia,

      I’m a bit behind. One great resource is the downtown Bellingham Public Library’s genealogical section. Ask the reference desk where to find it. It’s easy. There are a number of books on local hsitory there as well as censuses. Another way to look is to go to the WA secretary of state’s website and look under historical records. You can put names there and often you will marriage, death and homestead info.

  3. Hello, I am coming to Bellingham Washington to give a lecture/piano recital related to the current art show at the Whatcom Museum called 1934: A New Deal for Artists. My event is Saturday October 23 at 7:30 at Western Washington University’s Concert Hall.
    My lecture is on the musical activities around the country supported by the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression. I will also be playing music by the composers of the era. I would like to include an image of the Bellingham Federal Music Project activities such as a photo, newspaper article or program. Do you know where I might seek something along these lines?

  4. Hello:

    I am researching family history and have a very specific question – whether the Excelsior Mine/Excelsior Mill near Nooksack Falls might have sponsored an industrial league baseball team.

    Any suggestions where I should look?


    • Reuben, It is doubtful that there would be any such team. Although there was some baseball activity in Whatcom County during the time period of 1903-1905 when the mine was in operation, there were no formal leagues in the county, only a semi-formal league in Bellingham. There were a number of informal teams in the county but I never ran across one from the Excelsior Mine. Wes Gannaway, “Bays to Bells” co-author

  5. I am looking for a bible that was in the Graham family for a number of generations and was last in the custody of my mother who lived in Bellingham. In the front pages of the bible is a list of people who had custody of the bible through the years. I am not trying to recover the bible, although that would be nice. Rather I am interested in the names and also possible notes in the back page(s). If you have any knowedge of the bible please contact me at erngraham@comcast.net or write to E. S. Graham; 13715 Military Rd. e.; Puyallup. Wa. 98374

  6. I am hosting the USS Chicago ship reunion in St. Louis in 2012. I heard a story that the ships anchor was used to anchor a breakwater ship in Bellingham. Can anyone shed some light on how it got there, then later hoisted and returned to Illinois? I am a Sehome ’73 alum. and served on the ship. I thought it odd the anchor made a brief apperance in my home town.

    • Contact Jeff Jewell at Whatcom Museum of History and Art for starters. There is also a Whatcom Maritime Historical Society.

    • Sorry I didn’t see this. There is a maritime historical society in Bellingham. Two actually. You might google them. Steve Mayo, a maritime aritst, knows alot of that kind of hisotry or Todd Warger who did a film on shipbuilidng at the bay. He’s at Whatcom Musuem of history and art.

    • Tuesday,14 Aug, 2012, I will participate in painting the anchor, located at the end of Navy Pier, in Chicago. This is the start of Navy week in Chicago. The plaque on the back side of this anchor, gives acknowledgement to the Port of Bellingham, WA. where the anchor was used to place a barge.

  7. Is there a person within the historical society that can speak with authority on relligion in Bellingham from the 1890s to 1920s? I am writing a history on my church and I am looking for an expert that can talk about Bellingham’s religious climate during that time period. Any suggestions?

    • One place to look is incorporation papers at the State Archives on Bill McDonald Parkway. I found such papers for my church. Archivists may also have other information in their files. I found a couple of pictures which was a surprise. There are also Sanford Maps which can give clues to structures around your church.

    • You might ask in the history department at WWU. Don’t know of any in our group. The newspapers give you a good glimpse.

  8. My family were early settlers of Bellingham. I only know that
    Williams street is named after my family and that we have a family plot at a cemetary in Ferndale. Can you tell me were to start trying to find out the history of the naming of Williams street please? Also any information on where that cemetary may be would be helpful.

    • Hi, A good person to ask is Jeff Jewell at City of Bellingham archives next to the old city hall. (Red brick building on Prospect) He may know of a source. I don’t know if it was named in any of the early histories.

  9. I am looking for early information about the Eagle House boarding house in Bellingham. All I know is that my great grandmother Nass owned or ran it sometime from about 1893-1910.
    I can’t find any information about it on the Internet.

  10. hi, I am a Mark Twain scholar and will be in WA for RMMLA this week from tues to friday night.

    I found out that Twain gave a lecture on Wed, Aug 14, 1895 “Following Equator Tour ” Lighthouse Theater New Whatcom, WA. “Morals Lecture”

    do you have an address of where this building was? so I can see the place?


  11. I have a framed Whatcom Fire Department Exemption Certificate certifying that Bernhard Anderson was on the 2nd day of June 1887 as an active Member of Pioneer Hook and Ladder Co. No. 1. Attached to Volunteer Fire Department, City of Whatcom, Washington, having served term of 7 years, he is entitled to exemption as provided by the laws of the State of Washington. Dated JAN ,9,1903 SIGNED BY e Sherwood-Chief and G. Johnson-president ,and J.B. Tracy-secretary would you please let me know the value and potential interested people . thank you john Willett PICTURE UPON REQUEST

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