Bellingham - Encyclopedia

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BELLINGHAM, a city of Whatcom county, Washington, U.S.A., on the E. side of Bellingham Bay, 96 m. N. of Seattle. Pop. (1900) 11,062; (1905, state est.) 26,000; (1907, local est.) 35,000. Area about 23 sq. m. It is served by the Great Northern, the Northern Pacific, the Canadian Pacific, and the Bellingham Bay & British Columbia railways - being a terminus of the last named, which operates only 62 m. of line and connects with the Mt. Baker goldfields and the Nooksack valley farm and orchard region. A suburban electric line was projected in 1907. About 22 m. south-east of the city is the main body of Lake Whatcom, 13 m. long, 14 m. wide, and 318 ft. higher than the city and the source of its water-supply, a gravity system which cost $1,000,00o, being owned by the city. Bellingham has two Carnegie libraries. Among the principal buildings are the county court-house, the city hall, the Young Men's Christian Association building, and Beck's theatre, with a seating capacity of 2200. The largest of the state's normal colleges is situated here; in 1907 it had a faculty of 25 and 35 o students; there are two high schools, two business colleges, and one industrial school also in the city. The excellent harbour, and the fact that Bellingham is nearer to the great markets of Alaska than any other city in the states, make the port an important shipping centre. In the value of manufactured product the city was fourth in the state in 1905 (being passed only by Tacoma, Seattle and Spokane), with a value of $3,293,988; according to a census taken by the local chamber of commerce the value of the product in 1906 was $7,751,464. The principal industrial establishments are shingle (especially cedar) and saw-mills, salmon canneries and factories for the manufacture of tin cans, and machinery used in the canning of salmon. Motive and electric lighting power is brought 52 m. from the falls of the north fork of the Nooksack river, where there is a power plant which furnishes 3500 horsepower. There are deposits of clay and limestone in the surrounding country, and cement is manufactured in the vicinity of the city. The blue-grey Chuckanut sandstone is quarried on the shore of Chuckanut Bay, south of Bellingham; and a coarse, dark-brown sandstone is quarried on Sucia Island, west of the city. There are quarries also on Waldron Island. Bellingham was formed in 1903 by the consolidation of the cities of New Whatcom (pop. in 1900, 6834) and Fairhaven (pop. in 1900, 4228), and was chartered as a city of the first class in 1904; it is named from Bellingham Bay, which Vancouver is supposed to have named, in 1792, in honour of Sir Henry Bellingham.

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