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Whatcom County Attractions

Parent Category: Washington Counties
Created: 29 December 2015

Population:  208,351

Area:  2,503 square miles

County Seat: Bellingham

OVERVIEW

Whatcom County, located in the northern part of the State of Washington, has an international boundary with Canada. The county was created in 1854 and originally was a part of Island County

Whatcom County contains a huge amount of natural features making it very popular among the tourists. Amazing ocean side, gorgeous mountains (including the mountain peak with the greatest number of photos made of it – Mount Shuksan, and Mount Baker, which is the county’s highest point), numerous parks, lakes, campgrounds provide the residents and visitors of Whatcom County with countless recreation and entertainment options.

Whatcom County is also famous for its raspberry production, being the major grower of raspberries not only in the county, but in the whole Washington State.

The name of the county originates from Lummi dialect and means “noisy water”.

The biggest city of Whatcom County is Bellingham, which is also the county seat. 

HISTORY

Long before coming of the first Europeans to the present day territory of Whatcom County it was inhabited by Coast Salish People.

The first settlers arrived here in 1854 and the first settlement was created in the area where Whatcom Creek disembogues its water into Bellingham Bay, that is why it received the name Whatcom. 

Here Henry Roeder and Russel Peabody built the first lumber mill, starting to develop the logging industry. Later they began as well the coal mining works within the present day Sehome town area.

Salmon fishing industry started its development at the end of 19th century (it was connected with creation of special fish traps allowing to catch up to 30 tons of salmon at one time), with large fish processing plants being built in the area. At that time there used to be 8 canaries in Whatcom County. 

But after the traps were forbidden in the middle of 20th century most of the fishing companies moved to Alaska.

COUNTY SEAT

As it was mentioned above, Bellingham is the biggest city in the county, taking number thirteen position in the list of the largest Washington State cities. Its population is 80,885 people (according to 2010 Census).

The city received its name from Bellingham Bay, on which it is located. And the bay, respectively, was named by George Vancouver in 1792 to honor the Royal Navy’s bookkeeper, William Bellingham.

The city was incorporated after consolidation of four towns (Whatcom, Sehome, Bellingham and Fairhaven) in 1903.

Being located only 17 miles away to the south from the international boundary between US and Canada, Bellingham receives a huge amount of Canadian visitors, who frequently come to the city just for shopping.

With the total area of 28.90 square miles, the city is smaller than such huge metropolitan cities as Seattle or Victoria, nevertheless Bellingham has a lot of attractions to offer its residents and visitors, among which are the Whatcom Museum of History and Art, Bellingham Railway Museum, Whatcom Falls Park, Whatcom Lake, Mount Baker Ski Area and much more.

ATTRACTIONS

Whatcom Falls Park

Whatcom Falls Park is an amazing recreation place in Bellingham which is able to satisfy the demands of almost every visitor. Whatcom Creek is running through the park, connecting Lake Whatcom with Bellingham Bay. There are four beautiful waterfalls on the creek within the park territory and a fascinating stone bridge over the creek. Several miles of trails meandering around Whatcom Creek throughout the forested area of the park give the visitors a chance to better explore it. 

A large park territory of 241 acres also comprises several tennis courts and athletic fields, picnic tables and shelters, two playgrounds and a kids fishing pond (only for kids under fourteen). 

 

Picture Lake 

This small lake is surrounded by a fantastically gorgeous landscape. May be that is why it is one of the most often visited and photographed places in the whole North America. Picturesque mountain scenery leaves no one indifferent. 

The fascinating Mt. Shuksan, towering behind the lake, with its almost ideal reflection in calm, still waters of Picture Lake is the ideal sight for any photo, that is why you may see this scene at many post cards, stamps, telephone books, etc.

A short, 0,5 miles long Picture Lake Trail runs around the lake, opening the sweeping views for the visitors. 

 

Spark Museum of Electrical Invention

Located in Bellingham, this museum is a unique place offering the visitors a collection of rare exhibit items dating back to 1580’s and up to 1950’s, various interactive displays, educational and scientific courses and activities for all ages.

 

 

Information: Svetlana Baranova

 

 

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