Ella Rhoads Higginson’s recollection of her arrival on the shores of Bellingham Bay on a dark night in October of 1888 and the “horrors” she encountered, is the perfect seasonal read for BellingHistory nerds. The story was written some 20 years after the fact and originally published in the American Reveille June 14, 1908. It was later reprinted in Edith Beebe Carhart’s 1926 compilation “A History of Bellingham, Washington” and in Lela Jackson Edson’s 1951 “The Fourth Corner.”
Given that much of the subject matter on our tours involves lawbreaking folks, we have always been particularly interested in the jail, and in particular the experiences of women in the legal system. On our Downtown Sin and Gin Tours, we discuss the creation of the women’s ward in the jail, and the hiring of female wardens. In case you can’t get enough jail fun facts, here’s a sampler of some jail history from our notes.
Pickford's stage debut coincides with a cultural shift in post-Victorian America. The idea of female purity in the Victorian Era (1830s-1900s) was inextricably connected with domesticity and the home; women who lived a public or nomadic life were by their very nature suspect. But after Queen Victoria's death in 1901 a gradual relaxation of rules about where women should be seen and heard took place.