Bellingham Washington

A Cold and Stormy Night - October, 1888

A Cold and Stormy Night - October, 1888

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.”

Feed & Seed and a Belling-History Mystery Man

Feed & Seed and a Belling-History Mystery Man

his post was inspired by a news blurb about a new building on Railroad Avenue to be occupied by Curt Pless’ Feed and Seed business in 1908, and Pless’ mysterious disappearance soon after. #Onthisday in #Bellinghistory October 3, 1908 the Herald reported on the “New Headquarters for the Pless Hay & Grain Company,” on the corner of Railroad and Magnolia, better known in recent years as the home of Avalon Records and Clark’s Feed and Seed, recently gutted by fire.  “One of the most up-to-date buildings of the year erected for housing a feed and grain business is the above warehouse, built at the corner of Railroad Avenue and Magnolia Street and leased for a long period by Curt Pless & Co.”  

Cleopatra's Barge and Circus Parade, Fairhaven Washington 1891

Cleopatra's Barge and Circus Parade, Fairhaven Washington 1891

One of our favorite “historic markers” along Harris Avenue in Fairhaven is the one that reads “Cleopatra’s Barge, Lions and Camels Paraded Here 1891”   near the west end of the Padden Creek Lagoon…

"The Horseshoe Bar" and Barnum and Baileys Circus Bellingham 1908

"The Horseshoe Bar" and Barnum and Baileys Circus Bellingham 1908

While doing some research for the Horseshoe Café, I recently found myself sidetracked into the world of the Barnum and Bailey circus on their visit to Bellingham in 1908.  As a fan-girl of old-timey performers of the vaudeville and circus scenes, it was fairly easy to do….  Since today is the anniversary of the arrival of the Barnum and Bailey Circus in Bellingham #onthisday in 1908, I thought I’d share…

Pilot Pride Tours!

We Good TIme Girls have PRIDE in History!

We have been working on amassing as much local LGBTQ related Belling-history as possible over the years. This is an ongoing project to which we are dedicated! We are excited to share what we know thus far with y’all in a free PILOT tour this weekend during Bellingham PRIDE. If one fills up, we will add more as we are able! The tours are free but we appreciate pre-registration if possible:

Three FREE Summer Tours!

Three FREE Summer Tours!

We’re excited to announce this opportunity to get outside and get some FREE Belling-history this summer with three guided historical tours in partnership with the Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department.

Good Time Girl guides will lead three different historical walking tours based around Maritime Heritage Park and Whatcom Creek!

Jail Tales: Female Trouble

Jail Tales: Female Trouble

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.

Case Study: Lorena Upper the Female Barber

Case Study: Lorena Upper the Female Barber

From these articles, it appears that Lorena was harassed while she was with customers, peeped-on through a spy hole, beaten by her accuser, and the case against her relied entirely on eyewitness testimony that itself relied heavily on euphemism and innuendo. The city brought forth witnesses who were almost entirely local business men and whose testimony is dripping with hearsay.