HISTORIC FAIRHAVEN



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The Morgan Block

Built in 1890
Harris & 10th - SE corner; A on the map.

Built in 1890, the Morgan House Hotel sat atop a saloon which covered the entire ground floor.  By 1906, the eastern portion of the saloon had been converted into a restaurant. After a city vote in 1910 to go dry, The Morgan House Saloon, along with thirteen Sampling Rooms of Fairhaven, were forced to shut down -- an era had ended. The Morgan Block corner was chosen to be…

Bellingham Bay Hotel

Built in 1901
909-911 Harris Avenue; B on the map.

When the Bellingham Bay Hotel and neighboring Jenkins Boys Building were constructed in 1901 and 1903 respectively, they replaced several wooden buildings that housed various businesses from bath parlor to wall paper store to -- of course -- another saloon for Fairhaven, The Oak Leaf Saloon. After Pacific American Fisheries located at the foot of Harris Avenue (1898), it became apparent that more sleeping accommodations were needed. By 1907,…

Schering Building

Built in 1903
10th & Harris - NW corner; C on the map.

The Schering Building originally hosted a restaurant and saloon. The second floor housed a doctor and Justice of the Peace, a dance hall and meeting room. In 1905 the restaurant was replaced by the Jenkins-Boys Hardware Company. Years later, the bandstand was torn out for the manufacture of fiberglass boats. By the late 1960s this floor had become a commune and is, at the present time, office space. The…

Terminal Building

Built in 1888
11th & Harris - NE corner; D on the map.

The Terminal Building is the oldest surviving commercial structure in Fairhaven. Erected in the later months of 1888, the building contained D. Butler's  Sideboard  Saloon. Butler's impressive home still stands proudly on a hill above Fairhaven. A billiards parlor and two real estate offices also did business in this building. Later those businesses had been replaced by a barber shop, cigar store and Kreftings Drugs. The Terminal Building later…

Day Building

Built in 1890
1211 11th Street; E on the map.

Judge Edwin E. Day served on the bench in Fairhaven to enforce the town's own kind of justice for several eventful years. A high energy man, Judge Day blew into Fairhaven in 1890. Already used to the skulduggery of boom towns, he had been defense counsel in a famous trial concerning the theft of a shipment of Deadwood, South Dakota gold bullion worth millions of dollars in today's prices.…

Monahan Building

Built in 1890
1209 11th Street; F on the map.

T.E. Monahan had his first saloon, The Board of Trade, on the original wagon trail that connected Fairhaven with towns along the bay. As Fairhaven prospered, Monahan decided to relocate to 11th Street. He put up this building and opened for business on February 1, 1891. He featured the finest wines and liquors and cigars, and named his saloon The New Board of Trade. Respectable people, it was said,…

Knights of Pythias Building

Built in 1891
1204 - 1210 11th Street; G on the map.

Constructed shortly before the Depression of 1893, the Pythias Building served as a meeting hall for several of the Secret Societies of Fairhaven such as the United Workmen, Elks, American Yeomen, Rathbone Sisters, and the Woodsmen of of America. 1n 1893 Mcintosh Hardware relocated in the building. In 1898,  the upper floors were occupied by the Immanuel School of Industries teaching young children the basics of industry. Norman's Clothing…

Fairhaven Carnegie Library

Built in 1904
1117 12th Street; H on the map.

Local residents opened a reading room in the Fairhaven Bank in 1890, moving to the Mason Block (now Sycamore Square) in 1891. Industrialist Andrew Carnegie fulfilled a significant funding request of creating a place "for men to spend their evenings besides in the saloons."  It has served continuously as a library ever since, one of the few Carnegie Libraries left.  In recent years, a plan was put forward to…

Sycamore Square (Mason Block)

Built in 1890
12th & Harris; J on the map.

The Mason Block was the focal point of much of the business in Fairhaven for over 120 years. The first tenants included Fagan's Dry Goods, Great Northern Express Company, and five of the forty real estate companies doing business in Fairhaven during those booming days. Fairhaven Pharmacy, still in business across the street, was well located on the ground floor for the doctors and dentists upstairs. The Cascade Gentlemen's…

Waldron Building

Built in 1891
12th & McKenzie; K on the map

Although the Waldron Building has approximately half an acre of floor space, only the first two floors were used. The Bank of Fairhaven at the main corner entrance, however, was so imposing that a local newspaper reporter gushed over the French plate windows, mahogany interior and burglar proof vault. The owner, Charles Waldron, arrived in Fairhaven already a rich banker. He purchased more property than any other individual in…

The Grad Building

Built in 1890
1410 11th Street; L on the map.

From Germany to Wisconsin and finally Fairhaven, Michael Grad found a town that "he liked the looks of" and determined to stay in 1889. "I'm going to have built the best saloon and bar around here."  With $6000, he purchased the property and began construction of a Chuckanut sandstone foundation at 1410 11th, steps away from Fairhaven's busy Red Light District. He was a family man, though, and soon…

Nelson Block

Built in 1900
11th & Harris - SE corner; M on the map.

Built during the second boom era of Fairhaven, the Nelson Block, trimmed with Chuckanut sandstone, served as a bank for over 30 years until the second Depression forced it out of business. Other businesses in this building have included a grocery store, saloon, candy shop, bookstore, and restaurants in the basement. The upper floor was converted into apartments as the original offices were vacated. As one of the most…

Chinese Foreman

1908
500 block of Harris Ave; #6 on the map.

A Chinese foreman traded his daughter for a son. The foreman was one of hundreds of Chinese and Japanese workers contracted to work at Pacific American Fisheries (PAF), the largest salmon cannery in the world.

Chinese Bunkhouse on Harris

1913
500 block of Harris Ave; #7 on the map

During the boom days of the early 1890s some twenty hotels were built in Fairhaven to accommodate the hundreds of new citizens who arrived each week by sternwheelers. During the Great Depression of the mid 1890s the hotels were empty or nearly vacant. In 1897, 60 Chinese arrived to work in Fairhaven's newly established salmon canneries. The salmon trade grew and two years later required the importation of 600…

Chinese Mafia

1909
501 Harris Ave.; #8 on the map.

During the time of Fairhaven's Chinatown, there were numerous battles between the Tongs of Fairhaven (Kon Tong), Portland, Seattle and SanFrancisco. A murder north of Fairhaven was to be avenged by sending San Francisco's dreaded Sam Lew back here -- he had traveled to Fairhaven several times before, said to be "secret missions." Lew took up residence in the red light district a few blocks from here to wait…

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