Anderson-Baum Cabin

Status: Lost

Year Listed: 2004

Location: Whatcom County

Charlie Anderson, prospector, woodsman, and shingle mill worker, built his one-room, hand-hewn cabin adjacent to the North Fork of the Nooksack River in the 1920s during the Mt. Baker Gold Rush years. After Charlie died, his long-time friend Jerry Bourn took up residence in the cabin until his death in 1980. Both men represent typical early pioneers and miners in the North Cascades from the 1890s to 1930s, during which time 5,000 mining claims were filed within the North Fork Nooksack Mining District. Charlie’s cabin is one of the few tangible remnants within the mining district, which once consisted of a flume system, tent cities, small town sites, roads, and trails linking it with civilization in the town of Glacier. The style of the Anderson-Bourn Cabin was once prevalent throughout the North Cascades, but it is now the only hewn log structure standing today in fair condition in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

National Guard of Washington Armory

Status: In the works!

Year Listed: 2006

Location: Bellingham, Whatcom County

Built in 1910, the heavy masonry walls, crenellated parapet and rounded towers distinguish the Washington National Guard Armory as a site for military training. Both the National Guard and the Army Reserve used the facility full-time until 1953, when reduced training schedules allowed the National Guard to convert the main floor into a public roller-skating rink. In 1972 the National Guard sold the Armory to Western Washington University which used the upper and lower floors for storage and continued leasing the main drill hall as a roller rink. This lease ended in 1989 after water damage to the oak flooring became a cost issue for the university.

The 2006 addition of the Armory to the Washington Trust’s Most Endangered list was instrumental in raising awareness and interest amongst the university’s Board of Trustees, who were resolved to see the Armory preserved. In 2009, in part through advocacy and assistance provided by the Washington Trust, Director of Facilities Management Tim Wynn, a long-time advocate for the building, was successful in obtaining funding for stabilization, roof repair, and completion of hazardous material abatement.

In June 2018, the building and the adjacent site were purchased by Curt O’Connor and Pete Dawson who are anxious to put this historic community asset back to use. They are currently working on adaptive reuse ideas for the structure and ideas for new construction on the adjacent site.

For more information about the building’s history, see “A History of the Bellingham National Guard Armory.”

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Granary Building

Status: Saved!

Year Listed: 2008

Location: Bellingham, Whatcom County

The Granary Building stands as a key part of Whatcom County’s early chicken and egg cooperative movement.  In the fall of 1915, a group of farmers formed an association that ultimately led to the organization of the Washington Cooperative Egg and Poultry Association.  By 1920, Whatcom County’s chicken population exceeded every other county in the West except one in California.  Today, the Granary Building creates a distinct silhouette in downtown Bellingham’s skyline and is architecturally notable as an agricultural building form co-existing within an urban/industrial working waterfront setting.

Through the 1930s and 1940s, the Bellingham waterfront saw major commercial activity and in 1963 one of the world’s largest paper companies, Georgia-Pacific, took over the pulp and tissue mills on the Whatcom Waterway. In its heyday, Georgia-Pacific’s Bellingham operation included the state’s largest ethanol distillery, a research lab and a chlorine plant. At one time, 1,200 local people were employed by Georgia-Pacific, but the industry slowly went into decline, finally closing its doors in the 2000s.

After the closure of the pulp mill, the Port of Bellingham purchased the site and began an extensive environmental cleanup. The City committed to long-term investment and agreed to build new streets and services to the site, dedicating land for public parks, waterfront trails and ecological restoration. The Port and City have partnered to develop a Heritage Trail Concept which includes recommendations on how to showcase historic icons remaining from Georgia-Pacific’s pulp and tissue mill. In 2013, the Port entered into an agreement with Harcourt Bellingham LLC. to develop the Downtown Waterfront area and as of 2019, completed projects include the restoration of the historic Granary Building and Waypoint Park.

The Granary is now a six-storey over basement retail & office building, renovated and modernized after having been abandoned for years. Conversion of the historic grain elevator, which began in 2015, was the first building to be renovated by Harcourt Developments.

Blaine Depot

Status: Still Standing

Year Listed: 2012

Location: Whatcom County

The first train pulled up to the Blaine Depot in 1909, providing a secondary means of accessing a city primarily served by maritime vessels until that time. The depot played an important role in exporting the region’s resources and aiding in its economic growth. Vacant for the past 6 years, the Blaine Depot has been determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Responding to community concern, BNSF recently shelved demolition plans, allowing time to assess alternative scenarios. One idea gaining steam is to return passenger rail service to the City of Blaine. The plan is acquiring supporters, including the Cascadia Center for Regional Development and the City of Surrey, British Columbia. Failing the return of passenger service, a second plan under consideration would relocate the depot to serve as an anchor attraction at a nearby waterfront park.

Digester Building

Status: Lost

Year Listed: 2013

Location: Whatcom County

The Digester Building is one of only four brick structures remaining at the former Georgia-Pacific pulp mill along Bellingham’s waterfront. Georgia-Pacific ceased all mill operations last decade, leaving the Digester Building as the most recognizable of the remaining historic industrial structures paying tribute to the original Puget Sound Pulp & Timber Company. The Port of Bellingham recently acquired the former mill site, and a 2008 Port-commissioned study resulted in a determination that ten of the historic mill buildings on site were eligible as a National Register historic district. Yet, the same study concluded most of the structures were incompatible with the new vision and questioned the economic feasibility of integrating the former mill buildings within the proposed mixed use waterfront redevelopment.