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Corner of Holly
and Oak Streets, c. 1909
Library of Congress]
Whatcom County was named for an Indian Chief. The
word Whatcom is an Indian word meaning "noisy
The County was created on March 9, 1854 from
Island County, Washington Territory. San Juan
County was part of Whatcom county until 1873.
Skagit County was part of Whatcom County until
The County seat is Bellingham
Population: 166,814 (as of 2000)
Total Area: 2504 sq. miles (2120 sq. miles of land
and 384 sq. miles of water)
Highest Point: Mount Baker, 10,778 feet
Largest Body of Inland Water: Lake Whatcom
Rivers: Nooksack River
Acme, Blaine, Bellingham, Custer, Deming, Everson,
Ferndale, Glacier, Kendall, Laurel,
Lynden, Maple Falls, Newhalem, Nooksack, Point
Roberts, Sumas, Van Zandt, and Wickersham
Whatcom County has five entry points to Canada;
Peace Arch Crossing, Interstate 5 Crossings (both
in Blaine), Lynden, Sumas, and Point Roberts
Point Roberts is an extension of the Tsawwassen
Peninsula, which is bisected by the international
boundary along the 49th Parallel. It is separated
from the United States by 25 miles of British
Columbia. There are two ways to get to Point
Roberts: by entering Canada, traveling to
Tsawwassen, British Columbia, and reentering the US,
Whatcom County is the #1 producer of raspberries in
the state. Given that the state itself is the #1
producer of raspberries in the country, Whatcom
County is responsible for almost 75% of the nation's
Whatcom County is home of the Peace Arch, which
celebrates the undefended character of the border
between the US and Canada. 3,000 miles without
fortification or troops. The Arch stands among 40
acres of formal gardens and has bronze doors, fixed
permanently open. Sealed inside are fragments from
ships "Mayflower" and "Beaver" (Hudson Bay Company's
first steamboat on the Washington coast).
In 1935, Clark Gable and Loretta Young filmed scenes
for "Call of the Wild" at Heather Meadows.
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