Whatcom County


Washington State's Chinese Heritage: A Legacy of Places
Chinese House was located in the photo foreground

Bellingham Bay Coal Company. Whatcom County.
Bellingham Bay Coal Company worked the coal seams of the cliffs on Bellingham Bay in the community of Sehome. Shemoe is now part of the City of Bellingham. By 1873, forty of the one hundred workers were Chinese. They cleaned the coal and coal chutes. Reference: Sehome Neighborhood Survey.

Blaine Cemetery. Whatcom County.
Blaine Cemetery is at 4175 H Street Road in the town of Blaine. Chinese burials in the cemetery date to1896. The most recent was in 1916. Blaine was an important center for Chinese who worked in the canneries where they usually were the majority of workers. See China House, Whatcom County; Eagle Cliff Cannery, Whatcom County. Reference: Chinn: “Research: Blaine Cemetery.”

Chinese House. Whatcom County.
Chinese House was at 100 Harris Avenue in the community of Fairhaven. Fairhaven itself is now part of the City of Bellingham. China House was the dormitory for the Chinese and Japanese cannery workers at the Pacific American Fisheries. The structure was divided in half: Chinese on one side, Japanese on the other. There was a kitchen, mess hall, and store on the ground floor with bunks on the second and third floors. The entire property was sold to the City of Bellingham in 1966. See Marine Park, Whatcom County. References: “The Bright Side of Cannery Labor (Bellingham).” Jewell 2018. Photo.

Marine Park. Whatcom County.
Marine Park is located at 100 Harris Avenue, City of Bellingham. The land, including the site of China House, was purchased from Pacific American Fisheries in 1966. The city created its first waterfront park on the site in 1971. See China House, Whatcom County. Reference: Hogan 2018.

Semiahmoo Cannery. Whatcom County.
Semiahmoo Cannery was located at the end of Semiahmoo Spit, present-day City of Blaine. Chinese workers lived in segregated quarters at the Alaska Packers Association facility. Reference: Dougherty 2009.