Bellingham’s excitement wasn’t always quite so subdued.
Saloon owners and sex workers built much of the city core in the places we now call Downtown and Fairhaven. It’s a crazy story, and you can hear it on a guided walking tour courtesy of the Bureau of Historical Investigation.
A literal red light district, with red curtains and streetlamps required by law, filled much of downtown until prostitution was outlawed in the early 1900’s and Bellingham. Still many of the remnants of this bawdy past are still visible. Fairhaven, though quaint and quiet today, had some rough edges in its early days too. One section with a particularly poor reputation was called Devil’s Row.
Both tours run regularly throughout July and August (Fairhaven on Friday evenings, Downtown on Saturday evenings) and tickets are available with or without drinks. Private tours available also.
Set aside an evening this summer to learn more about Bellingham’s history.