The excellent harbour, and the fact that Bellingham is nearer to the great markets of Alaska than any other city in the states, make the port an important shipping centre.
Bellingham was formed in 1903 by the consolidation of the cities of New Whatcom (pop. in 1900, 6834) and Fairhaven (pop. in 1900, 4228), and was chartered as a city of the first class in 1904; it is named from Bellingham Bay, which Vancouver is supposed to have named, in 1792, in honour of Sir Henry Bellingham.
Both chiefs and nobles were forced to respect the king's representative, but Bellingham was not wont to flatter those in power, and his administration found little favour in England.
The first important coal-mining was near Bellingham Bay, in Whatcom county, where coal was discovered in 1852 and where 5374 tons were mined in 1860.
At Bellingham it receives the Rede, whose wild valley, Redesdale, was one of the chief localities of border warfare, and contains the site of the battle of Otterburn (1388).
Side of Bellingham Bay, 96 m.