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Fairhaven, Washington facts for kids

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Fairhaven Historic District
B'ham Fairhaven 03.jpg
Location Roughly bounded by 10th and 13th Sts., Columbia and Larrabee Aves.
Nearest city Bellingham, Washington
NRHP reference No. 77001363
Added to NRHP August 19, 1977

Fairhaven, Washington (or the Fairhaven Village) was founded in the late 1880s, but about two decades later it became part of the City of Bellingham, Washington, United States.


The Fairhaven area is situated on the south side of Bellingham, and borders Bellingham Bay on the west and Western Washington University on the northeast.

Since 1989 Fairhaven has been the southernmost terminus of the Alaska Marine Highway System, Alaska's state run ferry system. The Bellingham Cruise Terminal is also the departure point for summer passenger ferry service to the San Juan Islands and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada operated by Victoria/San Juan Cruises. Nearby is Fairhaven Station, a small transportation hub which serves as Bellingham's Amtrak Cascades station stop as well as the Greyhound bus depot. Connections can be made to local taxis or local transit. Whatcom Transportation Authority recently upgraded Fairhaven's bus service to every 15 minutes as part of its Red Line. Fairhaven also plays outdoor movies every weekend during the summer at the Pickford Outdoor Cinema in Fairhaven's historical district.

Historical district

In the center of the Fairhaven area is the Fairhaven Historical District, which features a seasonal farmer's market as well as numerous restaurants and shops. The district is a popular tourist destination. All newly constructed buildings are required to conform in outward appearance to the community's traditional 19th-century style as defined by Bellingham Municipal Code, Design Review District, section 20.26.


Fairhaven, like many other coastal Washington cities, competed with other Washington cities for the position of terminal city of the Great Northern Railroad, but that title ultimately fell on Seattle. During this period of competitiveness, which lasted from the late 1870s through mid-1880s, Fairhaven adopted its iconic 19th century style and took on an aesthetic appeal to architecture and design. Even after it was decided that Seattle would house the Great Northern Railroad terminal, population and aesthetically-minded construction continued to boom until the late 1890s. Fairhaven was officially incorporated on May 13, 1890. On October 27, 1903, citizens of Fairhaven and citizens of two neighboring cities on Bellingham Bay, Whatcom City and Sehome, voted to consolidate into one city named Bellingham. On December 28, 1903 the new city of Bellingham was officially established.

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