Fairhaven Neighborhood

Fairhaven T

istorically, Fairhaven was a boom town in the late 1800s with a population as large as it is today. Fairhaven was hoping to become a big hub city in the west and the construction of many homes, hotels and a new railroad took place in preparation for this. In 1892, however, Seattle was chosen for the new hub city and Fairhaven fell into a depression.

Fairhaven consolidated with the other pioneer settlements of Sehome, Whatcom and Bellingham to form the City of Bellingham soon after 1900. Fairhaven is the smallest neighborhood in Bellingham, but it is the only neighborhood to contain all the aspects of a complete city - a retail core, heavy industry, rail, ship and truck transportation centers and separate residential areas.

Just over 100 years later, Fairhaven is experiencing another period of rapid change. Several new multi-level buildings are being constructed in the neighborhood's commercial district consisting of commercial space on the ground level and condominiums above. In addition, several area businesses have expanded and new businesses are filling previously vacant spaces. Fairhaven has retained its historic brick buildings and turn of the century charm even with the changes. It is a popular destination for many locals and visitors who enjoy the local restaurants, unique shops, art galleries and the many events and activities in the neighborhood.

In addition to the newly constructed condominiums, Fairhaven has a residential area south of Donovan Avenue characterized by modest older homes on unimproved streets. These homes are in close proximity to Fairhaven's commercial area and residents would not need to walk far to reach most area services.