Whatcom County (pop. 201,140) is north of Skagit County and south of British Columbia. Its name was derived from a Native American word meaning “noisy water.”
Whatcom County produces about 75 percent of the nation’s commercial raspberries.
Mount Baker (elev. 10,781 feet) is in the eastern part of the county. The Mt. Baker Ski Area had 95 feet of snow in the 1998-99 season.
The county seat of Whatcom County is the city of Bellingham (pop. 80,885), the only city in the lower 48 states that experiences twilight all night during part of the summer.
Western Washington University in Bellingham was founded in 1893 as the New Whatcom Normal School. It has about 15,000 students.
The Mount Baker Theatre (1927) now has a variety of concerts and theatrical performances.
The Whatcom Museum of History and Art is in the former city hall, dating from when Bellingham was called New Whatcom.
Rocket Donuts in downtown Bellingham has a science-fiction theme and a rocket in the parking lot.
The city of Blaine (pop. 4,831) is on the border with British Columbia. Interstate 5 runs 1,381 miles from Blaine to the Mexican border near San Diego.
The Peace Arch, on the U.S.-Canada border between Blaine and Surrey, B.C., was dedicated in 1921.
A few miles west of Blaine (by water) is Point Roberts (pop. 1,314), located at the southern tip of the Tsawwassen Peninsula. To reach Point Roberts by land, one must go 26 miles through Canada.
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