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Symbols of Our Heritage
American NORTHWEST HERITAGE
By James R. Williamson
The rediscovery of the Pacific Northwest�s Maritime Heritage.
Symbols of Our Heritage features important natural and manmade aspects of our life. Sources of inspiration include:
Bellingham Bay The Lummi Indians called the bay Whulum - Anatchtle - Whong - Ah - Chich and claimed ownership. Captain Francisco Eliza, Spanish explorer, was the first recorded European visitor in 1791. His name for the bay was Seno-de-Gaston. Captain George Vancouver arrived with the ships Discovery and Chatham in 1792. He named it Bellingham Bay in honor of Sir William Bellingham, controller of the British Navy storekeeper�s accounts, who personally checked Vancouver�s supplies before he sailed from England
Whatcom County Forests visible wealth for all to see and use and a reminder of the continuing role of the forest and its many products in our life today.
Whatcom County Museum of History and Art Built in 1892 as Bellingham City Hall. The symbol of the pride, energy and vitality of our forefathers.
Lady Washington Washington States symbol of our heritage and triumph of discovery. The first American vessel, along with Columbia, to reach the Pacific Northwest Coast. The brig �Lady Washington� was a ranging tender and consort to the �Columbia Rediviva�, the first American ship to circumnavigate the globe.
Native Northwest Bear Crest. A symbol of the original inhabitants of the Pacific Northwest Coast.
Lady Washington first began her life as a sloop, a small vessel with one mast. She was converted to a brigantine, two masts, in 1790-1791, while in Macao, China, under the command of Captain Kendrick.
Lady Washington, along with Columbia sailed from Boston in 1787, around Cape Horn to the Northwest Coast of North America, reaching Nootka Sound in 1788. She sailed onward to China and Japan via the Sandwich Islands and returned to the Pacific Northwest a number of times along this Pacific route. Columbia sailed to Boston and was the first American vessel to circumnavigate the globe.
The objective of the brave ships and crews, under the command of Captain Robert Gray and Captain Kendrick was to engage in sea otter fur trade, gather furs from the Indians on the Northwest Coast and sell them in Canton, China.
A replica of Lady Washington was built by Gray�s Harbor Historical Seaport in Aberdeen, Washington in 1989. The ship sails to ports throughout the Pacific Northwest and along the Pacific Coast. You can visit the ship and rediscover the days of 200 years past when the intrepid Yankee traders Robert Gray, John Kendrick and crews first came to the Northwest. Feel the tang of salt spray, hear the cry of gulls as the stout brigantine, a bone in her teeth, once again sails the waters of the Northwest. Scamper up the ratlines to the masthead on a tossing deck. Eyes wide, set and furl sail as the skipper take sights. Bowl gracefully along, sails pulling as you find your way across the trackless ocean.
Bellingham City Hall formerly New Whatcom City Hall 1892-93, restored 1965-98. One of the state�s finest late nineteenth century institutional structures built in an austere Second Empire Style with overtones of Romanesque Revival. The massive brick structure which builds up from four corner towers to a high central cupola is still our city�s major landmark and symbol of authority despite its use since 1940 as the Museum of History and Art. When the structure was damaged in a 1962 fire that destroyed the roof and central tower, a masterful campaign by the Whatcom Museum Society raised funds to restore the building and refurbish the interior. Now a major, multipurpose cultural center, the museum has received national recognition for its community-sponsored restoration.
The Daily Reveille, January 16,1892 described the new structure a beacon to all vessels coming into our harbor, and a sure index to all comers, tourists, and travelers, of our taste, thrift, enterprise and intelligence.
Artwork Copyright � 1995 James R. Williamson All rights reserved.
January 1st, 2012
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