Secret treasure: Old no. 7 lingers at Bloedel Donovan Park

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJune 3, 2013 

Fifty-three years after it was dedicated, the steam engine at Bloedel Donovan Park gathers rust and moss.

Fifty-three years after it was dedicated, the steam engine at Bloedel Donovan Park gathers rust and moss.

ANDY BRONSON — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

A steam switching engine that was dedicated at Bloedel Donovan Park with much hoopla in 1960 now quietly gathers rust and moss at its resting spot on the park’s south side.

Old No. 7, a 1918 train engine, was presented to the city of Bellingham by Permanente Cement Co. on Aug. 27, 1960, during the company’s family picnic.

The engine was originally used by the U.S. Navy at Norfolk, Va., and at Bremerton before Permanente bought it in 1950.

The industrial use of Old No. 7 parallels the park’s origins. In 1946, businessman Julius H. Bloedel and his wife, Mina, dedicated 12 acres that once were part of the old Larson Lumber Mill site to the city for a park and bathing beach. Bloedel Donovan Park, itself, was dedicated two years later.

Today, Old No. 7 endures the elements, surrounded closely by a chain-link fence.

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