Bellingham quiz: How well do you know downtown history?


You work and shop in downtown Bellingham and you eat and drink there, too.

But do you really know downtown? Find out with this history quiz about Bellingham's longtime business core.

1. In pioneer days there were four small towns on Bellingham Bay. What was the name of the town where downtown is located today?

A. Bellingham

B. Sehome

C. New Whatcom

D. Old Whatcom

2. The old City Hall building on Prospect Street used to be the sole location of Whatcom Museum. What happened at the museum in 1962?

A. Robert Frost gave his last public poetry reading there.

B. It was closed due to a massive rat infestation.

C. Fire destroyed the roof and central tower.

D. It won the title "Best Little Museum West of the Rockies."

3. What was the property under today's City Hall once used for?

A. Garbage dump

B. Burial ground

C. Chicken ranch

D. First downtown library

4. What happened in 1960 that marked a major change for downtown?

A. Interstate 5 opened through the middle of Bellingham.

B. Congress cut funding for small downtown districts.

C. WWU cancelled plans to expand downtown.

D. Downtown streets became mostly one-way.

5. What was downtown's claim to fame in 1949?

A. State's largest Ku Klux Klan parade.

B. Navy destroyer sinks in Bellingham Bay during official visit.

C. World's tallest Christmas tree.

D. Most paper pulp produced in one year.

6. The Flatiron building, the six-story triangular structure at Bay, Prospect and West Champion streets, was considered Bellingham's first skyscraper when it was built in 1908. What type of business first occupied the building?

A. Newspaper

B. Bank

C. Insurance company

D. Furniture store

7. The Flatiron was supplanted as Bellingham's tallest building when a new building was completed in 1926. What was the taller building?

A. Mount Baker Theater

B. Bellingham Hotel (now Bellingham Towers)

C. The Bellingham Herald Building

D. Donovan-Bloedel Hotel (since demolished)

8. What was the Whatcom Family YMCA building being used for when the Y bought it in the 1940s?

A. Hotel

B. Private men's club

C. Carnegie library

B. Boardinghouse

9. Everyday Music, at 115 E Magnolia St, used to be Cellophane Square. What was sold at that corner from the late 1930s through the late '50s?

A. Liquor

B. Poultry products

C. Groceries

D. Electricity

10. What used to be sold long ago at 209. E. Chestnut St., now the site of Cap Hansen's Tavern?

A. Fish and chips

B. Cars

C. Work clothes

D. Poultry products


1.B, 2.C, 3.A, 4.A, 5.C, 6.D, 7.C, 8.A, 9.C, 10.B

Reach Dean Kahn at 360-715-2291 or

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