Quiz: Test your knowledge of famous Whatcom County houses


You’ve read about homes being remodeled. Now test your knowledge about some famous residences in Whatcom County:

1. The house at 1201 N. Garden St. once belonged to J.J. Donovan, a leading figure in such early ventures as the Blue Canyon coal mine and a lumber mill on Lake Whatcom. What business currently occupies his house?

A. Dentist office. B. Mental therapist. C. Rental company. D. Gentle massage spa.

2. Roland Gamwell’s elegant Victorian at 1001 16th St. was built in the late 1800s. Builders, including Italian artisans from Seattle, took nearly two years to finish the interior. What did the artisans work on?

A. The onion-shaped tower roof. B. The house’s state-of-the-art utilities. C. Its stained-glass windows. D. Its three-story oak stairway.

3. Holan Hovander built the farmhouse that is the centerpiece of Hovander Homestead Park. What about his background made him well-suited to complete the house in 1903?

A. He was an architect. B. His architect uncle designed the house as a wedding gift. C. Holan’s six offspring were skilled carpenters. D. Holan’s wife Louisa’s father owned a construction company in Ballard.

4. The massive barn at Berthusen Park north of Lynden is one of two landmarks that remain from the turn-of-the-century homestead of Hans and Lida Berthusen. What is the other one?

A. Tool shed. B. Root cellar. C. Privy. D. Creekside hot tub.

5. Frances Axtell’s house at 413 Maple St. was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places. She was one of the first two women elected to the state House of Representatives. She also holds another political “first.” What is it?

A. First woman elected to the state Senate. B. First woman appointed to a federal commission. C. First woman elected to Congress. D. First woman mayor of Bellingham.

6. The Grandview Rogers House, one of the wood cabins at Pioneer Park, was built in 1877. The house has since served as a veterans’ museum in the park. In connection with that, what to-do arose about an artifact in the museum?

A. Japanese visitors wanted a WWII Japanese flag signed by their countrymen returned to their homeland. B. German visitors said a WWII painting belonged to their relatives in Berlin. C. A photograph showing London during the Nazi bombardment was a fake. D. A WWII grenade exploded, damaging the house.

7. The mansion at 2915 Eldridge Ave. was built in 1926 for Bellingham postmaster Hugh Eldridge. The house sits on part of land claim of his pioneer parents, Edward and Teresa Eldridge. What happened to the two homes of the elder Eldridges on the land?

A. Both burned down. B. They tore them down to build nicer homes. C. The houses were moved to become homes for wayward children. D. The houses were sold and moved to offset Hugh’s litigation losses.

8. The Roeder House, built in 1909 at 2600 Sunset Drive, is now owned by Whatcom County Parks and Recreation Department. Who built the house?

A. Capt. Henry Roeder, who helped establish Whatcom Mill on Bellingham Bay. B. Victor Roeder, the businessman son of the captain. C. The captain’s daughter, Lottie, after she beat her brother in a horse race to decide who would get the land. D. Bill “Wildcat” Roeder, an unrelated miner who struck it rich in the Fraser River gold rush.

9. The elaborate mansion at 1103 15th St. was built for businessman James F. Wardner in 1890. How did Wardner first strike it rich?

A. Brewing beer in his hometown of Milwaukee. B. Building railroads in the Midwest. C. Mining gold and silver in South America. D. Mining lead and silver in Idaho.

10. The turreted house at 158 S. Forest St. was built for Alfred Black, the last mayor of Fairhaven and the first mayor of Bellingham, after Fairhaven and Whatcom merged in 1903. Who occupied the house from 1957 to 1963?

A. Local convicts, to ease crowding at Whatcom County Jail. B. The Sisters of St. Joseph, as a residence with a chapel. C. The president of Western Washington State University, while an official residence for the campus leader was built. D. Bellingham Mayor John Westford.


1. A. 2. D 3. A 4. C 5. B 6. A (The flag stayed in the cabin, and Ferndale is now a Sister City with the flag signers’ hometown, Minamibōsō.) 7. A 8. B 9. D 10. B

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