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 centennial Herald Masthead 
  home > news > centennial front > Monday, October 20, 2003 

Mine boss: Edmund C. Fitzhugh
These coal bunkers, located at the south end of what is now the Boulevard in Bellingham, were built to store coal awaiting shipment to San Francisco. A short rail line connected the bunkers to a mine that was discovered in 1853 along the waterfront, at what is now Railroad Avenue and Myrtle Street. The bunkers were enlarged in 1891 to handle coal from the Blue Canyon mine at the south end of Lake Whatcom. GALEN BIERY COLLECTION

dmund C. Fitzhugh, a lawyer and coal mine manager, arrived at Sehome in 1854, instantly becoming Washington Territory's largest employer, at Bellingham Bay Coal Co.

A Whatcom County Democratic Party organizer, auditor, Indian agent, and military aide to Gov. Isaac Stevens, Fitzhugh was rewarded with a federal appointment to the Territorial Supreme Court. While in office, the territory tried him for murder and for gambling, but he won acquittal.

In 1860, he left Sehome for Washington, D.C., to help Stevens run Vice President John Breckinridge's presidential campaign against Republican challenger Abraham Lincoln.

Fitzhugh joined the Confederate Army in 1863, serving as an assistant adjutant in the division of his fellow Virginian and Bellingham friend, Gen. George Pickett.

While mine manager, Fitzhugh married two members of Chief Sea-hom's family, and fathered JuliaAnne and Mason. Many descendants live in Washington today.

- Candace Wellman

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