South Bellingham Post Office (1890, 1910)

1304 -1306 11th Street
(currently, 1306-1308 11th Street)
 
 
 

The building occupied by Skylark’s restaurant and by Arabella’s women’s fashions has served many uses over the years.   The space once occupied by Arabella's is now "Outbound" and features outdoor clothing.  It has undergone a number of structural changes that have relegated the building to "secondary historic significance” as part of the Fairhaven Historic District.

A two-story structure erected in 1890 housed a saloon and chop house at 1306 11th Street and a flour and feed store next door at the 1304 location. Furnished rooms occupied the second floor. The Tontine Saloon remained for several years located next door to the disreputable Casino Theatre.
 So. Bellingham P.O. to right of Casino Theatre
Both portions of the building were listed as vacant in 1897 according to the Sanborn Fire Insurance map of that year.  By 1913, the building appears as a one-story structure housing a paper bottle factory which occupied the entire building. The 1917 Sanborn map locates the post office at the 1306 location with a store at 1304. This begins the sporadic but persistent housing of the post office for the next fifty plus years at this address.

In the 1930’s, the building was home to Soren Thiel’s garage with the post office next door. In the 1940’s, the post office occupied other quarters until returning in 1950 as an adjunct to John Pace’s second-hand merchandise outlet.  This is the beginning of the current practice of housing the post office in conjunction with other Fairhaven businesses. It remained in the 1306 location along with Fairhaven Variety, then Southside Cleaners which then became Hatfield Cleaners.


 
By 1974, the building was owned by Ken Imus along with his many other properties in Fairhaven, and the post office was no longer in this location. There was not much of historic value remaining to the building, but it was subsequently renovated in part with historic features salvaged from a building in Sacramento. Anticipating additional development on the block, a stone pavement was laid along the base of the south wall as well as a cobbled walkway behind the structure. Antique lamps were added as accents. The result was a vast improvement .