Waldron Block:  Tenants through the Years


Pre-1893 building with 2 floors above 
Waldron Block today with 3 floors above

Whatcom Museum Photo Archives 
Photo: John Servais  www.fairhaven.com

Opinions vary as to whether the upper floors of the Waldron Building were ever occupied. Most likely the 3rd floor (the top floor at the time) was occupied during the year before Charles Waldron decided to add an additional floor. Tenants on the 3rd floor would have had to vacate in mid to late 1893 when construction of the 4th floor began. After the fire, insurance paid to rebuild only part of the interior of the building and only the first two floors were rebuilt. Jeff Jewell, Whatcom Museum Photo Historian sums it up perfectly, "Charles started with a three-story building, wanted four, and ended up with two.”



There was talk in 1899 of turning this building into a hotel and negotiations were underway in 1900 to have a first class up-to-date hostelry in the Waldron Block. Those plans never materialized. Directories of the early 1900’s indicate Charles lived at this address with his first wife Alice. Newspaper advertisements listed sunny apartments available for rent. Gordon Tweit’s uncle, Ole Tweit, lived on the second floor just above where the bank was used to be, probably in the 1920’s. 

Cissna’s Department Store occupied the ground floor of the Waldron Block. Charles Cissna came to Fairhaven in December 1890 arriving from South Dakota via the Great Northern with a boxcar of merchandise. He established his department store, expanding into the new Waldron Block. Cissna had planned to move to New Whatcom even before the fire. Charles Cissna’s new store was known as "The Fair” and was a popular shopping destination.

George Hohl’s feed company occupied the ground floor during the early 1900s before moving downtown. Today, Hohl’s Feed and Seed is still located on Railroad Avenue. Historic 1900 photos show the Fairhaven Notion Store and Lind’s Grocery were a few of the tenants that occupied the Waldron Block during the early years of Fairhaven.

R. V. Palmerton Hay, Feed, and Seed Company occupied this space in the early 1910’s. Rex and Marion O’Dell’s Kulshan Bar operated at the corner from the 1930’s through the 1970’s. The Kulshan was a popular hang-out for many years. It was joined in the 1970s by The Fairhaven, a tavern and restaurant that served health food which was becoming popular with the hippie movement. The Fairhaven moved and the Kulshan Tavern was gone by 1974 after the building was purchased by developer Ken Imus.


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