Alonzo Marion Poe  
 Howard Buswell Collection #0684
Center for Pacific Northwest Studies 

Early Settler
Alonzo M. Poe filed a donation land claim on September 11, 1853 for just over 300 acres (and less than entitled to under the Donation Claim act.)  His claim included this shoreline area, where he built a cabin, and incorporated the land to the south which is now known as Edgemoor.  The area of Fairhaven which is now occupied by Marine Park and part of what is now the Fairhaven Shipyard, adjacent to the Post Point Wastewater Treatment Plant, was historically known as Poe’s Point.  
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Alonzo Marion Poe was born in Clinton, Missouri, in 1826.  He traveled west to Oregon in 1845, where he became one of the founders of Olympia, Washington, and a delegate to the first Washington Territorial Legislature representing Thurston County.   
In 1853, Poe moved to Bellingham Bay, filed his claim in South Bellingham and then became instrumental in the formation of Whatcom County in 1854  serving as the county’s first auditor.  Trained as a civil engineer, he drew up the plans for the original town of Whatcom in 1858. 
Poe divided his time between Whatcom County and Thurston County, holding a number of responsible positions until 1862 when he moved to Napa City, California for health reasons.
In 1858, Alonzo Poe donated a portion of his claim on Bellingham Bay to his brother, Americus N. Poe.  Dan Harris, founder of the town of Fairhaven, purchased the 43 acres adjacent to his own property from  Americus Poe.  However, through an error in title, this property was also included in a sale to A.A. Denny of Seattle during that same year.  It wasn’t until 1870 that Harris was finally able to legally gain title to these 43 acres and add them to his holdings which then became part of the town of Fairhaven. 
Over the years, there have been several names attached to the point of the property originally claimed by Alonzo Poe.  Poe referred to this point of land as Commercial Point.  Dead Man’s Point was a subsequent name, so-called due to the discovery by early settlers of Spanish relics and skeletons in this area.  Another theory refers to the death and decapitation of two men in 1857 who were posted as sentries at this location watching for an Indian raiding party but imbibing too much whiskey and falling asleep instead.
In 1862, Dan Harris donated four acres of this land for a cemetery, at which time this property became known as Graveyard Point.  In the following years, the graves were moved to the new Bayview Cemetery, and Pacific American Fisheries then excavated much of this land for industrial expansion.

For many years Poe’s Point was known as Post Point, seen in a former sign, left.  Today, the name Post Point has been removed.  Dead Man’s Point and Graveyard Point have been relegated to the history books.
Alonzo Poe died in Napa, California, in January of 1866 of inflammation of the lungs. 
For information on Marine Park and new signs commemorating Poe's Point, click here.  

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