Citizen's Bank / Sandwick Building
(1890 - 1949)
Once occupied the Northwest corner, 11th Street and Harris Avenue
1890 drawing from Fairhaven Illustrated
Whatcom Museum Photo Archives
A three-story Italianate building was erected in 1890 to house the new Citizen’s Bank of Fairhaven with C.X. Larrabee, President; P.W. Strader, Vice-President; and H.W. Kinney, Cashier. The upper floors were leased for office space. The bank, with sound management and buoyed by Larrabee money, was one of the few banks around Bellingham Bay to survive the depression of the early 1890s. The bank, however, did not survive the management and financial practices of H. St.John (Sinjun) Dix who took over the bank in late 1899. A total reorganization in 1901 culminated in the acquisition of the remaining assets by the private bank of Henry, Andrews & Company who operated diagonally across in the Nelson Block.
Soon after the bank’s takeover, the building’s corner location became home to the Sticknoth and Manson Saloon (the "Bank Bar”). Alverson Drugs and W.S. Schirrmann, jeweler, occupied the adjacent space. The upper floors became lodgings as well as offices.

The "Dry Ballot” of 1910 forced the closure or diversification of all saloons in the town of Bellingham. In 1911, Otto Sandwick, immigrant from Norway, opened his confectionary business in the building at the former location of Alverson Drugs. By 1913, Sandwick was in the prominent corner storefront with Frank Austin, shoemaker, in the adjacent space. The upper floors were operated at that time by Frank Rhoades as the Rose Hotel.

In 1919, Sandwick purchased the building from one of its original owners, H.W. Kinney. His confectionery business remained on the corner through 1945. After Sandwick’s death in 1936, the business was operated by his widow, Olga, and son, John.

Whatcom Museum #1995.1.186

The Sandwick family still owned the building when it burned down on September 10, 1949. At that time, the corner location was home to Cal’s Tavern, operated by Francis and Wilmer Callihan. They were displaced by the fire along with Frank Austin Shoes and several tenants occupying the upper floors.

Click on the September 11, 1949, BELLINGHAM HERALD

"Southside Landmark Goes Up In Flames".

In 2013, a new structure was built to house Rocket Donuts (now Acme Ice Cream), Fat Pie Pizza and A Lot of Flowers.  

A Lot of Flowers occupied the former open-air site from 1991-2012, with gifts, flowers and statuary.

A popular bench and statue of J.J. Donovan is located on the corner.  


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