Fairhaven's Firehouse Map
 
 
Hidden behind a wall at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center is a large map of Bellingham.  The map was created sometime after the 1927 opening of Fire Station #2  and updated until the early 1960s.
 
 The map, 11 feet by 11 feet, is painted on the concrete wall of the former garage that housed the fire engine.  When the building was remodeled by Matt Christman as a performing arts center,  the map was covered by wall sections that had been installed with hinges.  See photo. below.
 
The firehouse map depicts the locations of fire hydrants and vacated roads in Fairhaven and Bellingham.  In earlier days, similar maps were installed at the other fire stations.   One of this maps was in the former Bellingham Fire Department, now Syre Center and home to the Whatcom Museum Photo archives.  Photo Archivist Jeff Jewell believes that the Firehouse map in Fairhaven is the only one that still remains today.
 


Photo by Debby Meyers
Whatcom Museum Photo Archives


Whatcom Museum Photo Archives
1950s Photo of Firestation #2 with map

 
     
     




The painter of this original map in unknown.  Firefighter Ken Reimers updated it in the 1950s.    
 
Matt Christman, owner of the Firehouse, calls it a time capsule.   It is indeed  a snapshot of Bellingham before the early 1960s and the construction of Interstate 5.  The Interstate would be completed in 1966.
 
 
Donovan Avenue before construction of Old Fairhaven Parkway
 Photo by Debby Meyers
 
 
The map above shows Donovan Avenue as a straight route from 4th Street to 34th Street...an early view of the Fairhaven and Happy Valley neighborhoods.   In 1987, Old Fairhaven Parkway took over much of Donovan Avenue and a detour was created at 10th Street to move traffic down to Harris Avenue, and away from the Fairhaven residential neighborhood.
 
South route to Seattle via Chuckanut Drive
Photo by Debby Meyers



The Edgemoor Neighborhood is visible on the map, just below Fairhaven.   The words "To Seattle" along Chuckanut Drive (Pacific Highway) is another reminder the map predates the opening of Interstate 5 when Chuckanut Drive was the only option to and from Seattle by automobile. 
 
 More Photos of Firehouse Map>>
 
 
 
 
 

 







 
 

 
 

 


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