Percival R. Jeffcott papers and photographs #0171
Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Western Libraries Heritage Resources
Western Washington University
Dead Man's Point
Also known as Poe's Point and Commercial Point

Once occupied what is now, Marine Park, the Ferry Terminal Amtrak Station at the foot of Harris Avenue.

This point of land has a rich history in the settlement and development of the town of Fairhaven.  In 1853, Alonzo M. Poe filed a donation land claim on this property and built a cabin on top of a mound of glacial till some 80 to 90 feet high. This property became known as Poe’s Point.
An Indian raid on Whidbey Island in 1857 unsettled the local inhabitants on Bellingham Bay, and they stationed two men as lookouts on top of Poe’s Point. According to the story, the men imbibed a fair amount of whiskey, fell asleep and became victims of the marauding Northern Indians. This point of land hence became known as "Deadman’s Point”.
Poe receives a visitor
In November 1854, Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Lyle arrived on Chuckanut Bay with their baby tucked safely in a canoe.  She stayed with "Mr. Poe, a surveyor" until their cabin could be finished up the hill and found Poe  "had built a comfortable home and there we remained until my husband built a cabin." Their property was known as Lysle's Heights and can be seen on the map to the northeast of Fairhaven.  
Property changes hands

After moving to Olympia in 1858, Alonzo Poe deeded his property to his brother, Americus Poe. Dirty Dan Harris purchased 43 acres of Poe’s property that was immediately adjacent to his own land. He sold off part of the property to the County for a cemetery. The point then acquired a new name, "Graveyard Point.”
Nelson Bennett begins removal process
When Nelson Bennett arrived in Fairhaven and began development of the town in 1888, he purchased the property from Dan Harris and leveled part of the point in order to create a viable waterfront. In 1889, Bennett removed eleven feet of the hill and used it to fill in along the waterfront.


An early map, rshowing various names of the point including Poe's Point, Deadman's Point and Graveyard Point

Galen Biery Papers Map #4-2
Center for Pacific Northwest Studies
Western Libraries Heritage Resources , Western Washington University
Making way for the Great Northern Railway and Pacific American Fisheries

In 1902, additional land was graded to make way for the tracks of the Great Northern Railway. The property was purchased from Bennett’s Fairhaven Land Company, and by 1904 the local newspapers referred to this area as "Commercial Point”.  This photo shows workers clearing of the point in 1916 for the expansion of Pacific American Fisheries.

Visiting the area of Dead Man's Point Today

he Port of Bellingham has installed two signs on the fireplace chimney of the picnic shelter that highlight the history of Poe's Point.  A new entrance sign to Marine Park no longer refers to the area as "Post Point".  The historical Post Point actually lies some three hundred yards south and is named for a tall white post erected as a navigational aid warning mariners of a dangerous shoal near shore.  A red bell buoy replaced the white post, but marine charts still refer to it as "Post Point Buoy".

Copyright © 2020 Website by ProFusion Web Solutions