Steven L. Smith, Bellingham, WA Home Inspector (King of the House)


Bellingham History Revisited -- White City Amusement Park

Yesterday I posted a photo of Bellingham's Christmas tree from the year 1949 that was the tallest Christmas tree in the world. Local history can be fascinating to those of us who live in a town.

I have written about the topic previously but, as a lifelong resident of Bellingham, I think that one of the most interesting pieces of local history goes back 103 years to the amusement park that was located in the Silver Beach neighborhood by Lake Whatcom.

White City got it's name because it was "lit-up". It was white due to there being electric lights. This was a novelty -- the dawning of the electric age. The lights alone were a drawing card, hence the name "White City."

This was not a small amusement park. There was a major roller coaster, a ferris wheel and various other means of distraction for that person who wished to be amused. The city center street car dropped people at White City -- the end of the line. People could flock to White City for rides or to rent boats. It was on the edge of the lake and the splendid Silver Beach Hotel, with about 15 rooms, was in the neighborhood.

The amusement park and the hotel were short-lived and they faded away by 1920. The advent of WWI did not help business. Despite being long gone, no remnants of the site remain to the best of my knowledge, this is an interesting part of Bellingham's history. A few historical post cards and photos have been left for posterity. The best photos I have seen are in the Galen Biery collection. Galen was a local historian who spent years preserving a photo history of this area.


Steven L. Smith

Bellingham Home Inspector 

Thanks for stopping by,

Steven L. Smith


Steven L. Smith

If you enjoy nostalgia and music of yesteryear, click on Elvis' gold record to visit This Day In History. To explore The Stories Behind The Music blog posts click on the electric guitar. 







Comment balloon 4 commentsSteven L. Smith • December 20 2009 11:42AM


Very nice bit of history. Thanks so much.

Posted by Michael Bergin, Northern Virginia Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - ABR - SRES ) almost 9 years ago

Steve, you used to run the ferris wheel didn't you?

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

I also stumbled across this photo of the Silver Beach Hotel, same era.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Cool old photos. Is it true Steve, did you run the ferris wheel?

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 9 years ago