1420 Woburn Street
Bellingham, Whatcom County, WA 98226
The former town of Whatcom established Bayview Cemetery with 10 acres in 1887. It began as “Whatcom City Cemetery,” renamed “Bay View” (two words soon merged) in 1902. Whatcom and Sehome added 12 acres in 1889. That same year, the towns reinterred 64 bodies from “Deadman’s Point,” a Fairhaven graveyard, circa 1862, nicknamed for the legendary Spanish Massacre and artifacts found there. Since 1924, Bayview Cemetery has encompassed 234 acres, with 50 currently in use.
Between older lettered sections and newer numbered sections, Bayview Cemetery chronicles the history of the Bellingham that would come to be.
A walk in Bayview Cemetery reveals names of Bellingham’s pioneer families. Side-by-side across a path, tall monuments engraved “Roeder” and “Eldridge” commemorate families who started two of Bellingham’s earliest lumber mills and served judicial institutions. Other names include Padden, Morse, Hovander, and Deming—of Lake Padden, Morse Hardware, Hovander Homestead Park, and Deming, Washington fame.
Some graves commemorate individuals whose fame extends far past Bellingham. Poet laureate Ella Higginson designed her own tombstone, a granite bench. Civil War Corporal Matthew Bickford and Charge of the Light Brigade survivor Captain Grahame rest here. Notable politicians buried at Bayview Cemetery include San Francisco Mayor Isaac Smith Kalloch, and Washington’s fifth governor, Albert Edward Mead.
Bayview Cemetery also pays respects to victims of Bellingham’s historic tragedies. The 1999 Olympic Pipeline Explosion victims Wade King and Stephen Tsiorvas rest here. The Blue Canyon Mine Monument commemorates the 23 miners who died in the 1895 explosion, one of the deadliest in Washington’s history. Visitors continue to pay their respects at the cemetery’s best-known tombstones.
Entire sections of Bayview Cemetery have fascinating histories of their own. Flag-bearing Veterans’ Plaza commemorates over 200 Civil War veterans, among other veterans of successive wars. The nearby Mount Cavalry Cemetery monument commemorates people reinterred from a nineteenth-century Bellingham cemetery. Not all headstones survived encroaching undergrowth, hence the monument.
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