Feed & Seed and a Belling-History Mystery Man

Feed & Seed and a Belling-History Mystery Man

his post was inspired by a news blurb about a new building on Railroad Avenue to be occupied by Curt Pless’ Feed and Seed business in 1908, and Pless’ mysterious disappearance soon after. #Onthisday in #Bellinghistory October 3, 1908 the Herald reported on the “New Headquarters for the Pless Hay & Grain Company,” on the corner of Railroad and Magnolia, better known in recent years as the home of Avalon Records and Clark’s Feed and Seed, recently gutted by fire.  “One of the most up-to-date buildings of the year erected for housing a feed and grain business is the above warehouse, built at the corner of Railroad Avenue and Magnolia Street and leased for a long period by Curt Pless & Co.”  

Ahoy Mateys! It be time for a Sea Shanty Sing-Along!

Ahoy Mateys!  It be time for a Sea Shanty Sing-Along!

It’s that time of year again, time for Bellingham’s Annual SeaFeast Festival, celebrating Bellingham’s maritime bounty and heritage. A few years ago we joined forced with our beloved Sea Shanty Singalong to start a new SeaFeast tradition!This year we will be singing salty songs in the Mountain Room at Boundary Bay, following the Fisher Poets on Bellingham Bay on Saturday, September 21st.

Cleopatra's Barge and Circus Parade, Fairhaven Washington 1891

Cleopatra's Barge and Circus Parade, Fairhaven Washington 1891

One of our favorite “historic markers” along Harris Avenue in Fairhaven is the one that reads “Cleopatra’s Barge, Lions and Camels Paraded Here 1891”   near the west end of the Padden Creek Lagoon…

"The Horseshoe Bar" and Barnum and Baileys Circus Bellingham 1908

"The Horseshoe Bar" and Barnum and Baileys Circus Bellingham 1908

While doing some research for the Horseshoe Café, I recently found myself sidetracked into the world of the Barnum and Bailey circus on their visit to Bellingham in 1908.  As a fan-girl of old-timey performers of the vaudeville and circus scenes, it was fairly easy to do….  Since today is the anniversary of the arrival of the Barnum and Bailey Circus in Bellingham #onthisday in 1908, I thought I’d share…

Pilot Pride Tours!

We Good TIme Girls have PRIDE in History!

We have been working on amassing as much local LGBTQ related Belling-history as possible over the years. This is an ongoing project to which we are dedicated! We are excited to share what we know thus far with y’all in a free PILOT tour this weekend during Bellingham PRIDE. If one fills up, we will add more as we are able! The tours are free but we appreciate pre-registration if possible:

Summer Kickoff Party! Bellingham CRIBS Episode 2, History Bingo and Beer!

Summer Kickoff Party!  Bellingham CRIBS Episode 2, History Bingo and Beer!

We’re having a party to celebrate the kickoff of our 2019 Summer Tour Season, and the premier of BELLINGHAM CRIBS EPISODE 2! THURSDAY JUNE 20th from 7-9 PM in the MOUNTAIN ROOM AT BOUNDARY BAY

Three FREE Summer Tours!

Three FREE Summer Tours!

We’re excited to announce this opportunity to get outside and get some FREE Belling-history this summer with three guided historical tours in partnership with the Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department.

Good Time Girl guides will lead three different historical walking tours based around Maritime Heritage Park and Whatcom Creek!

Jail Tales: Female Trouble

Jail Tales: Female Trouble

Given that much of the subject matter on our tours involves lawbreaking folks, we have always been particularly interested in the jail, and in particular the experiences of women in the legal system. On our Downtown Sin and Gin Tours, we discuss the creation of the women’s ward in the jail, and the hiring of female wardens. In case you can’t get enough jail fun facts, here’s a sampler of some jail history from our notes.

Bellingham, 1911: Women Arrested for Wearing Pants

Bellingham, 1911: Women Arrested for Wearing Pants

In 1911 two young Bellingham women caused a “Flurry” on Holly Street by wearing the latest controversial ladies’ fashion… the “Harem Skirt.”  Despite the name, the scandalous aspect of the “Harem Skirt” was really about women wearing “men’s wear,” or pants.

What We Don't Know: Self-Discovery Through Art

What We Don't Know: Self-Discovery Through Art

"There is a trusting I’ve found that fuels my confidence as an artist.  When I look at a piece that I have just completed, particularly in my collage work, there is a wise reveal.  An inside look; a gift of shape, line and color that speaks to a moment of truth.  Often my work will share with me something I didn’t know."

For a Limited Time: Fraternal & Occupational Shaving Mugs at The Bureau

A uniquely American phenomenon, fraternal and occupational shaving mugs were used by members of secret societies, fraternities and lodges from the 1880s to the 1930s . Mugs could be purchased and personalized at barber supply stores or barber shops --where they were kept.

Case Study: Lorena Upper the Female Barber

Case Study: Lorena Upper the Female Barber

From these articles, it appears that Lorena was harassed while she was with customers, peeped-on through a spy hole, beaten by her accuser, and the case against her relied entirely on eyewitness testimony that itself relied heavily on euphemism and innuendo. The city brought forth witnesses who were almost entirely local business men and whose testimony is dripping with hearsay.

Victorian bicycles and corsets: Two Village Books events co-sponsored by The Bureau!

Victorian bicycles and corsets: Two Village Books events co-sponsored by The Bureau!

When and why were roads first paved on a major scale?  What's the difference between an Ordinary and a safety?  What revolutionary change came to cycling in the 1890's, what significance did the bicycle have for women - and why did penny-farthings have such a big front wheel? Learn the answers to these questions, and many more. Join husband and wife Gabriel and Sarah Chrisman as they give a presentation about Victorian bicycles. They will travel to Bellingham from Port Townsend on their historic bikes, Gabriel on his 1887 Singer Challenge bicycle.

A Very Special Collection, or: An Extrovert in an Introvert's World

A Very Special Collection, or: An Extrovert in an Introvert's World

Libraries, archives and other repositories of knowledge aren’t places that were built for people like me. I love learning new stuff and uncovering facts from primary sources, BUT I do not learn well in the traditional model of sit-quietly-and-read. I exclaimed in class a lot as a kid… and as an adult. I LOVED group projects, group discussions, asking questions, presentations, film projects, anything that involved a lot of talking and working with others. I HATED reading text books, writing papers, studying alone... Being alone. I felt sure that this was a defect. I tried very hard to do the things I hated, thinking I was doing learning wrong.

A place to call our own.

A place to call our own.

Our business anniversary is just around the corner. It's hard to believe that Marissa and I started this little operation this time nearly three years ago. We began with the idea that we'd share some stories about local history while dressed in costume. We worried that no one would show up, but we knew that at the very least we'd have fun.

Fast forward through three tour seasons, countless special events, and the filming of a documentary series, and you'll end up smack dab in the heart of downtown Bellingham, 217 West Holly Street: The new home for our business, The Bureau of Historical Investigation.