Municipal Dock

Original Dock
The total cost to purchase the Municipal Dock from the City of Bellingham was $90,000. The original dock was 105’ wide and 345’ long and included poor rail access; the port would eventually lengthen the dock to 500’. Over the years, it evolved into the main shipping terminal for Bellingham and has been called the Port Dock, the Whatcom International Shipping Terminal, and the Bellingham Shipping Terminal.

Companies with Private Docks
Many companies continued to use their own docks, if available, and continued to do their own exporting and importing. Some of the biggest companies shipping outbound goods were Pacific American Fisheries, Bloedel-Donovan Lumber Mills (whose 1924 exports alone were more than four times the Municipal Dock’s total tonnage!), Campbell River Logging Co., and the dock for the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad (CM&SP Railroad). Companies shipping the most into Bellingham included the CM&SP Railroad Company, Standard Oil, Bloedel-Donovan Mills, E.K. Wood Lumber Company, and Whatcom Falls Mill Company.

Public Dock Usage
Consequently, the Municipal Dock was generally an outlet for those who did not have sufficient capital or land to have a dock for themselves. As such, the Municipal Dock primarily shipped items like canned fruits and vegetables, canned milk, and powdered milk produced by local farmers. On the other hand, products coming out of Bellingham Bay more generally were items like logs, wood products, paper, coal, fish, cement, petroleum products, sand, and gravel, with logs and lumber constituting 74.4 percent of exports, and coal and logs constituting of 99 percent of the imports. As the 1920s continued, San Juan Pulp Company would begin to take advantage of the dock’s close proximity to import and unload sulfur.