Bellingham Coal Company’s mine entrance monument located near the intersection of Northwest Avenue and Birchwood Avenue

This 1943 photo captures the beauty and serenity of the Bellingham Coal Company’s mine entrance monument located near the intersection of Northwest Avenue and Birchwood Avenue. This location now sports a gas station, food mart, and car wash. During the 1940s the Bellingham coal mine was regularly the largest producer in Western Washington, with much of the mine’s output destined for cement plants in the town of Concrete.

This color slide was taken by Helmer Olson on January 20thafter a fall of fresh snow. A photo print came into the collection of Gordie Tweit, a Bellingham drug store owner who gave a copy to George Mustoe, a Western Washington University Research Associate. For over five decades Tweit was a pharmacist in Fairhaven at a time when pharmacies were locally owned and community centers. After 126 years in business, the Fairhaven Pharmacy closed in 2015. The original color slide was donated by Tweit to the Whatcom Museum, under Catalog No. 2004.76.38