Local Aviation History

Bellingham and Whatcom County have a rich and vibrant aviation history that dates back to the late-teen’s, early-20′s. Starting with the converted cow pasture north of town known as ‘Tulip Field’, later moving to ‘Graham Field’ located at what is now the excavated gravel pit near Whatcom Community College, and finally finishing with the Bellingham Airport which was proposed in 1935, built with Works Progress Administration Funds and labor, and opened to the public on 7 December 1941.

We have been researching this subject for several years now, after a collection of US Army Corps of Engineer blueprints were discovered and given to us. They depicted the Bellingham Airport at the height of its development during WWII. A rare copy of a locally published book, “Aviation History of Whatcom County” by Susan Wolff, was also given to us, and we quickly started getting a clear picture of this community’s aviation past.

Visit our Bellingham AAF blog at http://bellinghamaaf.blogspot.com/ to learn more. And be sure to look for the exhibit in our hangar – we are currently displaying a small selection of blueprints, planning diagrams, historic photos and artifacts, with plans for a more complete display before the end of 2011.

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