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Whatcom Museum - Old City Hall

121 Prospect St., Bellingham, WA

Phone:
1-(360)-778-8930

Website:
www.whatcommuseum.org

Get Directions

Featured Event

Firsts in Flight: A Hidden History

History/Science

Take a “timeline tour” outlining the significant contributions made by women and African Americans, particularly by African American women, to our country's history of aviation and space flight in this exhibit at Old City Hall. Meet pioneer aviator Bessie Coleman, who in 1921, became the first African American woman to earn her pilot’s license. And before her, in 1911 Harriet Quimby became the first American woman of any race to secure her pilot’s license. Meet other “hidden figures,” including the African American women who played a pivotal role in the country’s space program in the second half of the twentieth century. Other “hidden figures” include Bellingham’s women who worked in the factories and shipyards during World War II, including Marie Manning, the first female welder at the Bellingham Marine Railway & Boatbuilding Company in 1943. This exhibition was provided, in part, by the Morehead Planetarium & Science Center at the University of North Carolina. Special thanks to Seattle’s Museum of Flight.

Information:

• Fri 5/24/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sat 5/25/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sun 5/26/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Wed 5/29/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Thu 5/30/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Fri 5/31/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sat 6/1/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sun 6/2/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Wed 6/5/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Thu 6/6/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Fri 6/7/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sat 6/8/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sun 6/9/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Wed 6/12/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Thu 6/13/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Fri 6/14/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sat 6/15/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sun 6/16/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Wed 6/19/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Thu 6/20/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Fri 6/21/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sat 6/22/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sun 6/23/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Wed 6/26/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Thu 6/27/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Fri 6/28/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sat 6/29/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sun 6/30/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Wed 7/3/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Thu 7/4/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Fri 7/5/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sat 7/6/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sun 7/7/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Wed 7/10/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Thu 7/11/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Fri 7/12/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sat 7/13/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sun 7/14/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Wed 7/17/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Thu 7/18/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Fri 7/19/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sat 7/20/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sun 7/21/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Wed 7/24/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Thu 7/25/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Fri 7/26/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sat 7/27/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sun 7/28/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Wed 7/31/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Thu 8/1/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Fri 8/2/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sat 8/3/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sun 8/4/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Other Upcoming Events

1889: Blazes, Rails, and the Year of Statehood

History/Science

A year of big dreams, big burns, and big politics, 1889 captured a place in our history as a time of great prosperity and adversity. The face of Washington changed. Pioneers arrived, and townsfolk rebuilt from the rubble. Finally, on November 11, 1889, Washington rose as the 42nd state in the union. This exhibit from Legacy Washington introduces you to the people and events shaping the territory in the days leading up to statehood.

Information:

• Fri 5/24/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sat 5/25/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sun 5/26/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Fourth Sundays: Audubon at the Museum

Nature

Join experts from North Cascades Audubon Society in the new John M. Edson Hall of Birds. In addition to displays of more than 500 mounted birds, the new exhibit provides opportunities to learn about migration, conservation, birds in peril, and the importance of studying bird specimens today. The exhibit provides a variety of interactives, including video and audio files, and hands-on activities for children. Come and go as needed. All ages welcome.

Information:

• Sun 5/26/19 at 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Old City Hall History Tours

Tour

Take a fun, informative docent-led tour of Old City Hall on Sundays at 12:30 pm. The Museum’s trained guides take participants down to the basement of Old City Hall to see the historic jail rooms, including a padded cell from the days of prohibition. They share insights into the early use of the basement as the city jail, as well as tell unique stories. Tours include an overview about the architecture of the venerable building and the history of the early days of Bellingham. Tours last one hour, begin on the first-floor lobby of Old City Hall, and are included with admission/free to members.

Information:

• Sun 5/26/19 at 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Audubon Society: Elwha River Dam Removal and River Restoration

Talks/Lectures

What happens when you remove two of the largest dams from a river? Jeff Duda of the USGS will provide an update about the status of the Elwha River dam removal and river restoration project, providing highlights from multiple ongoing and completed research projects, including sediment, fish, and vegetation in freshwater, estuarine, and nearshore ecosystems. He will also place the Elwha perspective within a larger context of dam removals occurring throughout the world. Co-presented by the North Cascades Audubon Society.

Information:

• Tue 5/28/19 at 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

1889: Blazes, Rails, and the Year of Statehood

History/Science

A year of big dreams, big burns, and big politics, 1889 captured a place in our history as a time of great prosperity and adversity. The face of Washington changed. Pioneers arrived, and townsfolk rebuilt from the rubble. Finally, on November 11, 1889, Washington rose as the 42nd state in the union. This exhibit from Legacy Washington introduces you to the people and events shaping the territory in the days leading up to statehood.

Information:

• Wed 5/29/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Thu 5/30/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Fri 5/31/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sat 6/1/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sun 6/2/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Old City Hall History Tours

Living History

Take a fun, informative docent-led tour of Old City Hall on Sundays at 12:30pm. The Museum’s trained guides take participants down to the basement of Old City Hall to see the historic jail rooms, including a padded cell from the days of prohibition. They share insights into the early use of the basement as the city jail, as well as tell unique stories. Tours include an overview about the architecture of the venerable building and the history of the early days of Bellingham. Tours last one hour and begin on the first-floor lobby of Old City Hall.

Information:

• Sun 6/2/19 at 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

1889: Blazes, Rails, and the Year of Statehood

History/Science

A year of big dreams, big burns, and big politics, 1889 captured a place in our history as a time of great prosperity and adversity. The face of Washington changed. Pioneers arrived, and townsfolk rebuilt from the rubble. Finally, on November 11, 1889, Washington rose as the 42nd state in the union. This exhibit from Legacy Washington introduces you to the people and events shaping the territory in the days leading up to statehood.

Information:

• Wed 6/5/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Thu 6/6/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Fri 6/7/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sat 6/8/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sun 6/9/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Old City Hall History Tours

Living History

Take a fun, informative docent-led tour of Old City Hall on Sundays at 12:30pm. The Museum’s trained guides take participants down to the basement of Old City Hall to see the historic jail rooms, including a padded cell from the days of prohibition. They share insights into the early use of the basement as the city jail, as well as tell unique stories. Tours include an overview about the architecture of the venerable building and the history of the early days of Bellingham. Tours last one hour and begin on the first-floor lobby of Old City Hall.

Information:

• Sun 6/9/19 at 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

1889: Blazes, Rails, and the Year of Statehood

History/Science

A year of big dreams, big burns, and big politics, 1889 captured a place in our history as a time of great prosperity and adversity. The face of Washington changed. Pioneers arrived, and townsfolk rebuilt from the rubble. Finally, on November 11, 1889, Washington rose as the 42nd state in the union. This exhibit from Legacy Washington introduces you to the people and events shaping the territory in the days leading up to statehood.

Information:

• Wed 6/12/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Thu 6/13/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Fri 6/14/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sat 6/15/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sun 6/16/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Old City Hall History Tours

Living History

Take a fun, informative docent-led tour of Old City Hall on Sundays at 12:30pm. The Museum’s trained guides take participants down to the basement of Old City Hall to see the historic jail rooms, including a padded cell from the days of prohibition. They share insights into the early use of the basement as the city jail, as well as tell unique stories. Tours include an overview about the architecture of the venerable building and the history of the early days of Bellingham. Tours last one hour and begin on the first-floor lobby of Old City Hall.

Information:

• Sun 6/16/19 at 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

1889: Blazes, Rails, and the Year of Statehood

History/Science

A year of big dreams, big burns, and big politics, 1889 captured a place in our history as a time of great prosperity and adversity. The face of Washington changed. Pioneers arrived, and townsfolk rebuilt from the rubble. Finally, on November 11, 1889, Washington rose as the 42nd state in the union. This exhibit from Legacy Washington introduces you to the people and events shaping the territory in the days leading up to statehood.

Information:

• Wed 6/19/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Thu 6/20/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Fri 6/21/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sat 6/22/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sun 6/23/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Old City Hall History Tours

Living History

Take a fun, informative docent-led tour of Old City Hall on Sundays at 12:30pm. The Museum’s trained guides take participants down to the basement of Old City Hall to see the historic jail rooms, including a padded cell from the days of prohibition. They share insights into the early use of the basement as the city jail, as well as tell unique stories. Tours include an overview about the architecture of the venerable building and the history of the early days of Bellingham. Tours last one hour and begin on the first-floor lobby of Old City Hall.

Information:

• Sun 6/23/19 at 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

1889: Blazes, Rails, and the Year of Statehood

History/Science

A year of big dreams, big burns, and big politics, 1889 captured a place in our history as a time of great prosperity and adversity. The face of Washington changed. Pioneers arrived, and townsfolk rebuilt from the rubble. Finally, on November 11, 1889, Washington rose as the 42nd state in the union. This exhibit from Legacy Washington introduces you to the people and events shaping the territory in the days leading up to statehood.

Information:

• Wed 6/26/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Thu 6/27/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Fri 6/28/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sat 6/29/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sun 6/30/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Old City Hall History Tours

Living History

Take a fun, informative docent-led tour of Old City Hall on Sundays at 12:30pm. The Museum’s trained guides take participants down to the basement of Old City Hall to see the historic jail rooms, including a padded cell from the days of prohibition. They share insights into the early use of the basement as the city jail, as well as tell unique stories. Tours include an overview about the architecture of the venerable building and the history of the early days of Bellingham. Tours last one hour and begin on the first-floor lobby of Old City Hall.

Information:

• Sun 6/30/19 at 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Bellingham Festival of Music: Chamber Music Concerts

Classical

Join us for two free community chamber concerts by the Festival of Music Orchestra on Wednesday, July 3 and Wednesday, July 17. The Bellingham Festival of Music is the only summer festival in the region built around a virtuoso orchestra. Composed of outstanding musicians from major symphonies of North America, the festival’s mission is to make exceptional classical music accessible to everyone in our community.

Information:

• Wed 7/3/19 at 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

1889: Blazes, Rails, and the Year of Statehood

History/Science

A year of big dreams, big burns, and big politics, 1889 captured a place in our history as a time of great prosperity and adversity. The face of Washington changed. Pioneers arrived, and townsfolk rebuilt from the rubble. Finally, on November 11, 1889, Washington rose as the 42nd state in the union. This exhibit from Legacy Washington introduces you to the people and events shaping the territory in the days leading up to statehood.

Information:

• Wed 7/3/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Thu 7/4/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Fri 7/5/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sat 7/6/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sun 7/7/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Wed 7/10/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Thu 7/11/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Fri 7/12/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sat 7/13/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sun 7/14/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM

“Artquilttexture” Lecture with Luke Haynes

Textiles

Join modern quilt artist Luke Haynes as he provides an entertaining and educational tour of his art background, from architect to quilter, over the span of several years. His work is featured in several major collections including the Brooklyn Museum, the American Folk Art Museum, the Newark Museum, and the Headquarters of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He will talk about his inspiration and show a lot of work to explain the context of his career as an architect-quilter. From a 50-foot Geodesic dome to a quilt with a secret image, come see quilts that will make you say: “I had no idea fabric could do that!” Co-presented by the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum.

Information:

• Sun 7/14/19 at 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Bellingham Festival of Music: Chamber Music Concert

Classical

The Whatcom Museum is pleased to host this free community chamber concert by the Festival of Music Orchestra. The Bellingham Festival of Music is the only summer festival in the region built around a virtuoso orchestra. Composed of outstanding musicians from major symphonies of North America, the festival’s mission is to make exceptional classical music accessible to everyone in our community.

Information:

• Wed 7/17/19 at 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

1889: Blazes, Rails, and the Year of Statehood

History/Science

A year of big dreams, big burns, and big politics, 1889 captured a place in our history as a time of great prosperity and adversity. The face of Washington changed. Pioneers arrived, and townsfolk rebuilt from the rubble. Finally, on November 11, 1889, Washington rose as the 42nd state in the union. This exhibit from Legacy Washington introduces you to the people and events shaping the territory in the days leading up to statehood.

Information:

• Wed 7/17/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Thu 7/18/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Fri 7/19/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sat 7/20/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
• Sun 7/21/19 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM

“Modern with a Hint of Vintage” Lecture with Marla Varner

Textiles

Award-winning quilter Marla Varner, who has a quilt featured in the Modern Quilts exhibition, will share slides of a selection of her work to illustrate how her journey started, and describe the ways her quilts have evolved from a traditional to a modern aesthetic. While some of the techniques have changed, there are elements of her process that have remained the same. She will also share her experiences as a member of the Modern Quilt Guild and the international modern quilt community. Co-presented by the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum.

Information:

• Sat 7/27/19 at 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Downtown Bellingham Art Walk

Art Show

Join us at Old City Hall for the opening of the Whatcom Artist Studio Tour Showcase, featuring local artists. Explore local history through our exhibits, "Firsts in Flight", "1889", the orientation theater, the logging and maritime galleries, and the John M. Edson Hall of Birds.

Information:

• Fri 8/2/19 at 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM