J. J. Donovan House

J. J. Donovan House

1201 N. Garden Street

Constructed in 1890
Constructed in 1890

John Joseph Donovan was a bit of a visionary. When he came to the Bellingham area in 1888, he served as the chief engineer of the Fairhaven and Southern Railroad. Within 10 years he accomplished a great many things. He platted the town of Fairhaven and constructed its wharves. He became chief engineer of the Blue Canyon Mining Company. And in 1898, Donovan, Julius H. Bloedel and Peter Larson formed the Lake Whatcom Logging Company, which grew to be one of the largest logging companies in the Northwest by 1813.

Bloedel started construction of a house in 1890 and then sold it to Donovan before it was finished. The building was made of high grade, expensive lumber straight from Donovan’s mill.

After the Donovan’s moved out the home changed hands a number of times before Western Washington University used the house as a women’s dormitory. Today there is a business downstairs and apartments upstairs.

Read more at City of Bellingham Historic Buildings.


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