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Monday, February 26, 2007

THE WALDRON BUILDING
A visitor left a comment on my FAIRHAVEN HOTEL post, asking about the Waldron Building here in Fairhaven. This is what I found on the internet.
It was built in 1891 by Mr.Charles W. Waldron, who had his bank there. There were also a few other businesses in the building but they didn't do well and eventually moved across town and most prospered.
After spending $33,000. on the building only the first two floors were finished. Then Fairhaven's economy went bust in 1892 and the bank was out of business a year later.
A Charles Cissna turned the building into a department store but fire gutted the building in January of 1894. He lost a great deal and left Fairhaven.
This is how she looked in her later years. At one time there was a tavern in the corner entrance. When I was a girl I was told not to go near the place when I was out walking with my cousins. There didn't used to be limits on how much liquor could be served.
I don't know when the top floor was changed, but suppose it was after a fire.
In 1971 the building was purchased by a developer who planned to restore and re-open it for business, but eventually realized the old building needed more help than he could give, so he sold it in 2006 to another developer who is now in the process of turning it into Waldron & Young Condominimums.

Here she is today. Her insides, the back wall and windows all gone, Barely a remnant of the old building remains. I feel sorry for her standing there naked and exposed.

Her condo's will overlook several businesses and Bellingham Bay, which would be nice, except our 'wise' city father's decided that a sewage treatment plant should be at the waterfront directly behind what used to be a very popular Marine Park. I used to go there but not any more. Instead of the smell of the salt water, there is the smell of raw sewage with chlorine, etc., added so they can legally dump it into the bay. What a turn off. And people eat the seafood from the bay!

I imagine the new condos will fill up pretty fast but I don't know how long they will stay, because if the wind happens to be blowing from the sewage treatment plant direction, well, lets just say that something's going to hit the fan!

Fairhaven used to be a quaint 'little' place back in the 40's and 50's but when the 60's came so did the hippie's. With their long hair, drugs, and many with the idea that 'what's mine is mine and what's your's is mine' they were not considered the most desired additions. Eventually the 'new-age group took over. Now we see a lot of the shops with their crystals, and other trappings displayed in the shop windows. I wonder if the new age people are just older Hippies?

Unfortunately there are many who come here to live because they think it is so much nicer than their previous home. Then they spend the next several years busting their hineys to turn Fairhaven into what they ran away from.

I far prefer the old Fairhaven. Everyone knew one another, it was a happy place . Fairhaven Pharmacy is all that's really left of the Fairhaven I love. But that's another story!

I was born here 68 years ago. I've seen Fairhaven through a lot of changes. Most she could have done without.

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