Bellingham is a city on the east shore of Bellingham Bay extending east to Lake Whatcom in southwest Whatcom County in Washington State.. It includes several small towns and settlements founded between 1854 and 1900, and combined into the present city in 1903. These towns included Sehome, Fairhaven, Whatcom, and New Whatcom. The name is from the bay on which the city is located.

Bellingham Bay is a large, navigable bay off Rosario Strait, southwest Whatcom County in Washington State. It constitutes the waterfront of Bellingham. Shoals at the north end are caused by silt from Nooksack River. The bay was called Bahia de Gaston by Lieut. Juan Francisco de Eliza in 1791. The present name was used by Capt. George Vancouver on  June 11, 1792; although the actual charting was made by Joseph Whidbey. It was in honor of Sir William Bellingham, controller of  the Royal Navy. The name Ballsom Bay appears on an 1845 map of Puget Sound. (Meany, Vancouver's Discovery of Puget Sound.

Bellingham Channel is a 5-mile-long channel, (average width one mile), between Cypress and Guemes islands is in northwest Skagit County in Washington state. . It was named by the U.S. Coast Survey in 1853 because of its geographical position with regard to Bellingham Bay. In the early 1790s, Juan Francisco de Eliza named this feature Canal de Guemes. The Samish Indian name was Tut-segh.

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