Meet Daniel Jefferson Harris, the founder of Fairhaven, Washington, in southern Bellingham. Famous almost as much for his scruffy appearance and scrapes with local authorities as he is for his enterprising nature, “Dirty Dan” Harris claimed Bellingham land at the age of 22 (in 1833). Having long dreamed of starting a town on his claim, Daniel Harris filed a plat for the Town of Fairhaven in 1883 (at the age of 50) and promptly began selling lots, to great profit.
Today, a walk up and down Harris Street shows off buildings from the Fairhaven’s hopeful beginnings at the turn of the century, when residents hoped they would be chosen as the next new hub port (losing out, sadly, to Seattle). Fairhaven’s old-world charm lends an extra dose of appeal to the many shops and cafes here, making it a favorite destination for residents and tourists alike.