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A substantial, thriving distribution and market center of northern Whatcom County, it was settled in 1869. Among its industrial plants were an egg warehouse, from which carloads of eggs were shipped to New York City; a barreling plant for packing strawberries and other fruits; a creamery, operated by the Whatcom County Dairymen’s Association; and a plant for converting surplus, skim, and sour milk into stock food.

Since 1900, when the first Hollanders arrived, Lynden has been predominantly Dutch. Through the 1940s, older Hollanders spoke Dutch in their homes and still preserved old-country customs in cookery and decoration. In the town were four Dutch-language churches. The Hollanders introduced their native methods of bulb culture with remarkable success, and for years Lynden shipped carloads of bulbs to all parts of the world. In the spring acres of golden daffodils and tulips of variegated hues stretched for miles away from the highways. In recent years some of the acreage formerly devoted to bulb cultivation is being planted to crops which meet with less competition. Berries and garden truck were also important agricultural products.

Lynden’s Dutch heritage is still evident throughout the community. A 72-foot-high windmill with moving blades stands at the center of downtown. A community highlight is the annual Holland Days festival, featuring “klompen” (wooden shoe) dancers in Dutch costume and traditional cuisine during the first weekend in May. The Northwest Washington Fair is held in August, as well as many other fun year-round activities. For golfers, Lynden offers 11 nearby courses, including the Homestead Farms Golf Resort & Convention Center, which features an island green on the 18th hole. Lynden’s parks and flat terrain are also ideal for bicyclists and nearby Mt. Baker offers skiing, hiking, and camping.

Points of Interest Points of Interest icon

US Post Office

Completed in 1940, the Lynden Post Office is an unaltered example of a small town single-purpose post office. Although the building is similar in its modernist design and detailing as the Renton and Central post offices, the Lynden building is unique as only one of two post offices in the state constructed totally of poured-in-place concrete. The built has a prominent mural depicting “three ages” of one of the founders of Lynden and relates the history of Lynden through visual presentation. The design of the building was patterned after one of several standardized plans developed by the Department of the Treasury. The Lynden Post Office, as most of the buildings constructed during the Depression era, utilizes Classical symmetry and proportion.

Lynden Department Store

The Lynden Department Store is an excellent representative example of a highly significant phenomenon in the history of commerce in rural western towns in the United States – that of the independent, small-town department store that served as a social and commercial landmark in these towns. The Lynden Department Store was a classic example of a commercial and social town center, anchoring the town with a centrally located emporium of goods ranging from farm and “city” clothing, to dishware, to groceries, to farm equipment, to grain, to horse buggies (and eventually an early form of rural automobile dealership). The Lynden Department Store is also the largest (and sole surviving) building developed by William H. “Billy” Waples. Mr. Waples was the driving force behind the Lynden Department Store, his operation that spanned seven decades. Billy Waples also founded and co-owned the Lynden Mill and Light Company and established the first electric light service in Lynden in 1903. Waples was also instrumental in bringing passenger and freight rail service to Lynden in 1904 – and in starting the Northwest Washington Fair, still thriving and still one of the largest and most successful country fairs in the Northwest.