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Nooksack Falls

This point offers a view of Nooksack Falls from the bridge. The Nooksack Falls Hydroelectric Power Plant was completed in 1906 by Stone and Webster on the North Fork of the Nooksack River on private lands within the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Three years earlier, the Whatcom County Railway and Light Company began construction of the 1,500 kilowatt power plant at Nooksack Falls to generate power for an expanding interurban railway system. Before the plant was complete, Stone and Webster assumed management of the facility and subsequently merged the Whatcom County firm with four other power companies into the Puget Sound Traction, Light, and Power Company (a predecessor of Puget Sound Energy). The plant was one of the longest continually operating hydroelectric projects in the country when a 1997 fire destroyed the original generator. After the fire, it was effectively abandoned and fell into disrepair for the next several years before operations resumed in 2003 under new ownership. Although the Nooksack Falls Hydroelectric Power Plant is historically significant as a surviving example of an early hydroelectric facility, its historic impact must recognize the damage inflicted on both the native inhabitants and the natural environment.