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It lies west of Mount Baker and Lake Whatcom (from which it gets its drinking water) and north of the Chuckanut Mountains and the Skagit Valley. Bellingham is 18 miles (29 km) south of the US-Canada border and 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Vancouver.According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.90 square miles (74.85 km The lowest elevations are at sea level along the waterfront.BBIC was not the only outside firm with an interest in Bellingham utilities.The General Electric Company of New York purchased Bellingham's Fairhaven Line and New Whatcom street rail line in 1897.
Whatcom citizens wouldn't support a city named Fairhaven, and Fairhaven residents would not support a city named Whatcom.
South and eastward of the city limits are taller foothills of the North Cascades mountains.
Mount Baker is the largest peak in the local area, with a summit elevation of 10,778 feet (3,285 m) that is only 31 miles (50 km) from Bellingham Bay.
Coal was mined in the Bellingham area from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries.
It was Henry Roeder who had discovered coal off the northeastern shore of Bellingham Bay, and in 1854 a group of San Francisco investors established the Bellingham Bay Coal Company.Mount Baker is visible from many parts of the city and western Whatcom County.