Welcome to our new website. Share your feedback with us.

What’s the Deal With: Broadway Park?

The park sits on an old lagoon

Broadway Park follows an old wetland in the Cornwall Park neighborhood.
Broadway Park follows an old wetland in the Cornwall Park neighborhood. (Hailey Hoffman/Cascadia Daily News)
By Hailey Hoffman Visual Journalist

When driving through Bellingham and entering the Cornwall Park neighborhood, the neat grids of Sunnyland, Columbia and the Lettered Streets are interrupted by a wavy array of roads and the long, skinny Broadway Park sandwiched between historic homes.

The sunken park and the roads follow the path of a now-hidden creek, which let out to the I & J Waterway of Bellingham Bay.

In the early 1900s, Everett Lyle from the Bellingham Bay Improvement Company (who donated the land to the city) designed the park around the creek’s wetland which included a lagoon at the western end of the park, Whatcom Museum historian Jeff Jewell said. In 1946, the lagoon was filled in.

“For years, I had old-timers coming and they’d say, ‘Oh, I don’t understand why they got rid of that lagoon. We used to get tadpoles there and skate on it in the winter,’” Jewell said about older locals who recalled childhood memories. “When you read contemporary accounts in the ’30s and ’40s of the lagoon, it was described as a trash hole because garbage would roll in.”

While the lagoon and its tadpoles are no more, the creek still runs through pipes beneath the ground, Jewell said. On rainy days, the stretch of grass still becomes boggy, leading to muddy shoes and paws.

WTD is published online Mondays and in print Fridays. Have a suggestion for a “What’s the Deal With?” inquiry? Email us at newstips@cascadiadaily.com.

Latest stories

Longtime family-owned business has a national, even global, reach
Feb. 25, 2024 10:00 p.m.
Iconic feature commemorates death of 4-year-old boy
Feb. 25, 2024 10:00 p.m.
'Our History Collectively' aims for equality in the community
Feb. 25, 2024 1:09 p.m.

Have a news tip?


Sign up for our free email newsletters