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Ferndale Becomes the Second Largest City in Whatcom County

According to the latest estimates from Washington State, the City of Ferndale is now the second largest city in Whatcom County with 15,270 residents. This represents a 33.77% increase from 2010 and makes Ferndale the fastest growing city in Skagit and Whatcom County. This is also the first time in the history of Ferndale where the City has had more residents than any other City in Whatcom besides Bellingham.

“This is great news for Ferndale,” said Mayor Greg Hansen. “It is no mystery why people chose Ferndale as their home. We have great schools, great parks and an incredible growing business community,” said Hansen.

“While this growth may feel sudden, it is planned. The City is ready to welcome our new neighbors,” said Hansen. In the last three years, Ferndale has started over $50 million dollars’ worth of local infrastructure projects including the construction of the Thornton Overpass, the drilling of a new well and the expansion of the water and wastewater treatment plants.   

“For those of you who are concerned about losing our small-town feel, I have a challenge,” said Hansen. “Go out and meet one of your new neighbors. Share your favorite things about our city and in doing so, we will continue our proud tradition of kindness, support and decency that make Ferndale the great place we know and love.”

The full population estimates from the Office of Financial Management can be found on their website here.

The Wild Pioneer Life of William “Blanket Bill” Jarman

One of Ferndale’s more colorful settlers, Blanket Bill Jarman is credited as the first permanent white settler in the area when he first put down roots in Whatcom County in 1852. Jarman caused quite a stir earlier when he was kidnapped by tribal members from Vancouver Island and had to be ransomed with a pile of blankets as tall as he stood, earning him his nickname.

In the 1850s, he officially delivered mail by canoe for Fort Bellingham by canoe, and unofficially served as a smuggler. In the 1860s, he staked out a homestead in the county and worked as a bartender for a saloon in Bellingham. In 1871, a saloon patron insulted Jarman’s sister. A fight broke out and Jarman shot and killed the surly patron. Jarman was jailed for a short time before returning to England for a decade.

He returned to Whatcom and moved to Ferndale to stay with his niece and her husband, William Manning on their farm.  In 1904, the Old Settlers Association recognized Jarman as the oldest living settler and described him as, “Sailor, deserter, trader, hunter and fisherman, fur dealer, Indian slave, tribesman, squawman, homesteader, ship master, telegraph linesman, army courier and mail carrier, interpreter, bar tender, accused murderer, gold digger; there was little he did not find interesting and zestful”. You can find out more about Blanket Bill from the Ferndale Heritage Society at Pioneer Park.

Councilmember Herb Porter Receives Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership

Councilmember Herb Porter

This month, Councilmember Herb Porter received his Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership from the Association of Washington Cities.

AWC’s Certificate of Municipal Leadership program recognizes city and town elected officials for accomplishing training in four core areas:
• Roles, responsibilities and legal requirements
• Public sector resource management
• Community planning and development
• Effective local leadership

Those who earn the advanced certificate continue to strive for excellence by attending conferences and trainings, serving their community, and further developing leadership skills. To earn the Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership, Porter completed more than 60 hours of training credits and demonstrated community service.

“Cities and towns around the state are continually transforming in light of changing laws and the need to meet new challenges and opportunities,” said AWC Chief Executive Officer Peter B. King.

This would be the second Ferndale Councilmember currently serving to receive their Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership. Councilmember Ali Hawkinson received her certificate in January 2021.

“Our Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership recognizes mayors and councilmembers who continue to enhance the tools they need today to understand the legal landscape, plan for the future, manage their resources, and foster strong relationships. The elected officials who earn this certificate demonstrate a commitment to continuous learning and a desire to bring new ideas back to their community.”

City Hall, Police Station Open for Regular Business Hours starting June 14th

Ferndale City Hall, Police Station Open for Regular Business Hours starting June 14th

With the installation of new COVID safety measures complete, the Ferndale City Hall and Police Station will be open to the public for full business hours, 8:30AM-4:30PM Monday through Friday, starting June 14th.

“We appreciate the public’s patience while we made the modifications necessary, and we are ready to once again assist our community in person,” said Mayor Greg Hansen. The reopening is well in advance of the statewide reopening, currently scheduled for June 30th for all public facilities.

City staff has continued to work throughout the pandemic, accessible via email, phone and video conferencing to meet the needs of the public. The city recently launched a new utility billing portal to allow for more transparency, allowing for even more remote access to city documents.

For more information about city facilities, please contact Communication Officer Riley Sweeney at 360-685-2353 or rileysweeney@cityofferndale.org.

City Hall Open to the Public Tuesday/Thursday 10AM-2PM

City Hall is reopening to the public! We will be open from 10:00AM-2:00PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays going forward, with the goal of being fully reopen for business hours by the end of June.

If you haven’t been fully vaccinated, please wear a face mask for your safety and the safety of our employees. Thank you!

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