Now, the central waterfront redevelopment site
Pulp mill closed
March 30th 2001. Paper mill closed December 21 2007.
Photo taken soon after pulp mill closed in 2001.
blog entries on Bellingham Waterfront and old GP site.
I never had
a big axe to grind against GP, but some other folks did, or at least a sense
of humor. Back in my college days (mid 1970s), Fairhaven College (a
branch of WWU) named it's newsletter "The Tuna Gas News." Sort of a
spoof on GP's smell.
In later years of pulp mill operation, the smell was less evident.
When I was still in high school, I lived in Pullman, WA. while
my sister was attending Fairhaven College. In 1971 there was a test
of a nuclear warhead under Amchitka Island in the Aleutian Islands off of
Alaska. Some folks around Fairhaven College worried that the Amchitka
blast might set off earthquakes along fault lines all down the coast.
It might crack GP's chlorine plant sitting in the middle of Bellingham.
Well, that "end of the world" scenario didn't happen.
When I lived in the dorms at Fairhaven (late 1970s) there was
a dorm called The Bridge Project. It was folks past retirement age
going back to college. One bridger used to tell interesting stories
about driving a fuel truck into GP.
Hog fuel , as it was called.
Burning old bark and wood waste to supplement the plant's steam
supply. He would say that after his load got dumped into the hopper,
it would all be burned up before his truck left the yard.
Sitting in Viking Commons Dining hall, I would watch as the smoke
from the mill turned darker all of a sudden. "Must be another load
of hog fuel."
Then I heard an urban legend that the log chipper blade had so much
inertia that it would keep spinning on it's axis for several hours after
they turned it off. Maybe it was over a day. I forgot.
Like a huge cheese grinder, this log chipper
blade now sits idle in a Bellingham scrap yard on West Holly Street.
I think the "spare." Another one sits in the redevelopment
site, along with a 1,500 hp motor that drove it. Future sculptures?
While I never worked at GP, the mill was a source of interesting goings
In Spokane, WA. I visited an old heating plant called Steam Plant
Square. As of 2005, it made interesting decor for a restaurant.
To my Bellingham
Tour or my