Whatcom Gems: Bellingham Bay Collectibles

By: Logan Portteus

When I enter an antique shop, I’m not seeking a sparse room with standalone items on display for upwards of $200.  I seek a place packed to the ceiling with items of all kinds, one where I weave through isles in amazement of the sheer quantity of history engulfing me.  

Bellingham Bay collectibles, located at 314 W. Holly St., is exactly the kind of antique shop I love, and truly a Whatcom gem.  Among the things on display in the shop’s front windows were mannequins dressed for a 1920s dinner party, a huge stuffed tiger and lamps with shades that were emitting warm, multicolored light onto the sidewalk.

After about 20 minutes of exploring the seemingly endless amount of antique jewelry, books and trinkets, I made it to the cash register and what I thought was the back of the store.  I was mistaken, as beyond the counter there was a whole second half of the business filled with one-of-a-kind, beautiful vintage clothing.  What struck me next was that as I browsed the clothes, everything was reasonably priced for the quality of the items.  Typically, I’ll look at antique store clothing to find that the worn leather jacket I love costs $500.  Here, I found an old, well-kept denim jacket with white lace leaves and patterns on the back panel for $18.

To those looking to explore pieces of history and imagine the rich past of an endless amount of unique items, look no further.

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