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Q&A: Bellingham History Tours with Good Time Girls

Learn about the comical tour group that takes you through the back stories of Bellingham

Kolby LaBree (left) and Wren Urbigkit (right), the owners of Good Time Girls, stand for a photo in their touring outfits in Bellingham, Wash. in July 2019. The girls wear these outfits to create a fun and engaging environment on their tours. // Photo courtesy of Phil Rose

The Good Time Girls are a group of women who offer engaging and entertaining historical walking tours in Bellingham, suitable for both locals and tourists. Focusing on diverse individuals, their tours provide a unique perspective on the city's past. Through a blend of their sass and well-researched information, the Good Time Girls aim to make history both interesting and hilarious, encouraging participants to have fun while gaining insights into how the past has shaped the present.

Q: How did the Good Time Girls and the idea of Bellingham History Tours start?

Good Time Girls Co-Owner Kolby LaBree: It started back in 2011, and the original owners were named Sarah and Marissa. They had heard about the history of Bellingham. There is a book called “The Brothels of Bellingham” by Curtis Smith, which details some of the interesting early history. I think that inspired them to start doing tours and dressing up in historical outfits.

Q: Can you share a little bit about your business and what you do?

A: We provide historical guided walking tours here in Bellingham. Our focus is on telling quirky, offbeat history, trying to have fun with it, and teaching people things that they might not learn in school or find in other places.

Q: Can you share an overview of the different kinds of tours you offer?

A: The main tours that we offer are our Sin and Gin Tours and then our Gore and Lore Tours, and those are our most popular tours. We also do cemetery tours, and then once it gets closer to October, we lean in and do all the spooky stuff, and we dress kooky and spooky in a historical way. 

Q: How do you guys pick the stories you share on your tours?

A: It can be a long process of just seeing what works, but you kind of hone in on some of your favorite stories. There is a lot that goes into planning tours. You have to physically get out on the location and see what works with what’s out there in the physical world as well. Sometimes, we may need another stop, or we ask ourselves, “what can we talk about here?”

Q: What made you guys want to start a podcast, and when did you start it?

A: We first started during the pandemic back in 2020. We were guest hosts on another local podcast called “The City of Subdued” and we did a whole season on there about true crime and some of the dark history in Bellingham. We thought that was really fun, and so we decided to start our own. 

So far the podcast has been pretty random, but mostly because when we do tours, we try and keep it an hour to an hour and a half for people's attention spans. You’re doing roughly no longer than a 10-minute stop per story and it moves along pretty quickly, and sometimes you don’t get to go into as much detail on things you have knowledge of because there is just not enough time. So, it's a fun way for us to take a deeper dive into things.

Q: What kind of things do you guys do to make the tours comedic?

A: We all just have a little bit of a sassy sense of humor. There is a lot of real horrifying history, and if it doesn’t make you uncomfortable, you’re probably doing it wrong. But you know, our sort of coping mechanism for that is humor, sometimes dark humor. We just try to have fun with it, we like to tell jokes and we try to tie things to current events in popular culture to make it relatable to people as much as we can.

Q: Can you share a bit about your personal favorite era of Bellingham's history that you share on tours?

A: On our Sin and Gin Tours there is a real focus on the eras around the 1890’s through the 1920’s, kind of like the Wild West era of Bellingham. You really get to know the saloons and brothels and the cultural shift that happened during that period. You start to see more pressure towards reforming those things and getting this sort of religious transition and leading up to prohibition. So, that is a really interesting shift from being this wide open, anything goes kind of place to really cracking down on a lot of those same things.

Q: Have you guys faced any challenges as a business?

A: It’s definitely a labor of love. Bellingham is just barely big enough to pull this off. Most places that have similar kinds of tours are bigger cities, so that can be a challenge. But Bellingham is unique, being between Seattle and Vancouver, so it has a special feeling to me that is akin to maybe a larger city.

Isabella Vandaveer

Isabella Vandaveer (she/her) is a city life reporter for The Front. She is a junior majoring in visual journalism and newly minoring in film. Outside the newsroom, you can find her skiing at Baker, drawing, or taking a long walk around her neighborhood. You can reach her at 

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