Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Fairhaven
Church of the Assumption on Cornwall Avenue
The beauty of the two Catholic churches in Bellingham belies the feuding history between them. The Church of the Assumption, in what used to be the north end of Bellingham, was formed in 1889. From the beginning, however, the southside community clamored for their own parish. (Those darn Fairhavenites, always wanting to go their own way!) Their requests went unheeded until 1903. Ironically, as the towns of Whatcom, Fairhaven, Sehome, and Bellingham were consolidating into one, the Fairhaven Catholic community was granted their request to divide the local parish into two. About one-third of the Assumption parishioners left to form Sacred Heart, and they hopped around from place to place until the church was built in 1913. Supposedly the rivalry between the churches was so intense that parents from one church would actually forbid their children to go to the other church, and parishioners claimed they would rather go to a Protestant church than attend the other Catholic church.
They both are lovely though, aren't they?