History

This 1915 view of Bay Street shows the Fair Department Store, built in early 1890. Charles Cissna, who built the store, is best remembered for his Cissna script, which he issued during the depression of the 1890's. The script, issued in amounts from 5¢ to $5, was accepted by other merchants, as well as The Fair. The building was destroyed by fire in 1928 and today the site is occupied by the Mount Baker Apartments. Note the overhead trolley wires.

Bellingham also had a LETS (Local Exchange Trading System) in the early 1990's which ran for a few years. Kulshan Cash was another attempt to start a local currency in Bellingham. Several other Local Currecies have passed through Bellingham and Seattle during the last fifteen years. During the Depression years there were over 1,000 local scrips throughout the USA. They were ordered to close down by FDR in 1933.