Located on the southern end of Edgemoor Neighborhood, the peninsula called Clark’s Point is part of the Whatcom Land Trust. Read “The History of Clark’s Point” below for more information.
Clark’s Point Viewpoints
There is public access limited to two viewpoints that are available, during daylight hours only, via marked trail heads located approximately 150ft south of the end of Fieldston Rd. and 50ft north of the No Access Private Drive entrance gate.
Limited parking is available on Fieldston Rd. North of the ‘No Parking Tow Away’ signs.
Conditions of Viewpoint Access:
Access at your own risk
Daylight use only
No deviating from viewpoints or access trail
No cutting or gathering vegetation
No alcohol or firearms
Clark’s Point History, by Patrice Clark
Doug and Peggy Clark bought the peninsula now known by locals as Clark’s Point at the south end of Bellingham Bay in 1958 from one of the Larrabee children, Mary L..Bourque. Mary was living in California at the time and only interested in selling if someone would buy 103 acres, which included the entire peninsula along with 30 acres north of the railroad tunnel. The price was over $100,000 which was about $1,000 per acre. At the time, most people thought my parents were crazy to spend all that money and would ask, “What are you going to do with that hunk of rock?” Mary Bourque said that she hoped they would not log off all the trees, though there was never anything put in writing. So let me tell you about how my folks discovered this place.
My parents were living on the north side of Bellingham on Madrona Street, off of Eldridge Ave.for 16 years, since 1942. They had decided they wanted to live on the salt water somewhere in Whatcom County so began searching for waterfront property, looking from Lummi Island, Cherry Point, to Chuckanut Bay. Almost closing a deal on buying some land which included a new unfinished house on Soundview Rd. off of Chuckanut Drive, the owner changed his mind at the last minute. My dad and my parents’ real estate agent were driving back along Chuckanut Drive and my dad looked over to the peninsula and asked, “What about that land over there”, pointing across the bay, “is it for sale?” The real estate agent thought the owner was willing to sale, so the following day they drove out as far as their vehicle would go, then dad set off by foot on his own, while the real estate agent waited. He followed an old logging road and/or deer trails and finally bushwhacked all the way out to the west point, then across to the longer east point peninsula. He was so excited that he returned the very next day with my mother and they both hiked out together to the end. Well, she totally fell in love with this property too! This was the beginning of Doug and Peggy Clark’s adventures out here on a peninsula that now bears their name.
They started by building a road down to the end of the point, along with adding utilities which was no simple undertaking. There were plenty of obstacles to deal with along the way, including plenty of sandstone which had to be blasted. They tried to locate fresh water by drilling in various locations up to several hundred feet deep with no success. Finally after hiring a water witcher, fresh water was discovered at the top of the hill at a depth of 30 feet. (We came to realize that my mother was very good at water witching and we should have paid her the one hundred dollars!) Over the years we were always reminded to conserve water and sometimes would run out totally during dry August and September months. Eventually dad built a holding tank to store water so dad would keep in full and we would use this tank in the late summer every year from then on until we finally had a city water line laid.
Next, the first building erected was the boathouse up from one of the two beaches at the south end of the peninsula. When they started excavating for the home site, they found various fossils included one of a turtle. It was of interest to the geology department at WWU because it was one of only two animal fossils that have been found in the whole Chuckanut formation. Eventually my parents donated this turtle fossil to the university.
My dad owned and ran the grocery store, Clark’s Market, on Cornwall Ave.at the time and also helped build this house along with one full time fastidious carpenter. Our home took 18 months to complete and we finally moved in August 1961.
There are many fossils embedded in the sandstone along the shoreline (there is one that we called a dinosaur’s spine or a palm tree fossil that can be seen if you travel by boat along the point). Unfortunately our pair of descriptions has not been able to be proven and now the latest explanation is quite boring in comparison, relating to the formation of the sandstone thousands of years ago.
Over the next years, before there were shoreline regulations, my father built a pier near the home, then built a harbor so he could then build a floating boathouse to store their 28 foot Uniflite boat.
Neighbors were further than a mile away (there were no homes closer than Fieldston Road and Linden Road until the late 1970s). I kept trying to convince my parents to sell off some of their land so we’d have people living nearer to us. At one time there was a scout for Robert Goulet, a movie star, who was looking at our property to buy but Doug and Peggy were not interested in selling.
In the 1980s, my parents started thinking about the future of the point. They wondered what would happen to this land in 100 years. They didn’t want to sell it, but they also didn’t want to turn it into a park. In 1988 I contacted The Nature Conservancy and they had a representative from Seattle along with a local Nature Conservancy steward, George Garlick, come up to hike the property with me. Their findings were that the land was beautiful but it had no unique species that made it desirable for them to own the property. About the same time, my dad contacted the mayor, Tim Douglas, who set up a meeting which included Rand Jack, one of the founders of Whatcom Land Trust. This set off the beginning of a positive, long term, working relationship between the Clark family and the Whatcom Land Trust. Rand Jack worked with all the Clark family which included both my parents, my sister, my brother and myself and our spouses for almost two years before we finally signed a conservation easement on January 19, 1990, protecting this 71 acres of land from further development. Fully developed, this land could have accommodated at least 72 homes. Since this time, neither my parents nor my siblings or me have ever regretted our decision to preserve this beautiful property.
December 28. 2007