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Local and Northwest maritime history will continue to be featured at the Bellingham International Maritime Museum on Cornwall Avenue. This week the Port of Bellingham’s Board of Commissioners approved a one-year lease with the museum operators.
“The Bellingham Maritime Museum is very gratified to have received a surge of new sponsorship which will allow it to expand its existing floorspace,” said Museum Director Mike Granat. “The individuals, businesses and foundations who have come forward in support of the maritime museum all have remarked on the great value that the maritime museum brings in keeping alive the great maritime heritage and culture which has formed the character and content of our seaport community.”
The museum features a Uniflite exhibit, which showcases the iconic Vietnam-era vessel Patrol Boat River, “PBR” that draws military veterans and their families from all around the country. It also offers a collection of civilian and military watercraft from several decades, along with exhibits of waterfront heritage from the design of Native American canoes to San Juan chart maps. Vintage and antique maritime tools, such as compasses and telescopes, also are shown in the museum.
It is located in a portion of a Port warehouse at 800 Cornwall Avenue and is open to the public from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.
“We are pleased that the museum was able to find a donor to provide funding for its lease,” said Port Commission President Jim Jorgensen. “I think people enjoy their exhibits and their enthusiasm.”
The museum has been leasing 3,000 square feet of space in this building, on a month-to-month agreement, for $750 a month since 2005. The newly approved lease agreement extends the lease to a full year, expands the lease area to 6,000 square feet and increases the rent to $1,500 a month.
The new lease allows the museum to expand its lease space in 3,000-square-foot increments as potential new funding allows.