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Civil Rights and Labor History Consortium / University of Washington

Bellingham and Whatcom County racial restrictive covenants

Here are preliminary maps and lists of racial restrictive covenants for Bellingham and Whatcom County. Combing through county property records we have uncovered deeds and other documents containing restrictions that apply to more than 1,400 properties. Our work is not finished, so this is meant to be suggestive, not definitive. Racial restrictions were imposed by many developers and neighborhood associations in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and early 1950s. They remain part of property records today, although since 1968, discrimination on the basis of race has been illegal. The links below lead to three pages featuring different kinds of maps, lists, and information that show the prevalence of restrictive covenants. We will be adding additional information in the months ahead.

Restricted subdivisions

This interactive map shows 26 restricted subdivisons. Scroll the list, read the language of restrictions, learn the names of the developers.

1,400 plus restricted parcels

This map shows the location of properties that carried racial and sometimes religious restrictions.

Race and segregation maps

Here we map the neighborhood-by-neighborhood distributions of African Americans, Asian Americans, Indigenous Americans, Latinos, and Whites across four decades.