Lynden is the second largest city in Whatcom County. Named and established in 1874 on the site of the Noocksack Indian village Squahalish Nooksack (Sqwehálich), the town began as a pioneer settlement headed by Holden and Phoebe Judson and is today home to one of the largest Dutch American communities in the nation.
Lynden is approximately five miles south of the U.S.-Canadian border, with Lynden-Aldergrove operation and port of entry hours between 8:00 a.m. and midnight. The population was10,820 at the 2010 Census. Residents of Lynden are known as "Lyndenites". Lynden is also home to the Northwest Washinton Fair.
Lynden was begun in 1871 and established in 1874 by Holden and Phoebe Johnson near the site of the Nooksack Indian village Squahalish (Nooksack: Sqwehálich). It was named by Phoebe Judson after the riverside town in Hohenlinden, a poem by Thomas Campbell, stating: "On Linden, when the sun was low,
All bloodless lay the untrodden snow; And dark as winter was the flow of Iser rolling rapidly."
According to her book, A Pioneer's Search for an Ideal Home, she changed the spelling of "Linden" to be more visually appealing. The town was officially incorporated on March 16, 1891.
The town lies in a broad valley along the winding path of the Nooksack River, which empties into nearby Bellingham Baa. The surrounding area is filled with dairy, raspberry, strawberry, and blueberry farms. The region saw significant Dutch immigration in the early and mid 1900s, spurring the growth of dairies. Today, Lynden pays homage to its Dutch heritage through locations such as Front Street, which has been made-over with a Dutch theme, complete with its own windmill. Along that street, you'll find a Dutch bakery, Dutch restaurants and numerous antiques stores. Local supermarkets contain Dutch food sections, and Dutch is still spoken by some of the town's residents.
The Raspberry Festival is held the third weekend in July every year. The festival includes the Curt Maberry 3-on-3 basketball tournament, the Razz & Shine Car Show, The Raspberry Fun Run, tours of raspberry fields and wineries and the ever popular Raspberry & Ice Cream All Day social. Other notable events are the Farmer's Day Parade, the Sinterklaas/Lighted Christmas Parade, the Antique Tractor Show, and many other events that can be seen in more detail at Lynden's website calendar.
The town is noted for its manicured lawns, cheery gardens, Dutch architecture and abundance of reformed churches. In August, the Northwest Washington Fair lures thousands, and allows locals to display their agricultural products, art, and crafts.
Lynden is one of the few cities in the world whose main entrance is in between two cemeteries. At one time, Lynden held the world record for most churches per square mile and per capita. Due to the town's large population of those who attend or are members of Lynden's many reformed churches, the town has a long tradition of the majority of the businesses closing on Sunday.
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