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Posted on: April 18, 2017

17-020 Public invited to event recognizing Larrabee as Washington’s first state park



Toni Droscher, (360) 902-8604
Amber Forest, (360) 676-2093

New monument will be unveiled 

OLYMPIA – April 18, 2017 – Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission invites the public to participate in  recognizing Washington’s first state park—Larrabee State Park—at a special dedication event.

The event begins at 10 a.m., Friday, April 28, at the south day-use parking lot and amphitheater/band shell area in Larrabee State Park, 245 Chuckanut Dr., Bellingham. (Directions)

Larrabee State Park officially became Washington’s first state park on Nov. 22, 1915. The original 20 acres were donated to the park system by Frances P. Larrabee, in accordance with her late husband Charles X. Larrabee’s vision. Charles was a highly successful copper miner, industrialist and philanthropist and one of the founders of Bellingham’s Fairhaven area. The Larrabee family donated land for civic purposes throughout Bellingham. The donated park land was envisioned as a scenic park and automobile campground to complement the Chuckanut Drive section of the Pacific Highway, which was nearing completion.

The event honors the Larrabee family for their generous contribution and vision and recognizes the members of the first Washington State Board of Park Commissioners, which was established by the Washington State Legislature in March 1913. This initial board included: Gov. Ernest Lister, Commissioner of Public Lands Clark V. Savidge, State Auditor C.W. Clausen, State Treasurer Edward Meath and E.F. Blaine, a private citizen from Seattle.

The dedication event will highlight the history of Larrabee State Park and its significance as Washington’s first state park, Members of the Larrabee family, including Consuelo Larrabee, the granddaughter of Frances and Charles Larrabee will participate in the dedication. A ribbon cutting will follow the presentation to unveil a new monument, located near the south day-use area. The sandstone monument was hand-carved by Keith Philips, a stone cutter from Tenino.  Funding for the monument came from  Washington State Parks license plate sales, which support arts and education in state parks.

Following the ceremony, the park will provide refreshments at the south day-use shelter.

For more information about the dedication, contact Ranger Amber Forest, (360) 676-2093. For more information about the history of Larrabee State Park, contact Sam Wotipka, State Parks Exhibit Development Coordinator, (360) 902-8665.

For more information about Larrabee State Park, including a brief history, visit:


About Washington State Parks

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.

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Share your favorite state park adventure on the State Parks’ blog site at

Support state parks by purchasing your annual Discover Pass today, and enjoy a whole year of outdoor fun on Washington’s beautiful state-managed recreation lands. For more information, visit

Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
1111 Israel Road S.W.
P.O. Box 42650
Olympia, WA 98504-2650

Washington Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388

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